Knitting by Blind Faith

My First Socks
Saturday, May 31, 2008, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Knitting,Life

As I was reading Marti’s blog last week, I got to thinking about sock knitting. In her post, she expressed frustration at her lack of sock knitting progress. Still, she doesn’t want to give up, and I wrote a note to encourage her.

As I thought about it, encouraging someone to knit socks when you haven’t actually made any yourself means that you may sympathize with their frustration, but there is no way you will empathize with them. I had an introduction to sock knitting by making a couple of pairs of felted booties, but then sock knitting went by the wayside because of projects I was, and am, working on for gifts.

Today, RAM has to work at our local hurricane expo, and I offered to tag along. That means five hours of sitting at his radio station’s booth, waiting for people to walk by and inquire for information and about hurricane preparedness. Peace’s blanket is almost finished and barely fits in my GoKnit pouch. Moreover, it is getting bulky and a bit awkward to handle, so it needs to be relegated to the knit-at-home pile.

Five hours with idle hands is not a good thing. I needed something portable to knit. I know, SOCKS!

As I was searching for sock patterns in Ravelry, I came across the pattern for Jaywalkers that Marti was working on. After looking over the pattern (I had to edit it, because my screen reader did not translate the PDF correctly), I decided to give it a try.

I raided my stash of sock yarn and chose a beautiful blue. I made a gauge swatch and cast on for the socks.

These first few rows are agonizingly slow and involve a lot of concentration. I haven’t worked with fingering weight yarn before, so my fingers are tripping over themselves as I both knit and look at what I’m doing, but I am making slow but sure progress.

Marti, I feel your pain, but just for you (and as a spiritual challenge), I promise to swallow my pride and post photos of the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don’t know how many “design elements” there will be or even if these socks will actually fit when I’m done, but there is always more yarn, and I have a lifetime to get it right. So do you!

Delightful Friends
Wednesday, May 28, 2008, 6:25 am
Filed under: Life,Special Moments,Treasures

RAM and I have two very special friends named Fred and Joe. They winter here every year and were introduced to us by my grandparents while my grandparents visited us last year. We visit when they come down for the winter. They make us laugh and are a delight to be around.

Fred and Joe are heading North at the end of the week, so we got together for dinner last night for our final goodbye for the season. RAM and I were treated to dinner at an oceanside restaurant where we ate right on the beach. (RAM and I had wanted to treat Fred and Joe because we won’t make it to Fred’s 90th birthday party this summer, but they insisted that it was their turn because we bought last time.) The salty breeze and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore were the perfect backdrop to this delightful dinner.

We will miss our friends dearly and wish them a safe trip home. We look forward to getting together often when they come back down next winter. Who knows? Maybe I can get Joe back into knitting. She gave it up out of frustration. Who can blame her? Her introduction to knitting was an intermediate sweater class!

RAM and I came home to a knock on the door. It was I. bearing Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies in a beautiful gold keepsake box and a beautiful card from her and her daughter. They wanted to thank us for fixing their computer on Monday. RAM and I were deeply moved by their gratitude and will treasure the card always. And you can’t ask for a more pleasant end to a delightful evening than sharing excellent chocolate chip cookies with friends.

The Week in Review
Sunday, May 25, 2008, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Life

Well, it’s been a busy week full of good things.

On Thursday, the 15th, our Sleep Number bed was delivered and assembled. We made up the bed with the satin sheets, comforter and pillow shams RAM and his mom bought, and Joy and Peace got to be the first to try it out.

Joy and Peace on our new bed.

Okay, so I know some of you would gasp at the thought of animals on the new bed, but they’re family, and as one great e-mail that circulated around once put it, “They live here; you don’t.” :)

I know I sound like a commercial, but despite the busy week I’ve had, I haven’t felt this refreshed in a long time. It’s refreshing to only hit the snooze once instead of twice in the mornings, and even that is out of habit.

Saturday, we went to the world’s largest pizza party, as you know. After that, we went to see a show at the planetarium. We saw what the night sky would look like as we moved through this year and learned about all sorts of ancient Greek and Roman myths surrounding how the constellations came into being. It was fascinating.

Last Sunday, RAM and I took I. and her daughter out to breakfast, and we spent the day at the beach. We brought Joy with us for part of the day, and she seemed to be less confused and more excited at the prospect of some fun at the beach. She did not eat the sand, and we actually got her to swim. There were lots of other dogs to play with, too. I think she’s really starting to like the beach.

Joy is running along the water's edge toward another dog. People are playing in the water in the background.

While RAM took Joy home, I. and I floated in the water on rafts to keep cool and ride the waves. We chatted as we floated along. And suddenly, there was silence. No more voices could be heard from shore! We got so caught up in our conversation that, before we knew it, we were a mile from shore! We had to paddle/swim all the way back. I. got stuck doing most of the work because I could only paddle with one hand. I had to use the other to hold onto her raft, to keep from getting separated. It was good exercise, though, and we were none the worse for wear.

Last Friday, RAM came home with his inflatable kayak, and we were eager to try it out.

Our new inflatable kayak.

We took it out on the ocean when he got back from taking Joy home. It handled well, and we had a blast. Of course, my arms were already sore after having paddled the raft back to shore, so I wouldn’t let RAM go out as far as I. and I had. He was disappointed, but I was tired and didn’t want to leave him doing all the paddling. I came away resolving that I really must work on my upper body strength. Despite Joy’s strong pull, I’m not as strong as I thought I was.

I had a really busy week at work, but the Lord blessed me with some time to see all my friends at Knit Night on Thursday. I haven’t seen them for a while, and it was great seeing everyone again. I worked on Peace’s blanket as we all knit and chatted. I regaled them with kayak stories, and some of them now want to get into–or back into–kayaking. Click here for more info on the kayak, girls.

RAM and I have spent the weekend trying to work the W9IMS special event station on 20 meters. They were holding the special amateur radio event in honor of the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500, which I still listen to faithfully every year. We wanted to work the station so badly that we drove back and forth over the bridge that connects our town to the next town south, just to get 10 stories of height on our antenna. (I, of course, had knitting needles in hands at the same time. Yes, knitting and ham radio can go together.)

Well, today, finally, at 2:37 P.M., I got through the pile-up and talked to my hometown on the ham radio. RAM made contact five minutes later.

W9IMS will hold two more special events this summer. If we work all three, we get a certificate. Woohoo!

Well, time to get back to the race. Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend, everyone!