Monday, February 19, 2007

There's Winners and Losers

Day of the Great Scrabble Smuckin'

I think I may have mentioned it before. We have a traditional family Sunday Scrabble Match after lunch at Mom's nearly every week. We eat and then the table is cleared. A little digesting and then it's "Who's up for a game of Scrabble?" Any given week may see 2 to 6 players.
This week there were 6.

Six players of Scrabble means the letters disappear fast. The game would be over quickly, but for the thinking time taken by some to choose a word. My sister-in-law went first and I was third. On her 2nd turn she was able to make 7 letter word and if only there had been an E for me to get onto I would have as well. Alas. I had to settle for a triple word off of her 7 letter contribution and take 5 letters.

With 3 players to wait out before it was my turn again, I spied another 7 letter word opportunity. Saying nothing (for a change) I hoped the spot would remain mine.



Oh, baby!

As I gleefully plunked my letters into place, Steph picked the last of the letters. I didn't realize the letters were gone. And I went out. It has to be some kind of record?
They were left with 33 letters between them. All MINE!

74 bonus points for me for going out, along with my 68 point word just created...

High score 192. (Me in 3 turns)

Low score: 2 (because of only getting 2 turns and then losing 7 letters. Sorry mom!~)

I've been thinking of doing the 6 Weird Things post other Bloggers are doing. The girls declared I ought not get to choose what makes me weird. But we agreed on a couple.
My slightly unsportsmanlike conduct on the rare occasion of a win at Scrabble would be one of them.

There's gloating.
And a winner/loser chant.
Sometimes accompanied by a dance worthy of a football player in the end zone.

I'll be wagging this score sheet in front of them many more times yet. ;)
(Brought home & hung on the fridge, of course!)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bottoms up!

Owl socks from the toe-up are finished

Sara is wearing them already and declares they fit as if they were made especially for her.

Possibly the fact that I crawled under the table while she was eating breakfast the other day and tore her sock off so I could measure her foot gave me away? Sara's small feet benefit from sock experiments I want to be done with quickly. Steph benefits from any that I might make for myself since our feet are almost the same size.

Will add more stitches and possibly look for a stretchier bind-off for the cuff.

(Picture of pattern in Workbasket Dec 1971 with the owl design)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It's my 1st toe-up sock!

An Owl Sock
Toe-Up :)

With a little technique help from Sensational Socks, instructions for the Easy Toe at Knitty and from this free pattern at Knitaddicted, I have attempted socks from the toe up.

It probably would have been wiser to pick a pattern and actually follow it, this being the 1st attempt.
Instead of making it up as I went along?

But I wound the yarn into 2 balls, hoped for about a size 5 sock and just started knitting.
It's free yarn...recently given to me. (No label, probably acrylic; not a problem as this was practice!)
There's only 36 stitches on size 4 needles because if this method sucked, 60 or 70 stitches cast-on per sock is a lot of damn work.

Previously, I had no interest in giving this method a try as I already have a perfectly functioning method of sock making: from the cuff-down.
Mom taught me and it works well enough. So why bother?

It occurred to me that if I'm able to beat the 128th person in line for Sock Madness, there's a pretty good chance one of the patterns will start off with the instruction: cast on provisional stitches and begin toe. And I would be seriously screwed. Eliminated even.
One of the strictest rules appears to be "Follow the DIRECTIONS! Exactly."

Hopefully this is no longer a problem.

Long, have I wanted to recreate this owl on the side of a sock.
Original pattern motif comes from WORKBASKET Dec 1971.
I liberated this copy from Mom's vintage collection nearly a year ago.
So I could figure out how to cable knit and then put this owl on the side of my sock.

Except I knew very little next to nothing about knitting a cable. And after an hour of attempting to chart out the front of the baby sweater so I could see how to do the owl, it became apparent there was a problem: My cuff-down sock owl would be upside down.

While toe-up socks will not likely become my method of choice. Seriously!
Look at that owl.
Right side up and everything.

I'm thinking a provisional cast-on could be worked just above the ankle for a directional motif (such as these owl cables) and then I could still do the gusset-to-toe sock Mom's way.

Then again, if I knew more about knitting cables I might understand how to just turn the pattern around?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Bloggers (silent) Poetry Reading

Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Poetry Reading

WHAT: A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading
WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2007
WHERE: Your blog
WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Brigid, aka Groundhog Day
HOW: Select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - to post February 2nd.

Intrigued by the thought of helping create a cyberweb of poetry. (You can thank me later for not inflicting poetry of my own into space!)

From my most favorite writer, my daughter...

After Training Wheels

unseasonable january saturday
black non-deadbeat non-absent father
in stocking cap and overstuffed jacket
trails daughter on bike
hand bracing her small of back
pushing then lifting then letting go

she collapses at the bottom of the hill in heap

later leaving the park
I see the family homing, too,
father up ahead carrying the pink and purple bike
with its gay betraying streamers
little girl scowling
glowing old kneepads over jeans
scunned palms

mother calling out from behind,
insisting to those closed ears,
how you learn!

~Stephani Nola~

Thursday, February 01, 2007

D is for Delayed

2nd attempt at Stranded Knitting

"Almost Laila" socks are finished!
Pattern I almost followed is from Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia.

These are my January socks, but they were delayed a few hours into February while I finished up the Kindergartner's 41 freaking little Letter Friend D's. I finished the toe decreases this morning and now I'm ready to race for the starting line of Sock Madness. Hoping to make it into the sign-up on time, as there's a limit to participants for this adventure.

Leg is 2 "pattern stripes" shorter. (On purpose.)
2 different pattern stripes were combined into one right after the gusset stitches were picked up. (On purpose for the second sock - so they matched :)
Followed mom's heel turning recipe out of habit.
Idea for color choice stolen from here.

Patons Kroy Socks
colors are NOT as vibrant, however. And what the hell did they put into this yarn to make it so scratchy? Did you people make this yarn the texture of spun straw on purpose? I'm probably done with you. ACMOORE just started carrying this brand and I used a Christmas gift card to buy the yarn in early January. Not sure if last year's gift card money counts as 2007 stash? Need to check with the Knit from your Stash judges maybe!