I’m sure at least one of you is wondering — "Well, fine, lots of sheep, some yarn stores, but did she actually get any knitting done on the trip?"
Well, yes and no. OK, well, actually, there can only be one accurate answer there, which is YES, I did knit a couple of things on the trip. However, NO, I did not finish 4 pairs of socks for DH.
I know, I know, color us all surprised.
Well, there were a lot of sheep to look at! and beautiful scenery just about everywhere, so it wasn’t like I had solid hours of boring car travel to work with.
Also, I developed a cold on New Year’s Day, and after that I did spend a fair amount of car time snoozing in the back of the camper van. At first, I tried napping on the bench seat, but the roads in New Zealand are — well, DH says there isn’t a straight piece of road in the whole country. On one particular hairpin curve, I rolled right off the damn bench onto the floor. Bruised and extremely annoyed, but nothing permanent. Henceforth, I moved one of the bench cushions onto the floor and napped there.
My final excuse is that it was indeed summer, so we didn’t exactly spend a whole lot of time indoors watching TV. I mean, it’s hard to knit in a kayak. And you’re completely out of luck if you drop a needle.
I did finish one complete pair of socks for DH — which is this short pair here. It’s probably really only worth calling a half pair of socks, though — not only is the leg practically nonexistent, they are also at a fairly large gauge and thus only 52 sts around.
They were faithfully modelled on some of his favorite biking socks — but when he puts them on, the foot seems to be a bit on the short side. He says he’ll have to "try them out" before deciding whether they need to be made longer. I can hardly wait.
Especially since I was knitting in fear towards the end — because on this project, I broke not one, but two of my new Knitpicks needles! I barely had enough needles to knit in the round.
I have high hopes of mending the one on the bottom, because that break is at a pretty steep angle and there’s a lot of surface area for gluing. Not so the one above it, but I’m giving it a try anyway. We’ll see what happens.
I know I publicly vowed to knit only socks for DH on the trip, but while packing at 2:00 a.m. my resolve weakened, and I brought along the goods to make these little 2 x 2 ribbed mitts. The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca left over from the Nutcracker sweater. They turned out a trifle on the loosey-goosey big side, but not too bad, really. It was more of an experimental project than anything, and it was kind of fun to work the 2 x 2 rib pattern into the thumb gusset. I am easily entertained.
Finally, I did break into some of the new yarn I purchased on the trip (in Dunedin) and started this rather handsome rust-colored pair of DH socks in a simple 4 x 4 basketweave pattern. The gauge on this pair is a bit more respectable: 64 sts around.
Actually, I think the main
excuse reason for why I did so poorly on the sock-knitting goal is that I didn’t have anything actually on the needles when I left, and I was too lazy to try to start anything on the plane(s), so I lost a fair amount of good knitting time right at the start.
Fortunately for all concerned, the basketweave sock was available on the way back to the US, to help me maintain my sanity as I sat in front of the proverbial seat-kicking two-year-old all the way across the Pacific Ocean.
Yes, of course we all slept part of the time — but once they started serving breakfast at some ungodly hour, there was no stopping this kid. His mother didn’t appear to have any knitting with her, so she amused herself by fawning over him and placating him instead of, say, disciplining him. I amused myself by playing with pointy sticks and using my imagination… and I got a lot of sock done!