My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

3 Articles in January 2014

  1. First completed pair of socks!

    My first knitted pair of socks

    For over a year now, I have been knitting a pair of socks.

    I chose a sock, cuff-first, as my first foray into circular knitting. The circular knitting itself was not difficult to master. Socks themselves, though, have all sorts of … components that require careful attention to detail. This one had a pattern for the cuff, then another four-row pattern for the leg/top of the foot, and different patterns entirely for the heel flap and gusset. And then there is the most dread moment of any sock knitter’s career: turning the heel!

    Turning the heel on my first sock did not go so well. I’m still not great at recognizing individual stitches, so I had a great deal of trouble picking up stitches. Also, this means that if I’m not carefully keeping track of how many rows I’ve knit (or how many repeats of a pattern) using this nifty app I found for my phone, then I can easily lose my place—it’s hard for me to count individual rows and figure out what I still need to knit. So I thoroughly messed up turning the heel. This, combined with how many holes and other mistakes I’d made during my…

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  2. My winter travel adventure

    Oddly enough, transatlantic travel has started to become somewhat ordinary for me. The first time it was new and exotic and somewhat terrifying. The second time it was a relief (to be going home, particularly because I hate travelling). The third time, with a different airline, was another adventure. But now, having done it a few more times and developed a routine for getting to and from the various airports, it is starting to feel old hat.

    Well, my travel back to the UK from Canada at the end of the Christmas break broke up that monotony for me. The original plan was to fly from Thunder Bay to Toronto with Westjet on Friday, January 3, landing two hours before my flight to England. Cutting it somewhat close, yes, but my alternative was a 6 am flight that would leave me in the airport all day.

    Alas, the weather deteriorated Thursday evening and into Friday, and the snow was coming down thick and heavy. Flights were delayed all across Western Canada, including the plane meant to arrive in Thunder Bay and proceed to Toronto (with me on it). We didn’t leave until 6:30 pm. Suddenly the probability of catching my…

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  3. Top 10 best books of 2013

    Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook have probably heard the story of my epic journey to return to England. I’ll record it for posterity in a later blog post, when I have the time.

    For now, I simply wanted to note that I’ve published my annual list of best books I read in 2013.

    For the first time since I started making these lists, I’m not doing a companion “worst books” list. The books I read in 2013 were just that good! Well, there weren’t enough really bad ones, so I don’t think that a “worst” list would have the same significance. Here’s hoping I get a few stinkers in 2014.

About Me

I’m a 27-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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