sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Monday, March 26, 2007


of things I learned over the past few days.



Stockinette soothes my troubled soul.


So does an excellent pattern and fabulous yarn.


The bent wire stitch markers from my shop help, too.


Don't wax your own eyebrows when sad.

(pictureless, you sadists.)


Have a good week!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Denmark socks and contest winners

Someone told me a reason to like handmade socks is that, when you walk, you can feel the (purl) bumps on the soles of your feet-- a physical reminder of the effort and care that went into each, gentle vibrations against your consciousness via a usually unconscious action. I always thought I just had insensitive feet, never feeling anything odd about my handknit socks, other than they were a little heavier and a way lot cooler than 6 to a packs.

Walking around with the little one today in my new Denmark socks, I felt them too... a good thing, a sweet reminder.

Denmark socks
Started: sometime before Stitches West 2007
Finished: March 18, 2007
Socks that Rock, mediumweight-- Mist colorway
US 3 dpns, 4


Complete with nupps! I could see how these could drive a lace knitter batty, but just one round of them on the socks is a really pretty detail above the rib/cables. Cables are easy enough to memorize, though for the life of me I couldn't get the setup row right from Nancy's written dx (how many patterns do I have to knit to be on a first name basis with a designer?)... had to use the chart.


After knitting Cookie's German stockings, I remembered how much I enjoyed picking up heel stitches (I know, I know...). I didn't use the pretty ktbl pickup on the German stockings though, though here they shine. (I pick up the back loop instead of the front like Grumperina... I thought thru the back was the way Nancy Bush shows you how in all of her books, but I just checked and its not. Oh well.)


Speaking of shine, can you love STR any more? Oy. (Remember this yarn? A gift from Abigail for being her 1k commenter?) Who knew a tomboy like me could gush over pink and brown. The mediumweight just flies off the needles, and is a great fit for the pattern (thanks to Stacey for the inspiration!!) I was worried the cabling would be lost, but no... I think its just fine.

Speaking of... Winners of my etsy-based contest?
(sorry it seems early, the contest should have read the 19th for Monday)...

$25 Fearless Fibers gift certificate to Lindsey
$16 tinymeat gift certificate to Andrea
$15 LingGlass gift certificate to Paula
$10 Three Owls Knitting gift certificate to Jen
5 Creative Apples custom cards & shipping to Nad
$10 time2cre8 gift certificate to Alison
$10 zerOmarkers gift certificate to Stacey
The Friday Night Knitting Club hardback #1 to Cathy
The Friday Night Knitting Club hardback #2 to Emily
(hopefully yall have heard from me by the time you've read this! :))

phew. I need a nap. In my new socks. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

spinning and sock pattern pr0n

So much, but so little knitting! :)

I had an awesome weekend, kicked off by a spin-in at spinnity's... real spinners, yall! Alden Amos ain't got nothing on these girls. I picked up the second braid of Mars Superwash from Margit (I wasn't the only one there who fell head over heels for this colorway, I tell you knit flix and Nathania have excellent taste, too ;))...


...met someone famous, proved to Cookie I am a real live person most of the time, generally was my afraid of people self, uttering oh about 5 sentences the entire evening (mostly goaded on by Kristi and cold medicine), and had an all around super time.

I spun, too! :) The second sock's worth of the "Crying of Lot 49" merino top I saved for myself after listing them in my etsy shop a week or so ago...


...and I'm in love. Is it okay to be in love with two things at once? Oy, but can you blame me?!


This is definitely my favorite handspun yet. DK-ish weight (once taut, its really lofty... does that still count as dk?), about 333 yd of two ply loveliness that will be some insane socks. At least one sock's going to have a yellow foot and a charcoal leg (or reverse), but I don't care. I took Teyani's recent sock (hop!) yarn spinning posts to heart-- not trying as much for a balanced yarn off the bobbins in the end but one that will be springy once the twist has been set in the wash... and I think it works. Not perfect, but definitely a breakthru for me.


It'd been hanging to dry in my hall closet's doorway and everytime I passed it, I had to squeeze it... this is the first merino handspun I've produced that is actually squeezable, huggable. (Does that make sense? My merino sock weights before felt wiry, scratchy though the base fiber was so lovely and soft...)

I'm waxing over yarn, but so in love I don't care.

I can't start knitting it though (i KNOW!)... I have finally gotten back on track w/ my Denmark STR sock thanks to kind knittyboard souls who rescued me from my sorry loss of a US 3 Boye dpn, and I should finish the second sock from the sock madness competition, despite the fact I am out on the first round... not to mention the fact I actually bought yarn (I haven't bought sock yarn in forever!) for a project I'm jonesing for... no hard and fast details til I have everything in my hot little hands, but hinthint... a Cookie A pattern :)

Speaking of...


Yeah. Holy crap is what I said, too. Thanks Cookie :)

Hm... oh! Back on the holy crap tangent-- Boing Boing, Craft:, Kotaku and Wil Wheaton dug the bmp pattern along with most of yall (don't forget to enter the contest if you haven't! on til the 20th! win something etsy-riffic!)... I had several emails asking me to sell socks knit from it (no thanks, but find a local knitter and pay him/her well is all I ask!), a marriage proposal (no joke), and shock in discovering that the pattern was a top 10 story on

Rockstar week :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

bmp space invaders socks... and a contest

bmp socks, by me :)

I have to say I'm just so happy today :) My bmp pattern was a love letter thru process and product, and I am just thrilled knitty gave me an opportunity to share it on this scale with all of you (whom I really do cherish in my anonymous, blog reading way).

So of course I have to celebrate with a contest! Something new this time... yall may notice by my posts and lack of them that I have been spending quite a bit of unexpected time with my knitting accessory shop on etsy. Not only that, but much of my wakare earned goes directly back to artisans who sell alongside me. (You can sneak a peek at my covet/favorites list here to grasp the extent of my obsession and oddity.) I couldn't think of a better celebration than giving away gift certificates from a few of my favorite vendors from etsy...


$25 gift certificate for Fearless Fibers. Goodness knows Deb is a true dye artist, and has so many inspiring yarns (in so many variations!) that I know it'll be hard to choose. Or not to brag. Or something involving happiness and yarn. (Thanks to Deb for her donation!)


$16 gift certificate to tinymeat. I'm very much a wallet girl, and tinymeat's float my boat... but they carry passport covers, card holders, iPod covers-- to have and to hold. Can't ask for more. (At least I can't!)


$15 gift certificate for LingGlass. I am blown away by the simple beauty of her pendants and glasswork, and think you'll love them too. I'm not much of a jewelry wearer but I want one of everything she makes :)


$10 gift certificate for Three Owls Knitting. Our own Sherry W's shop-- featuring double pointed needle protectors that are one of my favorite knitting accessories (seriously, I think I own 6 sets now??) They're great for keeping your work on the needles and for making sure those needles don't poke thru fabrics.


5 custom cards and envelopes (and shipping) from CreativeApples. I've recently become an etsy card junkie, and April's are just... wow. You can choose up to 5 images from her flickr pages and she'll make them into beautiful cards for you to mail and share.


$10 gift certificate for time2cre8. If you've received an order from zerOmarkers somewhat recently, you'll recognize MaryLou's work-- I use her recycled atlas business card envelopes to send sample stitch markers and thank you notes in. I love them, and she does other great things with all sorts of media.


$10 gift certificate for zerOmarkers. Uh, because I can? :)
(For those of you that are new, this is my etsy shop.)


2 hardback copies (to 2 winners) of The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I know, I know... this isn't etsy stuff! Penguin Books sent me these copies (well, they sent me three but I'm keeping one!)... and said to have fun giving them away. What more fun could this be? :) (You may remember my little writeup about the book... they have other bloggers' reviews linked on their "buzz" page, too.)


All of the certificates should be enough to cover at least one item in their shops and shipping, so no worries about needing alternate payment methods (unless you want to stock up, which my fellow vendors and I fully endorse ;)).

Cool? Since we have something new, how about something old... that's right. "How can I win something fabulous?" By submitting a couplet to the world's longest poem at Choka On It (if you're new, please read how first...) and copy/pasting your couplet in the comments to *this* post. I reserve the right to disqualify you if you don't follow their (simple) submission requirements... I'm mean like that, ask around ;) Any doubts, check my past choka contests here and here for more info. You must leave me either a link to your blog or a valid email address (so I can contact you if you win!)

Contest will run thru Monday March 19 20, 2007 at 3pm pacstandard... and winners will be chosen *at random* (one entry per person), so no worries about your skilz or lack thereof. I'd love for you to help me spread the word for my little celebration, too :)

Hm. Now for something borrowed and blue...

(Good luck!)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Roving, lit.


When I'm drawn to something, its usually with a great flashpoint and obsessiveness that starts from seemingly out of nowhere and just... goes. Rarely does it outlast itself, I can only point to one recent moment in my life that it has. That said, I was really really drawn to the idea of dyeing the superwash merino top roving this weekend. I have been making up colorways in my mind based on my bookshelf for forever, and some finally hit the ground running with a few favorites.

The Crying of Lot 49.
Its more than the horn for me, this book... its the California highways that shine-- blacktop and yellow divider lines. I'm a California girl, what can I say? This was the one I started with, and was so happy I couldn't stop (til the days got too long.) I kept a repeat of it for myself to spin later :)

Invisible Man.
When you enter one of the first dream sequences, falling... Louis Armstrong singing in the background, "what did I do... to be so black and blue..." You know when people use song lyrics to get something across as their own? I think this is the only time in history it was a good thing. :)

(Lady) Macbeth.
Out out. I really like this one, too-- but Margit found me the second bit of Mars Superwash from her store so I'll be spinning a lot of red and black (8 oz total) for kneehighs soon so I'm letting it go. For now :)

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.
Miss Sissy... reminds me of the long blonde haired friend I still am too chicken to correspond with properly.

Confessions of an English Opium Eater.
Speaks more to my secret madscientist life a few years back, more than anything.

Trout Fishing in America.
For me this book is more than the words inside... I'm always reminded of two things-- one, Mr. S., high school math teacher extraordinaire who lent me his copy and blew my mind. Two, the man I met years later whose aunt was one of the waifs posing with Mr. Brautigan (and who convinced me I was worthy enough to fight my fight and get into Cal)... both are long gone memories and only for the past, but good things nonetheless.

The Active Side of Infinity.
Beauty. That's it :)

I've listed them all in my etsy shop-- who knows if I'll keep dyeing to sell, but it was a fun way to spend a weekend alone with my thoughts. (I've also listed some "mystery" stitch marker sets... what can I say, heady this weekend I guess.)

(speaking of etsy-- what are your favorite shops? i'm asking for a super secret reason :))

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Double happiness.

My Denmark sock has halted as I lost a US 3 dpn... somewhere. Not wanting to start another, I finished up some UFO's that really deserved it...

Hypotenuse, scarf size from
Blue Sky Alpacas-- Alpaca Silk, "ruby." 3 skeins.
US 7 (4.5mm), 24" Addi
Started: November 13, 2006 (?)
Finished: February 28, 2007

Manlace, not just for men anymore.

My camera's not doing justice to the red (as usual). I knit this on larger needles than I'd normally choose for this yarn, aiming for that airy lace look anne showed in this pic. Throughout I was worried it was going to be too open, but it really wasn't-- surprisingly warm on a blustery day outside chasing the kid, and not overwhelmingly warm still on, sitting here inside.


I knit the "scarf" size in almost exactly 3 skeins of Alpaca Silk. This stuff is great... but to be perfectly honest, I felt a few itchy pricks on the back of my neck when I first put it on. I don't consider myself sensitive, but then again I rarely wear scarves so I'm überaware. Right now I can't tell, and don't consider it itchy at all as a whole.

(trademark uncombed hair. if you can trademark being a lazy slug.)

With the larger needles, the scarf has some wonderful drape. I don't really see the sheen of silk (as much as I do in other yarns with upwards of a 50% silk content), but think this was a good choice for the pattern-- in elegance, color and drape. It's as tall as me (I say I'm 5'7", but others have claimed this is a lie), and about 9.5" wide. It grew after gentle blocking (to tell the truth, I soaked it in kookaburra and just laid it as flat as I could-- didn't pin it; I'm an awful blocker)-- and the water was just a tiny bit pink (most red yarns I use make the water look like an Amity shoreline).


All in all, love it :) Really. It looks more complicated than it is (I "memorized" the chart after a few rows; its quite intuitive), and I think it looks good. Makes me feel good, too :)

(Cue spray on hair voice)... but wait, there's more...

Diagonal Lace Scarf from Midnight Purls
"Waratah" handspun silk & merino from SantaCruzHandspun
US 7 24" Addi
Started: August 19, 2006
Finished: February 28, 2007

Is it just me or is impossible to take pictures of scarves?

I loved this pattern when I first saw it-- I knew I had the perfect yarn for it, and now that its finished, I know I did. Again, a simple lace that's easily memorizable/readable, but looks great and is interesting enough for me to want to keep knitting.


It took just 2 skeins/4 oz for a thin (5") scarf that is taller than me plus more-- the pattern's a good use of smaller quantities of yarn and one that lets the yarn shine without being obstructed or overwhelmed. The yarn, of course, is wonderful-- makes me want to learn to spin ;)


I'm thrilled with both of them-- between them, I think I have a scarf for all occasions. These two are now the only scarves I own! I feel naked when I see other women wearing wonderful scarves around me (me wearing a wool coat, and likely a tshirt underneath), always thinking "I could make that!" They both feel like a treat, and I'm excited :)

A teaser for (hopefully) next time...


Have a good weekend yall! :)

ps! i see i'm in the "stephanie's travelling socks" division/bracket for sock madness... anyone else playing? :)

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