Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Saturday Shenanigans: Whitaker Point

Thanks to Harish for this fancy panoramic photo 
So my friends and I like to take Saturday drives.  This started one pleasant day back in January.  It'd been cold and dreary and by some trick of global warming (probably) this day was gorgeous.  Deciding to take advantage of the rare good weather in the heart of winter, we bundled off in the car and headed to Lake Wedington  in the Wedington Woods and a lovely Saturday tradition was born.

Last weekend, we got ambitious. Last weekend, we decided to tackle Whitaker Point.

Planning is not one of our stronger points, as a group, and Saturday proved no different.  We woke, had the forethought to put on tennis shoes instead of sandals as we are all wont to wear, then headed to Sam's Club to hunt for rations and to get gas (we ended up getting gas at the Kum and Go because I got impatient waiting in line at the pump). And so with 2.5 pounds of pistachios, a family sized bag of Lay's potato chips, and a can-do attitude, we headed out to the Ozark National Forest with Dave Matthews' mellifluous voice ringing in our ears.

The heavens promptly opened upon us.

To be fair, it rained while we were in Sam's Club.  It was raining pretty hard when we stepped out of the store, but cleared off pretty much by the time we had run to the car.  The drive between Elkins and Huntsville had me concerned that we were going to have to scrap this reckless and impromptu trip.  We didn't know where we were going. Not really. Only a handful of people actually knew our real destination (being the horrible daughter I am, I only texted my mom, letting her know that if she didn't hear from me again, I was dead somewhere close to Whitaker Point). The rain was beating down upon us as I tried to navigate hairpin turns and steep inclines.

And as suddenly as it had started, we took a turn in a more easterly direction and it was (mostly) clear skies ahead.

The drive from Washington County into Madison County is a gorgeous one.  Surrounded on all sides by the Ozark Forest, you've nothing but long stretches of highway bisected occasionally only by driveways and county road turns. We were fortuitous to have the road mostly to ourselves; long roads to sing and talk and be rained upon as we made our way deeper and deeper into the forest towards Boxley, Arkansas.

Finally, about an hour and a half our so from Fayetteville, we turned off onto a rutted, steep dirt road and began our climb of the mountain.  We turned off the music and rolled down the windows, the canopy overhead mostly protecting us from the gentle but steady rain that had once again begun to fall. Enjoying the sounds of the forest, we puttered our way up the road, so narrow at points that I was literally close enough to be able to talk to a passing motorist in a reasonable tone of voice.  Just when I thought we would be on this horrible road forever, we saw our landmark.  An old battered church and a well kept cemetery marked just another quarter of a mile of driving until we reached the trail head.

As we climbed out, stretching muscles grown stiff from sitting too long in the car, I will admit that I figured our hike to the actual crag would be a piece of cake.  It's an extremely popular and famous landmark of Arkansas.  Of course the trail would be an easy one to trek. And it was only a mile and a half in.  Pft I thought to myself as we were wrapping our phones in an extra t-shirt, in case the rain really picked up, I can handle a mile and a half, no problem. What's that, like twenty? twenty-five? minutes. Piece of cake. I was very ambitious and cheerfully marched off into the woods like I was heading for a pleasant afternoon stroll.

That's me! In the hat! Chandan is ahead of me and Harish is behind, taking unflattering pictures.  The hat did not last long on my quickly overheating head  
The trail is a little more rough and a little more steep than I was originally thinking.

Harish front and to the left, me and Chandan sitting on the edge of the world. Ish. 
It was a gorgeous hike, no matter how strenuous it was soon to become.  At points it was raining so hard, but the canopy overhead was so thick that rainwater barely ever reached us.  It was a lovely sound, and so nice to keep us cooled down. I hate to think of what this would be like on a hot and clear day.

We climbed down over dirt and rock, stumbled (in my case) over tree roots, crossed a creek that is probably a little bit more powerful during the height of rainy season, and hugged the sides of the mountain as the trail narrowed at points where it seemed like one person traveling it was too many people to pass.  We clambered upon huge boulders as we neared the crag, anything to try and get a good look at the valley below us.

Chandan was excited for every chance to look off the precipice 
Along the way we all found little spots we each liked the best and unoriginally named them our points. We cracked pistachios and threw the shells over the edge, justifying our littering with the promise that the shells would break down and fertilize the ground upon which they fell.  The boys packed their pockets after our first snack break and as we carried on, they continued to pull the out and happily munch away as we got closer and closer to our destination.  

I have to say, there is something about standing on the edge of a mountain, for though they are small, they are still mountain, or letting your feet dangle off the side that makes you feel small and large and invincible and so weak all at once.  It's like you can do anything and nothing and all of your problems are both insignificant and enormous and you simply just don't care about any of it because you're here.  You're so far from everything, listening only to the sounds of the most natural of things, staring at the glory and beauty of our earth and for whatever reason you're a part of it and that's all that matters in that moment. 

Or something like that. It makes you philosophical. And probably a little pretentious. That's okay. 

Finally we reached! And it was magnificent. We were up so high that I literally sat and watched a cloud form:
Starting out
Just a little more
Selfie! It was a lot bigger than how it looks here in the background. Please excuse my unkempt and grubby appearance. 
And it's off and away. I watched it be made and I felt a little abandoned when it floated off out of sight.
We probably spent a good 45 minutes just wandering around the place, taking pictures, finding other vantage points to take more pictures, sitting, eating more pistachios.  Others came and went, doing their own thing, all while we just basked in the experience and glory of it all.

The side of the Point

Harish for scale 

The journey back to the car was long and arduous. At least for me. I was tired and starting to get cranky. However, as we  came upon the same little waterfall we'd passed earlier, we decided to become adventurous.  Probably foolishly, we slid on our bums down the side of a rock so that we could further explore the little creek that fed a small little waterfall.  

It was the greatest thing we could have done.  It was so cool, so refreshing, so lovely.  I just stood by and kept cupping it in my hands and splashing it on my face.  

After, somehow, making it back up the rock, we continued on.  I stopped many times, certain I was on the brink of death, only to have Harish remind me that I needed to suck it up because the car wasn't that far.  Chandan got ahead of us and abandoned us to the woods for the last 20 minutes of our hike.  

Once we did make it to the car, I took my shoes off, let cube upon cube of ice melt on my overheated skin, and sat in the front seat with the AC blowing full blast on me. On our way home, we dealt with more bouts of heavy rain, a wrong turn that took us into parts of Arkansas where we none of us had any kind of cell phone service, and Chandan and I counted more than 50 toads that I swerved all over the road to avoid hitting.  All in all, it was a good Saturday. 

"Wherever you will go, go with all your heart." -Confucius 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Adulthood, a Fairy Tale

When I was a kid, I thought I was going to change the world. I though I was going to touch a million lives and change the way others think and have my own ways of thinking be changed. I thought I would shape the world for my peers and the generations to come. I had these grand, sweeping ideas of-- I don't even know what. I did not know how I was going to change the world. I did not know who I was going to change, or who was going to change me. I just hoped with everything in me that I would be enough of a force to do it.

I do not know when it was that I lost that. I am not sure when I lost hope that my presence in this world would make a difference.

Life is not at all how I imagined and planned it would be as a kid.  I guess that is a part of growing up. You grow up and you lose that part of you that was so sure and confident that, no matter how life seemed to be, no matter how terrible things looked for adults, when you are a kid, you are so sure that things will be different for you. Your life is going to be wondrous and amazing and not at all the bleak hopelessness that seem to enshroud the lives of the adults you come into contact with.

But that's not true.  Those adults so beaten down by life were once those same children who believed that their lives would be more grand and more... just more. I do not know what it is about growing up that makes us all lose that spark of assurance. I truly do not. I do not even remember it happening to me and I am barely an adult.  I guess I just woke up one day and realized that my life would never be the way I had always imagined it to be. I would not go on any grand adventures. My life was not meant for adventuring.

Perhaps a part of this is because of how afraid I am. Maybe that's really what happens to us as children. We lose not a spark or hope, but our fearlessness. As a child it is so easy to imagine going out in the world, going new places, meeting new people, trying new things. There is no limit on your wondrous thirst for more, when you are a child. But as you grow older you start to realize that there is more than just a world out there. There are dangers. Bad things can happen to you. It's easier to stay home, to stay surrounded by all that you know, to never leave the safety and comfort of all that you know.

Except that I yearn for more in my soul. I need to find out how to get back to that childish hopefulness, to shake off the fear of the unknown, of the maybes that I build as a wall around me which keeps me shackled in place. I feel this restlessness, this tugging; I just need to go, to get away, to see, to feel, to experience. I just need to figure out how.

"When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. my hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there." -Jim Henson

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." -St. Augustine 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Surprises and Sweaters Galore

I'm never going to be a good blogger. I was talking with a friend last night, complaining that all I've ever wanted to do in life is travel. I want to figure out some job that would pay to send me places and I'd get to see the world but still have money. He suggested I start a travel blog, thinking that I could become a professional travel blogger or something. Only two things wrong with his line of thinking: (1) I never go anywhere. I guess I could start talking about the local places, blog about beautiful northwest Arkansas, but I don't want to stay local. I want to see India and Ukraine and Botswana. Who wants to read about Devil's Den or the Ozark Mountains when there is so much more world out there? Which leads back to the fact that I never go anywhere so I can't blog about places I haven't been. Do you understand my line of reasoning here? (2) I am so so so terrible at blogging. I mean to keep up with it, really I do. And when I sit down to write it, I love it. But life happens. I get distracted with friends and work and figuring out how to have a career where I get to travel the world at little to no cost to me and I forget that I have to talk about my knitting and my life. I'll never make it as a successful, paid blogger simply because I'm so horrid at doing it.

But that's okay. I'll just keep updating every three months and the six people in the world who read it can be happy that I've even remembered to talk at all.

I've got stuff going for Christmas.  Since my sisters and aunts and parents TOTALLY read my blog, I'm not going to talk about what I've got going on for them just yet. You can hear about it in March when I update again. Maybe. If I remember. I've also got orders for lovely infinity scarves for others for Christmas. I can talk about that. I'm trying to break into the sorority scene here in Fayetteville.  As such I've been making scarves with sorority colors. Hopefully that takes off for me. It'd be a pretty lucrative niche market.

I can talk about the sweater I'm making myself sporadically, when I have the chance to sit down with it.  It's the Pomegranate Sweater by Bonnie Sennott.

I purchased the sweater pattern almost a year ago, the yarn almost two years ago, and I'm finally getting around to getting it on the needles. I had meant to get it started back last February to have in time for a nice spring sweater, but I made a mistake in the first set of decreasing I had to do in the ribbing and I unraveled two skeins of yarn's worth of work.  That was really discouraging and so I put it on the back burner for a while. And turned off the heat. And stuck it back in the fridge.

But I decided to recast on a few weeks ago.  I have decreased correctly and I started the lace panels last night.  So far it is all going so super swimmingly. The lace is way easier than I thought it would be when I first read the chart and it goes by so quickly.

The only thing I'm worrying about now is whether it will fit or not.  I've lost about twenty pounds since I started this project and while it's supposed to have positive ease, I don't want to be swimming in sweater. I guess if it comes down that I've lost so much weight that I needed to go down a size I can finally learn about tailoring a hand knit item. I've always wanted to know (that's mostly sarcasm with an underlying thread of truth right there).

I've still got a ways to go: I'm only on row 10 of the first repeat of the lace panel. But I've got it all neatly organized so that I never get off pattern. Hopefully. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Moonu: A Tamil Language Indian Film Which Still Has Me Reeling Emotionally

So I watched this movie:

3.  Moonu.  Over the course of the past three days.  It's an Indian movie. It took three days because, I don't know if you know this, but Indian movies are pretty long. Like, they have an intermission built into the movies. And Saturday there was food waiting me in the middle of the movie. So I went to eat tasty food with my Indian friends instead of finishing this movie that I knew wouldn't have a happy ending since they start at the end. And yesterday I just couldn't bring myself to continue watching after work after I had already watched a chunk of it on my dinner break. So I finished it today and... wow. Just wow.

I guess there needs to be a little background.

I have a bunch of Indian friends. I'm not quite sure how this came to be since I'm so awkward about becoming friends with new people, but it is what it is.  Last Friday, at a birthday celebration, a song was played. And it just got stuck in my head. It's a very catchy song and I spent hours after I got home singing the chorus. So I looked it up because of the scientific fact that if you have a song stuck in your head you should listen to it a million times to get it unstuck. So I did.

Super catchy, right? It's sung in a hybrid of Tamil and English (colloquially known as Tanglish). I was written for a Tamil movie, so naturally I decided to look up the guy singing the song because he's kind of a big deal and I found the movie that the song was written and sung for. 


Jeez, this movie. 

(I guess, at this point, I should mention spoiler alert for anybody who is remotely interested in watching this movie. Which you should. But also read my feelings about it. Because I have a lot of them).

It's been hours since I finally finished this moving and I'm still having trouble organizing my thoughts and emotions about this film. That's saying a lot since I couldn't find it anywhere with English subtitles, so I understood about half of a half of a percent of what was going on. I've a friend who I'm pretty sure thinks I'm completely insane since this is the second time I've exclaimed to him after watching a Tamil movie which I had no idea what was being said for most of the movie. 

It's a love story. Between Ram (Dhanush) and Janani (Shruti Haasan). But it's more than that. So much more. 

Oh, it's so tragic, you guys. You start off knowing that this movie is not going to have a happy ending because it opens with family and friends mourning Ram in his home and poor, poor Janani just lying on the couch, dazed shock written all over her face. 

The thing about this movie, at least the first halfish of it, is that you forget that you are 100% dealing with a tragic movie.  Because after you have the mourning, after you see her listlessly roaming her home, you go back. You go back and you get their love.  You completely forget about that funeral scene which opened the movie. It's cute and sweet and funny.  It's beautiful and romantic.  It did not matter that I did not understand their dialog. I found myself laughing out loud at interactions between the two of them simply because being a teenager in love is so universal.  Being a girl ignoring a boy even though-- or especially because-- you like them is the same across the world.  You have to laugh because even a world away, a boy will do a ridiculous thing to get a girl to notice him. He'll drag his best friend to a different school to try and get a girl to notice him.  He'll park every day at the same place, just to have that girl ride by, not giving him the time of day. 

Then it cuts back to present day.  It cuts back to the broken-looking girl bent double sobbing as those around her try and comfort her. 

And you remember. 

It is listed as a psychological thriller on wikipedia and I did not understand how this happy go lucky romance about two teenagers beating the odds could be classified as such until the second half of the movie.  After Ram and Janani have come together. After they are blissful as a young, happily married couple.  Ram slowly starts becoming more erratic. The film loses its sweetly innocent romantic aura. Instead you are left on an emotional roller coaster as Ram struggles more and more to suppress his rages and mood swings. His friend Senthil tries desperately to help him, sticking by his side, continuing to love and support and be there for Ram, all through the highs and the lows and bodily harm.  But it's not enough.  

He's not about to save Ram.  Janani is not able to save Ram. 

The ending scene, when Ram takes his life, is so powerful, and it is totally credited to Dhanush's skill as an actor and how well he was able to play the polar opposites of Ram's personality that I think makes this scene so tragic.  You do not need to understand Tamil to understand that his suicide is not selfish, as so many believe suicide to be.  Absolutely not.  In fact, it is the complete opposite of selfish. His struggles. His pain. Everything he has done has been for the love he has for Janani.  Taking his life was, in his mind, at that very point, the only way he could save her from the man he was becoming.  

I think the beauty of this scene, just from an admiration of  a man's acting ability, is that he did not need to use words to convey to the audience what he was feeling and seeing and experiencing in those last moments of Ram's life.  Ram's heartbreak is real, as he tries to say goodbye to his wife one final time.  Dhanush's portrayal of Ram's final manic spiral is superb and heartwrenching, as he trembles, writing his letter to Janani. The mirroring of the movements between Ram writing his suicide note and Janani listening to Senthil tell her what was going on with Ram was a subtle, yet brilliant, way to continue to connect the two. 

This was agonizing.  This was torture.  This shattered the both of them.  

Even though you know from the very beginning that Ram die by the end of the movie, you hope that something, somehow, as he drops the knife the first time, he'll be spared.  That the scene from the beginning, the scenes throughout of Janani's palpable grief, was something else. A red-herring.  Because Ram was not a bad guy.  Ram was sick, and he tried to the best of his know how, to get better.  Ram loved his wife more than anything and you just hope and pray and wish and plead with the movie makers to just let them be together.  

But no.  

Tears streaming down his face, erratic pleas falling one on top of the other as he spirals more and more, Dhanush shattered the hopes of my romantic heart, his final, whispered declaration of love loosing tears down my face as he draws Ram's life to an end.  

I sat dazed, my face wet for nearly half an hour, trying to comprehend what I was feeling and why.  I understood nothing really outside of the two telling one another that they loved each other, and the Tanglish song that originally brought me to this movie. And yet I sat on my couch, despair for these two people (fictional people, I might add).  After reading wikipedia, finding out that he had bipolar disorder, I despaired because Ram's illness was so treatable, with the right dosage of medication.  It broke my heart because he felt so helpless and alone and as though nobody would be there for him, as though he would be a burden to his wife, even after Senthil's unwavering support.  It broke my heart because people feel this way across the world when faced with their mental illnesses.  It touched me, a girl from a world away, knowing nothing about what is going on, because Shruti Haasan and Dhanush brought their love and their pain to life in ways words could never describe.  

I do not know if I would watch this a second time, simply because Ram's spiral out is so completely gut-wrenching. Or I might do as one review suggested and stop at the intermission, and pretend that they go on to live happily ever after with seven babies and die together at the ripe old age of 104.  

So yeah.  I have a lot of feelings about this movie.  You should definitely watch it, in spite of my downer of an explanation of the movie, because the performances by Dhanush and Shruti Haasan are phenomenal.  Or just listen to the song and get it stuck in your head and live a blissful life where you don't have to remember how horrible and hard it was to listen to Janani's wails as she learns the truth about her husband.  

Movies really get to me. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I'm Dyeing to Get That Yarn

I'm sorry for that title. I just couldn't help myself.

So I've started dyeing yarn, in addition to knitting and crocheting and selling and designing.  I'm just really going to go all out on this venture. If I'm going to do something, I might as well give it 150%, right?  For my dyeing, I am just using some food coloring I had up in the cabinet as my dye and white vinegar as my acid.  When I've started selling I hope to branch out to different types of dye, maybe something a wee bit more professional. But for getting started, this totally works out.

Now I dyed my first hanks of yarn a couple of weeks ago.  I actually had to dye them twice because I was dumb and stuck the yarn hank in the dye bath without untwisting it. Silly, silly me.  So when I unwound it after the dyeing, it was just white wool with blotches of color.  I figured if it turned out ugly or something, I could just use the wool for myself.

But it turned out beautifully!

It is truly a lovely batch of yarn that I am sure will produce a lovely stripe when knitting or crocheting.

Yesterday, I had nothing better to do with my day and decided to dye some more wool I had hanked up.  

The picture truly does not do the color of this yarn justice.  Using a mixture of green and blue dye, in actuality this yarn is almost a sea foam green.  Just gorgeous.  

Finally, this one.  I had really hoped for a deeper, truer blue, but I can't say I'm too upset with the results.  The color is somewhere between a light denim color and periwinkle.  The small patches of white will keep things interesting when knitting or crocheting with this.  

Now I need to decide when/if to put these up for sale and how much and if I should go ahead and ball them myself.

I found two more balls of wool while I was reorganizing my yarn tub.  What colors should I go for next?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rainy Days and A Yarn Filled Haze

It's a dreary, overcast, rainy day. In a word: perfection.  These are the types of days I love. Seriously. I am never more elated than when I wake up to endless grey skies and the promise of an endless sea of rain cascading down upon us. Well, maybe not endless. But enough to keep things cool and beautiful.

Yep, days like today are my time to shine as I spend them...being lazy, rereading the Hobbit and making things.

You didn't think I was just going to talk about the weather did you? Tsk tsk.

I sold a blanket! For a fair amount of money! You should've seen me. I was all squeal-y and jumping around and dancing. I truly was a sight to behold.

After selling, I finally finally realized that there were, in fact, people in this world that would pay money for the things I find so much joy in making. I talked to the friend I'd sold my blanket to, a friend who knows about knitting and crocheting, and yet she still bought a blanket from me. She told me that I was good at creating, that my quality and level of work was what would sell.  You have no idea how happy that made me. I am so self-conscious and sensitive about the things I make. I put a piece of myself into everything I create, especially since so many of them are my own original designs. I've never wanted to put it out there because I worried that if nobody liked it, if nobody thought my stuff was good enough, then it meant that I wasn't good enough. She helped me to see that that was foolishness. She bought a blanket from me that I designed and worked on for three month. She gave me the confidence to really step up and work, because I've not been quiet about wanting to potentially get to a point where I make a living off of what I sell. I gotta stop being so sensitive and just crank out a bunch of product.

As such, I've started two more blankets! These aren't full sized like the one I sold. I want to get things moving quickly so I decided to start two baby blankets. I'm crocheting one and knitting the other. I figured that would keep my brain active, having to switch back and forth between the two crafts, as well as give my poor, arthritis-ridden hands and wrists a break when the crocheting became too much. If I work diligently, it only takes me about a week to make a baby blanket. Along with the blankets, I'm going to start up again on making hats. I hope to have 20-30 made over the next 4-6 weeks, to have ready for sale in time for colder weather to really start up. Luckily, I can crochet a hat in about 45 minutes, so those should be a piece of cake.

The crocheted blanket will be a simple half double stitch with a bobble border. It is modeled after the full sized blanket I designed and sold.

My knit blanket is a basic stockinette stitch with seed stitch border. I'm not as confident designing knitting patterns yet since I've only been knitting for a little over a year. But it's simple, practical and of quality work, if I do say so myself.

So yeah. That's where I'm at. I hope that if I truly do become successful, if I sell a bunch on Etsy, by this time next year I want to start enter in stuff in craft fairs, and even potentially start thinking about renting a space at the farmer's market and selling to live people. Or finding a small store, locally, to sell in. I'm feeling pretty optimistic.

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." -Rumi

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sock, Socks, Socks For Career Girls

Wooooow, it has been a long time since I last blogged. Now that I'm a real grown up, I am trying to dedicate my new found free time to my more creative pursuits, so expect more updates here. Probably.  I've said it in the past, but sometimes (every time) I went back on that promise to my faithful readers.  I'll try and be less of a liar this time.

Okay, since the last time we spoke, dear reader, I have decided that the #1 most glorious, wondrous thing to knit is SOCKS. Did you know that that was what I was going to say?  Was it the title? Is that how you knew?  I need to work on being more subtle.

I made my very first pair back in December right before a massive snow/ice storm moved into beautiful northwest Arkansas. And by right before, I mean I cast off and slipped them on literally just before snow started falling.

These are a super simple pair of toe up socks.  Because I am a silly child, I used two different kinds of yarn, with two different weights, made out of two different materials!  To be fair, I really like the combination of the cotton DK weight purple-y grey (the photo doesn't do this yarn justice) yarn and the pretty wool/silk blend fingering weight aqua-ish green yarn.  But this is America and I can do what I want.  And it actually turned out pretty well.  My toes are always cold so it was really nice to have the heavier weight yarn there to keep them extra toasty while I sat in my freezing apartment as cruel Old Man Winter lashed my domicile with unforgiving wind, pounding sleet and ice, and unrelenting snow. 

But there was something amiss with these socks.  I, fool that I was, knit them one at a time. I know, I know! Fie on past me.  It took forever (like a week) to knit them separately.  I didn't have that kind of time.  Polar vortex was coming!  It was going to be cold (holy God, did it get cold!). I needed to be an efficient sock making machine. So I watched a whole bunch of videos on youtube and learned how to knit two socks at a time.  

I made these with two balls of yarn I got in a sampler from Etsy.  One, her yarn is absolutely lovely and at pretty decent prices, so definitely check her out.  Two, making two socks at a time is sooooooo easy.  Like, ridiculously, I-don't-know-why-people-still-knit-socks-one-at-a-time easy.  I'm sure having two different colored yarns helped keep things in order, but I like to think it was because of my nimbleness with the long needles and my cleverness with being able to follow simple instructions.  

I decided to try my hand at a more complicated pattern for two-at-a-time toe up socks for my mom.  I bought the Serpentine Socks Pattern because it was pretty and I figured it was something ma would like. I knit them in the same green wool/silk yarn that I primarily used for my first pair of socks. 

They turned out lovely! Except for the fact that I accidentally held the yarn too tightly as I was binding off and they're too small for her to pull them up.  So as soon as I get brave enough to ball another hank of this yarn (it was on sale for a steal and it was pretty and I bought ten hanks and don't judge me!) since I only have a ball winder and no swift and trying to wind a hank without a swift is a NIGHTMARE I'm going to make her another pair but be more mindful of my tension. Or try them on BEFORE I bind off.  

Finally, I have been working on a pair of wool socks for my beloved grandma who constantly has cold feet.

I've taken forever with these mostly because it's gotten hot and working with wool while it's hot out is positively dreadful. Also because grandma's feet aren't hot right now because it's hot, humid summertime. I think I've gotten to the point where I start to turn the heel, but her feet are tiny and I don't want to make them the wrong size because I've gustimated her size incorrectly.  I just need to remember to grab my project bag the next time I go and see her so I can make her try them on because turning the heel and knitting the leg is a buh-reez for me.  

So yeah, socks. I love making them. I love wearing them. And I'm starting to look into new sock yarn to buy and patterns to undertake since cold weather is gloriously, blessedly just around the corner. Hopefully.  Or  I'll have to look into knitting summer socks. Is that even a thing? 

"One can never have enough socks." -Albus Dumbledore