sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Friday, September 28, 2007

etsy friday

Feeling a little rusty! I actually was only going to take 2 weeks off from blogging etsy fridays, but my blogfree pal Katy asked what I was going to do with my time off... it sounded like a good idea to take the whole 2 weeks off from blogging, and now I don't know how to start again :)

Jumping in with my clothes on...

Raised glass scrollwork pendant from

Oh, how I love these glass pendants :) It was near on impossible to capture, but the raised raku colored scrollwork ranges in color from brown to iridescent duck green to gold, and the grey flecked white glass is almost indescribable-- not looking like typical glass, but heavy on the collarbone when worn. Yay for LORiOLA (one of the gift certificates for the contest was to her store!)

Etsy's not only a place for handmade, but also for sellers selling vintage items as well as supplies. I buy lots of "supply" category things from etsy*, a few recent ones:

JehovehJirehFarm Coopworth/Silk roving from

IMG_6051 worsted merino from

Both of these "destash" items came from twistedSheep, who also sells spinning batts and handspun yarns in her shop. (If you've ever wanted to knit with handspun but don't spin, there's been a HUGE surge in handspun yarn listings on etsy lately! Just fyi...)

The pollen merino's a delight-- back from the day when was selling the worsted on ebay (you may know them now as a little company called Malabrigo...) I love stumbling onto things like this on etsy-- I wasn't looking for either, but both are current projects of mine.

Another stumbled upon find...


Lenticular vintage Mexican postcards from

I went searching on etsy for "lenticular", loving the way it sounded (never knowing the word for that winking jesus washboard effect before) and found these awesome postcards. I've slowed my roll on buying cards, the stockpile getting too large, but these I just couldn't say no to. ArtPhotoGirl sells lots of unique paper and vintage finds for art (or just for use as they are, for unimaginative souls like me), and has even relisted the ones I bought.

More serendipitous finds...

Etsy 1" pinback buttons from

One each for the winners of the latest knitty/choka contest hot off of EtsyLabs' button press, and the rest for me ;)

Speaking of...

* $27 GC to LORiOLA -- Camille
* $20 GC to Pigeonroof Knits -- Alyson
* $18.50 to Frost Fish Cove Soaps -- WonderMike
* Tissue Cozy and Keyfob Sets from Piddleloop -- salohlee, Val and Jeanie
* Knitting Box Bag from Japanese Handmade Etc -- Suzie
* $10 GC to creativeapples -- Amelia
* $10 GC to time2cre8 -- Turtle
* $10 GC to zero stitch markers -- Chris

Congrats all! I've contacted you all thru email or blogs. Thanks everyone for playing, it was fun!

*There is a recent debate on etsy's forums whether yarn and "knitting supplies" belong in the knitting category or the supply category. I list all of my stitch markers in the "knitting" category-- to me, "knitting" is the process and should include items for the process, not finished items. If you're interested in this, please wander over to this thread and voice your opinion for the etsy admin to hear :) You can also follow a discussion about categories on ravelry's etsy shops forum here as well, or on the etsyFAST forum.

Also speaking of, I was tagged for a new meme by etsyfast member Jean La Rue... I'm going to bend the rules a bit :) I think I've said all I want to say about myself in list form, but here are seven excellent shops administered by etsyFAST members to check out with a link to one of my favorites in their shop (it *is* etsy friday, yall!)

* Ashabee sells gorgeous handpainted yarns and roving, incl. this bump that's sat in my favorites list for forever

* SkiingWeaver has mad weaving skills, and this scarf that I've loved from since finding out she used FearlessFibers' cashmere laceweight in making it

* FeltCafe East & West has taunted me with this gocco machine since I discovered what gocco is

* FatCatKnits has spoken to my orange loving soul with this beauty beauty merino/tencel

* CherylAvenue has taken her felt loving self and made some wonderful felted soaps with surprise toys... for kids or the kid inside :)

* Confections brings out the green eyed monster in me-- spinning fabric strips into yarn is something that's on my too-long wish list

* Lazycats should be definitely be on your etsy checkout stop, because who doesn't need (homegrown, organic catnip filled) amigurumi rats in their lives?! ;)

Miss you, so much!

Friday, September 21, 2007

not etsy friday

I've been taking a little breather from blogging and meant to come back next Friday... but I had to update with an oversight on my part about my latest choka/etsy contest so here I am :)

Chrysanthemums on Black box bag, sock knitting pouch by

Satomi had offered to donate one of her amazing box pouches for my contest months ago when I first found out my Q socks had been accepted for Fall 2007 Knitty... and I accidentally left it off of my contest post! :(

As yall know, I love love LOVE my Japanese Handmade bags for carrying socks in progress with me, and her new black chrysanthemum print may be my new favorite in her store. If you haven't yet, take a look at her store and check out the new fabrics (and her sold items, since she'll reproduce items for you if they're not listed in her store at the moment). You can also see all of mine here, here and here, and read about it on the contest post.

SO! New prize addition to the contest, if you haven't played already it's time :)

As for me, it's been knitting and spinning but I hate talking about things I don't have pictures of, so I'll be back next (real) etsy friday in full swing :) Miss you!!!!! a set of my zero stitch markers made the HOMEPAGE of etsy a few days ago (yay!! with some backstage drama, but YAY!!) so i'm celebrating with a free shipping sale in my shop from now til monday at 2pm pacstandard (9/24/07). i'm in the process of updating the shipping costs so you don't have to wait for a new invoice; if i miss one or you're too quick just let me know and i'll refund or send you a proper paypal invoice. offer good for domestic *and* international, and i'll be updating/restocking regularly over the weekend with new stitch markers in freshwater pearls, amethyst, garnets and others and even some more row counters.

i also am adding a new ring size to the custom sizing lineup (US 5-6), so you can now choose a ring size for your stitch markers from US 2, US 4, US 6, US 9 and US 13. and as always, ring sizing for your stitch markers is free!

did i say YAY?!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fall knitty, q stockings and a contest

q stockings, my new pattern :)
published in fall knitty 2007
additional q stocking pics here in my flickr stream

Yall have no idea how hard it was to keep quiet about this pair of stockings! I breaknecked to get the second done recently (8 days), and liked the completed pair so much I actually bought a skirt (!!!) to wear them with :)

So, let's keep the happiness rolling...

Since contests make me happy, and etsy makes me happy... time for another etsy contest! For those of you who are new to my blog, Etsy is an online marketplace where crafters and artists can sell their handmade work. I try to feature various etsy artists I've purchased from every week here on my blog for "etsy fridays," and have picked a small sampling of favorite stores to give gifts and gift certificates from.


$27 gift certificate to

There is a lot of beautiful jewelry on Etsy, but I am just smitten when it comes to LORiOLA's work. She is a glass artist with a great eye for color, a sense of humor about her art and a steady hand when it comes to creating scrollwork in molten glass. I truly believe each of her pieces is a work of art and I'm thrilled to own several different types.


$20 gift certificate to

I go on and on about Pigeonroof Studios, but it's not without good reason. She hand dyes yarn and roving for spinning in some of the most exciting colors I've seen on etsy (outside as well), and sells a good variety of handspun yarn for those wanting to try to knit with handspun. I am *captivated* by her eye for and application of color across fiber mediums.


$18.50 gift certificate to

I have bought pounds of handmade soap from etsy for myself and loved ones, and Frost Fish Cove Soaps is my favorite vendor. Their molded, cold process soaps come in a wide variety of scents and ingredients that are foamy, cleansing and a luxury to use. I never thought I could be so excited about soap until finding handmade soaps, but I am and Frost Fish has made me a convert.


3 sets to 3 winners: tissue cozy and keyfob set by
donated by Jen and Wendy of Piddleloop :)

You guys know how I feel about Piddleloop's fabric bags for storing my knitting projects, but did you know they make other awesome fabric creations as well? I didn't until Jen sent me this tissue cozy and keychain set; turns out the Piddleloop team makes lots of things for their local retail markets they we don't see in their etsy store. Here's your chance to see for yourself the excellent handwork that goes into all of their products-- and really, I didn't know I needed to carry kleenex with me til I started, and now I can't stop. It makes me feel like supermom.


custom made Chrysanthemums on Black pouch by
donated by Satomi of JapaneseHandmadeEtc, photo courtesy of her store

You know how much I love my Japanese Handmade Etc box bag pouches for sock knitting (see all SIX of mine here, here and here)... they are the perfect travel size for a sock, hang lightly on the wrist for walking and knitting, are heavily interfaced and reversible so no wayward dpns can poke thru, and really just seem made for housing small knitting projects. They are perfect for non-knitters as well (my son uses his for carrying important toddler boy treasures in, mom likes hers for carrying small essentials like a wallet and keys), and I'm still amazed at how well and with what detail they are put together.

Sorry for leaving this off my original post! :(


$10 gift certificate to

Creative Apples, by sheer volume alone, is my favorite greeting card seller on etsy. She is a photographer with a huge range, and her work looks awesome mounted on the large blank cards I buy hand over fist. Her shop is full of subject matter (superhero toys, foliage and flowers, cupcakes, robots...) and she will make any image from her flickr stream into a card or print. The choices there are huge and even more varied, so it's no wonder why I have and send so many.


$10 gift certificate to

I have been a fan of time2cre8 ever since opening up my own etsy store. I buy all of the recycled atlas/comic book handmade business card envelopes for my packages from her, and she constantly amazes me with what she can do with paper-- handmade envelopes, printed tags, aceos and cards. I love the variety of her art and talent across all sorts of media.


$10 gift certificate to

The best knitting stitch markers on etsy.


Seriously though, this is my little corner of etsy-- I have a shop selling knitting stitch markers made from freshwater pearls, semiprecious stones, and other handmade goods that do well as markers (being light, being unusual and being handmade). As much as I love glass jewelry, I am a big fan of abandoning glass for natural stones for my stitch markers. Freshwater pearls are incredibly light on the needles, much lighter than glass while still a beauty and joy to use. zeromarkers will also custom size your stitch marker rings for free-- you have a choice of US 2, US 4, US 9 and US 13 rings that nearly all sets can be fit with, depending on your knitting poison.

I also, occasionally, sell superwash merino roving for spinning dyed in 4 oz braids when I need a little color outlet. - zerOmarkers


photo courtesy of

Each winner will also receive a 1" button made by at Etsy Labs-- the "gooey nougat center of the Etsy Executive Offices" where lucky NYC artists and crafters can hang out and expand their craft muscles by learning something new and soaking up the etsyness.


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

"How can I win something etsy-fabulous?"

By submitting a couplet to the world's longest poem at Choka On It 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, here, and here for more info. You must leave me either a link to your blog or a valid email address with your comment, no anonymous entries (so the vendors and I can contact you if you win!)

Contest will run til Friday, Sept 28 at 12pm PST (the next Etsy Friday for me, I'm taking a few weeks off!)... and winners will be chosen *at random* (one entry per person), so no worries about your poetry skilz or lack thereof.

Good luck! Keep on stranding on!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I've been *struggling* with this handspun, finally off of the bobbins!

Handspun, handcarded naturally colored merino-- 3ply
36 gm, fingering weight

This is yarn spun from the unwashed fleece I purchased when I bought my ashford joy, washed at Deep Color Studio's Fleece Day class, handcarded into rolags... and let sit for WAY too long. It looks wonderfully woolly and it is, but look closely-- it's a 3-ply! My singles were crazy thin... Kristine (we met at the fleece day class! she has a super awesome site selling yarn and rovings that are naturally dyed as well as some that are acid dyed; an etsy store too) had asked me how the merino fleece was spinning up and I replied that I was waiting to spin it all once it was carded, and then I remember reading somewhere that the "beauty" of rolags was that they were so light and airy...

I had been carding these and shoving them into gallon ziploc bags, compressing them to get even more into the bag. And zipping it closed.

I also remember reading that fleeces could generate more "grease" even after scouring if left to their own devices... my goodness. All of these newbie mistakes meant that the rolags were greasy, tightly packed together, drafted ugly and had to be (p)inched out instead of truly woolen spun (PDF!) like I'd wanted. It made my fingers greasy, not dirty but just sticky... I couldn't help but worry that they were making my bobbins sticky (no), and wondered what I could make with it. It breaks my heart a little (relative), but now I don't even want to use the rest of the fleece. I know I can re-scour it but... I don't want to and it'd be really hard here in my small space. Sad to think of it sitting unloved, uncarded and unused, but it is :(

I just wanted the spinning to be over, really... so filled 3 bobbins lightly and plied them together for this.


Once skeined up, I scoured the yarn in hot soapy water and smacked it around to slightly shock/felt it and now? It's soft, very oddly squishy (very dense and slowly expands back out instead of bouncing back when squeezed), and I really like its woolliness... have a thing for that though, not a shocker.

I had no idea it was SO light though (36 gm!) I was hoping for enough for mittens, but not here. I think I'll pair it with some Rowan Felted Tweed from the stash...

Rowan Felted Tweed, "ginger"

I've had this nagging need/offhand request to knit a pair of fingerless gloves *with* a fliptop mitten. I've been trying to work my mind around how to do it, and then the Stash and Burn podcasting crew talked about the Urban Necessity gloves from magknits and it's just what I was thinking about! (You know they're holding a one-skein contest, right?) Except, I really wanted to work in some colorwork, inspired by my most recent mitten book scores...

Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves by Carol Rasmussen Noble
Latvian Mittens by Lisbeth Upitis

...both purchased from Velona Needlecraft (the Noble book is sold out at Velona now; sorry Stacey! :)) I still want to figure out how to knit a fliptop colorwork mitten that looks good, but this pair (merino & felted tweed) will likely just be some sort of fibonacci or other non-random mathematical striping instead. I have a Palette color card on order from Knit Picks for more colorwork mittens though (and a set of their new Harmony interchangeable wood tips and long cables for a big holiday project I'm batting around).

More on everything later though :) It's shaping up to being a good week ahead despite missed connections; miss you!

Friday, September 07, 2007

etsy friday

Nicole's blogged about this shop before, but I've actually had this etsy purchase under wraps for months til I worked up the courage to send it on to its new home :)

Earthenware tab from

I love Circa Ceramics, for the range of handwork that goes into their products and just how neat they are. They start by screenprinting (or gocco-ing) images and fusing them to brightly colored earthenware or porcelain. They make a range of fired items, like magnets, bowls, coffee cups, and tabs like this one.

What's a tab? What to DO with a tab? Fall in love and let it go? Keep it though you haven't figured it out yet?

Onto the fiber portion of our program... seriously, Ravelry needs to get a fiber stash database going; my yarn stash page is the little white angel on my shoulder when it comes to etsy and yarn.* Until that void's filled I keep getting sucked into buying more (and finding new places to stash it around the house...)

Scoured merino fleece from

Despite the fact I am wrestling with spinning my brown merino fleece I handcarded into rolags (more on that later), I still am interested in handcarding wool. Shunklies had this 3.5oz listing of scoured merino (cleaned of grease and farm grime) and I immediately thought it would be rad to card it with scraps of dyed superwash merino leftover from spinning. There is at the most 2 oz of dyed scraps, and they're all different colors-- once carded the result will look just flecked with color. Can't wait :)

The fleece is very clean of grease, soft with very little vm. And all the way from the UK!

From stateside, a small family Maine farm where they process their own wool...

Merino/silk/sari silk batts from

I really like batts, and I really like when I can get more than 4 oz of fiber at a time. 4 oz just seems too small for me when I'm not spinning for socks... so when I saw that Enchanted Knoll had 4 oz listed but could card more, I pounced and bought 8 oz total. It's 50-48-2 merino-silk-sari silk-- sounds cool, eh?

A closeup:


Still in love, hasn't waned.

Both Enchanted Knoll and Shunklies sell yarn as well as fibers in their shops for those of you who don't spin (yet!) :)

A few more headsups...

* Jolene (blogless!) sent me a link to a NYT article featuring ikea hacking and handmade; etsy snags a mention but it's interesting overall even though i have a bit of an agoraphobic skincrawl happen when thinking about ikea
* Alyson has rounded up a bunch of shops (etsy based and others) that are having sales on fibers and yarn... you may see some on upcoming etsy fridays :)
* Elizabeth (blog?) showed me this awesome broken plate pendant necklace that i fell in with, a mirror too much into my heart right now
* LORiOLA, one of my favorite etsy glass artists, is still having a sale and listing new items daily. i love this orange bone! she's already shipped my order (whoa!) or it would have been added to my collection of her glass jewelry...

and not etsy but...

* Mags Kandis linked the weaving in ends as you knit tutorial i shared a while back in the comments to the latest Knitting Daily post! i'm a dork, a fangrrl but still-- it made me grin :)
edit afternoontime, 9/7: another link from Knitting Daily!
9/10: Sherry W loves it too :)
9/11: so does Lime & Violet's Daily Chum blog, and Yahoo! Bookmarks

Miss you. Wish me courage and luck...

* Don't be bummed if you're not on Ravelry yet! For the super curious I have been trying to keep all of the stash pics hosted in this folder in my flickr stream.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

robin hood and the merry train fair

Despite the fact I've been spending my nights in a tank top (shocker!) and shorts (double shocker!) to keep cool, I've started knitting a new wool project...

Robin Hood jacket (back and two front pieces)
(from Adorable Knits for Tots)
Rowan Cork, sh 040 "delight" (orange)
US 9, 5.5mm 24" Addi
Started: 30 August 2007


Not just wool, but a bulky chained wool prodded into thick cabling (and a tighter gauge than usually called for). Sure it's a toddler's coat, but still :) I needed a new big project after Hanami, and a combination of acquiring more Cork from Val destashing thru Ravelry and wanting something other than socks has this coat flying off of the needles. Originally (insanely?) I wanted to knit a ball a day and have the knitting done in a week; needing to focus on something else besides nagging reality it was on track til this weekend...

Checking out the G-scale train layout
Rail Fair 2007, hosted by the Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources

A bunch of train buffs set up a range of model trains at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont every year-- they also have rides on a restored 1890's engine, handcars and a small collection of engines and railroad memorabilia. There was lots of things to see trainwise: up close, i wouldn't sunbathe on a coal car, what are her legs doing up in the air like that? While my son found the train exhibitions the most interesting, one of Ardenwood's normal staples caught my attention instead...

IMG_5717 Ardenwood they not only raise suffolk and romney sheep, but volunteers like Carol card and spin the wool for one of the ongoing demonstrations of life on the farm. She was a great teacher, answering questions from adults and children alike on how spinning and plying work, offering clean wool to children and finger spinning it with them to show the strength of it once spin has been put into it. Really a fun thing to stumble upon when we went to look for trains :)

...back down the rabbit hole with my heart jacket in hand...

an aside: i know it's not etsy friday yet, but one of my favorite etsy glass artists,, is having a "glass in my eye" sale in her shop. just fyi :)

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