Thursday, November 29, 2007

October Socks

Sigh. Again with the photography. I swear, these socks are not droopy in real life, nor are my feet clownishly long (well, at least not that I'm aware of).
I'm actually very pleased with these socks.

I finished them a few weeks ago, and they're the October sock of the month from the Ewe and Me sock club. The pattern is a basic toe up that I was extremely happy with.
To begin with (at the toe), you don't monkey around with Eastern, Turkish, or other exotic cast ons. No, you knit a little rectangle, and then pick up around it. I've heard of this toe, but I'd never done it before. I am so hooked. This has opened the world of toe-ups for me.

Moving along, you increase up the gusset, and then make this spiffy heel, with no wrapping or yarn overs in sight. It makes this cool little wedge.

And the coolest thing about toe-ups? You can quit whenever you want. No slogging through the foot, to get to the toe, so you can finish the damn thing. Nope. Just rib and get the hell out of there whenever you feel like it (though most are inclined to make them the same length, so don't get too ambitious on the first sock).
I'm also a huge fan of the yarn, which is Pagewood Farms in a merino/bamboo blend. It's got an incredibly soft feel to it, with an extra bit of softness from the bamboo. (The overall feel is a soft wool, though. If no one told you the bamboo was there, you'd never know it.)
The color is nice and autumny, but not one I wear much. Oh well. Doesn't hurt to have socks in every color of the rainbow. Still, I'm a little jealous that Lorna has it in a really pretty turquoise.
Overall, I may not love the finished sock, but I'm so inspired in the long run that it was definitely worth it.

In Summary:
Yarn: Pagewood Farms hand dyed sock yarn (420 yards, merino/bamboo)
Pattern: Basic toe up from Ewe and Me's Sock Club
Needle: Size 1 (I used two circs)
Time: Maybe two weeks of light work
Cost: About $20 for the kit (pattern, yarn, and mini scented candle)

Also, stealth knitting has been accomplished, but I can't talk about it just yet. Then it wouldn't be stealth knitting.

And - exciting news about sock patterns coming soon. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Hmm, so Kate tagged me a few days ago with this one. Why not?
(PS. I got to see Kate last week! You know how sometimes when someone leaves for a while and then comes back, you have absolutely nothing in common and nothing to talk about? Well it was exactly the opposite with Kate. It was like she never left, which makes us all miss her all the more.)

1. What were you afraid of as a child?
Honestly? The rapture. I would wake up terrified at loud noises and storms, and think Jesus was coming, and since I wasn't being lifted up, I hadn't prayed for forgiveness recently enough.
No harm done by religion there.

2. When have you been most courageous?
Ending bad relationships.

3. What sound most disturbs you?
I'm not a fan of licking.

4. What is the greatest amount of physical pain you’ve been in?
Remember that thing with the gauze in my mouth? That.

5. What’s your biggest fear for your children? (or children in general if you don’t have some of your own.)
That I'll have a handicapped child and not be able to deal with it.

6. What is the hardest physical challenge you’ve achieved?
I climed Mount Washington in Vermont.

7. Which do you prefer: Mountains or oceans/big water?
Neither. I'm a Midwesterner.

8. What is the one thing you do for yourself that helps you keep everything together?
I think the knitting thing is fairly obvious.

9. Ever had a close relative or friend with cancer?
Both grandparents.

11. What is the best part of being in a committed relationship?
Having someone you can do nothing with.

12. What is the hardest part of being in a committed relationship?
Staying in one.

13. Summer or Winter?

14. Have you ever been in a school-yard fight? Why and what happened?
No, not really.

15. Why blog?
To keep track of my work, and to gossip with all my knitting friends.

16. Did you learn about sex, and/or sex safety from your parents?
All from my mom. More than I wanted to know, really.

17. How do you plan to talk to your kids about sex and/or sex safety?
The same textbook, age-appropriate way.

18. What are you most thankful for this year?
My new little kitten. :) He's such a cutie.

Ah, now the tagging time. It doesn't say how many to tag, so I'll get Amanda and Jen, and anyone else that wants to.

Entrelac scarf

I tried to get Worfy to model this scarf, but it just isn't working.

He's cute, and it would match him really well, but I don't think it's going to happen.

Oh well. It's still a nice scarf.
This scarf was a long time UFO that I started in the days before I took up sock knitting (there were such days?). I wanted to use this gorgeous Trekking yarn, but socks and I were still not talking at that point. Eunny Jang pointed out how well it looked in entrelac, and I hadn't done entrelac, so I thought I'd give it a try.
I couldn't find an entrelac pattern that used sock yarn, though, so I took a few liberties. In fact, I took a lot of liberties. I took an Ann Norling afghan pattern intended for worsted weight yarn, subbed in an appropriate needle size, and kept knitting.
And knitting. And leaving it in my car untouched for months at a time. And knitting.
But with the weather getting cold, and this scarf matching my charcoal winter coat oh so well, I decided it was high time to finish it. And that only took about a week of light effort.
If only I can keep tackling these UFO's at a rate faster than I cast on.

In summary:
Yarn: Trekking XXL in greys, two skeins, 75% Wool, 25% Nylon, 450 yds. $18.95
Needle: Size 2 (2.75 mm)
Pattern: Adapated from an afghan pattern
Time: A year as a UFO plus about a week as a WIP
Cost: About $40

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Really cute things to be thankful for

Okay, knitting soon, I promise. I just took a bunch of pictures, and I have some exciting news coming up.
But I'm not going to show you any of that.
Instead, Kittens! And puppies!
Remember how Lorna helped with the rescue of that hording situation? Well, she fostered an adorable little Corgi named Marigold. Sadly, my parents had a Corgi who died a few weeks ago, and I knew little Marigold would be perfect for them. So we decided I would bring her home for their Christmas gift, and wrapped her all up.

She's not really thrilled about it, but it's still cute.

Seriously cute.
She's already got my parents well trained, and she gets along just fine with with their three cats, and their other dog, Bullwinkle. See?

And since Heather asked, Duncan was also being incredibly cute this weekend. Here's a sampling, but there's more on my flickr site (ID: theoriesofstring).
Here he is playing with my Webkinz kitty, who is just about his size.

He's very vicious when he attacks. I'm so glad he attacks the substitute kitten now instead of my hand.
The other cats were fascinated, and for a while stood around like creepy statues watching him.

That's George (no tail) and Fred (white spot) hanging out in my room watching the kitten. George and Duncan became really good friends after a few days, and they've been playing together a lot.
The little one liked to sleep on a leopard print pillow in my room, but this is as close as I could get to a picture. He looks really cute on it though, and really blends in.

But it wasn't all play. He put in some work on the laptop.

And he did some organizing in the home office.

He says, "Hey, we're putting covers on those TPS reports now."

Worfy, on the other hand, found the heating vent immediately and stretched out his entire belly to it. Sadly, I did not get a picture of that, but here he is being cute in some knitting. More about the knitting later.

All in all, it was a very exciting Thanksgiving weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thanks Secret Pal!

Guess what I got?

If you guessed a subscription to Interweave Knits from my Secret Pal, you're right!
I've sort of been thinking about it for a while, but I always just wind up buying it at the LYS. Well now I get it delivered right to my door!
It showed up before my pal said anything, and it didn't come with a card, so I was a little confused at first. But it all makes sense now, and I'm a proud owner.
There has been some rumbling about this issue, many people are not crazy about it, but I have to say, there are quite a few that I like.
I am completely and utterly in love with this bag, and will probably make it once the current knitting rush is over.

I had thought about felted textured pieces before, but I never knew how it would turn out. Looks like it will turn out completely awesome, especially if you stitch around the cable with a contrasting yarn first. I can't believe I've never seen this done before, it's so smart, but it makes perfect sense.
I am also a fan of a couple of the sweaters (the Gathered Pullover and the Henley Perfected, if you're curious), and there are motifs and designs from several others that are inspiring (including the kitty cat fair isle pattern).
Thanks again!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Half a llama, twice the llama, llama, llama, duck

I have the llama song in my head.
Now you do too.
Don't say I never gave you anything.