Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Socks That Rock,

My Own Personal Truck Stop,

and Stunt-Blogging

Because I have been in overdrive trying to keep one New Year's resolution (a personal, work-related goal which would be doomed by bad ju-ju if revealed at this moment), I have neglected another resolution (to blog more often) but, as you see, I have returned.

They have arrived: two skeins of Socks That Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, purchased in a display of moral and financial support while the gals at BMFA fight the bad guys at Nastybank. This purchase involves a Near Occasion of Resolution-Breaking, but sock yarn technically doesn't count as a yarn purchase, in exactly the same way that sampling the apple-smoked bacon, grape tomatoes and cheese chunks at the grocery doesn't count as breaking your diet. Yarn purchases, like grocery-bacon-nibbling, is merely an act of grazing. No guilt.

The colors in my photo are very close to true. The top skein is Fire On the Mountain (me, with more than a touch of grey, buying yarn named after a Grateful Dead tune? Nah.), and the bottom skein is 24 Karat, a luscious skein of variegated golds which is looking at me with big, big eyes and pleading to be made into a Celtic design and, possibly, even kilt hose.

This bundle of color couldn't have arrived on a better day. Here in Louisiana it is chilly, grey and rainy, which ordinarily does not depress me (any weather not involving hurricanes, heat or tornadoes is good weather as far as I'm concerned, and I say this with authority because I have spent time in the deep freeze and all sorts of other weather extremes), but adding the Saints' loss to the messy weather doesn't make for a cheerful week at all.

Cold and wet and misty and muddy calls for knitting, and a pot of chili on the stove, and coffee. Lotsa coffee. For Christmas, the ever-thoughtful Dave provided me with a Hamilton Beach Brew Station Deluxe, so now I have my own personal truck stop in the kitchen:

And I also have some caffieneilicious Hawaiian coffee to put in it, courtesy of Lisa Louie.

People who know me well understand my odd fascination with truck stops. I love truck stops. I cannot imagine living in a place like Siberia or Kenya or Outer Mongolia where there aren't any truck stops. To me it doesn't matter if the truck stop is large and bright or small, old-fashioned and tidy, as long as I can get coffee, a clean bathroom, diesel for the VW and something to eat, all in the same place. I have spent an inordinate amount of my adult life driving (and driving and driving), and as a result, I know where to find clean bathrooms, digestible eats and decent coffee in a surprising number of states.

One truck stop fixture that I have always coveted is a coffee maker where you just press your cup against a metal lever and hot, strong, heavenly coffee pours out into it from the urn above. No glass pot to fumble with and possibly crack if (when) you (inevitably) bounce it against the counter. Just a big, piping-hot Tower Of Java ready to fill my cup whenever I want.

And now I have one. I am happy. Very happy. Lots and lots of coffee have made this chilly, endlessly rainy January a surprisingly cozy time.

This calls for digging among the bags of UFOs and finishing a few cozy post-holiday items:

Ray Whiting may recognize the metamorphosis of a bag of various Noro Silk Garden leftovers into this casual shawl:

Does this butt make my shawl look big?

This snazzy pose demonstrates why I had to abandon my previous career as a supermodel.

Also, the interminable rain has provided opportunities for sock-finishing:

While it rains, I am also stunt-blogging for Joan Hamer as she recovers from yet another abdominal surgery. This arrangement actually worked out conveniently for both of us. I was thinking of starting a sub-blog for knit-alongs anyway, and Joan needs someone to keep her readers occupied until she feels well enough to blog regularly again, so, in addition to my regular blog here, I will be stunt-blogging and conducting a knit-along for my cozy fingerless mitts on JoanKnits.

And speaking of cozy:

Shamu says, "I love it when the humans have warm ideas like putting a kitty bed on top of the fridge, right under the heat vent. Oh yes, I love it a lot. You can't see it in the picture, but those toes are strategically positioned under the heat vent. Oh yes."
"And, might I add, that chili smells darn tasty."


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At 6:42 AM, Anonymous Barbara-Kay said...

In addition to no carafe, your new coffee pot will not overcook the coffee like that MR. C... pot will! What a joy! We're finally on our second edition of the same.

Shawl/but ratio ok, but right foot sure is lumpy! VBG! Love the shawl colours - they suit you.

At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Christy said...

Iknit my Sockapalooza pal socks out of Fire on the Mountain last year and it knits up soooo pretty! I'm expecting four skeins from them this week. :) Lovely shawl as well.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Elizabeth D said...

Dez, now I'm going to have to go back to STR for that gold. . . and it's all your fault. (Someone else already got me to buy Fire on the Mountain - what can I say? I'm easily led, when sock yarn is involved.)
I can't believe all this is happening to Joan -- as a long-time subscriber to the (now, sadly, defunct) Pine Meadow Knitting News, I think the world of her. . .

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous naomi dagen bloom said...

gorgeous yarn, special coffee, sorry, dez, performing kitties trump EVERYTHING! great photo.

you, as always, are a trouper to take on blog-helper duty. hope it all goes well for your friend.

At 5:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many opened a new browser window and ordered a skein of STR upon reading your blog entry? How many of us ordered "Fire on the Mountain"? I still have Charlie Daniels' "Devil Went Down to Georgia" running through my head and probably will until I get the socks done. For the time being the STR is marinating in the stash. Will have to cast on soon. Toe up and K3P1 rib, just to see how the colors develop. Socks are such fun and the talented yarn dyers out there keep us amused.
Thanks for blogging.

Harriet from MD

At 6:39 AM, Blogger Linda said...

Oh - I love Love LOVE photos when you get to see little pink paw pads. They just make me smile.

Thanks Shamu for sharing.

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Carol said...

Dez, your shawl looks great! And no, your butt doesn't interfere with the beauty of the shawl. I love the kitty picture - made me smile alot on this yucky Monday. We also have the carafe free coffee pot and we love it! One of my best finds for 2006.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Southern Gal said...

ok even though i bought MY FIRST SOCK YARN this past weekend - after spending the morning and mid afternoon helping with the three-yo nephew's birthday party - I deserved a treat! So I went to the LYS and bought three gorgeous red sock yarns - and some 1 and 2 dps .... but now I will also go and buy one more... go ahead twist my arm... ouch ok!

and wish me luck on my first SOCK EVER! yikes

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Jo said...

COMRADE! SISTER! At last, someone else who adores truck stops! They MAKE my trips to the US. Those and breakfast in wayside cafes (often right in the truck stop if I'm lucky) where feisty little old ladies refill your coffee mug and bring laden plates.

I've got my one skein of STR but now wonder if that was a little mingy of me. Maybe I should go buy a couple more? That yellow gold would look stunning in the Bayerische Socken from See Eunny Knit, wouldn't it? Knee-length dress socks?

And I'm still hunting for the perfect coffee maker that jets it out freshly made every time. Filters just don't do it for me. Maybe an espresso with extra water?

Jo at Celtic Memory

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Frank said...

Your perfectly-sized ass makes your shawl look perfect! ;)

Do you belong to the club or is this just a stray order? I'm SO tempted to join the club...

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Debby said...

Love love love the kitty photo, but your socks and shawl look great too!!!!


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