Monday, July 31, 2006

Jaywalker & Mountains

Soon, quite soon, Jaywalker 2's toe will be done and grafted; so before that, I wanted to share a little photo that I took for you while I was in Thailand. Here is Jaywalker 2 amid the mountains of my mother's hometown and the pasture where her cows graze. (Cows not pictured.)

This photo certainly doesn't do anything justice: it can't convey the teak trees, the bamboo and banana plants, how they themselves graze up towards clouds that gather and glide against the mountains, at times seeming so close that you think you can touch them.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Orchids and socks

I'm so anxious to tell you so much about my month in Thailand that I hardly know where to begin. Perhaps I should talk about the flowers, the fruits, the mountains, the people, the Buddhist ceremonies, my aunt's mushrooms, the rain, the huge spider, the markets that I love. But since this is, after all, a knitting blog, perhaps I should tell you about my knitting.

Here is a pair of socks that I made for my aunt who is always so good to us when we are in Thailand. She looks after our every want and need and I always feel that what I give her in return is never enough. So I wanted to make her a pair of socks. The orchids are in the front yard of my mother's vacation house, and there always seems to be orchids blooming.

These socks were made with KnitPicks Dancing in the Tap colorway. This yarn makes very comfortable and stretchy socks (I had a hard time giving them away!), and I highly recommend it if you're knitting socks for someone who, say, lives in a tropical rain forest and isn't accustomed to washing or even owning socks and who may not know the dangers of felting. (The yarn is cotton and wool and nylon and elastic.) It's easy to knit with, but I must say that the color repeats did get a bit boring after a while--it doesn't quite surprise in the same way that a handpainted variegated yarn will.

I made a 1.5 inch cuff over 2x2 ribbing with a traditional heel-flap on size 1 Addis using the magic-loop method. I made some errors on one sock that I won't tell you about, but let's just say that it was very frustrating and I had to frog a few rows and messed up one of my wrap and turns which led to a huge gusset hole despite my picking up two extra stitches near the join. (Well, maybe I said more than I should have, but I should also say that sewing up that hole went extremely well and I hardly noticed it was there when it was all sewed up and done with.)

I also made her a little dishcloth with Peaches 'n Creme yarn. My older sister, who I taught to knit a while ago, made the other one. Here's the little package we made up for our aunt.

I have many more pictures and stories to tell and I'm anxious to get back to my DSL connection in Brooklyn so that I can upload pictures without getting frustrated. (Slow uploads coupled with jet-lag is not a good combination.)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Jaywalking in Bangkok

After a month in the mountains of Thailand, away from internet access and all things tech, I'm in a nice little hotel in Bangkok. There's internet access, but it isn't free, and the computers don't seem to have a slot for my little camera card. I'll post lots and lots of pictures when I'm back in the states. That will be in a few days! Woo hoo!

I've had an amazing trip and can't wait to tell you all about it. I went to many Buddhist ceremonies and parties and got a bit tanner than I was when I left the states.

I knitted a pair of socks for my aunt and am now knitting my second Jaywalker in Bangkok. I had high aspirations with my baggage full of sock yarn and Proust but it all came to naught. Lewis Carroll wrote that he believed in periods of extreme intensity followed by periods of extreme idleness, so I suppose that I have done the right thing by doing nothing at all after all that intense testing and studying and grading and what not.

Thanks so much for all your well wishes for my trip.

Pictures and postings to come soon.