Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Yes. That's a sock I'm working on -- my genius adaptation of Francie to toe-up construction.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

One Down, One Up

This summer, I joined my first sock yarn club. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept: you pay a yarn company some set price up front, and for a certain span of time at regular intervals they will send you yarn and a pattern. The Unique Sheep company created such a club, the "Ram Club," specifically for men's socks; the skeins are bigger than most so there will be enough for men's larger feet, and the colorways are designed more-or-less for men's tastes.

I've really liked the first two shipments of yarn. The first contained two different, thin yarns with instructions to hold them together. The pattern was a toe-up design, but I only followed a portion of it -- the gusset and heel construction, using my own preferred toe method. I also didn't follow the stitch pattern, recognizing that these yarns would look good in a garter rib pattern.

I was initially disappointed in the second shipment because the color was so similar to the first. But I quickly fell in love with the texture of the tightly spun, sport weight merino in the second sock. Again, I glanced at and abandoned the accompanying pattern, deciding to try a popular sock pattern called Francie. I had tried Francie before, but I disliked both the yarn I used and the ribbing pattern on the cuff, so I abandoned it. Plus, Francie is made top down, and by now you know how I feel about that.

Still, in the Ram Club yarn with a more sedate and reliable 2x2 ribbing, a churned out a sock that I like very much.

Here's a shot of the bottom of the sock, which give you an idea how the ribbing flows around the foot.

I'm pretty happy with this, but I know it could be a better sock if it were constructed toe-up. I decided to try knitting the second sock backwards, seeing if I can make an identical sock with the stitches running the opposite way.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bookmobile Adventure 2008

I've been remiss about posting tedious updates about my knitting or tedious updates about exercising because work has been interesting.

Remember when I made two baby surprise jackets this summer? Well, both the mommies are still out on maternity leave, which produces an 80-hour-per-week staffing hole. The rest of the staff have been amazing about filling in, but they were getting tired, so I decided to step up and help: I offered to spend two weeks working on the bookmobile.

This has been a blast. Our service isn't actually a traditional bookmobile; instead, staff use wheeled bookcases to bring the materials into the places we visit. We set up a little mini-library in the lobbies, hallways, or activity rooms of various daycares, senior centers, or apartment complexes. We call it the WOW Mobile, "WOW" standing for "Words on Wheels." After grounds maintenance, it's the most physically demanding job of our library (those carts are heavy).

The first day, two of our stops were at the north end of our county service area, and the third was at the south end. I began to wonder if we needed to change the groupings. But it became clear as the days progressed that the Outreach Department does a good job of balancing the scheduling needs of their customers with the logistics of getting around the county. Still, I decided to keep adding the places I visit to the map:

View Larger Map

Because of meetings, I've had to cancel 3 of the 10 days that I'd planned to be out on the WOW, but I'm looking forward to making them up later this year.