Saturday, April 16, 2016

sock interruptus

The latest pair of socks is taking quite a while.
Mostly because there have been entire weeks when I haven't picked up the needles. But now that the cashmere harvest is gradually beginning to wind down, other fiber-based endeavors can get some attention.

The past two days were warm enough that I could sit in the sun for a couple of hours (!) and savor every moment. A little knitting, a little reading, and enjoying the many birds calling and singing and tapping and hammering. They were so busy! Imagine if birds could knit. I'll bet their socks wouldn't sit, unfinished, for weeks. Not very likely.

Toward the end of Winter, when I came up with a possible way to deter squirrels from taking all the birdseed, I added a second birdfeeder outside the porch. It's the one in the picture below. The squirrel deterrent plan has been 90% successful, so this week I added a third feeder; just a little net bag full of thistle seed. With more types of feeder and seed available, there are more birds - and also more kinds of birds - visiting this Spring than I've ever had here before. It is wonderfully exciting!

Yesterday in one hour I saw chickadees, goldfinches, tufted titmice, nuthatches, purple finches, mourning doves, downy woodpeckers, phoebes, and a robin!

This is, I think, a pair of Purple Finches.

Why they are called "purple finches" is a mystery to me.
They are finches. But when the sun hits the male, he seems to light up with the dazzling color of pomegranate seeds.

Beautiful! But purple? They ain't.
Let's think of a more suitable name, shall we?

While you are thinking about it, here's a chickadee:

And here's sunlight making a momentary rainbow on a chickadee's wing:

And here's the heel of the second sock, well underway.
I decided to experiment in picking up the stitches for the gusset.
Sometimes it's tricky (for me) to be sure I'm picking up all the stitches in exactly the same way, because the edges of the heel flap curl in a bit.
So this time I ran a strand of purple yarn (THIS is purple!) through each stitch I would be picking up, before actually picking them up. Like a guideline. A path to follow. I will recommend this little experiment to any sock-knitters who feel uncertain about how to pick up their stitches for the gusset.

It's kind of fun to take a step back from something I've been doing for years, and figure out exactly how I am doing it. And maybe do it more consistently in the future as a result.

Or not! We'll see. These socks already have so many little weirdnesses, I will be forced to keep them for myself.

I hope you are having a perfectly lovely Saturday, and the birds are singing wherever you are!