I find it so disappointing when other languages have much “prettier” words for everyday objects than the English language. Why is it, for example, that we get “socks,” and the hispanohablantes get “calcetines”? This is just one example of the aural superiority of the Spanish language that prompts me to increasingly speak Spanglish, despite the fact that no one outside of work understands me--just because it sounds nicer. Why should I have to say “bat” when I could say “murcielago,” or “carrot” when the more exciting “zanahoria” is available? (Those are your Spanish words of the day; there’ll be a quiz in my next post. Make flashcards!)

So, speaking of calcetines, the Gentleman Socks are done—my first gift for Christmas 2008!

Pattern: Gentleman Socks from Fiber Fool Designedly, Kristi (who was also so kind as to help me convert the pattern to DPNs when I was utterly clueless—big thanks!); Ravel it here.
Yarn: 2 skeins Knit Picks Essential Tweed in Inca Gold
Needles: size 2 DPNs

Quite happy with these, although of course I have no idea if they’ll actually fit my grandfather, and won’t find out until December (I certainly hope he’ll still be alive then, but he’s really getting on in years!). I came across no mistakes in the pattern, perfectly flawless, and it includes four sizes, which is unusual in a good way! The twist is easy to memorize, but gives a much more interesting look than plain ribbing. I felt the yarn didn’t have much give, but on the plus side, I love the flecks of color, which I think spice up the look without detracting from the stitch pattern.

So I bestow my stamp of approval on this project, and will proceed to store the calcetines away in a plastic bin and pray no moths find them. (We have no moth problem as far as I know, but as I plan to make and store all of these projects, I’m becoming increasingly paranoid that all my hard work will be eaten.)

Done with these, I promptly cast on for more socks—what’s that about? But I loved the beautiful berry colored yarn I got from my swap buddy so much, I decided it was time to knit a pair of socks for myself. I’ve picked the popular Pomatomus, but I’ve only just finished the cuff, so nothing to show yet.

Yesterday the mailman brought me the last few herramientos (tools. See?!?) I need to get started on the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I’m trying to be proactive about this project because it looks tough. So I’ve joined the Yahoo KAL (of course, I haven’t actually posted anything on the message board; I’m just there to steal all their secrets!), and printed the transcripts from the WEBS podcast KAL as well. I’m well-armed, but already wary because apparently a standard cast-on doesn’t work particularly well for something being knit in the round from the center, so everyone is recommending alternative cast-ons that I’m unfamiliar with. You know a project is daunting when even the cast-on is difficult.

Sadly, both of these projects involve charts, so neither is a good candidate for subway knitting. But I realized yesterday that, aside from that, there is a reason I don’t knit on the subway more often—the newspaper guy. In what I assume is a half-hearted attempt to appease riders and distract them from the dilapidated stations, shoddy trains and generally abysmal service provided by Metro, they hand out a free newspaper. Metro Express is a Washington Post publication (I can hardly believe it myself, given that one of my pastimes on the train is spotting glaring typos, mismatched headlines, and grade school grammar mistakes), so it’s basically a summary of the big newspaper, only it goes to print around 6pm the previous night, I assume, because it contains absolutely no real “news,” just stuff you already saw on the evening news the night before. And while it’s totally unnecessary, because most of the people riding the Metro aren’t blind and have functioning appendages so they could, in all likelihood, spot a pile of these newspapers and pick one up if they so desired, they pay people to hand these newspapers out in front of the station. So I’ve concluded that my failure to knit on Metro stems from my need not to disappoint the newspaper guy. He hands me a paper every morning. I know he sees hundreds of people a day and probably wouldn’t remember me even if I rode around town in my underwear while handing out free donuts, but I feel as though he recognizes me and would be disappointed if I brushed by him without saying hello and taking the paper. I also know I could take the paper and not read it—they’ll all end up in the recycling bin regardless—but that seems so disingenuous, to take a paper from the newspaper guy with no intention of reading it. I would be letting the newspaper guy down! He stands out there all morning, in the cold, rain, snow, etc., and hands me a paper so I will be well-informed! If I don’t take and read a newspaper, it would be tantamount to spitting on his efforts! So I take, and I read, and I don’t knit. Sigh.