Monday, December 18, 2006

Preparations, plans and socks

Is that kid happy or what?! That's Hayden, the winner of the 2006 Tri State Farm Toy Collectors Club Pedal Tractor Raffle. I've seldom seen a more appreciative winner in my life. His mom and dad brought him to our house to pick it up so I snapped a few photos. What a lucky boy!

Every year we pick a different pedal tractor and sell raffle tickets all year at various shows and festivals in the area. The money goes to the Leon Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund. Leon was the club founder and former president and when we lost him about 3 years ago we renamed the scholarship in his honor. We give a $1,000 scholarship to an area student majoring in an ag-related field such as veternary medicine or horticulture. It's a lot of work but with the help of some very generous individuals and organizations we manage.

I finished all the Christmas knitting I'm going to do and I have the sniffles so it's time for a little self-indulgent sock knitting. Sunday morning I reached into the bag of goodies I bought at Stitches East and pulled out the first yarn that my fingers touched. I've been carrying the sock yarns around in a purple Lisa Souza bag for weeks, showing them to people whom I thought would appreciate them, petting them, imagining all the wonderful things they could become.

Out came a skein of Fleece Artist Hand Dyed Merino 2/6 (what does the 2/6 mean?) in a stunning peacock feathery colorway. There is no name or dye lot on the label so I don't have a clue what to call it. I wound it off using this homemade contraption that I found at my parent's home. I'm not even sure that's what it's meant for but it's the only possible use for it I can imagine. I don't have a swift or a ball winder. I'm working with stone knives and bear skins here.

Then I sat down with some of the patterns I've gathered over the last 3 years to decide which socks to make. I was far too impatient to look too long. I quickly settled on Jaywalkers because they will show the yarn to it's best advantage and because I've never made a pair of these.

Aren't they pretty?! It's not a great photo because it's cloudy and I'm at work (flouresent lighting). I think they're going to be gorgeous! The yarn has great stitch definition and consistancy, and the most lovely luster. I hope it doesn't lose that sheen but I guess it probably will with wear.

I'm using size #1US or 2.25mm Brittany needles in the 5" length. They seem a little short so I may have to stop at Y2Knit to get a 7" set. Picking up and knitting the gusset could get a little hairy on 5" needles.

We're almost ready for Christmas. I still have some housecleaning to do (who doesn't, right?) and some garlands to hang. Most of the presents are purchased and some are wrapped. We're having a few friends over on the 23rd and I have to bake a spiral ham. On Wednesday we're making the Artz Family Traditional Eggnog. This is an "ancient family recipe" that consists of a lot of rum, whiskey, and brandy - and some cream and eggs. It is potent stuff. Keep it away from the kids and the candles and for godsakes don't spill any on my hardwood floors. So we'll be breaking, separating and beating 42 eggs on Wednesday night. Whipping cream and opening bottles of booze. Thank goodness for my KitchenAid Mixer. I may not use it very often but when I do it's great to have.

I hope your holiday festivities are wonderful.


Twisted Knitter said...

That DOES sound like some POTENT eggnog!

Happy Holidays!

Hilary said...

Those socks are gorgeous!!! I love the colors, wow. I haven't tried Jaywalkers yet, but I want to.
Thanks for you comments on my blog – I definitely do need to try fixing the sock (It may not qualify as official "darning.") Though my husband will probably be afraid to wear them from now on ... it tooks me months to persuade him they were really for using, and then this happened.