I chose a pattern that I hadn't tried before, Ann Budd's Punctuated Rib Socks from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn. From this book I have previously knit the Escher Socks. For those I used Rowan Fine Art sock yarn. It's a really easy k2, p1 pattern with 1 x 1 cables every 6 rows creating the interesting rib pattern.
Instead of knitting it toe-up, I knit it top down, casting on the 70 sts over the two 2.75mm needles. I normally don't knit socks on such large needles but I wanted the leg to be snug but not tight. I then pulled one needle out and divided the sts between the front and back needles of the 'magic loop'.
Here's one you could try for starters. Some people are hard-core dpn users but most people I know that give magic loop (knitting on one, long circular needle) a try make the conversion fairly effortlessly and kiss their dpns goodbye when knitting in the round.
After knitting the leg, I knit designated half the sts the instep sts and continued the pattern while knitting stocking stitch for about an inch on the heel sts before starting the heel flap.
Whoever is the recipient of these socks may have to wear them with looser shoes or boots, as the fabric is so thick, it increases the shoe size both in length and width.
I might even keep them myself. I just took a look in my two sock drawers and don't see a lot of room for an extra pair. I knit most of these, except for the white, cotton sports socks and the cute, sheeply socks in the centre of the top drawer.
On the monarch front, our last one emerged last week. It was the one that I found crawling on the kitchen floor in its larval state. It did continue to develop after that but its pupa was noticeably smaller than the others. When it emerged, it had a smaller wing span but seemed perfectly formed otherwise. It was another girl, making it 7 females and 3 males this year.
I'm happy with that number, but aspire to raise more next summer. The plan is to try and find more eggs on plants out in the country that are easy to get to. My technique of keeping the young larvae separated worked well. Then when they were about an inch long, I was able to put them all together in a larger container.
I like to think that there are 10 more monarchs heading down south than there would have been had I not intervened to create optimal development conditions.
Finally, today is Labour Day. In my past life, it was the last day of my summer vacation and the day I'd started to get revved up about going back to work for the next 10 months. Nowadays, weekends, long or otherwise, are just days for us where we stay off the major highways to avoid sitting in traffic and we hang around home or go into The Big City on public transit to do tourist-y things. An upcoming post may be about that. For me as a former educator in a world-class publicly funded system, Labour Day is a day where I reflect on how grateful I am for the middle-class lifestyle I was afforded as a result of the working conditions achieved by collective bargaining by my teachers' federation (union).
Anyone who was able to provide a middle-class lifestyle for themselves and their families probably did so as a result of the efforts of some type of labour union or federation. Things like a regular work week, weekends, group health insurance, a vested pension plan, improvements in working conditions, health and safety considerations, workers compensation, employment insurance, parental leave, fair hiring and firing practices, protection from employer abuses, etc., etc., are as a result of decades of work by labour unions. If you were one who benefited (was educated or had your children educated in the public school system, have ever ridden on public transit, have driven on highways, have been a member of a union or federation), take some time today to be grateful for those who came before you to create decent working conditions and a living wage to the benefit of all of us.
Happy Labour Day.