Category Archives: Summer

Mother’s Day Socks

I am finally coming around to knitting socks.

I had knit almost 4 socks before I tackled these beauties. I knit one and got a bad case of second-sock-syndrome… I also didn’t much care for the yarn. Fail. Then I knit a pair of socks, and used 2 colors, but didn’t secure the ends of the strands very well, and they came out and made holes in my socks. I might have worn them 3 times.  Another fail. Then I began knitting another pair of socks- following the lovely jaywalker pattern. I realized over half way through the sock that I didn’t have enough yarn and so I didn’t even finish the first one. Fail again. Each of these attempts occurred at least a year apart.

So, you can understand why I am hesitant about knitting socks.

But besides all of the things I mentioned above (second sock syndrome, holes in your socks, not enough yarn) there are a lot of really great things about knitting socks, for example:

  • Socks can be knit at almost any skill level- from beginning stockinette to advanced lacework.
  • They are small enough to travel with, but use enough yarn that they take a while to finish.
  • They require a formula: leg, heel, gusset, toe that keeps things interesting and don’t allow you to get bored with your sock (until you get to the second one, anyway).

With these positive things in mind, I was determined to try again- after all, I like knitting, therefore I should like knitting socks (sounds logical enough, right?). And with mother’s day around the corner and a river trip directly in front of me, I bought some yarn, a small dry bag and found the loveliest sock pattern- kalajoki by Tiina Seppälä (available as a ravelry download).


The motivating factor about these socks, was, of course, a deadline. When I started these socks I had two weeks before mothers day. I’ve always been motivated by deadlines, and this only reinforces that fact. Note to self- when you want to get something done, make sure you have a firm deadline.

Even though mothers day was quite a while ago (and my mother had already sworn off socks for the season), socks are a gift that keeps on giving. The gift of warmth is a wonderful thing, especially if it is given in style!



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Filed under knitting, socks, Summer

Simple Pleasures

As summer comes to an end in Bozeman (who knows when it will snow? Next month? Probably), I have decided to try to capture the essence of summer in the few short days I have left. I am quite sure I am not the only one to do this as Labor Day is a calendaric (did I just make up a word?) reminder of the season’s passing.

Even as some morning have that familiar briskness to them, I am determined not to forget simple summer pleasures like:

  • grilling pizza (please, oh please, give it a try)
  • sleeping in a tent
  • hiking up a mountain
  • flying a kite
  • picking fresh zucchini from your garden for dinner
  • trading cupcakes for produce at the farmers market
  • jumping on a trampoline
  • or reading a whole book in a weekend

I would like to state them here, lest I forget.

One thing I have yet to do (and so it does not go on the list above) is to play croquet. While I aspire to be the proud owner of a croquet set like this one, I was gifted a well-weathered one that is missing a ball and might give you splinters- I couldn’t be more pleased. There will be croquet, oh yes, there will be croquet.

And speaking of simple pleasures, I once again turn to knitting. I picked up a knitting project that had been dormant for about a year. I began knitting this lace when the yarn was gifted to me. I was mightily intimidated by it and the concentration required was an effort that left me exhausted- not relaxed- which is sort of the point of knitting. In preparation for my California trip (the night before), I scrambled for something to do on the plane. I needed something compact, lightweight and potentially endless. Lace is perfect for this.  Lace works out in the way that maximizes alone-time, requiring total concentration, few distractions and ultimate patience. Perfect for airplanes and buses. I suppose one upside of knitting a sweater is that one’s knitting endurance and methodology will increase- which is really transferable to the next project.

I hope your summer is A. longer than mine and B. filled with all sorts of simple pleasures.


Filed under inspiration, knitting, Observations, Projects, Summer


I moved to Montana almost one year ago. It will be one year on July 4. When I came to Montana it was full-on summer- hot, dry and sunny. Talk to anyone who’s been in Montana for a while- this spring has been one of the longest, wettest springs in recent history- which is a really good thing if you’re a montanan and concerned about forest fires that inevitably strike in the later summer months. More moisture means fire season might not be so bad.

I’ve only known Montana from July 4 through present (June 27- not quite one year). I was skeptical that spring (and didn’t even want to think about summer) would never come and waited some-what impatiently through the gropple, slush, snow and rain in the months of March, April and May. Then June hit- and something in the back of my head said, ‘isn’t June a summer month?!’ And so my impatience grew- as did my griping about Montana. That was, until this past week- right after solstice- when Montana decided to shape-up and be beautiful.

Yesterday was a gorgeous summer day- even though 3 separate bank thermometers told me three different temperatures (67, 87 and 78). I believed the latter, and it ended up being a great evening for a large bowl of salad and some back yard beer drinking. Ahh- summertime! Worth the wait? You know, it just might have been.

These photos are the view from the top of the  Sypes Canyon trail just north of Bozeman. Thanks to the timing of the hike, we were lucky to spot (and identify) 2 different types of orchids as well as the golden columbine.

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Filed under Nature, Summer