November 6, 2009

I like Sarahland

I've been thinking about my friend Sarah a lot recently, and I thought I'd share just a few of the ways in which she's fantastic.

First of all, she's whip-smart, funny and pleasingly neurotic. Further, she has excellent and adventurous taste in food, and a keen appreciation for both Joss Wheedon's entire oeuvre and the wankability of Alton Brown.

Despite her continuing and willful refusal to knit socks, she is actually a fine and eclectic knitter. From silk scarves to toy chickens to fair-isle mitts, her knitting is varied, lovely and a genuine pleasure to watch roll off the (circular) needles.

Further, she has an appreciation for and deft hand with googly eyes, the likes of which I have never seen.

She also has feet that I hope will be really, really happy in these socks.


And finally, in case there's any doubt about just how likeable Sarah is: these mother#&%@ing socks fit me beautifully.


I can only hope that she'll enjoy them as much as I do. And perhaps she'll be inspired to make some of her own some day...

October 18, 2009

And this is why I stash

I think non-knitters have trouble with the stash concept. To non-knitters, having yarn and not knitting it means you do not like that yarn.

If a non-knitter gifted that yarn to a knitter, it might seem like the knitter doesn't really like the yarn at all. For example, a particular friend of mine just can't understand why I would ignore the 400 yards of gorgeous cashmere he gave me. He thinks I don't like the cashmere.

Knitters know not liking cashmere is impossible. But I do think there are several factors at work in the stashing and project selection process.

1. Non-knitters don't really understand just how much yarn some of us actually have. There is more yarn in my stash than I could possibly knit in the foreseeable future. Not knitting a particular yarn is, admittedly, at least partially due to the fact that I am a fickle, fickle tramp when it comes to new yarn. But it's also due to the sheer amount of other yarn in the stash. I don't really knit all that much, and I have a shitload of yarn. Therefore, the backlog is substantial.


Monkey, in Fiber Confections hand-dyed merino. Stashed December 2008. Project started July 2009.

2. Sometimes I don't knit precisely because I love the yarn so much. I am waiting for the perfect project that will best complement a particularly gorgeous yarn. Such is the case with my cashmere stash. And honestly, I think some sock yarns are prettier in the skein than they could ever be knit up.


Auracania Ranco, Multy. Yarn stashed April 2008. Unknit.

3. The stash is a constant source of joy and inspiration. I browse my stash the way I browse cookbooks, to remind me of all the possibilities that are out there. And because it just makes me happy. I may not knit something immediately, but visiting my stash reminds me what I could be knitting with. And as I browse patterns, I mentally align pattern to stash, and every now and then there is a spark. The perfect alignment of pattern and yarn and (this is crucial) the desire to knit this particular pattern in this particular yarn immediately.


Chevron Scarf, in J Knits Superwash Me Light Sock, Reno and Colorado colorways. Stashed March 2007. Project started September 2009.

4. Sometimes I just want to knit and not think. I keep self-striping sock yarn on hand for just that urge. A stockinette sock is soothing, like a glass of wine (or three) or a long hot shower. It doesn't challenge me, I don't have to think about how it's going to turn out (cough *toosmall* cough), I don't even need to read a pattern.


Uh, some kind of striping yarn. Maybe Trekking? Meilenweit Megaboots? Purchased at some point, somewhere.

My stash is not just for those rare occasions, when I look at the yarn and know exactly what it must become. Though that is nice. I stash because I like knowing I have something easy to knit. I stash because yarn is beautiful and because it gives me pleasure to look at it and touch it and imagine what it could become.

Also, because I can't pass up nice tweed when it's on sale, but that's another matter entirely.

How about you? Why do you stash? Are you saving up anything particularly juicy?

October 15, 2009

Things I love about California

1. Kelley and Quinn

When my friend Kelley moved from Boston to the Bay Area last year, she (cruelly) sent me a picture of her and BFF Quinn, with the comment "There's someone missing from this picture."

Looking back, that was probably the first moment I seriously considered moving. It took another three months and a particularly vile New England ice storm to finalize my decision. I can say I moved for a better climate, for the amazing local food scene, for a more relaxed vibe, whatever. In the end, my friends were a huge part of why I moved.

2. There are flowers. In the middle of OCTOBER. And crazy Dr. Seuss-looking shit growing everywhere.




3. You can buy booze everywhere, every day of the week, at any time. I still find this so exciting that I refuse to buy booze at an actual liquor store. This is clearly less exciting to everyone else who lives here, because thus far I'm the only one I've seen at CVS buying beer, vodka, gum and tampons.


4. The Farmer's Markets. Dear god.



5. Vosges Bacon Chocolate bars. This has nothing to do with California, except that my local grocery store sells both the milk and dark chocolate varieties. And they are AWESOME.


Plus, their cheese section looks like this:


Oh yeah, did I mention I'm in California?

Yep, I am now a proud resident of Oakland, California in a neighborhood that rates quite highly on the awesomeness scale. Everything I need to be happy in a four block radius: the public library, used bookstores, video stores, a comic shop, bars (in my two favorite flavors: "filthy dive" and "tiki"), a movie theater, a half dozen coffee shops and - get this - a yarn shop.

There's even a weekly knitting group that meets every Saturday, at the library! Which I heard about from my next-door neighbor, who's also a knitter.

Add in fantastic friends who put me up while I was apartment hunting and who ferried me on countless shopping excursions and moved piles and piles of boxes and offered their husbands up for shelf assembly/electronics hook-up duties, and you've got a pretty painless cross-country move. As these things go.

I've even been doing some knitting. But more on that later.

August 14, 2009

The more things change

I am sixteen days away from moving to San Francisco. This means my house is crammed with boxes and every surface is covered with piles of crap I pulled out of closets, some of which I don't even remember owning.


Sadly, I do not have an enthusiasm for putting things in boxes to match my enthusiasm for removing things from closets. Thus, piles everywhere.

The move also entails thrilling adventures like selling furniture on craigslist. This process includes both "letting total strangers into my apartment" and "hoping I don't end up in an oubliette being told to put the lotion on its skin." So far so good, largely because most everyone on craigslist is apparently a total flake.

Though if someone puts me in a dark hole and then makes a girl suit out of me, I wouldn't have to pack any more boxes. So really, it's a win-win.

With all these big changes going on, it's obscurely comforting that some things never change. Like how tightly I knit. Like that familiar self-deception that tells me blocking will TOTALLY add 147 inches to a sock's circumference so that it will actually fit over my heel.

Like this tiny, tiny sock I (accidentally) knit for Megan of the dainty feet.


Or this Ariel-size sock...


That was originally a doll-size sock.


July 4, 2009

My potatoes are more American than yours

Think I'm exaggerating? Take a look:


Now that we've cleared that up, may I formally present Potato and Radish Salad for Friends, aka Let's Pawn off Radishes on Unsuspecting Partygoers. If you happen to have radishes from your CSA, this is an excellent way to get rid of the little f*ckers use for them.

It's just your basic potato salad in a wine and herb vinaigrette. But the radishes make it a little peppier, and it's mighty pretty for a 4th of July potluck.


- 2 lbs. small new potatoes. A mix of red, white and blue ones are both delicious and patriotic.
- Salt
- 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 c. white wine
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1 small bunch radishes, very thinly sliced
- 1/3 c. chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and dill)

Scrub potatoes, then halve or quarter larger potatoes so that they are all basically the same size. In a medium pot, cover potatoes with 1/2 inch cold water. Add a good shot of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender but still hold their shape. [The cooking time will vary a lot depending on the size of your potatoes and what variety they are. Mine took less than 10 minutes.]

When potatoes are cooked, drain and allow to cool slightly. While still warm, slice potatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices. [Or whatever shape strikes your fancy.]

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Pour wine and remaining 3 tbsp. olive oil over warm sliced potatoes. Drizzle vinegar over. Add cooked garlic and onions. Stir gently to combine. Allow potatoes to absorb liquids.

Stir in mustard, radishes and fresh herbs. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve at room temperature.

Happy 4th of July, and happy eating!

June 21, 2009

Farm candy

Ah, summer... Beaches, barbecues, sunburns...endless mountains of CSA greens....all those goddamned beets...


Yep, it's that time again. I seem to have actually learned from my past experiences and admitted that even a half-share is entirely too much for one person.

So I'm splitting the share with my friend and fellow knitter, Sarah. Our haul today included: kale, red and green chard, beets with greens, arugala, red-leaf lettuce, curly cress and strawberries. Tiny, almost unbearably sweet strawberries.


Curly cress was another exciting addition. Not only have I never eaten it, I didn't even know it existed before today. Pretty, isn't it? It kind of looks like curly parsley, but it's actually a salad green with an intense peppery flavor, like super-charged cracked-out watercress.


This is what a CSA is all about. Gorgeous food, picked at the peak of ripeness and freshness. The eating, it will be good.

I think I've even narrowed down what I want to eat. My standby kale recipe is this one: White Cheddar Polenta with Sauteed Greens and Garlic Portobellos, and it's brilliant. Though I may branch out and try Risotto with Tuscan Kale and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds instead. And I'm certainly not ruling out Red Potatoes with Kale, Avocado and Feta either.

For the beets, I'm thinking Red Beet Risotto. Because even beets can be palatable with enough cheese on top.


June 14, 2009

What I did on my blogger vacation

Well, I knit some socks.

First up, Manly Socks, in a basic sturdy Regia 4-Ply. These socks are hugely more attractive on the foot than off, and a perfect match for the green-grey-blue-brown heathered yarn. A nice, easy knit, too, whose good looks I think are disproportionate to the level of effort. And they are terribly manly.


I'm not sure if these were a huge yarn hog, or if I really did knit much bigger man socks than I usually do, but this is how much yarn I had left. I actually had to cannibalize the leftover cast-on edge to finish the second toe.


Next up, the Artichoke Socks, winging their way to their intended recipient even as I write, thereby continuing my tradition of providing people with woolens just in time for summer.


Modifications: I accidentally knit a "row 10" in the repeat that didn't exist in the pattern. And I would do a standard heel instead of the funky squarish heel turn in the pattern, but no modifications other than that.

I really can't say enough good things about the Shibuiknits sock yarn. It does have an oddly crispy feel when you're knitting with it, but softens dreamily after blocking. The recipient will get to enjoy both textures, since I only blocked one of the socks before mailing them to her. I think it's my dedication and high standards through all stages of the knitting process, including finishing and presentation, that makes me stand out from all the other knitters. Snort.

Balancing out these surprisingly successful socks is a recently frogged variation on the Staccato Socks, from the excellent Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarns.


I knit to the heel, well aware that it would never in a million years fit me. Finally, one of my knittahs with size 6 feet tried it on and couldn't even get the damn thing over her heel. So, it's been frogged and reincarnated as a simple stockinette sock. I'm still charmed by the colors and the stripes. A three-row stripe is just about perfect for stockinette - just when I get bored...WHEE! New color!

As you can see, I have been knitting a lot less. In the past few months, I started going to the gym, and I started taking karate. I've been reading a lot more, and cooking (and eating) a lot of really wonderful things.

Given the decreased knitting, I've been debating what direction I should take this blog in. I've decided the blog will probably expand beyond knitting to cover more of my interests. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do.

February 24, 2009

Playground rules

If you emailed me in the past six weeks and are not a current or former employer, I have probably ignored it. Likewise with voicemail, your blog, Facebook and just about every other means of communication. Not because I don't appreciate hearing from you or like you or think you're funny or anything, but because I'm kind of overwhelmed. And, possibly, kind of a dick.

So rather than going back and emailing everyone "I'm sorry I've been such a dick," I'm issuing a blanket apology and declaring a do over. A fresh start. A clean slate. A surgically reconstructed hymen.

Whatever analogy works for you, that's what I'm declaring for myself. Except maybe the hymen thing, because, ew.

Moving right along!

Knitting has been slow, steady, and exclusively in purple and green.



First, baby hats for my friend Kim's soon-to-be daughter. Kim warrants two baby hats not just because her mom served brilliant wee mini meatball sandwiches at the baby shower. Though those were *awesome*. She got two hats because for some reason the idea of knitting booties was incredibly unappealing. And the first hat was kinda huge. So, two hats. Kid's Fruit Hat and Ruffled Baby Cap, around six month and newborn size respectively.

As usual, I didn't finish the actual knitting before the deadline, so Kim officially got just the eggplant hat at the baby shower. I did not decrease my meatball intake proportionately.

In other knitting, the oddly phallic first socks are completed and both second socks are stalled at the heel flap.


Because I have fallen completely out of love with both of them. Possibly because I've realized that hats require nothing more complicated than stockinette in the round on a circular needle. None of this DPN-using, purl-stitching, heel flapping nonsense.

Just blissful, blessed knit stitch after knit stitch after knit stitch.

Someone else I know needs another hat? Right?

January 20, 2009

Not to crap on the parade, but...

[Normally I try to respond to the last comments before my next post, but this is an important occasion. And also, I've been "celebrating"...]

So I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Just getting that out of the way.

Not because I was such a rabid supporter (in fact, I always joke that Bill Clinton was our "Best Republican President Ever!"), but at primary time I honestly thought both Clinton and Obama were equally qualified to lead the nation. And, when it came down to actually deciding, when presented with two equally qualified candidates, I voted for the woman.

Because I have to say, voting for a woman gave me a teary-eyed moment of pride, like I keep seeing in the Obama coverage, right there in the Brookline Devotion School gymnasium. If, heaven forbid, I ever have children, I realized I could tell my daughters - without bullshitting them - that anyone could grow up to be President of the United States.

So I am not belittling the momentousness of electing an African-American president, I'm really not.

And I do love me some Obama. God, I'm so excited to have a charismatic speaker and writer and intellectual for president, after years of hostility to science and intellectual curiosity, not to mention the mangling of the English language...that was a damned pretty inauguration speech. I'm a sucker for well-turned phrases about hope and sacrifice and the common good, and extolling what right-minded people can accomplish if we just work together. Also, don't ever tell, but the song "Simple Gifts" is one of my favorite things in the entire world. Shut up.

That said, I'm not sure I get the Obama thing. Yes, for liberals, after eight brutal years of seeing everything we believed in at best ignored or quietly overturned, and, at worst, demonized, we have a president who is reasonably aligned with our ideals. A president who values communication and humility and accountability over bloviating, moral rectitude, and a towering sense of macho entitlement. A president whose policy propositions are not actually, well, destructive.

But, but, but...for so many people, Obama is so much more than an elitist liberal policy wonk's wet dream. There's something about him that is fundamentally different from other presidents (besides the, um, obvious difference). Something that inspires and engages previously apathetic and hopeless people. Something that makes people believe.

I keep hearing things like "I can believe in my country again" or "I have hope for the first time" or "I'm not ashamed to be an American anymore." And I am so incredibly happy that Obama is inspiring that kind of hope in people, because - compared to many other nations - we have a damned apathetic populace, in terms of political participation.

But I just don't get it. I never really lost hope in America in the first place. And I was never ashamed of my country. Misguided, stupid, and embarrassing though the last eight years may have been, I never lost a sense that America was fundamentally okay. Or would be, eventually. This country is far from perfect, and I really did feel like most of my fundamental values were under assault by a horribly misguided administration for the last eight years. But that administration wasn't America, to me. My country was deeply flawed, but I knew it would get better. And I would do my part to bitch and moan and fight and vote to make it better. Because part of loving your country is realizing that it can always do better, and it's your job as a citizen to hold it to that standard.

So, as much as I love finally hearing a president speaking inspiring words that are actually aligned with my political ideals, and as much as I recognize that this is, in fact, an amazing moment in American history and politics... what really matters is what he does with it, no?

This nation seems to be unprecedentedly optimistic, enthusiastic and excited about what our president and what we, as Americans, can do.

So what is it that you hope for in the next 4-8 years? What important things do you want to see us accomplish? Regardless of your politics, what would you do with this outpouring of "Yes we can?"

January 18, 2009

On letting go

I have trouble admitting something's not working. I will make an entire enormous hat, microscopic sock or wing-like sleeve without admitting anything is wrong.

Or a gigantic mitt intended for someone with tiny, tiny hands.


Mitt, loosely based on the Super Mittens from Weekend Knitting, but made fingerless, and with a cable slapped on the top of the hand. This mitt is actually the perfect size. For me and my extremely long-fingered man hands.

I'm not completely unaware that my knits are turning out wrong. There's usually that creeping sense of "Hey, this doesn't look quite right..." But I usually block that out with some mature variation on LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU or "But I've already put so much effort into it..."

I realize that continuing to put time and effort into a project you know isn't working, just so you don't have to admit it's not working, is, uh, retarded. But there you go.

I would like to do less of that. Both in my knitting and the rest of my life. First up - I've lived in New England for over a decade. And I've never liked it here. There's nothing wrong with Boston, but it has never felt like home. And it never will. And lord do I hate winter, in a visceral, completely irrational way.

I have finally, finally decided to move back west. At the end of the month, I will be leaving my low-key publishing job for a short-term and far-from-low-key gig with a Big Corporation. Big Corporation will be paying me enough to completely finance a summertime move to San Francisco.

Where I will live happily ever after with BFF Quinn and Kelley and year-round farmer's markets and good Mexican food and ice-free sidewalks...

So in the spirit of letting go of things that just aren't right, I should probably reknit the damn mitt...


If the resized mitt (pictured right) is too small, I'd really appreciate it if the recipient never, ever mentioned it and instead just crammed her hands uncomfortably into it, like one of Cinderella's evil stepsisters trying to squeeze into the glass slipper. My desire to get things right only goes so far.

And since I'm told mitts traditionally come in pairs...


I like to think this set loudly and proudly announces to the entire (knitting) world that A KNITTER LOVES ME. It's like a secret handshake.

That leaves only one more Christmas knit to finish. I'm shooting for mid-February.

Because that's the kind of awesome friend I am.

January 16, 2009

I'm "famous"

Or just really anal about punctuation.

January 10, 2009

On balance

60 hours since my last cigarette. Two and a half days. That may not seem like a long time, but it's the longest I've gone without smoking in something like fourteen years. And I was pretty sure I'd be that disgusting old lady smoking through her stoma. So I'm impressed with me.

I started taking Chantix a week before I quit, which works by binding to the nicotine receptors in your brain or something equally creepy. This means you don't get the same pleasure from smoking as you normally do, since the feeble Chantix chemicals are suddenly doing the work that delightful, delightful nicotine used to do. When you do quit smoking, the feeble Chantix chemicals continue - ahem - stimulating your nicotine receptors, so you don't completely freak out at the sudden absence of your drug of choice.

Or at least I think that's how it works. My psychopharmacology skills are rusty. Or non-existent. Whatever.

I, of course, decided to spend my last week smoking trying to recapture the original joy of smoking by smoking MORE. I think I missed my true calling as a meth addict or crack whore, with that kind of attitude.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Chantix does have some side effects, most notably insomnia coupled with extraordinarily vivid dreams. Not nightmares or anything, just dreams so real I'm not sure I was dreaming at all. And what have I dreamed about? Updating Excel spreadsheets. A scheduling conflict with weekend plans. My subsconscious is incredibly lame. Why couldn't I dream about yarn? Or Han Solo? Or smoking, for that matter?

The other thing I've found really helpful is eating. Constantly. I really can't recommend this approach enough. Unfortunately, I've been kind of cock-blocked on my "eat constantly" master plan by a bit of oral surgery that reduced my food options to yogurt, mashed potatoes, pureed soups and the like. And once I got over the excitement of eating nothing but mashed potatoes for dinner (I do love me some mashed potatoes after all), this got really boring really fast.

Therein lay an important lesson for me. If I really think about it, I like food a lot more than I like smoking. And if I go back to smoking, I'm pretty much guaranteed to have another unpleasant medical procedure like this recent one. Likely a much worse procedure, in fact, that would likewise compromise my ability to eat, for much longer than the three or four days I'm chafing at right now.

So Reason Number 4,012 that I will not start smoking again: I'm choosing food instead.

I'm choosing a lifetime of eating crusty bread, hard cheese, pickles and broccoli. And jalapenos. And my beloved bacon. Crispy panini and toast with butter and honey. And vinegar and tabasco and salsa and lemon juice. Clover sprouts. Stuffed grape leaves. Chili cheese dogs. Pho. Thin-crust pizza. Chocolate-peanut butter ice cream. Nicoise olives. Falafel. Soba noodles. Steak bombs. Frites. Fresh corn and tomatoes and peaches... and fried chicken and ribs and collard greens.

And, and, and, and, and...

Who needs smoking when you've got all that?

Is it just me?

So I laid out my socks to admire the freshly turned heels and noticed something...funny...


It's not just me, right?


January 1, 2009

Year-end navel-gazing

2008 was not a great year. TB and I broke up in January. Eventually we reconnected as friends, and we’re much happier that way, but it was a pretty crappy couple of months there. Then there was the appendix thing, and some other unpleasant health stuff. One of my closest friends moved away in September, and I miss her stupidly. The fact that she moved near BFF Quinn just makes it all the more depressing. I made a spectacularly bad decision that really hurt another friend. My family is, well, my family and has behaved accordingly. Knitting has been infrequent, as has blogging and other writing.

So, not my best year ever.

But it wasn’t all bad. These were the best parts of 2008:

1. I traveled – to Arizona, Maine, the Cape, the Vineyard, Rhinebeck and California. I also went to MA Sheep and Wool and WEBS. And brought home exciting new yarn from most of those trips.

2. I dated – for the first time in my entire life. I tend to fall immediately into long-term relationships, so this whole dating thing has been, um, interesting? Instructive? I’ve met a few really nice guys – smart, funny, etc. – that I dated for a few months. But nothing has clicked so far. No complaints. I've had a lot of fun, and I’m sure the geeky foodie of my dreams is out there somewhere.

3. Finishing library school. I tend to trivialize the librarian training by saying snotty things like “It’s just library school,” but it is an accomplishment nevertheless. I have a master’s degree, and I did it all while working full time. In the end, I even got all A's. Except for one A-, in TECHNOLOGY FOR INFORMATION PROFESSIONALS. Which, since I'm a systems analyst, is hilarious.

4. Reading a lot of good books. High points included Tigana (thanks Kristy for the recommendation!), The Debt to Pleasure (a dark, funny, immensely erudite novel about food and murder), Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House, and Ruth Reichl’s food memoirs. There was also a lot of ridiculous trash, which I used to be kind of embarrassed about. But I’ve decided that I will read what I want to read, regardless of its literary merits. Bring on the paranormal romance!

5. Joining a CSA. Despite my complaints about the greens, this was a wonderful experience. I’ve never eaten so well in my life, and I cooked and ate things I never would have touched otherwise. I still don’t like beets, but I will eat and even enjoy eggplant and winter squash now.

6. Learning stuff – I took a hand-dyeing class, tried spinning, baked bread, and started getting into graphic novels.

7. Deciding to quit smoking. I took my first quit smoking pill today and am on track to quit January 8.

I look forward to re-engaging with knitting and the knitblog community, writing more, cooking and eating good food, and spending more time with friends and loved ones in 2009.

Happy New Year!

Year-end knits

The last FO of the year was officially finished at 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve. And here it is...


The Yarn Harlot's Unoriginal Hat, size 10.5 needles, Crystal Palace Icelandic Print. I cast on 70 stitches instead of 56 (one extra repeat of the cable pattern), since my yarn wasn't quite as super-bulky as the recommended yarn.

Incidentally, this yarn has been in the stash for years. Further proof that stash yarn isn't unused or wasted, it's just waiting for the perfect project.

This was such a fun pattern - clearly written, tidily charted, and cute as hell. I hope the recipient likes it as much as I do. It's too small for me, otherwise I'd be seriously rethinking giving it away. Because that's the kind of holiday spirit we have in my house.

I alternated knitting the hat with knitting my two current sock obsessions.


On the left are Manly Socks by Knit*Six, in Regia 4-ply. So wooly. So manly. On the right, Artichoke Socks by Megan Humphrey, in ShibuiKnits Sock. Both colors are darker in real life - the Regia is a deep green, slightly heathered with brown, and the Shibui yarn is a rich dark purple.

I've complained before about how much I loathe knitting ribbing. Yet both these socks are essentially ribbed. The Manly socks are a 3x3 rib, with a 3 row repeat, only one row of which is not monotonous 3x3 ribbing. The Artichoke socks have two panels of these pretty leaves, separated by columns of - yep - 2x2 ribbing. And I LOVE knitting both these socks.

Now that I think about it, the hat was basically 4x3 rib, with a couple of fun twisty cable rows for interest.

So clearly I am easily distracted from the tedium of ribbing. Throw in a slip stitch row every three rows, a yarn over here and there, or some cables, and I will knit ribbing until my hands hurt and I am starving. Case in point, I had so much fun knitting yesterday that I forgot to *eat.* Anything. Until almost 9 p.m.

Given how much I adore food, that's saying something.

Hope all of you had an equally enjoyable New Year's Eve!