sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

spinning is like doritos. and a side of etsy.

(almost as good of a non sequitur as poker is like quilting, but i digress.)

There have to be other people like me out there... you totally have other commitments, are rational people who know what they are and how they should be done-- but you get that princess pea nagging about something and have to do it til you're absolutely sick of it. Every few years (cyclical, I can't decide if it comes with El Niño or not)-- I get absolutely obsessed with Doritos. Like, a bag a day... and not the new fancy ones, plain ole fake orange cheese in the corner of your mouth is all that's left of today's bag Doritos. Its gross, I know! Goes on for like 10 days (two weeks, I lie!), and then I just wilt and can't eat *any* Doritos til the tide rolls in again.

I'm the same way with Taco Bell, but let's not talk about that.

Spinning's becoming the same for me, taking up all of my free time...


...but can you blame me?

It really is obsessive-- I started this "glass ocean" roving (pictured here, dyed for my shop but kept since I was curious) on Friday and had the last of it plied on Tuesday, 4 oz. I'm not a production spinner, nor am I fast-- but I really wanted to have it done in a good way. Partly I wanted another handspun to knit with... when someone tells you your last socks were the best feeling ever (and you've knit a lot of socks!), its a bit of an incentive.


Halfway thru the roving, I seriously thought I was going to sell this yarn though. Its not a color I'm drawn to or like to knit with (blue and green lovers, don't hate me!)... after it was plied I was almost positive of that. Washing it and watching it plump up though-- I don't know.


One skein is more purple, and also looks to be thinner gauge overall... a beauty factor in handspun yarns I think. I plied this really tightly, and again am so happy that Teyani posted about tightly plying yarn (that it's okay!)... before, all the books I'd read told me that the yarn needed to be balanced going onto the bobbins when plying to be "good". My evenly balanced (sock) yarns looked nothing like my favorites: Socks that Rock, Koigu, Louet Gems... I also know now why my favorites have a tendency to twist back on themselves when knitting even though they hang straight in the skein-- I'm pretty sure its because they employ the same tight twist I aimed for.


I'm not an expert and shouldn't be giving advice (Andrea asked for tips on spinning-- want to share some in my comments? She makes the *cutest* stitch markers on etsy (updated link!!), too), but I'm happy :)

Another happiness?


Singles being plied... superwash merino in "The Color" (again from my last post). Looks like the ice cream you drive way out of your way to share with your loved one. Candy candy the plied stuff looks like, but we'll save that til its done.

I don't think I'm going to be doing anything but spinning for few more zips, so I'll share more etsy stuff to tide yall over. (I haven't knit a stitch in a week. Spank me.)

top: ... natural colored llama/merino
bottom:, unknown wool in "dalek 2.0"

I've not been buying yarn lately (lies!! wait til next week!), but I've been obsessed with batts for spinning. Somehow I have it in my head that I'll be able to spin a thicker yarn from a batt than from the combed superwash merino top I use... we'll see. The llama/merino is so soft and evenly carded... I was thinking natural socks? Not sure, but floofy and I dig "natural" fibers along with crazy dyed ones. Dalek just looks crazy... I want FAT yarn for a FAT hat for my... unusually proportioned head.

tshirt from
ceramic and paper coasters from
cherry spree pendant from
octopus pendant from

Etsy has an actual, physical place in NY where you can go to create whatever (metal, art, sewing, etc.) for a small fee. They also have a store where you can buy finished projects, like the two headed bird screenprinted on top of a spraypainted pink dot shirt. (Wrinkled by me!) The ceramic coasters are for mother's day... mom's been dropping hints like a madman for coasters. Usually I'm thick as a brick but I caught on about the 7th time-- they're art paper decopaged onto ceramic tiles with felt dots for backing.

The red cherry "spree" pendant was a custom piece from LORiOLA... its thick and heavy and my favorite at the moment. Karrie may dig the next one (we share a love of tentacles and etsy pendants! she has a great list of her favorites on her blog): a sterling silver octopus holding a piece of quartz. It reminds me a little of the guy in high school who wore crystals and was into magyc and mysticism (i dated that guy! on accident! he showed up to my door with a rose and a chaperone when i thought it was a "group thing"! told me later he could turn into a panther during the full moon and that though whites were the master race, asians like me were good to have around to do computer work and wouldn't be minded when the revolution came!!)... but I like it and so does my kid ("octo-DUS!"). Came with a simple satin cord, perfect for those times you need to take your necklace off NOW but forget how exactly to do that.

and as always, lots and lots of cards:

top to bottom, L to R:
science of condensation card,
fish & dino cards:
japanese drywall:
r2d2 & pig:
mailbox & carousel:
monkey man & monkey girl:
mr atom robot card:

creativeapples is obviously a favorite. What? You don't see those awesome images in her shop? That's cos I snuck on thru her flickr stream and asked her to make a custom listing for me of a few favorite images.

I have a few more knitting-related faves to share... things I haven't bought (yet) but float my boat:

* Porcelain knitware from Vases, bowls, coasters, plates, cups... all embossed with knitting textures: cables, stockinette, ribs. Really.

* Mixed media art/knitting paintings by

* Knitter's gift tags by

*Knitting messenger bags by Messenger style bags with a front panel under the flap where you can arrange all of your knitting needles and accessories. She says she does custom orders, too.

* Small project pouches from (I like the goldfish!)

* Gorgeous yarn (think koigu speckles) from Thrilling yarn (I love the use of black in yarn) from And Deb's still having a (RARE) sale on some of her yarns at

I found out about the porcelain knitware on etsypickoftheday. Another way that I have found great shops was during the weekly "saturday night specials" sale run in the etsy forums: Every Saturday night, starting at 5 pm EST, there is a thread in the "promotions and critiques" forum where LOTS of etsy sellers (like maybe a hundred shops) post sales that are good only from 5pm Saturday to 5 am Sunday... I've bought soap, cards, jewelry... lots of stuff from stores I'd never have found otherwise. I haven't run a SNS sale in a while, but since I'm pimping it to yall (and you made it this far!) I'll have a SNS sale in my shop this weekend. I'll post the special to the thread and do a quick post here on my blog w/ the details... I won't run one again for a (long) while, so it'll be a good one :)

miss you! and enter Nicole's blogoversary contest for some good etsy lovin', too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

colors and numbers

"blake's tyger"

"blake's lamb"

"the color"*

"one hundred years of solitude"

"desert solitaire"

"snow falling on cedars"

"glass tyger"*

"glass ocean"*

the glass series were a fun experiment for me... i may dye more in this style (around the world-- twice over), but i'm not sure for sale in my etsy store. they take longer than the others (twice, and i dye each of the runs individually)... but i like the way they look and the ocean is spinning up nice, even though i'm not keen on blue & greens. i think i'll keep "the color" as well, perfect since i'm no longer afraid of purple.

and numbers?

exclusive freshwater pearl stitch marker colorways for

¿¡will regular blog posting ever return?!
...stay tuned...

Friday, April 20, 2007

break from breaks

sometimes its good, taking breaks



watched wool never dries.

superwash merino wool roving for new row counters up later today and over the next few days, too.

now i have no excuse to not knit on my german stocking :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

wednesday filler

I thought about dedicating a blog day weekly to the wonder of Etsy and its sellers (still don't know if I'm going to)... I had a lot of comments surprised at the cool stuff on etsy from my last posts, and that people enjoy personal recommendations since finding stuff can be a bit of an ordeal when browsing there. Combine that with the fact I have no knitworthy content but the time* and urge to post-- and there you go.

First up, I'm a member of the street team-- "Etsy Fiber Arts Street Team." A bunch of like-product sellers (or geographical, or whatever) join a street team to help one another promote their repective craft disciplines... its a cool idea. etsyFAST is new but there are a lot (and varied, really) people working in the fiber arts arena-- their website compiles all of the member shops. I put together a "treasury" on etsy to feature some of them (including a skein of Fearless Fibers sock in a shocking, droolworthy yellow), you can see the treasury here:

etsyFAST treasury
(expires in less than a day)

Treasuries are lists of 12 items chosen by etsy members around a theme; mine was etsyFAST-- there are some for colors, for shapes, for types of items, etc. Its a great way to get a sampling of things without having to rely on search functions or categories... sometimes you don't know what you want til you see it. Lists expire in 48-72 hours throughout the day, so there's always something new to look at.

I'm also a big card fan, so there's always some new cards making their way to my mailbox...


Left to right, top to bottom:

Quilt postcards from Lucys Postcard Quilts, dotd skeletons & snail
Chicken butt screenprint from Young and With It
Heart Attack postcard (set) from Magic Jelly
Koi and Butterfly digitally altered photograph cards from Alicia Bock

Its hard to tell, but the postcard quilts are just that-- double sided fabric with interfacing inside, with threadsewn edging and quilting stitches on top (I'm obviously not one with a sewing machine... forgive my slaughter of sewing nomenclature!). They're blank on the back for writing, and Lucy assures me I can send them thru the mail... I've sent stranger stuff, so I know she's right :)

I had no idea before etsy that I could like so many different types of cards... hand stitched, screenprinted (one, two, three... I could go on!), photography, letterpress, reproduced art prints, art postcards, hand drawn, digital mashups... too many types & yall won't look at the links! I've bought from all these shops before and they do great stuff. No hallmark, no mass production... as special as the person you take time to write.

Most of my purchases come from the US... but a few neat ones came from overseas recently:


Japanese fabric, "shinkansen" sanrio and red fugu blowfish from dreamrains
Print of original art, "Godzilla"-- signed & numbered from monstergallery

Dreamrains is a seller in Japan, specializing in Japanese fabrics. I bought these 2 to send to Satomi (from JapaneseHandmadeEtc) for new pouches when she is settled into her new US digs. You guys know what a train junkie my kid is, and my little kid nature loves Sanrio (though if you met me in person... I'd never admit it!)-- her shop was sold out of it but she relisted some for me, yay :) I found monstergallery thru their adorable zines... shipping takes a bit longer for both (monstergallery's in Singapore) but both were packaged well and arrived beautifully. (The fabrics are wrinkled... my fault. Kiddo wouldn't let go of the train one, eventually I had to hide it with the blowfish one... you know, cos it reminded him of his missing train cape/blankie/scarf/etc...)

* why do i have time? i'm dyeing some more superwash merino roving for my store... and in the middle of making some stitch markers for! i'm putting together some exclusive "colorways" for y4s... a peek:



there's more, but a girl has to have some mystery. or knit really rad socks.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Friday nite. Age 17.
Sneaking out of my bedroom window, thru the dog run, over the chainlink fence, past mom's window and thru the side gate... rolling the car out of driveway without turning the engine over, hoping i wouldn't run into the bushes and cable tv box like mom did the time the cops came. Picking up friends, sodas, sampoerna extras for the 2 hour drive to an la warehouse... anonymous speakerhumping in pantlegs always heavy with club and desert scenes. Back in again at dawn, stinking and glittersmeared, asleep almost as fast as I drove down that pass every weekend.

Friday nite. Age 21.
Unisex bathrooms in the dorms, the perfect place for rounding up and down with soon-to-be ex-boy and girlfriends. One campus bar, then another, then another... stumbling into Blondies or the food ghetto on Durant (the closest many of us public school kids would get to the gourmet ghetto, on the other side of campus), praying a slice or a burrito would calm the rage in our stomachs and mouths. 2 deep we fell into the ancient couches in the lounge, leaving some to play Jerry Springer drinking games... hoping there was enough time to pair up and down while our roommates curled up and took a shot with each passing profanity.

Friday nite. Age 25.
Big pregnant, accidentally pregnant... cradling my stomach in my arms, whispering secrets to my son still inside. Secrets I'd never share had he been able to understand, loving the whispering in the reeds possibility of life, of the biggest littlest love of my life, the biggest sweetest trap. Terrified that nothing would be the same, savoring the new, sharp understanding of what it is to be alone... and that I had been for a very long time. No more time for the existential drama, postmodern angst of self. Time to do something huge, be the best, become a better, stronger person than I'd ever imagined possible.

Friday nite. Age 29.
Sneaking out of the room where the love of my life sleeps, finally no more protests for nursing... just a sweet profile lit with my opening of the door. Alone, but not the alone of youth, rolling fingers and hands thru and thru. Silence broken by the gentle rocking of the Joy, the whir of singles off of the Kate, my own heart as I allow my mind to wander over everything... especially those places I dare not wander in the daytime.

Its a good life.




navajo plied yarns. greyish pinkish: 70/30 merino-tussah silk, red/black: superwash merino in "mars". both rovings purchased at stitches west 2007.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

not a german stocking.

Handspun socks
"Crying of Lot 49" roving, superwash merino (from my shop)
Started: March 22, 2007 (?)
Finished: April 12, 2007
US 3 (3.25mm) dpns, 4

I think I will keep spinning my superwash merino sock yarn at a dk weight... I love how bouncy and squishy these turned out. I spin too finely in general, but somehow hit that sweet spot with this roving.

Not really a lot to say... I used PGR's Simple Socks formulaic heel & short row toe, toe up. The formula has a # of stockinette rounds around the ankle once you complete the heel-- it resulted in that bunching you see (usually, I just start into ribbing after completing the heel). I don't think I'll use the stockinette again like that; it may also just be more pronounced as its a thicker yarn. Also, I did more of a squared off heel and toe, less pointy... just because :)

Y just because again, more pics...





Not to say the German Stockings aren't keeping on.

German Stocking #2, Cookie A
Fearless Fibers' superwash merino
garnet/pearl and iolite/pearl stitch markers

Just a few more repeats and I'll be on the heel-- the decreases are done for the leg. I'm a little sidetracked by spinning though...

Pouch by (see review here)
70/30 merino/tussah silk inside

I thought I'd be able to spin the silk/merino at a thicker weight, but its an effort. We'll see :)

Have a good weekend! :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

i love etsy.

I think the first time I encountered etsy, it was via Fearless Fibers' shop... browsing for yarn. Afterwards I went and scanned "my" section, "knitting"... it was full of great stuff but nothing I needed (have you *seen* my flash your stash?! I also forgot several pics, apparently...) and then etsy just dropped off of my radar til i started my own shop. I had no idea what great stuff lurked there, but now...! Let me be a tiny guide thru some of my purchases so you can get an idea that its not just yarn (though, the yarn's great!)


Reversible zipper box pouch with Japanese knot

I'm a huge tomboy at heart. (You've seen the pictures!) Tomboy or not, I love taking my knitting to go with me. The astute sock knitters among you will have already noticed how the box pouch is *perfect* for just that. I loved my trek pouch for on the go knitting, but the ribbon "handle" would often twist in the wind as I walked and took the yarn with it, so it wasn't best for walking around and knitting. Satomi's purse strap is very sturdy, interfaced and double sided, and doesn't move when you walk. The entire bag is reversible/double lined with fabric and has interfacing, so it keeps that cute box shape even if its not stuffed to the gills with socks. (Sticking out is a finished sock, and an almost-complete one... kinda putting that box shape out of whack. It is box shaped though :) and a perfect size for sock knitting.) Also, as its stiff and lined, I haven't had any needles sticking out of the fabric as I have with a single-fabric layer pouch. (Though, cure that with Sherry's double pointed needle protectors, also at etsy! She has some great new beads in, if you haven't seen.)

Satomi's agreed to make me a custom one (with fabric I bought from etsy, natch) when she completes her move to the States. (She's really nice.) For now she's in Japan-- but the shipping to my west coast home only took 6 days last time, so not too bad for the anxious among you who spy something in her shop that's ready for sale now.

Someone dear remarked I'm becoming more a girl lately... I think its my new spate of purse purchases. Somehow it skates my tomboy nature if I don't use it as a purse but as something to carry knitting projects in.


Wood and vinyl purse by

For my sock and almost-as-big-as-a-breadbox projects. I have to admit, I love it and it does make me feel like a girl to carry it, even if its just hiding a knitting project inside. Can't be used for walking-projects, but great for grab and go stuff.

Want to see inside? :)


Lined with a japanese fabric, and housing "scratch art" yarn from

Technically, I didn't buy the yarn from etsy, even though Rachel has a new handpainted yarn store there. I saw this skein on her blog, and I begged her to sell it to me. Wasn't pretty, but the yarn is :) Black and rainbow, beautiful!

More etsy yarn love though you've seen it before...


2nd German stocking in Fearless Fibers' Superwash Sock, "royalty"
(and hand bent wire stitch markers from

I haven't even been able to start the decreases on the leg yet, and my new red shoes are coming via UPS today... oy. Need to get back to knitting, but I have so much more to share! A few more...


I never wore jewelry before*. Well, in high school I usually had fingers full of rings, and once I wore a huge (literal, from the hardware store) chain that weighed 20 lbs secured by a keylock for a party that I'd rather not remember... but this is different :)

Clockwise from top left:
Goldfish by
Van Gogh glass by
Dichroic pendant from
2 cold rolled steel pendants from
Red waves from

For those with kids (or, kids at heart! yuk yuk yuk...)

(forgive the blur, kiddo was being held off with my spare hand as he tried to rescue his etsy treasures)

Clockwise from top left:
Handmade fabric and foam flash cards from
(we have the number set, too... lost in the maw)

Custom soap with ninja! from
(orange scented soap with an orange ninja. duh.)

Dozen multicolor crayon "cakes"; from
(fun, but locked away when i'm not supervising. goodness forbid i have another artist escapade on my hands.)

For the kid, but not yet...


Blank book made from "Are you my mother" book binding, by

When little one was born, and even before, I wanted to make him a keepsake of him. I tried my hardest to get into scrapbooking, but I just couldn't... wasn't me. I take trillions of pics of him, and figured it was close enough to a "gift" of himself he'd enjoy when he was older. When I ran across these wonderful blank books on etsy, I had a new idea along the same line-- I would write my son letters about himself, about me and about us-- this was a great book to start that in. Its about an inch thick of blank pages, and the story is still inside. The binding's tight and will last me a while, so will the number of pages.

Its mundane stuff I'm writing, but its fun for me thinking of keeping a dialogue now for him to enjoy later. My mom was quite... silent as I grew up, and its only now that she has started to share things about her life at my age and younger. If anything, this will be good practice for me to learn to share :)

(as she realizes she's been showing off stereo/typically female purchases and can't stop now...)


Superbirds silkscreened apron from

I wore this yesterday, so its a bit fresh with my kitchen handiwork... pastelon de platano, honeybaked ham, mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, stuffed mushrooms, salad, crescent rolls... ugh. Still full, but looked good cooking it :)

Also wearing a threadless tshirt under it, but its not as cool as my most recent tshirt purchases from them...

brand new this morning:


and because i couldn't resist:


Yay! :)

* i did wear jewelry when i was younger. i used to be mistaken for a boy *all the time* (see picture here if you've forgotten). i would be routinely chased out of women's restrooms, asked by strangers what sex i was. it really didn't bother me; i chose to wear my hair the way i did, i wanted it. it did bother my family though... so much so that when my sister finally convinced my mom to let her pierce her ears, i had to have mine done, too. there was a bribe in there somewhere, too.

my sister went first, gun to the earlobe at the ubitquitous mall jewelry store. pinch, pinch. yay. girl who pierced my sister went on break as i replaced my younger sister in the chair. new girl, gun in hand, pierced my right ear and shattered my world with pain. i wouldn't let her pierce the other.

turns out, something went very wrong and i had to have three seperate "operations" (read: doctor with a scoop-tipped something digging out nastiness from my infected ear, without anesthesia for fear of having the infection travel thru my blood, or something that sounded like that over my 7 year old screams as i lay good ear down on the butcher paper in his office) to undo the damage.

after every session, doc would wrap my head jauntily with gauze to keep the pads in place. my (caucasian) mother would say the same thing, every time... "you look like a vietnamese refugee!" (i'm half japanese. the things we say in the privacy of family ;))

even after all of that, i kept the ear pierced. if you remember the 80s (i was in the madonna fan club with my friends across the street!)... "left is right and right is wrong" it went. so, not only was i a "boy," i was a boy with his ear pierced on the wrong side, with all of the attendant meanings.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

one German down

There's no good way to take these on my legs, especially inside... (better pics when the pair's done, promise!)

German Stocking by, single
Started: March 19 (?)
Fearless Fibers Superwash Sock, "royalty" colorway
Susan Bates US 1, 2.25mm **9 sts/inch**

These are going to be really cool done. :)

I used Deb's superwash sock yarn since I'd used the solid white for the test pair already and though they're beautiful and the patterning really pops... white's not my bag. I don't know if purple is, but when I spied 2 hanks still for sale at Deb's store, I pounced. The Fearless Fibers is thinner than the Louet Gems Pearl the pattern calls for-- they *look* the same, but the Louet has more density (and Koigu has more density than Gems, but that's another post.) The white pair were knit on Susan Bates US 1's (2.25mm) at the pattern's gauge, 8 sts/inch, but the FF on the same needles ended up at 9 sts/inch.


Cookie's done a bangup job with the pattern though... she's sized it with over 200 different size combinations (seriously). So instead of worrying about the math, I just breathed a sigh of relief that Cookie'd done it all for me already. I would normally fit into the 3rd size of stocking, but knit using the 4th (next larger size) to account for the smaller gauge of the yarn. I did do a quick and dirty check to make sure my gauge would work out in the larger numbers, but they did and as you can see, it worked out beautifully.


Deb gives you a laaaarge hank for your money-- 4 oz/560 yd. Even so, I will need to use the 2nd hank for the second sock... the first weighs in at 70 gm with 50 left over. I've decided to just wind the second hank and and knit the second from it-- with any luck, I'll have another 50 gm left over for a pair of "regular" sized socks. If you have smaller legs than me (totally possible ;)) you may be able to get away with using only 1 hank of Fearless Fibers superwash sock, and that'd be a $16 pair of handpainted kneehighs!! Dude.

Yo quiero this yarn though-- the color's great, so was the service. I think I'll knit the "regular" pair at a tighter gauge though on US 0's... I could have done it for these, but kneehighs on US 0? Uh, no.

Speaking of etsy... the mailman just handed me the coolest package. (When will he get used to me answering the door in pyjamas?)


A new Superheros card pack from April at Creative Apples. Yow. She was one of the vendors from my choka/etsy contest... and I already had her Superheros I card pack as well as a custom order from her. I'm addicted to buying cards on etsy, and April's are always *so* cool and have real range. I hate (mom always said, hate is too strong a word to use for anything) buying duplicate cards, but with her flickr photostream and etsy store, I never have to :) I'm also addicted to the idea of custom *anything*... its rare for me to be able to afford it and not feel like I'm putting anyone out asking for it.

Thanks again April... sending mail has never been so fun. :)

And just to show *my* range in card purchases thru etsy...


Thank you coloring cards from Cre8tiveMama, also etsy-based. Yall know my kid's penchant for trains by now... a wonderful way to send thank you cards for (insert made up holiday here where my relatives shower the munchkin with candy and holiday themed toys). She says she does custom orders, too... may need to look into that as my kid needs to send plenty of these :)

There's way more etsy love out there, maybe for my next post I'll show off some of my favorites. Especially since the second stocking still (five times fast!) hasn't been started yet... no worries though. I'm employing a carrot-horse-cart approach... bought myself some rad new shoes that I can't wear til they're done. (Amazon is running a promo-- $20 off $80 and free shipping thru 4/15 so it was a good deal, and of course I bought them in red :))

...til then!

eta!! i need to get in contact with Lindsey, if anyone knows her or if you're reading, please email me at the addy below. (need to claim your prize!) thanks! :)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy flash your stash, 2007

Happy flash your stash 2007 :)
Originated @ knittyboard... see links to fellow flashers *here*.
(click on the large photo to advance to next pic, or select thumbs to skip ahead.)

Awesome browsing function from pictobrowser.

Info on yarns (names, colorways) attached to individual photos in my "flash your stash 2007" flickr set. (Someone convince me to go flickr pro, please. I'm a cheapskate who doesn't want to pay the 24.95/year, but its so cool and without it you can't see my 2006 flash set... ergh.)

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

Previous April 1 flash your stash (2006) HERE... be warned, pic intensive. Also (with the same warning), previous flash your sock yarn stash post here.

Happy happy... its actually a good thing, kicking me to list some languishing yarns on destash and order a whole bunch more (you'll have to wait for those pics!!)

...hoping to be back soon with a finished german stocking...

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