Olympic Knitting & Balcony Gardening

I’m not officially participating in any version of the Knitting Olympics, in that I did not cast on these socks during the opening ceremonies nor do I plan to finish them in time for the closing ceremonies, but the Olympic spirit did move me to choose this particular snowflake motif at this particular time. These are Anne Hanson’s Rimefrost socks, knit in MacKintosh Yarns’ Celtic Sock Yarn, in the Aubergine colorway. I was powerless to resist this purple/gray colorway when I discovered it, and in addition to buying a skein of it I immediately notified Hirophasic, who shares my love of purple/gray and gray/purple. I rather like the idea of having color-buddies — people with whom to swap pictures of particularly stunning examples of the colors we love, whether in yarn form or otherwise. So purple/gray is covered, but if anybody out there wanted to be my very-dark-blue/turquoise buddy, or my deep red/brown buddy, or my range-of-dark-greens buddy, I would be pretty thrilled.

As you can see in the picture, I’m done with one sock and am through the cuff on the other. This pattern is great; it goes fast, looks complicated, but is pretty easy to follow and it’s easy to tell if you made a mistake before things get too drastic. And the yarn is great, too; it’s a lighter-weight sock yarn, and combined with the lacy pattern it’s knitting into something that I wouldn’t necessarily call a winter sock, but that’s just fine for California.

I’ve also been making some pretty decent progress on my Fernfrost scarf, which is about 2/3 of the way done:

It’s a great pattern too, but the chart can be a little intense, and I’m grateful to have the easier Rimefrost sock to zip through as a break from it. I feel a little silly knitting all these patterns with “frost” in the name, while my friends & family on the east coast battle through Snowpocalypsemaggeddon 2010 and I put on a sweater when it gets down to 65 degrees, but we have been having one of the wettest, coldest winters that I’ve ever seen since I moved to California. And my plants have been loving it! Remember when I brought these guys home?

That was them in November, out on our balcony right after I transplanted them into those big pots. After all the rain this winter, this is them now:

They’ve lost their flowers, but that’s normal for winter — the flowers should be back in the spring or summer. I’m so pleased; after a disastrous try at balcony gardening when I first moved to California & didn’t quite understand how often plants need to be watered in such a dry climate, I was worried that I had lost my green thumb. But I haven’t even had to water these guys in about a month; I check their soil every week, but it’s always moist from the rains. I keep meaning to get them a bench or something so they can get more of the sun that comes in over the edge of our balcony, but they look to be doing pretty well without it. Hooray!

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