sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

March 19, 2009

old fashioned, optimistic, and age appropriate
posted by soe 11:11 pm

I made it to work early and then got to leave on time, too. I have knit the top of a sock cuff for Sock Madness and finished the toe of my spring socks in time to wear them tomorrow.

Three beautiful things from the past week:

1. As I drive home from the Homespun Yarn Party on the beltway, I pass an old-fashioned fire truck heading home to Hyattsville. There is no cab, so the poor firefighter is out in the damp weather, his rain coat pulled up over his head to keep away the elements.

2. Elspeth, Erik, and Julia all share good news. One has secured a coveted summer position in Russia and several acceptance letters for grad school next fall. Another has a new job. And the third has seen one of those we-missed-in-the-night notes for which he is the intended target.

3. Rudi and I headed to Virginia tonight to catch an early evening showing of The Tale of Despereaux at Arlington Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse on their $1 ticket night. The food was tasty. The movie was sweet. The theater clapped at the end of the show. And the kids watching with us were awesome. Five minutes into the movie, the narrator is still setting the scene. “Where’s Despereaux?” asks one voice. Others also chatter to the screen through the show. And our way back to the parking lot, we pass a mom and her two little girls. “He saved the princess!” “He was a nice mouse!” It was great to see a kids’ movie with its intended audience.

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please don’t tell my competition
posted by soe 12:22 am

So, you’ll recall that earlier this week I wrote about this thing called Sock Madness. I explained that I was knitting away with focus, hoping to finish a couple things before it began.

Unfortunately, I did not.

I am up to the toe decreases for my spring socks, but I’m not done with them yet. So, in order to wear them on Friday, I’ll have to finish them tomorrow.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. But this is not a normal circumstance. This is Madness!

Sock Madness is a sock knitting competition inspired by NCAA basketball’s tournament play. On the day each round of competition begins, the organizers send everyone a pattern via email. No one has seen these patterns before, but the organizers have provided us (a few days ahead of time) our target gauge and how much yarn we’ll need and what they recommend (a solid or a patterned yarn, for instance). And while we have a window of time during which the pattern will arrive, no one is quite positive about it.

Tomorrow, for instance, the pattern is due to arrive sometime between 6 and 9 a.m. local time. Ouch! The good thing is that I have to be at work early, so I’ll be able to leave early, but still… I can’t really see myself getting up before the sun just to wait for a pattern…

Many of my fellow competitors are already planning to arise early, knit through the day, and give up all other activities until their pair of socks is complete.

Because, you see, speed is of the essence in Sock Madness. Only the first x number of competitors to finish their socks and submit photographic evidence move on to the next round. We start with 200 knitters divided into four divisions. One assumes that at least half that number will advance out of the first round, but that’s not guaranteed. If the allotment isn’t filled within two week’s time, only those with finished socks at the whistle’s blow will move on to the next round.

So it would be perfectly understandable if I’d spent the last week pulling out yarns, carefully swatching, and planning my weekend so I could knit steadily through until my new pair of socks was complete.

While I’ve given some thought to my yarn selection, I haven’t actually pulled any of the yarn out, nor have I wound any of it. I figure I’ll wait to see what the pattern actually looks like before making a final decision. I suspect this might be akin to waiting until the game starts to begin assigning matchups.

And I haven’t cleared my schedule. No, I have no major engagements, no trips planned, no soirees to attend. But, I do have a plan to see the new Julia Roberts-Clive Owen movie with Rudi (and I won’t be knitting during it unless it’s awful). I also plan to spend some quality time in my garden. I’m going to see Sarah briefly, and maybe touch base with Rebs. I also have to run errands to the library and the post office. And I’m going to finish that lingering sock…

So, perhaps my dedication to the competition isn’t cut-throat. I think it’ll be fine. But to be on the safe side, please don’t tell my fellow sock knitters that I won’t be glued to my needles all weekend. I think we’d better keep that just between us…

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