Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just under the wire...

Socktoberfest socks #8, Socks of 2006 #36, #42 ever

Yarn: BMFA Sock Candy in Lapis
Pattern: Dublin Bay
Started: 10/26/06
Finished: 10/31/06

I finished my Halloween socks, making 8 pairs for Socktoberfest and checking yet another yarn off my list.

I really love the colors in Sock Candy and I enjoyed working with it. The yarn is splitty in a weird way. The ends were unravelling quite a bit (and it's made of many little threadlike strands) but I didn't have much of a problem when I was knitting with it. It's a little stretchy, but nothing near the stretch of Cascade Fixation. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable knit!

Better pictures in daylight, I just had to get these in for the end of Socktoberfest. :)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mail Call

More sock yarn has come in the mail, as I alluded yesterday. Today I got my half of a swap with the lovely Javede. She sent me some German sock yarn (the one on the right is from the supermarket, can you imagine?) The Jaywalker on the left is one she abandoned and offered up to someone who would finish it. I offered to take it, and then figured since she was sending me the sock all the way from Germany we might as well make it worth her while and make it a swap.

I'm also very interested in the little white chocolates with what looks like nuts inside, and marzipan is my favorite!

I got my October package from the Rockin' Sock Club today too! There's a picture of the yarn here, to avoid spoiling it for anyone that hasn't received their package yet.

I also finally realized that if I ever want all my crazy varigated and handdyed sock yarn to get knit up I have to realize that knitting plain stockinette socks is ok. I actually don't mind doing it, but I just feel like I should have a pattern for all my socks.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I'm going to knit socks for Dulaan, cuz I'm selfish...

As the sock stash grows I come up with ever more creative ideas of how to control it. The latest is to only allow a sock yarn purchase for every 3 adult/big child pairs completed (baby socks count for 1/9 credit), which is a great idea...

Except I sort of let myself get a bit "overdrawn" in the sock yarn balance for Rhinebeck. Cuz, you know, I was knitting that sweater and didn't have enough time to knit up socks so I could buy sock yarn there. Plus, it's Rhinebeck! And then there was this deal on LL... And joining the STR club for next year is going to put me a bit in the hole (although I'm not counting til the yarn arrives, it's only fair!)

The result of which is that I won't be able to buy sock yarn for a very long time. Well, not until I knit a LOT of socks, at least.

Thus the perfect solution: I volunteered to knit 5 items for Dulaan, I can knit socks! I can use some of my sock leftovers to make socks for kids! It's a win-win situation.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Prizes, RAKs and socks!

The other day I got my prize from Crafty Fox's contest.

I bet that's the best sock yarn anyone's gotten just for liking Marilyn Manson. ;) As you can see there was yummy chocolate as well.

Then yesterday I got this great RAK from YarnKnita!

It was all wrapped in nice tissue and there was a pretty card.

And look at all the goodies inside! A mini manicure kit (I was desperately in need of that), sock yarn, candy, sudoko, sticky notes, a book, hand lotion, and tea!

And finally... Socks! Yes, you heard right, the socks are back.

Here are my most recent socks (#35) made with Limbo that I got from my amazing SP, Skitten!

Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Limbo
Started: 10/20/06
Finished: 10/26/06

If you look closely at the picture you'll notice that one sock is more stripey while the other is more... blendy. I guess that's just the difference between the two balls, but I actually like it!

The yarn is a sportweight and very nice to work with, and the color kind of reminds me of Trekking.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Rhinebeck stash enhancement

There was stash enhancement of both the yarn and fiber varieties, so today we'll talk about that!

First up, some sock yarn and a new bobbin. I've been wanting a 4th bobbin for my Kromski Sympony for a while, and ordering one online would be fine except once shipping is added in, it gets expensive. I saw one at Rhinebeck and picked it up.

The yarn on the left is Briar Rose Fibers Grandma's Blessing - a sport weight superwash merino. A knitting friend Amanda designed a pattern for them so we had to stop by, and we got to see the socks from the pattern picture too!

The yarn on the right is Spirit Trail Fiberworks. Did you notice it's pink? It's not for me, it's actually for Amanda who wasn't able to make it to Rhinebeck. I would have bought some for myself but they didn't have any colors I wanted.

Finishing off the yarn, I bought a sock kit from vanCalCar Acres, the yarn is hand dyed and the pattern was designed by a fellow Knittyboarder. The sock yarn on the right is from Ellen's Half Pint Farm.

And on to the fiber...

On the left you see Fancy Feet sock roving, a wool nylon blend. On the left 4oz of Manx Loghtan, a rare breed. I split an 8oz bag of this and the CVM below with bryghtrose.

On the left CVM (California Varigated Mutant), on the right some handdyed BFL.

And there were more people!

The unidentified person in the rainbow vest is Of Troy from the Knittyboard. If she hasn't been crowned sock royalty yet she should be!

Jenna from Cinema Knits and me - we made the same socks, we live in the same city, we are almost the same person!

I also met about a zillion other bloggers. Seriously, a zillion. I can't name them all, there were tons.

No, Valerie, I didn't take this sheep home. ;)

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I'm home from Rhinebeck, and what a day it was!

There were sheep:

There were people:

Bryghtrose, Jillian, Amy, me

Bean, Alerievay, Cooknknit, me

And there are a couple of FOs to share! I'm wearing one in the above pictures, the other is the handspun hat for our gracious hostess. She had her bathroom invaded by eight extra people this morning, she deserves something!

OK, now it's time to crash and get some sleep after a very long day.

I will add that I wore my STR Rock and Weave socks (in the Fairgrounds color, how appropriate!) and they were very comfy and looked just like new when I took them off today - after a day of running all over too.

There was also shopping and a blogger meetup and I will tell you all about that later.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


It's hard to believe that Rhinebeck is only just over a day away. So, before I start packing there are a few things I have to do here...

First off, I'm a Square for Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo, so if you're here looking for info on how to find me, look no further! Well, look a little further, you might want to scroll down a bit. There are quite a few pictures of me on my blog so I should be easy to find. Look for me hanging around sock yarn and petting blue skeins.

If the weather cooperates I will be wearing my Hourglass Sweater in light blue tweed. You might find me standing next to another square! I'll also have a small blue messenger-style bag with a light blue square on it.

Please come say hi if I'm on your square, or even if I'm not!

I hope that's enough hints!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More about socks!

The sock knitting has slowed around here as I finish up my Hourglass Sweater - hopefully in time for Rhinebeck. It currently stands with part of a sleeve and the yoke to go. Think I can do it?

But, as the title promises, today we will talk about socks.

Lolly asks:

Where have your handknit socks been?

My socks have been all over! I take socks with me on my day to day travels, and when I visit family or go on vacation as well. For example:

While in my possesion:

Baudelaire was started in Salem, OR from yarn I bought in Portland and finished here in Boston.
The Koigu mystery socks went on many adventures in Salem.

And Cedar Creek got to go see Tool at The Gorge in George, WA.

The most recent unlikely pair went to WEBS and met a fair few knitters.

After they were finished:

The Milanese Lace socks went to live in Canada.

These Trekking socks are currently living in Texas.

What is the furtherst they have traveled?

Hmm, not sure. Probably my trips to Seattle and Oregon have been the farthest my socks have gone. I haven't been out of the country since I started knitting socks. :)

However, if we count yarn I have received sock yarn from Slovakia and England, so soon I'll have socks made with yarn from afar!

What, no pictures?

This pumpkin was carved last Friday at a Halloween party with many of my knitting friends. It was a group effort, and Alexis has a much more detailed account on her blog, along with a picture of me menacing the poor innocent pumpkin.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

An Unlikely Pair

Left: Cascade Fixation sample sock, started 10/14, finished 10/16

Right: Regia Bamboo sample sock, started 10/6, finished 10/14

You already know how much I like Cascade Fixation, so here's a little blurb about the Regia Bamboo.

I'd heard mixed reviews about this yarn. Some people said that it didn't hold shape well and didn't have enough stretch - there were complaints that the ribbing was floppy. I didn't have this problem, in fact I love how the sock came out! I knit it on 2.5mm needles and the ribbing is fine. Even the stockinette has quite a bit of stretch. I have a couple balls of this yarn to make socks for myself and I'm looking forward to it!

In other news, we had a visitor at our knitting group last night! The wonderful Portland Knittyhead Helen was there! I met her when I was visiting Portland, and since she was in Boston we met up again. We hit a couple of yarn stores - Windsor Button and Newbury Yarns - and then went to Trident to have some dinner and knit.
Joanna came too!

On the way out we noticed the crazy window display in Ralph Lauren and had to take a picture.

Notice the crazy knit cabled tube top above my head, complete with matching wrist warmers!

And now to top it off, here are a few reader questions.

omly asks: "Your handspun looks even better plied. About what weight would you say it is?"

It's roughly a heavy worsted weight. It's a little thick and thin with a few sections that would branch into the bulky weight.

Amanda asks (re WEBS): "What did YOU buy for your stash?"

I was actually very good! I bought one 50g ball of sock yarn (enough for socks with short legs on my little feet) that I had never seen before Gedifra Fashion Trend Sportivo. At one of the other yarn stores I finally found the 2.25mm 40" Inox circs that I was looking for so I bought those too.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Yarn, yarn everywhere!

There's been a lot of yarn going on recently...

Along with the lovely sock yarn, I was also given this beautiful roving on Saturday by raeknits.

It's merino tencel blend from Mind's Eye Yarns which will turn into socks. :)

I also have some handspun to show. The singles were in this entry.

The plied yarn:

and closer...

And all wound up and ready to knit!

This is the first time I've knit with my own handspun, and I'd say it's going rather well. Look for a FO in the next few days.

And then there was the mail...

I got this Lisa Souza in a swap with zknitter - it's called Little Devil.

And I got my first package from Scout's Indie Swag Club!

Although the yarn isn't something I would pick off a shelf, I do like the black/white/grey combo. The bag is growing on me. I wasn't really big on it when I took it out of the box, but even later this evening I like it more.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A day in cat ears

Last night at a Halloween party my friends dared me to wear cat ears on my trip to Webs to meet a bunch of Knitty folk. Since I'm not really averse to looking dumb in public I agreed. Just a disclaimer so you all don't think I'm totally nuts. ;)

I got up bright and early and met bryghtrose, periwinklepoodle and bitterknitter to head out to WEBS and meet everyone.

Me, periwinklepoodle, and bryghtrose at WEBS

enallagma9 arrived and gave me this great yarn from Dicentra Designs!

I got to meet my last downstream SP, Batty

and theherocomplex

And we compared socks!

bryghtrose, enallagma9, and bluepeninsula, hanging out by the wall o' needles

I think WEBS almost killed Yarner, who was visiting from Alabama.

I didn't get pictures of everyone, the amazing marymac, lindydiva, djd, raeknits!, and sunidesus came too!

All in all a great day! Check out the other blogs for more pictures.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hey, it's almost Halloween!

And here's something scary...

The Sock Stash *cue creepy music*

... and more

... and more

These skeins were absent during the original sock stash photo:

Wow, now that's a lot of sock yarn! Much more than back in April (1st picture). Strangely, even though I have knit a lot of socks since then, I still have more sock yarn. This is why the current stash-reducing plan is so important. ;)

Lolly asks:

Do you have certain patterns planned for some of the yarns? Do you buy yarn and then choose a pattern?

I do a little of both. I am always coming up with great plans for specific yarns and patterns, but then I forget them. Now I have a "Sock Plans" spreadsheet to put that stuff in so I remember.

Does a certain sock yarn you have in your stash take you back to a certain event? (where you were when you bought/received it? what was going on in your life at the time?)

Yup! A few of the skeins remind me of various Sheep & Wool festivals where they were purchased. More remind me of certain people. I know there's yarn that Rachel dyed for me, the yarn I bought when I was with the Portland Knittyheads... You get the picture. ;)

However, there is another good part about this whole picture taking thing... I have actually catalogued the entire sock stash in a spreadsheet! While doing this I found out that my two skeins of Mountain Colors Bearfoot are actually the same color. The dyelots are quite a bit different, but the color name is the same. And the funniest part about that is that they were both received in swaps/SP exhanges!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I got prizes!

I won a couple of contests recently and today two prizes arrived in the mail!

The first is from Cookie's contest to write a knitting post with as many "polysyllabic or obscure words" as possible. Mine wasn't that impressive, but I was the random winner. Thank you luck of the draw!

Jaeger Matchmaker and Rainbow Wools

And the second I won in Becky's moving contest - Jojoland Melody! She also included some yummy dark chocolate kisses. :)

Many thanks to both Becky and Cookie for the fabulous prizes. I'm especially excited about the two new sock yarns (of course!) Someday I'll have my very own blog contest - probably for some monumental # post.

Progress on the Rhinebeck sweater is good. Today at knitting group I started the sleeves since the whole sweater is now too big to tote around. However, there's not much knitting left on the body so soon it will just be the sleeves. Then when the sleeves are done you have to attach all the pieces and knit the yoke. Not too bad, and over a week to go!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A different kind of sock wars

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The sock troops line up to fight!
On the left: socks knit for me by others.
On the right: socks I have knit (not all are for me).

Note that the baby socks are nice and safe behind all the big socks. There is even the first sock casualty in the midde and a sock in progress. All this knitting may have driven me crazy.

In fact, those baby socks are new!

(crummy picture cropped from big one)

The Hourglass Sweater is going well - a Rhinebeck finish is still looking possible. However today at Knitsmiths, Alison suggested that I make Rhinebeck socks - but make them *all* at Rhinebeck. Like start them on Friday in the car and finish them before the end of the day Saturday. It might just happen...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Socks? What socks?

Today I headed out to Mind's Eye Yarns to see Kim Werker and Shannon Oakey and chat and knit and such. Kim finished a hat and posed with Humphrey to model it.

It was lots of fun, but sadly they didn't have the Spin to Knit book just yet, so I couldn't buy it. Instead I got some of the merino tencel blend hand dyed sock yarn that I've been dying to try.

See, I took that talented picture on top of my keyboard at night with flash, attractive no?

Then Rose and I headed back to her place and confused her roommate with spinning talk. We were going to go to a yarn store, but there was some weird time warp and it was magically 5pm when it had been 3:30 only minutes before! So instead we headed out towards my place, grabbed some yummy Thai food for dinner, and came back to my place to spin, knit, and watch DVRed Law & Order. Woohoo!

I've made good progress on my maybe-for-Rhinebeck sweater today - did the whole turned hem and a few inches of body. Hopefully I can keep it up!

Friday, October 06, 2006

In which I perhaps overestimate my knitting speed...

Tonight I spent the night knitting with Amanda and her lovely furry friends - including the acrobatic Sydney.

We had dinner at The Middle East and went back to her place to knit socks. It was during this time that I came up with the rather foolish idea of knitting the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts for Rhinebeck.

I had been thinking for a while that I really should get back to knitting something besides socks. As much as I love knitting socks, I do have non-sock projects planned that have been ignored for a while. In fact, I cast on for the Hourglass Sweater earlier today and figured that I would focus on non-sock projects in November since October is Socktoberfest.

Well, somehow tonight I decided that since Rhinebck is two whole weeks away, I would have plenty of time to knit this sweater.

We'll see.

Rock and Weave (#32)

Yay, I'm finally done! I'm way behind in the STR Rockin' Sock Club kits, this is the second.

Two notes:

1. Yes, those are the exact same buttons as in the pattern picture. No, I didn't do it on purpose.

2. Yes, my picot edge goes the other way. Yes, I did do it on purpose. :)

Pattern: Rock and Weave from the second Rockin' Socks Club kit
Yarn: Socks That Rock in Fairgrounds
Started: 9/12/06
Finished: 10/6/06

At first when I saw the pattern I didn't want to knit it. Then I started thinking about buttons and bought some and decided that I would, indeed, use the pattern from the kit. Plus for me that was the whole point of joining the Rockin' Sock Club - to expose myself to colors and patterns I might not knit otherwise.

I really enjoyed these socks, although they are a little awkward on the needles right after picking up stitches from the cuff. I really like the finished product and they fit great!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Socks, as usual...

from the 2nd Sock Wars pair


= 31 pairs - no 1/2 :)

Pattern: stockinette with 2x2 ribbed cuff
Yarn: Jarbo raggi
Started: 10/2/06
Finished: 10/3/06

And now some Socktoberfest questions:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I started making socks in October 2004 with a tiny pair of decorative Red Sox for a classmate - without a pattern! Then I went on to my first real pair.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?

I knit a pair of socks with Lion Brand Magic Stripes on size 3 bamboo DPNs. They've held up quite well and I still wear them!

What would you have done differently?

I would have cast on less stitches so I didn't have to knit the whole leg in 2x2 rib. I knit the first sock according to the pattern on the ball band and it was way too big, so I ripped it all out and cast on again but knit the whole leg in ribbing so I wouldn't have to change the numbers on the heel flap.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

My favorite sock yarns are Lorna's Laces, Socks That Rock, and Sunshine Yarns so far, but I'm always looking for more.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

I usually knit my socks 2 at once using magic loo

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

I like heel flaps much better than short row heels - both the knitting and the fit.

How many pairs have you made?

31 pairs this year, 37 total

Spinning SP strikes again!

Today I found a little box all the way from London, from my spinning SP!

The box was little, but she managed to pack a lot of stuff in there!

A whole lot of fiber along with some glow stars, moon, and sun, a book about dreams, and a little wooden shooting star which Pan was crazy about and tried to eat.

Clockwise from top left: bamboo, soy silk, angora, alpaca, and wensleydale and angora that my SP handdyed!

A rainbow of merino - well, at least the part of the rainbow I like. :)

Left: cashmere, yak, white alpaca, dip dyed wensleydale, and a llama silk and wool blend!

Right: a nice big bag of Shetland Moorit

Thanks Pixeldiva for being a truly amazing SP! I can't wait to try out all these new fibers, but it will take me a while. Of course all you readers can look forward to seeing a lot of crazy fibers spun on this blog now. :)

And I also got a RAK of a small amount of buffalo fiber from String yesterday, so that will be coming up too. :D

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