sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Friday, June 29, 2007

etsy friday

I'd like to start etsy friday with a link to Deb's blog ('s dye maven). She's gone and said directly what I've been trying to do indirectly with these etsy posts, trying to raise an online consciousness about etsy thru a groundswell of grassroots, individual support and chatter. Etsy has several key missions that are close to my heart-- one being the desire to create a venue for people to work at home and support themselves from, another being a facilitator between an actual, real live seller and an actual, real live buyer. I'm fascinated with etsy, not only because it gives me a place in the corner of the cold internet to make a little wakare for myself, but because I'm doing it amongst artists and thinkers and people who create things. (Almost) everything I purchase on etsy has been thru someone's hands, shaped and created and thought about by a single other person... and it makes the world seem smaller because of it.

I go on and on these Fridays because I'm floored at what is out there in the world, how many different hand crafts there are. I live very much in a knitting vacuum, constantly amazed what others create with sticks and string-- and here etsy comes along, an umbrella of handmade things that just opens my eyes every time I visit. I go on and on because I want etsy to do well, want its sellers to do well, want it to be one of those places everyone knows about even if they don't shop there. Imagine that, etsy invading the pop culture conscious, hand in hand with handmade. Gives me *that* kind of thrill. :)

So I'll echo Deb's post, and maybe even shyly ask that you help spread the word about etsy as well. A big ask for me, but the only one (I promise).

Okay, on with etsy friday as you and I know it :)

Box bags from

This one has been a long time in the works. Yall know I am a fan of the little box bags by JapaneseHandmadeEtc. Satomi recently completed a move to the States, but before that she agreed to make a custom set of bags for me from Japanese fabrics I purchased on etsy. I waited til she was settled stateside to send the fabric... the bags are here and they're awesome. I'm using mine to keep all of my sock projects together (better than the lots and lots of loose projects on my desk), and my son is using his to haul little boy treasures in... sturdy enough even for clanky cars and metal Thomas trains.

Shinkansen fabric bags

On the subject of toys...

Felted wool elephant (from recycled wool clothing) by

This was one of my (many) accidental finds on etsy-- the seller had this item featured on the front page, and I fell in love. The front page selection of items is chosen by etsy admin from the lists in the user-created Treasury; you can create a "treasury" of 12 etsy items around a theme for others to browse. Themes can be anything you choose-- color, materials, song titles, obscure stuff I don't get cos I'm near on not cool enough to, etc. The treasury that jmday was in made the front page, which is like a huge deal, and I was lucky enough to have this little guy make his way home to me after seeing him featured.

Star Wars notecard set by

Of everything I've purchased on etsy, I've purchased the most things from April at creativeapples. Has to be, I'm never bored shopping with her. Not only is her shop a treat for the eyes, but she is *happy* to make prints and notecards from any images in her flickr stream (and they're awesome-- maybe more than half of the cards I've purchased have been a special order from her portfolio?) The supercool robot and prone supine woman in the bottom left was a special request for a notecard from a print she has listed in her shop.

clockwise from top left:
1931 ephemera bear card by
handstamped postage card by
hello punch card with fish envelope by
japanese woman with shamisen on dragon by

Sometimes it shocks even me, the weird range I have in choosing cards when shopping etsy. The saucecat pet bear card is made from a clipping of a 1931 children's book, the heartcore44 card is an entirely handstamped scene of postage and a man in a boat, the punch card from kiwipunchdesigns has the most awesome envelope (neon koi), and the japanese woman playing a shamisen on the back of a dragon in the sea by monkeyshines... well! :)

Sweet rice hawaiian fabric from

Not everything on etsy has to be handmade (though not without a bit of controversy!) You can buy vintage items there, as well as supplies-- both commercial and handmade supplies have their own categories. I enjoy buying supplies from etsy, like this cut fabric (isn't it cool?!) I like supporting sellers on etsy and etsy itself, and looking for supplies like findings and fabrics on etsy does that. There's also a fun range of supplies to be found-- this is a fabric printed in Hawaii of sweet shochikubai rice that's harvested in California. Its a familiar thing to me, and gives me that little thrill seeing it reproduced this way.

Superwash sock yarn from
(artichoke colorway)

Ever since Krista sent me a little mini skein of her sock yarn (dyed in her "plum tortie" colorway), I couldn't shake the fact that it would be a perfect yarn for Cookie A patterns. This bright little number is going to be a pair of twisted flowers soon.

In other etsy news, one of the funniest pee in your pants bloggers has a new etsy store filled with her handspun yarn-- Alyson and her wheel SanDeE* are putting out beautiful stuff, lots of it from roving sold by etsy sellers. As for my shop, zeromarkers was lucky enough to be asked to be a part of the upcoming Chewy Spaghetti sock club :) I'm also going to be offering a discount (and a gift certificate for one of the contests) to my shop to Sock it To Me Swap participants-- I think the last day to join is Saturday if you're looking to swap some socks and swag :)

Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

almost knitting

just barely!

Pomatomus in handspun 3-ply superwash bfl
roving dyed by Pigeonroof Studios, "nightshade"
Started: June 16, 2007
US 2/2.75mm dpns, 4

Still my favorite pattern, and I do love the yarn. Summer's here though and the heat just makes me want to spin instead of finish up wool socks :) I really do like this pattern in handspun-- mine's never as even as commercial yarn and in patterned socks it just jumps out, the thick/thin (even if its not apparent, I'm just supercritical about it.) In Pomatomus though, the twisted stitches and the patterning don't really show the thinner/thicker spots in the yarn-- and its just a delight to see the detail of yarn stand out in the twisted stitches.


The color's fun too-- this single sock reminds me of an iceberg for some reason. At the heel, the yarn turned much darker and I can't wait to see how the other one shapes up colorwise.

Better detail of the darker colors on the sole in stst...


I've also put in almost all the time I need for this sock:

Handspun superwash merino sock, based on PGR's "Simple Socks"
roving dyed by, "the color"
Started: late May? 2007
US 0/2.0mm dpns, 4

I'm not feeling it, though the color is fun. Knitting these on US 0 has just taken the wind from my sails-- its just a consistent reminder my handspun singles were too thin to begin with. The ugh is mitigated by the fact I knit a good chunk of these by the light of "Deadliest Catch" while waiting up expectantly, so it keeps me sailing on :)


Back to my wheel :)

(i've recently switched to uploading pics full size to flickr and using their "medium" resized photo for blog posts-- its smaller than the quarter sized one i used to use. any input-- is it too small? i feel like it is and i can't see details i want to highlight, but can't really tell if i'm just being too picky. i would love your input if you had any!)

Monday, June 25, 2007

summer is for spinning

Is it summer yet? Something's in the air, since all I want to do is sit in the sun and be still in front of my wheel, while the little one runs and pedals like a madman.

Handspun, 3-ply superwash merino
"glass semele" roving, dyed in session with other rovings for
14 wpi (sport weight), 110gm

It borders on obscene how much I love this yarn. All at once there's loft, the color that just sings to me, the little things it triggers looking at it. I think 3-ply is going to become a staple in my spinning-- I'm still unhappy with how thin my singles are (working on it), but 3-plying means I can have a somewhat tight twist without the result being hard and losing the wonderful loft of this merino in the process.


I can't help but think this yarn needs to be made into a special pair of socks-- going to let that idea marinate a bit. More pics in the meantime...



Still offline (the 6+ year old pc I built finally gave up the ghost late last week), I started some more superwash merino...

from a previous dye session-- "The Active Side of Infinity"

I have 2/3 of this done, looking forward to plying. Almost exclusively I spin from the fold, and the spots of colors on each side of my index finger give these fun barberpoles in the singles. I think this may quiet the spinning need for now; I may even take a cue from Alyson and sell the finished Infinity skein in my etsy shop when done. (I did list the remaining roving braids there today, too.) We'll see :)

*i've uploaded all of the images to flickr in their original full size, so you can click thru and see the pr0n detail by clicking each pic. i don't know if i'm happy w/ these sizes on the blog though-- don't know if i'll do it again or what.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

lots of colors inside.

Recently, I was reminded of my favorite bit of text from The Metamorphosis of Ovid (Mandelbaum trans.), and wanting to scratch an itch I couldn't reach I broke out the dyes instead.

"Glass Semele"
not for sale

"Glass Dionysus"

and because if anything, I can beat a dead horse...

"Glass Machina"

"Glass Narcissus"

"Glass Orpheus"

"Glass Persephone"

"Glass Phaeton"

"Glass Thetis"

"Glass Underworld"

"Glass Trident"

All are superwash merino rovings, twice dyed in a technique I'm referring to as "glass." I sated myself in color and totally intended to list each in my etsy shop, but Semele is staying with me. Mom came by and saw it hanging to dry, said "I hate to tell you," (yeah right, says the peanut gallery) "but this one looks like you." Grumbles of "damn foreshadowing" spring forth from the 9th grade regions of my brain, but she's right.

I've had them all done since Monday, but etsy's still being touchy with their listing problems I referred to last (etsy) friday. I'll just do a big roving update on Friday at noon pacstandard with these and hope for the best :) (If you're interested in any of the above before then, you can email me at zeromarker[eats]gmail for a paypal invoice and I'll ship ASAP. $13 each + $3 s/h to US, $4 to int'l; s/h $1 each add'l.). I have additional shots of each as well if you'd like, but 10 pictures seemed like enough for today :)

Well, maybe not! Eleven seems luckier than ten...

Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 Sock
tangerine, angelfish & tiger

All from the 20% off sale. I just sent a big package of exclusive freshwater pearl stitch markers to yarn4socks, obviously a good one-stop-shop for socks and markers :)

You can also see 2 hanks of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Camouflage in the back, but I'm mad at LL right now so they didn't make it in the cut. I've been taking individual shots of the stash for uploading to ravelry (sorry to those of you subscribed to my flickr stream!!)-- but those were just the yarns in the living room storage. Today & tomorrow will be the bedroom stash...

If you're interested in the macro stash shots, I'm uploading them all to this set in flickr... or pop by my ravelry stash and agree with me that there's no way I should own this much yarn :)

Seeyou soon for a paper-heavy etsy friday!

Monday, June 18, 2007

stfu: gee, bmp, dy, pom, 224

I have a thing about our wonderful language, how it looks :) That said, can a picture really compare? You tell me!


GEE Magazine, "love for games" (German)
July-August 2007
(with my bmp space invaders sock inside!)

When the editors of GEE asked if they could have some hi-res photos of bmp for their print magazine, I didn't really know if they were serious. Then the mail comes on Saturday...! :)

I took 3 years of high school German, and came away with 1) ich libe dich 2) how to make out in a semidark classroom while everyone else watches home movies of the Rhine and 3) that the boy with blue eyes would never ever notice me *like that* even though we had like, 5 classes a day together. So I have no real clue what the copy means in my mother tongue: "Stricken Von den Socken Die Space Invaders haben es, trotz heftiger Gegenwehr, geschafft, sich auf dem ganzen Erball zu verbreiten: Sogar auf Socken sind sie inzwischen zu finden. Das Strickmuster gibt es unter:," and babelfish is more funny than helpful, but I like it.

[edit: Nadine was kind enough to translate for me in the comments! Thanks Nadine :) "Despite fierce resistance the Space Invaders have managed to take over the planet earth: you can even find them on socks now. The knitting pattern can be found at"]

Recently, a bunch of yall were kind enough to alert me to bmp making the 10 geekiest yarn creations on the web list by threadbanger, too :) I found out before the story hit its tipping point from a post on Alyssa's blog (she has some fun photos of a Cookie A trunk leg show). All of this in addition to the other fun linkage when the pattern was first published, and its heady 224 keycard days all over again :)

(I thought it was fate that this t-shirt was printed today, so its on its way to me too:
from threadless, june 18 2007 printing)

Another fun stfu: Rachel and I were chatting and she mentioned that she heard mention of zero stitch markers on some knitting podcasts and that I should check them out. I don't have a soundcard on my pc, so podcasts are pretty much outfield for me... but what should appear in my mailbox? CD copies of Lime & Violet and Socks in the City! :) I knew the Stash and Burn ladies knew about my freshwater pearl stitch markers from their pre-Stitches West coverage of the Bay Area Knit Coop (hi Nicole!), but its neat to actually be able to hear my very first podcasts! Very cool, Rachel's a f*ing rockstar. :)


The CDs are hanging out with some of Rachel's "scratch art" yarn from her etsy store, Dyeabolical Yarns. She does custom orders if you love this colorway as much as I do. (Another, better pic of the yarn in this etsy post.) I think this hank wants to be a pair of teosinte socks (from knitspot)-- what do you think?

On another note, over the weekend I remembered why I think Cookie should be dipped in bronze like baby shoes:

(okay, so I didn't really forget why.)
Pomatomus in handspun superwash bfl, dyed by Pigeonroof Studios


Friday, June 15, 2007

etsy friday

Caveat for today! Etsy's been up & down like ...well you know... for the past few days or so. Slow servers, timing out, items listed not appearing in categories (but in the individual shops that have listed them). I've dragged my feet on listing new items in my shop this week hoping for the servers to catch up. Its totally possible you may run into a timeout or another error, but its just growing pains... we've all been there :)

On with the show!

Mini bread baker from

Yes, I do see an Echo :) I bought another stoneware bread baker after giving my red one away to my mom. I'm hooked on warm boxed 35 cent cornbread, even though it contains "one or more of the following: lard, hydrogenated lard, partially hydrogenated lard..." Oy. You could use these breadbakers for (frozen) bread dough as well.

Don't tell mom or she may want to switch, but I like this glaze better than the red. Atypical me!

Handmade artisan perfumes from

One of my first purchases from etsy was a sample set of perfumes from PrairieLuxe. They were inexpensive, included free shipping (everything I've recieved from her has been packed *really* well, shipped in boxes)... and to my surprise were really enjoyable. I never wear scents, don't know what came over me that day when I ordered the first sample set, but I'm glad it did.

I've since found my favorite, "nicotia"... I also like her choice of fractionated coconut oil as a base, I find it really wears well and reliably for a longer period of time as opposed to traditional alcohol based perfumes. Plus, they come in rollerball containers, no messy fingers. Not always a good thing.

2 1/4" pocket mirrors made from vintage fabrics & stamps, by

I feel silly when I keep protesting that I'm a boy in girl's clothing, and show you mirrors and perfumes and purses. :) C'mon though... tentacles and mushrooms?! Way awesome. I have a thing for upcycled stamps lately too, but really its the mycophile, tentaphile coming out in me.

Quilled duck family from

I was searching for cards on etsy (par for the course) and stumbled across this adorable duck family. I planned on affixing them to a leftover mount card from my grandma's lizard ridge afghan gift, but they've been just hanging out on my desk, making me smile instead :)

I admit, I had no idea what quilling was when I bought them. The seller was kind enough to share with me a little bit: "Quilling is an old art, it involves rolling thin strips of paper to produce the equivalent effect of metal filigree, except in paper. Medieval nuns used to do it with the offcuts from manuscripts edges to make religious pictures, and roll the paper around a quill on a feather, hence the name. Then the Victorians thought it was a 'nice' pastime for a genteel lady, and they decorated tea caddies and other 'useful' items with it...and then I took it up, and started making fun stuff!"


Jennie has quilled sheep, shepherdess and sheep sets, and other fun quilled items for sale in her shop. They came from across the pond, but well packaged in a hard sided container-- not held down or bent out of shape on arrival at all.

Pound of handmade artisan soap from

A few months back, my household went thru a vegan phase and I found Frost Fish when buying vegan soaps on etsy. They are a cold-process soap company, taking 6-8 weeks to cure their superfatted products (depending on the soaps, they use butters like avocado, shea, cocoa; along with oils, lanolin, clays and other luxe ingredients-- no glycerin). They smell great... nothing like permeating someone's life thru all their senses. Not all their soaps are vegan, but ingredient lists for all soaps are easily found thru their shop.

My most recent purchase includes zucchero, wholesome blend, pomegranate, yuzu, and basil lime (along w/ a sample of their supernatural lotion in vanilla mint... a delicious whipped shea butter base that is so soft and light!)


Left: copper, aluminum, dichroic glass, argentinum rivets, handmade & hammered pendant from
Right: orange frit glass pendant from

They're so different but I love them both. The copper piece has so much metal handwork in it... the rivets were handmade and hammered to hold the copper frame together, while stabilizing the aluminum mesh "cage" pinning the dichroic glass bead down. Its going to be even more awesome when the copper patinas over!

The orange glass frit disk pendant is a big hit with me too... my kid sums it up when he climbs into my lap and points at my neck, "candy!" I'm weak in the knees for orange, and pollyfusia's description of how frit was applied to the hot glass is just so cool to me (even though I know nothing about glass, except that I like its weight on me and how it looks.) Serendipitous information is so good.

Mad props to Karrie for introducing me to pollyfusia's store; we were chatting after one of her etsy posts and she directed to me to pollyfusia. Yay for word of mouth :)

Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

surrounded by daemons

...and filled with devils, you'd think I'd never have finished this.

Handspun 3 ply Superwash Blue Faced Leicester
roving dyed by, "nightshade" colorway
approx. 110gm, heavy (hard?) fingering to DK weight

It is a pretty big skein, relative to reality. This was all packed onto one bobbin on my Ashford Joy when plying... my original intent was to 2-ply the singles, but as I finished the 3rd bobbin of them, they were too thin for my taste (like the purple superwash merino of late... knitting it on US 0's just isn't fun for me right now), so I went ahead and divvied up my last fourth bit of roving into among the 3 partly filled singles bobbins and prayed it'd fit. Tight fit (again, my favorite), but it did-- good to know I can carefully fill a Joy bobbin with near on 4 oz of fiber.


I've been all aslaver lately over Kristi's 3-ply goodness, too... this was my first attempt at 3plying and I'm a little ambivalent about it-- I just jumped in without knowing what I was striving for, and a lot of the time I felt like I should have given a little more thought to what I'd want coming out of it in the end, that I'd actually want something more than experience and memory. Too many times I had a 2-ply, with the third single wrapped around that... I discovered the beauty of natural rhythm, but perhaps too late for this skein. I can't really tell the spots in the finished yarn, but know what I saw beneath the surface, know what's inside and what it could have been had I thought about it a little more.

But it does look good, feels good. BFL's also a new experience to me as well, all the fake it til you make it w. merino made it fun-- eyeopeningly refreshing.



I couldn't decide which 3-way I liked best, so you get to pick for yourselves :) The sisters are also the nightshade colorway from Pigeonroof Studios, in Krista's hopefully-returning-soon cashmere/merino/nylon sock yarn (same base yarn from the recent Math Whiz socks).

Ending on a good note, like I should have done...


Miss you already!

Friday, June 08, 2007

etsy friday

long time, no see! :) let's skip ahead to the good part, eh?

Toddler backpack from

Yall know the kiddo by now, this is a major favorite. Bratsacks uses all recycled and vintage fabrics, and does different details (ladybugs, trains, etc.) in mainly corduroy fabrics. This is a nice backpack-- drawstring and velcro close, great for little hands. The straps aren't adjustable, but I can see this fitting my (somehow) slight, tall kid for a while.

The only drawback is that he stuffs it to the brim with toys, and often has me carry it home for him. :) Too small for me to wear, and you parents out there know how heavy those metal Thomas trains can be.

Crocheted toddler cap in cotton by

I know, how cute right?! Except he never wears it... only today since I was taking pics of him. (Such a ham, I don't know where he gets it from! ;)) The workmanship is great-- everything's even, finishing is very professional. I can't say anything more than I've *never* seen a commercially made cap for toddlers look better, and this is handmade for me in a custom color choice.

Looby Lou bag from
(fixed link, sorry!)

For being a tomboy, I sure collect a lot of purses (under the guise they hold my knitting, of course!) This bag is really awesome though-- a smaller profile than my felted miter malabrigo messenger bag (any interest in the pattern for that? i found the notes the other day...), and I just am head over heels in love with the ume blossom print. The webbed strap is adjustable, and also takes the purse out of that too-dressed up realm (I can't bring myself to wear anything but tshirts and jeans), and overall its sturdy, well made and fully lined. It also has little details inside like a zippered pocket and a keyfob-- I didn't think I'd use either but both are currently employed :)

And something to go with the new messenger...


Silkscreened print on silk business card holder from

Love this. I'm going to use it to hold business cards with sample stitch markers attached (like the ones I send with orders from my shop). Red Mailbox Press has a shop full of great stationery, too.

Finally, another repeat of something delicious...

Superwash blue faced leicester (BFL) roving from
(artichoke & blackthorn)

I actually custom ordered these from Krista, so I didn't have to do the snatch and grab that often occurs during her etsy shop updates :) I am almost thru the "nightshade" colorway, and the blackthorn is haunting me already.

Something I haven't bought, but yall may be interested in...

etsyFAST goody bags from

I'm a member of the etsy Fiber Arts Street Team, and our moderators recently put together a "goody bag" for sale on etsy containing samples from some member shops (including mine). I'm not buying one to give someone else a chance, but the goody bags look so tempting and full of great stuff! There should be more supply sample bags available for sale soon, so keep your eyes open (or rss feeds on!) :)

Another great way to find new things on etsy is to look at someone's favorites list... this is a list of items (or shops) that a person has "hearted"/saved for later. My favorites list is pretty long... it is full of things I will buy eventually (crafty alien's adorable felted knit patterns, red stapler stationery from pinkbathtub), wishful things (if i had another baby i'd carry her in this, if i ever got married i'd want a wedding band like this), inspiring things (crocheted dinosaur skull, fishscale stained glass) and everything in between. You can look at just about everyone's favorites and see what they're into, its a fun peek inside :)

Have a good one!

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