Monday, December 28, 2009


Steve's socks

Socks for Steve - Patons Kroy FX in Cadet Colors, knit over 76 stitches on 2.5mm dpns.

Finished on Boxing Day, so not quite in time for Christmas.

Thinking about selfish knitting for January - also about finishing languishing projects. I dove into the WIP basket today and came up with several spinning distractions and a tangle of purple yarn that occupied much of the evening - and will probably occupy several more before it's vanquished.

I'm on a bit of an organizational kick. Last year the goal was to get my yarn stash entered into Ravelry, now that it's pretty much there I'm thinking of adding photos and making my Ravelry queue more reflective of my actual knitting plans. We'll see.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Not gonna make it

My last bit of Christmas knitting this year is probably going to be much like the last bit of Christmas knitting last year - wrapped up and given on the needles, then finished later on Christmas day. It'll be ok.

Planning and dreaming of future projects... Thinking of spinning for some of the rest of break.

Have a merry merry Christmas, all!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quick post


Here, have a picture of how I've gotten through the last week or two. I have one more week (that looks like it's going to be nutty and full of grading), and Diet Coke in liquid and fiber form is my go-to for the strength to go on. (Fiber is BFL from Spunky Eclectic in the colorway "Diet Coke," which cracks me up and makes me happy. The grey and red are lovely, although when I was spinning on the farm in Alabama over Thanksgiving, apparently people looked out the window and thought I was carrying around a dead squirrel, which is also hilarious. Spindle is my sock summit wheel-on-a-dowel job from Abby and Denny's spinning class, and I love it.)

I'm working on Christmas knitting, including an almost-finished pair of Lepidoptera Mitts, which are really cute and take less than 50 g of fingering weight yarn (which means I could totally make a pair from yarn in my sock leftovers box, now that I think about it. Win!). I have overcome my distaste for twisted rib for them, because it really works in these mitts. The pattern is from Allison at Simply Sock Yarn, who is having an awesome giveaway for the next few days: The 12 Days of Sock Yarn. Today it's pretty Fleece Artist Merino. Go check it out!

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Boyfriend

Right before Halloween, the Knitty Surprises went live, including the fantastic pattern My Vampire Boyfriend. The socks were gorgeous, and the writeup totally clever (the side cables are called "Bitemark Cables," and I had that elusive "OMG must cast on NOW!" reaction to it.

Thing is, I'm not really a vampire girl. I watched a few seasons of Buffy a while ago, and while I loved her and the Scoobies, I was "meh" on the vamps. I haven't caught the True Blood mania (although I'll probably check it out sometime) nor the Twilight love (I picked up the book over Thanksgiving break and I really don't get it).

So instead I went to the green. Mandie had just gotten me a skein of her Yarn That Shall Not Be Named in her Fangorn Forest colorway and it struck me as a totally blood-green color - you know, if I had green blood.

And so here, after a month of cable insanity, are my socks - My Vulcan Boyfriend.


I am so in love.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We now interrupt your regular fiber obsession


I spun about 350 yards of laceweight singles this week. They're as soft and nummy as they look, and a little greener than the picture. I'm thinking a small triangle scarf, I've been jonesing to knit one for a while.

I have a pile of current projects and christmas plans that are coming along on my trip home for the holiday this week. We'll see if this trumps all that.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quick socks and a picture for Carol


Purple socks are finished. They are yummariffic and finished just in time, it got really chilly this week! The toe-up two-at-a-time experiment was a success, I definitely would have made them too long going one-at-a-time top-down (and they probably would have taken more than three weeks). I have more of the same yarn in a pink-and-green colorway, but got contrasting yarn for the heels and toes, so that should be awesome too.

Carol at Thursday's knit night said on Thursday as I was molesting my newest skein of sock yarn (from Sheepy Time, Mandie's Fangorn Forest colorway) said that she would like to see my green sock yarn, as I have a thing for green and she does too. As a stash shake was on today's calendar (seriously, thanks Yarn Harlot Calendar!), I thought a picture would be fun. Meet my green sock yarn.


I think it's time for some Very Green socks. Most all my green socks are variegated or striped somehow. I'm going to work on that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Several Random things.

My current knitting obsession:

DK-weight hand-dyed self-striping socks. Yarn is from Twisted Fiber Art and is yummy, thick, and beautiful. I started these barely over a week ago. If this week hadn't been insane, they'd be each half finished. As it is, one's there. Stockinette was good sick knitting. And it was incentive knitting over my grading weekend.

Banned Books Week
Julie mentioned Banned Books Week yesterday, which sent me off to the bookstore that afternoon. I didn't know where my copy of To Kill a Mockingbird was, so I got a new one. And an awesome new bag (dollar reuseable bags are hard to resist, especially when they have the First Amendment on them).


I think I may have done a paper on banned books back in Freshman comp. Half the stuff we covered in the rest of my lit classes had been challenged or banned at some time. Most of the time the reasons people have for challenging books are hooey. And they often prove that people don't actually read.

To Kill a Mockingbird is an old favorite. My eighth grade English teacher gave all of her students who read outside of class a copy. I had well surpassed whatever goal she had, mostly because I read about half a million Star Trek: The Next Generation novels that year. I read it every year through high school and college, but have let the practice lapse. I find new stuff in it each time. It's awesome, and to me it's a bit of home. (My Alabama is not really like the one in the book, but there are things about it that resonate for me.)

Another challenged favorite is A Wrinkle in Time. People get cranky about that one because they don't like the way it talks about Jesus. I love the way L'Engle writes about faith, and even though Wrinkle is fairly secular, it's similar to me to the way that people think Lord of the Rings is satanic. Whatever.

Multiple Myeloma
Four years ago my father-in-law was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which is a weird, scary, fairly rare blood cancer. He has gone through treatment including an autologous bone marrow transplant and several rounds of chemo. Steve's case was caught early - in an eye exam. Currently he's doing well and the cancer is not a threat. His doctor does a fundraiser every year in which he runs or bikes across the state. This year he's biking from Evansville to Indianapolis. The event is Miles for Myeloma. Check it out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What, this old thing?

Did I mention I finished this?


About a month ago, I guess. I was amazed by how much dye came out:


And blocking was kind of insane -

But it's done, and beautiful. I think I may wash and re-block again before giving it away in a little bit - I've gotten new tips on getting the dye to either stick or go away, so that's a goal. But I am terribly proud of it. I hope its recipient knows how much I love her.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Under the line

According to Ravelry, I started this stole on September 15 of last year. I finished it a touch over two weeks ago.


Somehow it's awesome, and now that I have it I love it so... I almost can't believe I finished it, though. My knit night friends who saw this intermittently with me swearing at it and calling it my "knitting penance" probably understand.

It lives in my new and chilly office on campus, which is what it was cast on for - I had my first leafy green shawl at home, it made sense to have one for work. So now I do.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sock Summit - The Residue

So I've been back a month and still haven't gotten to this last bit that I want to say about the Summit. I was going to call it Knitters and Knitting, but that doesn't seem right. When I went to the local MAA meeting last spring we were asked what we hoped "the residue" was that our classes left in students' minds. In that vein, here's a month-later retrospective.


I finished all my class socks. Picture above is the three class socks and my class spindle. They're on my mantel right now.

In Abby and Denny's Spindle class, Abby said something about needing to be able to do something badly in order to learn to do something well. She was quoting Maggie Casey quoting someone else talking about something Not Spinning, but as I came back to school, that came back with me - if you're so afraid to do it wrong you never start, you'll never get it. It got incorporated into my first-day schtick.

Clara Parkes's class about fiber and yarn construction has been the most fun to find it popping up in my brain. There was a discussion in my house about sheets and fibers and thread counts that ended in a ridiculous display of fiber geekery on my behalf. I still love the term "intimate blend."

I signed up for Sockdown on Ravelry to be in on the Nancy Bush mystery sock. It looks awesome, but too small. I'm going to wait till it's finished and try and size it up a bit. I also bought her Knitting on the Road book, which has some gorgeous techniques.

I'm still very proud of myself for talking to people that whole weekend - starting with Vicki and Carin at the Denver airport.

The thing I want to try that I saw from another student is a pooling stole. That's so seriously cool.

I've been finishing things since I got back. Only started a couple new projects. The full-size socks that went to the summit are still in progress. The handspun ones need more spinning, actually. The giant black one is approaching the first toe at a snail's pace.

But here are my Sock Summit mitts. My hands were cold in Thursday's class, so my first night at the Summit I bought some Socks that Rock heavyweight and cast these on.


They're a simple improvised pattern, but I love them in my office in the mornings. I finished them the first week back to school and they make me happy.

More posts and more pictures coming soon. I've finished a few big things and made progress on others. Sock Summit may be past, but I'm having a good knitting fall so far.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sock Summit - Portland

(Note: this is more an "around" sock summit post, not much as to what actually happened *at* the Summit.)

Confession: I have a soft spot in my heart for anyplace easily navigable by public transit and walking. And downtown Portland was just that. Anytime we got directions anywhere, people said "and these are short blocks," which was funny, but true.

Chris saw more of Portland than I did, he went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Portland Zoo, the Japanese Gardens, the Saturday Market, and Chinatown and the Chinese gardens. He liked the market, but was most impressed by the Japanese Gardens and would recommend them to anyone who has an afternoon free in Portland.

As far as my sightseeing went, I went to Powell's. (Chris did too.) We hit Powell's Technical Books first, because it closed earlier and we had gotten a late start on the evening. I ran into some MathFest people there (I recognized them because they too were hanging out by the Combinatorics and Number Theory shelves - people were on the analysis aisle too, but yeah). Chris found a few things he needed, I found a small volume I wanted, and we went the next block to World of Books. And promptly separated and lost each other. I wandered the craft section, education, and literature and literary magazines. I still have no clue where Chris went. Thanks to text messages and good signage ("I'm in the blue room, where are you?") we found each other, checked out and went for food.

Food in Portland was mostly really good. We agreed that our one disappointing dinner was probably as much a function of mis-ordering as the food - the seafood variety plate always sounds good, but usually isn't awesome. We had an amazing meal at Henry's 12th Street Tavern after Powell's - maybe the best cheeseburger EVAR, and my Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar was excellent (99 beers on tap there - I tasted several and they were all good). I've been looking for that beer since I got back and I've been sorely disappointed. Conference fast food was had at Burgerville, which was also tasty. Our last dinner in town was at an all-you-can-eat seafood and sushi place, which was good, but kind of excessive. (Note: Chris ate only seafood until the day we left - after the sushi place, he was seafooded out.) Good local beer was everywhere too - Rogue, Ninkasi, and a couple others I don't remember.

Weather was lovely, we had a great time, we agreed that it's an awesome town and we liked it very much. (Chris also introduced me to, where Portland was green for our entire stay. Indy, since we got home, is in the grip of ragweed season and is orange and red - Claritin is my friend.)

Next up is the knitters and knitting, and that'll be it for my Sock Summit diaries. I have an FO to show, and maybe another coming down the pipe soon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sock Summit - The Marketplace

My first impression of the Sock Summit Marketplace was at Starbucks on Thursday Morning, where Mandie and I stopped to get caffeine and kill a touch of time before Walgreens opened. We started paging through the show book and realized when we saw the map that yeah, that giant lobby where registration happened? That was dwarfed by the marketplace. We took a peek at lunchtime and there were booths and color as far as the eye could see.

That evening it opened for two hours of insanity. It was overwhelming, so many people, sooo much wool, so much color. I wandered, a bit lost, for a long while. I got my bearings and found Carolina Homespun, where I got my class pack for spinning, and then I tried to get a feel for what else I could do there. I ran into Allison from Simply Socks Yarn Co., who recognized my name as one of her customers! (and right now I'm eyeing the new colors of mini mochi and the fleece artist bfl and having issues saying no...) I kept wandering back into the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth, where I eventually bought a few mill ends of Socks that Rock.

I kept going back over the weekend. Before class, between classes, after classes... There were so many hand dyers and there was so much beautiful wool...

I know I didn't see everything. I know I didn't get everything. I spent the Tuesday after we got back favoriting etsy sellers whose booths I saw and liked but didn't buy from (and some I did buy from).

This is what came home with me - mostly.


Top row: BFL top from Crown Mountain Farms, four mill ends, two mediumweight, two heavyweight, from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, in (I think) Obsidian, Muckity Muck, and Xmas Rock (which is becoming new fingerless gloves for me).
Bottom row:
Merino Fine in color "Mycroft" from Kitchen Sink Dyeworks, DK weight Merino in "Shock Rocker" from Stitchjones, Dream in Color Smooshy from The Loopy Ewe, sKnitches Velocity in "Birdhouse in Your Soul" from Simply Socks, and BFL sock yarn in "Fresh Fig" from Wool Candy. Not pictured is a gift skein from Lotus Yarns

Amazing time, so much yarn, and since I've gotten back I heard of things I never saw in there. Oh well. Next time, maybe?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sock Summit - the classes

I've been trying all week to figure out how to summarize the amazing time I had at Sock Summit. I started a blog post, trying to go chronologically and got halfway through Thursday before realizing I needed better organization. So today - the classes!

Knitting Vintage Socks with Nancy Bush
This was my only all-day class, and it was pretty amazing. Nancy Bush had extensive handouts about how Things Were Done (if you wanted a left-leaning decrease you didn't ssk, for instance - Barbara Walker confirmed later in the weekend that she did, as far as she knew, invent that particular decrease), and showed us nifty things throughout the Weldon's Practical Needlework books from which she sourced her Vintage Socks book. We made a funny little practice sock that had all the interesting things that exist in a sock - cuff, heel, toe, and none of the sloggy parts between them. It doesn't look much like a sock, but it's a great little yarn bra. This is where it was at lunch time - through the teeny heel flap.


I met some fun people in my class. There were a few things we were taught that I hadn't seen before, and some that I had. The nostepinne demonstration was kind of funny to me, in that Nancy Bush says what I say about yarn winding being a part of the process of knitting something new. The lasting impression I had was of Nancy's passion for and deep study of her subjects - she talked about stumbling upon and falling in love with Estonian knitting in a beautiful way.


This was the board at the end of class. Illustrations of left and right leaning decreases, knitting on four and five needles, and which way stitches should go. On the table there are socks from several of her books. Lots to see, lots to think about, and lots of fun.

Arch-Shaped Stockings with Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen
There are no pictures from this class. I didn't take many notes in this class. The class handout was one page, the actual class was large and fairly quiet, but oh, wow. This class blew my mind. Meg and Amy were a great combination, playing off each other beautifully, skipping from topic to topic with ease. The actual sock subject the class was ostensibly "about" was skimmed over, but the nitty gritty intricacies of the techniques one could apply to it (including some increases I'd never seen before, and a mention of intarsia-in-the-round) blew my mind. My notes include a quote from Meg: "The only thing that really matters in knitting is consistency." She had this amazing attitude of freedom and pleasure in her knitting - with the really cool stuff you could tell she was impressed by the cleverness inherent in it. Now I desperately want to go to Knitting Camp in Wisconsin - a long weekend with those two would be amazing.

Finding True Sock Yarn Happiness with Clara Parkes
This class began with Clara handing out tape, which was a little mystifying, but as soon as she started handing out fiber samples, it made much more sense. This class was Oh So My (totally geeky) Style. Clara is the founder of Knitter's Review and so she actually tests yarn for a living. She gave us some great terminology (all this week that I've been home I've been remembering things like "prickle factor" and "intimate blend") and a fantastic overview of fibers and yarns and the pros and cons of all different types.

Sock Yarn Happiness

As we were wrapping up, we discussed the ways to deal with different downfalls - a non-stretchy yarn could be overcome by using a forgiving stitch, and vice versa. One of the most memorable demonstrations was a pair of socks - one in a merino-tencel blend, one in 100% merino, knit exactly the same in a chevron pattern- in which the tencel one barely stretched at all, but the other was able to be noticeably stretched. She also gave us some tips on where to shop in the Marketplace, which was fun...

Paint Your Toes! Stranded Colorwork with Janel Laidman
The fun thing about this class was getting to see how Janel designs. She had her "enchanted box" of socks from her new book The Enchanted Sole and handed them around. The class was for beginning stranded colorwork, which was fine, I worked my teensy black-and-pink sock through part of the heel flap in our three hours. Decreases and structure in colorwork were addressed, and we were given resources to design our own full-sized colorwork stockings - plus a pattern from the upcoming book (Tree of Life - ravelry link).

Spindle Spinning Basics with Abby Franquemont and Denny McMillan
What a great time this class was!
One or the other of the teachers was spinning the whole time. We got Abby's funny (and very true) manifesto of "why society would not exist without spinning." There were a million jokes about kinky singles and slippery shafts. Denny says that we'll be comfortable in 15 trolley rides. I was kind of ok already - I have been more comfortable since I switched my homemade wheel spindle to a bottom-whorl after stalking Abby in Franklin. My spindle from the class kit says "right round" on it, which amuses me to no end.


My classes were amazing, but for all that happened in them, more happened outside them. Stay tuned, folks, more to come as I can process it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sock Summit


That's Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Meg Swansen, Barbara Walker and Tina Newton. I was in the right place at the right time for my knitting fangirl self to get this picture, and really, this whole experience seems to have been exactly that sort of experience - right place, right time, and I feel so very very blessed to have been a part of all this. I have made new friends, learned new techniques, and wow. I just can't believe the amazing experience I had. More pictures later, Chris and I are going for one last Burgerville run before catching our flight back.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I am leaving for Sock Summit tomorrow. I've been off school a few days, so there has been much knitting and other preparation. Including the purchase of a new camera - Chris will be sightseeing on his own for much of the weekend and will want his, so I need my own for documentation of my yarny pursuits.


I think it'll do, don't you? The sock is a plain stockinette one, of the Sheepy Time BFL I spun back in april. I do hope there's enough yarn for that. But it'll do for plain knitting for travel and walking and for when my brain is too full to do anything else.

I need to get back to laundry and packing and all that jazz. No promises to blog during the Summit, but I'll have a summary once I get back, no doubt.

Monday, July 13, 2009


New Day from Spunky Club - February shipment. This was totally my astronomy homework in the house cup. 3-ply, worsted weight, about 175 yards


And here's some green stuff: Daydreams of Spring from The Vildish Twist - the fiber was a gift from Melinda and this is about half of it as a two-ply fingering weight.


I'm still knitting black socks and red stole, but started and frogged some other socks, and it's time to knit for reducio again, so that's fun. Current knitting crisis is the need for plain knitting for the three hour movie I'm planning to see tomorrow at midnight. Half-Blood Prince. Good times.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Great plans

It's July (how did that happen?). I have three weeks left of my summer class. This is the third and last month of the House Cup summer term, which means new classes and OWL-finishing time.

One of the classes has me thinking of spinning, so I think I'm also going to do the Tour de Fleece - spin every day July 4-26, with two rest days.

Other folks on Ravelry are doing WIP Wrestlemania, which I'm not saying I couldn't use, but I think I'm about full up on -alongs. So I think my only WIP wrestling this month (at least for the first bit) will be on the socks that started Sunday almost like this:
sock 1

And ended Sunday like this:
sock 2

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oh, Ravelry...

I pause my TiVo-ed Daily Show to finish my post about my beloved shawl (which will only be mine for so long, so I need to fall out of love with it sometime, but that'll happen eventually - although the pattern is remarkably un-black-holey, so far), and I get sucked into Ravelry and realize that although I kind of want to do a blanket of sock yarn, what I really want to do is the EZ Knitters Almanac Grafting blanket out of sock yarn. Because that sounds way better to me than mitered squares.

And so now my boyfriend Jon Stewart is paused in the other room while I go read the pattern and sort through my bin of leftover sock yarn and reorder the sock queue to make the blanket more fun. Yup. Good times.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A little something

This is my new obsession:

OWL progress

I'm in love with it. I like nothing more than snuggling up with it. I really don't want to finish writing this post, because I'd rather go hang on the sofa and knit it while watching whatever the TiVo's been hanging onto for me this week while I watched The Wire (Season 4 was amazing - heartbreaking, too).

Which is good, because it's my OWL for the House Cup, and I have a deadline of July 31 for it to be finished. (That's a nice soft deadline, my hard deadline is in early November.) At my current pace, being done by the end of July will not be an issue. So that's awesome.


Yeah, I just went and watched tv and knit for a few hours. That's all I got. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Crumbs, I know


Here's a super-happy pair of socks.

Having a minor knitting lull lately. Started new plain socks, still working on a few other things.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sock Summit Go!

There was much frenzy and wailing and gnashing of teeth about the Sock Summit this week. I was in the crash, I had a fake success, and then I actually registered.

I was lucky enough to get a full slate of classes, and while I won't be taking Amy Singer's class (boo!), the Summit is so full of amazing that my teacher list makes me woozy. I just hope I don't make an idiot of myself in front of these seriously cool people.

Now I just need airfare and accommodations.

I'm a toe (or two, I may have had some premature toe action on the first sock - I've got to quit that..) away from finishing super-happy socks for The Cup, and I may post a progress pic of my not-scary laceweight stole.

We've got big yardwork plans this weekend, but I hope I can get a good pile of knitting done as well. Classes start back on Monday (when new classes for The Cup are posted) and I'm afraid my knitting time may be somewhat curtailed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Crazy in my head

Tomorrow at 1pm registration for Sock Summit opens. And I am going. I'm very nervous about signing up for classes. For one thing, my class list's associated teachers make me feel like a squeeing teenager. (OMG, Amy Singer! EEEEEE!) For another, every time I look at the class list I change my mind about what to take (just now I kicked my Friday AM plans to the curb twice in the last five minutes). Seriously, this event has me all kerfuffled.

I'm booking away on House Cup projects. I got some serious sock time in yesterday and today - my socks I started a week ago Saturday are on the second gusset - yay me. My lace stole has one end on a holder, and the other cast on. May get another row or two in before sleeping tonight, if I can tear myself away from the crazy-making website.

The Indy 500 was yesterday - hence the plain sock time, mostly in the car, but there during some caution laps and when the crowd started getting to me. Then watching the replay after - both last night and this morning. The stole, surprisingly, seems to be going better with podcasts and DVDs of The Wire - the latter in the later half of the lace ends, when they get more automatic.

Ok. Going to sleep soon. I promise.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

House Cup

I meant to do some cleaning of my house over the break. And some of that has happened - Mandie came over and helped me get my stash room under control, and Chris and I have gone through some boxes and we may well be moved in before too long (it's only been two years).

But mostly I've been knitting for the House Cup. Started 20 days ago, here are three little projects:

webcam wristers
Wristers for Quidditch. Go Gryffindor!

charms 1
A headband to keep my now-short hair out of my face.

muggle studies
Rose's Wristwarmers, which have been in my queue longer than I've been watching Doctor Who, if you'll believe it. This pattern is the one that made me sit up and say "hmm, maybe I should get that show from the library..."

I signed up for an OWL, so there's a long-term project that's going to be started any day now. I also have a plain sock going that if the pair is finished this month, will be my Defence against the Dark Arts homework. (Actually, it'll be Defence homework either way. But I'm hoping to get them done, they make me really happy.)

I'm going to go clean up my house a bit and then myself some - and then I think I get to knit some more.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

So my friend Mandie of Sheepy Time Knits has this colorway I just love: Aurora Borealis. She recently started dyeing fiber as well as yarn, and so when I had the chance, I snagged a braid of superwash BFL in Aurora Borealis- and this is how it spun up:


There's a touch more than 200 yards of it, which isn't exactly what I was hoping for - I was trying for socks, and it may not be enough. However, I've recently had other ideas...

Meanwhile, I joined the Hogwarts House Cup and have been clearing the needles in anticipation of today's class postings. Here's a pair of finished socks:


Regular top-down with a short-row hourglass heel, Red Heart Heart and Sole yarn in Toasted Almond. Yarn bought and socks cast on in a post-Christmas "I have nothing to knit and my stash is 500 miles away!" panic.

Finished an unbloggable pair as well, and have made headway on my green things from last fall - am at armhole/shoulder shaping on the back of my cardigan, and have gotten back to the leafy green shawl which will someday be finished, maybe... This means I currently have exactly one pair of socks on the needles, if you can believe it. But that'll change soon enough - the Cat Bordhi group is meeting at Village Yarn Shop this weekend, and I'll need a pair for that!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Crappy Pictures of something awesome

These are my new favorite socks. They're several months in the making. I bought the yarn at the flooded Hoosier Hills Fiber Fest last year. It's Lotus Yarns Nirvana, in the fabulously named colorway "I Wanna Be Sedated."


And now it's my newest pair of work socks. The stitch pattern is the ubiquitous Monkey, but the construction is Cat Bordhi's Sky architecture from New Pathways. These socks were first seen in October, and were just one sock's ribbing until Christmas, when this strange Frankensteining of two awesome designs occurred to me. There has been knitting and ripping and knitting and ripping (and there was a premature kitchener at least once), but they're about perfect now.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Something finished

At Christmas I saw my cousin J and his wife A for the first time since they were married - three months before I was, so it had been more than two years. They announced that they were going to have a baby. I was so excited for them, and they were so getting handknits for their little one.

After Christmas the Mad Knitters had a holiday gathering with a yarn swap, where I got a pastel variegated fuzzy acrylic. It was immediately earmarked for their baby.


This is the blanket I made. The baby's name was Zachary, and he didn't make it. I won't ever meet him, but his mommy and daddy will get a blanket for him anyway. I didn't start it until I got the news that he was sick, and it wasn't finished until he was gone, but it was a labor of love - the only thing I could do for J & A from across the country, while my heart broke for them.

It's not much, but it's something. Something for Zachary, who was loved.

Friday, March 27, 2009


How did I go a month without blogging?

I think I just haven't had much to say. I finished one thing since the last post. And it deserves and will get its own post. I'm working on several second socks. The knitting penance shawl is continuing, although my commitment to "knit a repeat every week" has faded some. There's a green sweater (remember?) that is still coming along, slowly.

I'm still knitting, just slowly. And I'm occasionally taking time out to detangle yarn for Mandie. She's also gotten me obsessed with Lost so I spent spring break slogging along on socks and watching tv over the internet.

So see, the reason I haven't been blogging? Because I'm working on the same projects I had in September. The first sighting of the current grey socks was in early October.

I have to finish something soon, right?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Squoosh factor is greater than perfectionism

I'm still very much a beginner spinner in my own head. I don't consider myself a beginner knitter anymore, because I can generally take the needles and make the yarn turn into exactly what I want (it may take some ripping, sketching, figuring, and head-scratching, but I can do it). But spinning isn't that way yet. I can make lovely things, but in my brain I'm always comparing to what I wanted them to be. And they're not exactly the same. Yet.

This is my new pet yarn.
New pet yarn

I'm keeping her in my purse and calling her Tinkerbell for a while. She's scrumptious. She's made of my first Spunky Club shipment, and she's lovely.

My perfectionist brain says "but she's so thick-and-thin! You're not spinning evenly enough yet!"

My perfectionist brain says "dude, HOW many times did the singles break while you were plying?"

My perfectionist brain knows that one ply was much denser than the other, and so there's a small ball of unused single on a tp core in my stash room, that I may or may not ply.

And my perfectionist brain says that that small ball and the the waste lost due to broken plies and her thick-and-thinness are evidence of failure on my part.

And then I look at her, and I pet her, and I can't feel bad.

She's lovely. I took her to a movie tonight, and she got held through the end of Benjamin Button after I ran out of stockinette to knit (four socks-in-progress, and they all require thought right now - bad planning.)

And I know that I did many of the things that I wanted to with her. I wanted a softly-spun two-ply - I didn't want to overspin and lose the fiber's original softness. In that I succeeded completely.

I wanted somewhere in the dk-to-worsted weight. Even with the thick parts, I'm there. The thin parts are heavy fingering, this got substantially fuller with a wash. And the evenness across the board is way better than my past thicker yarns.

I wanted the colors to line up somewhat, and while there's a lot more purple in that one leftover ply, it's amazing to see how the outside of the skein is mostly blues, the inside is mostly purples, and it varies in between. I didn't screw up Amy's lovely dye job.


I'm learning. I'm getting better, and this is evidence of that. Yaay. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happening. Or not.

A few things I've dug up from my knitting bag:

A project I'm calling "Janet is a squeeing fangirl." The pattern is Abby from KnittySpin, and I'm knitting it in Alpaca With a Twist Fino - although my yarn wasn't labeled such when I bought it from the booth at the fiber festival, that's what it is. It's yummy. If anyone can get me over my laceweight fear, it's Amy Singer. And as the pattern is named after the woman I think about stalking to her home in Ohio and moving in and making her teach me everything she can about spinning, so I had to try it. (They're both teaching at Sock Summit. I may get to go, and I'm so excited...)

The first of my second pair of Monkey socks. Yes, they're weird, they're Cat Bordhi-ized. And someday they'll be finished and I will wear them to work and feel smart. Someday.
funky monkey

And then the project that has come to be known as my Knitting Penance. Leafy green shawl, lovely in every way, except I can't seem to make myself knit it for hours on end, so I knit a repeat every time I take it out to Knit Night (well, almost) or another knitting gathering. It's probably close to halfway done at this point, and it's yummy and warm and has reached that critical black hole mass, but also the mass at which I say "this is going to be a great shawl!" and want to keep knitting it.

All these things have been holding for a bit. There are a few other things I'm working on more right now that are taking my attention away. One is spinning stuff, another is unbloggable, the other I'm not ready to talk about yet. But once they're done, these three are back to the forefront! Really!

In other news, Francie has a blog now, so welcome to Blogland, Francie! And the Mathematical Fiber Arts Exhibit at the Joint Math Meetings has pictures up, including my mathghan and some other really cool stuff.
For the past 3 days, I've woken up thinking my alarm clock was talking to me about spinning.

I'm about to go to bed, and I haven't spun today. We'll see if the trend continues.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mail is always good.

Last night I got home from knit night and had two packages for me! Yaay!

First, I joined a swap on Ravelry: the Reducio Sock Swap. It's a Harry Potter swap where everyone exchanges tiny socks in House colors. This round, there was a Care of Magical Creatures theme to it. Check it out!


I got a niffler! With gold coins! How cool is that! And a bunch of other awesome surprises too, so bonus!

This is perhaps the best swap ever!

I had also ordered from Twisted Fiber Arts a few weeks ago, on Melinda's prodding suggestion. My order came yesterday, and it's seriously delish.


The yarn is the DK weight Duchess base, in the colorway Warlock. It's a purple/black/grey self-striping yarn, and it may jump my queue and make some super toe-up socks - because I want long socks and I want to use ALL of this yummy yarn.
The roving is a merino-bamboo blend in the colorway Firefly, and I'm psyched to spin this up. These both have beautiful colors, really neat subtleties in the dyeing.

It's been a bad week for knitting, too much work, not enough time, but I'm thinking excavating my knitting bag will be a post soon. I'm also going to join in the Cat Bordhi Sock Support Group starting up this Saturday at Village Yarn Shop. I'm looking forward to it. Have a great weekend, all!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A couple pictures

These were taken in my middle-of-the-night post-Super Bowl GET STUFF DONE insanity last night. With flash, under the ott light. I didn't want to wait till today.

Finished handspun scarf:

(This is the thick and thin two-ply from early wheel dealings, not from three-ply Pink Stuff posted last week. Chris was confused as I took the picture. "You knit something from that already?!")

It is perfect for the monochrome Februaries we tend to get around here.

Orange sweater, some assembly required:

This got me cranking on the green cabled cardi I started in late September. Sleeves were finished before Christmas, and I didn't cast on the back till Thursday. Today it's all I want to knit. (And considering it starts with almost four inches of ribbing, that's kind of nuts.)

Julie commented on my yarn mileage from the last post and I wanted to add - Ravelry makes it possible to calculate mileage so super easily, and for anyone who has their stash entered. Download the stash as an excel file, find the "total yardage" column, add it up and divide by 1760, and there you are. Mandie warned me not to do this, and I can see why, but now that I have, I'm kind of fascinated. In that trainwrecky sort of way. I'm also motivated to knit the fair few sweaters that I already had yarn for.

Back to work with me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I've been slowly entering my stash into ravelry over the past month. I'm still missing a bit, but tonight I added almost a whole shelf of my yarn closet plus the Mass Ave Bag O'Shame - where there are yarns that are not at all like yarns that I use, and yet I keep thinking I will use them. I bought them because of insanely low prices. And pretty colors.

Plus I went to Village Yarn Shop (I love that place!) today and a minor pile of some gorgeous vivid orange Malabrigo marched right up to me and demanded to come home with me. I said okay, because it was darling and charming, and I invited some of its silky pink friend to come along too.

Anyway, the upshot of that is, I now have a touch over 26.3 miles of yarn in my Rav stash, and that amuses me. There is still plenty to enter, too. Yeesh.

I'm trying to quickly knit tiny things for the Reducio swap - I let the impending due date get away from me, and while I considered abandoning my original idea there for a few days, I came back to it and am very glad I did. I love that this swap is something I can do in a last-minute weekend, though! Reducio Sock Swap = Best swap ever!

Pictures soon - I actually finished a project this week and depending on whether I run to Michaels tomorrow I may finish another, and once I find the camera charger, I definitely want to share.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Small Update

Other stuff's been happening. Slowly, but happening nonetheless. But the camera died after one picture of yarn (and several of snow - snow day for me, or else you wouldn't get this picture till the weekend), so here it is.

Pink Stuff

Pink stuff. 3-ply, heavy fingering to sport weight, about 350 yds. It's not as soft as I would like, and yet it's fantastic. I am proud of me for this stuff.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Warm Memories

(Jeez-o-pete, that's a sappy title...)

My math afghan just got home from its first math conference (at least its first since it was completed... I seem to remember a hauling box of brightly colored acrylic down to Boca Raton for the Southeastern conference a few years ago), and I was putting away the blanket that had taken its place in the interim, and I realized that its story needed to be told.


Once upon a time, I went to college. And I learned to crochet, primarily from old books and the free patterns available in the yarn section at the Terre Haute Wal-Mart. Sugar and Cream and Red Heart were what I stashed.

And so when I decided I wanted to make an afghan, I went with a free Lion Brand pattern. This one, actually. I was a poor college student, though, so I didn't use that spendy Homespun stuff, it was Red Heart Super Saver for me. Gauge wasn't even a thing. I used the same hook as the pattern called for, and so pretty early on I figured I would need more motifs to get a nice big blanket. I got as close as I could with the materials available to my sorority colors, and went to work.

These yellow and blue motifs were in my backpack everywhere I went. To class, to choir and drama club rehearsals, to Model UN and sorority meetings. To at least one math conference, maybe two. On the drama club trip to London. They went everywhere. And then I was done with school, and they went home with me to Birmingham. I crocheted these endless hexagons in the evenings after my nice inter-school job. And then there were enough of them.

And I started putting them together. Just FYI, seaming is easier if seams are straight. Even if you're crocheting things together. I put the navy zigzag stripes together and the yellow zigzag stripes together. And then I put the stripes together. It seemed endless.

And again, it ended. I was so proud. I had made an afghan with my own two hands.

Now I look at it, and it's very Michigan-y. It's actually more like my boyfriend's fraternity (Alpha Chi Sigma, a chemistry organization) would want, than anything I had wanted it to be. And I would probably die before I made anything like it today. But it's warm, and washable, and it's mine.

And last night, when I wanted something warm to cover my chilly feet after I got home from knit night in the terrible cold, I was glad I spent that time and energy eight years ago on this ridiculous old thing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oh fine, I'll post

I feel like I haven't had much to say. I have been knitting since Christmas, but I've also been frogging - or deciding to frog, even if I haven't done it yet, some things. The things I've started aren't really looking like anything yet, and I had something cool in a sock, but I frogged it back to the start of the coolness, to make it more cool. So yeah. Not much to show.

I did take a few hours at the turn of the year to get my stash room a touch more organized. My sock stash had been sharing a bookcase with my fun books, and they were starting to have a hard time coexisting. So in addition to entering my entire sock stash on Ravelry, I moved it to its own place. Here's a book rack that hasn't been used since it lived in my dorm, but it's entirely full of sock yarn:

sock stash

That's 12.18 miles of sock yarn, and I've managed to not add to it since then.

I've been spinning, too, and while that's still in-progress (I'm working on getting a lightweight three-ply of the same pink-and-purple stuff, and I'm on the second bobbin, barely. I've gotten a new spinner started - my college friend Melinda played with my wheel for a morning and then got her own!

I got 2 pounds of corriedale top with my wheel, and last night I decided I would probably never spin it unless it had some color, so I pulled out the kool-aid and vinegar. Here's 4 oz of roving, drying...

kool blue corrie

I love the color Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade gives you. I think this needs to be lace. Once the pink-and-purple is done.