Posts Tagged “Socks”
A lot of people have been talking about how motivating they are finding SOS this year. They are getting old socks finished, exploring new patterns and having a lot of success so far. I’d definitely count myself among them since I’ve finally finished up an old project that I started last year myself!
Piscean Socks – An Original Design!
Pattern: My Piscean Socks – available for purchase on Ravelry now!
Knit: June 5, 2008 – June 22, 2009
Yarn: Tess Designer Yarns Super socks and baby – 2 skeins
Needles: Size 2 US
I’ve written this pattern with a toe up heel flap construction. While written for a size 11 US woman’s foot, the pattern is highly adjustable because of the nature of the fish motif. It’s easy to add or subtrack rows in the body of the fish or to narrow them as well. I’ve also written the pattern for the magic loop technique, but it could easily be knit on DPNs or two circular needles.
The suggested yarn from Tess Designer yarns is a joy to knit with and works great for colorwork. You’ll find it in a variety of fantastic colors or you can use any other fingering weight yarn that will give you the appropriate gauge.
I hope you’ll knit a pair for the favorite Pisces in your life! Then again, who couldn’t use a pair of fishy socks?!?
Tags: Piscean Socks
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I went back to work today for the 1st time in 6 weeks. Oye! In some ways it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. My desk wasn’t buried in stuff and things seemed to be pretty calm. The real drag was that our computer system is in the process of being changed to a new one and basically I got to work no longer knowing how to do my job. Fun! So I spent the morning catching up on e-mail and trying to get up to speed so I could actually do some work. It wasn’t awful, but by the end of the day I was more than happy with my decision to go on a M/W/F schedule for the next two weeks. I’m sore and tired and happy to be home!
I’m still unable to carry a backpack (the shoulders are still too sore) so SOS couldn’t have come at a better time. What lighter and more portable project for train knitting than the ever trusty sock?! Here’s the one I decided on as my first official SOS project:
This is Leyburn in STR mediumweight, colorway Purple Rain. I’ve had this in the stash for quite a while at this point and when I went looking for my first SOS project it just about jumped off the shelf at me. The colorway is fabulous (of course) and I could use a little of the semi-instant gratification of a sport weight sock project.
Of course there is another pair of socks on the needles that I really need to finish. And I suppose if I’m going to do that I should get away from the computer. I’ll tell you more about them next time, but until then, just think FISHIES!!!
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So now that the bulk of the Christmas knitting is done I’m jumping back on the “all about me” bandwagon. It’s true. I am a selfish knitter by design. There are just so many things to make and so little time! That’s also the reason I don’t knit many patterns more than once. Too many things to try and not enough lifetime to do them all in. So for now I’m going back to this:
A sweater of my own design. It will have a steek down the front. It will have colorwork. I hope it will have a deep V or zigzag design in the yoke. I have lots of dreams, but not much to show for it yet. And if I’m going to meet my 2008 goal of attempting a steek before the end of the year I’d better hurry.
But wait!! Did I say the Christmas knitting was done?? What about this:
No that isn’t a giant lumpy scarf (or a Snuffleupagus as HWJF said when he saw it. As in “Honey, you knit me a Snuffleupagus!”). That my friends is the beginning of a whole lot of socks. Remember how I was planning to make 25 socks for HWJF on the CSM before the big meltdown? And remember how I cleverly decided to finish toes and afterthought heels by hand.
Um… yeah. So not happening by Christmas. They might all get cranked, but they won’t all be finished. I guess it’s good that I botched the surprise anyway. All that finishing will make the car ride to Maine go by a little faster.
So my friends, as we will be off to Maine tomorrow night and I doubt that there will be much blogging time in the interim, I want to wish you all a Happy Hanuka, Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday or whatever else you may care to celebrate. Hold your loved ones close, pass along a smile and find happiness in something during this season. Take time to appreciate a ray of sunshine or a happy memory. These are the things that are really important.
See you sometime before 2009!!
, holiday 2008
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… but if you’d been knitting them fast and furiously at the end it would have been exciting to you!
Dad’s Christmas 2008 Socks
Pattern: My usual toe up (although I’ve taken a liking to Judy’s Magic Cast on lately)
Yarn: Oasis Yarns Aussi Sock
Needles: Size 1 Knit picks
Never thought in a million years that I would finish these on time or that they would actually FIT! But both happened. I kept looking at them thinking they would be too long and narrow, but they fit perfectly. Must learn to trust even my rudimentary math skills sometimes.
I’d also highly recommend this yarn. It’s the third time I’ve worked with it and it’s very nice. It’s a superwash merino nylon blend and they seem to have a lot of good “boy” colors every time I see them. Nice twist to the yarn too. Good stuff!
The other present I got for my Dad this year was this:
It’s a handbound notebook from Rhonda at My Handbound Books. A fellow librarian, Rhonda was very easy to work with and was able to customize this for me to be just what I was looking for. It had to be small enough to fit in a shirt pocket and rustic enough to suit my Dad and his yearly adventures. I also wanted high quality lined paper and she certainly didn’t let me down (we librarians are particular about our paper!).
I’m very much looking forward to getting one of my own after the new year!
I hope you’ll check out these etsy sellers I’ve linked to in these two posts. Even if it’s too late for your holiday shopping this year, these people have great customer service and great products and I would highly recommend them. I knew I couldn’t totally get away with doing the Handmade pledge this year, but I got pretty darn close. We also got Mom and Dad something similar to this GPS accessory which we love (no sucky thing marks on your windshield to let the bad dudes know they should break into your car for a good time!). All was much appreciated.
We were also very lucky on the receiving end. We got these two ornaments:
It is Stitches’ first Christmas after all! And we’ll be doing some shopping on our way to Maine with two of these:
And the kids got some goodies from their Grandparents too!
Definitely a Happy Christmas. The weird part is, I went into work on Monday and was obviously thinking Christmas should be over and was shocked that it wasn’t when I saw all the decorations in NYC. Silly brain, there’s one more Christmas to go!
Next time, a slightly more exciting new project.
, holiday 2008
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Finally! I can show you knitting again! This stealth stuff has been for the birds, but my Mom does read the blog from time to time so I just didn’t want to ruin the surprise. We had our Christmas with my parents this weekend since we will be in Maine with HWJF’s family for the real thing this year. The only thing that sucked about doing it this weekend was that Saturday was also my Mom’s birthday! She kinda gets that whole born-in-December-screwed-on-the-presents thing because of that. But I tried to make it worth her while. So without further ado, Mom’s Christmas socks!
Flame Wave Socks
Pattern: Flame Wave Socks by Ann Budd from Interweave’s Best Socks book.
Yarn: Cascade Fixation
Needles: Size 4 and 5!
These were a pretty easy knit and thanks to the big needles, they went fairly quickly. I even followed the pattern as written and knit them top down. You are shocked, I’m sure. There was definitely a moment that I thought that was going to be a mistake since I didn’t have much left for that kitchener toe, but I made it by the skin of my teeth. There was significantly more yarn in the other ball. Annoying!
This definitely isn’t my favorite yarn to knit with, but with Mom’s allergy to wool it’s one of the better solutions out there. And since it can be knit on such big needles (from a sock perspective anyway) that doesn’t hurt either!
I also knit Mom a birthday present. I really cannot believe I managed to get this one done in time. It was a feverish race to the finish. Since I wanted both Mom and Dad to have at least one hand knit to open each, and since the straight needles were *killing* me, I decided to concentrate on Dad’s Christmas gift instead for a while and figured Mom’s Scarf was a lost cause. As it was, that barely made it to done on time with his socks. More on his gift next time, but here’s what I’ve been working on for Mom’s birthday:
Morning Surf Scarf
Pattern: Morning Surf Scarf from Spin-Off Magazine
Yarn: Oasis Yarn Seduction Silk
Needles: Size 6 straights!
It’s another Morning Surf scarf, this time in the 100% silk yarn that I bought at Rhinebeck. I would have liked to have spun something for this, but I knew I wasn’t going to have the time, so this had to do. It’s lovely yarn and the pattern works out wonderfully with it. I was dubious about my choice of color combo at first, but after showing it to another group of knitters I was more confident.
And by the way, this pattern, even the second time around? Still Not Boring! I don’t think I would have gotten this done if I couldn’t have said that. Scarf knitting is not my forte.
After blocking, the yarn had even more drape than when I was knitting with it and the sheen didn’t go away. The silk smell definitely came out when it was wet (it *is* worm poo after all!), but went away when it was dry.
The best part of knitting this? When Mom opened it she immediately said with a smile on her face, “It’s my hint!!” which if you look back on the comments on this post you will see. I would have had to been deaf, blind and stupid not to get that one! There’s nothing better than a happy hand knit recipient though.
I also made a couple of purchases for Mom for birthday gifts. Unfortunately, one hasn’t arrived yet, but the other two did and we both couldn’t have been happier. First, this gorgeous necklace came from Creations by Uli:
She does all sorts of jewelry made from chain mail. When I saw this one, I had a very hard time not just ordering it for myself! But I knew Mom would like it too (the love of blue is hereditary!) so I gave it to her. Uli does wonderful work and couldn’t have been more accommodating with my order. Thanks Uli!
I also ordered this from Danielle’s Originals:
It’s a key chain with Sandy painted on it! It’s the likeness to the picture amazing?!? This was a rush order and Danielle also couldn’t have been more easy to work with and more accommodating. She’s definitely got a great talent too.
Next time, Dad’s presents!
, holiday 2008
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Thanks for all the commiseration with my sock machine woes of the last post. Thanks also to those of you that pointed out the Houdini Socks. I’ve only glanced at the article/pattern so far, but it looks promising. I never would have seen it otherwise, so thank you!
I have yet to touch the sock machine again since last weekend. I know they say the older you get the faster the time goes, but I never thought it could be *this* true. I have no idea where the weekend went. We were cleaning for Thanksgiving, we went shopping, I did some dyeing (which I hope to show you soon) and then all of the sudden I was getting up for work! Huh?!? Guess it’s just going to be that kind of end of the year around these parts.
So it looks like this will be a post of many random things. I hope you’re ready because here it goes!
Random thing the first. My Dad went to Argentina recently by way of Chile. I asked him to bring me home an alpaca.
He got close.
Random thing the second. I finally got to wear my Annemor Gloves that I finished in the spring.
I’m usually far from the “matchy matchy” type but by sheer coincidence these happen to match the headband I made as my first Fair Isle project back when the first knitting olympics happened. And both these match my winter coat. HWJF tells me I’m cute. I’ll take his word for it.
Random thing the third. In between everything else I’ve got going on I’ve been working on cleaning the mohair fleece I bought at Rhinebeck.
I wish y’all had “Feel-o-blog” or something. It is taking quite a bit of doing to get these suckers clean but when they are? Soft and fluffy and just amazingly awesome. I can’t wait to start carding these into some sock yarn batts for the shop and myself!
Random thing the fourth. I had a local MLA chapter meeting last week and since my other knitting has too much patterning going on I decided to work a bit on my plain old stockinette socks.
Only the toe was done when the meeting started. I love being productive while listening to people speak, but part of me really wishes I’d been working on Christmas knitting. We will be having our Christmas with my parents early this year and I’ve only got about three weeks left to knit! EEEK!
And finally, random thing the last. I finished up another spinning order.
Approximately 700 yards of fingering weight two ply merino yarn.
Strawberry Rhubarb Colorway. Squishy goodness. I really hope some of the folks that have been getting yarn for me will share what they’re making with it. I’m so anxious to see!
That’s about it from here. Happy Monday y’all. Think I’ll go watch me some football with the boy.
Tags: Christmas knitting
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Posted by Jessica in CSM, Socks
Oh yeah. Stuff that isn’t for me.
So I had this most excellent plan for Christmas for HWJF. We all know how he loves his handknit socks and we all know how he bought me a sock machine for my birthday this year. Well, I came up with the idea that since he’s been hinting rather heavy handedly lately about the lack of additions to his sock drawer as of late that I would make him some socks. Not just any socks. Socks on the sock machine! And not only socks on the sock machine, but 25 socks for the 25 days of Christmas!! Brilliant right?! Yeah. Not so much.
This is sock machine exile. This is where the sock machine has sat, untouched since before bassoon camp this year. That would be MAY people. Let me do the math for ya. That’s 6 months. Six months this rather expensive gift has sat untouched and unloved. But no more I vowed! I will make socks with the machine. There was even a still unfinished sock waiting to be finished from a pair I had started way back in May on it. I would finish that and go on from there.
Just one problem. I am apparently incompetent when it comes to this machine. I still, after all this time, am totally incapable of making a heel or a toe without the yarn breaking. I spent three hours Sunday night while HWJF was out working on that unfinished sock and part of another. The yarn broke more times than I can count. The tubes were fine, the machine knits without dropping stitches in a tube, but heels? Forget it. After three hours of pure frustration, it happened.
Those that follow me on plurk know of what I speak. I totally lost it. I called HWJF in tears, totally spoiling my brilliant surprise, begging for forgiveness but professing my absolute hatred for his very wonderful gift and my total inability to use it. I yelled, I cried, I threw yarn people. It was not pretty. I blew my stack on plurk (and had many sympathetic answers to my cries which certainly helped). It was Not Good.
But then I calmed down, took a hot shower and suddenly devised a plan to thwart the evil machine. What if I could knit the tubes on the machine but just knit the heels and toes by hand? What if I could insert waste yarn for an afterthought heel? I’d be saving a ton of time by getting the boring tube part done and still have a wear-worthy sock without a billion holes in it. So I gave it a try.
So far so good! What I did was this. I knit my hem, hung it, then continued with the leg tube. I then got to the point where I would usually start the heel, but instead of doing it on the machine I cut the sock yarn, tied in waste yarn, knit half way around with the waste yarn, cut that, tied on more sock yarn and finished knitting the foot on the machine. At that point if I was using one ball of yarn per sock, I stuffed the extra yarn inside the tube, found the other end of the ball of yarn, tied waste yarn to it and knit several more rounds. I could then start the next sock. If I was using one ball of yarn for both socks, I just cut the sock yarn after finishing the foot for the first sock and went on to the second. I’ll have a couple of extra ends to weave in, but I don’t think it’s that big a deal at this point. And I was able to complete two pairs of socks to this point in less than an hour!
Needless to say, there’s a lot more finishing work to do with this method, but I’ve still saved a lot of knitting time by using the machine to do the majority of the work. While the surprise is toast, at least I think that the possibility of the boy still getting his 25 socks this Christmas is still there. And I think he’s just happy I didn’t throw the thing through the window before he got home.
Have a great weekend!
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I totally don’t know how it’s Friday already. I’m completely crosseyed and I have no idea how the last week has so completely gotten away from. Ok. That’s not entirely true, but geez! Someone put the breaks on please!
Last Saturday (yes I need to go back that far) was a lovely day of fiber and friends at my house. No pics of course but I wish I had taken some when I led everyone to the basement for a little fiber acquisition (aka the raiding of my inventory). It looked like a rummage sale in my basement. Seriously. I don’t have people to my house to spin so I can sell them stuff, but they always seem to be very interested in the fiber. I certainly don’t mind!
Sunday HWJF had lessons to teach and a concert down around our old stomping grounds so I got to spend the day hanging out with Sharon and Sairy. And I got to meet Cartman! Look at what a good puppy he was while his mommy did some spinning!
He may sound like a pig when he’s checking you out but he’s the sweetest dog I’ve met in a long time! Thanks for the great day Sharon!
Monday began four very long days of training at work. Very. Long. All day. Torturous. So long that I went to Starbucks 6 times this week. That’s just crazy for me. The norm is once or twice a month. Crazy. At least I had something to look forward to Monday night. I got to see my Sabres kick some Devil ass in a 2-0 win! Live and in person! I hadn’t seen my boys play in person since sometime around 2000 I think. HWJF says I must have “Sabre-dar” too because the 5 other Sabres fans in the arena all seemed to be in our section! It was great fun yelling “Let’s go BUFFALO” over the cheers of the Devils fans and embarrassing my Dad thoroughly with the shenanigans of his hockey crazed daughter.
After a late night Monday we were up before 6am Tuesday to vote. It was my first time using an actual voting machine since I’ve been able to vote. I’ve always been in school and using an absentee ballot. We got Chinese takeout that evening and stayed up to watch Obama’s speech. Many tears of joy were shed. I knew I needed sleep, but there was no way I was going to bed before I saw him celebrate. I have hope for the first time in 8 years and I’m proud to be an American again. It’s a good feeling. I hope he can deliver and keep things positive as he takes office. I don’t envy him trying to clean this mess up.
Thursday night found me finally done with training and staying in NYC to hang with the Plurk/spin/knit crew. Much, much fun! I was tired and briefly thought about heading home, but I’m so glad I stayed. And I got to
infect enable help a new spinner! We all know how I love that.
What I thought would be a restful night turned into an evening of coughing for HWJF. Not. Fun. I was less than sympathetic (sorry honey!) and I’m definitely feeling the lack of sleep today. But I have a four day weekend coming up pretty darn soon. It could definitely be worse.
So what projects have I been working on through all this? Mostly that-thing-I-can’t-show-you-yet. What I will tell you is that it has to be knit on straight needles and they are totally killing me. It’s almost done but it’s going into time out for a bit to let my hands recover. I had a little time to kill before meeting the Plurkies yesterday so I went into the closest LYS to my office. And sadly discovered they will be closing at the end of the year. I’ve been jonesing for a stockinette sock project, so I picked up some Claudia Handpaint (which I’ve, believe it or not, never knit with) and a set of needles and started a sock.
The crappy iPhone photo does not do the colors justice. Just sayin’.
And when I’m not home working on spinning orders for the shop I’ve been continuing to work on this:
The sudden infatuation with the spindles is not over. Not by a long shot.
Weekend plans? Number 1: SLEEP! After that, mostly shop stuff. I plan to add more to the store this weekend and I’m working out plans for the fiber club and another big project which I hope to tell you about soon. Watch this space!
Have a great weekend!
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As promised it’s time to share my final two pairs of socks for SOS’08 with you. Here they are in order of completion:
Earl not-so Grey Socks
Pattern: Early Grey by the Yarn Harlot
Yarn: Tess Designer yarns Super Socks and Baby
Needles: size 1 knitpicks circs
Mods: Knit toe up to maximize yarn
These socks were my main knitting project for the Ravelympics and they didn’t quite make the finish line. The got finished about 36 hours too late, but I was still very proud of the progress that I made on them in the given time period. We purchased the yarn on our trip to Maine so HWJF got to pick out the colors himself.
I modified these to knit them toe up which was quite simple to do. I just followed the pattern directions line by line just as they were written. I’m glad I did because I used nearly every last bit of the yarn! Tess sock yarn has very generous yardage but I know how my boy’s feet like to eat yarn. The only other mod that I made was to knit the cables in a more traditional manner (although without a cable needle) instead of doing the twisted stitches as described in the pattern. The result is the same and I found cabling as I normally would much less fidley than the alternative.
And I just thought I’d share a good way to get a boyfriend to tolerate a sock photoshoot:
He was much more patient this time.
On to the last pair for me!
Pattern: Berlin Muster
Needles: size 1 knitpicks
Mods: Knit toe up
These wouldn’t have taken nearly this long if they hadn’t been interrupted by Olympic knitting, but a girl has to have her priorities! This was a lovely pattern which I once again modified to knit toe up. I also know how *my* feet eat yarn and how not-so-generous on yardage koigu is. I’d had this yarn in the stash for a while, just waiting for the perfect pattern to come along and when I saw this one, I knew it would be a good match.
This is definitely a pattern that you have to pay careful attention too. As I’ve said before, I ended up following the chart instead of the written directions which seem to leave a little to be desired in translation. Still I was able to use the chart without incident and I’m happy with the result.
The pattern is more of a recipe in some ways, telling you to use your favorite toe and heel instead of giving specific directions for which one you should use. That made me just as happy since I tend to put in my own toe and heel in most patterns anyway.
I managed to finish these up without running out of yarn. The was my main goal. They may be a touch on the short side, but I still think they will be a very comfy sock come the cooler months.
So that’s it for me for this edition of the Summer of Socks. My goal was 5 pairs this summer and I somehow managed to make it, even with a pair of boy socks thrown in there. I think the motivation of the Olympics certainly helped me reach that goal. I was definitely beginning to doubt myself there for a while, but I made it and I’m quite happy with that!
Tomorrow, if all goes well, we’ll have the announcement of the winner of the Most Socks contest and we’ll wrap up SOS’08! See you then!!
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It may be hard to believe, but in just a couple of days SOS’08 will draw to a close. While I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see things come to their inevitable end, I can definitely say there have been some very fun moments and my Ravelry queue is stuffed to the gills with new socks I want to knit in the future. Among those new socks would definitely be a few from a book that I want to share with you today.
The Eclectic Sole: Socks for Adventurous Knitters by Janel Laidman is chock full of interesting patterns and constructions for socks of several different types. You’ll find 14 different designs within these self-published pages that could certain keep you knitting for a long time to come.
The book begins with the author’s homage to her love of sock knitting which includes statements that I could agree with more. Some of my favorites include:
“Socks are equally satisfying whether they are complicated or simple.”
“Socks make a perfect gift, they are both practical and extravagant at the same time”
“Socks make the perfect alternative to a ‘boyfriend sweater’ and of course they are a wonderful way to say ‘I love you’ to yourself!”
Most of us who are die hard sock knitters will nod along through these first pages while Ms. Laidman preaches to the choir and illuminates for the rest what makes sock knitting so great.
The book goes on give the sock knitting newbie a few hints including a discussion of swatching and gauge (your beginning can be your swatch!) and yarns and fibers. I was particularly interested in seeing a discussion of color following this basic advice, which defines color attributes such as hue and value and gives examples of how the patterns in the book and the suggestions for colors work together. Not something you find in most sock books!
I was also particularly pleased to find that the author acknowledges all three main methods for sock knitting (DPNs, Magic Loop AND Two Circs) and gives the reader some guidance as to how to make the patterns in the book work with each method. This section ends with a brief description of colorwork and basic sock anatomy.
The patterns themselves range from the simple such as Simplicity
to the more complex in texture such as Hope.
Here we run into my first main criticism of the designs and the book layout. The key to chart symbols is found on one page in the back of the book. While I understand this format for the sake of printing, it makes it more difficult for the knitter who will have to keep flipping back and forth as they learn each symbols meaning. While this isn’t uncommon, it’s definitely my personal preference to have the key with each pattern.
In addition to texture patterns, there are plenty of options that involve colorwork including Migration (which is worked toe up)
and Josephine (which is probably my personal favorite).
There are also two patterns that use very non-traditional constructions. April Fools is a sideways sock where the tube is knitted and grafted and an afterthought heel and toe are added at the end. Monterey is probably the most unique design of all. Another sideways sock it also contains large openings that the author hopes remind you of “bubbles and sea foam”.
Each pattern’s requirements include the standards of yarn, needles, gauge and notions, but they also include WPI measurements of the yarn used for the photographed samples (spinners can you hear me?!) and suggestions for color usage as discussed at the beginning of the book.
The book ends just as strongly as it began with the aforementioned chart key followed by some pictorial examples of the some of the stitches and more unusual techniques used (such as making a cluster). Depending on the complexity of the technique, there are one to several very clear pictures used to illustrate. Something else I appreciated in this book was the use of a slightly larger font than normal. Knitters who are feverishly working into the late night hours (perhaps finishing up the last of their SOS socks?! ) or perhaps need a little less eye strain in their lives will appreciate it too.
Overall, I found this to be a very interesting, very nicely done book. It’s a great size for tucking in your knitting bag while you hit the road for your next vacation. All of the major construction techniques are represented and there is a wide range of patterns, from beginner to advanced, to keep the knitter interested for many hours. Combine these with the color advice given within the pages and there will be many lovely socks coming of your needles and onto the feet of lucky recipients.
The winner of the Most Socks Contest will be getting a signed copy of this book along with their many other prize winnings, but I would encourage anyone to go get a copy for themselves! It’s well worth it!!
I’ll be back on Monday with the last of my SOS’08 socks to show you. Expect an announcement and wrap up of SOS’08 activities on Tuesday.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!
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