Today’s was supposed to be all about socks but it turns out I haven’t taken picture of the other pair so you’ll get a mix of items instead. The first item is indeed a pair of socks. Last year, Halcyon Yarn celebrated its ruby anniversary, and as part of that released two special dye jobs of sock yarn. I bought both. The first skein I used is a divine mix of reds and oranges called Ruby Sunset, and I made what I call Fruit Loop:

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Pattern: Froot Loop by Kristi Geraci, published on knitty.com
Yarn: Halcyon Yarn Ruby Anniversary sock yarn, 75% wool, 25% nylon, color: Ruby Sunset
Needles: US size 1
Started 9/15/2011 and finished 2/8/2012

Only a couple of modifications: after a few false starts on the cuff (63 stitches as dictated by the pattern was too small for me, as was 70; the loop pattern reduces the stretch significantly) I got the circumference correct on 77 stitches and I made my usual knit 1, slip 1 heel instead of what’s in the pattern.

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The loop pattern uses up a lot of yarn. I ended up using 385 yards to make these, leaving not even enough leftovers to make a pair of baby booties. The other anniversary skein, Ruby Gemstone, hasn’t told me what it wants to be yet.

This next item is a pattern of my own devising. I took a skein of Chroma Worsted, unwound the skein from both ends until I found the middle, tied a loose knot, wound it back up into a ball, and cast on 6 stitches to make a tapered scarf:

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Pattern: garter stitch, increasing every other row with a yarn over for the first half and decreasing with a k2tog for the second half
Border pattern: “Eyelet Points” from page 70 of “Knitting on the Edge” by Nicky Epstein
Needles: US size 8
Size: 54″ long and 8″ wide at widest point
Started 2/8 and finished 2/16/2012

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It’s a little short for a scarf (Chroma Worsted has 198 yards and I have less than 4″ left) but Don here shows it will work.

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I imagine I will make a few more tapered scarves to use up some of those single skeins I have lying about. This border is easy to memorize (only 8 rows) and garter stitch requires no attention at all, making this perfect bus knitting.

I had Wednesday off for Independence Day and went to the California Academy of Sciences where I took in a planetarium show about earthquakes, said hello to Claude the alligator

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wave to Claude; it’s his 16th birthday soon!

and found week-old ostrich chicks. They’re cute even when they’re learning to catch and devour crickets (mmm… crunchy):

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And easier to photograph when they hold still momentarily:
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