Tuesday, March 18, 2008

February Socks

I'm so far behind on the blogging. These were my February Sock Club socks, which I actually finished in February, and am just now showing you.

The yarn is great to work with, it's the hand dyed Pagewood Farms merino/bamboo blend. It's got a great feel. The pattern is nice and simple, just a snappy little cable going up either side of the cuff. The only trouble? The color is Pepto Bismal Pink. And I'm allergic to Pepto Bismal, so I've seen it ways that no one wants to hear about.

Of course, they're nice hand knit socks, so that's not really going to stop me from wearing them. I just can't say they're the best color in the world. If I wear it with a darker pink, maybe it will pick up some of the variation in it. Or I could just wear it, be comfy and not look it, which is what I have done so far.

Meh. It does make me want to branch out into some of the old fashioned clocked socks (ravelry link) like in Folk Socks. It wasn't too fiddly for a cable after all.

In Summary:

Yarn: Pagewood Farms (superwash merino/ bamboo), 420 yards, 1 skein

Pattern: Come Twist with Me, February Sock club pattern

Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) dpn

Time: A week's worth of meetings. I love Collaboration Week.

Cost: About $20 for the kit


Do you remember these? Chances are, if you've met me since I left South Bend, you don't. These were my first horrible, catastrophic disaster with socks. They were so bad, they put me off socks for at least a year.
Here's the thing nobody told me - socks need to be dense, and gauge swatches lie. So I happily knit the first giant, holey sock on size 3's, and I didn't know any better. It was bad. I didn't know what happened.

As you know, I have definitely overcome my fear of socks. In fact, I have basically gone from phobia to addiction. But I never quite got back to the disastrous first one. Well, now I have, and I am vindicated. I dragged up a terrible UFO from two years ago, and finally finished them off.

It's actually a really great yarn. I can't tell if Duncan is approving, or scared. But he sure is cute, and look at how big he's getting!
So, take that cruel fates of knitting. I have overcome.

In Summary:
Yarn: Probably Opal, definitely something I bought in Germany
Pattern: Basic k2, p2 ribbed cuff and instep, basic sl 1, k1 heel flap, and usual gusset and toe
Needles: Size US 1 (2.25 mm), magic loop style (won't be doing that again unless I'm desperate)
Time: Two years in the making
Cost: I think it was around 12 Euros, at a better exchange rate than the current

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm not Irish, but....

I went to Notre Dame.

It's in an Irish drinking song, so it totally counts.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lobbying Congress

Sorry guys, no knitting right now (though I did finish a pair of socks this week). I've been in DC lobbying in Congress for basic science funding. I am now very pessimistic about the entire way our government works, but at least I'm participating in the process (or contributing to the problem, either way). Here are some fun video clips to show what I've been up to.

Here's my awesome pic of the Capitol Dome with an early cherry blossom.
Here I am waiting for a client at the Mayflower Hotel.
Just kidding. But apparently I would be worth $1,224 an hour.
All other photos are here, but it's mostly me and the guys being silly at the Mayflower Hotel, which was only a few blocks from ours. They got drinks, but I didn't. Apparently everything is overpriced there.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


While I am not generally a fan of lolcatz, I could not resist this opportunity.

(Yes, I am playing World of Warcraft. )

More Pratchett

Go see what I sent Shirley here. I'm proud of myself, but forgot to take pictures. Luckily, she did a very good job.

Lacy Socks

Look! It's Peggy's Strands of Heaven Sock Club time! And here's my new sock (scroll down a little). These were the original prototype of my 2 - 1 lace sock (I'll explain why it's called that in a minute).

It actualy comes with some of Jen's fantastic hand-dyed yarn, in a special color called "Sweet Dreams". It also comes in this cute little silk project bag from Della Q. There are purple and teal ones available.

This photo may be blurry, but it shows the colors a little more true to life. I may break down and make another pair in the official colorway. Or just hoard my awesome kit. I'm not sure yet.

However, let me introduce you to my sock.
We begin with a lovely K2, P1 (2 - 1) ribbing that flows remarkably into the ribbed lace pattern (based on a 2 - 1 rib).

The lace pattern then also flows directly into the heel flap. As far as I know, I invented that heel stitch, which I shall call the 2 -1 heel stitch, because I can. I'm sure someone else has come up with it before, but I was rather proud of myself for working out how I wanted the stitches to look and then coming up with it. It's moments like this that occasionaly make me feel like a designer.

Here's a lovely closeup of the gusset. The colors are pretty true to life in this one.

I'm just proud of myself in general here. So if you want, you could go visit Peggy's Strands of Heaven and pick up a kit. I'm just saying. I don't actually get a cut from that or anything, I just want people to knit my sock. You can see more pics of the official version on their website too.
In Summary:
Pattern: Mine! 2 -1 Lace Sock
Yarn: My version: Cherry Tree Hill potluck (100% superwash merino, 400ish yds, 1 skein)
Official version: Knitting Like Crazy yarn by Jen in "Sweet Dreams," exclusive to the shop
Needles: Size US 1 (2.25 mm), although you may need 0's for Jen's yarn
Time: A few days per sock, although it did take forever to knit the second one
Cost: About $20 for my yarn, I think the kit is about the same, which is a better deal, because it comes with yarn, pattern, and cute little project bag.
Incidentally, the naughty little kitty's expensive tastes extend to silk. I kept finding this little project bag everywhere until I finally put it out of reach.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

For Non-Pratchett Fans

Okay, Pratchett fans can look too.

"I meant," said Iplsore bitterly, "what is there in this world that makes living worthwhile?" Death thought about it. "CATS," he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE."
-- Death (Terry Pratchett, Sourcery)

For Prachett Fans Only

Um, sorry guys. For the rest of you this just isn't going to make any sense at all. (Don't worry, though, pretty socks coming soon.) However, go to your local library, look up Terry Pratchett, and start reading. I recommend Good Omens, which is a standalone book. The rest of this comes from his parody/fantasy series, Discworld.
So, there's a group a for everything on Ravelry. I don't know why it took me so long to find the Terry Pratchett one, but there it is, the Ankh-Morpork Knitters' Guild (motto: Favete linguis, ego numero. ("Shut up. I'm counting.") )
We decided that it would be fun to organzie a swap of cardboard boxes, The Discworld "I'm just sending this box so my partner can have cardboard for their boots and I was guilted into putting stuff in it" Swap.
My partner was the very cool Shirley, all the way from Scotland. (Also, Pratchett fans, she's assembling the Pratchgan, so go check it out on her blog).
For starters, here's how the box came wrapped - Ankh-Morpork stamps and addresses all over the wrapping paper! Could this be cooler? (Hint: The answer is no.)

Inside, it was filled with all sorts of fun goodies.
Here's a CMOT Dibbler's Genyooine Growe-Thine-Own-Dragon Kyt. It's approved by the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons with the warning that a dragon is for life, not just for Hogswatch. Inside is everything you need to knit your own dragon, and the pattern is wrapped separately with a faux lizard skin cover.
There is also sock yarn (and you know how I feel about sock yarn), in a color I can only assume is Octarine. It is hand-dyed Wensleydale, and that is a very fun word to say. Wensleydale.
Great minds must think alike, because I also sent her a dragon (I knit it though) and octarine sock yarn (but being non-magical, our interpretations of octarine differ).
Inside was also a Morpork Mist cowl.

I tried it on, and nearly drowned/ choked in it (whichever it is you do with Morpork Mist - if it's anything like the Ankh, I think it's choking).

There is a very pretty beaded crochet or knitted wire bracelet ( sorry, I can't tell with the beads).
There is also Mustrum Ridcully's change purse (I'm warned to beware of bats if I try to open it) filled with chocolate coins. I actually can't open it as intended. I don't know if this is intentional, but it's very funny either way. I can still get the chocolate out, and that's what matters.

Now, Shirley is also a supreme crocheter. Check out all this. First, a family portrait by Otto Chriek. Look at the Death of Rats! Look at how cute he is! The rest of it is very impressive as well, but is thoroughly overwhelmed by his cuteness.

Also, fingerless gloves in Noro, which I also take to be octarine. I wonder the practicality of actually wearing magic gloves. I imagine a lot of strange things will pop up with the background magic. I'll risk it, though.

And I've saved the best for last. It's Binky! Who doesn't love Death's horse, Binky? I'm so very impressed with this. This was cool enough, but his saddle bags also contained surprises.
There was a collection of funny drink mixes.

And some very cool stitch markers. Magrat would approve. They're going on my Gothic Spire socks almost immediately.

Thanks, Shirley! When she gets her pics up on her blog, I'll link you over there. I'm pretty proud of some of the things I made too.