sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Toddler socks, finished and in progress

Ah, love the toddler socks. (Hate taking pics of said toddler without a flash!) :)


Toe up toddler k2 p2 socks
(Thanks to Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy!)
Started: July 26, 2006
Finished: July 29, 2006
Opal Krokodil colorway #31
US 2.5 (3.0mm) dpns, 4
24 grams total

This was the leftover yarn from my "recent" Yarrow ribbed socks... I knit them toe up using Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' book Simple Socks: Plain & Fancy to make sure I used all of the yarn. My bumblebee's foot is 5.5" long and 6" around (blocksocks!), and I used the Susanne's ebony US 2.5 (3.0mm) 4" double pointed glove needles and got 8 sts/inch. I ended up w/ 48 sts total for the foot & leg, knit the instep with k2 p2 ribbing for 5" and started the heel (which made a foot of 6" in length... I usually make the toddler socks without negative ease but with ribbing on the instep, and a little longer in the foot for my ease in getting them on a squirmbot and making them last a little longer on ever-growing toes), then a k2 p2 cuff til the yarn ran out.

I'm awfully pleased at how quick they were. I haven't knit a pair of toddler socks in a long time, since I like to use dpns for them but the 7" ones just feel gigantic on the tiny socks and I've been avoiding it-- so the 4" are awesome. I am now wanting a pair of Susanne's ebony double points in US 1.5 (2.5mm) 4" length. I liked the sharper tip of the Susanne's, too... I didn't hurt myself with it (finger pushing knitter!) but I found it helpful when doing the somewhat awkward p3tog tbl for the short row heel & toes.


I also really liked the dpn length since the socks were so portable, more than any others ever. I put the tiny ball of yarn in my back pocket and could even slip the little sock on needles back there (and I didn't really worry about snapping the solid ebony needles either, but I didn't sit down or anything!)... I took it to Ikea (Ikea + Sat afternoon crush of bodies = panic attack time for me, the sock got worked on a lot as I avoided the crowds as much as I could), and to a park while little man played and I was bowled over. Smells like victory! :)

I liked this pair so much I started another...


Wyvern (toddler sized!) sock
Started: July 29, 2006
Koigu (kpppm), color P323 101
(not sure about the colorway #/dyelot)
US 0's (2.0mm) dpns, 4

Like I said, I was trying to ride the "glove length" needle wave and tried swatching the koigu on the US 2.5's, but the fabric was too open for my taste. My next choice were my US 0 Brittany in 5", nice length.

Note: "were."


2 needles bit the dust. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I mean, should I really be trying to knit with 2mm wood needles in the first place? Incidentally, I knit the foot of my left leaning cloverleaf sock on these needles, they were bendy but I didn't break them then. I wasn't doing anything weird or anything, thry both broke during the knit plain rounds of the instep pattern... too much decrease action makes britt a brittle needle. I've already emailed Brittany to have them replaced... though I don't see myself using them much in the future if they are.

I used the 48 st CO again, toe up with the same PGR method, and am using Marnie's "S" sized directions for the instep (26 st repeat), with 22 stockinette sole sts. Since I'm using such smaller needles and was getting 8 sts/inch in stockinette in the brittanys, the difference will fit the little one's tiny feeties. I did have a change in gauge when I switched out the needles though-- the metals are resulting in 8.5 sts/inch. Shouldn't be a problem though, its at the heel where I switched out. I will have to try this one on him when its done and see if I need to change the CO for the 2nd sock though, adding a few sts to the sole or something.

The pattern also pulls in so the fit should be good across the top. I am using a new (to me!) m1 increase I read about on Knitter's Review Forums-- lift up the st below the live st on the left hand needle and place on the L hand needle, knit this new st thru the back loop. No holes, and it results in an interesting "line" of sts when worked on top of each other in succession/EOR (I'll take a pic of this later). The KR link discusses places where it can be used appropriately, as it affects the subsequent fabric.

The colorway may be too dark for this pattern... something to think about as I choose a yarn for Theresa's Here There Be Dragons socks... Yahaira sez dragon skin socks are hott and all and seeing these Wyverns work up again, I'm closer to making a pair of the HTBDs for myself with that superman heel and toe. (I also bought Eunny's Chuck's Cabled Socks pattern, I'm still debating the colors though, that one will be on the back burner of the brain a bit.)

Back to the metal dpn grind :)

(bradyphrenia said in my flickr comments that she thinks I knit a lot of socks... where I bow to Alyssa's 6 PAIR she knit in JULY!!) :)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Yarrow ribbed socks in Opal finished

Drunken lightning style socks.


Yarrow ribbed sock from "Knitting Vintage Socks" (Nancy Bush)
Started: June 14, 2006 (?)
Finished: July 26, 2006
Opal Krokodil, colorway #31
2 socks on 2 circular needles, US 1.5 (2.5mm)
76 gm total

Whew. The song that never ends, they just went on and on my friends... I drug this pair out on purpose by whining about it so much. It wasn't that bad, just terribly tedious... and me making it out to be worse dragged it on even more.

I knit them (in part) for reasons rather than having finished socks on my hot little feet-- I wanted to try the Opal yarn, I wanted to try the heel & toe from the pattern that I hadn't tried before.

As for the heel:

German heel...

...which meant stockinette with a purl (garter?) seam down the centre, and a purled 2 st border (" last 3 sts, p2, k1"-- k1 for the flap pick up). I worked a purl border on my STR baby cable rib socks too, I think its a neat detail... need to remember to try it again. It makes the heel seem less wide (this one seemed really wide since it was just stockinette coming off of the rib pattern), and looks neat (prolly would look cooler with a less bold yarn like Dave said way back then.)

The German heel isn't just different for the flap though, its the turn, which to me left a too-holey of a result:


It's not that bad really, I was pulling the fabric in this pic to really show them off. The heel is worked by decreasing 2tog and then turning and slipping the st holding the worked together pair and continuing. Not bad and I'm glad I've tried it, but not really something bangup. I did like the garter border though, and the seam down the centre is neat too :) (forgot to take pics of that!)

The French toe, one word? Weird.


Looks normal, kinda. Something's off though... what could it be?

When in doubt, turn her over. (Sage advice here people!!)


For the moment, ignore the toe-nipple action please :)

The French toe is worked like a flat toe-- like, k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 turn across the top/bottom of the foot. Except the french toe is divided over 3 needles and decreases are done 3x not 2. You've got 6 sts dec every 2 rounds instead of 4, and its decreased down to the point where you draw the yarn thru the x amount of sts you have left. Hence, nipplage.

Anyway. I did think it was weird that the pattern said to stop work 2.5" shy of the toe, since this obviously eats up more sts than a "normal" toe and I generally give myself 2" to work those, but hey! I really wasn't thinking and just wanted these darn things off of the needles so I soldiered on-- too short. I think :) You're supposed to dec to 12 sts and pull yarn thru, I dec'd to 6 so my toes are prolly more pixie-pointy than the sample. I'm not one to avoid kitchenering but if you are, this may be a good toe for you... I kept that weird 3rd "seam" on the bottom of one sock and on the top of the other (^see above), just for kicks.

Total non-segue, cuff is 6" long where pattern called for 8.5". I had 24 gm left over (used 76 total), and a 10.25" foot (heel to tip of point! :))... either could have been easily increased, though maybe not the full 8.5" cuff and 10"+ feet.

As for the Opal? I like it. Not like love, but like, like. :) I like the base yarn a lot (I heard you can buy it undyed from, about $12 USD shipped and 10 for about $81 shipped on sale), I think its just the patterning/color that doesn't grab me. I also heard that USA cats may see rising Opal prices soon at your favorite sock yarn store (and prolly other stores too, but Allison is cool enough to keep a blog for me to read and stay current on so I know ahead of time about SSYC stuff like that and can plan my next shopping attack). SSYC has like a million other things I covet, incl. that handpainted Opal! Now that stuff may snog my opinion totally on its ear...

I do like the Opal enough I've already started a pair of toe-up toddler socks, PGR style, in the 24 gm I have left over from this pair, so I guess that's saying something :)

Previous posts on Yarrow ribbed sock in Opal Krokodil 31:

July 10, 2006
June 23, 2006
June 19, 2006

psst! purrl... if i could knit with my toes, don't you think i'd lambast entertain yall with a photo series and mundane, 50000 word writeup? :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

One fish? TWO fish!

My name means "fisherman" (I'll let you figure out which one), and is entirely accurate-- I have the blood of fishermen running thru my veins. My grandfather's solo vacations several times a year consisted of piling aboard rickety boats with other 60+ Japanese men headed to Alaska, the California coast, Mexico to fish for the big fish. He'd bring home the giant IGLOO coolers, always the red & white ones that had his name in block Sharpie lettering on all 6 sides, packed with glassy eyed giants... break out the good, heavy knives and fillet them all himself, get on the horn and within the next few days a small flood of people would come to visit and leave with pounds of fish (always leaving something behind... chocolates, crates of seasonal fruit, teas and cookies). I never had sashimi (or sushi!) in a restaurant til I was in college, it was always in my grandparents' kitchen, with a plate of shoyu for dipping and maybe a smear of wasabi if I wanted to be tough like grandpa that day. My favorite remains yellowtail, sashimi and cooked. (And don't get me started on hamachi kama, yum!!)

My favorite fish story from my grandpa... He came from a family of 12 brothers and sisters (!!), and the brothers loved to fish as much as he did. He and two of his brothers, and all of their sons (including my father, age 7), got up in the dark of morning, got dressed, headed to the all nite diner for a 3am breakfast. The boys (my father and his cousins) were stuffed to the gills with pancakes, waffles, all of the sweet breakfast foods while the adults sipped coffee, waking up for a long car ride. Clamboring on the boat, the kids were bundled against the cold but not against the rocking of the boat... on the ocean face, sick kids leaned over the boat rails and purged their sickly sweet breakfasts into the water, supposedly attracting fish for the catch.

My grandfather said it was cheaper than buying the chum at the dock. Yes, it was on purpose. No, my father doesn't fish now.

So, in honor of that, one fish...


Isn't this cute?! Zonda made me a sockfish for being the 1st commenter on her 100th post (hm, good idea! I just sent my 1000th commenter, Anastacia, some sock yarn to celebrate happy 1k to me-- but since it was a surprise I'm not going to post a pic!)


She also tucked in these adorable, perfect for socks stitch markers...

I am so spoiled sometimes :) I am waiting to use this bag to house my morale builder stockings... I'm still waiting for my acid dyes to start them! I was hoping to have them *done* by the first of September, but I don't think so now... :(

BTW, anyone care to share their favorite lace panel motif? I'm looking for something "leafy" to face downwards on my stockings... I still can't find one, my favorite points up not down (I don't have too many st dictionaries and don't know how to change it)... any suggestions? Something about 30-36 st wide, either single or doubled...? I'll be poking around online later today, hoping to find one...

Hm, did I say two fish??

Pomatomus by Cookie A., Winter Knitty 2005
Started: July 15, 2006
Finished: July 26, 2006
Trekking XXL yarn, colorway #100
US 1.5 (2.5mm) dpns, 4
16 gm left over from 100g ball
(this pic's for HPNY knits!)

Yeah, so its my favorite pattern :) Knitting it again (my 3rd time), I kept thinking... its like that boyfriend who was absolutely fabulous but yall broke up since it was too soon, you were too young, it wasn't right at the time... and then when you get back together again later, its even better than before-- no awkward getting to know you conversations but just where you left off with someone who knows you inside and out and just happy you're back in the arms of a good friend (i've got the Matthew Sweet "Girlfriend" album running thru my head lately)...

hm. maybe i took it too far that time.


Anyway. Third verse, same as the first-- the Trekking yarn (coloway #100!) seemed to make it fly off the needles as well, I was just fascinated watching it change over the "scales". It is a *warm* sock yarn, I don't know why but it feels like it will be warmer than any yarn I've used so far, interesting. It's not a soft yarn, not like the merinos, but just fun to watch knit up (not scratchy, but not soft being knit... not sure about after the wash). I found a few spots of overtwisting, but nothing that didn't even out over a few yards. I thought it would be splitty with the distinct plys of yarn and all, but no-- I didn't have any problems at all with it. I also had a lot of yarn left over-- I kept the sole at 36 sts (instead of 32) for a slightly wider foot, and did 3 repeats + 5 rows of chart B for the foot length (10.5" incl. toe, that was longer than the patt given the larger # of sts), and still had 16 gm of yarn left over.


I used the Holz & Stein ebony dpns I reviewed when knitting them up, US 1.5 (2.5mm). Tell you a secret, I didn't swatch this time-- I knew how stretchy the pattern was and that I was planning on adding a few sts @ the sole for a wider foot, so no worries-- I just dove in. I just measured the stockinette sole: 8 sts/inch and 11 sts/column inch on US 1.5 dpns in the round. I like the fabric it made.



My non-feetie pyjamas make another entrance. :)

Previous posts on Pomatomus in Trekking:

July 18, 2006

Previous posts on Pomatomus in Lisa Souza (2nd knit):
June 25, 2006
June 19, 2006
June 14, 2006
June 12, 2006

Previous posts on Pomatomus in Fleece Artist (1st time knitting the pattern):
January 3, 2006
December 28, 2005

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Contest winners :)

Thanks everyone for the well pattern wishes and playing along in my little contest...


Socks That Rock Medium weight in Marbles... PBnJ

Interlacements Merino Worsted in Chairman of the Board... ravensegg

Interlacements Tiny Toes in Stained Glass... penny karma

Holz & Stein 2.5mm ebony dpns... Jerry & Maxy


Thanks again, this was super fun for me!! I had fun with it, any suggestions for another contest? (I have a birthday coming up and want to steal Tara's birthday contest thunder... she was the one who gave me the wonderful shell stitch markers that were pictured in my recent pomo-trekking post. She also has a fab handdyed, *eco-friendly* yarn shoppe online too :)) I do like these choka contests though-- I get a kick out of the couplets hitting my inbox.

Have a great, cool week! :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Holz & Stein, Susanne's, Lantern Moon ebony double pointed needle smackdown

(Looking for the Holz & Stein and sock yarn contest? Ends Sunday!)

Picture intensive post to follow...

Mainly pictures, since when I was looking for a comparison of Holz und Steins and Susanne's and Lantern Moon double points in ebony I couldn't really find a comprehensive one, so here you go.

Before we begin... The Lantern Moons were sold to me by my LYS as ebony, even though they are a dark brown. I know ebony can be dark brown (one of my H&S are dark brown as opposed to black, below), but I have wondered if the LMs are rosewood and not ebony. Just a caveat... the double pointed pic on the Lantern Moon website makes me think they are their "ebony" wood though, since their rosewood sample is much lighter than the ebony sample (LM rosewood is lighter than the Colonial Rosewoods, which had me doubting in the first place! but meanwhile, back on the farm...)

Also, the Susanne's pictured are the glove size (10cm/4").

Holz & Stein and Lantern Moon US 1 - 1.5 (2.25mm - 2.75mm)

Lantern Moon US 1 (2.25) left, Holz & Stein US 1.5 (2.5mm) right. Ebony double pointed needles

Lantern Moon US 1 (2.25) left, Holz & Stein US 1.5 (2.5mm) right. Ebony double pointed needles

Top to bottom: Addi US 1.5 (2.5mm). Lantern Moon US 1 (2.25), Holz & Stein US 1.5 (2.5mm).

Holz & Stein, Lantern Moon and Susanne's US 2 - 2.5 (2.75mm - 3.0mm)

Lantern Moon US 2 (2.75mm) top, Holz & Stein US 2.5 (3.0mm) bottom, ebony double pointed needles

Holz & Stein US 2.5 (3.0mm) left, Lantern Moon US 2 (2.75mm) right, ebony double pointed needles.

Top to bottom: Addi US 2.5 (3.0mm), Lantern Moon US 2 (2.75mm), Holz & Stein US 2.5 (3.0mm), Susanne's US 2.5 (3.0mm) ebony double pointed needles

Holz & Stein versus Susanne's ebony

I've read Clara's review on Knitter's Review that says that Holz & Steins are rebranded as Susanne's needles (currently distributed by Classic Elite Yarns), but I'm not sure its true, for little differences...

The joins of the circular needles are different (pic of Susanne's joins from Yarn Barn of Kansas):

Holz & Stein circular and jumper knitting needle joins

Susanne's circular joins

The Susanne's joins are similar to the new Lantern Moon "Destiny" circulars, in having a brass or metal cap on the end from which the nylon cord extends (some complaints about the LM Destiny circular joins here)... where the Holz and Stein needles have the cord attached directly from the base of the wood. I haven't tried the Holz & Stein circulars yet to talk about the joins... all of my circular knitting happens on Addis so its a high bar to meet.

The tips are different, not a huge difference but the H&S are definitely a longer taper than the snubbish Susanne's, while the Susanne's look a tiny bit pointier:

Comparison of Susanne's and Holz & Stein tips, top Susanne's ebony (Classic Elite)-- bottom Holz & Stein. Green pencil, Crayola.

The stamp on the needle is also different: the Susanne's needle size is stamped into the wood in gold (above), and you can feel where the size is actually stamped into the wood, making a small indentation. On the other hand, the Holz & Stein's needle size (as well as a mark saying "Holz & Stein," the Susanne's only has the metric sizing) is painted on and not stamped in. At first I thought I could "feel" the H&S lettering stamped in when I ran my fingers over the wood, but I realized that the Holz & Stein paint had actually worn off of all 4 needles when I finished my current Pomatomus sock I used them for and there was no indentation on the needle at all, just smooth wood.

Also, the "sock" sized double pointed needles are different sizes; Holz & Steins are 18cm (approx. 7"), where the Susanne's are 8" long. I prefer the 7" size for socks, that's just me though.

The wood is the same, both use "reclaimed" or remaindered woods from the manufacture of musical instruments. Both are very "solid" feeling woods, with no snags or grains of wood interrupting the yarn movement-- I know nothing about wood but from the look and action of both I'd say they were both made from high quality wood, comaprable with one another. If I were pressed, I'd say the Susanne's is a tiny bit more matte feeling-- more grainyness to the wood, not quite as slick as the H&S, but neither is sealed or coated as far as I can tell... I think this is a difference in the needle manufacture, not the wood itself (but again, just a layman's guess).

I like the H&S better because I prefer less grip on the yarn (I've not graduated to colorwork yet) when I knit socks. I don't have a preference for needle tips, but the pics above should give you a good idea of the difference. I also don't think I'd like the 8" sock length.

Holz & Stein versus Lantern Moon

top, Lantern Moon, middle & bottom, Holz & Stein ebony dpns

I don't care for the Lantern Moons as much as I do for EITHER the H&S or the Susanne's. When I bought them (locally), I tried to check each set for the "best" needles and still, bringing them home and using them, I found small burrs or snags in the LM wood that would catch on my yarn. Since these are small diameter needles for sock/fingering weight yarns, the impact on the yarn may have been more noticeable than if I were using a heavier needle/yarn. The snags and inconvenience really bothered me (esp. since these were the most expensive needle purchase I'd ever made, and had the snags happening right off of the card).

I *know* I could have returned them, but I prefer to soldier on and complain to yall :)

The wood is definitely different from that of the H&S or the Susanne's. The wood is dark brown and obviously grained where the wood in the H&S and the Susanne's is mainly black. The pic above does show a H&S needle that is dark brown with a black grain (center middle) rather than flat black-- I don't mind the color (admittedly prefer the black-black though), but the wood the LM needles are made of does feel flimsier than either the H&S or S needles do.

I went and weighed them using my handydandy Soehnle Myra scale that I love, wondering if it is a weight/heft thing (one of the reviews that got me interested in the H&S said they have a "heft" to them that others don't...)

sets of 5:
Lantern Moon US 1 (2.25mm) -- 4gm
Holz & Stein US 1.5 (2.5mm) -- 6gm
Lantern Moon US 2 (2.75mm) -- 6gm
Holz und Stein US 2.5 (3.0mm) -- 8gm

There's a difference but not really a marked one across a set of 5. The H&S do feel "stronger" in my hands though; my Lantern Moons all are bowed/bent/curved in some way after knitting one sock (my left leaning Cloverleaf), and the H&S aren't after knitting one Pomatomus. When I roll the needles on the tabletop (ever do this @ the pool hall? I always did as a kid though I have no skills at all... my dad was a hustler though, back in the day...) the LMs rolled all wonky and off center where the H&S didn't at all. I also didn't have any problems or fear in the texture work of the Pomatomus sock, but I could feel the LMs bend in my hands just from regular stockinette use.

Admittedly to this point I've mainly used metal dpns for double pointed needles, but I was very cognizant of the needles and not wanting to break them (did I mention the LMs were expensive??!) :)

The Lantern Moons are also "sealed" or coated with a wax or something, not polish but a varnish of some sort. I don't like this, I found the varnish inconsistent on the needles and would start and stop the slide of the yarn. The more I used it the less it happened (wearing it off on the yarn and my hands, I'm sure), but to me and comparing them to the H&S and the S needles, I didn't like the coat. It also made me think that the wood must be of a lower caliber to need to be sealed, and even through the seal I had the problem with snags on the needle.

I like the H&S and the Susanne's much more than the Lantern Moons. I think the Susanne's may even be less expensive than the LMs (my LYS doesn't stock the sock sizes so I'm not sure), or at least comparable. However, the LMs come in "US" sock sizing: 2.25mm & 2.75mm (US 1 & 2), where both the Holz & Steins and the Susanne's are "metric" sizing (made in Germany) -- so they're US 1.5 & US 2.5 (2.5mm & 3.0mm) respectively. Sometimes that .5mm .25mm can make a big difference in gauge, so the LMs have a place here and I will continue to use them... though I wish I could find H&S or S in "US" sock sizing!

How to tell if your Holz und Steins are really ebony inside...


This was totally my fault. But it still sucked. :)

(Really want to know? I took mini me on the BART yesterday, set him on the seat, put the sock down on the seat, turned to sit down and he'd already done his "happy we're on the train" dance all over my sock with his tiny feet clad in tiny Converse. It was only one, but oy. They're not indestructible! At least they come in sets of 5, and I was also able to knit with the long end til I got home... desperate times/long train ride calls for desperate measures!)

Buying Holz & Steins

Part of me thinks that Holz & Steins are being rebranded here by Classic Elite because of the difficulty one encounters when trying to buy them! I know of one US seller, Catherine Knits, who sells them under the name "Noble Needles." Her website isn't real time though, not sure of her stock on these.

As USA buyers, you *used* to be able to buy them from Germany, but the 2 vendors I knew of both no longer would sell them to me... one told me that the "lady from Holz & Stein" stopped selling to shops and wasn't stocking them anymore, and the other told me that she was not able to sell them to US customers any more. I think the latter was more to the truth :)

As for mine, mine arrived in my hot little hands as a friend passed serendipitously thru Deutchland and knew of my obsession for knitting :)

To be honest, the Susanne's double pointed needles are definitely comparable to the Holz & Steins, in terms of wood quality and weight, in my opinion (bearing in mind I've only used the glove length of the Susanne's!). They are also easily found, my LYS (Article Pract in Oakland) stocks the circs and the glove length dpns, and told me they'd order the sock length if I wanted. Much easier than trying to track down the H&S'!

Good luck!

edit, for reader comments:

July 21, 2006:
Anne from KnitSpot (the one who does all of those fantastic shawls!!) writes...

"i love all my susanne's needles; some i've had for over 10 years. i have promised myself that this year i would add to my collection month by month.

"i knit almost ALL my shawls on them! be aware that the circulars over size 7 have MUCH more blunt tips. i stick to sizes 7 and under myself
they are a little "stickier" when they are new, but if you rub them with a bit of waxed paer and a dry scrap of old t-shirt, they become quite slick. after using them for one project, they get a real nice patina!"

September 18, 2006
Catherine (from Catherine Knits!) writes:

Hi, if you want to know more about Holz and Stein a/k/a Noble Needles, you may feel free to call or write. They are not sold off to Susanne's as someone wrote on your blog. I didn't name them "Noble Needles" either, but that was what they were sold as before people started calling them Holz and Stein. They are one and the same knitting needle from the same maker in Germany. There have been so many speculations on H&S needles. We sell a lot and we stock a lot of them if and when they make it to the USA. Our customers either call us or email their phone # to us and we are happy to call them back for credit card info. I juat thought I should clarify this, since I have been reading some not too accurate comments from several people. Once you have knitted with one of these needles, you will want more. There is nothing in the world like them! Thanks for listening to my comments. Enjoy knitting! Catherine

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Trekking on, singing their song, side by side...

(Looking for the sock yarn and Holz & Stein needle contest?)

It got to do its civic duty in the voting booths a month ago...


but didn't really get out trekking til this weekend.


It didn't like being splashed at Del Valle, but don't feel too bad for our hero...


In N Out makes *everything* better.

While Trekking, Pomatomus, and Holz & Stein ebony dpns* ...(and a sock bag from Trek!)...


all make Aija a very happy girl.

*not the same set i'm giving away in the contest ;)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Distracting you from no knitting...

(Looking for the sock yarn and Holz & Stein needle contest?)

Long time, no nothing eh? I have a good excuse, though not NEARLY as distracting as Dave's!!! (trust me, click the link-- I'll wait)... been a little naughty with no knitting.

First example.




Is there anything naughtier than pulling apart a perfectly good sweater? I had no idea how much delight I would take, picking apart seams, using SCISSORS to take apart impossible binds, winding it from the pieces directly onto my ball winder... this could be addicting.

I've always half-heartedly poked around the thrift store looking for sweaters to frog but without much luck (I do admit leaving behind a 100% cashmere laceweight that I regretted later), even though I'd always poked around on my way to their book section (I always bring home like 4 or 5 books, can't resist! I'm so close to my old university that I can get great books for next to nothing, no tax...)

The sweater was perfect, except XS (!!) and had a small hole at the fold over collar, perhaps the reason the owner had gifted it away. No felting, no pilling, very well taken care of garment... now 11 oz. of 50% angora, 50% lambswool dk (swatch on US 4's though a US 5 would probably be good too) wondering what I'm going to do with it. Its not that super fuzzy angora (think sweater girls!), but just soft. I was going to go for some socks (of course), but I think its not sturdy enough-- it's comprised of 5 seperate strands without any twist (not hard to knit actually, it sort of "sticks" to itself), but not hardy enough for workhorse socks. Huge decadent scarf? Calla from Magknits? Suggestions?

I am so going back to the thrift store's sweater racks, this could be the start of a new addiction.

Second example of naughtiness... buying an absolutely luxurious yarn for not nearly as much as its worth.

Fearless Fibers 55% mohair, 45% wool
Silvery Grey color
2 oz, 120 yd -- 4 skeins.

I won't tell you how much I paid (I'd hate to start getting hate mail!), but Deb over at Fearless Fibers has been running some super rockstar yarns at very low starting bids thru her ebay shop (she also keeps an etsy one, too) and I was lucky enough to score these. Lucky, because she let her blog readers in on her listings, and these were just calling my name from the get-go... she has a few others with low starting bids on ebay right now, too :) (You may remember I won some Fearless Fibers sock yarn from Deb when Anne held a contest at KnitSpot...)

I had my eye on them since they're going to be *perfect* for when I design a pair of kilt hose, with a little help from the esteemable Ms. Veronica Gainsford and her book-- "Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings," now out of print. I don't wear kilts, much less skirts, but hey! Kilt hose!

Third thing before I go polish off the rest of the dark chocolate M & M's in the kitchen (its been a decadent past few weeks here)... I swatched up the yarn for my long-awaited Morale Builder Stockings...


You may ask why the yarn looks suspiciously like the peaches and cream * dreamsicle * creamsicle * 50/50 bar yarn my too rad for words dyepal Adrienne sent me... you're right, it is :) Adrienne used Henry's Attic Kona lightweight fingering for the base yarn, same yarn I'm planning to use, and I had scads left over from my left-leaning Cloverleaf sock (whose mate is so behind it still needs a picot cuff!), so I thought it'd be a great idea to swatch it up.

I'm glad I did, I've been thinking about how big to make them and purrl from The Kitchener Bitch is right, I need these suckers to stretch-- otherwise they'll be baggy. (I'm terrified they'll look like they're hanging on for dear life across the wide expanse of my thighs, still!) I'm getting 8 sts/inch on US 1.5 (2.5mm) (per my guess, I might add!)... and think with a little tugging on this swatch and guessing, I think I'll allow for 5 sts/inch stretched, incl. the lace pattern. For all intents and purposes, I'll be casting on 120 sts. No one do the math and figure out how big my thigh is, please :)

I've also been swayed by severina's long legged vintage stocking to replace the lace panel with another, (hers is a skull and X pattern, too cool!)-- I swatched the lace from the Morale Builder Stockings (bottom part of the swatch, above) and it does little for me. I want to use the fountain stitch above it in the swatch... but (there's always a but!) knitting from the top down, the "leaves" look like they're pointing upward as in the pic, where I really want them to be facing downward. A true smartarse, I tried knitting the lace from the bottom up (starting with the bottom dx and working up), but the st # changes and I don't know how to account or change for it. So, it may not be this lace panel... though I wish it were! (Any advice on reversing it? I'm terrified of lace, know nothing about it...)

I won't be able to start til I get the dye... I've also decided *not* to go for red (been *almost* getting enough red in my life lately, thanks!), but a black or grey with purple tinge.

The pattern, cos its pretty:
(from Mon Tricot 1500 Patterns, 1985. p 127)

Motif worked on 15 sts + 1:
Row 1: K1, *yon, k1, sl1, k1, psso, p1, k2tog, k1, yon, p1, sl1, k1, psso, p1, k2tog, yon, k1, yon, k1*
Row 2: P1, *p4, k1, p1, k1, p3, k1, p4*
Row 3: K1, *yon, k1, sl1, k1, psso, p1, k2tog, k1, p1, sl1, k2tog, psso, yon, k3, yon, k1*
Row 4: P1, *p6, k1, p2, k1, p4*
Row 5: K1, *yon, k1, yon, sl1, k1, psso, p1, k2tog, k2tog, yon, k5, yon, k1*
Row 6: P1, *p7, k1, p1, k1, p5*
Row 7: K1, *yon, k3, yon, sl1, k2tog, psso, p1, yon, k1, sl1, k1, psso, p1, k2tog, k1, yon, k1*
Row 8: P1, *p3, k1, p3, k1, p7*
Row 9: K1, *yon, k5, yon, sl1, k1, psso, k1, sl1, k1, psso, p1, k2tog, k1, yon, k1*
Row 10: P1, *p3, k1, p2, k1, p8*
Row 11: Rep. from Row 1.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 10, 2006

The new p-word is...

(Looking for the sock yarn and needles contest?)


Perdita from Knitty Summer 2006
Started and Finished: July 6, 2006
Schaefer Anne, 7 af (tonal reds)
US 1 dpns (2.25mm),2
6 grams total weight (incl. beads & buttons)
8/0 beads, size S (5 repeats)

Very fun, very quick knit. I used some leftovers from my Evening Stockings for a Young Lady, and think I could make 2 more. I will definitely look to this pattern again for leftover thin sock yarn, I like it a lot. I can see it being a really fun quick gift too. I used 8/0 beads since they're what I had on hand-- they are red with a metallic inside (I'm sure there's real terminology for this). This was my 1st time using a bead stringer (again, lack of terminology)-- it is SO much better than making my own out of wire since the "hole" the yarn is strung thru pops back open and doesn't just get flat to where I have to cut it off.

This was my 1st time working crochet edging and though it worked, my "buttonholes" were a bit misaligned :) No matter, secret's just btw you me and the chickens, kay? I need to learn how to crochet... there's just too much cool stuff out there that I feel I'm missing out on.

I have reconciled myself with the fact my camera (Canon S410) does not do justice to reds without a flash, and then looks... well, flashy. Here's a non-flash (so, no variegation shows up) pic:

good shot of the tiny scar on my left hand, too*

Aside from the beaded cuff, lots of little things around here lately...

Cloverleaf sock, left leaning (PDF!!)

Short row heel à la Priscilla Gibson-Roberts (Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy)

I love her short row heel, no wrap and turn AND no holes (really). I used it in the rpm pattern (thanks for all the comments, yall!)... Purlwise has an EXCELLENT photo tutorial on how the heel yarnovers and stitches are worked, btw.

A German heel on the Opal Krokodil socks...

Yarrow Ribbed Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. I'm glad I worked the heel for practice and its interesting, but I probably won't choose to work it again, I see a bit of a gap where the work is turned on the short row decreases (more pics if when I finish them).

and a felted postcard, before...


and after.

Felted Space Invaders postcard
US 7's
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes; coal, hush and avocado
chart from knitmygrits

I was totally taken up with the idea of a felted postcard when I saw one on cpurl17's blog, and I've dug the space invaders scarf/chart for forever so it was a logical choice. :) I should have made my floats looser, not thinking they'd felt up tightly in the wash too (duh), but all in all I'm pretty happy. I took a hot iron to it on wool/steam setting and helped push down the edges (the "after" pic was actually before the hot iron treatment). The "card" ended up being about 6x8 or so.

I knit the chart as written, knitting each 1st st for a garter st border. I went and picked up those side rows and knit 4 rows of garter st to help tamp down the curling, I should have done the same on the "top/bottom" of the chart as the colorwork pulled in differently there. 2 trips thru the washing machine on hot with some laundry did the trick, the WOTA felts up well. It could have used another, but I'm impatient. I used a bit of fusible interfacing on the backside to help the card hold some "stiffness" before I sewed the card part to it, I think it helped. It adhered well to the felted fabric, felted floats and all.

One of these days I'll knit the scarf in double knitting, can't afford the yarn I want yet :)

And finally, for all those Smiths/Moz fans out there (who knew there were so many Smiths loving knitters? Or tomboy knitters, for that matter...)-- an incomplete shot of my Smiths/Moz vinyl collection (I ran out of stairs):


If you've seen my sock yarn stash, you'll understand I'm a bit of a collector, always have been. When I was younger, I wanted to hang these up on a wall in my grownup-house in glass or polycarbonate display cases-- I loved the look of each cover. The sick bit is I don't even own a turntable anymore. :)

My favorites are the bootlegs (the idea of *bootleg VINYL* is so appealing to me, knowing what a pita it is to press vinyl in the first place) and the colored vinyl discs-- those ones are mainly imports, except for the purple "tomorrow" Morrissey single.

tomorrow, will it really come
and if it does come, will i still be human?
all i ask of you is the one thing that you never do,
will you put your arms around me, i won't tell anyone...

Oy, teenage angst and the lyrics of *my* wonderful woman weekend.


*when i was really young, i remember sitting on the covered concrete backyard porch in my las vegas home, my mom walking in and out of the screened door as she paced with the giant cordless phone against her shoulder and ear, talking to a friend. i had this dog named eskimo (we called him momo) that my dad had found in an alley behind his work at one of the casinos, poor dog belonged in alaska with his thick, heavy coat... not nevada. as my mom traipsed in and out, i decided i needed to "ride" poor momo, who promptly sat down as i jumped onto his back beneath his shoulders, sliding me to the ground and managing somehow to cut my hand. its not this memory that the scar holds though--

i remember, at the exact moment of sliding off the dog and cutting my hand, realizing that someday i would die. that everyone would die, and in that moment i knew exactly how huge and permanent death actually is. i felt for a second a bigness i still can't wrap my mind around, and started crying startled at the idea-- holding onto the dog's mane and weeping into his coarse fur with a bloodied hand.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Summer Knitty! And a sock lovers contest!!

Yay! Summer Knitty 2006 is out, and I have a pattern in it! Yes, your very own cyclone ranger* and her feet are there, check it out!


(I know I should be all nonchalant, but hey, forgive me... reason will not lead to solution today!)

I've been super lucky not only in having my pattern published by Knitty, but also in winning yarn around the blogosphere left and right and upsidedown, and want to hold one of my own cold beverages to celebrate. Fingertips have memories, so why can't I?

Prizes first, right? Right.
(No neighbors complaining about the noises above now, eh?)

First, a skein of Socks That Rock Mediumweight in Marbles. I love this color, I may order it again soon but for now, hoist up the John B's sail cos, it wants to come home to you!

Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR Medium Weight
380 yd, 5.5 oz
Marbles colorway

Number two, two, two for my family... a honkin 8 oz skein of Merino Worsted Superwash wool from Interlacements. Bang a gong with some worsted socks for you and your loved one(s)! Or a scarf, or a castle and a keep... Pretend its not a cruel summer outside; just dreams daylight and 365 degrees :)

Interlacements Merino Worsted
100% superwash merino
560 yd/8 oz
Chairman of the Board colorway 217

Third, third, third is the word... some of the new Interlacements Tiny Toes yarn. No summer of 69 required, only a rush and a push and these tiny skeins can be yours! They need to be back in the arms of a good friend, help em out and make em yours :)

Interlacements Tiny Toes
100% machine washable merino wool
185 yd/50 gm -- 2 skeins (for yall with 3 feet, sorry!)
Stained Glass colorway, 218

And the coup de grâce.
...Ask me, I won't say no, how could I?

Positively fourth. This one is so very special, like double cherry pie... special to me since every one of you who reads my blog is special. (Really.) Keep on truckin down the page and you'll see what I mean.

July 5 afternoon, edit to add pics:



Holz & Stein double pointed needles, Ebony
direct from deutchland!
set of 5
2.5mm (US 1.5), 18 cm (approx. 7")

Yes. THOSE needles. The ones made of wood from reclaimed musical instruments, aka high quality beautiful black matte ebony wood? The ones Wendy calls her favorite needles for doing fair isle on (okay, on circulars... but this *is* sock pr0n yall!)? The ones that are pretty gosh darn hard to find in the good ol' USofA? Ja y ja y ja. They're in no shape for driving, bring them home to hang out behind your unlocked doors!


"Okay, how can I win??!"
...Captivity required from us a song...

I'm going to go my 21st century digital girl route and recycle my Choka on It contest from last time :) They turned night into day and welcomed us back with open arms and everything (week 12)! For those of you who haven't played before, a cut and paste from my previous contest's post:

" 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. "

Now, I WILL ASK (please, if this is all you read, read this), PLEASE write a couplet that FLOWS from the existing poem. You are *NOT* SUPPOSED TO WRITE YOUR OWN, STANDALONE COUPLET. They're supposed to flow from the previously posted couplet, the last one you'll see above when submitting your own. You're adding to a work in progress, *not* writing your own! And you DON'T have to force knitting into it, kay? (Repetition, the only thing I can do.) Please don't irk me, you won't like me when I'm irked... the words I know are all obscene.

About the needles!

Now, what was I saying about special needles for special peoples? :) First off, I love this blog. I really enjoy it-- writing, interacting, sharing with yall. Everybody who leaves me comments and drop me emails are solar supermen, my wonderwall fo sho. It has unexpectedly become a very big drive behind my knitting and in a way, writing and expression. All of you who read along with my too-long posts are the ones who make it possible, who egg me on and keep me rolling in my 5.0. I read everybody's comments when they come in and really dig them along with everyone who takes the time to write me a little blurb about whatever I may be spouting off about on those demon days. I even keep stock (with a tick tock rhythm) of them thru gmail (gosh darn it, I love me do some google sometimes...). I was reading a few in my comments folder and came up with an idea to thank yall for brightening my day and welcoming me into your community...

Its my party and I'll 1999 if I want to-- only those people who have left me a comment previous to this date and leave me a couplet comment in this post will be entered to win the Holz & Stein needles-- a special thank you for everyone who's hung out with me this far. Essentially, yall will be entered into 2 contests-- one for the yarn and one for the needles. You could ostensibly win yarn and needles, but the odds of that are like, math.

And if you're new here and haven't written me a comment before? Don't shed no tears! They can have their diamonds, we'll have our pearls ;) Stick around for joy, oscillate wildly with your hair slicked back and all that jazz... you can still win some rockin yarn just by submitting a couplet.

Sounds good? Good.

Boring details...
1) Winners will be picked at random, so don't sweat the technique. Only those who submit a couplet in the comments will be added to the draw.
2) One entry per person, though you're welcome to keep punching your card and cut loose over there. One comment/couplet is all that's needed if you're a returning commenter in order to win the Holz & Stein needles.
3) I will run the contest til July 23, 2006 so, you have til then to submit your couplet and come back here and post it in the comments to this post.
4) Now if I called you up, do you think you could go spread the word (you'll be free)? Could you blog about my little contest, post about it, use some of that strange magic and tell your friends to come play too-- how many of yall have them? :)

Okay, thats enough begging on bended knee for now.

Have fun, and thanks for making this so fun for me...

rpmFLAP1 rpmSHORT42

*psyched lone ranger isn't cool enough for me!

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