July Rockin’ Sock Club

So, I obviously shouldn’t think I can start a Fiber Factor Challenge with only half of the blog posts to cover that time written. It was all about felt and knitting here at Дом Doviejay for a while, but I mailed yesterday (and cleaned, cleaning is an important part of the post-Challenge world) and now I’m back! I’ll have to make sure I set a bunch of posts before The Sixth and Final Challenge starts on October 10th.

Assuming I had time to focus on something other than my own actual work for the next eight days, I can tell you that I’d be knitting this bad boy:

Some of the others in the RSC group have been posting their finished socks, and I have to say I love how the yarn looks knit up in that amazing texture! Here’s the discussion so far. I wasn’t as into them when I saw the pattern by itself, but after seeing a couple of projects made up I really love it. I definitely want to make a pair.

And that’s without considering how great the color is this time. It came to us called “Orphan Fledge” because Tina didn’t have a name for it yet, and she’s been holding a contest on the RSC blog. As of now there isn’t a winner, but my suggestion was to call it “The Usual Sarah” after Sarah Manning from the amazing BBC America show Orphan Black. She’s sooooo great – such a great woman anti-hero – and she’d love this color. I don’t know how, but it glows, don’t you think?

I’m so glad I started making socks again in the last year. I do love socks.

Ex-Communication

Well, it was only a matter of time. Things have calmed down a little bit for the remaining living citizens of Los Angeles – not that they aren’t still surrounded by 5 million or so Exes, but they’re used to it and they have a routine. And that means it’s time for the religious zealots to crawl out of the woodwork.

It’s not all religious palaver, though. Most of the problems have to do with a certain Demon. As it turns out, there’s more than one way to be resurrected after the Zombie Apocalypse.

This is the best of the trio. I’m really pleased to be back in Los Angeles with all my buddies at The Mount. We finally find out what’s up with Zap, tie up a few loose ends, and spend a lot of time with St. George. I could write a whole thesis about St. George.

One of the best additions to the family is a new character, briefly introduced in Ex-Patriots. Maddie is really well written and really funny and I’m looking forward to seeing where we go with her.

Something I find myself loving about these books is the way that they all weave into each other. The author knows where the story is going and the set up for the next book is subtle, but in retrospect, apparent. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness shown in this approach, as well as the interconnectedness of the plot. Everything means more when everything means something.

There is one tiny thing I wish we could have seen in Ex-Communication, but it occurred between Ex-Patriots and this book. Maybe we’ll get it in a Then chapter in the next one, though – that would be a little great. I’ve looked it up, and the internet seems to think that Ex-Purgatory is coming out on January 14th. I suppose I can wait.

Ex-Patriots

Book 2 of The Exes, we begin about nine months after the events of Ex-Heroes.

The citizens of The Mount may not be alone after all. The day after Zap’s inspiring low-space fireworks show celebrating the 4th of July (didn’t want to do it in Atmo, in case the planet caught fire) a Predator Drone flies over LA. Zap and St. George send a message back, and soon a delegation of soldiers (and one bureaucrat) arrive to welcome them all back into the Good Olde US of A.

The main heroes accompany the soldiers back to their base at Yuma to take a look at things and see how they can all work together, and most of the action takes place there. In this book the Then chapters all center around the soldiers – a unit called The Unbreakables. Shortly before everything went to hell the military created them to be super soldiers, but the program at Krypton (yes, seriously) was so new that for the most part they were left out of the fighting. Then chapters bring us up to speed on them.

Of course I loved this book, but things I especially love are the closer looks we see at Danielle and Barry (Cerberus and Zap, respectively.) Barry may be my favorite of the heroes (after St. George, of course!) and I just want to spend much more time with him. He loves Buffy.

I was also freaking delighted to see Stealth being humanized a bit. She hasn’t exactly cracked her hard robot exterior (she’s not actually a robot, like some people, just a hot super-genius woman with fewer social skills than the average bear) but she’s definitely started getting somewhere. To be fair, you see this process begin in Ex-Heroes, but it’s a slow process (something I appreciate) and it really starts to show here.

I wouldn’t say it’s as great as Ex-Heroes, but that’s mostly because I love The Mount so much and most of the action takes place in Yuma on Krypton Base. It is really, really great though, and you should definitely read it.

Good Morning Glories

After I made the Kalajokis in the last break I decided I wanted some more socks. Socks. Socks. SOCKS!

I hit my Ravlery Favorites list and found Ipomoea Socks, named after the scientific name for Morning Glories. They are a very clever combination of lace and cables and looked just perfect to amuse me for a few days. I also LOVE that the pattern comes right out and calls the sizes 64 and 72. I think most people who knit socks ravenously, like I occasionally do, think more in those terms than your standard S, M, L, or 6-8, 9-11 set up. Most of us know the gauge we get and know how many stitches to cast on to get the size we want.

So I made some. And just to make it extra special, I made them in Bugga!

This is Ye Olde Bugga!, from before the split, and while I’m sure I have the ball band around here somewhere, I don’t know where and I can’t tell you the name of the color. While I was making them I realized that I haven’t ever made socks in Bugga! before – a fair number of shawls, sure, (well, three) but never socks. They make amazing socks. I did put them in the Long Term Planning Box, but if I’m honest, I think I want me to have them. What’s probably going to happen is that they will stay in the Long Term Planning Box until I move out of Texas and start wearing socks again. Then they shall be mine.

And after I made the Size 72 ones, I thought I’d do another pair in the Size 64.

These are in Jitterbug – again, it’s Ye Olde Jitterbug, in the 290 yard put up, so it’s perfect for making small socks.

I really loved the pattern (that would be why I made two pairs in about a week and a half) but with the second set I wanted to experiment with moving the location of the gusset decreases a stitch or two. I think you can see the difference here, if you look along the decrease line.

The green ones are positioned where the pattern wanted them, the blue ones have my alts. I think I like the original way better. maybe I’ll move them one more stitch out for the next pair though. We’ll see.