sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Squares, socks, sari silk... alliteration twitterpation.

(Are you looking for the sock yarn contest? Link here... Please leave couplets on *that* post's comments and *note* they are supposed to flow from the choka in progress! Read more on ChokaOnIt... and if you've already entered, thanks! I'm having a blast reading them, and think I should run contests more often!)


Aside from reading couplets, I finished up knitting my 5x5 squares for Warming Grace...

Clockwise from top left:
Sock/dk handpainted superwash, loop rib stitch
Henry's Attic Kona Superwash dyed with easter egg dyes, fountain stitch
Henry's Attic Kona Superwash dyed with easter egg dyes, Irish moss diamond stitch

Clockwise from top left:
Henry's Attic Kona Superwash dyed with easter egg dye-- doubled, mistake stitch I "discovered" :)
Santa Cruz Handspun "Prancer" 100% wool, fisherman's rib stitch
Rowan Calmer, openwork slip stitch

Clockwise from top left:
Santa Cruz Handspun "Prancer" 100% wool, stockinette stitch
Santa Cruz Handspun "Prancer" 100% wool, "Branching Out" pattern from Knitty
Santa Cruz Handspun "Prancer" 100% wool, "Clapotis" pattern from Knitty

Isn't Grace's yarn (from Santa Cruz Handspun) beautiful? :) It was perfect for the Warming Grace project, and it was super nice to knit it into something that will be precious to someone like the final blankets will be. I already have more yarn on order from Santa Cruz Handspun, and haven't even photographed 2 skeins that still are hanging out on my desk, waiting for inspiration to strike... (I had a pic of the Prancer skein but accidentally deleted it...)

These squares were fun, but the most fun was after they had been blocked and dried; my son had *the* best time playing with them on the tabletop as I was packaging them up for Canadia... its inspired me to be on the lookout for afghan/knitted block books to make an afghan for him. (Barbara Walker's Learn to Knit Afghan Book? I saw a couple of great squares on Jason's blog... any other recs for afghan/knitted squares in books?) It'll be one of those ongoing projects, a sqaure or two at a time-- can I sew them together at different times? Cos I know babybear will lose them if I let him play with squares for too long a time.

I think I'm going to use the Merino Worsted from Interlacements I bought at the Knit and Crochet Show for the afghan squares. I have 2 lbs of it incl. the variegated 8 oz skeins, but I think the BW Learn to Knit book calls for like, 5 lbs... I don't want to make a big afghan, but something the kid can drag around and I can put into the wash, so it may work...

I also sent in a skein of Brooks Farm Fourplay for the Warming Grace drawing... (same kind of yarn I used for my Odessa hat #2)

Aside from the squares, I've worked pretty much just on the Sunburst Sling bag...

Sunburst Sling bag, almost 10 triangles (almost complete, one side)

Up close

The sari silk is so hairy. I don't not like it, but can see myself knitting this in .. banana silk? Something else in the future. Great pattern.

I haven't worked on the "step above" entrelac socks from Knitter's Magazine, Summer 2004 since my last entry about them... It is a fun pattern, will look great when done, but... it doesn't *feel* like I'm knitting a sock! Silly I know, but true. I'll finish them, but in the meantime I cast on for another sock...

Basketcase Socks
pattern compliments of Dave
started: April 28, 2006
Henry's Attic Kona Superwash, dyed with easter egg dyes
US 2's, 7 sts/inch

I couldn't get 7 sts/inch on US 2's when I knit the Wyverns, but now do. Weird, but good...

The start date is correct, too (yesterday!). I just have powered thru them, and it felt great. As nice as knitting the squares and the sari silk purse was, I missed knitting socks. I'm already thru the gusset decreases, and just have the length of the foot to complete. The cuff is a little longer than my usual fare (7" or so to top of heel), but I'm digging my Child's Shell socks with their long cuffs, so maybe it'll be a new thing for me.

I have knit the instep with the pattern all the way across the 30 sts, where Dave only uses 18 sts in patt on the top of the foot (I meant to follow the pattern to the letter, oops)... My instep worked out like this

row 1 & 2: k2, p2, (k10, p2) twice, k2
row 3 & 4: k2, p2, (k2, p6, k2, p2) twice, k2
row 5 & 6: k2, p2, (k10, p2) twice, k2
row 7 & 8: k8, p2, k6, k4, p2, k8
row 9 & 10: (p6, k2, p2, k2) twice, p6
row 11 & 12: k8, p2, k 10, p2, k8

Otherwise, pattern is followed exactly :)

I like the color of the yarn, but I don't think I necessarily like them together like this... don't know. I *do* really like the Kona Superwash again-- what fast knit socks! Anyone else have dk weight pattern recommendations (aside from Sensational knitted socks)? I just have a ball knitting them and finishing a pair so soon.

I taught myself "combined knitting" for this pattern to help make my ribbing look better, with all of the knit/purl action going on. Combined knitting or combination knitting (how I'm using it in the round) is worked on purl stitches-- instead of wrapping the yarn counterclockwise once the needle is inserted thru the front loop as usual, the yarn is wrapped clockwise (I wrap it, Annie "scoops" it) and the resulting purl stitch uses less yarn, and makes ribbing look much neater and less wonky when the purl meets the knit stitches. It creates a twisted stitch, so on the next round you knit/purl (whichever is called for in the pattern) tbl... and if its a purl st you'll be purling tbl while wrapping the yarn clockwise again :)

It sounds weird, and took several rows to get used to, but I can totally see a difference in my ribbing. Here's an up close pic-- the 1st 5-7 rows were my regular knit/purl, afterwards is the combined knitting in action (about after the 1st orange row).

You can see near the top where the ribbing is wonky. It would clear up in blocking or in the wash, but the difference (to me) is noticeable in the lower rows, no weird knit stitches previous to purl stitches. (I admit I photog'd the worst example I could find in the ribbing.) Basketcase is a cool pattern to practice combined knitting on, since you're not always purling/knitting in a column so its more interesting than straight rib and I think it definitely looks good.

Look ma, no holes!

Compliments of C. Schurch's advice in Sensational Knitted Socks for picking up extra sts at the gusset to eliminate any holes. I dig the look of different textures here.

One more pic (I promise)...

Joann's having a knitting and crochet needle 40% sale, and they sent a 50% off coupon I used on the book... The super tiny crochet hook is to learn how to get beads on yarn without prestringing them (I can get this hook thru 8/0 and 6/0 beads, but haven't tried hooking yarn with it yet), and I gave away all of the other hooks I had to Building Futures with Women and Children before realizing how handy they come for picking up dropped stitches... The dpns pretty much complete my collection-- now I've got to find a dpn and circ needle organizing solution other than stuffing them in gallon sized ziplocs. There's great stuff over at etsy and I just can't decide what I want (or come to terms that I want all of it!) :)

Phew. Back to the sock, been away too long!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sock yarn contest inside! You know you want to play :)

Neat, Lisa Souza just linked me on her blog :)

To celebrate (and to help keep my sock yarn stash in check), I'm holding my very first contest!

Since I'll be holding off drawing a winner for 2 whole weeks (May 11!!), the prizes are aptly 2 skeins of Lisa Souza sock yarn from my stash :) I'll draw 2 winners, one for a skein of Sock! and one for a skein of Sock! Merino, winner's choice from the colorways pictured below.

Details on contest at bottom of post.

Y yarn pr0n, tho its been flashed before...

Lisa Souza Sock! yarn
75% Superwash wool, 25% nylon
4 oz, 488 yd
Petroglyph colorway

Lisa Souza Sock! yarn
75% Superwash wool, 25% nylon
4 oz, 488 yd
Bird of Paradise colorway

Lisa Souza Sock! Merino
560 yd/4 oz
100% merino superwash
South Pacific colorway
(new rockstar labelling!)

Lisa Souza Sock! Merino
560 yd/4 oz
100% merino superwash
Little Devil colorway
(new rockstar labelling!)

I've knit and enjoyed the Sock! yarn before, and it has worn well thru many overzealous wearings and washing/drying cycles since. I haven't used the Sock! Merino yet but they have been overly squeezed for the past few days to enjoy the merino cushyness :) I think both are an incredible deal in the "sock yarn world"; for the cost ($14 for the Sock! and $16 for the Sock! Merino), the superwash/machine washability, and also for the skein size-- 4 oz vs the 100 gram "standard". I was able to knit a full pair of Nancy Bush socks in Sock! without fear of running out or having to alter the pattern length, and you know how the Knitting Vintage Socks patterns have super long cuffs and how I have big feet. I'm excited for others to try it out, too... especially since a lot of the comments from my post about visiting the Knit and Crochet Show were about how good the Sock! Merino looked.


To make the contest something more than a comment cattle call and something kinda fun, go contribute to the world's longest poem at and afterwards, come back here & copy/paste your 2 line couplet you've submitted IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS POST. (Please read about how to contribute to the world's longest poem here first...) No yarn - sock - knitting references required or even encouraged, just your 7-5 that goes with the flow of the poem already in progress.

I'll draw 2 names *randomly* from the comments to *this* post (that include a couplet uploaded to ChokaOnIt) on May 11 (prolly during boogerbear's afternoon nap, things really don't work on a timetable around here) and will post the winner then. Easy peasy! One entry per person, one winner for Sock! and one for Sock! Merino-- winners to choose their colorway choice from above pics. Have fun, spread the word, come out of the woodwork & leave a couplet comment :) You know you want to!

Thanks for playing with me :)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Two frogs in two days... new koigu, bearfoot.

New to me, anyway. I love swapping on knittyboard :)

I usually swap for books and mags, but since these will go into my flickr stash album, thought I'd share.

Mountain Colors Bearfoot, larkspur colorway
60% superwash wool, 25% mohair, 15% nylon
350 yd, 100 gm

and cos I can't get enough red in my life...

Koigu Premium Painter's Palette Merino
colorway p602, dyelot 66
100% merino
175 yd/50 gm

I swapped a skein of the Schaefer Anne (the darker pearl buck) and the fleece artist hercules for these, good swap imo :)

And for the bad news... 2 frogged items in 2 days! Here's hoping that all of my purchases from the Knit and Crochet Show aren't cursed...

(bad pics, taken under floros before ripping commenced...)

Yes, the sari silk bag I wrote about yesterday... nothing really wrong with it other than there is *no way* I would have enough yarn to complete it, and that it was much larger than I thought it was (would have been about 22" across, enough for my kid to curl up in!) The short row triangles weighed in at 50 gm each, and with only 750gm of silk to start with and 20 triangles + straps... not possible.

Still, I'm not that upset about this one since I've restarted the medium sized bag and have gotten further than I was here (at least in number of triangles)... it is much quicker with only a reduction of 12 co sts. It will also be a much more manageable size for me, who never carried a purse (except to job interviews) until I bought my first "diaper bag" (an eagle creek parent backpack)... I don't really know how I'll use it, as if I leave the house or anything, but I just have always dug the look of this pattern.

The sari silk also frogged easily... except its even hairier now :)

The Nautilus hat. I thought I'd frogged it, but it was just a dream. It still bugs me sooo much! I just can't get a hat to fit correctly. I am half toying with the idea of finishing it and felting it, but then, who knows if it will be big enough... This progress didn't take me more than an afternoon, so its not the time but just my frustration with hats.

Isn't it huge? What was I thinking? (Other dpns inserted so it could be tried on).

Monday, April 24, 2006

Knit and Crochet Show Spring 2006, the second.

Knit and Crochet Show market take two...

I couldn't help myself, the market being so close to me and me with an empty Sunday and the possibility of more than yarn. I headed back to the show, had the best time in ages (notwithstanding the fact the yarn was the same as it was on Thursday), and wish I could be so free to go out like this all of the time.

I picked up an 8 oz hank of Henry's Attic Kona Superwash from Caila Handknits... I have no more undyed yarn since my easter egg dying explosion, but only got the one since I think the next Henry's Attic I want to try is their new Kona Superwash fingering/sock weight (its what I'm planning to use for Dye O Rama, myself). But $10 is a good deal for the 8 oz and I'm sure I'll find *some* use for it. :)

I also bought the "sunburst sling bag" pattern from -- and 3 balls of sari silk from ($6.50 for the pattern, $6 each for the sari silk on sale-- on Thursday it was $8). The sari silk is soft and quite pretty, and heavy-- the balls are 8 oz+ each, enough for a large size sling bag.

My progress on the sunburst sling bag-- 2 triangles of 10. Two of the sari silk balls are very similar in color where one is more blue/red, so I think I'll stack the triangles like this: light 1 - red - light 2 - red - light 1 - red - light 2 - red - light 1 - red ... same with the other side, assuming I have enough red... never seem to have enough red. I'm to the point where I need to start a new triangle, so I'm going to weigh the ball before & after to guesstimate how much each takes and make sure this works out.

Is this the hairiest sari silk you've ever seen? Hard to see on the body but you can see on the edges the lengths & quantities I mean. I've not knit with it before, and have read it is hard on some hands (not mine), can be scratchy (no), can shed like a rabbit in heat (not yet), twisty (no problems so far), but is soooo hairy! I think I'll take a pair of scissors to it once its done, just to take the shag factor down a notch. Aside from the hairyness, I think its pretty cool... the fabric its making is perfect for a bag (would be sooo heavy as a garment though!), and is knitting up pretty quickly. I am planning on lining the bag, maybe a fusable interfacing since I have no sewing skills to speak of... though I know nothing about fusible linings, either :)

I started and frogged a hat from the Colinette Skye from my earlier jaunt to the KaCS market on Thursday; I used Marnie MacLean's Nautilus hat pattern with eyelets, and its huge. Huge even for my head, and certainly huge for my mom's head (who has a somewhat smaller head than me, but bigger hair.) I didn't get gauge (4 sts/inch)... instead I got 5.5sts/inch on US 7. So I decided to make the large size... eh, no. I was almost done and had to frog the whole thing. No matter, its a quick easy knit and I'll restart it as soon as I stop being so mad at myself for never being able to knit a proper hat.

I also knit it on dpns, which was far less awful than I thought it would be... Marnie's pattern is a top-down one (one of my requirements, since I wanted to make a longer hat and didn't know how far the yarn would take me), so working the circumference on a small # of sts and then working up is far easier than the time I tried to knit a hat on dpns from the bottom up (& quit and went on circs instead).

Back at the market, I went to see all of the booths again but nothing grabbed me as "essential". I did spend quite a long time at the Interlacements booth, sorting thru their specials table-- sometime between Thursday and yesterday they added a whole bunch of "Northwest territory" yarn (mohair, acrylic, weird twisty looking yarn) to the table and as I was looking for that unfound, extra grey skein of Merino Worsted under the acrylic pile (and any other superwash that may have grabbed my attention), another shopper looked at me and said I radiated calm. Heh, I told her it was being surrounded by all of the yarn, since I couldn't say I was drunk on conversation.

I headed back to Lisa Souza for more Sock! Merino, but again didn't want to duplicate any colorways I already had (though I did hold onto a skein of purple/black for an unseemly amount of time before wishing it well and setting it back down). I was on the lookout for Lantern Moon ebony dpns in US 1 & 2, but didn't find any...

I miss the beard, too :)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Knit and Crochet Show Market 2006 (pic heavy)

First with the pics, then with the yakyakyak below...

Knit and Crochet Show 2006, Spring

Market Preview
Thursday 4/21/06


Merino Worsted
100% superwash merino
560 yd/8 oz
4.5sts/inch on US 8
Desert Lichen colorway 208

Merino Worsted
100% superwash merino
560 yd/8 oz
4.5 sts/inch on US 8
Chairman of the Board colorway 217

Merino Worsted
100% superwash merino
560 yd/8 oz
4.5 sts/inch on US 8
limited edition colorway
These 2 looks closer to my eye than the pic, if I use them together in a sweater for mini me, I'll switch colors every few rows. I should have picked up the 3rd, lightest skein and made a sweater for me :)

I love Interlacements' show specials. $15 each for 8 oz hanks of superwash that I will wrestle into socks (even though they're listed as worsted). I love these new colors as well.

I was the only one and had time to pick and choose these skeins, where at Stitches I couldn't even get near their sale bin to even look. They also had Oregon worsted (100% wool, feltable), a few rick racky looking skeins of rayon? cotton?, a hank of green lace. All were 8 oz, but it was mainly the Oregon & Merino worsted out on special. They had their normal offerings too, but I earmarked their booth to graze on the specials bin.

Full Thread Ahead

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock
420 yd/4oz
100% luxury fingering merino
Potluck -- waters
This pic is a little darker than in reality... we're overcast today and I can't get a good, light pic.

$18 show specials for CTH Supersock, although most vendors sell these "potluck" dyelots at about $18. They did have a few of the normal colorways in addition to the potluck ones, but not many and none called out to me. I was hoping to get some African Grey supersock but they didn't have it.

I made a special stop here since HoJo (owner) is a presence at Knitter's Review Forums and I dig that kind of attention to knitters and the online community. Oh, and b/c I wanted supersock :)

This is the new labelling for Cherry Tree Hill, which now states the sock yarn is hand wash in cold only-- before (same yarn I'm 99% sure) was listed as machine washable. The base is Louet Gems pearl (as it is for Koigu) which says it is machine wash & dry, but I have had problems w/ CTH fading in the wash, so perhaps they changed the labels for that. (No felting problems though, personally.)

Carolina Homespun

Nature's Palette

by Hand Jive Knits
185 yd/50 gm fingering weight
100% merino
Odd duck colorway #1, dyelot 116

I think this yarn is so cool... dyed with natural dyes. I'll use it in a pattern that specifies Koigu as they're the same weight... I may like this better. :) Hand wash only.

The Knitters Studio

Mountain Colors Mountain Goat
230 yd/100gm
55% mohair, 45% wool
5 sts/inch on US 6-8
Rich Red colorway

I actually thought there was goat in this til I brought it home and photographed it :) It will make some interesting, warm socks... I must say despite the fact it has the same composition as the wool/mohair I bought from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks at Stitches, it is not nearly as soft or is close to the luster of the CRD wool/mohair. Just an observation. I love the color.

The Knitter's Studio was also selling at 20% all purchases over $1 Thursday & Friday, too.

Caila Handknits
(no web presence?)

Noro Cash Iroha

40% silk, 30% lambswool, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon
40 gm/100 yd
Color 83

Colinette Skye
163 yd/100gm
100% wool
Florentina colorway (?)

Crystal Palace Cream
50% wool, 50% silk
135 yd/50gm $2!!

I never go into these kind of booths (bags of yarn for sale), but they drew me in as no one was there and they had some interesting stuff. Apparently they sell discounted, discontinued, somehow orphaned yarns for quite a discount... They had a bunch of bags that I actually considered buying despite the fact I just can't get in gear and finish Starsky (much less pick it up and work on it!)... merino dk superwash 10 balls, $30. Debbie Bliss merino dk 10 balls, $40. 2 hanks of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace, $25 each (I almost picked these up, but I don't/can't knit lace, and I think there was a dye smudge or dirt/something wrong w/ the one colorway that appealed to me). Boxes of discontinued Colinette, other discontinued fancy looking yarns that I have no idea about but a more seasoned knitter probably would. They also had ziploc'd bags with a few matching skeins-- the Noro Cash Iroha above is 2 & 1/2 balls (40 gm normal weight, the ball is 30 gm) for $15. The Colinette Skye on its own was $5 (will make a big hat for my mom, who apparently likes big hats and has been paying someone an arm and a leg to *crochet* giant, chenille hats for her... ergh!). The Crystal Palace Cream was $2 (they had an oddball $2 box, which of course I dug into with both hands!)...

This was a cool booth. I have to say if you have allergies or squeemies, it may not be for you... the Colinette had a few stray white hairs interspersed (pet hair?), same for the Noro (but who knows what you find in Noro, anyways). I don't care, its homeless yarn that needed a home :)


Koigu Premium Painter's Palette Merino
100% merino wool
175yd/50 gm
28 sts/4 inches on US 3
colorway P714D, lot 68
The nearer skein is closest to the color

I was pleased that I wasn't bodyslammed like I was in the Foxyknits booth @ Stitches this time :) Actually I had the entire place to myself practically... perfect for me :) I wanted to pick up another colorway, but nothing really called out to me. I also resisted the urge to go thru their "mini skein" boxes-- not a deal if you use it for socks (.22/gram, same price as regular full skeins) and I still haven't used the minis for baby socks that I bought from Stitches last time... but it looked like they had some pretties and oldies in there. I looked over the solids but wasn't impressed... perhaps I am not the fan of Koigu that everyone else is. (I do think this colorway is very pretty though, it jumped out at me!)

Lisa Souza

Sock! Merino
100% superfine merino superwash
560 yd/4 oz
8 sts/inch on US 1-2
South Pacific colorway

Sock! Merino
100% superfine merino superwash
560 yd/4 oz
8 sts/inch on US 1-2
South Pacific Little Devil colorway (thanks Dave!!)

Like I said for Stitches, Lisa Souza is the best sock yarn deal of the market. $16 for 560 yd/4 oz of superwash, handpainted merino that is tdf soft. I'm totally on a "big" skein kick lately too, and really appreciate the size/generosity of these skeins. She said (she's sooo nice too!!) that her Sock! yarn was going to be slightly heavier gauge-wise soon, but she would continue winding the skeins to allow for extra yardage (I think she said 4.2 oz will be the new skein size, to offset the difference in yarn weight). That's rad.

And the colors!!! I wanted to pick up more than I did, but I didn't want to duplicate the ones I already had in stash (I almost bought another mahogany since I used it for the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern), but held off.

Sheep City USA

100% merino superwash
280 yd/4 oz
4.5sts/inch on US 3
Sunwashed Ocean colorway

Very pretty, and I like the colorway despite not having much blue in my stash. Its a little lighter in person and has a bit more white in it than in the pic. They had very pretty handpainted yarns (others beside the superwash, too), but every hank but this one was 8 oz and I only wanted a 4 oz size. It was a good deal too, $13. More soft, heavier weight socks on the way.


I didn't mean to, but it looks like my purchases have a definite purple bent to them. Strange as I never thought of myself as a purple girl, but why not :) I'm in a red phase, too.

Of course, this wasn't Stitches in size or scope, but it was a very nice selection of quality vendors, a much slower pace than the frantic Stitches market, and everyone seemed much happier here (vendors and buyers)-- perhaps just because it was not as high paced or heavily attended. I'd say it was close to empty, but this was only the market preview and perhaps it will be busier over the weekend (and cheaper!! I paid $15 entrance!!), but I had a great time (obviously).

If you go, check out the 8 oz Interlacements specials table, the new Lisa Souza Sock! Merino (you'll understand when you squeeze it and when she doesn't charge you tax! ...perhaps I was just lucky though...), and if you're looking for either sweater quantities of dk wool and/or Colinette on sale (or small lots of odd, beautiful yarn graced by a few strands of pet hair), Caila Handknits. Full Thread Ahead is also sporting those glow in the dark lighted needles, if that's your bag or if you just want to feel like a Jedi. The crochet hooks at Dodo's Design are gasping for breath beautiful (I don't crochet), and the ones at Asciano Fiber Arts Tools are fall on the floor in admiration amazing (I think Dodo's were less expensive, but different woods, both beautiful). Newton's Yarn Country has its usual 50% "only" on Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday sale, with wool and wool/cashmere laceweight that almost sucked me in (along with acres of novelty yarns that just hurts my brain to think about but was drawing crowds of oohers and aahers). Angora Cottage had some of the nicest staff ("come in! touch, see, feel!" ... just what knitters love to hear) and pretty rovings and yarn. Lots of great vendors-- see them all here.

My only beef was with TKGA/the entirety of the market preview tonite... just little irritating things that had nothing to do w/ the vendors but means I probably won't go back again (though I wanted to take munchkin and my mom to see).

Have fun if you go! Don't get a parking ticket! If you go on Saturday &/or Sunday, there's a garage on Clay Street that is free on the weekends, a few blocks down from the convention center, driving away from the downtown center and away from the water/marina. (It's across the street from the Calfornia state bldg on Clay and... 12th? Btw 12th & 13th, I think. Big plastic printed sign, free parking on the weekends.)

Thanks for looking :)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

40 easter egg dye boxes and a knit and crochet show.

What 40 boxes of Paas easter egg dye looks like.

That's about the same look the cashier gave me at Walgreens.

Poetic license.

All said and done.

Aside from making the cashiers sigh and grumble, I've been compiling my "must see" list for the Knit and Crochet Show market in Oakland...

Adela's yarn -- for Schaefer Anne, my new drug of choice
Carolina Handspun -- to check out dying supplies for Dye*o*Rama!
Foxyknits -- Koigu...
Full Thread Ahead -- Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (their site says they'll be selling it for $18 at the market)
Interlacements -- to check out their dyer's choice bin
Just One More Row -- For a sunburst sling bag pattern
Lisa Souza -- Sock! Merino
Shangri-La -- maybe some sari silk for the sunburst sling pattern

I'm going tonite (Thursday) for the market preview, and maybe Sunday afternoon. I'll be checking all of the floor out, but these are the ones I don't want to miss. A dear, missed friend says I am a ditz queen when surrounded by so much yarn, and I often do get turned around when my senses are so assaulted-- another justification for printing out the floor layout (PDF!!) for the market :) since I'll be all by my lonesome.

For the stalkers who will be there tonite for the market preview and want to say hi, I'll be carrying

the felted mitred square messenger bag I made to carry stuff back with me from Stitches West...


and be hovering around any and all sock yarn displays, clutching several skeins and asking them in a whisper who would like to come home with me.

Wish me luck :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter egg dye and Henry's Attic Kona Superwash...

Day after Easter? Up to my fingers in easter egg (50% off) dye and Henry's Attic Kona Superwash. Dry today for winding and pics...

I actually intended just to dye 2 oz of pink yarn for Warming Grace, but then I got it into my peapicking brain that I should go ahead and dye the entire cone (1 lb). Self-striping (long color repeats) no less, with the help from Eunny's and Streets y YO's blogs on the tek.

Instead of measuring out an exact stripe length via gauge, I wound the yarn in super long hanks (500 inches!!) across 2 chairs and (math kids, stop reading here) and tried to figure out the proportion of stripe lengths I wanted... For the purple/pink/yellow striped one (doesn't it look like easter bunny poo?), I wanted the purple stripe to be 2x as large as the yellow and pink stripes, and jimmied the stripe length to 240" for the purple and 130" for the pink and yellow. The blue/yellow/blue/orange one is 160" blue, 90" yellow, 160" blue, and 90" orange. The red/orange/yellow is a guess; I wanted to use some other colors but ran out... the red is about 1.5x as long as the yellow and orange, yet the orange is a bit shorter than the yellow by eye.

The colors for the blue/orange/blue/yellow is only easter egg dye (paas' ubiquitous 6 tab set)... 2 tabs of blue, one of orange and yellow each. The blue was originally 1 but the dye exausted before all of the yarn was dyed, so I made another dye batch and it exausted as well. The purple/pink/yellow easter bunny poo one was 2 tabs of purple, the leftover orange and yellow from the blue/orange/blue/yellow one (that made a light gold), and the pink was the leftover from the 2 pinks done for Warming Grace 5" squares. The pinks were done from one tab of red/pink, diluted quite a bit (3/4 full of water in a gallon mason jar leftover from my true mad scientist days)... I used the egg dunkers (? the wire doodads in the paas kits) to hold onto the waste yarn the hanks were tied with and dunked quickly-- I didn't want red and didn't want the dye to exaust in one hank and not leave leftovers, I wanted 2 discernable pink shades. The dunking with the wire holders worked very well, as I was able to pull the hanks from the dye after only a few seconds (which it took). Finally, the red/orange/yellow one was one tab of red with 2 packets of tropical punch koolaid, one tab of orange with 2 packets of orange koolaid, and one tab of yellow. I wanted the red super-red and used the koolaid leftover from my last dye binge, and decided to do the same for the orange for a bold mix.

I made the easter egg dye by following the directions on the back of the package (3 tbsp white vinegar + tab fizzed), added warm water that looked like it would cover the portions of yarn I was to dye, and dunked/dipped the yarn in gallon mason jars/bread pans. After the color was exausted (all but the yellow exausted), I let the excess water drip out and then wrapped the entire skein in saran wrap. I then steamed the hanks in my dutch oven using your generic aluminum veggie steamer for 20 minutes-- didn't know if easter egg dye needed heat to set in the yarn or not (a google search found some saying it did, some saying it didn't). Soaked in coolish water (its superwash, I wasn't worried about felting), rang and let dry overnight. Getting it into balls was the toughest prospect of the entire project... I eventually just stretched the hanks again into 500" long lengths and walked back and forth, rolling the balls by hand and then winding them on a ballwinder from there... all while boogerbear ran back and forth in the 4' length in the middle of the hanks, hands in the air, growling. No, I don't get it either.

I'm quite impressed with the yellow the most-- it didn't exaust for either hank, and is a very bright, true yellow. The purple & blue is quite light for being doubled, and I wonder how many tabs would be needed for a nice dark of either. The orange looks great-- lighter than koolaid but not much, and the red/pink worked well, though I'm almost positive it needs several tabs to be red and not pink. Keep in mind these hanks are only 4.5oz (the pinks are 1 oz each), so you'll need several tabs for a solid color and several more for a solid, deep color-- I don't know if they can get really deep or not though. I'm going back to the drugstore when they hit 75% off... I wanted to know how the easter egg dye would work on yarn before really stocking up-- I'm pretty happy with it, as far as its food grade and something I can work with with baby underfoot.

Another reason I went ahead and used all of the dye was because in trying to find the pink, I accidentally made the orange... for the paas kits, the tabs were in the same order (your tabs may be in a different order!):

(Looks like) Actually is...

(blue)blue * (orange)yellow * (pink)red * (green)green * (purple)purple * (mauve)orange

I did manage to get some red koolaid on the yellow portion of the red/yellow/orange hank, and I also forgot to untie the water yarn that marked where the color changes should have occured, so I have white spots on some of the hanks where the dye didn't take. The purple is also variegated mottled, where the color is uneven... It was also quite labor intensive, compared to simply dip/painting the yarn. But all in all, very fun, and I can't wait to try out some of the yarn... I do have the entrelac socks to finish (just finished the heel's waste yarn and extra triangles/tier past it)-- but I've been busy with spring cleaning and making squares for Warming Grace instead.

Perhaps some (more) Jaywalkers with my easter egg yarn...? I need another pattern that accentuates stripes that's more than stockinette... perhaps one of the simple rib patterns in the front of Knitting Vintage Socks? Its dk weight though... but a rewrite of rib shouldn't be hard (may as well use Sensational Knitted Socks or Simple Socks, in that case!) I'll be interested to see how the dye holds as well; my Wyverns and River Rapids socks (both in Henry's Attic Kona Superwash, both dyed with koolaid) have remained color-true thru several machine wash and dries thusfar. I also want to try the new Henry's Attic Kona Superwash in fingering/sock weight (!!) too... perhaps if I score more easter egg dye at 75% off I'll be working both of them together :)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Not so much entrelac, Warming Grace, Bay Area yarn donations...

Not much progress on the "A Step Above" socks...

I'm a tier/triangle short of adding on the waste yarn for the afterthought heel. I haven't done one before, but it shouldn't be that bad... I'd also read recommendations to knit a few stst rows before and after the waste yarn, I've got to google more about it.

I've been working on a few knitted squares for Warming Grace:

I'd seen the buttons but hadn't read about it til yesterday. It just gets to me... anything that has to do with kids do that now, ever since I became preggo with my mayor of munchkinland-- I can't help but have my heart call out to sick kids and their parents. I think its terribly sweet, so I've put down the sock for now and am going to try and bang out more squares to send by midweek. Cynthia's in Canadia so I've got to allow for more time for the post... I'm also going to send a hank of Brooks Farms Fourplay yarn for the draw, too... maybe some (gasp) sock yarn.

I have a dearth of pink yarn in the stash, the pink/purple pictured above and a bit of Rowan Calmer that as been thusfar "claimed" and walked about the house for the past hour...

So I ordered some (more) handspun from Grace @ Santa Cruz Handspun... (she also has a new "seafoam" lot for sale that would be great for a seafoam stitch scarf... five times fast!) but I already have some (more) handspun in the wings, patiently waiting for me to forget about socks so we can elope in vegas, and one has only so much space on the desk for yarn to hang out and wait for me to tire of tiny needles.

In other, almost knitting news, I've culled my stash significantly and found a great place to donate it to.

(He "lost" his pants between this and the previous photo.)

Mostly dk weight wool/alpaca, a few bags of patons (grace, fresco), a bag of bernat satin that was supposed to be a pinwheel blanket, and (gasp) sock yarns that I knew wouldn't be knit up any time soon... Straight bamboo needles, a few duplicate circulars, crochet hooks, a few pattern books, etc too.

Building Futures with Women and Children is looking for knitting and crochet supplies for their children's shelter program... many of their residents are women and children, some fleeing domestic violence situations. They advertised on Craigslist and I was happy to find a group that could put yarn to use... if you're in the Bay Area (California), their contact info is below (and more info about their program in the link above):

Liz Nickels, M.A. Psy.D.
Associate Program Director
Building Futures with Women and Children
1395 Bancroft Avenue
San Leandro, CA 94577
510/357-0205; ext 112

Original Craigslist post *here*.

Even better, they're going to come pick it up. Getting anywhere is usually a production around here, so its super great to be able to box it up and have them drop by.

Since this is a random post, a pic I managed to take earlier (with pants and everything!)...

:), thanks for all of the comments on my photos recently! There's no trick really, I rely on my camera's (Canon s410) macro setting, no flash-- I take several since many tend to blur as I don't use a tripod, and just reduce down to 25% which makes them look sharper than they actually/probably are. As my little boy pics above can attest to, its much easier to take photos of non-moving (aka yarn) things than redblooded boy things.

Back to wrestling the Calmer away from monkichi...

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