Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The good, the bad, and the yummy

Today was a rather eventful day.

The good:

I did some spinning - some of the fiber I bought at Rhinebeck last year and was "saving" until I was a good spinner. Hey, I'm not perfect but I routinely turn out usable yarn so why not?

The bad:

I received my Socks of Doom from Spincerely Yours. Ah well, I was a brave warrior and have already taken out two targets.

The yummy:

I baked eplekake (Norwegian apple cake) from the recipe my Norwegian friend gave me a few weeks ago. :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sock Wars again, and replying to some comments

Well, I sent out the 2nd pair of Socks of Doom today. (You know, the ones I got from Stashmonkey last night). She knit the first sock and started a bit of the second, and I finished the second sock. But - horror of all horrors - I forgot to take a picture before mailing. Hopefully the lucky recipient will when she gets the socks.

Edited to add: The lovely Stashmonkey put a picture of the socks-in-progress on her blog here if you want to see them.

And now for a confession:

You have probably noticed that I am horrible about replying to comments. I am also bad about commenting on the blogs of others. Be assured that I do read all the comments, but I hardly ever reply. However, since many of you asked or commented about the fish I thought I'd give a little more detail.

Back when I lived in Seatle my BF-at-the-time and I had an 80 gallon saltwater tank with a porcupine puffer (Kirby) and a blue damsel (Neptune). When I moved to Boston I left the fish with the boy.

Last summer I got a 40 gallon tank and a few freshwater fish. I kept meaning to do more with the tank and I kept not doing it. Then I met my friend Catherine's boyfriend, who has a 75 gallon saltwater tank and was inspired to start one up again. He gave me an extra 20 gallon, which I converted into a freshwater tank, and I bought a bunch of live rock and the necessary equipment to make my 40 gallon into a saltwater. It's been cycling for a good long while, and these three are the first occupants. J.B. is a 4 stripe damsel and Thing 1 and Thing 2 are both blue damsels.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Death by Sock, Babies, Knitting, Spinning, and New Pets!

*taps screen* Anyone still here after that last one?

Ok, well for those of you who weren't scared off, here's some knitting content!

Today Stashmonkey came to my knitting group so I could sock her to death in person!

Here are our feet:

She even stuck around to knit and was great fun. We're trying to convince her to come to Knitsmiths so we can see her more often. :)

Now, as promised, a baby! Well, the important part is the sweater.

I made this sweater long ago, but it was too small for it's intended recipient, so Alexis found it a home on this darling little girl.

And spinning!

I got this amazing package from the generous Aija. The confession is that although I spin and own a wheel, I never really learned how. I sat down at the Vermont Sheep & Wool a few years back and spun a bit. I tried a little on my friend's wheel, then I spun a little more while shopping around for a wheel. But I've never officially learned, so these books will hopefully be helpful.

And last, but not least, the new fish:


Thing 1 and Thing 2

Remember when I loved Marilyn Manson?

This is my entry for the contest here.

When I was in high school I had a huge celebrity crush on Marilyn Manson. In fact, at the time I was dating a guy who looked sort of like Marilyn Manson, but blonder.

I searched long and hard for the picture I wanted to post - one of a young Manson with his adorable lip ring, long hair, and minimal makeup, but this was the closest one I could find.

And proof of my crush, which I recently found while moving, is this drawing I did of him when I was about 15. It's one of my better drawings, since I'm not a very talented artist.

Is that embarassing enough? ;)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sock Wars! (and the Boston Knit Out!)

First off, Boston folks, if you're coming to the Knit Out tomorrow say hi if you see me! I'll be at the info booth volunteering for the first hour and around for most of the afternoon too. I'll be carrying a blue messenger-style little bag with a lighter blue square. :)

I may just be the first sock warrior to send my target washed and blocked socks. ;)

My plan was to get my socks out in the mail this morning. I didn't have the details of my target's foot size but since it was supposed to be close to mine I knit up to just before where the toe decreases would start for a size 6 or so and figured I'd double check in the morning when I got my dossier.

Well, due to continuing hurricaine issues I didn't have my dossier, but I did learn that my target has size 11 feet! (I have tiny little feet, so this was a bit of a shock.) But I dutifully continued and finished the socks. Not that it would have mattered if I *had* been done this morning since I still wouldn't have had an address.

All I have to say is that I'm very glad that I'm using stretchy yarn because otherwise I would never have had enough to finish the socks, and I started out with almost 100g.

The socks fit me completely unstretched, so I don't think it's too much to ask for stretchy (think Fixation) yarn to fit feet about 1 3/4 inches bigger.

Pattern: Sock of Doom
Yarn: Classic Elite Star
Started: 9/22/06
Finished: 9/23/06

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Visitor! (and socks, of course)

We had a special visitor at knitting group tonight - a fellow Knittyboard-er knittingspaz!

Back row: Jen and Cathy
Front row: me and Amanda

Apparently it was also sock night tonight. Amanda modelled her lovely RPM sock

Cathy showed off her finished red sock:

And I finished the pair of socks for Artsygal!

Yup, that's # 27 ;)

Pattern: my own
Yarn: Hand dyed merino/tussah silk blend by Artsygal
Started: 9/15/06
Finished: 9/19/06

Better blocked pictures tomorrow.

Randomness, and some knitting and spinning too

First off, what flavour crisps does James Bond eat?

Then check out the Find of the Week Archives from a local bookstore (and home to the Knitsmiths) Brookline Booksmith. I think they're cute.

And now for your daily fiber!

I finished this purple handspun last night. It's somewhere between fingering and sport weight, and a little more thick and thin than I would have hoped, but I'm still pretty happy with it. :) I bought the roving at Rhinebeck last year and I think it's BFL but it wasn't labelled so I can't be sure. It's pretty much solid, but there is a slight barberpole effect in some sections where slightly lighter and darker bits were plied together.

And closer:

And since today seems to be a purple day, here we go with some purple socks!

Pattern: Baudelaire from Knitty
Yarn: Nature's Palette in Iris
Started: 9/1/06
Finished: 9/19/06

I really liked the pattern. It wasn't too hard so I could knit it without looking at the pattern after a couple of lace repeats, but it also had enough going on to keep my interest. The short row heel technique on this pattern was also very interesting. I'm generally not a fan of short row heels but this one wasn't bad at all!

As for the yarn, the Nature's Pallete was very nice to work with, except for the fact that it kept turning my fingers purple. However when I washed the socks before blocking not much dye came out in the water. It will remain to be seen whether my feet will turn purple on the first wearing. The base yarn reminds me a bit of Koigu, but it isn't the same since it's not superwash.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Science, in more ways than one.

I spent this weekend out in Provincetown at my PhD program's annual retreat. There was a lot of science involved as well as a little knitting - look out for some FOs in the next few days.

Today we headed back to Boston and my friend Nicole and I did some indigo dyeing.

She grew the indigo plants in her garden, so we went out and harvested a bunch of leaves. Unfortunately at that time I hadn't thought of taking pictures yet. After letting them simmer to make the dye bath we strained the leaves out.

After straining Nicole poured the dye bath from one pot to another until the color turned from the slight yellow brown pictured below to a darker blue-brown.

At that point we added our reducing agent and the solution turned blue-green.

Then it was time to add the yarn! I dyed two skeins of Baby Ull and Nicole dyed some sock weight yarn (probably Knitpicks) which she had dyed with indigo once before. The dye bath is a light greenish yellow color at this point.

When the yarn is pulled out of the dye bath it's yellow, but after squeezing the water out the dye is quickly oxidized and turns blue. This skein is in the process of being squeezed.

Then we let the yarn sit to oxidize a bit more. The darker yarn in the back is Nicole's yarn that she dyed for the second time, and the lighter yarn in the front is mine.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Socks and mail, once again!

Yesterday I got some yarn in the mail from Artsygal. She sent this yarn which I'm going to knit her socks with, and then she's dyeing me some yarn to keep.

And yesterday I went a whole day without finishing a pair of socks, but today I have my 2nd sock for the Summer Sock Party swap done so I can finally get rid of that 1/2 pair in the count!

Pattern: Leaf Edged Socks from Knit One Crochet Too
Yarn: Wick
Started: 9/12
Finished: 9/13

And this 2nd sock brings me to 25 pairs in 2006 - my 3rd Sockalution (the first two were too low). So I'm off the hook, I can now knit things besides socks... but why would I want to? ;)

Actually the other night at knitting group I took Hush Hush and worked on that, but sadly I forgot my camera so no one could document the rare sight.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sock Party!

I got my package from my Summer Sock Party pal today! My pal was Katherine

She left the toe ungrafted for me in case it didn't fit. I actually did decide to tink 1 row since the sock was a tad on the long side. It would have been fine but since it was all nice and ungrafted I decided to go for it. :)

I'll post a better picture of the socks with the cuff design once I knit the 2nd one. The yarn is Wick, a soy and polypropylene blend. I like it! :)

And now for the rest of the goodies!

I had to wait and post this picture second because I am sooooo excited about those little plastic ice cubes (back row). I know you're all knitters and this swap is really about the socks, but I got plastic ice cube thingies! I've been wanting those things for ages! And they're pretty colors and they match my new pitcher which I'll probably use for iced tea!

I also got blue chopsticks (how awesome is that?), and little drink umbrellas.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Socks... I'm beginning to think I have a problem.

Do I have a sock problem? Yeah... probably...

This lovely pair of pink Broadripple socks was knit in Cascade Fixation. I started them on 9/8 and finished them in the wee hours of the morning 9/10. During their short time as a WIP they watched House with me, came on the subway and commuter rail, went to the beach, and went to see Little Miss Sunshine with Alexis and me. :)

And now the 2nd pair, baby socks again!

These are the socks I started at Alexis's when I finished my Conwy socks and had nothing to knit. Apparently the color repeats in this yarn are large enough for a whole baby sock, which makes them look a little odd.

And tonight I cast on and knit a couple rows on the cuffs of my Rock and Weave socks from the second Socks That Rock club kit.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Favorite Color Swap

I got home from my beach trip this afternoon to find my package from the Favorite Color Swap!

You can see my pal, Lelah, went with the purple. :) She sent some beautiful purple yarn (I'm assuming it's sock yarn!), a skein of Sassy Stripes, some beautiful fiber, a yarntainer, a kit to make a bunny change purse and 4 skeins of Sugar and Cream!

Also, while I was coming home on the T today a fellow passenger admired the socks I was knitting (Broadripple in pink Fixation). :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Haul

On my trip to Seattle and Oregon I did buy some sock yarn, types of yarn that I don't own already and a little Socks That Rock.

I got The Great Adirondack Yarn Co. Soxie in Old English, Schaefer Anne, and some Nature's Palette in Iris. The Nature's Palette just couldn't wait to become Baudelaire. ;)

Also I realized I've been skimpy on the details in the last few posts. Here's a better (blocked) picture of the Conwy socks.

Pattern: Conwy from Knitting On the Road
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shephard Sock in Tahoe, 1 skein (hence the short legs)
Started: Loooooong ago!
Finished: 9/7

The Cedar Creek socks (green/blue and brown/gold) a few posts back were the first kit from the Socks That Rock Rockin' Sock Club. The color is Rainforest Jasper and the pattern is the one that came with the kit.

And the baby socks were a pattern of my own (and the same yarn as Cedar Creek) - CO 32 sts, rib for 10 rounds, 2 rounds stockinette, star the heel flap, 2" stockinette on the foot and then start the toe decreases.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oh Frabjous Day!

This evening I was cordially invited to the abode of a dear friend to indulge in some delectable supper and at long last enjoy the last episodes of Veronica Mars.

During this nearly infinite stretch of time I industriously knitted on my Conwy socks from the tome Knitting On the Road. After what seemed like an age, I completed the last stitches of the second sock and dutifully kitchenered the toe. This project has been a never-ending toil, beginning nearly a year ago and culminating tonight with the hard work of many months.

Understandably, I was overjoyed by this spectacular end to such an ordeal, and squealed with joy while donning said garments and photographing the entire display. Almost immediately, however, I was gripped with the ennui that can only befall one who has nothing to knit.

I gnashed my teeth and threw my hands about wildly in knitting motions until my gracious hostess offered me some of her cast off yarn, with which I proceeded to undertake the construction of a diminutive sock.

The midnight hour came presently and I was forced to don my shoes and hasten to my own quarters, from where I write this stirring narrative.

Spinning SP goodness!

I got a package from my Spinning SP today!

Hmm... do you think she might be from Scotland? The weather that poor sheep is enduring looks something like the stereotype of Seattle, if you replace the snow in the last frame with more rain. ;)

Look at that!

She sent me camel fiber, some lovely blue Tussah silk, and purple mohair! And for good measure she threw in a "Grow A Dream" star. Cuz, you know, I like stars.

It promises things like "Marry a prince and become a real princess", "Find fame and fortune as a celebrity or a pop star" and "Spend your life happily ever after with the boy of your dreams". Now there is a good SP gift! And just as I was joking with my sister's friend the other day it says "Grows 600% of its size!" 600% just sounds so much bigger than 6 times. ;)

Now, if the next post takes you by surprise, just go here

Still on Seattle time...

I've arrived home to piles of mail and cats that are very glad to see me. So even though it's very late I just must blog about my 4th package (yes, because she's just that cool) from my amazing Knittyboard SP7 Skitten.

I opened up the large padded envelope and saw a pile of gifts all wrapped up:

Upon unwrapping them I beheld amazing goodies!

Yes, more sock yarn! Cashmere blend from Posh Yarns! And more sock monkey cards!

Also she knit me stuffies! The one on the left is Ben the bunny, and the one on the right is Alphonso the cat. She even included a warning for me in the card

"They have been through felting ordeals and have been mocked by all who see 'em, so I'm afraid this has resulted in twisted personalities - my advice to you is this:
don't turn your back on them,
don't let them near your knitting needles,
and don't go to sleep with the door open."

Ok, now I'm a little scared. ;) Especially since I plan to keep them in my bedroom, maybe I should lock them in the closet or a dresser drawer?

And on that happy note it is time for bed.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Bumbershoot Knitting Adventure

Yesterday Brian and I headed to Bumbershoot. Immediately after we arrived him I dragged him to a crafty panel featuring the Yarn Harlot and other crafty folks.

Someone, I think the host, joked that if you were there you were probably a crafty/DIY person and if not the person sitting next to you was. Poor Brian! ;)

Afterwards we headed out and I got this picture of me and the baby socks by a "tagged" tree. I think the Knittas were there one of the earlier days.

Then we had a largely fiber-free rest of the day, except when we went on a detour to a booth with sock yarn. We had dinner and saw Metric at night, which was really fun.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Socks and coffee in Salem

This afternoon I went out with my little sister and a friend of hers to downtown Salem. I took a picture of metal grasshopper on the wall of a building.

We went and got drinks at The Governor's Cup, a little coffee shop. While we sat and drank our chocolate chai smoothies (yum!) I finished my Mystery Socks, which I decided to give to my mom. Picture below, avert your eyes if you don't want to see them!

Portland Knittyheads and Adventures with Socks!

On Monday I was going to be in Portland for a few hours so I rounded up a bunch of knittyheads to keep me company for the few hours I was there. First Missamite (next to me on the far left) met up with me and we hit a couple of yarn stores - Lint and Knit-Purl. Then we went to the Portland City Grill and met with (in order starting on my right) kschmitz, ZumaGirl74, and hellahelen.

After Happy Hour we headed to Yarn Garden where we fondled even more yarn, drank some tasty beverages, and ran into Knittin' Mom! I guess I really do know everyone. ;)

And now, fast forward a few days to yesterday:

My socks and I had a few adventures. One of them was going on the Willamette Queen - an old riverboat on the Willamette River in Salem. The socks and I got to drive the boat!

And then I went to the Oregon State Fair with my mom, who wanted to look at bunnies. This lovely black French Angora agreed to pose with the socks.

Then the socks and I went to the dentist, but the socks just stayed in my bag while my mouth wrestled with the digital x-rays.

Sock Yarn

    A quest to use sock yarns:

    Yarns I've had:
    * means I really liked it

    4-ply Soft
    A Piece of Vermont*
    Artyarns Supermerino*
    Austermann Step
    BMFA Sock Candy*
    Black Bunny Fibers*
    Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport
    Chinese Mystery sock yarn
    Claudia's Handpaints
    Conjoined Creations Flat Feet
    Crystal Palace Maizy
    CTH Supersock
    Dicentra Designs
    Dorchester Farms
    Fearless Fibers
    Gloss (KP)
    Interlacements Beibi Seda
    Interlacements Tiny Toes
    Interlacements Toasty Toes
    Jarbo Raggi
    Jojoland Melody
    Kona Superwash
    KP Essential
    KP Merino
    KP Palette
    Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock*
    Macek Designs
    Magic Stripes
    Mega Boots Stretch
    Nature's Palette
    Noro Kureyon Sock
    Panda Cotton
    Paton's Kroy*
    Peru DK
    Peruvian Quechua
    Regia Bamboo*
    Regia Cotton
    Regia Strato*
    Ruby Sapphire
    Socks That Rock*
    Star (Classic Elite)
    Stitch Jones
    Sunshine Yarns*
    Three Fates Cauldron Sock*
    Wool Ease
    Yarn Pirate*

    In Progress:

    Perchance to Knit
    Yarns in the stash:

    All Things Heather
    Ancient Threads
    Apple Laine
    Araucania Ranco
    Artyarns Ultramerino
    Autumn House Farm
    Baby Ull
    Ball and Skein
    Baywood Yarns
    Bearfoot (Mountain Colors)
    Briar Rose Fibers
    Brooklyn Handspun
    Cavyshops Handpaint
    C*eye*ber Fiber
    Cervinia Calzetteria
    CTH Superglitz
    Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks
    Chewy Spaghetti
    Classic Elite Alpaca Sox
    Colinette Cadenza
    Colinette Jitterbug
    Country Classic Yarn for Sox
    Crash Into Ewe
    Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop
    Curious Yarns
    Done Roving
    Dream in Color
    Duet (A Swell Yarn Shop)
    Dye Dreams
    Ellen's Half Pint Farm
    End of the World Farm
    Fashion Trend Sportivo
    The Fiber Denn
    Fleece Artist
    The Flock Bransonas
    French Hill Farm
    Froehlich Blauband
    Gjestal Silja
    Great Adirondack Soxie
    Greenwood Fiberworks
    Jaeger Matchmaker
    Jarbo Mini Raggi
    Jawoll Cotton
    Just Our Yarn
    Knit Purl Natural Collection
    Kona Superwash
    KP Dancing
    KP Essential Tweed
    Lime & Violet
    Lisa Souza
    Louet Gems Pearl
    Mama Llama
    Merlin the Cat
    Meilenweit Cotton
    Meilenweit Trend
    Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel
    Mirasol Hacho
    Misty Mountain Farm
    The Natural Dye Studio
    Neighborhood Fiber Company
    Over the Rainbow Twinkletoes
    Pigeon Roof Studios
    Pine Woods
    Posh Yarn Lucia
    Prism Saki
    Pucker Brush Farm
    Regia Surf
    Reynolds Swizzle
    Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
    Rio De La Plata
    Royale Hare
    Roz Houseknecht
    Schaefer Anne
    Scout's Swag
    Sheep Shop Wensleydale
    Shelridge Farm
    Sockenwolle Unipo
    Spirit Trail Fiberworks
    Spunky Eclectic
    Steinbach Wolle Sockenwolle
    Sundara Yarn
    Tess Designer Yarns
    The Unique Sheep
    Universal Ditto
    Valley Yarns Franklin
    vanCalcar Acres
    White Oak Studio tvyarn
    Wisdom Yarns Marathon
    Wool in the Woods
    The Woolen Rabbit
    Yarn Botanika Radiance
    Ysolda Yarn
    Zen Yarn Garden

    To check out:

    Sophie's Toes
    The Spinning Bunny Yarns BFL

WIPs and FOs