Yesterday I died. More specifically, I was killed. By a pair of socks. There are far worse ways to die…in a game of Assassin. And I was very fortunate to have survived to be one of the final two warriors standing in this game. And my death was sweet on several levels. My assassin not only knit me a pair of pretty, snuggly socks, but she sent along some candy and knitting goodies.

Indeed, Sock Wars V was an exciting adventure for me, much more entertaining than Glove Wars had been last fall. In that game, I knit a pair of fingerless gloves for my target and soon after received my death gloves from my assassin. With the sock epoch, I landed a record-tying five kills in total and also secured the title of Last Knitter Standing – East US. I will get more goodies in recognition of that title, and already I’ve received many congratulatory messages for achieving the #2 ranking in the game. Most of all, I made friends around the world. I corresponded directly with women in England, Australia, Canada, the Isle of Man, and all over the US. And what’s sad in some ways is that the main reason that I survived to the bitter end in this game is because my original assassin didn’t play along. She took her free pair of knitted socks and vanished, never to be heard from again.

The Sock Wars game lasted just over three months, starting on Friday January 15 at 8PM ET. A significant factor in the last four to six weeks though was shipping challenges. Indeed, we are rather spoiled here in the US! Our postal service is fairly reliable, unlike a number of other countries. One pair of socks I finished up had travelled around the globe, seemingly lost in the postal void on its way to Korea. And the big finale of the whole game came down to the not-so-trusty Canada Post. The last pair of socks to be completed were shipped out of Ontario, Canada, on April 1, bound for California before being forwarded on to me. If that Canadian sender had been just a tad bit slower, they would have come directly to me. Meanwhile, my (new & final) assassin had to knit up my death socks from scratch, and she finished them up on Good Friday. Canada Post, along with all governmental agencies in Canada, shuts down from Good Friday through Easter Monday. So my socks were waylaid for the long weekend, shipping out on Wednesday, April 7. Ultimately the two packages travelled the same amount of time, being delivered two (Canadian) business days apart. The Socks In Progress (SIPs to the initiate) were delivered to my house on Monday, having been sent from California on Friday. And the death socks arrived at work on Tuesday. Because I work at home on Tuesdays, my demise was delayed just a bit. I pushed off the inevitable a little while longer at work on Wednesday, as I spent time crafting my “last words” and “death notice” to be posted online in announcing that I was out of the game. Fortunately I did manage to finish up the second sock of the SIPs, so they are in the mail bound for Spokane, Washington.

In between those Sock Wars “battles,” my hands & knitting needles were definitely not idle! I also participated in a knitting competition that was launched as a spin-off of Sock Wars. Iron Knitter was a true test of knitting skills and speed. I completed five of the six rounds, though I do plan to re-visit the sixth pattern at some point. The sixth round kicked off when I was in the midst of a Sock Wars skirmish, so I gave that game the priority. I also knit another three pairs of socks as a participant in a few knitalongs. I have started a fourth pair that are due to be finished at the beginning of May. And the capstone to this knitting season was my Peacock Shawl, which I started as part of the Ravelympics challenge, but had to suspend (forfeiting a couple medals in the process) due to my Sock Wars commitment. So many knitting adventures!

Another new adventure I’ve embarked on in recent days is volunteering for the Franklin County Dog Shelter. It’s been just over a year since I bid farewell to my beloved Australian Shepherd at the tender age of thirteen. While I’m not ready to dive back into the “deep end” of responsibility, adopting a dog, I miss the companionship that these furry friends offer – even to those they’ve just met. Yesterday was my first volunteer stint, and I started small, assisting with the photographing of new adoptees at the shelter. That was quite a workout for the 45 minutes I was there, locating a dog in his/her crate, walking her outside for a bit, then working with the photographer and his assistant to get the dog to pose in an endearing manner so his/her likeness would melt someone’s heart on the internet. Here are some of the new friends I made through my first experience…

At this time these pups are still available for adoption. For more info, go to http://www.co.franklin.oh.us/commissioners/ancl/adoption/. I’m looking forward to making more friends at the shelter. And maybe one of them will follow me home sometime. 😉 In the meantime, I am working on finding joy in the everyday moments – something I’ve been sorely lacking for more than nine months! For instance, a new haircut…

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