Monday, October 31, 2011

Recovery, rebooting and rewards

The storm has officially passed, though a lot of people are still sitting in the dark and cold, fortunately for me I'm not one of them, poor guys. And since there wasn't a quorum to play recorder trios this afternoon, I made use of the suddenly free time to do what every redblooded recorder player does when her group doesn't meet.

I switched over into brute force mode, whipped out my Japanese pruning saw and secateurs, chopped and sawed and generally reduced the giant cherry branch on the patio to a few logs and a lot of brush and a giant trunk, about twelve or more feet long, which I dragged out to the woods. Stopping only to sneeze, newfallen snow brings sneezing with it, and now and then to burst out laughing because I realized I was acting in a tableau.

Macbeth. Extra credit to blogistas who get the reference. Cheat sheet for them as didn't: the woods of Dunsinane moving, or some wood moving to Dunsinane. Birnam. Oh well, I guess you had to be there. This was plenty of exercise for one day, since the static woods are about a thousand yards away and I did it three times in all, delighting little animals with shelter for the winter, and doing the woods good, too, when the tree decomposes into the earth.

And leaving the patio all denuded and neat

This feat of strength follows hard on the heels of an email telling me that the student who did the art project using my mentoring this year for her Girl Scout Gold Award got it! yay, a great achievement for her, not an easy award to design and execute and please the committee.

And on the domestic front, learning is just scorching ahead. The cashmere socks are now in service, perfect timing considering the weather, and I am now learning a different way to knit socks, as per the blue one you see in progress, flanked by the cashmere ones. Annie will recognize this yarn, a nice pure wool in a nice pure color.

The difference here is that I'm knitting toe up, all the other socks I've done being from the top down to the toe. This involves learning to do a provisional cast on, and this involves much cursing and muttering as I discover what the heck it is and why an ordinary cast on won't work, and how you end up doing a crochet chain and then incorporating that and it works just perfectly.

What happens is that you knit the toe, up one side, down the other, no seams, just clever footwork, and when you come back to the bit where you cast on, you have to somehow incorporate these stitches without making a hard seam which won't work when you wear the sock.

Enter the provo cast on which you unzip (or yank and wrench and snip, depending on if you happen to be me) and it comes out leaving live stitches all ready to be snared on the needles so you can continue with your round knitting. Seamless toe, lovely design. My approach not quite so seamless but what do you want of my life...all I can say is that I'm still learning, and that's a Good Thing. I bet Martha can't do a provo cast on. She probably has staff for that.


  1. I suppose your post tomorrow will tell us the socks are done? Sigh.

  2. The first socks I knitted were "toe Up". didn't know any better. Took a lesson ($20) bought self patterning yarn (expensive) bought bamboo needles (expensive).
    Got started, put down needles to answer ate needles. Bought another set of needles and being a slow learner left the needles and sock on the Ottoman again. Being from a family known for perseverance bought plastic needles, untangled yarn, started again. Eventually finished socks (one turned out better than the other but is hidden in shoe) The socks are now famous as my $100 dollar socks!!

  3. Good job getting the branch taken care of.

  4. I admire your determination, but the wood stove user in me says, oh no not all that lovely cherry wood gone to ground that way...

    /rant I has my suspicions about Martha doing any of the really expensive and basically 'safe' things she wants us to do, except for the part about being smarmy and condescending to us little folk who do NOT have a staff...She has so spoiled navy blue for me, you would not believe. /end rant

  5. Martha's got nothing on you! Lovely socks and congrats on accepting the provo cast-on,toe-up challenge,I am not yet so brave!

  6. I have the exact same yank and snip method as you for the provo cast-on. Have taken to figure eight cast-ons (casts-on?)for toe-up socks. Much less cursing.


Thanks so much for commenting. I read all comments with care and much pleasure!