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Sunday, June 14, 2009  

Cousins, Socks, KALs?

Oh La! Classic Queen post - long, wordy, gushing, interesting, (at least, to herself)

These are the things at the forefront of my mind right now - the wonderful visit we made yesterday (lots of driving through the lush Virginia countryside) and socks of course, because I have a ton of them to knit, and Knit-A-Longs.

Yesterday we left early to drive west from here - west along my favorite stretch of highway in the whole wide world, Rt. 60; west of Powhatan Courthouse. West west west to my favorite small town in all the world, Bedford Virginia. Mind now, I deeply love my little town, which is also a Virginia town, and an old one at that. But it is not Bedford. Bedford is the fantasy town. It's the small town people really dream of living in when the think "I'd like to live in a small town". It's got about 6 or 7 thousand people in it - which is enough to really do something. It's along a divided highway that's not an interstate. It is also not the only road through town (says the gal who works in a town with only one road through it and knows about congestion), for there are many other smaller roads that lead in and out. This means speedy driving but not congested horror driving. It's the county seat of Bedford County and is halfway between two bigger cities so there is the option of commuting. It's nestled at the foot of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mts. Intrepid walkers could actually walk up to the mountains, but the town just has some gentle slopes supporting its sidewalks.

The folk in Bedford have worked hard, and cooperatively, I am sure, to keep their downtown vibrant and active. There are shops and businesses and banks and grocery stores you can get to without having to drive into the thousand acre parking lots around walmart ... but there is a walmart too for those who need or want that option. It's just that it's out on that divided highway that's not an interstate. (460 for the curious). There is a Yarn Shop!!!!! in Bedford. Need I say more?

I know there are all sorts of houses in Bedford but I when I think of Bedford I see our cousins' houses - all 19th century and early 20th century set back in big green lawns. Our beloved Aunt Anna lived in one that faced the mountains and had a history with a scandal, which she shared with me one long ago summer morning after I'd spent the night (on real linen sheets, my dears). "They eventually moved over the mountain to Alta Vista, but I heard they were never happy".... oh la I can still hear her telling me.

Aunt Anna loved me and loved BD because we so adored her brother, BD's father. I had wonderful stories to share with her of his last years, the only years when I knew him. She gave us the blanket chest he made for her as a wedding gift in the 1920's. She knew we would treasure it and we do. It is full of yarn. Some things are truly truly sweet.

Well. goodness. I sound like the tourist bureau. I guess I am in a way. For sure, though, if I ever had to leave here I would fly to Bedford. And not just because it is the perfect fantasy small town - but because there are Cousins!! in Bedford. Cousins we love. Cousins who watched a precious son graduate from high school yesterday. Cousins who welcome us whenever they see us. Cousins who love us. Cousins with a wide green lawn on which a surprise awaited us! LD had driven up to see W graduate. There was a party and there was delicious food and there were more hugs and some hastily made plans for fun later in the summer.

And then BD and I drove home through the cool evening - dry in the mountains, dank and humid here in Tidewater - and got home to hungry dogs who wondered where we'd been. I am so glad I went. It was just the pick-me-up I needed. Thank heavens for Cousins. And Bedford, VA. If I can't live there, at least I can visit.

Well. All that gush drove thoughts of socks right out of my mind. Let me see if I can reel them back for a few brief words. I promise. Brief!

First off - there is that pair of socks I want to finish this weekend. I did finish the second sock, which was hanging on a size 3 Addi circular needle. I tried it on as I knit it and it was longer than the finished one. I had not looked closely at the actual knitting, only at the length on my leg and the fit around the heel. I am constantly growing bored with the last bit of sock knitting - the foot part - and knitting them too short and this was the case in the First Sock of this lovely purple pair. Sometimes I just wear the socks anyway. Sometimes I pull out the toes and knit a little more foot. Since this short foot actually made the whole sock a good bit shorter than the other I pulled out the toe, picked up the stitches with the now freed up #3 needle and began working on the toe. And that's when I remembered.

I remembered what I was thinking and doing when I began these socks. I had knit the first sock on smaller needles - a #2 or #1. And I had wondered if you could use this tightly spun bouncy sock yarn to knit a bigger sock without changing the stitch number ... because the pattern would look good with either men's or women's clothes. And yes. This stretchy bouncy yarn knits up a nice, if loose, sock that would fit a bigger foot. Alas, if one were hard on socks, as, for example, BD is, then I would have to recalculate the numbers. If one weren't too hard on them, as, happily, TheQueen is, one could wear this looser sock a long time. Since they're for me anyway I'm glad but if/when I write up the pattern, it will be for standard woman's sizing.


isn't there always a but?

I had to pull out the new knitting on the First Sock toe - because on #3 needles it looked simply horrible. I must now find a smaller needle (or pull one from another sock project) to finish up the toe of that sock. Which I will do. Because I will will will finish that pair of socks today!!

I'm also thinking a wee bit about a Summer of the Sock Knit-a-Long. I'm not actually much of a knit along type but I have joined one or two when I wanted a little extra support to keep me on task. Reporting back to Others helps me do DOOTIFUL things and while I love all my sock yarns and want all the socks they'll turn into, completing them still carries with it a hint of Dooty.

And so. And so. I wonder if anyone would want to join me in a KAL. I know One person does - the person who suggested it to me. I will ponder this a day or two more and then Make an Announcement. But now - the needles call. so does a lonely BD, who would like company with his breakfast. I am off. Happy Sunday.

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posted by Bess | 8:06 AM