sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Friday, January 19, 2007

cleaning up...

I woke up this morning at 3am... my heart's on London time. I went diving in my trashtastic ziploc bag for a set of needles and I couldn't find them... so I went a bit nuts (common the last 48 hours... I'm a mess, but in a good way) and decided I'd break down and house them in a perfect present.

When I lived in southern California, I loved the sanrio store in our backwoods mall. With a passion... an embarrassing passion. Monkichi is still my favorite though. HK, least.


But wait, there's more...

This organization pleases me way too much. I'm channeling all that pentup Sunday energy, apparently.

And because someone wonders...

It *does* say "enjoy?" inside :)

Anyhow, riding high on all that I decided to clean up my wip basket. I've been working on finishing up nearing-completion projects (walkaround socks, red herring socks) and figured its time to say goodbye to a few things and frog them.

Patons Kroy in hip hop jacquard

I frogged my Devan attempt-- anyone need 4 balls of faux fair isle yarn? :) This might turn up on destash for cheap soon, need the space!

Socks That Rock, mediumweight-- Velvet Moon colorway

...and one of a beaded fingerless mitt I gave up on. I love this colorway, so it'll show up in socks soon.

I found space on my knitting bookshelves for a new arrival...

Marvelous Mittens by Charlene Schurch

I've been drooling over the mittens from this book on Rebekkah's blog... but the book's oop and going for like $100 on amazon. Miraculously, I bought the last copy from Morehouse Farms Merino for (don't hate me) retail-- 12.95. Serendipity's on my side this week! :)

[edit, 1/21: aimeedewar says... "Thanks for the tip on the book. We've had one copy of it where I work for a long time, and it was always one I meant to get sometime. I didn't realize it is OOP. So, now it's safely mine. By the way, for anyone still looking, the edition/copy of it we had was titled "Mostly Mittens". Same book, same cover. Strange eh?"]

Even with picking all of that out of my basket, it still looks like this...



Aside from that, I've been restocking stitch markers for my etsy store...

Turquoise and freshwater pearls. I have some new turquoise and pearl markers to add in the morning...

...and working on a wonderful, wonderful scarf...

Hypotenuse from knitspot
Alpaca/Silk from Blue Sky Alpacas

Love it. It is just so soft, so much I'd even wear it in vegas heat. This is just shy of 2 balls-- I have another and I'd guess it'll be about 55-60" long when done. I'm debating on buying another ball for a long-long scarf, we'll see when we get there.

You just wanted to know who won the Gloss though, eh? Congratulations Kenyetta (and happy birthday!) Double luck! :)

Have a great weekend yall!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fish feet finished, five times fast

I used to hate my name when I was younger. Really can't blame me-- every introduction went exactly like this: "Aija? Oh hi, my name's Africa." (They always chose Africa or Antartica, never Europe or South America. Just so you know.) One of the singular memories I have around this time-- I asked my mom in the kitchen of our house in Las Vegas if I could change my name (please?!)... Sure honey, when you get older and marry you can change your name. I didn't realize later she meant my last name... a trick, because even though its an odd one too, I *am* a fisher of men.

Red Herring socks, by Cookie A. by way of Knitty Fall 2006
Started: October 21, 2006
Finished: January 15, 2007
Knit Picks Gloss in Dusk and Pumpkin, 1 skein each (with leftovers)
US 1.5 (2.5mm) 32" circular, Holz & Stein


The socks, with a 7" cuff, took one skein each (with some leftovers) of the Knit Picks Gloss, knitting them mirrors of one another. I totally admit I'm geeking on the mirrored quality-- the "mismatched" feet and toes poking from the bottom of my jeans is such a source of simple satisfaction. Not only for the look... but only 2 skeins! :) These are... less than $8 socks! (if you don't get to grumbling how knit picks has raised their shipping rates, as well as other prices!)


I also like the "oversized" toe... the color difference and size reminds me of sock monkey socks. The heel is okay, it looks a bit small to my eye when worn (but I just may still be holding a grudge after what seemed like forever lost in removing the waste yarn for the afterthought heel.) I noticed the yarn, in doing so, felt like it was "sticking" to itself... its not superwash wool, and this may be a good thing for colorwork if the yarn has a tendency to hold onto itself. I liked the stranded result of the cuff quite a bit-- and overall the yarn has a slight sheen (and the dryish hand of silk) that was different but good.


They are true mirrors-- replacing MC for CC. To me, though I don't have a good eye for this anyway, its a bit hard to discern this switch when viewing them from side to side.


I did strand the pattern color under and background color over, as directed by Ann Feitelson's Art of Fair Isle Knitting. I don't know if its me, but I think I can see the effects of yarn dominance... if I stare and dancing ants encroach on the periphery.

And for all you... upskirt fans. You know who you are. (Is it more exciting when I tell you they're unblocked?)


Previous posts on Red Herring socks:
October 23, 2006
December 18, 2006

Since you made it thru all that... I have 2 skeins left of the yarn, one each in Pumpkin and Dusk. If you want them, leave me a comment with an idea/pattern of what you can use 2 mismatched sock-weight skeins for. (It's okay if you don't have an idea, I'm just trying to get inspiration of my own!) I'll draw a name on Friday afternoon and have it in the hot little hands of whomever chooses sometime after that. For your own mirrored red herrings? A pair of endpaper mitts? Something else? Can't wait to hear.

Something else (last thing, I promise!) I can't wait for? Tomorrow, and...


my new Threadless tshirt to arrive. Yay! :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

of grasshoppers and ice cream.

Toe ups with baby cable rib cuff
Started: ??
Finished: Jan 12, 2007
Interlacements Tiny Toes, Chairman of the Board colorway
US 0 (2.0mm), 4 Knit Picks dpns and US 1 (2.25mm), 4 Susan Bates (?) dpns

My walkaround socks are finally done :) This pair started as my free-hands knitting about town, a few rounds here and there waiting at the post office, the farmer's market, the pharmacy... After I finished the first somewhere in the haze of holiday knitting, I decided to step them up and finish them as a gift... til I ran into the problems with the second skein and had to use US 0's for the second sock to match the gauge I had with US 1's on the first. Now, this is my 6th skein of Tiny Toes (2 pair of boyfriend socks down)... but I hate to say that turtlegirl76 had the same problem with one of her tiny skeins. Its a bummer since I really like the depth of their solids... I think the variegateds are okay but on a little of the dark/contrasty side for me (my tastes have been all over the place lately). I think this is one of those elusive "great guy" colorways, though.


Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' method of heel and toe, and a baby cable rib cuff.


I did a left and right-leaning baby cable rib (does that take it out of the bcr category?) just for fun. Woo. :)

My first FO of the new year wasn't a pair of socks, though.

Knit wire bracelet with seed pearls
Started & finished: January 11, 2006

I've been a bit taken with pearls lately... and believe strongly in the power of red accessories (i don't know how to accessorize, so i do it on an obnoxious scale in red when i try), so this was bound to happen. Bound.


I bought a strand of seed pearls (tiny tiny!) that were just too small to use with my stitch markers, but I hated see go to waste. I found a very fine gauge red wire (finer than 26 gauge, which didn't work for these... i misplaced the sticker and forget the actual details) and strung them onto the wire. Then I just sort of winged it, starting with a few i-cord rounds (hah! no such thing when its 1 st deep in wire!) and increasing on up... pushing pearls randomly onto the wire, and using a very simple lace pattern to keep it open looking.


Its a bit wide, but honestly I really, really like it; echoes mermaid fishing nets. It also used relatively few pearls-- I have enough to make at least one more, maybe 2. I think I will play around with the wire though, different things than just a flat cuff... there's a dimensionality to knitting with wire that's really exciting.

maybe its good i keep trying, or wanting to try.

Happy weekend! :) Don't forget to celebrate anne's blogoversary *and* birthday with a decadent contest! :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Negative knitting:


The ender's dragon superwash merino... second try on a pattern. I'm frogging this one, too-- I really like the look of reverse stockinette on socks, and the "opposites attract" cable from Vogue Stitchionary: Cables (vol. 2), but my handspun is too uneven for the effect to work like I'd hoped. Third time I'm predicting plain stockinette.

Also on the negative note, lost the noni bag pattern somewhere to the maw of the house. Ergh.

Slow but steady knitting:


Toe ups in Interlacements Tiny Toes, "chairman of the board." Same wonky yarn from before. I'm not feeling it, just because of the problems with the yarn and that I think these socks may be different from one another when worn (knit on 2 different sized needles to get the same gauge.)

Mainly I've been working to get stitch markers done and packaged to ship out to The Sampler and also for those who wanted sample chapters from The Friday Night Knitting Club... I may fight off the ennui by starting something new (though I really shouldn't!) :)

The real reason I wanted to post today though-- the seventh annual Weblog awards (the bloggies) are taking nominations til Wednesday, January 10 at 10pm EST-- notably, they have a "craft blog" category. Love to see more knitting blogs up there... and perhaps a nomination for Stephanie under the Lifetime Achievement Award category? C'mon now... over $275k raised for knitters without borders and still going? Insane, and lifetime-worthy in my book. Tell your friends and readers to go check it out :)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday yarn porn...

...brought to yall by some very generous knitters. :) I really didn't have anything blogworthy this week, but my mailbox has just been exploding with yarny goodness, so I'm one-offing yarn porn fridays to share my excitement :)

Cookie sent me this jawdropper...


Clouds by
95% merino, 5% cashmere
320 yd/100gm

Totally unexpected. I never thought I'd live up to cashmere, but there you go. And the dvd has me aching to go buy a record player and listen to my vinyl. Or dress up in latex pants and 4" plats. Or something else from my past :)

From Suzanne, for giving her my non-resolution to not stash yarn this year :) ...

(I've wanted a pair of tiny scissors like these for forever... I use kitchen shears when I need to break yarn!)

Sunbeam St. Ives
80% wool, 20% nylon 50gm/200yd

These have me poring over my Nancy Bush sock books... this was one of those yarns she'd used time and time again (that I'd never seen locally and just has me imagining a wonderful pair of Vintage socks). And, uh... orange? Yup. :)

And from Abigail, who has officially lost her mind (or, you could say she celebrated me being her 1,000th comment by sending me these goodies...)


Regia Cotton tip & top, 4079
41% superwash, 34% cotton, 25% nylon

My kid has already taken this ball and dragged it around and "loved" it almost to death. He'll be thrilled with some summer socks in this yarn :)

Fortissima Socka Cotton Color
45% cotton, 42% superwash, 13% nylon

Is it me or would this be great as a pair of Pomatomus? I know, I know... I think everything would be a great pair of Pomatomus.


Socks that Rock, mediumweight in Mist
380 yd/5.5 oz, 100% merino superwash

These... this... yeah. It's taken the place of squeezing honor here on my desk til I figure out what I should make with it (i wonder where my kid gets it from...)

Have a great weekend yall, and thanks again to the generous ladies above :)

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!

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