Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sweetening the Pot

All I can say is, Wow! Have all of you always been here? Or did the words "free yarn" spread through the Knitblogger Grapevine like alpaca on fire? I have to say, seeing all these great comments, I'm getting this visual picture of Knitters skulking out of the darkness like Gollum after his Precious. I suppose it's not very nice to compare your new friends to Gollum, but you know I don't mean that all our souls-- my own included-- are corrupted by yarn lust. Not a bit. (This is totally a joke. If you aren't a Lord of the Rings fan, just forget this last paragraph.)

Anyway, I decided I ought to improve everyone's odds a little. You don't need to leave another comment if you already have. Pardon the lousy pictures, and the marker stains on my end table. What can I say, I live with a couple of budding artistes.

Here's a lovely skein of Colinette Giotto, in beautiful watery pinks, greens, and silvery grays. This is really gorgeous. And here's a skein of Knit Picks Color Your Own Sock Yarn, ready for acid dyes or beverage mixes. Finally, here are two balls (about 360 yds) of very soft, very lovely fingering weight alpaca. The fiber came from animals that live right here in Ohio!

OK, once again, with the rules -- one entry per person by leaving a comment, I will send goodies anywhere on this planet, and I will draw a name for each prize. I wish I could give you a choice, but I'm afraid everyone would pick the Lorna's Laces! Good luck!

Monday, January 30, 2006

You Are So Sweet! You Deserve a Contest!

Thanks everyone for the very nice comments about my Jaywalkers! I wore them today, and the baggy one just got baggier. A bath might help. Looking over my sock yarn stash, it seems to be predominantly self-striping yarn. So I may be casting on another pair of Jaywalkers sooner rather than later!

It was really nice to read all of your hurrahs. It really makes a girl feel good. Hearing from the Usual Gang is like checking in with my own Stitch n' ... oops, don't want a lawsuit ... dear knitting friends! And it's a different thrill to see comments from totally new people! I have found some fantastic blogs that way. For example, Jennie has just started blogging this month, and she's off to an amazing start. So go over for a visit and show that knitter some love!

Yeah, I'm feeling all full of warm fuzzies for my knittas, plus my stat counter just entered the five digits, and I'm pretty stupidly excited about that. So, Contest! Starting today and ending Friday at midnight, everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in my Fabulous Yarn Giveaway! Here's how it will work:

1. You leave a comment to this post or any other that I put up between now and the deadline. The comment can just be "hi, I want some yarn" or similar, but it can't be anonymous!
2. You will be entered into the giveaway once. More comments will not mean more entries, just to make it fair for the Really Busy People among us.
3. I will write all your names on little slips of paper, and then I will draw three of them from a salad bowl or similar receptacle.
The first name I draw will receive these two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn, in the colorway Hawaii. The second person will receive this skein of Knit Picks Shadow laceweight yarn, in the color Lost Lake (it is actually a lovely dark green). The third person will receive this skein of Sunshine Yarns Worsted in Neapolitan.
5. I will post the names of the winners on Saturday, and then the winners will need to email me with your addresses.

IMPORTANT! Do not hesitate to enter because you live in a place far, far from Cleveland, Ohio. I will be delighted to send these goodies overseas, if the winners happen to reside there! Side benefit: maybe some lurkers will come out into the light! Yay!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Movin' On!

Whew! The Jaywalkers are done!

Pattern: Jaywalker Socks by Grumperina

Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Landscape in Spring Prairie, 2 skeins with a little left over

Needles: 2.5 mm Inox 40 inch circular

Modifications: Short row heels and toes, made cuff and leg shorter than the pattern.

The second sock turned out much better than the first. I started the first one and then set it aside for awhile. When I picked it back up, I used a slightly larger needle, and so the foot is a little loose. I could frog it, and reknit it. But sometimes you just have to move on.

As for the pattern, in spite of my bad luck with it, I will definitely knit it again. The second sock really is nice -- the fit is very good. The pattern is exceptional with yarns that stripe, but I can see it making a very handsome pair of solid socks too. For now, though, I'm going to try some other patterns that have been tempting me. So I'll be moving the Jaywalker button off the sidebar for the time being.

The yarn I have slightly mixed feelings about. It's very soft and comfortable and the colors are vivid. However, there are better yarns for Jaywalkers -- as you can see above, there's some wicked pooling going on. The other downside to Sock Landscape is, it's already getting fuzzy, and I haven't even worn them yet. I'll be curious to see how they hold up. I'll undoubtedly use it again, though, because you can't beat the price.

Thanks everyone for the nice comments about my WIPs. Several people mentioned that Silk Garden benefits from a soak, so when I finish Edgar, I'll let you know how that goes! Ok, now I'm off to plan my next sock project!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Now For Something Different...Pictures!

I realized yesterday that my posts have been photo-free for entirely too long. Entonces, los fotos. First, I have to give a big thank you to Brianne, who sent me this lovely skein of Atacama in springtime greens (my favorite color)! More raw material for the Skeinalong! She was looking for a little girl's tank top pattern, and I steered her in the direction of Wendy's blog. As a completely unnecessary but totally appreciated thank you, she sent yarn. What a gal!

My Jaywalkers are coming along, but not really worth a picture. For some reason, this project is just cursed for me. I'm constantly making mistakes (two pattern rounds in a row, dropped sts, etc.) that I normally don't make. As Chrissy mentioned, it's not a difficult pattern, except for the sizing, and we all know I had those issues too. I'll be glad when these are done.

My Backyard Leaves is coming along sloooowly, because I am anxious to get those Jaywalkers off the needles. But here's a little shot of it, to show you my yarn selection. I decided to start over with Cascade 220, color number 9451. It is a gorgeous shade of bluish-green. It was possibly insane to choose this pattern as my foray into lace, but so far I'm not having problems with it. It's really, really fun to knit.

Because I am a Bad Knitter, I have cast on another project, with yarn I bought while Kara was here. (Never was human nature weaker than in a yarn shop. Or was that a bookstore?) This is Edgar from the fall Knitty, in Noro Silk Garden, color number 87. I've been hearing so much about this yarn from many of you bloggers, so I wanted to try it out. Call me simple, but I am incredibly amused by both self-striping yarns and modular knitting. Combine the two, and I am practically giggly. Although I find the colors fascinating (it's indigo! it's verdigris! it's fuchsia!), I'm not completely smitten with the fiber itself. Do I need to give this a bath to bring out it's loveliest qualities? Thoughts?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

On Friends, Presidents, Socks, Sweaters, and Great Music

Well, Kara and I had a wonderful time. We had our now traditional Indian takeout meal, tried some new recipes, went to the movies, and drank a lot of Kara's made-from-scratch chai tea. She brought her quilting and I, of course, knitted away. I worked on my Sock Landscape Jaywalkers -- I'm on the foot of sock #2 and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Woo-hoo! I should have no problem meeting the KAL deadline.

NPR's Story of the Day podcast recently featured some knitwear that is making a splash in international politics. Hear the story of a president and his favorite sweater here.

I've also been enjoying lots of great new music on my iPod and plugging some of it on my sidebar. Sigur Ros is a band from Iceland that plays the most beautiful, unusual, soaring, gorgeous music. It's really sui generis, but it sort of reminds me of Cocteau Twins, one of my favorite bands from the Eighties. I especially wanted to call your attention to the new video by Sigur Ros, for a song called "Hoppipola." You can see the video here. If you are not smiling -- possibly through tears -- while you are watching this, then I fear you have no soul.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Laura Takes on Lace

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a project that I want to finish before I start G's fair isle vest. It's my first real lace project -- Backyard Leaves. Olga and I are both doing it, a kind of mini-KAL. She's an amazing lace knitter (scroll down), so I have a good teacher! I've done two repeats and it is a really fun, but certainly not quick knitting, pattern. I'm making it in Katia Diana, which is primarily acrylic and whatnot, but also 13% angora. It is really lovely and soft. But the scarf is awfully lumpy right now, and I am not sure if the lumps will block out. Will a mostly synthetic fiber block at all? I may start it again in another yarn. I am sure that I have other suitable things in my stash. Candidates include Baby Cashmerino, Cascade 220, or, for a spring scarf, Rowan Summer Tweed. What do you all think?

Have you seen? Anna has three lovely new sock patterns for sale on her site. I couldn't resist, and bought the set. Resistance against casting on for Badcaul is likely to be similarly weak.

Posting to Affiknitty and blog reading will go on a bit of a hiatus early this week. My best friend Kara is coming for a visit. She'll be staying until Wednesday. As she told her husband, we'll be "practicing fiber arts and drinking tea." Yay!

Friday, January 20, 2006

I'm It

Jessie tagged me with the Four Things meme. That makes today's post easy enough.

Four Jobs You Have Had In Your Life
...in no particular order and in no way an exhaustive list
1. Bank teller
2. Corporate tax attorney
3. Salesperson in chocolate shop (Sweeties, Northampton, Mass.)
4. Legislative assistant for a Member of Congress

Movies You Could Watch Over and Over
Heaven only knows how many times I have watched these movies...
1. Casablanca ("I stick my neck out for nobody.")
2. Moonstruck ("I just want you to know no matter what you do, you're gonna die, just like everybody else.")
3. The Philadelphia Story ("Oh, we're going to talk about me again, are we? Goody.")
4. Manhattan ("I feel like we're in a Noel Coward play. Someone should be making martinis.")

Places You Have Lived
Also in no particular order, and not an exhaustive list
1. Next door to the National Zoo in Washington, DC
2. Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil
3. Topeka, Kansas
4. Lawton, Oklahoma

TV Shows You Love to Watch
1. Lost
2. All the Law and Order shows
3. As of this week, 24
4. Numb3rs

Places You Have Been on Vacation
1. Paris. Sigh.
2. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4. Interlaken, Switzerland

Websites You Visit Daily
1. Bloglines
2. Yahoo
3. That about does it for daily visits.

Favorite Foods
1. Ice cream with hot fudge
2. Tomato sandwiches (in season only)
3. Steak au poivre
4. Creme brulee

I've seen this one around a lot, so I am going to issue a general tag!

Thanks everyone for the encouragement about the sweater vest. I think I might give it a shot. My mom has a sewing machine, so that was really just a lame excuse. Be prepared for this to take me forever, though. Plus, I have other things I want to do first. More on those things later...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Fair Isle Vest

A brief update... My Knit Picks order arrived today. Yay!! (Hey--what do you know? Some sock yarn snuck in there!) I looked at the pattern for the vest ... and it is steeked!! Waaah!!

I really feel this should have been mentioned prominently in the description. Of course, Smart Knitters would probably have known that there would be steeks involved just by looking at it.

I cannot do steeks because: (1) just reading Eunny's recent posts have made me woozy, (2) I do not have a sewing machine, and oh yeah, (3) the idea of steeks makes me woozy.

So now I have this bunch of Merino Style and what the hell am I going to do with it? Also, Mr. A has asked about the Vest. And, considering what he has had to say about my project choices in the past, what will he say if I tell him I can't do it because it's too hard? Especially given that I have, in fact, hired help with the housecleaning?

New Mantra -- Enjoy the Process

I've been having trouble with Jaywalkers. Well, I already mentioned that the blue Regia Jaywalkers are now a ball of yarn. I had to frog that beautiful Turkish cast-on toe. Then, I finished that first Sock Landscape Jaywalker, and the fit is a little loose. Trying it on again, maybe it's not so bad. But it's not perfect, and for some reason lately, I've been feeling bad about not producing perfection. Sure, I sounded happy enough about my non-matching Rib & Cable toes...but you'll notice that I hid the fact that they are different in the picture. Sigh.

I've also been sorely tempted to join Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. I even have a project in mind, with the yarn ordered and on the way. The chances of my actually finishing even a non-challenging project in sixteen days are pretty slim, let alone my first big fair isle project ever. Way to go, Laura ... just set yourself up for failure.

Then, I read Margene's post on "the process." Wow -- just what I needed to hear. She writes about how we should enjoy the process of knitting, even the mistakes and the frogging, and be grateful that we have beautiful yarn to knit and the time in which to knit it. In the spirit of Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican bobsled team -- athletes who enjoy the process -- Margene has started a low-stress alternative to the Knitting Olympics. Start on February 10. Or pull out a WIP. Finish by February 26. Or not. But enjoy the knitting. Sign me up for that!

Thanks everyone for the nice comments on the Rib and Cable socks. I am stupidly happy with them, even though, they too felt a little loose after wearing them. And I have been super excited about finding new cool blogs through my comments lately. (New commenters seem to be coinciding with Eunny putting my link on her sidebar!) Thanks for coming by, and saying hello. It makes my day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Give Me a "J"

Hey Chrissy, here are my January Socks! And they are the first FO of 2006. I have to be honest, I have something else that is almost finished, but I wanted these to be my first FO of the year. I loved everything about making these socks, except for the toe seams.

Pattern: Rib and Cable Socks by Nancy Bush (Interweave Knits, Fall 2005)
Yarn: Handpainted sock yarn from A Piece of Vermont. I think the colorway was called Blue Skies.
Needles: 3 mm (US 2) Addi Turbo 40 inch circular
Gauge: 7 sts per inch in st st
Modifications: Did short row heels and toes. Shortened the plain ribbing at the cuff a bit. Toe seam fiasco (see below).

I could go on and on. First, this pattern is great. The redoubtable Carola has made many pair of these, so I figured the pattern must be a winner. And it is. The rib is soothing but not boring. The cables are fun. I can see this becoming a standard basic sock pattern for me.

And the yarn. Well. Jessie makes bee-yoo-tee-ful handpainted yarn. I don't know the first thing about the dyeing process, but it seems to me she must be genius at this. I have noticed a few things about handpainted yarns: (1) some of them pool; (2) sometimes this looks good; but(3) often people don't like it. This yarn has ZERO pooling. Knitted up, there is this gorgeous dappled effect of blues, pinks, white, lavenders. It is PERFECT. Soft, soft, soft too. And I think the yarn and pattern were a very good match. Thanks, Jessie!

About the toe seams. As I mentioned recently, I hate grafting. I just cannot get the hang of it. Grafting the toe on the first sock ended up with a row of purl bumps on the right side. (WTF!?!) So when I saw that Kris -- a far more talented knitter than I -- uses the three-needle bindoff for toes instead of grafting, I decided I had found my solution. I think it looks pretty good, and the seam on the inside is not bulky or annoying. I tried to rip the toe seam from sock #1 and redo it, but I could see Impending Disaster on the horizon, so I stopped. The toe seams don't match, but who's really going to see them? Anyhow, I love these socks! Yay!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Quirks and Treats, and a Hero

Jennifer and Chris tagged me for the "five quirks" meme, so here goes. It's harder to think of five quirky things than you might expect. So, if I've revealed these before, sorry! If you would like to play along, consider yourself tagged.

1. I must sleep under the covers, no matter how hot it is.

2. I hate being in crowds, and it makes me really panicky. Really, I'm kind of claustrophobic in general, because what I hate is that closed-in feeling. Which makes Quirk #1 kind of surprising, I guess.

3. I don't like air conditioning, and will avoid turning it on for as long as possible.

4. These creep me out: scaly things and slimy things. Also, things that have round or roundish, raised bumpy textures. Like some lichens, barnacles, or the inside of a bell pepper. Needless to say, shibori knitting is not for me.

5. When I was little, I would not wear socks around the house for love or money. Amazing, huh, considering my current obsession with socks.

Many of you worthy souls have made resolutions of the Yarn Diet or No Stash Enhancement varieties. I didn't even bother, because I simply cannot resist. I did a little Etsy browsing the other night, and decided I wanted to try some of these sock yarns that I have been hearing so much about. My orders arrived today! Yippee! It is a disgustingly gloomy day, but I am going to give you photos anyway. Affiknitty, meeting all your yarn p*rn needs since 2005.

Here is some yummy Neapolitan worsted from Dani's Sunshine Yarns. I really wanted the sock yarn in this colorway, but alas, I will have to wait. Dani sent the cutest matching bead stitch markers, but they are too small to take a proper picture. There was only one skein of 220 yards, and I snatched it up. Perfect for the What's Your Skein KAL. I'm going to have to think of something really special for this. Ideas are welcome.

And, that's right, I got me some Vesper sock yarn from Julia's Etsy shop. I've been dropping in at kpixie from time to time looking for it, with no luck. When I saw some on her Etsy page, I knew I ought to jump on it. Let me tell you, knittas, this may look good here, but it's even more pinkalicious in person.

Maybe I'll be different. Instead of vowing not to buy yarn in 2006, I vow to try as many cool sock yarns as I can, and let you all know what I think. Let's hope Mr. A isn't reading this.

Coming soon: the first FOs of 2006, and more Jaywalker woes.

Non-knitting content: It's a day late, but in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I wanted to post this link to Amy Goodman's Democracy Now show from yesterday. She played extended segments of a speech Dr. King gave on his opposition to the Vietnam War, as well as the last speech he gave, on April 3, 1968. The latter is particularly poignant, given that he was assassinated the next day. The former has much to offer us today, in a time of war.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Loser No More

Yay! I won Stephanie's memory contest! I am so excited!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Burning Questions

Why, oh why, didn't I buy that Cape Codder sock yarn Jessie dyed when I had the chance?

Why do I have such a phobia of grafting? The first Sock Landscape Jaywalker is done, except for the Kitchener stitch at the toe seam. I am getting panicky just thinking about it. The last toe seam I grafted, I followed the very good directions I got from Christine exactly, and ended up with a row of purl bumps. How do I do these things? Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

As Sarah, one of S's tutors and a newbie knitter, asked me: why does some yarn come in a skein that can't be knit from? I'd like to think that there is some fiber-specific reason, but I think it's probably more outsourcing to the customer.

Why do I love knit 3, purl 1 rib so much? I just started some legwarmers for Cover Your Ankles, and decided to use this, my favorite rib stitch. For some reason, I find it really soothing. Maybe it's just repetitive enough to be easy, with just enough changes to be non-boring.

So, my final question for today is, Do you have a favorite stitch pattern, and why? I love these interactive posts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Gather 'round, knitters, and hear the Sad Tale of the Regia Jaywalkers. I was following Natalia's toe up directions, and I swear I had gauge. I swear it! (Well, stitch gauge anyway.) She has these amazingly clever instructions for knitting a traditional heel, with a flap and gussets, from the toe up. So I'm following her directions, and I had a feeling something was wrong. But I, being a Silly Knitter, ignored that feeling. I did the gussets and turned the heel and was knitting the flap -- and tried it on and realized I started the whole process about one inch too late. I was having a lot of trouble picking up the stitches before the gussets to frog partially, so in a fit of pique, I unravelled nearly the whole thing. Waah, waah, waah. And they were looking so good.

You have to get right back on the horse, though, so I picked up these Sock Landscape Jaywalkers that I started right before joining Cara's KAL. I had set them aside, thinking that I didn't have enough yarn. But having knit other socks recently, I realized I would be okay. It's darn hard to take a good picture of a sock in process, but there it is. I'm about an inch or so from working the toe. Yay! Also in progress is the second Rib and Cable sock in Jessie's beautiful handpainted sock yarn.

2006 looks to be the Year of the Sock here at Affiknitty. Also, perhaps, the Year of the Knitalong. As you can see from the sidebar, I simply cannot stop joining knitalongs. If the people organizing them (read, you all) weren't so stinking nice, maybe I could resist! Anyway, check out Chrissy's blog for more details on the Sock-a-Month Knitalong. It looks like it will be Big Fun!

Addendum: Duh! Should have mentioned the colorway! It's Spring Prairie.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I know all you moms out there have had the experience of buying a toy for your kid, taking it out of the box, and then having to spend an hour assembling it and putting little stickers on it. My dad, who worked his entire career in manufacturing, calls that outsourcing to the customer.

I'm going to be doing a little outsourcing to you today. I saw this meme on Karen's and Olga's blogs, and I want to play along. So leave me a memory. I need cheering up. I had to frog the blue Jaywalker. (Don't ask, it's still too raw. LOL!)

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL MEMORY OF YOU AND ME. It can be anything you want--good or bad--BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. When you're finished, post this on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

P.S. Thanks for the nice comments about the now-defunct Jaywalker (sob!). It was Regia 4 Color, and it will be again! The vertigo is much, much better today.

Monday, January 09, 2006

In a Place Called Vertigo

Yesterday, I woke up feeling dizzy (or perhaps I should say dizzier than usual), and the feeling just didn't go away. So I went to the urgent care and was informed that I have vertigo. I'm more or less okay, as long as I stay put and don't move my head around. The doctor gave me some meclizine (not to be confused with mescaline), which helps a little.

She said it is probably caused by labyrinthitis. Or could it be ... Jaywalking?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Ich Liebe Dich Nicht, Du Liebst Mich Nicht

Dear American Needle Manufacturer:

As a newly obsessed sock knitter, I truly appreciate that you make circular needles in a 2.25 mm size. That tiny quarter of a millimeter can be crucial in achieving the proper gauge for, say, that sock pattern sensation that is sweeping the Internet and which you are just dying to complete. However, may I make a few suggestions?

1. It would be nice if the tips of the needles were not so sharp that they could puncture truck tires.

2. It would be lovely if the surface of the needle were just a tiny bit slicker, so that the knitter does not develop hamhock forearms from the effort of moving the stitches along the needles.

3. I may be mistaken, but I think the idea is that the stitches must be able to move across the join of the needle and cable, thereby making it possible for the knitter to actually work the stitches. Just a thought.

Unfortunately, these tiny issues have led me to abandon your product for that of your German competitor, even if my gauge is affected slightly. If I may say so, knitting with their needles is like buttah.

Auf Wiedersehen und gutes riddance,

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Starts and Fits

Like Terhi, I've been knitting a lot of blue things lately. Or trying anyway. Here's my first Rib and Cable sock, ready for kitchenering. I get pretty anxious about grafting, but Christine has offered some help. Thanks for the tips!

I started this last weekend. I'm calling her Nell, because she's a little version of the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole from Scarf Style. But she's too wide -- I have only 5 skeins of this Karaoke, so it would be the shortest scarf ever. Do-over! (Aside to Olga: I still want to start another Scarf Style project, if you're still game!)

This is my second attempt at toe-up Jaywalkers with Regia 4 Color. This time I decided to try the Turkish cast-on. Do I feel clever or what? Thanks Deb, for the awesome tutorial! My gauge is a little too tight, but I think I'll just make the larger size and see how it goes. I can't bear to frog this beautiful toe. There's another something blue on Affiknitty Patterns -- my iPod cozy with full details.

Blogger Ate This Post -- Twice

Third time's a charm, eh? I promised blogs, here are blogs.

Knit Together...Wonderfully Made. Lynda's blog is a lovely combination of fine knitting and imspiration. She's got a cool Count Your Socks contest going on -- check it out!

I found Kaity's blog, PunkRockKnitter, through the What's Your Skein? KAL. Check out the perfect stripes on this alpaca she dyed herself. She has awesome taste in music. (Kaity, I too frequently have "Buddy Holly" by Weezer stuck in my head.)

The coolest thing is that Lynda and Kaity are mother and daughter. (I know. Some of you, but hopefully not all of you, are saying Duh!) I sure wish I could share my passion with my mom, or a daughter. I know you both know how blessed you are!

Knitting Underway is Theresa's blog. It's a great read -- I especially love the quotes she finds to start her posts. She's a really prolific knitter, particularly considering she is a medical student. She's moving from New England to San Diego, so if you have any warm-climate knitting tips, drop by and let her know!

I love finding new blogs to read. I found both Theresa's and Lynda's blogs through comments that they left here. So, if you are lurking, leave a comment sometime and say hi!

I have decided to put a link to a blog on the sidebar instead of writing these posts every week. I plan to write about other blogs from time to time, but I can obviously update the link much more often. So keep your eye on the sidebar!

Monday, January 02, 2006

On a New Year

First of all, thanks everyone for the super nice comments about the KepLaura. I am really pretty happy with it. It's warm, but ok for wearing inside. It fits and doesn't look like a tent. Yay!

Hope you all had a happy beginning to 2006. Yesterday, Greg and I went to see Munich. It was a great movie, but sad and disturbing. I thought it was fairly even-handed. It showed effectively how both the terrorist targets and the Israelis were motivated by love of home, but also by a desire for vengeance. The Academy ought to show Messieurs Spielberg and Bana a little love.

I said I'd do some thinking about the Old Year, and the New Year, and all that rot. Here goes, saved by a meme.

The Top Five for 2005
1. New technique: I can't narrow it down to one -- learning short row heels and toes has made me love knitting socks. Cabling without a cable needle has made me love cables. Blogging has motivated me to stick with projects and try new things. I've learned a lot from other knitters on the Net and found some great patterns.

2. Favorite FO: It would have to be the KepLaura.

3. Favorite KAL: I must say I'm pretty proud of Cover Your Head. People seem to be enjoying it, and there are many active hat knitters. I am looking forward to the next Socktoberfest!

4. Favorite LYS: Around here, I really like Knitting on the Square in Chardon, Ohio (no website as yet). The ladies at the Knitting Room in Woodmere have a special place in my heart for being nice to S. In cyberspace, I really love Knit Picks. I appreciate their mission of making beautiful fibers affordable.

5. Favorite tool: I love love love my 40 inch Addis in 2.00 mm and 2.5 mm sizes. It's all about the Magic Loop, baby! These aren't exactly tools, but I bought both Weekend Knitting and Handknit Holidays in 2005, and I go back to them over and over.

Six Goals for 2006
I'm setting the bar pretty low here, but I don't believe in making resolutions that you aren't likely to keep.

1. I will try more challenging projects. I will try lace knitting, possibly starting with this.

2. I would like to try dyeing sock yarn, with widely available beverages.

3. I want to knit many, many more pairs of socks. I am in love with knitting socks. Lynda recently posted that she would like to get to a point where she only wears handknit socks. A laudable goal! I'm with you, Lynda!

4. I will remember, when I am considering buying glossy magazines at the grocery store, that for the same money, I could buy yarn from Knit Picks.

5. I will not decide to knit gifts with less than three weeks before the relevant occasion.

6. Not knitting-related, but I will exercise something besides my right hand.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sock Yarns I Have Known and Loved

KTC Swap Information!

1. What is your favorite type of yarn/fibers?
Wool and wool blends are my favorites. Merino, cashmere, alpaca, yum, yum, yum! I love beautiful sock yarns, especially handpainted ones.

2. Any yarns/fibers you absolutely hate?
I'm not one for novelty yarns. All cotton can make my hands hurt. But maybe it's the cotton I have used (cheap).

3. Any type that you would love to try but haven't yet?
There are tons of sock yarns that I am dying to try: Artyarns, Louet Gems Opal, Hill Country yarns, Blue Moon Fiber Socks that Rock. I am also starting to knit lace, and the only laceweight I have is from Knit Picks. I don't know anything about laceweight yarns, so I don't even know what's out there!

4. Any yarn allergies or sensitivities?
No, thank goodness.

5. Favorite colors?
I like just about all colors, except hot pink, bright orange, and bright yellow. But little bits of those colors with others are nice. My favorite colors are blues, greens, purples and grays.

6. Favorite type of thing to knit: socks, lace, fair isle etc.
Socks! I love socks! And as I mentioned I am starting to learn to knit lace. I also really enjoy cable projects.

7. Any knitting tools you would love to have?
Blocking wires.

8. Favorite tools you already have?
I love my Addi Turbos (40 inch for Magic Loop!) and my Chibi is my friend.

9. Favorite knitting designer?
Tough one. Nancy Bush for socks. I like some of Annie Modesitt's and Bonne Marie Burns' designs. Also, Anna Bell's patterns are really lovely -- she sells them on her blog My Fashionable Life. I have the sock set and it is great.

10. Favorite knitting book?
Weekend Knitting, Knitter's Handbook, Handknit Holidays, Knitting on the Road, Folk Socks, Knitting Vintage Socks, Knitting Without Tears.

11. Any knitting books you would like?
I tend to buy WAY TOO MANY knitting books. Most of the ones I want are yet to be released. I'd like the Yarn Harlot's new book, Inspired Cable Knits by Fiona Ellis, One Skein by Leigh Radford, the new Vogue Stitchionary on cable patterns. Of course, if a person were to have some extra copies of those out-of-print Alice Starmore books lying about, I wouldn't mind relieving her of them! ;)

1. Favorite foods/flavors?
Hmm. I love chocolate, pretty much anything chocolate! :)

2. Foods/favors you dislike?
Not many -- I don't like very artifical-tasting fruit flavors. Marzipan -- yuck. Maraschino cherries -- shudder. I don't really like sushi much, but no one is likely to mail me raw fish.

3. Any food allergies?
Not a one.

4. Do you like tea or coffee?
Yes! But lately I drink more tea than coffee.

1. Favorite genre?
Too hard to narrow it down to just one! I love mystery fiction, literary fiction, popular histories, some young adult fiction, historical fiction, some non-fiction.

2. Favorite authors?
Jane Austen, PG Wodehouse, Dorothy Sayers, Jorge Amado, Arturo Perez-Reverte, Oscar Wilde

3. Top three favorite books?
Oh come on! Only three? I can't do it. Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, The Importance of Being Earnest, Leave It to Psmith, Gaudy Night, Gabriela Clove and Cinnamon.

4. Anything you dislike to read?
I'm not a fan of science fiction, but maybe I just haven't read the right stuff.

5. Do you like to listen to audiobooks? Cassette, cd or mp3 format?
I am interested in trying it out while I knit! I have an iPod, so mp3's are great. Otherwise, CDs.

1. Other hobbies besides knitting?
Not really. I'm sort of getting into papercrafts like cardmaking, collage, and visual journals.

2. Do you collect anything?
Besides books and yarn, I collect teapots, teacups, things with tea-related themes, and things related to Paris.

3. Favorite scent?
For candles, I prefer clean fruit and herbal scents. Light florals are good too. I love lavendar, lemon verbena, linden. Also some spicier scents, like geranium and sandalwood.

4. Any scent you dislike or are allergic to?
Just nothing that is really heavy and sweet-smelling.

5. Music that you like or dislike?
I am really, really, really into music. (I can't play any instruments or sing, but I am an enthusiastic listener.) My favorite kinds of music are indie-alternative pop and rock, classic jazz, classic rhythm and blues, classic 80s alternative music. But I also like bluegrass; alt-country; some hip hop; classical; electronica; Canadian indie rock; world music of all types, especially bossa nova and other Brazilian music, French cafe music, and Middle Eastern and African music. There's not much I don't like. Really mainstream pop and country are not favorites, and I don't like heavy metal, jam bands like the Dead, or hardcore/gangster rap. Some of the bands that I am listening to a lot right now are Death Cab for Cutie, Sigur Ros, the Decemberists (in love with them!), Coldplay, Belle and Sebastian, Cocteau Twins.

Knitalongs and Swaps of 2006

My January Socks: Rib and Cable Socks in Piece of Vermont Handpainted sock yarn.
My February Socks: Plain Ole Socks in Regia Ringel Clown.
My April Socks: Eyelet Lace Sockapaloooza Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.
My June Socks: More Rib and Cable Socks in Piece of Vermont Handpainted sock yarn.

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All the details on the Ribbed Anklewarmers are here.

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January: I made the Reverse Bloom Flower Washcloth as my Mrs. Dalloway project.

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Beginning the Sock Landscape Jaywalkers.
Starting another pair of Jaywalkers with Regia.
Needle issues.
Dizzy from Jaywalking.
Frogging the Regia, and back to the Sock Landscape.
Deep breath...enjoy the process...
And the Sock Landscape Jaywalkers are finished.

It's NOT a Gift! Knitalong
I made the Edgar scarf from Knitty, Fall 2005, and you can see posts on it, here and here.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Yeah, I pretty much sat out of the Knitting Olympics.

I made Eyelet Diamonds socks from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Seaside. More information on these socks in these posts:
Thinking about my sockpal.
Passing the buck on yarn choice.
Having some problems settling on a pattern.
Waxing poetic and hating my needles.
And here are the socks I received from Anna of Finally Waking Up.

I made footies from one skein of Koigu KPPPM. See the suspense here and the result here.

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1 Pair to Start, 15 Pairs Today!