sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What I did with my Christmas vacation.

Long time, eh? :) I know... but nothing much doing around here lately. Christmas was great... my son actually jumped with glee a few times. And, you know its a good year when someone tells you that hearing from you was the best present of the day. I think I actually felt my grinch exterior sloughing off... I may even hang a wreath or something next year :) Finished the last 2 pair of mom's cashcotton footies...

One skein vanilla footies (specs here)
RYC Cashcotton 4-ply, 1 skein each of chartruse and sugar
US 1.5 (2.5mm) dpns, 4
Started & finished...?

The greens were actually finished up on the 25th, and the set was gifted inside the center square hat from earlier (mom has a huge head, too)...


The last FO of the year were a pair of "Socks 101" worsted uruguay socks, from larissmix's book-knitalong project.

Socks 101
Malabrigo worsted
Started & finished... end of December (took 2 days)
US 10 (6mm) dpns, 4 Clover

Secret time! I looove them. I haven't fulled them yet as the pattern calls for, but oy do they feel good and soft and fast. Three of my favorite things :) I can see myself making a bunch of these for tooling around the house in (i've got them under my cons right now)... I have a Clapotis in the same yarn and have taken to wrapping body and feet as the nights have been super cold lately. (I know, not as cold as other places, but cold still!)

I learned to spin and read at the same time...

Ender's Dragon colorway, superwash wool

I know, I know. But it is the new year, so my yarn-in-trees quota rolled over at 12:01. Its far more red than I thought it would be, but I am so not disappointed. If you didn't know, I may be red's biggest fan. So much so I've started (and frogged!) a sock in the yarn already... I wanted to spin both socks' worth, but my Ashford Joy's brake band snapped right after spinning the 2nd bobbin! I jerryrigged a solution (used wool yarn!) and was able to ply up this ball... is there a quick/cheap fix to replacing that brake band? It looks like its just heavy fishing line or something.

The reading?

"The Friday Night Knitting Club" by Kate Jacobs.

Yeah, its not out yet, that Julia Roberts in a knitting movie book :) As part of the book's promotion, the publishers sent me an uncorrected proof (aside: don't yall love how blogs have been acknowledged as a driving form of marketing and information dissemination? not just the knitting book blog tours --this isn't one of those-- but all over the blogosphere.)

Secret #2 of today... I didn't think I'd like it, but if you know me, I can't turn down free. When I was little I was on Ed McMahon's prize patrol mailing list, and any other mailing list my mom would allow me to return the cards for. When I moved into my first apartment, I celebrated by hopping onto fatwallet's "free stuff" forum and sending off my name, address and private particulars to oh, a thousand different retailers, all in the hopes I would (and did) have about 20 catalogs, samples, and sundry come to me a day. My mailman hated me, by the way. That obsession's petered off, but the seed is still there.

Meanwhile, back on the farm... I didn't think I'd like it for a few reasons. First, I admit my snobbery in reading-- my sister gave me a few of her "chick lit" books and though I finished them, none really grabbed me or spoke to me. (I may just be unspeakable.) I also checked out the blurb on the back of the book before receiving it and wasn't really... alrite, here you go. (I'm not supposed to quote from the uncorrected proof, but here's one from the back.) "The members of the Friday Night Knitting Club are just as varied as the skeins of yarn in the shop's bins..." and goes on to give each a little summation-in-a-sentence how quirky and individual each are. I know, it has to be tough to write up one of these back of the book things, but... (honestly!) if I read this in a bookstore, I'd pass.

Why? Partly... partly because I dislike the idea, and the summation doesn't help this, that someone picks a "trendy" setting and plops down a novel around it to gain cachet with an already built-in fanbase. Like, knitting and knitters. That was another reason I didn't think I'd like the book, that it was created in a flash to ride the tide of knitters gnashing at the bit for nore knitting books.

So I was totally biased against the book (trying to set up that whole, i'm nothing if not honest thing)... but I liked it :) I devoured it in a few days' time, and was glad to have read it. The book isn't so much about the knitting club, or knitting... but the collection of women brought together by knitting; not defining them, but a common thread (if you will!) amongst them. Reading it, I was almost jealous of the community Ms. Jacobs illustrates... it makes me think of the first time I read Stitch N Bitch (where I learned to knit!) and Ms. Stoller describes finding an/or creating your own snb and I was like... that's awesome, I want one! It did give me pause though, the almost-jealousy I felt reading about the camarederie of knitters in FNKC, because really... yall are my knitting club. :) (I'm a cheeseball, but its true!)

For knitters, Ms. Jacobs frames her book with knitting allegories at the beginning of every few chapters, and knitters will appreciate not only their truth or how they flow with the story, but also that Ms. Jacobs is a knitter who gets it. I know, we've all been dilettantes and newbies, but I admit I was afraid this book and surrounding settings was written by one-- I was pleased to find it wasn't. The book is dotted with a few knitting references, but nothing overpowering... except maybe for James reading to Georgia-- I'll admit I both teared up and was touched by the impact of the scene, and other knitters will prolly agree with me when they read this book. It rides that fine line that you don't have to be a knitter to enjoy it (though, I can see how some non-knitters may be encouraged to pick up some needles afterwards), but those of us in the know already will enjoy it as well and not just for its knitting background.

They sent me about 15-20 brochures that include a sample chapter from the book and a knitting pattern... well, a garter stitch scarf pattern yall won't want this for. :) If you want one, email me (bottom of the page) and I'll send them out later in the week (or beginning of next, my place still looks like santa claus exploded in here!)... I'll also include a sample (not these, haven't made them yet!) of *my* latest endeavor...

zerO stitch markers... by me ;)

Yeah, I've jumped on the etsy bandwagon and have started selling freshwater pearl (and other semi-precious stone) stitch markers. Oh, because I don't need another hobby ;) But there you go... zerO stitch markers. I'm feeling a hankering to dye some superwash roving in the next month, so that may show up there too if I dye too much of it.

By the way, starting a new shop (and how I got the book in the first place) has me thinking a lot about word of mouth, grassroots marketing. In my previous life I was really interested in it; in this one I was more interested in information flow and dissemination in general. It's changing back though... Like, I'd never have known about Sherry's etsy shop and her dpn point protectors if she hadn't talked about it on her blog (she's having a sale!) and yall wouldn't know about mine, either. I'd love to have a conversation with other etsy sellers (or independent sellers of items, not resellers/shops but those who make/write their own products) about grassroots, word of mouth marketing and how we can help one another out or bounce ideas off each other. Just a thought to end this too-long post with :)

Happy new year everyone!


Deenz said...

Yes - the brake band *is* essentially thick fishing line. I used some to re-rig one for an Ashford wheel at the store I work at and it works perfectly. :-)

michielerelliott@yahoo,com said...

I would love to read a chapter of the book, especially if it pssed muster with you. I am also encouraged top hurry up and get started on the socks 101!

Anonymous said...

A sample chapter from the book sounds great. If you liked it then I'll give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Your spinning looks so good, and all the socks look so comfy.
I really like your stitchmarkers.
And that's very cool about the book! Yay!

Anonymous said...

I'd like a copy! :) I wasn't so sure after hearing this book/movie was coming out either... but since you said you liked it, it must be good, right? btw, those malabrigo socks look really cozy! did they take a whole skein?

Anushka said...

I'd really like a copy. Usually (like you) I am unenthused by/venemously dislike fluffy chicklit books, but your review has intrigued me!

The yarn is gorgeous - the colours are just lush. Happy New Year!


Acornbud said...

Good luck with the Etsy store. The pearls are very pretty as stitch markers. Malabrigo...ooh. I have some ordered and I can't wait!

lexa said...

I wish you well with the Etsy store! I've thought about it but so far haven't pursued anything. I've sold lots on eBay... Maybe in the spring.

Happy New Year!

anne said...

yes, use heavy fishing line to fix the ashford.

and yes, i'd love to have that conversation,
and yes, i WILL buy some of those pearl doohickeys—they're gorgeous!

jae said...

Good luck with your etsy store! They look great. I've considered selling my patterns online, but have wondered how to get noticed amongst the seemingly infinite number of online sources. Have you read "The Tipping Point"? I'm waiting for a copy from the library, but its focus is on how certain ideas, products, etc. become popular in mainstream society.

Dave said...

Wonderful socks, the yarn is lovely, and the markers gorgeous -- I'm off to Etsy!! :-)

HPNY Knits said...

the stitch markers are gorgeous, the photo is gorgeous too!
maybe make more yarn you hate (...) and we loved- to sell!!!
good luck with it! new year, new adventures!

trek said...

Two things:
1. Replace the brake band with a length of dishcloth cotton and you should be golden.
2. Wanna mail me that book??


Anonymous said...

Oh! I love the pearls! I'll make sure to mention your shop in my blog, not like I get as many readers as you!
I paid 1/3 of my STR club with my etsy sales, with many linkbacks from your blog!

Anonymous said...

Make that 2/3....hee hee :)

Anonymous said...

That was a great "too-long" post - very interesting. :) I finished a row of 224 k1p1 ribbing (on size 0s) while reading it. :)

I really like that yarn you spun - it's beautiful, and so are the stitch markers. :)

Anonymous said...

I used to be all about the freebies as well - as a kid I would do all those send aways, etc....

The red wool is great - a very warm, rich color of red - more like a brick red, or (duh) the name of the color...

I'll have to investigate that book when it comes out. I love to read and am always looking for something new.

Anonymous said...

I love Sherry's dpn protectors & got in on the sale already. BTW, I'd love one of the brochures ... I'd love to read more about the book before investing $16.00. But since you've given it such a great review ... I might buy it anyway.

Ooooo, if only I need new stitch markers ... I'll check yours out some time.

Jennifer said...

Gorgeous stitch markers! Good luck with Etsy. It's a fun place to sell one's art.

JennyRaye said...

I'd love one of the brochures.

Stitch markers you say? I'm off to check out the store.

Katie said...

Hi! I found your blog after doing a technorati search for FNKC. I was wondering if I was the only blogger who got a free advance copy of this book! I liked it, even with similar biases against it from the outset. You're welcome to visit my blog to read my review.

KnitterBunny said...

Aija, appreciate the book review, will have to look into it. Lovely socks (and I have a skein of Malabrigo that I didn't know what to do with), and PRETTY stitchmarkers. Just lovely stitchmarkers, really.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!

Great review. There is a pile of those sample chapters sitting on the counter at work that I have been disinclined to read. I guess I'll give them another chance. The stitch markers look great!

Melissa said...

So, how did you get on the list to receive an advanced copy? sounds awesome! I can't wait to read the book!
Love the stitch markers.

Anonymous said...

Rarr, blogger is being mean because I switched to the new blogger.

Those stitch markers are absolutely beautiful. Once I *ahem* get a job, I'll be able to act like a regular consumer and buy some. (Turquoise is my birthstone.)

Zonda said...

I love your vanilla footies and the presentation of all of them in the hat! Great gift! The 101 socks are really cool! Look like a very fast knit! :) Nice stitchmarkers!

Anonymous said...

I love how you packaged up your mom's gift. It's beautiful, and the socks look heavenly to wear.

Eve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eve said...

My book hasn't come yet :(
I want to read it!!

chris said...

Just found your blog and etsy shop - and I'm a fellow etsian. I agree - the word of mouth and how things move around are very interesting and it's great to hook up with other's to spread the word. Your markers are great - different and not the everyday that you find out there. And that books looks interesting....

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