Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is this how Greenland feels?


Have you ever had that moment? You are folding your clean laundry, grab a pair of pants, and suddenly realize the exact size of your ass when compressed to two dimensions? It's a lot like looking at Greenland on a world map. You know that what you are looking at is not really how things work in 3-d, but you can't get the image out of your head, either.

Lately I have been working on these knee socks, and I'm pretty excited about them. I've been working with the sock tutorial on HJS Studio and things are going great.

Everything except this:

That is the calf of my sock.

I have long known that my calves are larger than the average girl's. After years of failing to find knee socks that fit, returning stockings that I couldn't even pull up, and wincing at the thought of enduring another zip-up boot, I'm over it. I have big calves. Big, athletic, muscular calves. My only regret is that I don't excel in any sport, so their presence can be difficult to explain, especially when they are commented on by strangers (and, good grief, strangers do comment on them).

But something about this custom-fit sock has had me baffled for almost a week now. I can't take my eyes off it. I can't quit trying it on and staring at my own leg in slack-jawed wonder. I have some seriously big, muscular calves! ...Should I be wearing horizontal stripes?

Friday, January 18, 2008

knitting and hot chocolate


knitting and hot chocolate
Originally uploaded by themelliott
I am working on a lacy, pastel sweater and my first-ever pair of socks! A smart first-timer would probably make a pair of anklets, get it over with, and then assess whether it is worth ever knitting another pair of socks ever again ever. But instead I am diving in head first and making a pair of knee socks. After hours of intense labor I have about two inches knit.

bad weather calls for good soup

Here around DC we have a strict code of conduct largely influenced by the meteorological phenomena occurring outside our neoclassical windows. For example, when it snows here...well, I've gotten ahead of myself already.

Yesterday we had our first "wintry mix" of 2008! "Wintry mix" is a magical euphemism for a whole lot of crappy precipitation. (After carefully Googling the term, I have confirmed my suspicion that the wintery mix is a nearly exclusive mid-Atlantic meteorological phenomenon, and therefore I am clarifying.) It may include, but is not limited to, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and graupel.

In other words, "wintry mix" is totally unpredictable and we, as a city full of important people, have no option but to go nuts and buy all of the milk, bread, toilet paper and water we can find.

Personally, I believe that this shopping list leaves out many of the essentials for surviving bad weather. On days like that, when you step in 500 Slurpee puddles on the way home, the only thing to do is to eat a huge bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

I have my own little strategy for avoiding the all-too-common predicament of finding yourself sitting down to a sugary-tasting bowl of Campbells. USE BUTTERMILK. This miraculous liquid, of which I simply cannot sing enough praises, produces the greatest, richest, tangiest tasting bowl of soup you can imagine. Especially if you add a can of diced tomatoes (opt for no salt added!).

And those, by the way, are my home-made cotton knit pants. I wish that I had made them a little less low-waisted, but as one friend pointed out they ARE perfect for practicing Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease. Is that a complement?