I’m still in the game, if anyone else wants to join in. Let me know if you want me to give you five, as well. These two are from Kiwiria:

Top Five Knitting Projects:
My top knitting projects are ones which are fun to knit and also produce a great final product. Note: all links are to Ravelry, but are visible also to non-members.

  • Power Ten rowing socks: My own design, and I’m very happy with how it came out, because the pattern features serve the theme so well. There’s an oar along the sude of the foot, culminating in the gusset, racing boats up the top of the foot and front leg, and a ripple pattern on the back of the leg.
  • Clapotis: I’ve knitted this twice (once pre-Ravelry, so I don’t have a picture) and it’s just fun to knit – mindless enough that you don’t have to pay close attention, so it goes quickly, but with the excitement of dropping a stitch (on purpose) every now and then so it never gets boring and you can sense progress.
  • Ted’s Norwegian sweater: because I think this one is my biggest knitting achievement to date.
  • Not exactly a knitting pattern: this was what I made for my knitting group’s Sinterklaas exchange last year. I did knit a cowl, but the most fun part was actually putting together the packaging. Beaker! (The recipient is a chemistry grad student.)
  • Frankensocks: I combined elements from a bunch of other patterns and created socks that are fun and quick to knit but also pretty and cozy once knit up. They combine all my favorite things: toe-up construction, Judy’s Magic Cast-on, slightly heavier yarn so the knitting goes fater (but not too heavy to fit in normal shoes), a gusset heel, and a lace pattern that is simple enough to memorize and makes your progress very visible.

Top five vacations:
This list is easy to start, but gets hard to decide after the first few.

  • Antarctica, Dec ’03 – Jan ’04: Coolest trip ever, and I don’t mean that literally. We were on a former Rudssian research vessel, the Akademik Ioffe, that carries only about 100 passengers. Also, they told us to stay about 6 feet away from all penguins, but no one told the penguins.
  • South Africa, February 2012: We visited Sabi Sands Game Reserve (adjacent to Kruger National Park), and Madikwe Game Reserve on the other wide of the country. We saw an unbelievable variety of animals, and took some really amazing photos.
  • Australia and New Zealand, Dec ’97 – Jan ’98, I think: We visited Sydney, Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands, and Ayers Rock and the Olgas (Uluru and Kata Tjuta), then drove down the west coast fo the South Island of New Zealand. Along the way, we wandered through cities, took a train over mountains, rafted, bicycled, hiked around (not up) Uluru, rode in a helicopter, scuba dived, sailed in a catamaran, flew a plane (I mean, *flew* – we shouldn’t have told that mountain pilots that we had pilots’ ratings!), hiked through a rainforest and up a glacier, saw glow-worms – oh, and met up with Alma Alexander, for the first time. It was really a fabulous trip. (Our second trip to Austrlia was also great: we competed in the World Masters Games of 2009, go to tour around Sydney again with some good friends, and then did a road trip around Tasmania.
  • The Ice Hotel in Jukkaskarvi, Sweden, Feb 2009: My only regret is that we didn’t see the Northern Lights – they appeared one night, but it was around 2AM and we were asleep. It really is one of the wonders of the world.

After that, it gets very hard to decide. There was my first trip to Oregon back in 1990, which included meeting the to-be-in-laws and cross-country skiing around Crater Lake. There was a cruise in the Mediterranean and one in the Baltic sea. There were long weekends in Prague, Budapest, Venice and New York City. There were family weddings and holidays, and time spent setting up our very own lake house. There was a wonderful road trip through New England, somewhere in the 1990s (pre-blog, it’s hard to figure out dates – I’m not even sure if we were living in TX or AZ at the time) and one through Scandinavia in 2007. If we do spend next year in an RV, it will be the best vacation of all time, and if not – hopefully the best is yet to come.