Wednesday, June 28, 2006

il David

Ciao! Today after class Sara and I went to the Accademia, where they keep the actual David by Michelangelo. There was lots of religious art, mostly stuff from church altars, and a lot of it was very interesting. The David is friggin enormous. He's pretty cute too. Sara said that the reason the statue is so famous is that the anatomy is almost perfect except that his hands and feet are too big. My response was, of course, "you know what they say about men with big feet" but in this case it is very apparent that the rule doesn't apply here. We also saw several paintings of the madonna and child where Mary is breastfeeding, and one is from before they understood the slightest thing about anatomy and Mary's boob is in completely the wrong place. I'm sure everyone is really glad that I have described this painting now. And by everyone of course I mean Mom, since as far as I can tell no one else is reading this (hint hint leave comments people!)

No pictures were allowed, damn them, but I bought some great postcards. I finally found some of his FACE. Usually when you see close-ups of the David that's not what they zoom in on.

I'm a little blue at the moment because most of the friends I've made here are leaving this weekend. Poor me! All alone! Plus Rosella and the girls will be at the beach all weekend. Then Costy is going to scout camp for a while and Eleonora is going to stay at the beach all summer. I probably won't see her again, and I'm really bummed because she is such a cool kid.

Life in general is going well. I bought some hydrocortizone for the horrible mosquito bites I've been getting and life has been much better since then.

Y'all think of me the next time you eat tex mex or sonic and I'll think of you the next time I eat gelato or the fabulous perfect wood fired pizza they have here.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Yesterday was the festival of San Giovanni, the patron saint of Florence. At 10pm they had fireworks which lasted for a half an hour. Americans do fireworks for a shorter period of time but with more at the same time. They had the fireworks shooting off from two points right next to each other, and it was mostly a series of "look at this firework! now please enjoy this firework! here is another!" i went with the older host daughter, Costy, and four of her friends. After the fireworks we met up with the younger, Ele, and one of her friends and we all went to get gelato. Ele's friend had bought this little toy that sends a disc flying through the air and Ele managed to launch it and get it stuck on a rooftop. They were trying to knock it down with cans, every single one of which proceeded to get stuck on the same ledge, and then an umbrella got involved. Finally a tall guy came to our rescue, and Ele sat on his shoulders and grabbed it with the point of the umbrella. The whole thing was absolutely hysterical.

Before all that i did some shopping. It's all kinds of hot here and I only brought one skirt, so I wound up buying two really cute linen ones that I love. I also got a silk shawl that came in handy today. The rest of my purchases were gifts, so you'll have to wait till later to find out what they were. I also discovered that fruit-flavored gelato has no lactose in it, so I've wasted three weeks of being in Italy and not eating Gelato.

Today I took the bus to Fiesole, a little town on a hill overlooking Florence. It was totally insanely gorgeous but there were a lot of very steep hills. The town has ruins of a roman bath and a ton of artifacts from an old etruscan graveyard, so there was tons to see. I met a guy named Giuseppe who spoke such perfect British English that i was really shocked to find out that he was Italian. The view of Florence was really great, this city looks a lot bigger from outside than from within. I think I may be a little burned but not tooo badly, I did use my fabulous 14 euro sunscreen.

My hour is almost up. Hope you are all doing well!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ahhh, blessed internet

Today is the first day I have been online since Wednesday. For someone who in the states never went longer than 5 hours without internet, that was a little weird. But Thursday I went to a piazza to watch Italy kick the crap out of the Czech Rep. in world cup soccer and yesterday I tried to go grocery shopping but wound up not buying anything, and then I went to some bizarre modern art thing.

I went to this art thing with a friend from school, Sara, and this little old man who had apparently memorized a guidebook started showing us around the place- the Palazzo Vecchio, seat of government in Florence since the middle ages. He was really nice and knew a lot, but the whole thing was kind of funny. Afterwards Sara and I went to dinner and I got chicken Cacciatora, otherwise known as chicken surprise because there were so many -surprise!- little bones in it. Then we met up with some friends of hers and went to a place called Hemingway's, which was a chocolate bar. Sara and I split a chocolate strawberry crepe that was incredible.

I've been thinking lately of how I'm going to arrange my new apartment and have come up with a great idea. Since I have only the tiniest of dining tables and a rather large dining room I'm going to make the dining room the study and separate it from the living room with a cool screen or, if I can afford it, one of those nifty open-back bookshelves from Ikea. This will cut down on the "I am tired I will flop on the bed" moments that were so common when my desk was in the bedroom.

I have recieved good news about my financial situation and am going to do a bit of shopping today to celebrate. Yay!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Some Rome Pics

Here are some very unrefined pictures from my trip to Rome. They are out of order because Macs suck. Also sorry about the one pic that is sideways and the other one that is blurry.

The Coliseum!

Blurry mass at the vatican. My camera was drunk on communion wine.

The exit of the Vatican Museum. Somewhere in here is the Sistine Chapel, where we were not allowed to take pictures.

St. Peter's Basilica

Geodi, T-bone the bear, Deanne, Me, Stacey, Allicyn

Monday, June 19, 2006

Six crazy Americans in Rome

Let me first include a warning to all travelers: if you are going with a group of people numbering four or greater, decide ahead of time that you will split up and where you will meet up afterwards. Because you will split up, and there is a good chance that some of you will be concerned about having lost someone, and unpleasantries may ensue. Just so you know.

Ok, here is my extremely brief summary of all the gorgeous and exciting things we did.

We got in on Friday at about ten and had a really hard time getting a cheap hotel, especially for five people so late at night. We found one really close to the train station, two stars, for 45 euro per person just for Friday. We got pizza and everybody but me got gelato, and we went to bed kind of early.

On Saturday we first went to get a hotel room for Saturday night, which wound up being the same place but for just 35 euro, and picked up one of the girls' sisters, who is studying in Paris and took a night train into Rome. We had croissants for breakfast and headed to the vatican, where we stood in line for about three hours before we got in.

The vatican museum was gorgeous and I had to keep myself from taking pictures of every single thing we saw. We lost one of the girls about fifteen minutes after we got in there, and didn't see her again for about an hour and a half. No pictures were allowed in the Sistine Chapel, so I bought a postcard book. We ate a very early dinner at a terrific restaurant and then went back to St. Peter's Basilica. It was a.m.azing. Really incredible. We spent a bunch of time in there but wound up being there till they closed at 7. Some of the girls had wanted to buy holy water, so we decided to go back the next morning. We walked back pretty much the whole way across Rome and stopped at this phenomenal gelato place we found by accident with probably sixty or eighty flavors of gelato. I had my first gelato since I got here- a tiny cup of half tiramisu and half chocolate. Delicious, but I couldn't finish it for fear of the gas. We saw the Trevi Fountain at dusk and it was really cool. We had to walk all the way back to the hotel on the far side of Rome from the Vatican. That was the night the U.S. played Italy for the world cup. Tie, 1-1, which means the guy who bet our teacher didn't have to wear polka dots tomorrow. (he did anyway, polka dot boxers which I saw because he was sagging a little. he said that since it was a tie he decided to wear them but under his clothes rather than on his head.)

Sunday morning we woke up kind of early, checked out of the hotel and left our bags at the baggage check at the train station, and took the metro back to the vatican. To get to the holy water you had to go to the treasury, but it turns out you didn't have to buy a ticket and go through the treasury. I'm glad we did though because they had some awesome stuff in there, including St. Peter's finger and a piece of the true cross. But we took too long in there. They finally figured out how to get the holy water and they suddenly had to kick us out of that area--for mass, as it turns out. Once that was over they went back in and one of the girls and I stayed outside. While they were in there mass started and we saw a huge processional with a guy who may or may not have been the pope. He was definitely someone important. We were feeling all cool and went to watch the mass, when the rest of them came up and said they'd seen the actual pope. Well, foo. I didn't get a good picture so I don't really know if it was him or not. (the priest in my class said probably not since he was wearing green) But I did get Ileana a nice keychain with pictures of John Paul II and benedict #whatever.

After that we saw the pantheon, a greek classical-style church where some couple was getting married, and the coliseum. Two of the girls had to leave earlier because they had a lot of homework, so we split off at that point and I wound up going off alone to enjoy the coliseum while the sisters and Allicyn went together. Much better for me. I joined a guided tour and learned so much AWESOME stuff about the coliseum but it took so long that by the time it ended I still hadn't even gotten inside and it was time to meet the other three girls. i decided to make them wait a little bit and ran through the coliseum, but I did manage to get some really cool pictures. I can't wait to show them all to you guys. I would post them now but I can't find the USB drive on this comp. Stay tuned though, there will be some rome pictures in the nearish future.

After the Coliseum the sister who'd come from Paris caught a bus to the airport for her return trip and we remaining three got on our train back to florence. In all, I think the Basilica was the coolest thing we saw, but I like Florence a lot better than Rome. The next time I come to Rome it will be with only one person (Dave? Mom? Ileana? Anybody interested?) and a good guidebook. The two person thing will make it much easier to get around without having to stop every time one person wants a picture or wants to check out the purses a street vendor's selling. The guidebook because seeing all this incredible stuff and not knowing what any of it was drove me batty.

When we got back to Florence we ate at this restaurant I'd been to before. I have discovered the world's most perfect pizza. A marinara pizza has tomato sauce, garlic and basil, and NO CHEESE! Hallelujah! Plus, it's the cheapest pizza on the menu! Absolutely friggin delicious.

Nothing interesting happened today except that I went to lunch with the cool Slovakian girl from my class and we had a trilingual lunch, switching between German, Italian and English the whole time. I also found some cheap postcards, so start checking your mailboxes. Ileana, what's your mailbox number?

Mom, Dad and Tom are on a cruise right now in the gulf of mexico. i hope they're having a kickass time.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Roma e cioccolato

I don't have much time to write, but I wanted to update everybody. Got tickets to rome today, 30 euro for the slow train which takes about 3 hours. I can deal with that. So exciting! And Alicyn, the one in my class, and this other girl Jennifer and I are going to Venice weekend after this, just for one day. I can't decide which day would be better because on Saturday there's a big festival for St. Giovane Battisto (John the Baptist), the patron saint of Florence, and on Sunday there's the Calcio Storico final.

Skipped Lingua Practica to get the tickets, gelato and go to the supermarket. I bought chocolate, chocolate pastries, and a kinder egg (also chocolate). They have Milka here, the best chocolate in all the world! Yay happy! But it's so hot today, I'm sure it will be melted by the time I get home.

Today the teacher told us that next week we'll learn past tense. I'm super excited. But the excercize book sucks. More on that later.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Il martedì

That just means tuesday. Nothing super exciting. I've been brainstorming for souvenir ideas again, so again you should tell me what you want. Also, if you leave a comment and aren't in blogger be sure to put your name in there so I know who wrote me. I'm guessing yesterday's comment was from Ileana but it could be anybody.

We're buying our Roma tickets tomorrow and have heard about a cheap, nice hostel to stay at. We're going Friday and coming back Sunday afternoon. The girls I'm going to Rome with have agreed to take extreme measures to secure the pope for Ileana. I'm bringing an extra big suitcase. Anybody know how much this benedict guy weighs?

At lunch I went to this pizzeria that one of my classmates recommended because you can actually sit there. It wasn't too expensive but I only had a 10 euro bill and the guy didn't have change (he needed to give me 5.50 back) so he told me he'd bring it to me. That meant I had to sit on the ground floor which was totally crowded with pigeons, instead of downstairs which presumably had no pigeons. It was DISGUSTING. The bad pizza and the pigeons combined for one of the more unpleasant eating experiences I've had here. Not going back. ever.

I went to a bookstore after lunch and picked up my first Italian book--L'Italia del Risorgimento 1831-1861. Risorgimento is the italian term for the revolutions of 1848. It doesn't look TOO hard and bless them, it has big type. (Glares in direction of German printers)

Today the school had an excursion to a wine factory which I skipped because who wants to spend 40 euro to watch other people taste wine? Still haven't gotten around to acquiring that taste. Since everybody was off doing that I was the only one in Lingua Practica, which was really nice because I got to have one-on-one conversation with the teacher for almost an hour. We talked mostly about 1848 and doctoral programs in the states. At about 10 till 3 one of the german guys came in but the teacher had to leave at 3, so it was all pretty brief.

I skipped going out with the Slovenes last night because I was SO tired, but tonight is their last night so I'm definitely going. I need to start remembering to buy a coke before I go to school, though, because the vending machine only sells those little half size cans of coke. I've heard that there's an American market in the area that sells Chips ahoy, Dr Pepper and all the other fabulous American foodstuffs. I'll defintely stop there at some point.

I spose this post is sufficiently long, so I'll close. Ciao!

Monday, June 12, 2006

All roads lead to Rome

I'm going to Rome this weekend! YAAAAY! It's me and four girls from the University of Hawaii. Tomorrow I'm skipping lingua practica so we can get tickets. Super, super excited.

Today I am on the computer at school, which is free. All I can say is you get what you pay for. I waited for about 45 mins to get on and got the slow computer. Hooray. I also despise these mac keyboards. They are so hard to type on!

The Slovenian girls went to the beach yesterday and were so exhausted that we didn't go out, but we will go out tonight and tomorrow. Tomorrow is their last day. Going out with them has been fun but I don't think I'll miss the late hours. I had almost adjusted to the time zone before we started keeping these late hours.

Yesterday I had an absolutely fabulous dinner for only 10 Euro. Today I got a sandwich and water for just four! Cheapest meal I've had since I got here. Tonight I'm going to try and figure out how much money I've been spending so I know how much I have for Rome. The school is having a cooking class tonight but I'm not doing it because a) it's 40 euro and b) I'd probably look like a non-cooking idiot. Maybe i'll ask them to offer a remedial cooking class. They're also organizing a trip to the opera (Carmen) and I don't know if I can afford it or not.

Today the US plays Czech Rep and Italy plays um... somebody. I think those games would be tons of fun to watch at one of the big screens. I'll definitely go out for the US-Italy game, but the general sense among the Americans is that it would be better for us if Italy won. You know, better for our safety.

Nothing else of interest, I guess. Thinking about ripping out what I've knitted so far and making it bigger, but I haven't decided yet. It will stretch to the right size but would look better if it weren't so tight I think.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Biggest. Update. Ever.

Ok, I'm just going to post the interesting bits from the emails I've sent to Mom, Dad and Dave since I got here. Before these begin though, you should know:

You can see a few pics here:

I'm staying with a host family- mamma Rosella, and her daughters Costanza and Eleonora, whose name I finally figured out after living with them for a week.

I'm going to a school in the center of the city that is really cool.

My suitcase got lost on the flight in, suck, so I had to go to school the first day in the same outfit I'd worn for two days of flying.

ok, enough, here's the email from June 6

Happy birthday to me! I celebrated with a shower and clean clothes.
I'm going home later to enjoy the dr. pepper I brought with me.

I just finished my second day of school. So far it's going very well.
I stayed for the conversation part, which is 2 hours of conversation.
It's really hard right now but I think it will get better over time.
I think I'll be on a roll by the time I leave. That class only has
four people in it. Two are also in my morning class and one is a
level ahead of us. She's studying medieval history at Brigham Young
but is looking for a place to do her PhD so I'm recruiting for Rice.

My morning class has about 13 people in it. Most of the students here
are American, and a lot of them are with big study abroad programs.
We have a bunch of students from U Kansas and U Hawaii. Two of them
surf. I went to lunch with one of the Hawaiians (not a surfer) and we
found this great pasta place, but it was 11 euro so I hope I can find
someplace cheaper. The teacher's name is Claudia and she's very funny
and very animated, which I guess you have to be when communicating in
gestures to a bunch of beginning italian students. Whenever someone
uses a spanish word instead of an Italian one she starts salsa
dancing. One of the girls in the class is Slovakian (the only
non-American) and I found out today that she speaks German, so we
spoke a little German together. She speaks English too but said she
finds our American English really hard to follow sometimes. Claudia
speaks British English in class sometimes, which Maria says is easier
to understand than when we talk.

I told mom, dad and tom this morning, but for Dave's benefit: my
suitcase came in yesterday. Yay, clean clothes! I spent about an
hour wandering, lost, around Florence with it. The paving stones were
obviously not intended for wheelie suitcases. Not as bad as
cobblestones, though I did find some of those, but still pretty
obnoxious. But the contents of the suitcase were all worth it.

I managed to get on one of the school's computers, but it isn't easy.
I'll see how Rosella feels about letting me use their computer. There
are no internet cafes in their neighborhood as far as i can tell, but
there are some here in the city center. I forgot the plug converter
so i'm keeping my phone turned off to save batteries. If i do manage
to get on a computer i'll call you and try to arrange to get on gmail
chat or something.

June 7

When I got here the (very expensive) batteries I got for my camera were dead. Today I tried some new ones, from the same pack, and they were dead too. Grr. Sarah, the girl from the afternoon class, was going to the baptistery (little church where they baptize people) and I tagged along. We found a camera shop with a very nice owner who spoke excellent English. While in the shop i noticed for the first time the word "rechargeable" on the battery (oops) so I bought a charger there. It's for a European plug so I'll need to buy another converter when i get home, but at least I'll be able to take pictures for the next two months.

I bought some postcards today that I'll send home soon. Dave, what is your address? I decided not to get you the one that said "il David" even though it had your name on it and everything. I think it might be better to use the school's address for mail, but I'll ask about that before I mail these.

School was great today. It's amazing how quickly we're going, but I know that there's a lot more to learn. Florence is amazing. I can't wait to get my camera working, because everywhere you turn there's some historic monument or medieval-looking building. I saw the place where Garibaldi died and the place where Dante lived. In the baptistery today there were two german tour groups and I listened to their tour guides and translated what I could for Sarah. My German is still pretty good, maybe better than it was last year.

Yesterday everybody was really cool about my birthday and we learned "Buon Compleanno" and "Auguri" which is like good luck or congrats, used for birthdays, weddings, pregnancy, etc. It was good that I learned Auguri because when I told the family it was my birthday they said it. The Dr Pepper was delicious but I hate thinking I won't be able to have any for so long. Need to start drinking wine to forget taste of Dr. Pepper.

My birthday dinner was bad, though, because I fell asleep and didn't go out to get food until 8:00, still early for Italians to eat BUT in my part of town there are no restaurants or pizzarias, only Bars which are like cafes I guess. They have drinks, pastries and sandwiches. Some of the bars in the city center have pizza. The thing about bars is that they pretty much close at 8:00. Restaurants and pizzarias stay open later, but that didn't help me much last night. I found two that were still open, I guess until they could get rid of the last of the customers and pastries, so I got a croissant at one and a slice of what appeared to be extra cheesy pizza but was actually extra oniony pizza. I shook most of the onions off. I've learned that lesson, so it won't happen again (I hope).

Right now it's 6:00 and I'm still in the city center. My teacher told me where her favorite pizzaria is so I'll head there for dinner. Tomorrow I hope to hit the yarn store after school.

June 8

Today I'm in an internet cafe for American students. When we left CLIDA for lunch a guy was handing out free 30-minute cards to everybody. The place is nice looking and all, but I knew there had to be a catch and there is: the internet here is friggin slow. It hasn't been super speedy anywhere that I've stopped, which is kind of ridiculous, but it's so slow here that on the first computer I tried gmail couldn't log me in. Grr. There rates are also significantly higher than others I've seen, so this will be my last time here as soon as i finish my free internet time. 3 euro is typical for an hour, here it's 4.50. jerks.

I didn't find any pizza yesterday but I did see another of the big monuments- Santa Croce, a big church. In the piazza in front of it they're building a stadium for "historic soccer," which is medieval-style soccer and is only played in Florence. Very violent and brutal. You can use your hands to touch the ball AND to punch the other team. I might have to check it out. Tomorrow the world cup starts-- Germany vs. Costa Rica and Poland vs. somebody. There will be a big screen somewhere in town and I think I'm going to go watch the Germany game. Should be fun.

Today I crossed the ponte vecchio (old bridge) which was VERY full of tourists. The bridge has little shops on it, and most of them sell jewelry. On the other side of the river I walked down this neat little street until I found the YARN STORE! woo hoo. Four euro for a 50 g ball of pure superwash merino. I have found the only cheap thing in this town.

I wandered around a bit more. Turns out that Armani is, like, around the corner from my school. Florence is so amazing because everything is SO old. Right next to each other you'll see medieval and renaissance and 18th century buildings, and on the ground floor the most modern-looking stores.

June 9

Yesterday two girls from Slovenia arrived. They're staying at Rosella's for a week. They invited me to go out to a club with them for some karaoke, and I decided to join them. They're here with their school, which is for people who want to be hotel managers. The school is in Austria and all the students speak German, Slovenian, English and Italian. I tried to speak German with them but they mostly wanted to practice English. We had a great time and got back REALLY late, but I managed to drink enough coke to stay awake in class.

Today is the first day of the world cup, and one of the guys in my class is OBSESSED with soccer and was really excited about it. I had agreed to watch the game with the Slovenian girls, and I thought I'd heard that there would be a big screen for everyone to watch the game in one of the piazzas, so everybody was all excited. In Lingua Practica, there was that guy and three Germans (it's in Germany and Germany played in the first game) and we pretty much talked about soccer the whole time.

After Lingua Practica one of the teachers led a tour of a little church I actually saw yesterday (from the outside, it's next to this very medieval building with a Versace shop on the ground floor). That made me kind of late to get back to Rosella's and the Slovenian girls weren't there (didn't catch if they had been in or not). So I made my way to the Piazza and got there about 10 minutes after the game was supposed to start and there was no. one. there. Well, I mean, there were people there, but none of them were watching soccer on a giant screen.

Oops. I wonder how many people I gave that mistaken information to.

So I wandered around. I saw some INCREDIBLE stuff. This city is amazing. Everything is just so OLD! I took lots of pictures and I'll try to write captions for them. A lot of the stuff I'm not actually sure what it is, so I'll have to look it up. I had pizza in a little place that had the game on. It was 2-1 when I finished my meal and wandered away, but it ended at 4-2 Germany. Go Germany!

I saw the fake David today. It's BIG! Like, 20 feet tall! The real one is in a museum that is apparently REALLY busy, and you need to make a reservation. The fake one is in a piazza where the real one used to be. There are a bunch of other statues around there too, got some pictures of those.

June 11

Yesterday I slept in, then went to town. I walked all the way up this hill that has a big piazza at the top where you can see EVERYTHING. It was sooooo cool. There's a little church and monastery at the top where they sell honey and other stuff produced by the monks. I didn't get any honey, but I did get some postcards. Again, fabulous views. Today I continued the "high places in Florence" theme by climbing to the top of the campanile, the bell tower next to the Duomo. I missed hanging out with the Slovenes and Austrians on Friday but we went out last night. I had a glass of delicious champagne and a shot of citrusy vodka. The rest of them got really, really drunk. The first club we went to was full of those horrible Italian men you hear about all the time. They stared a lot and when I left one of them grabbed me. I would have slapped him if I'd been able to tell which one did it. I have NO idea how any culture could produce men who think that's an ok thing to do. The guys in our group started to worry that there'd be a fight if they had to stand up for any of us, so we went to this techno club that was actually pretty nice except for the crazy, crazy strobe light.

The Slovenes went to the beach today (not sure where) so I'm looking forward to a nice quiet evening of knitting. The project I'm working on is SO cool, I may have to make one for myself.


MII- Missing in Italy

Hi everybody! So sorry I didn't update for so long. Florence is fabulous if expensive, but there is one thing cheaper here: yarn! that has me content. I've been on the lookout for an Alfa Romeo for Dan, a hot Italian chick for Charley, the Pope for Ileana and some wine for Cale. Anybody else have any requests?

I can't say much else at the moment, mostly because the keyboard is so friggin weird. I've been writing long emails to my parents so when I get the chance I'll post the interesting bits. For now know that I am safe, having a ball, learning tons of Italian and having issues typing.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tabi socks!

This will probably be my last post before leaving for Italy, so I thought I'd make it count. Here, as promised, is my very own pattern for tabi (two-toed) socks!

A few words of disclaimer: I made these socks especially for my feet. I wear size 7.5 shoes and my feet and ankles are fairly narrow. My right foot is smaller than my left. We sock knitters know that the great thing about making your own socks is that you can fit them to your own idiosyncratic body measurements. My tabi turned out unapologetically asymmetrical because it was more important to me that they fit perfectly than that they match perfectly.

Measure the length of both your feet. You may not have as big a difference between your feet as I do (almost half an inch). I still recommend knitting for your bigger foot first. You will also want a yarn that frogs well, and you will want to do the toe parts somewhere you can try your socks on over and over.

First, the lace pattern. I call it "diamond scales" because it looks like diamond-shaped scales. In my more honest and self-depricating moments I call it "artichoke leaves." It's pretty even if it does look like a vegetable.

I used Koigu KPM semi-solid in #1165, a sort of raspberry shade. On size 1 needles my gauge was 7.5 SPI so I came up with this 14-st repeat.

CO a multiple of 14 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: K4, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k4
Row 3 and all odd-numbered rows: K all sts
Row 4: K 3, k2tog, yo, k4, yo, ssk, k4
Row 6: K2, k2tog, yo, k6, yo, ssk, k2
Row 8: k1, k2tog, yo, k8, yo, ssk, k1
Row 10: k2tog, yo, k10, yo, ssk
Row 12: k2, yo, ssk, k6, k2tog, yo, k2
Row 14: k3, yo, ssk, k4, k2tog, yo, k1
Row 16: k4, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, k4
Row 18: k5, yo, ssk, k2tog, yo, k5
Row 19: K
Rep. rows 4-19.

The sock itself:
CO 56 sts. I recommend using 4 dpns because I liked it.
Work 1" in 2x2 rib.
Beg. lace patt.
I did two full repeats before the heel because I was worried about running out of yarn, but you can make your cuff longer or shorter as you like.

Heel: using 28 sts, work the heel flap and heel turn however you like. I used the dutch heel from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks.

Pick up gusset. If you're using 4 dpns like all the cool people, arr. your sts like this:
Needle 1: left half of heel and gusset/hereafter sole
Needle 2: left half of instep
Needle 3: right half of instep
Needle 4: right half of sole

While shaping the gusset the way you needed to as it pertained to your heel, work the artichoke pattern on needles 2 and 3, and the sole (1 and 4) in stockinette for the comfort of your pretty feet.

Ok, fast forward (about 4 repeats on my sock) to the part where you're ready to do the toe. You should end with the last lace round, not with an all-knit round. We'll do the left foot first, because that's what I did.

Work 5 sts of needle 1 and transfer those and all the sts on needle 4 to a st holder or waste yarn (19 sts on waste yarn). Work the remaining 9 sts of needle 1, and the first 9 sts of needle 2. Transfer the last 5 sts on needle 2 and all the sts of needle 3 to another holder. You now have 18 sts on two needles. CO 3 sts using backwards loop for a total of 21 sts. Shift these around so that needle 3 holds 2 sts from the instep, the 3 co sts, and 2 sts from the sole, and needles 1 and 2 have 7 sts each.

Still with me?

Work the toe in the round until you get to the point where the toe starts to taper. On me this was row 11.
Row 12: *k5, k2tog* 3 times. 18 sts.
Row 13: knit
Row 14: *k4, k2tog* 3 times. 15 sts.
Row 15: knit
Row 16: *k3, k2tog* 3 times. 12 sts
Row 17: *k2, K2tog* 3 times. 9 sts.
Row 18: *Sl 1, K2tog, psso* 3 times. 3 sts.
Break yarn, run it through the sts and weave in the end. Try the sock on again. Pretty!

Once you're all set up, the beginning of the round will be between the toes. Needles 1 and 2 will have the top of the foot and needles 3 and 4 will have the bottom. As you're moving sts of your holder, put 8 on 1, 11 on 2, 11 on 3, and 8 on 4. With the new yarn leave a really long tail and knit all the sts. At the end of the last needle PU 4 sts from the cast-on edge of the big toe. You will want 2 of these on needle 4 and 2 on needle 1 for a grand total of 42 stitches. Hey, 42 is, after all, the Answer to the Ultimate Question.

Think about the way a regular sock with a wedge toe fits. If yours fit like mine and most of the pics I've seen, the part with the decreases goes all the way up the four toes and the kitchenered part only goes across the second and big toes. In order to recreate that here we're going to need a steeper slope, so you'll move from the decrease-every-other-round to decrease-every round a lot sooner.

You ready? Those last stitches you knit were round 1, here goes round two

Decrease row:
Needle 1: k
Needle 2: k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
Needle 3: k1, ssk, knit rest of sts
Needle 4: k

As you decrease you will occasionally need to redistribute the sts so that you still have 4 needles to work with. Work the decreases every other row until you get to the top of your fourth toe (the one next to your pinkie). On my foot this was row 12 and I had 30 sts left. Now work the decreases every round until your second toe is just barely peeking out. This was my row 19 and I had 8 sts left. Break the yarn, leaving yourself a long tail, and use kitchener to graft the live sts.

Weave in all the ends and be very careful to get rid of the gaping holes between the toes. Or maybe you're better at that sort of thing than I am.

Tada! one sock down! Admire and begin sock 2.

Everything about sock 2 will be the same until (duh) you get to the toes. Because you are working on your smaller foot here, you can start the silly stuff a little earlier without too much of a problem.

Right foot, big toe
I worked the last lace round but stopped 5 sts before the end of needle four. I transferred these five sts and the 14 sts of needle 1 to a st holder and did the same with their buddies on needles 2 and 3. I have:
9 sts on what used to be needle 3 and is now needle 1
9 sts on what used to be needle 4 and is now needle 2
Cast on 3 sts using backwards loop and piddle around until you have the same distribution as you did on the other big toe: needle 3 has the 2 sts from the sole, 3 new sts, and 2 sts from the top of the foot. Work this toe just the same as the other big toe, although you may want to start the decreases sooner if there's a big difference in size.

Right foot, 4-toe
You can work this just the same as you did on the other foot, pretty much. But I wound up with so much extra space that when I had 24 sts left I started working decreases on both sides (the outside and between the toes). Like so:
Needle 1: K1, ssk, knit the rest
Needle 2: k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
Needle 3: K1, ssk, knit the rest
Needle 4: k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1

I did this 2 times so I had the same number of sts (16) as I kitchenered before. Do all the necessary finishing, put on your flip flops, and run around the neighborhood proclaiming your success!

A note on the flip flops: I needed some new ones, so Mom and I went shopping at all the local surf shops in search of the perfect pair. I found some great black ones but they were a little casual so I kept looking around. Blue is my favorite color so these caught my eye. I tried them on.

Me: "Mom, you know what would go really well with these flip flops?"
Mom: "Jeans?"
Me: "Raspberry toe socks!"

And with that, I had to have them.

Arrivederci, everybody! Thanks for all the encouragement on getting this pattern up! You'll hear from me again once I've located an internet cafe in Florence!