sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


If I had to categorize myself, I'd say that instead of being a process or a product knitter I'm a utilitarian one. I prefer making things that will get a lot of use in their lives-- socks, toys for the kid, etc. I can wear socks in the witches' hot of summer, but can't get the same use out of other accessories so I just don't make as many. I want to use the things I make all the time, every day... for me (until recently!) that's been socks.

Sometimes though... sometimes I wish I were more a 'real' knitter who made things to be worn a few times during a season, cherished and super special and not as much about utility as about luxury and relishing the time spent on oneself in turning out a showstopper that will last forever.

I think my utilitarian attitude has carried over to my spinning-- I spin very utilitarian yarns, and try to spin enough of them to comprise an entire project (as opposed to handspun yarns that are intended as a trim or to be paired with another yarn to complete the project). They're usually machine washable cos that's how I roll... and I aim for them to be even and smooth and while definitely handspun, comparable to commercial yarns in the plug and play way we yarn substituters know all about.

I've been thinking about all of this, as well as the EtsyFAST group challenge project (EtsyFAST chooses one theme per month to create an object around-- this month is "earth"), and then this shows up on my doorstep...

...a sampling of another huge freshwater pearl and semiprecious stone order for more stitch markers for my etsy store, and I can't help myself.

I spun novelty yarn.

Well, as novelty as I can get right now, anyway :)

Handspun merino-silk-sari silk super bulky yarn, beaded with freshwater pearls
(pearls strung onto merino/cashmere commercial laceweight)
3 plies of wool/silk + 1 laceweight, 4-5 wraps per inch
approx 10.5 oz total weight and 126 yds across 4 skeins
over 200 freshwater pearls

(click for big for today's photos, i think it's worth it :))

This was a really fun project. Sure, stringing the pearls onto the laceweight (Yarnplace Gentle) was a little tedious, as was the pearls occasionally getting caught in my wheel's orifice when winding on... but overall I was really happy to have finished it and know it's something unique to me and not so practical :)


I think I also hit the nail on the head for the EtsyFAST challenge as well... for me, I took "earth" to mean the Earth-- land sea and air. The merino took care of the land, the silk the air, and the pearls the sea... so even though I'm barely under the deadline for entering (next month/tomorrow is a new challenge!) I'm happy with my first and not last street team project entry. You can check out other recent EtsyFAST street team entries by searching etsy for "etsyfast octoberchallenge" or our entire street team's items with "etsyfast."


The spinning fiber was from -- a small homestead off the grid farm with a great eye for color and a flock of happy sheep :) (The batts turned up on one of my etsy friday posts here.) The batts were textured but luxurious, spinning into a rustic looking yarn made of super refined material. (I already have another special order placed with Enchanted Knoll, can't wait to share it on an upcoming etsy friday!)


Plying the singles was the new thing for me-- I tied the laceweight next to the leader when plying, had all 3 bobbins of singles on the lazy kate on the floor in front of the wheel and the laceweight prestrung with pearls off to my right side. The Yarnplace Gentle comes in a center pull ball, making it incredibly easy on me to just go with it... even though the weight of the pearls on the laceweight slowed down the uptake of the yarn, as well as just the general drag of moving the pearls further down the laceweight and pulling more up and out of the ball as the spinning took up more of it.

I pulled up a pearl snugly against the outside of the 3 plies of fiber and let them wrap around while holding the pearl snug against... and just kept going. They were randomly and frequently placed-- I still am geeking out that I managed to ply over 200 pearls onto the yarn :)


I did precheck that each pearl would make it thru the orifice on my Joy before stringing-- I actually wanted to use some much larger pearls but they wouldn't fit :( Even prechecking each, the pearls often caught and stopped the yarn uptake on the bobbin; once I got the hang of the timing between placing a pearl on the yarn and it reaching the orifice, I could easily help it thru the 45 degree turn up and out. Beading is probably good practice in "marking" yarn to see how quickly it moves from hands to orifice to bobbin, despite how slow it could go.


I intentionally plied this yarn tightly... not only because I'm so used to doing it, but also because I wanted to effectively hide/trap the laceweight yarn within the 3 plies when it wasn't being used to bead the yarn. This resulted in a super dense yarn, soft but with a solid feel to each individual strand.

Try as I might though, this yarn does have a few practical characteristics :) Even at "only" 126 yards, there is enough of it to make a simple garter stitch scarf when using appropriate needles-- it doesn't have to be an accent yarn. I think it would also work for a small muff too, if I wanted to think impracticality :) The batts' base fiber was superwash merino, so even though I don't think it's a super idea to machine wash any FOs made with it (esp. since the laceweight isn't superwash)-- the care of the yarn is going to be less rigorous than other luxury beaded novelty yarns while still remaining next to the skin soft.

I did, crazily, list this yarn for sale in my shop with an equally crazy price. I doubt it will sell (if it does, dude...!!), so expect to see this made into a one of a kind scarf come post-holiday knitting. :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

beginning of the end

I think that talking about holiday knitting jinxes me (could it be that I waited so long to start? maybe... :)) But again I have these high hopes to finish projects for my loved ones for the holidays, starting with the things I set down a year ago!

Cable and Rib Scarf by
Patons Classic Merino, "grey mix"

It's the scarf that never ends! It looks really nice though (Dave knit this pattern up last year, more cushy in Cashmerino!), about halfway thru? I read somewhere that a scarf should be as long as the recipient is tall... my uncle towers over me at over six feet so I hope this isn't true :)

I also wanted to knit the Hemlock Ring blanket for my grandma, and started an Elizabeth Zimmerman Mystery Blanket for my son as practice...

Mystery Blanket from Knitter's Almanac (April)
Malabrigo/Handpainted Yarn worsted, "pollen" colorway
US 10, 60" Knit Picks Harmony circular needle

..and realize how little I enjoy knitting on an ever-growing circular blanket. Even at 60", my needle is too short for the project and I still have over half a ball of malabrigo to go til its done. So, I'm thinking about using the yarn (Interlacements Merino Worsted) to make Totally Autumn instead... thoughts? The 2 hanks are slightly different, so I'll alternate every pattern repeat for a slightly striped look.

Next year will be the big blanket project and I'll start early-- Knitter's Great American Aran blanket! Excited, but need to find a good wool first.

Still though, this will be a sweet holiday blankie for my son-- handwashable as it is :) (The above picture is actually my entry for the "How much can you stuff in your Piddleloop bag?" contest running at Ravelry-- contest ends Nov 12th... check out my hott grommet action!)

And, just between you and me-- the sock mojo came roaring back Tuesday afternoon and I had this sock done before sleep that night!

Handspun sock, based on Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' method
Handspun BFL yarn, "blackthorn" colorway-- roving from
Started 23 October 2007
US 3 dpns-- 4

Something dirty to be said for inspiration striking, but again-- I'm worried for the jinx too much :)

Til then...

Friday, October 26, 2007

etsy friday

This holiday season, I'll be going handmade.

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

It's probably not a surprise, given my weak spot for etsy and how much I like to put myself under pressure for the holidays, but my resolve has been strengthened after reading about the Handmade Consortium calling for pledges to "buy handmade this season, and request that others do the same for me." Now, I won't be asking anyone to do the same for me (too weird!), but I've already got some holiday knitting underway (more on Monday) and will no doubt supplement my pledge with etsy purchases for my loved ones.

Speaking of.

Limited edition Etsy bandanna from

I love etsylabs for my etsyswag fix... though I'm not really a bandanna girl (my head? SO big!) there has to be someone who'll dig this. Right? :) If I were more crafty I'd sew this up into a little bag of love, but as is my only touch to it has been the wrinkles :)

Colonial Rosewood US 35 (!!!) 10" straight knitting needles from

I'm not a big gauge knitta, either... but this was too good of a deal to pass up! Inspinknity has a shop full of commercial knitting supplies (yarn, books, needles and even crochet hooks)... and you can bet that if my curve were smaller, I'd have already snatched up this lot of Berocco Suede for a Snapping Turtle Skirt (from Knitting Nature). As it stands though, I'd need much more yarn than that ;) (It'd work for Coachella though, for up to the largest size!!)

Now, to figure how big a yarn I'd need to actually use these needles. I don't even think my wheel's orifice is large enough to handle handspun at that gauge!

I certainly have enough fiber to, though...

Handpainted merino roving from

You're probably like me thinking that Greenwood Fiberworks' name sounds familiar-- they're the dyer of the cotton/lycra sock yarn that Grumperina sings her praises of. Par for the course I was trolling for roving and found her lovely shop that way-- it's full of rovings, sock yarns, handspun yarns, as well as a tempting "studio sale" section full of lots of yarns (handspun and handdyed) and handwoven textiles. Again, if I were more crafty many would already have a new home here, but for now this gigantor 8oz pillow of merino is enough :)

Off to work on that holiday knitting and listen for the mailman-- the second favorite man in my life. Miss you!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Stranded knitting and Lana Cash

Going from smallest to biggest today!

Lana Cash from (bottom & middle) and Rowan Felted Tweed

Some of you may have seen or even bought some Lana Cash from Elann last week-- I bought several single balls for colorwork, hoping they'd make nice mittens. This pic shows the Lana Cash on the bottom (unwashed) and in the middle (after a quick warm water bath with some dish liquid) ... compared to Rowan Felted Tweed straight off the ball. I know some were looking at the Lana Cash as a sub for Felted Tweed for Eunny's Tangled Yoke Cardi so maybe this'll help some on the fence. (Pay less attention to the slub in the middle of the washed Lana Cash, the gauge is closer to the yarn on the sides of it.)

The Lana Cash washed up is slightly thinner than the Felted Tweed unwashed (does FT bloom when washed? that'd be a consideration too). I did a quick swatch mainly to see if the Lana Cash would bloom...


Washed up, on US 1.5 (2.5mm) I had a gauge of 6.5 sts/inch in stst and 8.5 sts/inch in stranded knitting, and on US 2.5 (3.0mm) I had 6 sts/inch in stst and 7.5sts/inch in stranded knitting. Please keep in mind the swatch was only over 2" and I forgot to measure the gauge pre-washing, so ymmv.

All said, the Lana Cash washed and bloomed SO nicely-- it feels like it is straight off of a cone, not oily but just compact, and washed up was really nice and soft! It sold out fast in most colors, but there are a few left (and if anyone received any and didn't like it/wants to swap or destash for any colors other than ginger tweed, lmk! I keep wanting to order some in Black Oak-- and how about Pakucho for holiday washcloths?) I like using the Lana Cash for my current mittens...

Norwegian Stars in Natural from Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves
Lana cash, various colors
Started: 19 October 2007
US 0 (2.0mm), 24" circulars -- 2, Addi

I went and knit these on US 0's (2.0mm) giving me a more compacted column gauge, so I'll be doing 3 stars on the back of the hand instead of the 2 shown (placed the waste yarn for the mitten a little high, some of the stranded work will rest on my wristjoint). Hopefully that'll work :)

The colors used were chocolate (brown cuff), golden flax (majority of star), charcoal (dark grey), (?) medium grey, sienna (orangey brown), and (?) pale green. They're a quick knit, but I'm slowed a bit knitting these on a too small needle. I think US 1 would be better for stranded knitting, maybe even to US 2 with the lovely bloom.

I did finish some other stranded projects...

We Call them Pirates Hat
Started & finished: 17 October 2007
Knit Picks Swish Superwash in black and coast grey
US 6 (4.0mm), Knit Picks Harmony Interchangeable 32" (magic loop)

I omitted one panel, increased the rate of decreases at the crown, and upped the gauge/yarn to fit my baby's big toddler head :) I also didn't start with a provisional caston, not really needing a double-thick or lined hat (the swish?!, so I broke out Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia and started with a Kihnu Troi cast on (p 42-43)...


...all for naught, the edge curls :) The cast on is SUPER loose and way pretty, but a loss here since the looseness of it + stockinette = curled edge. I wouldn't recommend it for the pattern unless you did some corrugated ribbing to try and hold it in place-- but I'm glad to know how even though it took me almost as long to execute as to knit the hat :)

I also finally finished the Noni Prism bag. And it is HUGE.

Noni Bags, Prism pattern (Fall 2006 collection)
Patons Classic Merino wool in Petal Pink & Black held double
US 13 (9mm) 29" circular, Susan Bates
Started: December 17, 2006
Finished: October 22, 2007

Were those trumpets of joy I heard?

This... this was a journey :) I like the result, I'll probably like the bag, but there is no way I will be knitting fair isle on such a large scale for a VERY long time. The pattern is so large that I have to set it down and step away from it to see if it looks right (and even then, it's only in pictures that I can really see the patterning). The pattern also isn't the typical repeat you'd find in a fair isle pattern (like a numbered repeat), so it's near on impossible to get any good speed going since you're tied to reading the chart. Same as with the gauge though it may just be me, but the larger the gauge of yarn the slower I inevitably knit and this... this is a good example of that :)

Even with all of that (and they're not complaints, just observations), there are a few neat things about the pattern. The bottom of the bag is knit back and forth (so you're purling in stranded knitting-- if I were to knit this again, I'd consider a solid bottom bag instead), and you pick up all around to knit the sides of the bag circularly. The way Noni has you picking up leaves this really nice band around the bottom...

IMG_6865 way to know what it'll look like felted up, but it was a nice touch.

So were the purled turns and the pattern on the side panels...

IMG_6868 well as the tips on felting and finishing included with the pattern.

Admittedly I am a bit afraid of both, more of the finishing than the felting. The bag needs to be lined and stabilized and I've never done any sewing (nor do I have or really need a sewing machine), so it's something I'll need to do by hand and, I'm afraid :) I also should head on over to Article Pract and find some handles for this bad boy... I'm thinking a simple black plastic will be fine. Maybe metal feet, too?

Does the pattern calls for a zipper?! Oy.

Anyways! MISS YOU if you missed that.

(my free shipping sale ends tomorrow at 12:01 am, in case you were looking to pick up stitch markers or roving! :))

Friday, October 19, 2007

it's probably etsy friday somewhere...

...but not here :)

Instead I'm kicking off celebrating my biggest birthday since 21 by knitting something simple *for me,* thinking and missing a bit too much, enjoying my zombie brain jello...

Suttonhoo's "Nini's Cherry Jello," scary to make and scarily good

...and having a weekend free shipping sale on all stitch markers and row counters in my etsy shop til Tuesday morning (and half price shipping on superwash merino rovings)-- both international and domestic. It'll be my last sale this year and when I can tear myself away from me and myself, I'll keep adding inventory throughout :)

Have a good one, and go SAY YES TO SEXY and vote for Brenda's pinup video, today's the *last day* to vote!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

big rock candy mountain

that's what ran thru my head seeing this pic in my camera, anyway :)

Handspun 2-ply superwash *blue *faced *leicester
approx 110gm and about 265 yd, dk weight
roving dyed by artichoke colorway
singles spun long draw

I think I've found the sweet spot (again) in spinning-- I like sock weight, but too thin for me loses that bounceback when you squeeze a skein... my handspun true sock weight doesn't give me that same joy in squishing like the heavier dk does.


I'm still learning a lot, and it may seem obvious to most but learning that I can manipulate the weight (from worsted to dk, same singles) by just changing how I ply is just a revelation. My singles are soft and loosely spun, more even than not-- the variation in my handspun lately has been in the ply more than the singles. Plying more loosely results in a thicker yarn when I've been mainly aiming for a tighter ply and look, so being consistent makes me giddy happy.


I think plying is my favorite part :)

I think also that I'm not used to yarns that have that drape quality you want for certain items... anne told me once about spinning laceweight with a looser ply so it'll drape nicely in the finished object. For me, I keep seeing my handspun yarns ending up in something sturdier (socks!)-- but it's not really up to me where this yarn'll end up...


...since I've sent it away to the Stash and Burn ladies as a prize for their Socktoberfest contest :) You can listen and see how to win something celebrating socktober... as for me, I swear I'm not even knitting on socks this month! I want to, but it just hasn't happened (isn't that always the way?) :)

One last favorite shot, since there hasn't been one in too long...



I do have spinning on the brain, I know. I'm lucky that my wheel (ashford joy) is so portable-- I take it with me outside as my son plays, and can move it around from room to room here so easily that I can't excuse not spinning. It certainly isn't for lack of fiber, evinced by more roving dyed this weekend and kept for myself:

Superwash wool/bamboo, "glass cleopatra"
(same colorway as sw merino in my shop)

Superwash corriedale, "glass mercutio"
(same colorway + extra black as sw merino in my shop)

Superwash merino, "glass fool"

big pile of superwash merino in dark purple & black (7 oz+)

I think I may need a storage system like my cabinets for the spinning fiber, now. I'm trying to take pics of all of my fiber for my ravelry notebook and titling them with "ZZ" in the front to get them to the bottom of the page (you can see what I mean in my stash notebook)-- Casey has said that if(?)/when he creates a fiber stash notebook, we'll be able to export things from our stash book to a fiber stash one. As with my regular notebook, it does help seeing all of this lovely stuff I have squirreled around the house... even though I do tend to forget and keep buying more :)

Monday, October 15, 2007


So, Karrie is like my favorite person this week :) NO, not because she makes the awesome kitchener stitch stitch markers (and the lettered cat bordhi new pathways for sock knitters ones either), not because she always jumps headfirst into the whipup whiplash contests, and not cos she's always sharing tutorials and fun stuff on her blog. It's because she keyed me into the El Cerrito citywide garage sale this past weekend, and look what I found!!!


A new to me bike!! And it's SHINY!!

Seriously, I'm like a raccoon. Shiny. (Everything I know about raccoons is from that bit from Where the Red Fern Grows, if you didn't know.)

Okay okay, a bike. So?

So... obviously you weren't an obsessed with Transformers preteen girl like me cos...




...Alrite, enough of this silliness. (I am really excited though :)) Aside from trolling the garage sales, I spent a lot of time around the dyepot, overdyeing some Knit Picks Palette yarns I swapped for from ravelry (colorwork mittens, yay!), as well as several bits of superwash merino roving...

(they'll be up for sale in my etsy store later today at 2pm pacstandard, need to take some pics.)

With all of this, I didn't have time to finish the Noni Prism (fall 2006) bag like I'd hoped, but it's not too far now.


You may remember this bag from *last year*... like seriously, a year ago! Anyway, I'm thinking it'll make a great holiday present this year :) We'll see, I don't even want to think about holiday knitting-- I think I'll jinx it so I'm just whispering about it now.

Off to play outside and spin some merino I kept for myself, have a good one!

(yes, it is a very exclamation point day today, thanks for asking!!)

Friday, October 12, 2007

etsy friday

a to z shiny 1.5" magnets by

We're really, really big on letters and numbers lately here... it's a fun game, and I've been looking for the perfect magnets on Etsy since my son started spelling every word he sees. This is an awesome set... shiny (for me!) and all 26 letters on 1.5" buttons with superduty magnets (for him!)

These are the same buttons you'd find say on a pinback button, but the 1.5" size is great since it's just an ootch bigger than the 1" size and good for little hands (and big meaty ones, too!) Catchphrase is a great new etsy seller-- I love bring someone's first sale, moreso when they are super nice and have really great communication about their product and their shipping. I know it was hard selling this set, but I promised to give it a good home and meant it :)

Merino/silk/tencel spinning batts from

I really love batts. There is no drumcarder in my near future with the shoebox lifestyle I lead, but there always is room for more batts :) *Especially* batts made with tencel. I don't know why, but I love the slipslide of tencel running thru my hands... feels like you are on the cusp of losing control, but holding it feels so good you pay close attention and really lose yourself in process and product. Aspen Moon Arts' shop is just filled with beauties like these-- batts, handpainted roving, handdyed yarn *and* handspun yarn... just too filled :)

Handpainted plum blossom card from

Yes, this is an original brush painting mounted onto a greeting card. You know me by now-- I *love* this card. The more work, handwork, you can jam into a card... the more my toes curl. I was lucky to find Honey and Bliss after seeing the shop featured on EtsyGreetings-- one of my favorite places to discover new cards on etsy.


...and in non-etsy but shopping news, I just stumbled upon a great deal on these shoes at amazon...
Tsubo Vosa, 24.95 for selected sizes and colors

Zappos has them for $84 (amazon's "other" price of $64 is still less if the super sale isn't in your size or preferred color), and I think the little cutout at the heel and the maryjane strap will be awesome for showing off handknit socks :) Reviews say they run wide, good for me and wanting warm feet! (And the fact I'm built like a caveman across select parts of my body...) Something else to stalk the mailman for...

Have a good one! Miss you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Rachel called her colorway "American Maid," but "political" seemed a better fit once spun up.

Handspun 2-ply superwash Blue Faced Leicester, "political"
singles spun long draw
16 wpi, 4 oz-- heavy fingering weight
roving dyed by

I couldn't help but be reminded of American political symbols, blue and red states, a violent US flag with this yarn. There was little white/light spots in the roving that lightened the depth of color, but most of the color came from a very deep true red and the same in blue... I had wondered if it would draft purple, and it did very occasionally, but for the most the colors stayed true to themselves. I see less Uncle Sam and more houses divided and united-- same and different, building blocks of each.


One skein is heavier on the blue, one on the red but both have plenty of each within. I almost want to make a specifically left and right sock with seams on the inner ankle... but that's too self-fulfilling even for me :)


Lots of this excitement I have has to do with Rachel's super super dense dyeing-- the color of each is so deep, and when they ply together they remain just as strong as the single (surprising, but true). Even with all of the color there was NO red bleed in the hot rinse set, which is a shock since every red yarn I've ever knit with has given up at least a taste of red to the water if not much, much more.

(My photos are way washed out with direct light... drizzling outside and a sick kid in means no real light photos for now.)

I also think that I can see a huge jump in my spinning over these skeins-- I now prefer to spin long draw, and going for a very deliberate, tight ply has firmed up the soft singles and made them just bounce out of their ply...


I had thought I was going to list this yarn for sale in my etsy store since I've since sold out of the handspun/roving category there-- but these may be some awesome socks soon instead... can't decide. (Maybe I just need to dye some superwash merino roving this weekend instead.) I've lost my sock knitting mojo... well, let's just say it's on an extended vacation and I can't wait for it to return. For now, I can still spin (and buy more of Rachel's roving!!) :)


I've been meaning to write about this for ages, but do you know re:knit? Re:Knit is a (knitting) weblog reblog-- Brenda takes posts from all over the knitting blogosphere and "reblogs" them all in one feed. It's one of my favorite feeds to read, like a little daily newsprint of knitting.

You probably know re:knit, but did you know Brenda is also a finalist in the "Possession Obsession" contest? That has a grand prize of $20,000?!! She has a WICKED pinup collection that she has shared a video of and is neck and neck with another contender-- and she needs your help. You can view her video and vote here (you need to register to vote, but I've voted several times and haven't received any spam from at all, nothing except registration confirmation)... and you can vote every day. I truly believe her collection is the best of the bunch, and so did bOINGbOING (yall know what a BB fangrrl I am!)

As a *sweet* daily reminder, she has started a pinup blog sharing a piece of her collection every day-- a good way to remind you to vote if you add it to your feedreader (and it's just a really good blog full of daily eyecandy :)) Now, its pinup so some of it may be NSFW (not safe for work, some nudity etc), but really, I find it all tasteful and well done and also exciting-- you can see how much she loves this stuff and we all know about really loving stuff around here :)

Vote early and often!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

color works (sometimes)

Lots of kid knits lately, I know...

Butterflies for Bairns mittens
from Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves
Trekking XXL 100 & Louet Gems Pearl/fingering (black)
US 1.5 (2.5mm) 32" circular, Holz & Stein & 4" Susanne's dpns, 5 (for thumb)
Started: 4 October 2007
Finished: 6 October 2007

I predict you'll be seeing a lot more toddler mittens in the future from me :) First and most importantly... he LOVES wearing these. He ate popcorn wearing them!! :) Seriously though, at most my little one is ambivalent about handknits (except toys, who doesn't love toy robots and bears?!)-- and usually he prefers storebought things that are already in his drawers. But mittens... he loves these and it makes me ridiculously happy to churn out something so fast that he loves.

On top of being crazy fast to finish, they were a great use of leftover sock yarn. I know traditional fair isle mittens are made with non-superwash yarns, but all of his are probably going to be superwash if I can help it-- the popcorn eating was probably the least messy thing he'll try in these and I love that I can (and will!) toss these in with the wash and not worry about them.


I love trekking xxl 100-- these were leftovers from my favorite pair of Pomatomus I've knit. (The Louet leftovers were from the bmp socks.) I was a bit worried since one of the 3 plies in trekking occasionally ran black, but I think it's fine and not too lost. It was fun to use with the slow gradations of color against the solid background... I may pick up some more ombre colorways in the future just to play with how they look in stranded knitting.

I tweaked the pattern and placement a bit, just to accommodate his longer hand and my use of only 2 yarns. Using a larger needle and an extra stitch in the pattern repeat I was able to squeeze in enough width for his hand, enough for them to be comfortable and easy enough for him to put on himself. I always thought that the waste yarn palm placement of thumbs would wear weird (though looks good off!) but he didn't seem to mind it at all.

(a bit under the weather, both of us.)

So I've been bitten again by the colorwork bug, and had promptly cast on for Eunny's Chuck's Cabled Socks after seeing this crazy brillig pair on Mel's blog. I've had the pattern and yarn for forever, but changed the CC color from Koigu to the Pigeonroof Studios "harvest" colorway (much better imo)...

(with a Japanese Handmade Etc sock knitting bag and a freshwater pearl/tiger's eye stone stitch marker from zeromarkers)

It's a fun knit, once you get the hang of it. (Can you cable? Do colorwork? Then you can do both!) I was careful to swatch in stranded knitting... but should have known there would be a problem then. I was able to manage the 7 sts/inch in colorwork using fingering weight yarn (on US 3's... ugh), but I didn't like it. I like my stranded knitting to be somewhat dense so you can't see the carried yarn behind it (esp. for things with negative ease in them), and 7 sts/inch really isn't dense at all for these yarns. I can get the sock over my heel...


...but I really really dislike the way I can see the orange carried color behind when I do. (It is a push-pull getting this thing on though, for certain). Mel had a wonderful idea to enlarge the instep & back of the leg cable to a 6 strand from four, and was able to do so in a really beautiful way. I am kinda ambivalent about the black yarn as well-- I think I may use a dark solid brown instead and take a hint from Mel on her mods... after I frog this :)

I have to say I really do like the way that variegated yarns look in colorwork against a solid background though-- you can really see the beauty of each as more of a distilled shot than the all-over you usually get.

I do have one more stranded knitting project I'm working on, but this is too long! It's an oldie...

Til then, miss you :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

etsy friday

First, thanks for all the compliments on the hamminess of my son and his new sweater jacket. He thinks he's adorable, too... my downfall (and others in his future!) I'm sure :)

tissue cozys and keyfobs from

I finally manage to take pics of the beaaautiful tisszue cozys and keyfobs donated by Jen and Wendy of Piddleloop for my contest and I end up with this crazy miscolored photo... Jen has a much more color correct one on her blog :) They should really sell these in their etsy store, so simple but so nice.

Speaking of the Piddleloop team, they just started a mailing list to keep people up to speed with their new bag listings on etsy... they did a large update this morning and I am THIS CLOSE to buying this green and orange one before its snapped up (isn't it awesome?! such a sucker for orange it's ridiculous, and the brown zipper gets my toes curling...)

Along with the cozys, fobs and a special treat for the three winners of the Piddleloop prizes (I'm keeping them secret, it's a nice surprise), Jen sent me another grip of cards and buttons to send with orders from zeromarkers, my etsy store... yay! I run thru these buttons like water, but if you're an etsy yarn/related seller looking to swap promos, Jen has *awesome* ones.

...another etsy friday, another loriola pendant...


Flat glass scrollwork pendant from

I wish I could tell yall how much I like this piece. You could go to the original uncut pic in my flickr album and really look at all of the beautiful detail of breaking teal blues into brown and the heartdrops of orange and maybe get it. You could also check me out wearing it like, every day (alternating with this orange bone, another LORiOLA piece, a gift from a *rockstar* friend)... but I feel like I'm grasping at straws trying to get out how I really feel.

Maybe that's enough, saying I can't and letting sleeping dogs lie, figure it out for themselves.


Superwash merino and tencel roving from, "sun dappled vineyard"

I almost came back to blogging just to write about spinning this fiber from Flawful Fibers-- SO nice!! I really liked the softness and the shine of it, and was really surprised at the drape that the tencel gave the yarn. I was going to save this for myself to make into socks, but really was hesitant thinking the shine and the drape would be better suited to another project... listed the finished yarn in my etsy store and it's already on its way to a new home (though there are a few more skeins in the shop) :)

This was the first time I thought about how the colors would line up when spinning-- I usually just pull a roving into fourths and grab the nearest strip to spin. This time I took the time to tear sections and separate them into lighter and darker sections...

(love this photo, you can really see all the colors this way)

...and purposely spun one dark single and one lighter one to be plied together for a hopefully overally cohesive color. Just lovely-- I've already purchased some more sw merino/tencel from another (non-etsy) seller since I liked it so much. More on that later though, colorwork is calling! :)

Have a good one, miss you!!

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