Monday, October 23, 2006

Socktoberfest Confessions & Contests...

Containers filled with sock yarn:
7 shoebox sized sterlites
5 larger sterlites (I believe they're the next size larger)
There are around 6 pairs worth of yarn on the floor that didn't fit.
And 3 more floating around the apartment because they're "in progress"

I mentioned a contest. And I shall deliver.

Guess how many skeins of sock yarn I have coralled in my apartment.
Guess how many pairs of socks* those skeins of sock yarn could make if I knit from now until the end of time making nothing but socks... (have I mentioned I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by my sock yarn stash?)

The prize, you ask?
Yup, it's the predictable answer, sock yarn!
There are two questions, there will be two winners.
I'll ask you a few questions about what you like working with and your favorite colors and pick what I think is a good fit from my stash!
And, if you don't knit, or don't knit socks, I'm sure we can work something out, so guess anyways.

Submit your guesses to onmyneedles at bethieee dot org by the end of this week, Friday the 27th in order to enter the contest.

* For the record, I counted pairs of 50 gram balls and 100 gram skeins as one pair of socks. To make my life easier, 50 gram single balls were also counted as a pair of socks, but there weren't many of those. I can get footies out of one 50 gram ball of yarn, whether I actually choose to do so when it comes time to knit them, or not is another matter entirely.

Socktoberfest Sock Accounting

Pairs completed: 2
Burgundy Rowan Wool-Cotton for SockWars (my target is dead)
Varegaited verdigris green and browns Socks That Rock using the SockWars pattern adjusted to 60 stitches. An out of date picture. They're done, I swear, I even wore them at school (after kitchenering the toes during my first class that day).

Socks begun:
Green Lorna's Laces, 4x1 rib, most of one sock was done before, ripped it out and started anew.
Blue Green Jaeger, SockWars socks - my target's target went AWOL, so I'm knitting for her target.

Socks due for completion:
Grey Regia Silk, rib pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks (anyone willing to make me a copy of that pattern? I loaned my book to a friend in Seattle and need to get it back from him still. I'd let you know what the rib count was, but I can't actually find the sock... Bother!)

Socks ripped:
Green Lorna's Laces, 2x2 rib.

Red Trekking, Jaywalker, converted pattern to toe-up, never liked how it fit.

Pink Bearfoot, Fancy Silk Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks, leftover from the Knitting Olympics and Sockapaloooza. This is the one that was too big even for my rather wide feet.

All three of those lovely, mostly completed socks, have now returned to being balls of yarn! Yay, new beginnings, possibilities, hope!
Or maybe I just have a terminal case of second sock syndrome...

Socks whose fate has not yet been decided:
Blue and purple, toe-up stockinette, from Karen for naming her fiber room "The Stitchery", I love the yarn, I'm just bored of the knitting and am not really fond of the magic loop.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Socktoberfest - Confession preparation

I went into the spare bedroom this afternoon to prep for my sock yarn confession and found myself doing a minor edit of how my other yarns were shelved.

In the course of doing this I found a handful of projects that just needed to be ripped out. Among these, the bottom 6 inches of a tank top begun in 2001 and the cuffs of two pairs of knee socks that I am now comfortable admitting that I will not finish in that particular incarnation.

It's refreshing to rip something back to yarn and declare it a new blank slate. If I were being truly responsible, I'd re-skein the yarn and block it, but I'm not. I might do it when I decide to start something with the yarn in question, but then again, I might not.

Sock yarn confessions should come later today or tomorrow, but if not then, then not until next weekend.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

SP Puzzle

So this is the email I got from my new Secret Pal.

I'm so excited to start this round of secret pal. I must say, I do read your blog regularly, so I kind of know a lot about you. It's going to be so hard for me to keep my identity a secret. Lets see if you can figure me out! Until then, happy knitting!

EEK!! I feel so out of my league. I'm not so much good at puzzles like this though I will definitely be giving it a try to figure out.

I also received this in one of my comments recently:

what yarns would you like to try that you've never tried before?

And quite frankly, I don't know what to say in response to that question. I've been fairly bad about moderating my yarn purchases and most of the things I want to knit with I have and just haven't gotten around to yet. For instance, the STR socks that I'll be posting about at some point this weekend (it is Socktober, after all) are yarn that I bought over a year ago, but they are my first STR socks!

I know there have been some yarns that people got at fairs on this side of the country that I couldn't get at home, but right now I'm not coming up with any... wracking brain, wracking brain....

It's a quarter to two, I really should go to sleep even though I'm not tired.

Ooh, I remember one of them... it was... bother... it left...

No, wait, it's back again.. Brooks Farm Primero such pretty colors.
And for spinning fiber, I've been drooling over the colored tufts from Grafton Fibers.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Even shorter hair...

Went in for a trim.
Had some miscommunications with the stylist.
She kept length in back that I wanted gone and took off the curls I liked so much pulled forward onto my cheeks. They had someone else try to make it better, but I was stuck with a mid-grow-out meh haircut when all I'd wanted was a trim.
I hated it.
So I went back and had it pretty much all chopped off.
Enjoying the new look quite a bit.

Not the best picture, but then what do you expect from the bathroom mirror.

Two cuts in two weeks causes a 75% redution in length.
I'm not planning on continuing with this rate of change.
I'd be bald by the end of the month. I'm not up for that this month.
(but I do, kind-of want to do it at some point... bother)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

SP 9 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Ooh, favorite yarns... that's a tough one.
I absolutely adore Sundara's yarn, especially getting the Petals Collection boxes every couple of months.
I'm on an Alchemy kick since Knit Happens had them on 50% off when I was in their shop a couple of weeks ago.
For staples, you know, those yarns you just keep going back to again and again, there's Koigu, Cascade 220, 220 Superwash, Lambs Pride and Cotton Fleece.
Color patterning favorites would have to be Koigu, Socks that Rock, Lorna's Laces, and Noro's Silk Garden/Kureyon
For baby stuff, Dale's superwash, 220 Superwash, and (though I hate to admit it) Encore.
I think that's enough. Pretty much, I don't really have any one favorite yarn. It all depends on what I'm working on.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
My apartment.
No, seriously, they're everywhere...

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for most of 8 consecutive years now. I consider myself intermediate, though that's probably an underestimate because if you give me a pattern and enough time, I'll be able to do pretty much anything. (My tension on cables and stranding distresses me, but people tell me I'm being too picky)
My mom taught me when I was little. I taught myself again in college.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do, ask for the link if you're interested.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
Not synthetic.
Pretty much I'm not too much of a scent type of girl (though I've been lusting after some Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs Imps for a while now and just not getting around to setting aside some of my spending money for them).
Generally I prefer my scents simple and dilute. I really don't like walking into a space and getting smacked by a scent.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I have a chocolate tooth. (but I'm vegan, so at this point milk and white chocolate are right out... check the ingredients, the new allergen labelling requirements make it really easy, I love them)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I spin. I crochet. I sew (infrequently and badly). I dye (again infrequently). I have a cross-stitch pattern I'd like to work up, but haven't gotten around to it. Generally I don't finish needlework projects, so I really try not to start them.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Almost any, and yes.
I have an oddly extensive collection of Latin pop (Thank you Muppet!), and a soft spot in my heart for hard rock/metal that actually has a melody line and band members that can sing. (Nightwish and Dresden Dolls are two personal favorites in that category). I also particularly like new(ish) folk, singer/songwriters, etc... (think Dar Williams, Joan Baez, Rebecca Riots, etc..)
My personal laptop spends most of its time playing music for me off an external hard-drive that is embarassingly close to full. And I haven't even put most of my CDs onto it yet... I don't think they're going to fit.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Favorite colors: Greens and Blues.
Colors I shouldn't wear: Yellows and Browns.
Colors I can't stand: not so much, every color has its use, the only question is whether it'll be useful to me. *giggle*

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have one pet, a lovely chow-cross named Zhenya.
Isn't he cute?

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, Yes, Yes, No.
I also particularly like shawls.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Um... I have yarn for more socks than anything else, but I suspect that's just because as projects go, it's inexpensive and the colors keep inspiring me to pick up "just one more pair"...
I have lots of yarn for sweaters, but I seem to have trouble finishing them. (Poinsettia is earmarked to be finished before Christmas. We'll see if it happens, just one sleeve cap left to knit and then the finishing)

13. What are you knitting right now?
I'm not knitting. I'm typing.
That's not what you meant, is it?
I'm working on a lace sampler scarf of my own anal-retentive design, Poinsettia, Icarus, a baby blanket, a baby suprise jacket, Charming wristwarmers, and assorted other projects in various stages of neglect.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes, absolutely.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I prefer pointy needles with smooth joins (I suppose that makes them circular, huh?), and double points for socks.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes. Yes.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Don't ask, I don't know. Maybe by flash your stash in April, I'll have found them all and will be able to tell you then, but for now I plead ignorance, pleading the fifth would be unnecessary.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween, Samhain.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn? UFO's? Little PMC or paperclay dragons made by the TattersMan at Norwescon? Train Lanterns from my Grandfather's collection?
None of these things are particularly useful as the start point of gifts.
Knitting books. Knitting patterns. I'd love to collect pretty crochet hooks, but I haven't started that collection yet. Would you like to do it for me?

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Spin to Knit looks interesting though I'll probably not buy it for myself any time soon. Poetry in Stitches and Norsk Strikkedesign are two I've been lusting after for years.
I subscribe to InterweaveKnits and Spin-Off.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Not really. I'd like to get better at stranding, but that will come with time I suspect. I keep meaning to pick up one of each of the varieties of yarn holder ring-thingies, but forget where I've seen them.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I am. I'll go find the measurements later.. I'm pretty sure they're in my SP8 questionairre, but I should get back to studying.
A related side note, I prefer my socks fairly tight around the instep.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
This means when I'm attending a state school I'll often get a holiday weekend for my birthday. Now that I'm back at a private school, I'll be done for the year before my birthday comes around.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Why I knit in class

I knit in class for a small handfull of reasons.

If I'm interested it helps keep me focused.
If I'm not interested, it helps keep me awake.
If I'm pissed off by the lecturer, it helps keep my mouth shut!

Why do you knit where you knit?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

SP 8 Reveal

I got a wonderful last box from my SP8.
It came in just over a week ago and I've been overwhelmed since then.
So, better late than never, here we go.
My fabulously understanding Secret Pal was none other than The Wool Princess who lives over at Hand over the Wool!

For the last box she sent me:
Some lovely Ashland Bay fiber in a color that is bluer than it looks in this picture.
A Burt's Bees sampler pack. I've been lusting after these for so long and never quite justifying picking one up for myself. Thank you wonderful Wool Princess.
A copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting. It's a book I already have, (but may still have on my Amazon wishlist... I should go update that), but definitely a book I don't mind having an extra copy of. It's a perfect gift for people you've just taught to knit and I seem to be starting a collection of those. There's the boy back home who was taught by committee, there's one classmate, and another two or three classmates who have expressed interest. .

This last box was not as impressive on the yarn front as the second one that I raved about a while ago before I'd figured out how to get my camera to talk to my computer. Here's the absolutely fabulous second box she sent to me.

A copy of OneSkeing and a truly impressive assortment of onese and twoses of ballses of yarnses. (okay, maybe I need to go to bed early tonight, it's nowhere near late enough to warrant that level of (un)grammatical silliness).
The blue linen got made into 2/3rds of a handtowel and was ripped out last night while watching Grey's Anatomy. My classmates were appalled that I'd pulled something out... how much they have to learn.
The white puffy stuff was Blizzard and I was making it into the ruffled cravat from OneSkein, but misread the gauge so I ran out of yarn when I had roughly five-eights of a scarf. It too has returned to being a ball of yarn. I did, however fall in love with the pattern. I've made 3 and 5/8 of them this fall!
But they deserve their own post, later.


My sockwars socks are finished. They will go out in the mail today after school and from there I'm not really sure what will happen next.
I'm just happy that I got mine finished and mailed before I got dead.
Yay, bounce...

I really enjoyed the rib pattern, very simple, almost mindless but looks like much more once it starts flowing out behind your needles.
Unfortunately the box is packed and taped and I forgot to take pictures! Silly monkey!
I used Rowan's Wool Cotton in a dark red/purple that I had in the stash from a project that failed to come together as I'd expected it to. I enjoyed working with the yarn more than I expected, though there's no way I'd be able to use socks made out of it for anything other than slippers. This is a frequent problem for me, comes from having wide feet.

And now, back to Icarus and Poinsettia.
Over the weekend I will start the great Socktoberfest Stash Show.
The first step is actually finding my sock yarn... oy...