Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chase Manhattan - For Knitters

I have spent my tax refund. Like, three times. And we got the mortgage statement, and our payment is due...JUNE 1st!!! No May payment! I reallly DO get to spend the mortgage money on yarn!!

I don’t know what chromosome it is, specifically, that carries the “obsess and compulse” trait, but I wish I could isolate and destroy it. I go so head-first into a hobby that it becomes all-consuming. I’ll be honest, I wish I wasn’t so damn nutty about this fixation knitting thing.

I bought some yarn. I bought some rosewood straights (couldn’t figure out what happened to my 11s, might as well get some good ones), I bought some bamboo circs (the Boye interchangeables? so over those), I bought some Addi Turbo circs and Art Fibers tussah silk (destash, huzzah!), I bought some more yarn, I bought some rosewood circs from kpixie (that I REALLY didn’t need to spend that much on...) along with some hemp and some bamboo and....I’m getting dizzy. Everything is earmarked, though, I assure you. I purchase with purpose.

And I can’t seem to leave poor Carolyn Greenwood alone. But bless her, she just makes the most wonderful stuff! I can’t wait to try some gloves or armwarmers with her stuff - cast ‘em on small and just let the lycra handle the decreasing!! The four on the right all came in one box - that’s a lot of bright happy yarn in one shipment! (And the yellow was dyed specially for me by request!)


Same two pair of socks on the needles. Finished the catghan for Snigglet (cast on too tightly, wish I’d done better with it....but I doubt the kittens will notice anything wrong, it’s fuzzy.)

I started a little lap blanket/chair shawl (I did not cast on large enough, and yet I just keep on knitting, knowing that it’s not as wide as I’d like....I can always make another one and seam them together, I tell myself.) This is that fun Patagonia slubby cotton I love so much that I started with two skeins and have gradually over several trips to Sip and Knit worked my way up to six...

My camera hates stitch definition, so this is as intricate as I can get. It’s box stitch. I like it.

Rooster doesn’t want the paparazzi harassing his cuddling blanket.

I’m also working on that secret project...but I’ve learned that Mom doesn’t actually look at this, so I can tell you about it. (But just in case: Mom, go away! Or scroll down real fast!) It’s a feather-and-fan shawl (did you know that’s a really stupid-easy pattern? it looked complicated to me, so I stupidly paid for the pattern....hrmph) and I’m knitting it in Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. Mom loves the brights, and I love how she loves those non-mom colours. I’m calling it “Taos” and I picture her wearing it to Flat Rock Playhouse with some flowing and breezy outfit, the turquoise playing up the silver in her hair. I’m excited to have it finished - I have eight skeins of the silk, and I’m hoping that’ll be enough - this is about two-thirds of a skein here.


Finally, there’s the other new purchase. I wouldn’t normally classify a purse as breathtaking, but Mom arrived this weekend with her new Cole-Haan and it dazzled me so much I had to go purchase a remarkably similar bag (in the same trip, Mom also settled on the carry-on sized bag - thus completing a three-piece matched set between the two of us.)

Innocent enough. No crazy lady here, carrying a purse and a diaper bag-like knitting project bag (see that grey twelve-seasons-ago Kate Spade on the floor over there? Perfect sub for the Knitter’s Purse.). Nope, just this one little unassuming but classy bag.

Wait a minute...what’s this? There seems to be something amiss....

Uh-oh....yeah, that’s right....the crazy lady managed to make some room for us...we can’t be held back...

We are your obsession! You will go nowhere without us! Resistance is futile!!

Meanwhile, Little Bit likes that the bag matches her perfectly....

....Brodie likes the silver thing with the bright flashy light...

....And Rooster likes the remnants of a long-tail cast-on.

(Indy just likes that she managed to avoid the camera this time...)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Stop Me Before I Cast-On Again!

Okay, breaking news: Sip and Knit carries Mountain Colours Bearfoot! I ordered the stuff from Kaleidoscope Yarns without realizing it's a line my LYS carries! Shame on me. (Note: They have always carried it. I've just never seen it. Nerd.)

I blew about half my tax refund (which I haven't actually received yet) last night there, and another good-sized chunk on the latest round of Greenwood Fiberworks sock yarns. I almost sat down for Sit, Sip, and Knit, but I wanted to get home and eat. Next week. Definitely. (There were young people there!!)

I've already got my Jaywalkers on the needles (stalled at the heel flap that I'm concerned is way too big) and I started another pair of socks, a Sockbug pattern with Greenwood yarn (I really needed to start knitting with it before I ordered more). But I HAD TO cast on a large project - all these socks are making me itchy for something bigger, maybe more luxurious. Sure, I have Snigglet's Catghan, but it's simple garter stitch in acrylic fuzz fur yarn. I'd had big plans for this Catghan, but just casting on told me that this wiggly slick stuff would knit up a gartered square and nothing more.

I'm exceedingly excited about my newest project. I can't talk about the yarn (stunning) or the pattern (simple but breathtaking). It's the first individual pattern I've paid for (I'm not one for paying $5 for a single pattern when I can get a whole book for $20) because I saw a completed one hanging in the shop yesterday and HAD TO make it. I'm using a different (heartbreakingly beautiful) yarn, so I'm hoping that doesn't tank the whole project. It may be entirely the wrong yarn...actually, I think there's a good chance it's entirely the wrong yarn...but I'll keep going a bit and determine at a later date if and/or how to proceed.

And that's it! I demand of myself that I wrap up these four UFOs before I start anything else. And no more yarn...I have too many things I'm itching to use already.

Mom's coming into town this weekend!! I wonder if she'd let me drag her to Sip & Knit? Not to buy yarn, of course. Just to browse.......right?

Does anyone else want to knit something out of Suri Alpaca for the creepy new Katie Holmes/Tom Cruise baby? Just because, I mean, how often are people going to have babies named after luxury yarn? I'm naming my kids Debbie Bliss, Colinette, Lorna, and Patagonia. (The fourth kid really gets screwed, huh?)

Picture pages, coming soon.

(Oh, and as I anticipated, Dad got his socks and fuh-reaked out. He called and declared, "I HAVE SOCKS!! I love you!!" He said didn't know anyone could even do those by hand anymore. And true to my prediction, he's not planning on wearing them, except to Alafaya. And he said tucked one in his back pocket to show off when he goes out. Good ol' Dad.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

FO - Alafaya

Finally! I had hoped to have these in the mail by Monday, but much to my delight, I finished up last night during a movie (Jarhead, which is a good one to knit through - it's a Boy Movie, big-time.) So I packed them up and sent them off this morning.


Yep, one's wider and slacker than the other. Obviously that's the first one I made, the one I kept trying on. I didn't block them or anything - they're for Dad. I want them rugged and manly-looking - if he opened the package and found a pair of neat, pressed, perfectly matched socks, he wouldn't want to wear them. He's a very Dad-y dad, too, so I don't know if he ever will actually wear them. He may just take a picture of them to carry around in his wallet so he can show everyone the socks his daughter knit for him. (Best. Dad. Ever.) I hate that I knitted these in stocking (why??) and wish I'd done them in rib - they'll fall down within seven seconds and never find their way back to elasticity again. And yes, it's a heavier weight than socks should ever be, but another great thing about Dad is his poor circulation - he lost feeling in his feet years ago. I could knit socks out of twine and he could wear them without complaint.


I just really hope they're not too small. (Yes, they fit me just fine, but I have huge feet, okay?) For not having a pattern or any clue at all, really, other than "I wanna make socks that reasonably fit 1800s guidelines," I think I did alright. Assuming he can get them on....


Rooster and Indiana (the vaguely kitty-shaped object lurking under the desk chair) are not really crazy about all this organizing I've been doing. Yarn is not easily accessible anymore....they have to just skulk about and watch me carefully, waiting for a ball to hit the ground.

Oh, and I tried, for the third time, to visit the Knit & Needle Nook in Mount Dora today. (They are always freakin' closed.) So....I think I know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. This place is a complete disaster! Having a tiny shop is perfectly acceptable, but you have to do one of two things - either organize obsessively, or control your inventory. This shop has done precisely neither of those things, and in a big way. There were shelves of yarn, but I couldn't tell you what was there because between me and the yarn was a four-foot long, three-foot tall barrier of Ziploc bags stuffed with all sorts of yarn, in no discernible order. I kind of shifted around in the 18-inch wide pathway between the register and the bags for a minute and left. Honestly, how can you POSSIBLY run a business that way?? I almost giggled myself into a coma on the way back to the car. My favourite moment was when the owner (tucked onto a stool between mounds of Ziplocs, completely unconcerned with the disaster) asked "Can I help you find something?" I mustered a wry "Um, just .... looking." What I wanted to say was "I seriously doubt it, but if you did, I'd be completely amazed."

I really almost drove to Sip & Knit just to bring my spirits back up. I mean, seriously yikes.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Where I Knit Live

Okay, it's sort of related to knitting, since this is where I do all my work (when I'm not in a passenger seat, stuck on 408, or dealing with slow times at work - thank you taxpayers.)

This is what it looked like when we drove up to a house we really truly owned. This is Travis' first house, and the first I've owned with someone else (no longer a single female Regardless of the details, it will always be Our First Home.


We took a moment to pose in front of the mantle (I have a mantle!) with the flowers his mom sent. (If you're curious, the card reads "Welcome Home! -Mom-".)


And every moment since has been the pure unadulterated joy of packing, moving, unpacking, cleaning....ugh. UGH UGH UGH.


Travis told Audrey (our realtor and awesome lady in general) that I would probably have the Knitting Room done long before the kitchen was even unpacked. Just for that, I'm leaving one box packed until I finish the kitchen. Can't have him being right, now, can I? We bought that bookshelf at a consignment shop down the street - is it stained PERFECTLY or what? And it wasn't until I got it home that I realized it would easily double as a desk. (Yes, the bottom cupboard is stuffed with yarn. And some notecards and papers. Mostly yarn.)


It was so difficult deciding which of my babies to display....the top shelf bears the Dhammapada and the Bible, along with four skeins of Greenwood Fiberworks cotton/lycra sock yarn and my one prized ball of Ozark Handspun. Next, four skeins of Lorna's Laces, two of Koigu KPPPM, and a Mountain Colors Bearfoot (along with some knitting books). The collection of recently purchased must-read novels I'll probably never stop knitting long enough to read, propped up with Patagonia Nature Cotton (I'm sorry, I fell in love with all those pinks) and a bit of EcoKnit organic cotton...and then the trusty iBook (yes, that is my own blog on the screen....what ego?), binder of stolen free patterns (I don't know, even when they're free downloads, it still feels like stealing) and my little Corpse Bride. (Inspiration, you know.)


My big yummy knitting chair and ottoman. My Jaywalker awaits in the carved bowl Mom bought in Vail as a housewarming present. And yes, the trunk is full of wool. (I know it's an awful lot of bland in this corner - there will be a throw soon, and the trunk and table will be stained to match the shelf/desk/whatever. And Mom's "Grizabella" scarf, once I found the box it was residing in, looks great draped over the arm of the chair.)

Jim's Mom

This will show up better when the trunk is stained coworker and friend Jim found this in his mother's room when he was moving her to assisted living. He had forgotten what a KnitNut she had been, and he gave me this because he wanted someone who would really appreciate it to have it. Isn't that lovely??

Crewel Cross

My mom used to own a small business in south Florida - she consigned crafts made by Florida artisans. She called it "community service" - not a lot of money in that racket - but she met some very gifted people. This delicate little crewel cross was stitched by one of her crafters.

I'm attempting to fill the room up with handmade goods. I know I have some of my great-aunt's cross stitch around here somewhere...and I'll have to hang one of Mom's paintings in here...I'm very excited about my little sanctuary.

Now....I really must finish my Dad's socks for his birthday (four days ago...) and get started on that Cat-ghan. Snigglet is being so patient....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'm definitely a complete and total yarn snob. I don't like manmade fibers - acrylic, rayon, etc. The only time I let it slide is a wool sock yarn with a bit of nylon content. Other than that, I'm all natural fibers, all the way. And I love them ALL! (Although knitting with hemp and linen has been tough for me - hurts my hands.) I like unusual stuff too - when they figure out a way to make new fibers into yarn, I love trying them! Bamboo, soysilk, ingeo...too cool!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Unfinished projects. :-) I have a Tilli Tomas needle case for most of my circs, and a needle binder I keep my DPNs in, and my straights (which I pretty much never use) are in a glass vase.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I taught myself from books about two years ago. Like a chicken, I knitted garter stitch scarves for months, then knit a sock....and then I was off! I'm an intermediate knitter, I think.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, I have two Amazon lists - a knitting one and a non-knitting one for books and cds and stuff. (The knitting one is linked in my sidebar.)

5. What's your favorite scent?
I like lavender, citrus, and stuff that smells like food. (Any food. I'm a big fan of food. Food and me, we're tight.) And if you can find something that smells like citrus AND another food...I'm in heaven! Right now, I'm crushing really hard on the Sugar Lychee scent by Fresh. (I lurve Fresh. Oh, and Philosophy - they are the pinnacle of foodie scents.)

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Oh man. I'm supposed to be watching my sugar levels (not diabetic or even close, but something about some other sugar levels...I dunno). I like dark chocolate, but I'm not a big fan of just plain ol' chocolate. My favorite thing in the world is unusual chocolates - ones with lavender or chili peppers or basil or other odd things you wouldn't expect to find in chocolate. And I love peanut butter. (Oh, and tea. And I have no known allergies.)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I do spin - I have a Lendrum wheel and a bunch of fiber. So far, I really like regular ol' merino for spinning. I dye yarns sometimes, too (natural dyes and, um, kool-aid; I have some acid dyes but haven't tried them yet.) That's about all I do now, though.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I thought they both could, but apparently my car stereo doesn't like MP3s. (Which is bizarre, because I have the ultimate Nerd-Car.) I am completely behind the times in music - I don't know who half the popular bands out now are. I love middle-eastern music (I bellydance) and anything foreign (I have a weird thing about foreign pop music - especially Turkish, Japanese, and Thai) and my favorite bands/musicians are U2, Tori Amos, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, Jason Mraz, Jeff Buckley, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand...I've recently discovered Arcade Fire, Amy Winehouse, and Lily Allen, and those are all new favorites.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I use a lot of reds (deep dark, not as much lipstick), greens, and pinks. I love all colors, though, and my sock yarn stash looks like a box of crayons threw up in it. I would say soft pastels would fall on the side of "least favorite" but every color has a home in my stash.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have two spoiled rotten cats, and two spoiled rotten dogs, and that's about all they have in common. (A ragdoll kitty, black kitty, chocolate miniature pinscher, and stag red miniature pinscher.) You'll hear a lot about them. I also have a fiance, Travis. You'll hear a lot about him, too. We all live together in a beautiful home built in 1920 that tries its damndest to be the bane of our existence.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
There's not a lot of call for them in Florida, really. (Especially the mittens.) I do like hats, and fingerless gloves (for style, mainly.) Scarves are pretty but usually end up tied around my hips instead of my neck.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks. I knit a lot of socks. I ride the bus to and from work, so I have about two good hours of sock-knitting time a day. (Considering that, I don't get as much done as I could or should.)

13. What are you knitting right now?
The eyelet blouse from Winter Vogue '06. Socks (about three pair at any given time, so SSS doesn't set in so badly). A secret design project. A guest book. (Yes.) And before long, I need to start on my wedding socks, Travis' wedding socks, my garter...kind of on a deadline there.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Heck yes! I prefer handmade things - I love artisans.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circulars. It's annoying to knit back and forth on circs, and yet I always do. I like hardwoods best - ebony and rosewood. My favorite sock DPNs are Crystal Palace bamboo. And I always knit with 5" or 6" length DPNs for socks and gloves.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I own both. (Malabrigo did it to me. Ever try to hand-wind Malabrigo? It's like playing cat-in-the-cradle with Velcro.)

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
I rip anything that sits for more than a few months - so my oldest right now is probably only a few months.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
I love Christmas and Halloween.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Sock yarn. :-)

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I have a subscription to Interweave Knits, and I always pick up Vogue, so I should just subscribe to that too. I'd love the Barbara Walkers, and I really want to try Sundara's yarn, but the ones I want always sell out before I get to them. The book highest on my wish list right now is Knitting Beyond the Edge by Nicky Epstein.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to be better at colorwork, but other stuff always gets in the way.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Oh yeah. And as for sock yarns, I tend to prefer indie dyers - I love Yarntini, Yarn Pirate, Mama E, Brooklyn Handspun, Sweet Georgia...but I also like Lorna's, Cherry Tree Hill, Claudia Handpainted, Apple Laine, Koigu... I wear a size 9 1/2 shoe, and I have high arches.

23. When is your birthday?
May 28th. And my wedding day is shortly after - we're getting married June 2 ... which is also my parent's anniversary and my great-aunt and -uncle's anniversary.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Flip Of A Coin

The Jaywalkers made rather pitiful progress this weekend - I'm all the way down to the heel flap on the first sock. Woo. But I have that whole "we spent the entire weekend buying a house and moving" excuse. This does not excuse the fact that I really SHOULD stop being selfish and put them down so I can finish Dad's socks first. I will do that. I will.

I got my first package from Greenwood Fiberworks. It's this wonderful sproingy cotton-lycra yarn that's been selling like gangbusters since Grumperina started talking about it (which is how I heard about it, and thank heavens for that). I got it on moving day - sort of like a housewarming gift! I left it on the counter at the new house and came back to find friends bouncing it around and trying to use it as a slingshot. Fun for non-knitters too! AND the yarn came with a pattern and a hand-written note. How's that for impressive? I've already ordered three more skeins - one in a screaming orange colour that will be my own personal socks. I like mine colourful - the nuttier the better.

I'm also grateful to have found a really delicious non-wool sock yarn. The merino is soft and delicious and all, but for Florida, it's not totally appropriate. Travis wore his Fugly Socks on moving day - they were cushy and nice for support, but when he took them off that night, we discovered that the warmth and the friction had caused almost the entire bottom of the foot to felt. He declared that the felting actually did make them even more comfortable - and it did look pretty neat - but I'm annoyed nonetheless. So superwash wool socks it is....or we stick to the cotton until winter.

The new Knitty issue is up! There's a great sock pattern...I have so many things I'd like to make, but all I can think about is socks.

We're almost completely moved into the new house. I've got my Knitting Room partially set up - it's so beautifully bright and airy - there are four huge windows, nearly floor-to-ceiling, so there's more natural light than you could ever wish for. I can just curl up in my giant loveseat-sized knitting chair and clickety-clack away. I even found a consignment-shop yarn shelf bookcase that is stained perfectly to match the doors and floors that at first glance it almost looks built-in. And gone are the bookends and shelf tchotckes - now each shelf proudly displays favoured yarns. Travis would argue that since he has a computer desk and a set of drums, he should get the larger office, since I could knit in a closet (and I'm pretty sure I have). But I win...mostly just because I'm the woman and I'll gripe and guilt-trip and never let him live it down if he takes the larger room. Membership has its privileges.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mem'ries....In The Corner Of My Stash...

Okay, here's what happened. I have grown to resent Travis' socks. I look at them in the closet now and they irritate me. It's not that they're poorly made - they're far from perfect, but for a first attempt, they're noble. But I HATE the yarn. I don't like the way it pooled, I don't like how it striped in a spiral, and I don't really like the colours. I LOVED it in the skein. And now I'm annoyed at the couple more skeins I have coming. (Yeah, Knitpicks? You still suck at shipping.) More than anything, I'm just irritated that my first socks were kinda bleh.

I do love how soft Ken's Alafaya socks are....too bad I've only done about 3/4 of the ribbing on the second sock and kind of set it aside. (The curse of the "it's not going to be finished in time for his birthday, so let's give up" attitude.)

I also love my Jaywalkers:


These are for ME. This colourway makes me smile every time I look at it. It reminds me of my childhood. My mother had a watermelon citrine necklace that I really loved when I was little...I think it was close to these colours. So these socks remind me of my mom and me and how much fun we had when I was a kid and how I aspired to be like her and wear jewelry like her and smell Beautiful like her and be as grown-up and well-liked as her.

That's a lot of work for one little pair of socks to do, but look at them go! (The yarn, by the way, is Artyarns Ultramerino 4 in colour 127.) It even makes me happy just lying around in a ball.

Jaywalker in Progress

Kamikaze Subject Change! Once upon a time there was a little Catghan I made for Susan C.'s new kittens (no photo, sorry, I was too anxious to give it away and I forgot) and now there's a new kitten, Snigglet. This one keeps trying to get onto the first Catghan, but the established kittens gnaw on Snigglet's ears whenever he tries to perch - so I've been charged with creating another one for him. (He even picked out his own yarn - a kitten after my own heart.)

But this one is on a surprise "trade". See, Susan reads my blog and has a mind like a steel trap and creativity to match.

Remember how I said that the theory that wearing hand-knitted socks should be your own little happy secret was total bunk and I wished I had a way to broadcast my handiwork?

Yes I Did

She actually had this shirt made FOR ME. Wads of cash would have been less exciting than this. Seriously, I bounced around like I'd just hit the jackpot on Plinko. (I love me some cheesy Price Is Right games.) I even obtained special permission to wear it to work. (See, we're not supposed to wear clothing with writing on it, but I promised to wear a jacket.)

Susan Rocks

Meanwhile, Rooster is not happy with how much time I've been spending with WendyKnit's Lucy.

Who's Prettier Than Me?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Note To Self:

Things I Need To Work On:

1. Knit faster. (This is the primary goal.)
2. Cable. (I've had cable needles for ages now, but it's a skill I just haven't bothered with yet.)
3. Figure out another way to get the working needle back. (I tend to push it through the stitch with my left pointer finger, which leads to little red not-quite-puncture-wounds, and which I'm sure one day will leave me with a wicked callous.)
4. Make knit friends. Can be in person, internet, or mail pals. (I want readership! I want to be on blogrolls! And other blogs are always bragging about their recent packages from other knitting friends...I want to exchange neat yarns and markers and other nifties with knit friends too! If I can't find any, I'm going to have to determine who is my most pliable friend and force him/her into a knitting obsession.)
5. Not be stupid. (Seriously, the Jaywalker pattern is NOT hard. There's no reason I should have to frog back two needles in a row because I increased instead of decreasing. Nor should I look back a few needles and see that I forgot to pass the slipped stitches over. Knitting 101. This skill goal could also be designated as "Pay attention, dummy.")
6. Ego. (I waste a lot of time admiring my work. I can't tell you how much time I've spent stretching out my four inches of Jaywalker and just gazing at it. I've always been easily impressed.)
7. Stay up to date on knitting goings-on. (You know, Knit-Alongs, Secret Pals, all that stuff. That seems like fun.)
8. Counting. (Especially when casting on. Someday I'm going to have to cast on several hundred stitches and I'll go insane.)

Things I'm Improving On:

1. Knitting faster. (Alright...)
2. Picking up dropped stitches. (Because I've had plenty of practice.)
3. Gussets. (My gusset join-holes aren't gone, but they're getting smaller.)
4. Managing all these damned needles at once. (Whee. DPNs are fun.)
5. Multi-tasking. (I can knit while having a conversation - which probably seems rude and I don't make as much eye contact as I should - as well as while mostly-watching television or a movie. My proudest so far, though, is all the progress on Ken's sock that I made while at the King Tut exhibit - turns out I can examine artifacts, maneuver large crowds, and read history snippets while idly knitting stockinette. And I didn't accidentally stab anybody, not ONCE. Though I did almost knock someone down with my purse while I was trying to tug more yarn out of there...)
6. Gauge. (I don't swatch socks - what are socks but giant swatches? - but I'm getting pretty good at figuring out quickly whether something's gonna go or not.)
7. Yarn Acquisition. (I'm going to call it a gift, my ability to exponentially increase the number of skeins of yarn I have in my possession. And the harder to find/rarer the better. I want to find a skein of sock yarn hand dyed by a llama herder in Borneo using plant dyes obtained from indigenous trees and plied with the help of a herd of native tree frogs.)
8. Casting on. (Not the counting part, obviously - but I assess almost exactly how much yarn I need for a long-tail cast-on. I do, however, need to work on my other cast-on methods. That one is by far my favourite, and it's not good for everything.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Shipped and on its way:

Knitpicks: Eight skeins of sock yarns and two sets of smaller DPNs. (Note: I don't like how long Knitpicks takes, even if the shipping IS free - I ordered last Monday and I'm still waiting. I also am not terribly crazy about how their Memories yarn stripes, but I do love how soft and washable it is, so I'm letting it slide and ordering more.)

eBay seller: A bunch of DPNs - about 50 - to sort and enjoy.

eBay seller: A bunch of straights/circulars/DPNs to also sort and enjoy (I need variety in my needle collection - I mostly have bamboo and my interchangeable set, which I'm not totally in love with.)

KYarns: Two skeins each of two colours, Lorna's Laces. One skein, Mountain Colours Bearfoot. Two skeins, Koigu.

So that's....yeah, EIGHT pairs of socks. Not counting the several pairs' worth I have in the trunk already. I think it's safe to say socks are going to be an obsession for a while. Besides the Jaywalkers, I have plans for River Rapids and a few pair I spotted in my Nancy Bush book (though they're a bit more challenging.)

And there's that Greenwood Fiberworks cotton/lycra sock yarn that I'm itching for, but I'm waiting for her to put the perfect colour up for sale, and hopefully I'll get to it before Grumperina (who already has THREE perfect colours, and I'm green with envy. Actually, I'm pinks/lavender/raspberry with envy).

And I have a DK weight bamboo yarn that I really had earmarked for another project, but I'm just dying to at least swatch it for a sock and see if it would work...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

How Was YOUR Weekend?


Travis' socks are DONE. One pair down!!



Thirty seconds later, I took them away to close up some gaps - and he hasn't seen them since.

I'm working on socks for my dad now - he loves shooting powder rifles and stuff like that, and he does this live-like-the-1800s weekend in Alafaya, which is somewhere in Central Florida, but an attempt to find it last time he was there failed miserably. I wanted to make a sock he could wear that would reasonably fit the guidelines for that time period - so I'm knitting up a pair in organic cotton, colour-grown, using wooden needles - AND I didn't use a pattern, just sort of winged it. Socks are just math. But I hate math. But I like knitting....and knitting wins, but only barely. So I get the triumph of making socks AND the triumph of defeating math AND a bit of pride from improvising, however simplistic.

Here is the first of "Alafaya":


It could have come out much, MUCH worse. At least we know it fits me:


And somewhere in between all of that, Travis and I drove down to Port St. Lucie to see Jessi and Jimmy, then to Fort Lauderdale with them and the family for the King Tut exhibit. I got to see her mom and dad AND brother and his's been a really long time since I've seen the whole fam! What a fantastic weekend....