Category Archives: Tropical Monkey

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball. ~ Doug Larson

My re-knit Tropical Monkey socks are still way too big for me. I’m sick of these socks and never want to see (or knit) them again, so I’m giving them to a knitting friend who will appreciate them (and who has bigger feet than mine!).

Several weeks ago I cast on for a new pair of socks, but I’ve never posted a picture of them:

I also started a new scarf:

I’m on vacation from work until January 2nd and I have big knitting plans:

Kishka has been enjoying the latest stuffed bunny:

Finally, a picture of what my girls were doing when I left for work yesterday:


One kind word can warm three winter months. ~ Japanese proverb

Thank you (again) for all the wonderful comments and emails in response to my last post. I’m always amazed at all the caring and thoughtful people who touch my life through this blog and am grateful that I’ve ‘met’ each and every one of you.

Samantha is doing wonderful (wonderfully…hell, I don’t know) and is enjoying her life as a spoiled rotten dog:

…..enjoying car rides…

….playing in the snow…..

….and hanging out with her sister….

There has been limited knitting lately. I started a new job back in October and my office is often freezing in the morning, so I knit some Fetching to keep my hands warm:

Fetching For Work





What: Fetching for Work
Yarn: Less than one skein of Cascade 220 in color 8903
Needles: Size 4 Inox dpn’s

Pattern: Fetching*

Date started: 11/2/07

Date finished: 11/11/07

Lesson Learned: Nothing, really

Destination: Already in my office at work

* I knit the first Fetching and followed the pattern exactly. It was way too small. Then, I modified the hell out of the pattern and these fit perfectly. Unfortunately, I threw out my detailed notes before I could blog them. Idiot.




I’ve also reknit the Tropical Monkey socks (previously seen here):

The Jewel socks (previously seen here) have been frogged:

Despite my initial love of these socks, I grew to despise them. It started with the short skein. Then I realized the socks were too big and finally, the socks bled like hell when I washed them. I expect blue socks to bleed, but not as much as they did. In short, I wore the socks once and spent the past several months glaring at them whenever I opened my sock drawer.

However, I recently declared my knitting motto for the next year (“Life is too short to own ill fitting socks”) and my mission is to frog and reknit all of my socks that don’t fit perfectly. If I don’t wear them on a regular basis, they’re getting frogged (partially or totally) and reknit. The Tropical Monkeys were the first socks I fixed and the Jewel socks are the second.

I’ve renamed these socks the New Improved Jitterbug Socks and am determined to knit a pair of socks I’ll actually wear. I’ll still be annoyed when I wash them, but I do like the colors in this yarn and want to make usable socks.

We had our first significant snowfall of the season over the weekend, so I ventured outside yesterday and snapped a lot of pictures.

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~ Elizabeth Lawrence

The Socks of Spring (last seen here) have been frogged. The combination of yarn, needles and pattern just wasn’t working. I never enjoyed knitting them, not even a row or two at a time. Life’s too short to knit something you know you won’t like, so they’ve hit the frog pond.

Also, the just finished Tropical Monkey socks may be heading to the frog pond, too. I love how these socks look, but I wore them and I hated them. I got gauge and followed the pattern exactly, but the socks are way too big.

I’m considering these three options:

  • Frog them completely and knit another pattern with this yarn.
  • Frog back to the heel, decrease stitches and reknit the Monkey pattern on the foot.
  • Keep the Monkey pattern on the leg and knit a plain foot.

I know I won’t wear the socks again as they are and I love this yarn too much for it to just sit in my sock drawer.

My parents were in town last week and we hit the road to check out fall in Colorado (for the locals: this is Highway 67, between Divide and Cripple Creek).

I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back. ~ Ann Richards


Another pair of socks is off the needles!



Tropical Monkey Socks



What: Tropical Monkey Socks

Yarn: Knit Picks Superwash Bare, fingering weight. Dyed with Kool-Aid.
Needles: size 3, Knit Picks dpn’s
Pattern: Monkey

Date started: 4/26/07

Date finished: 9/16/07
Lesson Learned: After picking up stitches on the gusset, ktbl instead of just knit. It looks better and avoids holes/gaps.

Destination: my feet!






I have this much yarn leftover:



These socks were an enjoyable knit. I loved knitting the pattern on the cuffs. By the time I got to the foot, I just wanted the socks to be done.


I completed the feet of the socks last night while watching a marathon of Law & Order: SVU. Both feet and one toe took seven episodes to complete. I knit the second toe and grafted both toes this afternoon while watching The Wedding Night (one of my favorite old movies).


My only regret about these socks is the heel. I wish I had done an eye of partridge heel. The stockinette heel just looks too plain.


My girls:




Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people. ~ Abraham Lincoln



231 years ago, a group of men decided to take a stand against England and declare America’s independence. If they were alive today, I wonder what they would think of the current American government. I have a feeling they would be ashamed.

Today, I celebrate the group of men who took that stand in the sweltering summer of ’76. May the men in power today change their ways and stop making a mockery of everything America stands for.

I’ve been spending an obscene amount of time on Ravelry, but I have managed to do some knitting.

The Summer of Scraps blanket is coming along nicely:

One of the Pink Clouds sock has a partial heel flap:

The Tropical Monkey Socks have turned their heels:

Finally, the storm at sunset last night:



Edited later in the day……….

A tornado touched down about 10 miles from my house.  I managed to get a picture of it.








I remember a place, a town, a house like a lot of other houses, a yard like a lot of other yards . . .*

One thing I’ve really missed during the past few weeks has been being outside and taking pictures. On Saturday morning, I settled in on my back steps and snapped some pictures.

Saturday sky:

Samantha worked very hard on excavating her hole:

Kishka was just trying to catch some rays, but Sam kept backing into her:

And throwing dirt on her:

I brushed Kishka and the breeze scattered her fur across the yard:

I haven’t been able to do any yard work this year. The weeds around the power pole are getting out of control:

My clothesline is just waiting to be used:

My gardening tools are also waiting for me:

I’ve watched more TV in the past month than I ever have in my life. I’ve rediscovered one of my all time favorite shows: The Wonder Years. I was a huge fan of the show during its original run, but had never seen it in syndication. Until now.

The ION network is showing it twice a day, five days a week and I’m Tivo’ing every episode. I was hesitant to watch the show again. I feared it might not live up to my lofty memories. I was wrong. I love the show even more as an adult. As much as I also love MASH and Little House (my two other all time favorite shows), they ended with not-so-great finales. The Wonder Years’ finale was every bit as good as the rest of the series.

My recovery is taking longer than I would like (but I’m healing at the rate that is to be expected), but I am so happy and grateful that I can knit again. I’m making progress on socks.

The Pastel Rainbow Socks are moving slowly, but there is a tiny bit of progress:

I’m still unsure about the Pink Clouds socks. I think the yarn may pool, but I’m hopeful it will keep striping:

The Tropical Monkey socks now have heel flaps:

Finally, what’s a post without puppy paws:

And portraits of my girls:

* quote is from the final voice over of The Wonder Years series finale:

“Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers, the next day you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house like a lot of other houses, a yard like a lot of other yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back, with wonder.”

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, When pleasant sights salute the eyes And pleasant scents the noses. ~ Nathaniel Parker Willis

I know a lot of bloggers say this, but I have the best readers. Thank you for all of the comments and emails I received after my last post. You were all so kind and encouraging. I was also so grateful to hear from people who have had this injury and have recovered. That’s just what I needed to hear. Thank you.

I’m able to sit up for short periods of time now and I’ve been using that time to work on my Tropical Monkey Socks.  I absolutely love this pattern.  It’s interesting enough to ward off boredom, but easy enough to knit while watching TV.   They are both ready for their heels:

Here’s a closeup of the pattern:

I’ve discovered the fun part of having a cane. I can lie on the couch and bug the dogs:

I wish I would have snapped a picture of the look on Kishka’s face after I did this. She seemed to be saying, “Listen, lady. If I had opposable thumbs I’d take that cane and beat you with it.”

The feast:

Name something you think is “the best.”
What? Are we in third grade or something? Silly question.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 highest), how stressed are you today?
Well, that depends. If I really think about everything going on in my life right now, it would be a 9. However, I’ve been avoiding reality so I’d say a 2.

What kind of cleanser do you use to wash your face?
Neutrogena Facial Bar. My former sister-in-law introduced me to this wonderful product many moons ago (1993?) and it’s all I use now.

Main Course
Tonight is a blue moon! What is something that you believe only happens “once in a blue moon.”
Once in a blue moon . . . I have good luck. Not to be pessimistic, but 2007 is not a banner year for me so far.

When was the last time it rained where you live?

Last week sometime.

Learn to be still.

Today’s Saturday Sky isn’t just the sky, it’s the squeal inducing sight I saw this morning when I climbed out of bed:

To understand why I squealed, I have to back up a bit, to Tuesday.

A fast moving, strong snowstorm went through on Tuesday. The storm started with ice pellets falling from the sky for several hours and this morphed into 50+mph winds and several inches of heavy, wet snow. During the storm, my power went out and I looked out my window to see a power pole snapped in two:

Power outages are common where I live so I had prepared by filling my washing machine with water and turning up the heat in the house.

When I saw the power pole was snapped, I knew I was in trouble. Once the storm cleared and ushered in warm, sunny weather, I discovered that at least five power poles right about my house were snapped and over 150 poles in my area had suffered the same fate.

This was not going to be the usual 4-6 hour power outage. I expected it to be about as long as the longest power outage I had ever experienced here: 26 hours.

I was wrong. So very wrong.

My power went out Tuesday afternoon. It did not come back on until late Saturday afternoon. For those of you keeping track at home, my power was off for 98 hours.

98 hours with no electricity, no heat and no running water.

The lack of heat was only a problem the first day. I spent Night One shivering underneath five blankets while wearing a sweatsuit, wool socks and fuzzy feet.

The lack of running water was a pain, but wasn’t that big of a deal. I keep ten gallons of drinking water in the house at all times and while I did make a Wal*Mart run on Day Two for more water and batteries, the critters and I probably could have survived on those ten gallons. I used the water in the washing machine to flush the toilet, so I just missed showering and washing my hair.

The lack of electricity bothered me a lot for the first day or so. I’m a news junkie and am always checking the cable news channels and websites to see what’s going on in the world. When I knit, I’m always watching TV, surfing the Internet, emailing and IM’ing at the same time. After a day without these distractings, I settled into a relaxing new routine.

I took time during the day to sit on my deck and watch the birds play in the trees. When the sun had set in the evening I didn’t immediately pull the curtains and turn on the lights. I kept the curtains open until the last drop of daylight had been squeezed from the sky.

Then I turned on my lanterns and began to knit.

I started with the Socks of Spring, but they didn’t hold my interest for long:

I was in a heel turning mood one night and turned four heels:

Finally, I cast on for the socks I’ve been thinking about for about a month:

I’m amazed at how much I can knit when I focus on just the knitting. It was a nice change to knit only to the soft snoring of dogs and when I felt the need to hear noise, I caught up on the many podcasts that have been languishing on my iPod.

I’m happy to be back in the 21st century, but I’m grateful for the time I had to slow down and appreciate everything around me.