Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sock Camp: Colors Part II

So, for the second part of the homework I had to think about colors I'm less comfortable with. For me, that's pretty much everything except grey, black, blue, and purple.

At the yarn store yesterday I saw a couple of shelves of Cascade Magnum that illustrated those colors pretty well.


I can't ever recall liking orange and yellow, although a creamy light orange (like orange-vanilla Italian sodas) is ok. I probably wouldn't pick it, though. Red is tough... occasionally I'll find a red that I like - usually a darker, more blue red. But since 95% of the time I really dislike red, I say that I don't like it. I do like some pinks, often in combination with grey or black, but in general pink isn't my favorite (and bright pink is less so).

And yes, Eloise, I will be talking about my hatred of brown. ;) One time someone told me they thought I would look good in brown. I looked at them sort of puzzled and said "I hope so, my hair is brown!" My eyes, in fact, are also brown. But I don't really like brown as a color for clothing or anything I would purchase*. Some of the natural fleece colors, especially the lighter more tan ones, are fine. My Rhinebeck fleece could be called brown, I suppose.

And green is sort of in the middle. I don't mind some greens - darker emerald greens are nice, and when mixed with blue I like green usually. In fact, my York sweater is primarily green, and my new Noro sweater also has a lot of green. Brighter greens or more yellow greens are not really my cup of tea. And I don't think I'd knit anything solid green. I have two green t-shirts - one I bought because it has an adorable cartoon broccoli on it and says "Fresh Veggie", and the other is a St. Patrick's Day t-shirt.

* OK, maybe horses - I do like brown horses.

Listening to: The Outsider ~ A Perfect Circle, Black No. 1 ~ Type O Negative


Friday, March 27, 2009

Monkeys At the Beach

A while back I offered to knit some socks for some non-knitters. They may not knit themselves, but these people sure know how to appreciate handknit socks! One woman said she liked bright colors, and I immediately thought of this Madelinetosh yarn in Beach Towel, which was the summer offering from the Woolgirl Sock Club.


Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A
Yarn: Madelinetosh in Beach Towel
Needles: 2.25mm
Started: 3/5/09
Finished: 3/25/09
Miles: .22
Total Marathon Miles: 1.13

I originally started the socks on 2.5mm needles like the pattern suggests, but the yarn was pooling in a very unattractive fashion so I ripped it out and knit it with 2.25mm needles instead. The yarn is not my colors, but the recipient said she was up for "crazy" socks, so I hope she likes them!

The Madelinetosh yarn was interesting - it's pretty thin, but more "sproingy" than the usual 2-ply yarn you see as a base for many hand dyed yarns. But not quite as much as Socks That Rock or yarns that use the Louet base. The two ends of the skein did appear to be dyed a bit differently, as you can see from the socks one leg has much bigger spiraling stripes than the other, but on the feet they're about the same. The socks were knit at the same time on magic loop, so I'm sure it's not a gauge issue.

And, speaking of Cookie A, I picked up her new book today. So exciting!

Listening to: Girl's Not Grey ~ AFI, Disposition ~ Tool

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Post 500: A Bloggy Scavenger Hunt!

Well, here it is, the 500th post on my blog! From my humble beginnings in 2004 (really, really humble.... I just went back and read some of them) to the obsession with socks, and now the present. To celebrate I'm having a little blog scavenger hunt. Leave a comment with the answers. Keep in mind, I'll be leaving these comments screened until the end of the contest, so if you want to say something to the world, make a separate comment. I'll pick the most correct answers for an as-yet-undetermined prize, and if there's a tie I'll draw names. (I promise, it will be nice!) I'll give you til April 4th, that's when I get back from Sock Camp. :)

1. What are my cats' names? (a bonus point for *full* names, another bonus point for linking me to the cutest picture of one or both of them on the blog)
2. Who is my "boyfriend"?
3. What yarn did I use for my first "human-sized" socks?
4. How many adult sweaters have I knit?
5. Why are my Regia Strato socks famous?
6. What luxury fiber do I dislike?
7. How many times have I moved since starting this blog?

Listening to: Winning ~ Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sock Camp: Colors Part I

On Monday I'm heading to Sock Camp, and one of our homework assignments this year is to think about color: "To prepare for this I want you for the week or so before Camp to pay very close attention to the colors in your world. Look closely at what you have surrounded yourself with; wall color, furniture, clothing even your car color-wise. Pay attention to how being in places where a certain color is predominant makes you feel."

Well, as we learned last week with my stash pictures, I have a very obvious favorite color or two - blue and purple (usually blue-purple). This isn't confined to my yarn either.

This skein of Miss Babs yarn is a pretty good example of my favorite colors.


And, with a little peek into my closet you'll notice that black plays a big role in my wardrobe, but the other predominant colors are blue and purple.


Another one of my favorite bits of color (and evidence that I've actually hung my pictures in my new apartment!) is a painting a friend made for me.


And, as you can see by the date, these colors have been constant for a while. My wall color is sort of beige, but I didn't pick that.

I used to have a host of blue electronics - iPod, Palm Pilot, phone, the list goes on... Now I just have an iPhone, which is black. However my couch is blue, my backpack, laptop bag, and Timbuk2 bag are all blue, my new dishes are blue, my bedding is blue, and today I'm wearing head to ankle blue (black shoes). Basically, if it comes in blue when I buy it, I buy blue. If someone else is buying stuff for me, they know to buy blue.

I always find it a little confusing when people *cough MJ cough* don't have a favorite color. I mean, how would you know what color yarn to buy them?

So stay tuned soon for the colors I'm not comfortable with (pretty much any other color!) In fact, if I'm lucky some of these colors will be illustrated by my most recent finished pair of socks.

P.S. Then MJ reminded me that I have a lot of blue shoes...


Listening to: Don't Worry ~ Wakeland, A Story At Three ~ AFI


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Knitting Sweaters

Lately I've been obsessed with all the sweaters I'm "going to" make. I think part of this is being at the new yarny job and seeing all my coworkers in their beautiful sweaters. I only have 2 that I'm really wearing...

Well, as I said before, I started my next Noro sweater - a hoodie from the Jenny Watson Noro Collection Book 3. I haven't had a lot of time to work on it, but I did manage to finish the ribbing on the front and split for the pocket.


It's not totally obvious in the picture, but that cord you see is the stitches held for the pocket, and there are a few rows (the turquoise ones) knit beyond it on the body of the sweater. I've gotten most of the "hard" part done for the body, so now I just have to crank out another 47 rows of stockinette watching TV and then knit and attach the pocket.

Of course I had my talk with myself beforehand about how I wouldn't get obsessed with the stripes and how they don't match and how Noro has a tendency to have a knot tied to a completely different color.... and good thing I did because about three inches in I hit my first knot. Which was, of course, tied to a totally different color.

Last night I even swatched for another sweater.


I got this yarn (Louisa Harding Kashmir DK) a long time to make a different sweater, but that just didn't happen. Then I got awesome star buttons and some similarly-colored wool and wanted to make Cherie, but it wasn't going to work. Then I decided the wool would make a great Central Park Hoodie, but I still wanted to make a sweater to use the buttons. Well, MJ showed me Jemima the other day - which I thought might work with this yarn, and has the required buttons. And so I swatched and... it does!

And then... I made plans for yet another sweater. I decided that the next thing I spin from my Rhinebeck fleece will be yarn for most of that sweater from Spin to Knit. I'll use Kureyon #40 for the yoke, which I'm going to end above where the sleeves join to avoid a line across the bust. (Hey, does that mean I can count it as one of my promised 14 Noro sweaters?)

Plus there's the Ribby Cardi that's around here somewhere with about 4 inches knitted...

Don't worry, there are still socks going too. :)

Listening to: Kissing the Lipless ~ The Shins, Anchor ~ Cave In


Thursday, March 19, 2009

I confess...

I signed up for Sock Madness again this year. The pattern was released early (early!) this morning. I saw it when I woke up, cannibalized some needles from the Horcrux socks, and knit a bit before heading to work. I also knit on the way there. Then I worked all day, and started knitting on it again on the way home. And then... I got home and started thinking.

Why am I doing this again? The pattern, although lovely, is not one that I picked. I already have seven other pairs of socks in progress, and I pulled needles out of one of them to start these. I'm dying to start my newest Noro sweater.* I'm knitting three pairs of twin socks with three different friends at the moment, plus two pairs of socks for other people.

But here's why I do it. I'm too competitive. I see that pattern and I must cast on immediately and knit every waking moment (occasionally foregoing food and sleep) until it is done, because I have to win. But this year? I'm stopping the madness. Sorry, Sock Madness, you are a fun idea for other people, but for me you are just stressful. I am done with you!

I'm casting on my Noro sweater!


Also, since I promised yesterday, the Twisted Flower socks:


* I have a weakness for Noro sweaters. This is only my second, but I may have declared today that I would knit 14 of them. That might be aiming a little high.

P.S. My stash organization seems to have generated a lot of comments...

Apparently my cats are unusual in the fact that they really couldn't care less about yarn. Even if I'm knitting with Java in my lap, the most she'll usually do is flick an ear when the yarn drags over her head.

I do have a love for the color blue/blurple - and a secret sometimes-crush on pink - as some of you noticed. ;) In fact, the really silly part is that almost all the yarn that isn't blue or purple (or a few of the pinks) was a gift/prize or part of a yarn club. I really do need to expand my color horizons.

And the shelves *are* deep! I have DVDs on the back side of the top shelves since my TV is on the other side of the Expedit. And I'm thinking I might put non-knitting books in the back of a few of the other cubbies as well.

And here's the final picture, for completeness sake - you might notice there are a few new additions, plus all the Rockin' Sock Club yarns are now on the bottom (in cubby #14).


Listening to: Heart Shaped Box ~ Nirvana, I Stay Away ~ Alice In Chains

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Settling In

First off, if you haven't seen this video of sheep-herding art, it really is a must see. And I am not someone who usually posts links to YouTube on her blog. I saw it on Shannon's blog this morning and it is pretty amazing. And I haven't seen it everywhere yet, so I figured it was worth posting.

Now, back to me...

I've been working here and there on a few projects, but a lot of the knitting has been put aside in favor of apartment (and stash!) organizing. I know I've said it before, but it is sure great to have knitting friends. Especially knitting friends like MJ who knits with me on Skype and, occasionally, does crazy things like stay up til 4am (actually 6am her time) organizing yarn in my new Expedit on Skype. Yeah... But let's rewind.

Monday evening, as planned, I took a trip to IKEA with my buddy and partner in furniture acquisition, Brian. We made a really quick trip through IKEA and got most of the items on my list and magically fit it all into his Jetta. The Jetta totally wins. Now, granted, IKEA furniture is flat-packed, but we got a big (4x4) Expedit, a TV stand, 2 lamps, a drying rack, and a few assorted smaller goodies all into the back of his car. Then, after dinner, we got to put it all together.

There are many reasons why I love Brian, but one of them is that he is a guy who reads directions when assembling furniture. :)


And I was so excited I kept exclaiming about how great my new Expedit was while it was still in pieces on the floor!


Then we finished and when Brian left at about 11:30 it looked like this:


It would have ended there, but MJ was online and I exported my Ravelry stash to a spreadsheet and assigned bin numbers alphabetically by yarn manufacturer. MJ was still around so I emailed the spreadsheet to her, and she checked off yarns while telling me what bin they went in over Skype. Yes, we are both nuts. And now it looks like this:


I still have a few yarns to add to my Ravelry stash - some of the stuff I got right before moving from Boston didn't make it in, and there was a bit of yarn acquisition in the intervening 6 months. Also I've found that I'm really *really* bad at remembering to add my Rockin' Sock Club yarns. Probably because of the whole spoiler issue, and then after a month I forget.

I was going to show you some pictures of my socks-in-progress, but this post is already unwieldy so those can wait for another day.

Listening to: Alone ~ Amorphis, Enjoy the Silence ~ Depeche Mode

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Creative Uses for Yarn

I mentioned in my last entry that I was making a more permanent trip up to Seattle. Well, I managed to find an apartment more easily than I had imagined.

Luckily the whole moving process went very quickly and smoothly, and I'm writing now from my new apartment which, despite being covered in boxes, is very nice.

Friday night I took the train down to Salem. Saturday morning my lovely Salem knitting friend Lacey and I picked up and loaded the truck:


Guess how much of that is yarn...

a lot. And the spinning wheel is safely up in the left corner, roped in behind a couch cushion (you can't see it in the picture).

We drove up to Seattle in some questionable weather - it changed from overcast skies to pouring rain to sun to hail to snow... And then while we were unloading the truck, thundersnow. It was a crazy day.

Moving is always stressful, and especially when it happens in a matter of hours. Most of the stuff was still packed and in limbo from my move from the east coast, but the few things that had been unpacked were quickly thrown into boxes. Of course, then you arrive at the new location and realize that you don't have everything you need handy.

I amazingly managed to find my shower curtain, but didn't have any rings to hang it with. Yarn to the rescue!


Don't worry, it's just Wool Ease. I figured a high acrylic content would be good for this application. ;) This was an unexpected benefit of being a knitter. I may not have been able to find much the first night after moving, but I could certainly find some yarn!

On the other hand, I still haven't managed to find my swift.

I'm excited to finally fulfill my dream of getting an Expedit (in black) to fill with yarn and use as a room divider.

And the kitties are settling in pretty well.


Listening to: Don't Change ~ AFI

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I've been quiet lately because I've been knitting a lot. I've started a few new projects and finished one, but that's a secret design project that I can't show. But I can show a tiny peek, which is really more of a picture of the stitch marker.


I'm not posting the full sock details yet, but it was .26 miles towards my Sock Marathon, which puts me at .91 miles. I'm getting there!

See that cute stitch marker? One of the Salem knitters, Patch, made it for me. I thought it looked like a little goth spike so just because I was so enamored she gave me a pair of them. I'm thrilled!

And the yarn is from a Salem knitter too... Stephania. She has an etsy shop and this is the Cauldron sock. It's a newer base for her so there isn't a lot, but there is another one in this color.

Speaking of those awesome Salem knitters, they had a little goodbye knitting night for me last night. I've been selfishly declaring "supplementary" knitting nights to accommodate my crazy back and forth schedule between Seattle and Salem lately, and they've been really nice about showing up for them. This time, though, my trip to Seattle is a little more permanent.

Salem is only a train ride away, and my mom lives there, so I'm sure I'll be back to visit now and then. Still, I'll miss them. And apparently they'll miss me since they gave me some lovely blue Cascade Heritage and a Starbucks gift card last night, along with a super cute card with a yarny star on it and really nice notes to me inside. I'm so happy I got to meet all of them even though I wasn't in Salem for long. :)

OK, that's almost enough of me being sappy about the Salem knitting group, except I have two new pairs of twin socks with two of the Salem knitters... (Sorry MJ!) I'm making Horcrux socks with Harry Potter Opal yarn in Draco with Eloise and a pair of fraternal twins with Snarfy - we got some yarn at the Superbowl sale that was the same type. Hers is lime green and yellow, mine is shades of blue, mostly a brightish turquoise. We each wound off a bit of our skein for the other person and we'll have contrasting cuffs and toes, and maybe heels.

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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