Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter 2007 Knitter's

THANKS for all the nice Rainy Day Sock comments! Here is a photo of the sock from the side, which shows the raindrop pattern.

Another day of not-too-much knitting gives me not much to share, so let's see what I can say about the Winter 2007 Knitter's magazine. This used to be my favorite, but I think they are now designing things for people with different taste than mine--interesting techniques and all, but if they don't put in a shawl, not much I want to make.

One comment I have is that I thought it was nice that they took the photos in the town where the magazine is based, way up in South Dakota, but they really didn't find many scenic spots. I guess lining models up against graffiti and abandoned buildings is more artistic than putting them in places that give you a feel for the location's good points. Yes, I assume there are many good points to South Dakota.

I enjoyed all the articles (even though I couldn't figure out where Peri was going for a while in hers), and especially liked all the ads. Go ads! If you are an advertiser, yes, people do read them. And go to your websites! Some are so stylized, though, that I have no clue what kind of yarn or other products they have--entice me with something tangible!

As for the projects, which is a big reason why we knitters want a magazine for knitters, they grow on you, I think. Here are the ones that grew the most (my top 5):
  • Radiant Diamonds: That's the one most likely to be made by me (ha, like I will ever get to it), but I love the lace diamonds, and it looks very wearable. Quite a pretty item.
  • Cinnamon Bark: I think this is the loveliest item of them all, but when I looked at the pattern--woo-ee--even this experienced knitter thought, "I'd have to take my time on this one!" It would probably be worth it--that is one elegant looking sweater.

  • Honey Gold: I don't think this one is particularly pretty (not fond of the collar especially) but I just LOVE how it is constructed, so I'd want this one just for the experience of making those fun sleeves! It has lots of elements (lace, cables, etc.) that I like, too. Definitely looks like the most fun to try.

  • Warm and Ready: The dickie really would be nice for a motorcycle rider, who of course would not be wearing the hat rather than a helmet if he or she were riding on their bike.

  • Chalk Stripes Scarf: I know this will be the item most popular with the general public--I already am reading about it. And I must admit that it looks pretty fun. Yeah, I might make one of those in other colors.
Others in the bunch ranged from OK if something were changed (remove the ties from that pink eyelet sweater; make Media Man in a more man-friendly or work-friendly colorway) to plain old ick (I find Chocolate Bars and Teal We Meet Again just ugly). I know many will disagree, so I look forward to seeing these patterns knitted up on Ravelry in a month or so. Your renditions may change my mind!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Questions from Readers

Fair Isle Style Vest
Originally uploaded by sunasak
I actually got some questions from readers, so I thought I'd answer them here. Since my first question is from someone I knew when I lived in Illinois (we still are on an email list together, too), I thought I would illustrate today's post with something I made before I came to Texas. This is from the 80s, during the Fair Isle obsession phase. It is made from rather scratchy wool that was on cones in a mill end outlet in Columbus Ohio. But it fit in a grad student budget, so it was good! I was quite the purist, and used steeks on the armholes and neck. What a brave woman! I cut into my knitting! I still have this vest, but it's a bit warm for most of the year here. No moths have eaten it or anything!

So here is the first set of questions, from my friend, who is too shy to post on the blog (this is a very articulate, well educated and wise person--you'd love any comment she made--to her and the rest of you, please do not be shy--it makes bloggers SO happy to read comments, and readers are very nice. At least mine are). Anyway:

1) Do you have any suggestions for what to do with leftover sock yarn? ... I have dibs and dabs, some fairly sizeable, left over that I hate to throw out.

Yes! I have read lots of suggestions on the sock knitting list, gotten interesting ideas from my LYS friends, and found other interesting ideas in books and magazines. All sock knitters have leftovers (OK, once or twice I have used ALL of a yarn, but that's not the norm).

I started an afghan a couple of years ago. it's little mitered squares made out of sock yarn leftovers. It started off with sort of a pattern, with each yarn being used as many times as I could, going up in diagonal stripes. I don't know how long that will last, especially since some yarns don't have that much left over. A few yarns are slightly different in texture or width, but it's mostly pretty good. I haven't worked on it in a while--now that I have so many pretty hand-dyed yarns, maybe I should! You could also do an afghan out of small granny squares, with a solid color to tie them all together or something. Or a ripple afghan with many colored stripes.

Other ideas include:

* Baby booties or socks
* Preemie hats (I think the finer yarn looks better on the tiny heads) or baby hats. Hospitals appreciate the little hats.
* "Monster socks," which are socks made with leftover yarn, usually with some unifying theme
* Wrist warmers, which teens like
* Mini sock holiday ornaments
* Felted coasters if you have non-superwash sock yarn around

There are lots more--feel free to post other ideas, you lurkers!

2) How do you protect your yarn from m___ths? So far, I'm using ziploc bags and herbal packets and cedar balls. Is this enough?

I did have more trouble with them in Illinois than here, thank goodness. I have sprigs of rosemary and lavender in the closet and sock drawer, but nothing has happened in the 10.5 years I've been here. Oddly enough, we had a dickens of a problem with the moths that get into your pantry. ACK. We still see one every so often. They do not seem interested in wool. Just food. Those moths were driven away with sticky pheromone-laden traps from Mr. Pest Control Man.

You do need to let your wool items breathe, so don't leave them in sealed bags for too long (at least I am told it needs to breathe--I didn't check on on it). Cedar seems to work well, as does keeping wool items clean. The moths like stains.

Other tips on dealing with those nasty chomping critters? Contribute if you will!

More than one reader asked for the Rainy Day Socks pattern when I am finished. I am sending it out to a test knitter (who is no doubt now going, "Ooh, I have an official title!"), and if she can follow my slightly rambling instructions, I'll share it right away! I am still working on Sock #2 myself, because yesterday required too much concentration to work on anything but the repetitive section of Juno Regina. it's moving along slowly.

I really appreciate the nice comments on the socks, especially with the less-than-stellar photo quality. Now that I have the new computer I promise to put up a couple of other patterns you might like, too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rainy Day Progress

Rainy Day Sock, Back
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Here's a picture of the first Rainy Day Sock (which was knitted mostly while it was raining, a lot). It's from the back, so you can see how spiffily I finished the Parasols pattern. I added two rows to the last repeat to make a complete umbrella top. I think that looks better than just stopping the pattern. With the addition of a more attractive double decrease, I think I really improved the original. The Parasol pattern also gives the sock a slightly curved top edge, which I like a lot.

If you want to see a picture of the Raindrops pattern that is on the side of the sock, look here The pattern is so simple, but really does look like droplets of water. Sparkly water, thanks to Disco Colori!

I believe these would be quite lovely socks in a less hysterical colorway, so I may do them again in something more sedate. I may use my Maizy for it.

Right now I am still reading over my instructions and knitting the second sock according to them, to make sure I didn't mess up anything. Then I guess I'll PDF it and post a link here and to Ravelry, just in case anyone else wants to try it. I didn't get real far yesterday because I started another little project and worked some on Juno Regina, my current Mindless Knitting project, until I get to the other end.

Make Someone's Holiday Happy

Some of you may know that I once was a professional do-gooder. I spent well over a decade of my life working for a nonprofit organization that helped mothers and babies. I did their very large website (with help), and I always felt very good that I was contributing to the health and well-being of millions of people around the world. I want to do things that increase peace, increase kindness, and increase well-being in the world. Someone just wrote me an email re-iterating that I helped sooo many people back then, in response to me posting regrets that staying home with my kids when they were small then working in a non-traditional job in a non-traditional field has hampered my ability to do the kind of work I want to do. I do appreciate that I helped so many. It eases a lot of the pain.

Since I have had to take whatever job will pay enough to cover the household expenses, which has meant working as a faceless drone in corporate America, I have been trying to keep helping others. I do a lot of knitting help--having a hobby that can calm and soothe you while creating useful products does increase peace, kindness (giving away what you make) and well-being. That's good.

Giving to Real People

Yet, being a middle class parent on the brink of not having enough to get by for the past few years has made me realize that I am by no means the worst off. I am willing to sacrifice my principles and employment wants, and do whatever I have to so that the kids are fed and housed. Some people, and these are people I really admire, feel they just can't sacrifice their souls to multi-national corporations and try to earn a living doing what they are good at and what they love.

So, at this holiday season, when we are often asked to give money to nameless people via charities, I'd like to highlight two people I know who stick by their guns and do what they love, even when the money doesn't quite follow immediately. Maybe, just maybe, one or two of you will find that they deserve your support, even if it isn't tax deductible. Your bonus will be knowing you helped a hard-working, strong-minded person, and you get to enjoy the fruits of their labor!


Jeff is a close friend (lived with us for four years, even) who has been a musician his whole life. He is an amazing guitarist, has an incredible voice (he can sing Roy Orbison songs in the original keys), and has written some lovely songs. He has always lived for music and is one of the few people in Austin trying to make a living as a full-time musician. He's one of those people who fame and fortune kept just missing, which was always frustrating. Right now he is living with a chronic condition that makes getting most jobs difficult--his vision is bad and he can't stand for long periods of time. But he can make music and share his knowledge of it! And to top it all off, his step-father died, while his mom was in the hospital. Jeff is now trying to take care of her, in Florida, which makes working here in Austin a challenge!

Jeff has created a couple of projects recently that I think deserve more attention. One is his CD of "chill" music, called Lake Effect. I had to listen to this over and over while he was working on it, and never got tired of it. This is music that can take you to another world if you listen to it with headphones on, or that makes a great background for concentrating on other things, like knitting or writing. There are samples on Jeff's website, so check them out. And if you like it, please consider ordering a copy. They make good gifts, too--no offensive lyrics! And the cover photo, by Jeff, is really cool.

His other laudable project is one that really gives back to the folk music community. It's his podcast website, The Austin Connection. There are now 60 different podcasts here, all showcasing a different musician or group who wither lives around here or has passed through Austin in the past couple of years. I am totally blown away by the quality of the recordings and the fun it is to listen to the stories these musicians tell. Jeff has a great radio voice, so these podcasts are very, very easy to listen to. Another great thing to do while you knit if you run out of knitting podcasts! The Austin Connection project is completely funded by donations. And it is sad how few donate compared to how many download the podcasts, read them on their RSS feed or get them on iTunes. A donation to this worthy cause would really help someone trying to make a living doing what they love AND giving back to the local community. Please consider it.


I haven't known Ray as long as I have known Jeff, but I've gotten to know him pretty well through his blogs and email postings. Like Jeff, he's a real individualist who wants to earn his living doing what he loves, not sacrificing his principles. Ray had to leave Louisiana after the hurricane and set up shop in Houston, where he dyes yarn, designs patterns, and knits up a storm, all in a very small space. He also thinks a lot. I really enjoy his thoughts, whether I agree or disagree. Nothing's better than having a friend who makes you think.

Long-time readers have seen me knit with some of his Knitivity yarns, which I enjoy because the color combinations are not the standard ones you see everywhere. He also has some patterns and holiday stockings, hats and bags for sale that would make great holiday gifts. But the best thing he has is a deal where you buy someone a voucher for sock yarn (first item listed on the sock page), and then they get to pick the color, which Ray will dye right up for them and send right off! What a great gift for any knitter.

Also great for knitters are the shirts and other products Ray has on his CafePress site. He just designed a pretty amusing knitting-themed shirt that is brand new--no one on your gift list will have it yet! Or maybe YOU need one!

And anything you buy will keep a very small business afloat--that has to fill you with holiday spirit, whatever that is. I know it makes me feel good to buy things right from the maker, and knowing the kind of person Ray is makes me feel even better. A real American entrepreneur.

What I Think (as if you asked)

I'd much rather buy something from someone who is honestly trying to make a living than to just give people hand-outs. I think most of us would rather earn our livings. I know Jeff and Ray feel that way. And having some holiday income will certainly bring them cheer, while their music and yarnish things will bring YOU cheer!

Now if you can't bring yourself to do any holiday shopping via my personal favorites, don't forget the many indie dyers, local yarn shops, and other small craft-related businesses out there. Your purchases of items made locally or marketed via people in our local communities helps them feed their families. When we give straight to "real" people, it doesn't hurt those big businesses much, but really, really helps the small ones. Let's do it!

PS: Neither of these guys asked me to do this. I was just thinking of them and realized that, since I don't have anything monetary to give them right now, I could at least share their talents with my little bloggy audience. And this is my last infomercial for the season. I need to go concentrate on getting my own funding now!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Harmony Guides

As you could guess from my description of the socks I am working on (hold down that clamor for the pattern, folks!), I have copies of two of the new versions of the Harmony Guides, which are stitch pattern books. I have the Knit and Purl one and the one depicted here, Lace and Eyelets. I have the cables and Aran patterns book on order.

I also have copies of two volumes of the previous set, which is where I originally found the two rain-related patterns I am using in the socks (btw, finished sock #1). The same patterns are in the new version Lace and Eyelets book, so that is the one I refer to in my sock instructions.

The new books are very modern looking and have a lovely design. There is a lot more space given to each pattern, so you can see it well. It is a lot of fun to browse through the books, marking pages of patterns you like. The books stay open well and have a really nice binding (is that perfect binding? What's it called?).

What I do not like about the new books is as follows:
  • There is no table of contents.
  • There is no index--oh, why oh why could there not be an index of pattern names? Then, when you remember the name of one, you could go right to it, rather than thumbing through the whole book and getting distracted by other patterns vying for your attention.
  • There are no CHARTS to the lace patterns! ARGH. That means you have to figure them out for yourself if you want to design something usable by modern lace knitters, most of whom prefer charts. Actually, charts of ALL the patterns would be nice; for some of them, seeing how stitches pair up makes it easier to learn the pattern than memorizing written directions.
  • I wish that some of the patterns listed original sources, or some history or lore about them.
  • Some suggested uses for patterns is also nice (there is a bit of that, but more would be even better).

I am positive that I will get a lot of use out of these books, and combined with my long-lost Barbara G. Walker treasuries and my endless Fair Isle pattern books, I can now probably entertain myself forever making things up. These are great resources, and I appreciate all the work that the editor did on them.

Perhaps if I get all bored one day and have a friend with me, I'll have the friend read off pattern titles and I'll type them into a document, and then I'll have my pattern name index, which, of course, I would share.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Farewell to People Who Don't Like Socks

There are a lot of very ill people in my family and social circle, and there have been some deaths recently, too. Two people important to the knitting community have recently passed away, as well, both of whom, apparently were not fond of socks.

Many of us knitters read the KnitU email list that XRX publications sponsors. For many years, a very nice woman named Gail was the moderator. And since KnitU is the most heavily moderated email list I have ever been on, it was a lot of work! She read every single post, passing on ones she approved, and commenting on nearly every one of them. It was more of a list where people wrote her than a list where people exchanged ideas with each other, because there was always the intermediary commentary. Luckily, it was usually quite enjoyable, part of the unique KnitU charm. I never really posted much to the list, though, because I mostly knit socks, love to knit socks, and love to write about socks, and Gail had very strong anti-sock feelings. After having my one feeble attempt to ask something sock-related sweetly put down, I decided to lurk on that list. I do realize most people found it a charming quirk, so I decided it must be my issue, not hers (but ya know, I don't like Lion Brand Homespun yarn, but I don't make fun of anyone who mentions it--I figure they are entitled to have different experiences and preferences from mine).

Still, I enjoyed reading what Gail had to say other than the sock thing, and was as sad as the rest of the knitting community to hear of her sudden passing. She had a lot of knowledge to share, and was very kind to others. There are lots of places where you can read about how to contribute to her favorite charity. A nice place, with a very nice tribute, is Dez Crawford's blog. Consider doing something in memory of a woman who gave a great deal to the knitting community!

Mary Walker Phillips also passed away recently. I had just been thinking of her when I found the Counterpanes book she wrote among my recently unearthed knitting books. I remember thinking that I hadn't really seen many other resources on these cool knitted squares--so it was interesting to read about it in the obituary (linked above). Now, I am not sure if Miss Phillips really hated socks herself, but the person writing the obituary seemed to feel that she felt her work was somehow "better" than the work of a sock or sweater knitter--and really put down anyone who was so unimaginative as to "just" follow a pattern. The obituary writer made quite a few swipes at the humble sock!

Humph! There is a world of creativity possible with socks, and that was even before the New Pathways series started! And even if you follow a pattern, it's just a suggestion. Nearly everyone I know veers off from the pattern's instructions in some way or another, not to mention the art of pairing pattern with yarn!

Still, I am grateful that people like Mary Walker Phillips showed up to shake up the knitting community, demonstrate how knitting can be used in art, and reveal that there is a lot more to the craft than taking your skein of Red Heart and making a ripple afghan (which you are still free to do if you want to--I do sometimes!). Do read the obituary--she sounds like a pretty fascinating person. I hope her last years were peaceful--Alzheimer's is a hard way for a creative person to go.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Weekend Project

To take my mind off my issues, I have done two things. One is that I went to the LYS to see if I needed to teach anything. I didn't, so I settled in to knit, but, naturally, I ended up helping folks. Even got paid for one, and since my Spanish is very bad and the lady from Peru's English is not so good, I earned my pay on that one. I will help her some more next week. In the meantime, I will look up more knitting words in Spanish. I sound really good in Spanish, but have never talked about knitting much, so that slows me down a lot. The poor lady wants to make something that should be easy, a feather and fan afghan, but the instructions are so poorly written and the increases and decreases so counter-intuitive that even a good English reader would have problems with them. Yep, my work was cut out for me. I can see why I decided to not be a professional translator.

I also was very proud of myself for helping a woman figure out the pattern to an Aran-style poncho she wanted to re-create. I figured out the whole thing, and even wrote out instructions for a cable pattern we could not find in a book. Not bad. I helped her knit on it for a long time, before my friend and I went to Starbucks for some uninterrupted conversation. Sometimes you just want to chat!

The other thing I've been doing this weekend is work on the new socks I've been designing. I had this shiny blue yarn that looked sort of wet, and wanted to make socks with a theme to match them. I found a pattern of umbrellas (parasols) and a pattern of raindrops, and when I saw they were each 12-row patterns, I figured it would not be too hard to use them in socks. You can see how far along I am now. The hardest part was that I decided it would be easier to knit the patterns all together, rather than splitting the pattern that centers across the sides of the sock in half. writing out how to rearrange the needles as simply as possible has been an interesting challenge.

When I finish this sock, I will knit the second one according to the instructions, to be sure they work (seems prudent). Then, I hope to share the instructions in case anyone else wants to make Rainy Day Socks!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Start Hyperventilating NOW: Found Old Treasures!

Because I should, I will share photos of my current projects--the finished pair of fraternal Double Eyelet rib socks, which I think came out quite nicely, but I think I can stand to give away, and the progress on Juno Regina Petite--I've knit more on it, but this photo gives a good idea of how it will look. The colors show up on the enlarged view on Flickr, if you are interested. I think it will be lovely once finished and blocked.

Right now I am working on a pair of socks of my own design, and trying to write the pattern down while I am at it. I'll post a photo of that one when I am a little further along on it.I am using my second skein of Fortissima Disco Colori, which is mostly denim blue with a bit of aqua and green in it, plus the extra special silver threads. Disco-y, yes.

But here's the excitement! Lee is re-wiring the house so that we can put in a wireless booster and be able to more successfully use the wireless in the media room (it is as far away as possible in our house from the router, and we lose connection at times). Now that I have a brand-new red notebook, I'd like to be able to blog and do Ravelry up in the room with all my knitting stuff.

So he opened the closet door in the office. Um, it is a mess. So, he started to neaten it slightly, but ended up emptying the whole thing, something I had not been able to do since we moved here, 10.5 years ago. There were boxes of books way in a corner that I never could lift out. So, yes, we had lived here over a decade and not finished unpacking. Sigh. But, Lee got out the books!

First, there were all the Japanese linguistics books I'd used in my studies and dissertation work. Aww. Some very expensive dictionaries in there! Then there were a bunch of interesting linguistics and culture books. A bunch of books on cultures I was interested in. Way too many bad 80s quilt books. And. And. And. The treasured knitting books I had been looking all over the place for.

There, to my immense relief, were my Barbara G. Walker stitch pattern books. From when they first came out. A first edition of A History of Hand Knitting. A pristine copy of Principles of Knitting. Alice Starmore's fair isle book (SCORE!!!!!) all these from the 80s and early 90s. All sorts of fair isle books, a book on Cornish knit frocks...wait, wait--here are some highlights:

* Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting (now all I lack is the Aran book)
* Charted Knitting Patterns, by B Walker (I think I re-bought this one, oops)
* Classic Knitting Patterns from the British Isles by J. Waller (has VERY English looking people as models)
* The Complete Book of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting, by S. McGregor
* Cornish Guernsies and Knit Frocks by M. Wright (a really cool little book)
* A History of Hand Knitting by R. Rutt (first ed.)
* Knitting Around, by E. Zimmerman (yay! I knew I owned this!)
* Knitting Counterpanes, by MW Phillips (wow, I had forgotten about this--a whole bunch of cool patterns, borders and squares)
* Knitting from the Netherlands: Traditional Dutch Fishermen's Sweaters, by H. van der Klift-Tellegen
* Knitting in the Old Way, by PA Gibson-Roberts (glad to see this one again)
*Knitting Lace: A Workshop with Patterns and Projects, by S. Lewis (I had forgotten this existed)
* Knitting without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmerman (woo! Not lost!)
*No Idle Hands
* The Principles of Knitting, by J. Hiatt
* A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by B. Walker (yay, so glad I didn't re-buy these, as I have been tempted to many times)
*Swedish Sweaters: New Designs from Historical Examples, by B-M Christoffersson
* Traditional Knitting: Aran, Fair Isle, and Fisher Ganseys, by M. Pearson
*Traditional Knitting: Patterns of Ireland, Scotland and England by G. Morgan
* A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, by B. Walker
* A Useful Guide to Irish Crochet Lacemaking by M. Cusson

There sure were a lot of "traditional this and that" books in the 80s and early 90s, huh. And I sure did love Fair Isle, apparently.

One good thing is, knowing what some of these books are going for on Ebay these days, we could live a couple of months on the proceeds of selling them. Not that I would. What great resources I have been missing out on since I moved to Texas! I'd been holding off on designing things until I found all my books. And here they are! I also found some interesting history of quilting books in addition to the bunch of really not-so-hot quilt books that I am not sure why I bought. Oh yeah, and there were my bargello books from my intense bargello design phase. I could never get rid of those!

Finding all these books again reminds me of my dream of running a knitting resource center, with a library of books that knitters could use as resources, back issues of knitting magazines, and pattern collections from as far back as I could get them. I have so many resources, being such a bibliophile, and I do wish I could share them with others. We could all sit around and knit, design our projects, or share inspiration. Of course, I would hate to lose any of them, so I'd have to watch them like a hawk.

I feel like I could never run out of inspiration with all these wonderful resources at my fingertips. How lucky I am! If you live nearby and want to see any of these books, just let me know. I will check to see if I have re-bought any more of them, so I can offer duplicates up for others to use.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Fan Post about Stitch Markers

It occurs to me that I have not raved about the stitch markers I prefer to use. I will fix that now. You see, I own many stitch markers. Some of them are really lovely. I made some myself, which are really lovely. But many of them are really heavy and bug me by swinging there and getting in the way. Others are nicely done, but have edges that catch on things. Some are too fat; some are too plain.

But the ones I use the most are by Entrelac, who is a nice woman named Ana. She used to come to my LYS with her equally nice friend. I enjoyed them a lot (I think they now hang out at a new store closer to where they live, but I did see them at Kid'n Ewe). Why do I use these stitch markers? Because:

1. They do not catch on anything. No edges. This is the #1 most wonderful feature.
2. They are in pretty colors of wire and interesting metals.
3. They (at least mine) are shiny and are made of lovely little beads of various types. I can't decide whether pretty colors or shiny beads is the second best feature. These are tied.
4. They are thin enough that they don't mess up my stitches or get in my way. But they still show up.
5. They do not weigh down your lace, if that's what you're making.

I have three different sizes and colors. The ones I love the most are tiny pinkish ones with clear glass beads that have a little pink in them. When you are knitting, they look like pretty decorative jewels. I do want more, and will get some when the finances settle, I know! I was heartbroken when one of the little ones bounced off my sock and into the bowels of Bible Stadium (named after a person, not a book) in Leander during a high school football game. WAH.

The reason it occurred to me that I ought to mention my love for these stitch markers is that I read on Sheri's blog that the Loopy Ewe will be distributing them soon has been distributing them since May (I am so unobservant!). I was happy enough when Ana got an online store, but this is really good--great publicity and wider exposure. Plus, I was really tickled to see an ad for Entrelac on Ravelry! Cool! I always like it when local people doing quality work have success. It's inspirational. I know there are some similar stitch markers out there, and if you find some made by someone local, get them! Otherwise, try these! Made by a real person whom your blog-friend Suna has met!

End of completely unsolicited commercial. I get nothing out of this--I paid for my markers, with cash!

(Interesting aside, I don't think I have ever really told Ana how great I think her business is. Brilliant, huh. I guess I should. OK, I did.)

I will be traveling tomorrow so probably won't post, but will knit a lot: happy Thanksgiving to US readers!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Even More Stash Justification

It's clear that I must have Stash Guilt, because I keep addressing this issue. Nonetheless...

I recently appalled someone when I said I had over 100 balls of sock yarn lurking in my house. Now, I have already explained to y'all that this isn't necessarily all going to be socks someday: it's a collection. Or my version of how the Mormons keep a stockpile of food and stuff ready for when disaster strikes. My yarn is ready for when financial disaster strikes: if I run out of money I won't run out of knitting fodder! I may get hungry, but I will be entertained. Someone else posited that I could eat the Maizy and the Tofutsie (corn and soy).

But another aspect of my stash-loving ways has become clear as I upload items from deep at the bottom of the yarn basket: some of that stuff is no longer made! Like Simple Stripes from Knit Picks. The yarn depicted here has been looked at a whole bunch of times on Flickr--I am thinking because it has been discontinued and is not one of the more common colorways. I figure it's going to become more valuable through the years, yeah, that's the ticket. My heirloom sock yarn is just like money in a vault! Some day, just some day, my stash might get me out of a bind, or something.

So I will keep treasuring it, even the Lion Brand Magic Stripes. Poor maligned sock yarn--it has held up well over time, so I still like it, even if it came from a discount hobby store. It's an heirloom too, now!

Good Old Juno, Now Known as Narrow Juno

You may have read in my addendum to my second post yesterday that I seem to have missed a repeat on Juno Regina's set-up rows. I think one of the dogs increased my row counter when playing on the couch. I should have figured it out, but was so happy I was getting the actual pattern to happy that I put aside that nagging question: why are there stitches on that chart that I am not knitting? Now I know--and it is good that my explanation to Lynn was not damaged too badly by my omission. Whew.

Just goes to show you, as I say repeatedly: you never stop learning at knitting. Soon as I find good light and a light-colored background, I will give you an in-progress shot of the Narrow Juno Regina, as I will now call my "dresser scarf." Let's just hope no equipment malfunctions mar my next projects (sparkly blue socks and a cardigan for Lee).

And, keep those job vibes coming. I have nothing yet, but many possibilities in the works. I just need ONE to work out!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Winning the Fight with Lace, Addendum

[edited 11/20]
Here is my answer to Lynn's question in the comments. She wants to know how to parse the sections in Chart 3, which tell you to repeat different sections different numbers of times. The author doesn't really tell you what order to do them in. Here, I will try to do that. Refer to the picture, too:

On chart 3, the first repeat you will work with all the motifs, so you just do the middle section (B) 4 times. Do the edge, 4 repeats of B, the unlabeled section, and then the other edge. For ten rows.

On the second repeat, you begin to get rid of motifs and start adding in plain sections (A and C). So, you'd knit an edge, then section A, move straight to B, repeat it 3 times, do the unlabeled section then do a section C and an edge. For ten rows.

For the third repeat, you would knit two section As after the edge (being careful to note that little extra square at the end, which can hide on you), then two Bs, the unlabeled section, then two As, then the edge. You have two solid strips on each edge going now. (look at the picture--see how they come in one at a time?).

The fourth repeat, you would do edge, A three times, B once, the unlabeled section, and C three times, edge.

Then in the next chart (Chart 4), you are finishing off the top of the last motif you started in repeat 4 of chart 3. You have plain strips on each side of that. When you are done, there are no more motifs.

After this, you do plain strips a long time. Charts 5-8 reverse the process and work similarly.

Let me know if it helps.


Last night I realized the dog must have hit my row counter or something and I only did three repeats of section 2. So, I am a pattern repeat short. No wonder I never knit the part of Chart 3 with no label on it! Amusing. I realized it is now the width I want for a dresser scarf/real scarf, so I am just carrying on, with a less wide version. I have an actual spot I want to put it, so I have now decided I did it on purpose. Tee hee.

Winning the Fight with Lace

Good news is that the holiday gift Trekking XXL socks are moving along well. Look how pretty sock #1 came out! Love, love, love Trekking XXL. It's just endlessly entertaining how those colors change and never seem to repeat. I made this sock just like the WendyKnits pattern, except I twisted the ribbing at the top, for more definition. Again, it's Double Eyelet Rib. There's another view on Flickr, if you click the link on the picture (plus some pix of me singing).

In more sock yarn news, I persevered and spent a few hours (I hope not wasting my time) finishing photography of ALL the rest of my sock yarn. The bottom of the Big Basket of Sock Yarn contained mostly Regia and some older yarns, but now I know what I have. I even took pictures of the solid colored yarns. Turns out I have some weird solids that someone gave me, not even wool. Oh well, they can make fun baby items or something. If you're on Ravelry, check out poor SunaSAK's over 140 stashed yarns. She seems obsessed with sock yarn.

But, Suna also loves laceweight. And worked with it much of the weekend when not singing in the big community choir concert (it was lovely!) or listening to others make music.

Juno Regina tried to kill me, to the extent that at one point I covered up the endlessly smiling model's face on the pattern--she appeared to be mocking me--SHE had made this successfully, why couldn't I? I ended up making a mistake I could not locate to repair, which necessitated a re-start on Saturday evening. That was disheartening. At least I discovered where I was messing up (as usually, a knit stitch on the chart was hiding from me). Charts with different repeats that go in different orders can be hard to parse sometimes, and it's exacerbated by using such fine yarn. I got happier when I switched to a slightly larger needle, though. Nonetheless, nothing is as tedious as erasing lace. I even (gasp) ALMOST put in a life line. But, nah, I couldn't locate the unscented dental floss fast enough.

I am sure I drove Lee insane cursing at the stitches and requesting silence over and over. But, I am happy to report that no only did I figure out what I was doing, I got three quarters through the third chart! I am into sections with mindless parts, which means I will soon be zooming away. I have a lot of fights with lace, but this one I think I am winning!

With the Claudia Handpainted silk, which is finer than the silk/wool the original was made in, the stole is apparently going to be more of a wide scarf. But I can see it draped over a white top very elegantly, anchored by a lovely shawl pin. (I say white, because it is fairly dark so would not show up as well against black, and because Boot Camp is a colorway that does not "match" much other than neutrals.

That's the knitting report from the weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Crafty Heritage

Progress on Trekking XXL Sock
Originally uploaded by sunasak
As promised, here be photos of the current WIPs. Just a few words on them, and then I will go on about my knitting/craft heritage because I feel like doing so.

Isn't the sock coming out nice? Lee said it was the nicest one I have made so far, and I think if you are a fan of blue, that could very well be true! Trekking XXL is just the most fun yarn to knit with! You never know what surprises those long repeats will bring (like the dark blue heel I ended up with, of course,right where I have to SEE to pick up the wraps on the short rows). These will be hard to give away, but I have a similar colorway in the stash, so I can re-create...some day. So much yarn, so little time.

Juno Regina only got 5 rows worked last night, but I am happy with it and can see that I "get" the pattern. The Claudia Handpaints silk laceweight is a bit fussy, and it isn't as easy to see where I am on the pattern as I would like, but so far I have not messed up too badly and have been good at counting. I am enjoying the patterned section, but will also enjoy the "mindless" middle, which I will be able to do outside the confines of the quiet media room.

Those Who Came Before

This morning I was thinking a lot about my mother. She had a pretty hard life--lots of abuse when she was young, followed by lots of illness from her 30s onward (much brought on by self medicating via prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco). What brought my mother the most joy was art--she started as a water color artist, then moved to other things after her schooling didn't work out. I remember her coloring in my coloring books, using shading and lovely color selections--it was so beautiful (and whoa did I feel inadequate, but that didn't stop me from drawing all the time until high school age).

Mom did lots of needlework--those large Erica Wilson embroideries from the 60s (still hanging in my house) and some lovely crewel work (still hanging in my house). I also have a lot of things from her decoupage years. You will not find her crochet projects from the 70s and early 80s hanging around my that was a lot of plastic-y acrylic in orange, avocado and yellow. I rememer her sitting in her chair, smoking and crocheting these awful pillows, which she would then stuff with plastic newspaper wrappers. Whenever you'd try to sleep on the couch, the pillow noise would wake you if you moved at all!

But, the work gave mom joy, and she had very little joy the last ten or 15 years of her life, other than us kids, my dad and the dog. She was always in such horrible pain from cancer, emphysema, or whatever. But she had the drive to create beautiful things, and it never left.

I guess I feel that way, too. I want to be making things of beauty, no matter what happens. Probably it's why I have such a large stash: if I get poor I have quite a bit of knitting fodder to pass the time.

Mom came by her love of crafts honestly. All of her family of origin were like her (and me). My grandmother (not the nicest woman, by the way) crocheted all the time--my memory of her is that she sat in her rocking chair, talking on the phone, smoking and crocheting all at once. How did she have enough hands? How much damage did all that second-hand smoke do to me?

My grandmother's twin sister knitted more than crocheting, which helped us bond a wee bit. I remember her making lap robes, well into her 90s "for the old people."

They had a sister who died when I was little. She was mentlly ill (kleptomania) so didn't leave the house much. She made a living tatting and crocheting intricate white cotton bedspreads and tablecloths. I do have some of her things. They are truly works of art, and I am sure they brought Aunt Sue comfort (hee hee, my dad keeps making it clear I am named after his sisters, Bettye Sue and Doris Ann, NOT this poor aunt, but I don't mind).

My grandmother's brothers were all writers. Hmm, wonder how I came to be a writer who knits? LOL.

And oh yes, on my dad's side, my grandmother quilted and crocheted--very frugally, as she was from the hills of north Georgia. My grandfather was an upholsterer, as was the uncle who inherited his business when he died young. More fiber arts!

It makes me very proud to carry on this heritage and keep knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilting and tatting (when I have a moment??) alive in the family. (Yes, I used to embroider and needlepoint a lot--loved to design my own things, and I did go through a quilting phase when the boys were young--I will get back to it when I do not have so much work and music stuff going on.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quick Progress Note

Just a note to say I am still here, applying for jobs and being perky at work (in case they ever want me back I want to look good). It is a big singing week, so that slows knitting down, but my community choir performance is on Saturday, which will calm things down! I may be alone most of the Thanksgiving weekend, which will mean lots of knitting time.

I got to the heel on my Double Eyelet socks in Trekking XXL. I do love that yarn, even in mostly orange and blue!

I also got gauge, did a practice beginning, then got going for real on Juno Regina. I now "get" the pattern, so it will go faster now. I'm only in the second or third repeat of Chart 2, but I can tell it will be nice. The yarn is very delicate silk, so it will be sweet. The color is a bit weird, but the lace shows up nicely in it.

Photos of all items are forthcoming. Now you have something to look forward to, right?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Holiday Gift Down...One Job Gone

Yes, here's the trippingly named "Scarf with the open and solid lace edging from Weldon's 1904" completed and displayed on a very bright colored table cloth. That should wake folks up. I plan to block it today, so it will be interesting to see how it grows. I'll measure it before blocking. It's very pretty, even with the lumpy borders. I ended up doing 8.5 repeats rather than 6.5, since the sock yarn made it much smaller than it was in the silk in the book.

I put the Cat Bordhi socks on hold--maybe sis will get some for her birthday. I'll make myself some in my ample spare time over the holidays, when I can look at the book. In the meantime, WendyKnits' Double Eyelet Border socks are now on the needles in a happy Trekking XXL colorway with blues and oranges in them--subtly "Go Gators" for the sister, and do-able in time to mail for the holidays.

Tonight I really NEED to do something for me, so I will cast on Knitty's Juno Regina in my Claudia Handpaints silk. It looks really pretty in a yarn cake. It will be fun to figure out a needle to use. Of course, it won't be a wooden KnitPicks in size 3--I am still mourning the fact that a tip snapped off my needle!

Needy Me

I know this is a knitting blog, but I am asking for good wishes and vibes, as I found out yesterday my one-year contract is now an 8-month contract (funding cuts), so I will be out of work AGAIN, just in time for the holidays. I do have a couple of things being worked on, one that sounds really great, but all are contract jobs. I'd love an opportunity to try for a permanent position, though of course, these days any job a tech writer or trainer gets is among the first to get cut--I know that. Vibes that Lee will get the position he is one of the two top candidates for would also be appreciated. If just one of us had something more permanent, we'd feel a little less unsettled. I am trying to get used to the roller coaster of contract work, but it's taking a while.

Thank you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

We Were Here

We Are Here
Originally uploaded by sunasak
This was my main knitting activity of Saturday (I will post tomorrow about Sunday's output: finishing that VLT scarf!). That's Jody AKA KillerPeach proving that we made it to the Kid'n Ewe festival in Boerne, Texas. The Kendall County Fairgrounds are not overly decorated, but have nice big trees, and lots of space to exhibit your fiber-related stuffs. We didn't spend an inordinate amount of time there, but thought we were through, ate lunch, then went back in and "had" to get more stuff.

When we first got there I was worried that there would not be much I was interested in, since the alpaca room had a lot of imported finished goods and toys. But there was actual yarn and fiber hiding there, too. I got some yarn from a lovely alpaca named Masie that had been hand dyed by Maisie's owner, right in the Boerne area. Shop local! They were interesting people and we enjoyed hearing how the alpaca business was going for them. Jody got roving from three different alpacas in three colors. That will surely make pretty yarn.

The wool room had some very nice exhibitors (and some woefully inappropriate stuff as well, but it was easy to skip). Brooks Farm, whose owner is really a wonderful dye artist, had an incredible display. I tried not to buy anything, but ended up with periwinkle mohair and some sock-weight in black, navy and purple--really subtle. There were also some lovely angora bunnies to look at--they even have hairy ears, as this one exhibits.

I lucked out and found a button for Mr. Greenjeans from a lady who does that shiny glass stuff as "Perfect Buttons." Poor thing, it comes out "perfect butt" on one's credit card bill. I also got some hand dyed yarn from her--crinkly sock-weight.

Another nice vendor was a group of ladies from Louisiana who had a lot of fleece and interesting yarn from a variety of types of sheep, Marsh Mellow Meadows. I got two skeins of naturally tan yarn, and the label listed all the sheeps' names. Aww. I got a little drop spindle there, too, with agate on it. This yarn looks nice and rustic--not sure what I will do with it, but I want it to be a nice thing.

Saving the best for last, Jody and I practically hyperventilated when she realized that there was a Jojoland exhibit. Jody is a long-time fan, and I had only heard of the yarns, never seen them. Whoa. This stuff is sooooo nice. There were a couple of yarns with very gradual color changes, Harmony and Melody. I got enough Harmony laceweight for a shawl, and enough of the Melody sock weight for three pairs of socks AND her Bear Tracks shawl pattern. I got a dozen skeins of a blue/red combo that really is stunning. We really enjoyed talking to "the Jojoland Lady," who is from China (as is the yarn) and has a real name, of course. She is a really talented knitter and had done up some spectacular shawls and garments. They were all breathtaking, but I was most impressed by a double-knit tumbling blocks baby blanket. It was simply very clever. A totally reversible blanket, too. We snapped up some of her patterns, too! We sent a couple of friends over to buy stuff, as well--didn't want anyone to miss out!

It was fun to run into people we knew there, and "help" them shop. It reminded me of a conference at my former nonprofit job, where you knew most of the folks, and knew you had at least something in common with everyone there, so no one minded being spoken to by strangers, having your clothing touched, etc. And similarly, it was fun to run into people you mostly interact with online--I wish I had seen some of my old friends who were there, but I know there will be other chances!

There are lots of photos on my Flickr pages, so just click the picture of Jody and see what I bought and what we saw. You may even spot a familiar face or two.

Tomorrow: FOs on parade.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Knitty Strikes Again! I Gots Me Another Project

Claudia Handpaints Silk Lace
Originally uploaded by sunasak

A few weeks ago I got some beautiful Claudia Handpaints silk laceweight yarn (depicted here). I knew I would want to do something special with it.

Today the Knitty Surprise for this issue came out, and there are three patterns. One is this one, Juno Regina.

It has a lovely lace edge and a simple middle, which would be great for when I need to work on something "mindless." The rainbow colors would keep it interesting. This is a perfect project for the yarn. And I have enough yarn. Woot! I love it when a plan comes together (old people will remember the source of that line).

To quickly review, the other projects are a hat and scarf that would be nice first intarsia projects, though not anything I need, and Oblique, a very lovely lacey sorta double breasted cardigan that may be the next cardigan I do for myself. It looks comfy and fun.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Eww, I Was Tagged. Will Make It about Knitting

My faithful blog reader friend across the waters, Yvonne, has given me a lovely "you make me smile" award (thank you, Yvonne, so do you). And she also (ack) tagged me on one of those meme things. Where I have to tag other people. I hope it does not offend any of them.

Since this is my knitting blog, and I have very little knitting news today due to spending last night watching my family buy guitars (long story), I am going to answer in knitting related ways. OK, here I go.

The Rules: Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.

My 8 random things:

1. I used to know how to tat and think I could do it again.
2. I would like to spin and knit up Buddy the Dog's hair.
3. I have never seen anyone actually wearing a clapotis.
4. I love to turn the heels on socks.
5. I cannot stand to knit with slippery yarn--it bothers my fingers.
6. It makes me really happy to teach someone to knit then see their finished product.
7. My favorite part about knitting may well be picking the right pattern, and then the right yarn for the pattern, and debating that endlessly with my friends.
8. If I had to choose just two yarns to knit with the rest of my life it would be Debbie Bliss Rialto and Fiesta Boomerang Light. I could change colors, though.

Please forgive me for tagging the following people: Jo, Jody, Lee, Liz, Tina, Sam, Saranda, and Stephanie, because I think you are the friends least likely to hate me for tagging you. [She grins weakly.] And um, all of you make me smile! Actually, everyone who comments makes me smile--I am so happy to meet all the new people and hear from old friends. And all the people whose blogs bring me cheer, make me think, or otherwise add to my life! So, the Blogosphere is good, even if memes are scary.

Knit on (unless you are tagged, in which case, you have to figure out if you know 8 other people).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

By Gosh, I am GONNA Do It: Plus Online Yarn Resources I Like

Finished Worsted Sock
Originally uploaded by sunasak

I finished Sock #1 of these generically lovely socks and now it will have to sit and wait until yarn comes for its mate. I had bought the last skeins of color 31 at Bluebonnet, so I went to the Internets to find more. I figure if I make each sock of one dye lot, any slight discrepancy won't be too noticeable. For that reason, I did not start Sock #2 out of the leftovers of #1. But I AM going to finish this pair of socks or else!

I got the extra yarn at Woodland Woolworks, where it is $.60 more per skein than at the LYS, plus I pay shipping (but no tax). But, they had all the colors and I had "Craft Cash" from there sufficient to pay for one skein! Also, I like to buy from them because they have very good customer service--I got a personal note from a staff person to tell me the book I had also ordered (Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Knits) was out of stock but would be in soon, and to assure me the discount had been applied. I also got three skeins of 1824 Wool to make Lee another pair of house socks--he asked for the Stone color--men sure like plain things.

I was going to try to get yarn for one of the IK Winter 07 projects I liked, but they didn't have any of those yarns. Guess I will scout the LYS to see if they have any of them before Internetting again (I do prefer to buy locally from my friend when I can!).

Of course, this lull gives me license to start NEW SOCKS! I am going to wind up that pink Dream in Color prize yarn and get cracking on the Dove socks in the Cat Bordhi book, either tonight or tomorrow! (Tonight I may instead concentrate on finishing the VLT scarf, which didn't get worked on yesterday at all.) In any case, the prospect of learning a new skill is very exciting.

Favorite Online Shops: What Are Yours?

Since I brought it up earlier, I think I'll list my favorite online yarn sources. Please feel free to tell me YOUR favorites in the comments, in case anyone wants to give them a try! I won't be listing ones I have only used once, or ones I had bad experiences with. I'll stick with raving about my favorites.

Astrid's Dutch Obsessions: This is in the Netherlands, and she gets a lot of European sock yarns, some of which you can't get here, or don't show up in the US until way later. Great selection of Opal, Trekking and Regia. She also has Kauni and some other hard-to-find non-sock yarns. The prices are really good for the German yarns, especially if you pool your purchases with others to make the shipping not so bad. And Astrid is very nice.

Kaleidoscope Yarns: This is a real storefront in Vermont. I used to shop there a lot more when I needed every color of Plymouth Eros for the scarves I used to sell. But I still go there when I have a specific need. They have a large selection and ship quickly.

Knitivity: Small online shop with the unique and lovely yarns dyed by Ray in Houston. He's changed how he does the ordering now, so you can order any of his colorways and he will dye them right up for you. I like to support small businesses, and since Ray's a real individualist, I feel good supporting him.

Knitpicks: I mostly get needles from here. I used to get their sock yarn, but it didn't do much for me. I love, love, love their needles, both the metal and the wood. They have very good customer service (I quickly got a replacement for a defective item) and I enjoy their paper catalogues, too.

The Loopy Ewe : I think I have gone on and on enough about this one. But really, if you want indie dyer sock yarn, you just MUST go here. This place has to have the best customer service, marketing, and style of any online retailer. You always get presents and friendly notes, and advance notice of new items after 6 orders.

Simply Socks Yarn Co.: Another good online sock yarn vendor, who has more commercial stuff than TLE does. The owner is a new mother, and I like to support businesses that let mothers stay home with their babies (a prejudice left over from my previous nonprofit organization career). They have fast service, a fun blog, and a good selection!

Woodland Woolworks: Nice people in the Great Northwest, about whom I have already raved. I love their newspaper-like catalogue, too. They give you coupons for discounts when you buy stuff there, so it makes up for shipping and handling!

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Lesson to Learn

Worsted Weight House Sock
Originally uploaded by sunasak
And that lesson is: read the ball band when you buy yarn for socks.

I did not read the ball band when I picked the yarn for the socks in the photo. I just assumed two balls of yarn would make two socks. Well, 85 yards of worsted/aran weight yarn does not make one sock. It makes about 4 rows more than what you see here. If the LYS does not have more of this color, I will be MIGHTY sad. It's a manly blue, but a more interesting one than many blues, and I really wanted to use this for Lee's Dad socks. I do have another ball of navy Cascade 220, which I am positive will make him another pair, but wah, I liked this one.

I did make significant progress on the VLT shawl over the weekend and came to the conclusion that Shaefer Anne is so petite that I should add a couple of repeats of the inner pattern to it. I know it will stretch out when blocked, but especially since the recipient is not especially thin, more length would make it more likely to drape elegantly around her shoulders if desired. Since I have 110 more yards of yarn than the pattern calls for, I should be OK with this. I am on the 6th repeat now, and there's just no way that the blocked shawl would be 70 inches long if I only did the instructed 6.5 repeats.

The shawl is fun to do now that I have the pattern of giant holes memorized, so I may as well keep going on it. Plenty of time before Christmas!

Now I just have to get one more pair of sister socks done, and I can move on! I am really anxious to try one of those "new pathways" patterns!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Shedir, She Is Done

Shedir, finished object
Originally uploaded by sunasak

Yay, no more twisting of stitches! I had hoped to finish this in October, but time has a way of not cooperating! It was fun watching the pattern on the top of the hat appear--Flickr has photos of that, which you will see if you click on the photo link by the hat.

I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped to while teaching knitting, because the one student I thought I had turned into 5--but the pay for that will make up for taking two hours off work yesterday--hooray. And it is always fun to have a nice, friendly class of new knitters!

I brought in a lot of my new yarn purchases for show and tell (and the engagement ring) so I had a lot of fun doing that. And because I did that, Katie relinquished from hostage some lovely yarn from the Knitting Nest, the newest yarn store in town, which is in the color's of Lee's alma mater, St. Edward's University (here in Austin). He liked that I got that for him. I would love to visit that shop, but it is way south, so who knows when that will happen.

Everyone loved that Perchance to Knit yarn that is rainbow overdyed in black. You know a yarn is spectacular when the LYS owner is in awe of it!

I had fun helping people pick out yarn, too. I think if I worked at an LYS that would be my favorite part of the job.

Back to my Saturday football watching, and to wrap Shedir up with lots of love to send to its recipient!

PS: After mentioning the IK preview, I got home to find the magazine in my mailbox. Still not sure why the holiday issue never came, but the Winter one sure showed up promptly!

Friday, November 2, 2007

For your viewing pleasure

I was happy to learn that the preview for the Winter Interweave Knits is out (wow, I just got the holiday one--the subscription I distinctly remember renewing seems to not be renewed).

What makes me even happier is how many of the items are just the kinds of things I enjoy doing--classic knits with interesting techniques. A surprisingly large proportion of the patterns look like things I could actually wear, that would flatter many figures and be fun to knit.

Congratulations to Eunny and the folks at IK. They are going in the direction I like, and I hereby declare IK my favorite knitting magazine. (I still enjoy Knitter's and Vogue Knitting a lot, but the ratio of good stuff to weird/ugly stuff on IK is the best).

And while I am recommending things, I don't remember if I pointed you specifically to the lace stuff and socks that Goddess Knits does. If not, go look at some of these lovely things now! I know there's a link to one of their things in the "wedding outfit ideas" post, but this link will take you to all 25 of their patterns. Do enlarge the images!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oh Look, More Yarn...zzz

Oh, who could ever REALLY get tired of looking at lovely knitting yarn? Especially wool/cashmere that comes with a free matching stitch marker? Not me!

My Halloween gifts were three skeins of Loopy Ewe yarn and a lovely shawl pin from That Logan Chick who also designed the Agatha Shawl pattern I recently ordered (links to her Etsy shop are on this blog). The shawl pin is very light, even though it has a lot of beads on it. Lee said it could be "something blue" for the wedding. Not sure why I picked blue--guess I liked the bead.

Yarns are:

* The new Cherry Tree Hill limited edition Cherry Blossom color (very interesting--has more blue than I expected)
* The one in the photo, from Perchance to Knit, Rainbow Black. Really a neat idea--I like black in the rainbow.
* Another one from Perchance to Knit: Midnight Rainbow/Harlot's Peacock (no idea how it got the name), which is intensely beautiful--a rainbow overdyed with black. In person, it is really, really cool--Lee said it was the best sock yarn I have bought yet, and I have subjected that man to a lot of sock yarn in the past year or so.

All the knitting I did yesterday was on Shedir. I am almost up to the decreasing section, which means I'm in the home stretch. I'd like to finish it so I can get it in the mail! Then, back to the Christmas gifts!

There, I posted on the first day of November, so far batting a thousand on the "every day of the month" thing everyone is doing!