sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


and not in that nin way, except for you ;) yes you.

I've been working on getting ready for this weekend... every year my dad's side of the family has this huge christmas party, lots of food and a crazy $5 gift swap that was more fun when my cousins were younger (drunk uncles would play, "how soon can we make the kids cry" when making them trade their $5 gifts for something they hated). This was actually the only time I used to see my dad's side of the family, including my dad, every year. I grew up with my mom and sister not 2 hours from them, and not 3 from my dad, but til I graduated high school I didn't see much of them and haven't for the past few years, either. I know them well now and have missed them, but i'm nervous... trying to get things done is how I'm coping with the anticipation/fear.

(unfelted) Fuzzy Feet from Winter Knitty 2002
Started: November 28, 2oo6
Finished: November 29, 2006
Patons SWS (soy wool stripes), Natural Navy color... just over 2 sk
US 10.5 (6.5mm) 16" circular, Susan Bates and Clover dpns, 4

Bigger this time than last, 4" cuff, 48 sts CO & around the foot and definitely longer. I used just over 2 sk, didn't use all of the leftovers from my previous pair. Knitting them as written (not as wide) would use up 2 skeins, not more. This time I worked them til 2" shy of the length (I think they ended up 13.5-14"?) and used flat toe decreases every round (for top/bottom: k1, ssk, k to 3 sts to end of needle, k2tog, k1; skipped the plain round) til 24 sts total, then kitchenered closed. I'm thinking the toes will look more rounded when felted up, we'll see. I'm taking these w/ me this weekend, so dad can felt them and I can have a private, knitter chuckle when he unwraps these giant socks and thinks I've officially lost my mind.

I am packing too (only a day and a half trip, but packing for my toddler is like the ark... 2 of everything so I'm starting early. I need to wrap grandma's afghan, and was trying to figure out exactly how to present the "care" part of it (handwashing, etc). I think I came up with a pretty solution. I bought some stamps from Kaspareks-- they have great customer service and shipped the next day. I've been wanting these for a while, this was a good excuse!

Ho Tai, Dragon with Spinning Wheel (trek, i thought of you when i saw this one), and Unravelled

and printed one of the Lizard Ridge photos, mounted it with photo mounts onto a plain paper card...


and wrote out a little note and care directions inside the card.


I figured this wouldn't get lost like a smaller tag card may, and was a nice compliment to the present. I'm going to do this for all the knit gifts this year, I think-- its easy and feels craftier than I am.

Non-segue before I go, the mailman just dropped this off and its too beautiful not to share...

Lace weight 100% silk from Colourmart UK (ebay), anthracite

Beauty beauty. Cheap cheap too, $15 shipped from the UK. They sell "laceweight" silk (2500 yd/5 oz cone), but will double/triple/4x strand it for you for free (even if you buy just one). I had them double strand this and now it looks to be the lace weight I'm used to seeing-- so about 1,250 yd/5 oz. They're known for their inexpensive cashmere (Cookie posted pics of the sample cards/skeins they sent her, along with a quick review), but this silk is nice. Suggestions for it? I was thinking Sarcelle, or maybe a rectangle from JennyRaye's humongo list of rectangular shawls. (who am i kidding? knit lace? oy...)

Alrite, Sherwood needs a sleeve and a half, and my kid needs more juice... seeyou soon (hopefully with a completed kid's sweater!)

Monday, November 27, 2006

all over the place

happy thanksgiving? sure... too much food, too little family. mom got teary saying her twice yearly blessing over dinner, i ate all of the cranberries and the inside of my mouth was in a state of perpetual pucker, and my son just slapped his spoon in the potatoes and had about half a roll for dinner. good times :)

spent the day spinning outside with the too-alone-for-their-ages neighbor kids watching (started out well... "my grandma must have done that. cos she didn't have tv before we were born" but slowly degenerated into bickering and death threats amongst each other... they're only 6 and 3! oy...)

final skein of h2g2 roving, top right (appox 200yd)

the hitchhiker's guide yarn ended up shorter than the previous and without any yellow (one of my singles was much longer than the other), but... no knots! i think i'm learning, which is the point :) these will make their way to laurie in maine as soon as i can wedge myself out the door.

baby alpaca & silk roving in fawn

my soft loose love is now a big squishy pile of yarn. if only everything were this simple. i started spinning this very fine as it seems i'm now accustomed to doing, but i didn't like the result... a little too wiry and definitely not the soft poof of the roving. so i tried to spin it thick in order to 2-ply it into an even thicker result-- it worked, even though it varied from dk to heavy worsted. not sure what i'll do with it, but its soft :) since i started spinning the roving very thin, i had a large bit of that single left over i navajo plied into a similarly weighted yarn. i've changed my mind, i like 2-plying better :) i think i may pick up a lazy kate and more bobbins to attempt 3+ plying... fun fun.

after thanksgiving, i had a sudden surprise... i decided that i will go to see my family this coming weekend (!!!) which of course sent me into a panic-- i am only about 1/4 of the way thru my uncle's scarf...

cable and rib scarf from knitspot
finished celtic cap from girl from auntie (november 21)
both in patons classic merino wool, grey mix

and still had many other gifts to finish for family i'll see then... of course i went into immediate panic mode and decided i'd just knit 18 hours day and finish everything by this weekend. after sleeping on that, i decided to relax and work on something else instead...

sherwood sweater from fall knitty 2006
brown sheep cotton fleece, wild orange
size 2, us 5 (3.75mm), addi 24" circular

sherwood, that i had set down when i started my holiday knitting. laying in bed, agonizing over the yet-to-be-knit gifts and what my son and i would be wearing to the holiday blowout, i realized it would be really silly to go buy him a new sweater when sherwood was aching to be finished. it just needs arms and a collar after marathoning it thru this weekend.

i realized that i had been knitting it incorrectly-- i had been knitting each cable cross, instead of following the pattern (either knit or purl). this probably resulted in the "sloppy" looking cables i had complained about-- now that i have fixed my mistake, they look more defined and flat. its not so bad i felt i had to frog though... :)

i'm hoping to finish the sweater and a pair of unfelted fuzzy feet for my dad this week (i'll be able to custom felt them for him when i see him this weekend, better than trying to mold them to my feet and hoping they fit his.) anything else done this week will just be gravy.

other definitions of gravy...

hypotenuse from knitspot
started: november 13, 2006 (?)
blue sky alpaca, alpaca silk dk in #123 (ruby) ... color's not correct
us 7 (4.5mm), addi

so.nice. i put in a few rows on this every once in a while, when i'm feeling selfish and need some "me" time :) the yarn is amazing and soft, way light and i love the color (its not correct in my photos.) i quickly memorized the pattern so its just a delight for me to zen out with late at nite, alone, dreaming in red. this is about a full skein of the alpaca silk (i bought 3)... i'm debating on adding a 4th when i get there for a really long scarf. how long are scarves supposed to be, anyway?

my new double pointed needle protectors holder from three owls knitting
front: ryc cashcotton, us 1.5 (2.5mm) in sugar (pink)
back: interlacements tiny toes, us 1 (2.25mm) in chairman of the board

i totally fell in love with sherry's dpn protector holders when she put her tek up, but i never got around to making any of my own (even though i kept finding needles poking out of my sock bags!) so i squealed with delight to find she had opened up an etsy shop and was selling them, and had added some beautiful beads to them as well. she cut down a set for me so i have a 6" set that fits my knit picks options dpns (which i like btw, if they made "regular" us sizing they'd probably be my needle of choice) and a 7" set that fit all of the other dpns i own. i'm holding myself back from ordering another set, i think there was enough gluttony over the turkey day weekend :)

wish me luck with sherwood, my family, life the universe and everything...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

matahari spinning fiber, grey cables

First and best, thank you all for the comments on my grandma's Lizard Ridge afghan. I am so pleased with it and had a great time knitting it, not only for the end result and being able to give something like that away but because of how fun it is to share it with yall too. Thanks for the feedback, it made my day. :)

Speaking of, my day's been made all over the place... first sn and now a surprising package in the mail:

Spinning fibers from Matahari Spinnery
clockwise from top:
Corriedale handdyed in Noel, Noel colorway
Baby Alpaca/Silk in Fawn
Natural Corriedale
Dark Blue Faced Leicester

I won a fiber sampler pack from Arianie's birthday contest and she sent me these lovelies from her shop... so so nice. I am just drawn to the baby alpaca/silk, its ridiculously soft and wonderful!! The dark BFL was a surprise too, its way soft and I love the natural brown color. I'm going to order some more fibers from Arianie soon, maybe some more dark bfl for a pair of natural colored socks? Kristi has me jonesing for natural handspun socks... (Anyone have recommendations on where to find "unusual," naturally colored fibers/fleece suitable for sock yarn? Someone special needs a pair of handspun, natural socks... think the brown is cool enough?) She also has natural blue faced leicester on sale during November for $14/lb, which sounds like a really great price.

Baby Alpaca/Silk in Fawn.
(this is what love feels like. this and !!! that.)

How much fiber do you buy at a time? Just enough to spin a little, or for projects? I always think any project will take at least 4 oz, but I never know how much to buy.

I do know how to knit me some rad socks though. :)

Boyfriend (dad!!) Socks by Alice Bell
M size
Started: November 3, 2006
Finished: November 18, 2006 (?)
Interlacements Tiny Toes, pearl grey
US 1 (2.25mm) dpns, 4

(i need a haircut!!)

Lovely, just like last time. I'm definitely making myself a pair from my red skeins of Tiny Toes when the holiday knitting dies down... They're the same specs minus another paired cable repeat, sized for a man's foot (these and a pair of reknit Fuzzy Feet will be my dad's holiday gift) but they still are comfortable on me-- I love the range that the pattern has as far as fit goes. I'll make a smaller pair for myself, just so they can be all mine :) I had yarn left over in grey and prolly will for the reds, the grey & red leftovers will make a great pair of stripey socks for the little one. (I predict you'll see a lot of stripey socks around here soon!)

Previous posts on boyfriend dad socks...

November 4, 2006
November 10, 2006

The holiday knitting is still in full force though...

Celtic Cap by Girl from Auntie
Started: November 20, 2006
Patons Classic Merino Wool, grey mix colorway
US 5 (3.75mm) 16" circular, Addi

I spent Saturday & Sunday trying to knit this cap in Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky (#505 I think) on US 8's and it just wasn't happening... from missed cable crosses to super thick yarn on smaller needles hurting my hands, I folded and put that yarn away for this one and I'm very glad I did. (Now I have a bag of really beautiful grey DB Merino Chunky... maybe a kid's longish coat, like a pea coat? Something.) I really like the Patons; I picked up this ball on a whim just to have after enjoying using it for the Lizard Ridge crochet edging, perfect use of stash, eh?

The pattern's great with a huge range of yarn weights and head sizes, plus worksheets to customize fit for the hat. The hat's for my uncle, who gets up even earlier than toddlers do to go work fixing and tinkering so other people can build skyscrapers and jacuzzis, a to z... cold weather stuff seems appropriate, thinking of those early mornings. I'm thinking if I have time I'll knit him a pair of mittens in the same yarn, except those with a "flip top" that exposes the fingers underneath like these? Maybe not with fingers though, or would that be weird? Or maybe a scarf... something :)

Happy early Thanksgiving yall! I'll be sating myself with some Honeybaked Ham and the true world's best mac and cheese, despite what the competition claims...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Lizard Ridge afghan complete

Lizard Ridge afghan
from Knitty, Fall 2006
Started: October 11, 2006
Finished: November 16, 2006
Noro Kureyon, colorway 116-- 19 balls
Patons Classic Merino, Black-- 1 ball (more than 1/2 of the 100gm used)
US 8 (5.0mm) 24" circular needle, Addi and size f crochet hook for edging


What can I say? :) Checklist stuff first.


I used 18+ balls of Noro Kureyon, knitting from 2 balls at the same time and alternating colors as directed in the pattern. I followed the pattern as written, except for the modifications I'll rewrite about below.

I used only one colorway, and knit the entirety in panels instead of blocks. I knit until the end of the skeins and just added a new one in when needed. When adding in colors (or compensating for knots!!) I just spit spliced. I didn't really make an effort to keep the colors the same when adding in a new ball; I took skeins and pretty much worked them in a grab bag way, working a dark or light starting yarn into a dark or light end of skein if I could, but not a big deal if not. When I spit spliced knots that joined non-similar colors, I just went for it and spliced them where the knots were. I didn't switch or change out colors if they lined up to the same color from the previous skeins, so what you see is an example of the kureyon patterning every other row.



I used mattress stitch to seam it up, and edged it with the black Patons merino wool. On the second row of the crochet edge, I skipped 3 stitches instead of 2-- I think on my sc (1st) row of crochet, I picked up too many and the resulting second row was bunchier than it should have been... my "waves" looked more like peaks, so not wanting to redo the 1st row (I've not crocheted before!!) I went with this. Still a little "peaky" but that's okay.



I wet blocked it in Kookaburra woolwash, and just laid it out to dry (first squeezing the water out in towels, etc.) I didn't block it to any measurements, just tried to make the edges even and the panels straight. They're not perfectly straight, but I'm okay with that... neither am I :)



1) I knit garter ridges instead of stockinette for the non-short row rows; so rows 1-3 garter (knit every row), row 4 as written, rows 5-9 garter, row 10 as written, rows 11-12 garter. This made the afghan less shibori like when knitting it; the pieces generally were flat pre blocking.


I really enjoy the texture of the garter ridges, even though they are less pronounced after the wet blocking. The garter edges also made seaming *much* easier for me... I used the ridges as markers to make sure my seams were straight and even. I think the line of garter ridges across the afghan helps with the horizontal continuity, and also gives a visual "clue" as to when there is a color/skein change as the colorway is darkish and there were overlapping colors between the 2 skeins.

2) I broke yarn and wove in the ends while knitting instead of carrying the yarn up the sides. I actually do consider this a mod, especially seeing the panel where I did carry the yarn up the side compared to the next three where I wove in the yarn ends as I went... the carrying yarn panel was "shorter" (more compacted) than the others, even though the floats were as loose as I could make them without flopping on the wrong side (WS). I was a bit uncomfortable with the loose yarn on the WS (I didn't plan to and won't back the afghan), and doubly so for the panel that would be on the far right edge and edge of the blanket-- so I'm happy those fears were allayed this way.



[edit, friday nite... i thought i'd posted too many pics, but here's one of the entire WS of the blanket since some of you were interested in the back (i like it too!)...


btw, i haven't trimmed the ends yet, wanted to take photos first to show how deep they were woven in-- but i will be cutting them down before its given to gma.]

It took a bit more yarn to do this (weaving in ends while knitting), but not much. (I wove in the ends over approx. 2.5-3" where carrying the yarn up the side would take less than an inch, depending on the place in the pattern.) Now, there was no way I would have ever have done this if I wasn't weaving in the yarn ends as I went-- it would drive me crazy as I hate finishing. Luckily I was taught how to weave in yarn ends while knitting from JP Pett-Ridge during a colorwork class (and was accepted to Yarnival! vol 1.3 for showing off the technique! w00t!), and definitely think its a great way to go with this afghan.

The elephant in the room? What about the Noro Kureyon?

Knots in Noro, who knew?! ;) 17 in 19 balls, most not keeping the color continuous and joining dissimilar colors. Vegetation? Yup, picking out stuff as I knit-- straw, hay, farmland stuff. Even all of that, I loved it. I like the "rustic," not super processed feel of the wool and I didn't mind the knots in this project. It wet blocked softer than it started, and is warm and makes a nice afghan. However, part of the new love I feel for the the Kureyon is how much it makes me think and wonder how they make it-- how they arrange such delicate color transitions while spinning long colors, all in a mass-production way. The knots really detract from that; I wouldn't want to try and guess where stripes will repeat in the Kureyon, but I hate missing out on the gradual color changes when dissimilar colors are knotted together. I'll use it again sometime, but for smaller projects... I don't see myself knitting sweaters anytime soon, but I'm not averse to it. I want to know how they do it though! (Yarn spies, call me!) :)

[edit, November 29... Rachel pointed me to her discussion with Noro/KFI re: knots in their yarns, and her discussion also includes some background on the base fiber and spinning it; very interesting stuff! Also check out the links here 1, 2, 3 from Anne's discussion with Jeffrey Denecke of KFI, Noro's USA distributor, about her Noro Knot Experience. Yes, *that* *same* J. Denecke from yarn recall/no cashmere in Debbie Bliss/Noro fame...]

The Patons Classic Merino was the real eyeopener for me... $5 for 100gm/223yd, comparable to Knit Picks Merino Style but heavier weight, often on sale at craft stores. I've never tried it but I'm glad I did. I stopped myself from getting a few armloads for making toys for the kid (with the current $10 threadless tshirt sale, and my yarn binge last weekend, its for the best anyway!!)

Jack London was a Knitta, yall.
(See the pre-at at's in the background?)

Roundup... I loved it. I loved knitting it, I loved the final product. I'm awfully pleased with it, and think that I may make it a bit of tradition to knit my grandma an afghan every year (and I can start earlier this time!) Maybe the Great American Aran Afghan or Barbara Walker's Learn to Knit afghan... I've batted that idea around before, but I really like the result and scope of this project so I think I'll do it. Need to think about it more after the holiday though!! :)

One last shot for scale...


Previous posts on Lizard Ridge:

October 12, 2006
October 16, 2006
October 18, 2006
October 23, 2006
October 24, 2006
October 26, 2006
October 30, 2006
November 4, 2006
November 10, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stash in Berkeley, Fuzzy Feet in Oakland

I went in search of yarn for my Hypotenuse (I decided that the Schaefer Anne wasn't right for what I was looking for-- it was soft and light, but didn't feel like it would be warm) at the newish Stash in Berkeley... I found the perfect yarn but am waiting to post a pic of the progress til another day. (Love both though, yarn and pattern.)

Did pick up a few other things...

Rowan felted tweed, ginger colorway

This was my second choice for the manlace... but I did bring home a ball to make another pair of Knucks sometime. I just noted the yardage, could one make a pair of socks with this? I love the tweed. It also says washable on wool cycle on the label...

Baruffa cashwool, 100% merino lace in red

Can I knit lace? No. Could I not pick this up? No. Love the color, and the *idea* of a red lace stole or something is appealing. :) I don't have the patience yet, but this was so soft and so red... (famous last words.)

Claudia's HandPainted yarn, purple midnight colorway

I always thought Claudia's yarn was handwash only, but the label on this pair of skeins says it can be machine washed gentle and had a "GEMS" emblem next to it... so I guess she uses Gems Pearl as her base yarn. Lovely color, even though I've been personally shying away from high contrast, dark colorways (afraid of patterning getting lost in the color).

Mountain colors bearfoot, yellowstone colorway

I stumbled onto this accidentally, Stash Yarn has their Mountain Colors "display" hidden between their knitting space in the back and the cash register. I never would have thought this was Mountain Colors; I always think of deep blue and purples when I think of their colorways.

This was my first trip to Stash. I think they opened up at the beginning of the year-- they're located in the "fischu fischu" part of Solano Avenue in Berkeley, nice nice neighborhood with Zachary's Pizza, high rent and no parking. They have a large selection of yarns, although I never quite "got" how things were arranged (and I was there for a while!)-- I think its by gauge, but I can't be sure and was thrown off by the low "displays" in the middle of the room (I sat in front of these on the floor looking for Schaefer Anne colorways-- they had about 4 skeins of it and none of it grabbed me).

I guess its always a challenge to yarn stores, how to arrange and display yarns. For me, I always feel guilty pulling yarns out of those "box" wall displays (that are always full to the brim, and stuffed 2 deep so you can't see what is behind the first wave of yarn), but I will if I'm looking for a matching skein. So I end up with an armful of yarn, and then have to put it back and it never quite seems to fit and skeins are falling apart in my hands and and and :)

Stash has quite a selection, lots of Rowan yarns (I saw the cashcotton 4 ply in vivid I thought I'd want for the manLace, but it wasn't tweedy like I thought it was and also a bit lighter, so I passed on it) and also lots of the fair isling yarns (the little itchyish 25gm putups... I can't remember the name!). For sock yarns, they had Lorna's, Regia (silk & bamboo I remember), Nature's Palette solids (I actually really like the NP "variegated"-- theirs are never jarring or high contrast, but always really nice), Claudia's Hand Painted, Mountain Colors Bearfoot. Maybe more, I forget :) Their prices were a bit higher than the same yarns I found overlapping at Article Pract, but like I said-- this neighborhood has got to be a killer in rent, and they also have a larger space and a sitting area for knitting...) I don't live that close, at least in terms of time on transit, so I won't be back that much, but it is a nice store.

I did feel a bit... clicqued out as well, like older or returning customers had the employees attention and I was a bit invisible. (Could just be the Ellison on my nightstand echoing though.) I stood at the register for several minutes waiting for a conversation between employee and customer to be finished (not ringing up purchases or finishing a transaction, and there was more than one employee there), and the employee lamented that she didn't get to say goodbye to **** and how rude she must think her while she was ringing me up (not making eye contact with me, only with the other employee). If I were "new" at this whole thing and yarn stores intimidated me like they used to, I'd also have felt irked I hadn't been acknowledged while shopping as well. But for me, old hand that I am :) the selection speaks for itself and I'm glad enough that another local store is within reach to support.

That said, I did pop over to Article Pract where I always enjoy shopping and picked up Becka's contest prize. I forgot to snap a pic before I sent it on its merry way, but she has great taste :) Also picked up a bent tip tapestry needle for... wait for it, finishing the Lizard Ridge afghan!!! :) I finished the 4th panel Friday and seamed it up Sunday, but its still not finished. I picked up the crochet hook for its edging on Sunday night after finishing another quick project...


Fuzzy Feet from Knitty Winter 2002
Started: November 11, 2006
Finished: Finished November 12, 2006
Felted: November 14, 2006
Patons SWS yarn, Natural denim Navy colorway 2 skeins
US 10.5 16" circular and dpns

My first felted slippers :) I was planning on giving these to my dad with the boyfriend dad socks, but they didn't work out and fit me :) I did cast on 48 sts for a larger/wider foot, but silly me dec down on to 40 for the gussets and was like-- oh, it'll be FINE :) Fine enough to fit me! Not a big deal, its a fast knit and I want my dad's pair to fit and not be weird (next time I'll do something different for the toe too, make it more square... felted it looked like a pixie foot). For me, I like them... they're tight like a sock and will keep my feet warm as the weather cools. I have enough for a toddler pair left from these too, though I'll have less when I make my dad's pair larger (should have enough for a large men's pair from 2 skeins, though.)

I'll use the Patons SWS (soy wool stripes, 70% wool 30% soy!) again-- great price, fun striping, widely available at craft stores. I know people have said its a "replacement for Noro"... yeah, if you're just trying to replace long color repeats (some are). Its dyed in long color repeats, where Noro Kureyon is (from my newbie spinner's eye) taking different colored roving of the same wool and spinning them together. Noro's not just adding in new colors of wool for color changes, they slowly add in roving over several yards to accomplish the color gradiation. After almost 20 balls of Kureyon over the past almost month, I've been inspired by how its spun up and also by its non-patterning. The Patons SWS looks non-patterned, but if you notice, 2 balls made 2 exact pairs of slippers totally accidentally (I didn't match the stripes, just knit from the beginning of each ball)-- the long patterns look to be contained in one ball of Patons SWS. Cool, but patterned :)

I do like the Patons SWS though, don't get me wrong! The soy content has me *totally* geeking out... soy! :) Its a single, but strong as 7734-- I usually just pull yarn to break it, but I couldn't with the SWS and had to use scissors. Its soft knitting up, but when I put the unfelted slippers to the back of my neck, it felt itchy (I'm usually not a scarf girl anyway). The felting looks great... my pair went thru for one cycle in the top loader on hot and are pretty completely felted (with some nubby texture that I think looks cool) and are fuzzy... both, soy not felted? Don't know, but I like the look overall.

Phew. Next time, if I don't slit my wrists with the crochet hook, I'll have the Lizard Ridge done and maybe enough of my Hypotenuse to show too :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

i've got nothing.

In order of importance, today... winners of my socktoberfest contest?

Koigu (or any other sock yarn from Article Pract) to Becka, the knitting wounded
Crazy hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy yarn to Laurie in Maine

I have about half of the other h2g2 roving spun up, hopefully will get the rest done this weekend (to relax)... :)


I'm really off my game the past week, and its echoed into me becoming a bad blogger and knitter and general community member as well. I haven't replied to my blog comments, which I always do if I can (read: if you have a blogger account and have "show my email address" checked in their profile. Anyone else who leaves comments via blogger's comment system-- I can't hit "reply" in gmail and have an email go out to you so I can't reply to your comments in email. I know I could use haloscan or some other comment plugin, but I'm 29 now and have decided to be ornery already.)

I'm sorry, I'm just in a funk. I've been spending just about all my time this week hanging out with my son, trying to burn this time into my memory to revisit later when the times aren't so good to come. I tend to do this, store up the good things and live off of them in my lean times; cache, cairn, other c-words of memory and rememberance, grief and loss. That won't be on the lower 48, so I don't feel as dirty now.

Should have had the 4th panel done, but here it is 2/3 of the way...

Lizard Ridge afghan, 4th panel of 4

Looking at it, right now, I'm totally thinking what Cookie guessed I would-- if I hadn't overknit this thing, I'd be done by now! :) I actually have a super secret pipe dream of having it done today (Friday) so I can start to seam it up over the weekend-- and wanted to ask some advice on that if anyone has some to give :)

I stink at finishing. I don't even know if I do it "right" most of the time, and its probably why I like the tiny projects knit circularly from one skein of yarn over all others. How do I go about seaming these panels together? I mean, I have books and books and the intarweb to teach me, but I don't even know what sort of stitch to use to do it. (Usually I'd be too embarrassed to admit this, but hey! There's got to be some upside to be so down.) The panels are both stockinette and garter, and the stst will line up with the stst & the garter with garter. If anyone could just point me in the right dx of what stitch to use that'd be wonderful :)

The boyfriend dad sock has a heel but no cuff. Just like Rachel says, the foot works up SO fast. I set them down to work on LR... hasn't been much, admittedly.

I've also narrowed down my choice for when I knit some manLace (hypotenuse, by anne of knitspot) for myself...

Schaefer Anne (red's not color correct and you can't see the variegation/tone on tone)

Not sure which. At first I immediately thought of the orange and black, but then the red really started to creep into my brain and just sit there like-- you're going to pick me, why are you even thinking of something else? Not only the crowd favorite, but your favorite. Admittedly, red's gotten under my skin lately but its hard letting go of the once favorite for the new. I don't have time yet to knit it for myself soon, but at least I can stop "worrying" about finding yarn for it (though I still think ryc's cashcotton 4 ply in Vivid would be so perfect, too).

That's it! That's all I got for yall :) Hopefully I'll be back on my game soon, but apologies in advance for not replying to comments via email or commenting on blogs (I have been reading, but not commenting.) I think I'm going to be using my "get out of jail free card" and not do any of it for a bit, just going to withdraw and read and play with my kid and knit for now-- but I do read everything and appreciate all of you reading and writing along with me.

To show just how offkilter I am... a meme. I am in the camp that you should learn drips and drags about a person by reading what they put out there and not in lists, perhaps why I get all long winded about stuff sometimes, but I just... yeah. For someone else more than me, for things easier said than done.

48 things.

1. FIRST NAME? aija

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? yes. a korean stage dancer in las vegas, a dear friend to my mother who died before i was born. really, and of what i don't know.


4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? yes, and i think it's awful and indecipherable on its face most of the time. i think anyone who takes the time to try and read what i've written (longhand) truly loves me. i've only known one person i've sat and taken the time to do that with, and i owe her a long-overdue thank you for my birthday present (sorry j, i loved it).

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? anything that's good with avocado and mayonnaise. used to be anything good with avocado, but i'm on a downslide with the mayo obsession lately. or things that can be dipped.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? no. i'm shy and terrible at maintaining eye contact, let alone friendships.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? this is it. and another, but thats private and not quite a journal either.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? yes. i've never had anything physically major happen to me, except the birth of my son and getting my tongue pierced.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? maybe. i'd be afraid of hurting myself, more than the fear of jumping off. par for the course.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? kix. i remember going often to the generic elementary school fieldtrips to the petting zoo and cranking dimes into the metal and glass feedbins (repurposed supermarket vending machines with those plastic bubble toy containers holding solid rubber bouncy balls at 25 cents apiece or sticky hands to throw on walls at 50 cents each... damnit, i *just* remembered i forgot my toy car. so #3 should read, "right now" but i'm not changing it) ... the ten cent feed at the petting zoo was stale kix cereal. i always made my mom buy it to eat at home, and would often eat it out of my hands like the wiry goats did. i didn't use milk on cereal til very recently, always ate it dry (kix or no). i don't eat kix anymore though... too easy and fun for my kid to head-crush between his fingers, so its honey bunches of oats in the pantry.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? if i have to. which means yes.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? yes but its a lie i have told myself enough to believe it. my muscles are not so much solid as they are liquid, and my heart's the opposite.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? used to be mint chocolate chip, but now its anything but chocolate or strawberry and not with a lot of hard pieces in it.

14. SHOE SIZE? us 9 or 9.5. my feet grew when i was pregnant (spread out from carrying the weight! i was almost, ALMOST 200lbs at my heaviest, literally. i waivered at 199lbs for weeks, tried to eat more to gain that extra pound but no dice)... they grew but i don't know if they've returned to pre-pregnancy size.

15. RED OR PINK? red. i think of lots of things when i think of red, one i can share with yall... when i was younger i'd learned all i needed to know about human sexuality from a set of books my mom gave me when i hit puberty, and cosmo. cosmo before it was marketed to 13 year olds, anyway. i remember in one of those many many "differences between the sexes" articles (found between directions on the "butterfly kiss" and "how to shave your armpits") i learned women preferred yellow-red and men blue-red; practical advice when choosing your wardrobe and lipstick colors it said. oy. [fwiw, the schaefer anne above is what i'd think to be blue-red.]

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? fear to the point of immovability. laziness. self-hate of body and personality and emotional range. how i hurt those that love me. how i hurt myself.


18. WHAT FOOD WILL GET YOU OUT OF BED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT? nothing. i'm usually out for the count.

19. WHAT COLOUR TROUSERS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? blue jeans, threadless' "blow with the wind" t-shirt, red converse, green hedera socks.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? buttercream bun from the best chinese bakery-- napoleon super bakery on franklin in oakland's chinatown. i regularly get into a gentle shoving match with the patrons there, no one wants to queue up but instead cut in front of the hapa chick with the stroller; not a good idea when I'm in this mood.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? thomas the train on tv.


23. FAVORITE SMELL? public: sampoerna extra clove cigarettes, when someone else is smoking them. private: chest just below the neck.


25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? if they can get me to want to maintain eye contact.

26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON YOU STOLE THIS FROM? sure, found it on bunches of blogs but didn't think i'd actually do it. but i like everone i read, even if i couldn't tell you where i saw it first.

27. FAVOURITE DRINK? coke zero.

28. FAVOURITE SPORT? chasing my kid.

29. EYE COLOUR? brown.

30. HAT SIZE? i have an abnormally large head. i wouldn't want to know.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? yes. i spent most of my years in law school behind my glasses, but once my son was born and moved into fascination with them, he took them off my face enough to crack the frame and have me in contacts all of the time, except when cleaning them. in college i wore grey tinted ones and purple tinted ones, too... when i stopped wearing them, i thought i looked very strange with just brown eyes staring back at me in the mirror. now i realize how odd i truly looked.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? naked in bed foods.

33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? i can't do scary movies. my mom gave me absolutely free rein when it came to watching movies with sex in them, but absolutely no violence. her reaction to violence in movies (in keeping me totally away from them, and at the same time totally aware and afraid of it), reverberates in me and i just am terrified of seeing violence or human pain in the medium. that said, i much prefer the heartbreaker endings as i'm kinda overly tragic myself.

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? winter. i hate being hot (read: have to wear clothes that reflect hot weather season.)

36. HUGS OR KISSES? hugs.

37. FAVOURITE DESSERT? deep fried ice cream. i haven't had this in ages, can't remember the last time. huge scoop of ice cream, rolled in crushed corn flakes and deep fried, topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.


[edit, later in the afternoon... of course i'm only talking about myself. i didn't plan on this path for sure, the staying home with a kid path-- i was supposed to be doing "something" with the years of slaving in uni under my belt. i know now i'm not made for that, i'm made for "this."]

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? the second sex, simone de beauvoir; romeo and juliet, shakespeare; invisible man, ellison.

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? don't use one.


43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? my son laughing and squealing and dreaming in his sleep. my other favorite person laughing and squealing and dreaming in sleep.


45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? i feel pretty far from home right now. physically... somewhere in mexico with my high school senior english class, eating marlin tacos and drinking out of a vodka bottle.

46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? avoiding answering questions.

47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? las vegas.

48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? no one. and i'm sending it to no one, either :) to the library and a long walk. thanks for reading, and don't worry about me. i'm okay on a scale of one to sixtyeight.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

assault on the senses, ahead


I know, I said I wasn't going to the yarn store this weekend! Anne's manLace pattern has been haunting me though, along with my unreasonable cashcotton fetish... I had hoped to find some 4 ply in Vivid there today (I thought they had it) for a scarf-sized manlace/hypotenuse for myself, but no. (Not enough Blue Sky Alpaca Alpaca/Silk sportweight either, but I was really wanting the cashcotton instead.) Oh well :) At least I snapped this photo of the Koigu there-- blurry as I had to hurry, the fellow fiber enthusiast (not pictured) in front of it was there for a good 20 minutes and I only had time for one surreptitious snap :)

(This is a selection of the koigu colorways available if you win my socktoberfest sock yarn contest...) They do have the purple (lower far right) and the beautiful orange (3rd row from top, 3rd from right) along with the speckly pink (??) I bought earlier (remember those pics are a little brighter colored than irl), and I almost caved to some grey/white (bottom row, 3rd from right)... but I was good. No telling what I'll buy next week though if I don't find that cashcotton for myself.

I'm loving the feel of the cashcotton though, finished up another pair of one-skein footies socks from it...

Plain Vanilla Footie Socks
Started: October 27, 2006
Finished: November 3, 2006
one ball of RYC Cashcotton 4-ply, shade 905 (imp)
50 gm/197 yd
US 1.5 (2.5mm dpns),4 -- 8 sts inch
64 st width, for 9.5" long foot

Same everything as last time, except the BO is a little looser... I couldn't remember if I'd used a US 2 or 3 for the bindoff in pattern, so I used the 3 and it feels looser. I think for the next pair I'll use US 2's again. The color's "imp" but it reminds me of lucuma ice cream at mitchell's in the city. The cashcotton in general reminds me of ice cream, even the thick texture of it.

On a bit of a sock kick again...

Boyfriend Socks by Alice Bell
Started: November 3, 2006
Interlacements Tiny Toes, Pearl Grey
US 1 dpns (2.25mm), 4

Same as the purple-blue boyfriend pair, except grey and for my dad :) I'm loving this yarn; Interlacements does such deep, saturated colors and it really really works for their solids (my jury's still out on their variegated sock yarns, have a pair of those in progress for my walkaround knitting). The solid colors are just so there, so dense. Its not variegated or even tone on tone, there's a little, tiny variation in the color as handpainteds are wont to do, but just... solid. I love it.


This color in particular has snagged me-- its... luminescent. Of course I'm still loving the pattern; I have a final set of red skeins of the Tiny Toes in the stash that I may use to make a pair for myself (when the holiday knitting dies down, of course!)

Speaking of holiday knitting...

Lizard Ridge afghan
3 panels (of 4) complete
Noro Kureyon, colorway 116

Tell the truth, I am feeling the burn on these. The last/3rd panel (I'm not sure which is which in the photo!) had me counting every other short row, wondering how fast it would be complete. I think I may start another panel tonite, but will be juggling it with the boyfriend dad socks to try and stave off the burnout. (Don't worry! I *will* be finishing this project!)


The complete panels sit here on my desk just like this, within constant sight, daring me to finish :)

One more, a public service announcement...


"Beds are for sleeping, not yarn."

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