Friday, June 22, 2007

All is forgiven





Remember this sock?



Remeber how hard I tried to like it? Remember how I really couldn't?

Well, look that this baby:

40 stitches instead of 52, and all of a sudden the sock really glows. of course they're not for a grownup. My daughter will get 'em. I've already finished the other.

Nice yarn (pet pet). Good yarn (pet pet).

Do what mommy says and no one gets ripped!





Monday, June 18, 2007

And the winner is...

Jo!

Congrats, Jo! I'll be looking forward to seeing what you make with the yarn! There's an email waiting for you, asking for your addy so I can send it out.

:^)

As for those whose names weren't picked, well there will be another yarn giveaway next month, probably towards the end (as I'll be going out of town for a bit). I'm not going to give away more yarn until the current winner is at least mostly through their project, and I (they) can post pix of it.

I'm trying to think of ways to make the contest fair, but I'm afraid it's going to involve some sort of algorithm. And I don't even know what an algorithm is. Pulling names out of a hat works the first time, but it's too random after that, without a caveat. Conceivably, Jo could win three times in a row if she keeps entering! So, to keep things easy on myself, no one can win more than once during a six-month period.

This time I gave away yarn, and probably I'll do that next time too, but the contest might expand somewhat, so that there could be books, needles, needle cases, doo-dads, kits (etc.) given away instead, or as well. I'm feeling the need to share, especially with things I think other knitters would get better use out of. Again I'll announce it in the "swap" section of KR, so you needn't worry about reading this blog every damned day. There were only nine entries and if it stays that small everyone's bound to win at some point.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fall from Grace



Look at this seemingly innocent ball of yarn. It appears to be in a prelapsarian state of innocence, doesn't it? God's yarn, one might say. Socks that Rock, medium weight, in farmhouse.

I was not entirely pleased with the original sock I made out of it, but according to my husband (who knows more about these things than I), my failure to apprehend the yarn's greatness was rooted in my fault, not the yarn's. The yarn and the sock are, according to my husband, perfect.

LIAR! LYING LIAR!

This yarn, despite the fact that I knitted and frogged and knitted and frogged three times, insisted on POOLING IN THE MOST HORRIBLE WAY POSSIBLE!

NAUGHTY YARN! OUT OF THE GARDEN WITH YOU! IN PAIN SHALL YOU BRING FORTH SOCKS, YOU NAUGHTY YARN!

Sigh.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Great Yarn Giveaway

Well, like most of you I buy a lot of yarn. Too much yarn. Waaaaaaay too much yarn. It's not reasonable, but I have made my peace with it.

To ease a bit of the guilt about by yarnaholism, I have decided that every month that I purchase yarn (which is, of course, every month) I have to part with some yarn. I have sold yarn on ebay, but there's better karma to be found in giving it away, I think. Especially if it's a yarn I have developed a sort of relationship with. A yarn I really like and have been petting for awhile, cooing to it, saying things like:

It won't be long now until I knit you up, I promise. Pinky swear. Really.

I have been saying exactly those words to this yarn:


Dave Daniels' yarn from Cabin Cove Mercantile. 100 grams, 100% merino wool, 440 yards. 7-8 spi, hand wash, dry flat. Poor yarn. Poor, eager, sad, neglected yarn. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. This skein languishses, while I knit this:

There is no reason on earth why I should pick the newer, definitely less visually interesting Regia silk solid. But I did. And there are a couple of skeins of Reynolds Seawool that I'm eyeing right now after this pair is finished.

But lo, for the yarn there is hope! You, dear reader, may have this skein of yarn. Or at least one of you. (There may be only one of you, for all I know, anyway.) Simply email me at femiknitzi@yahoo.com saying you want the yarn by Monday, June 18 at 9 a.m. cst and I'll toss all the entries in a hat and pick out a winner.

There is only one condition. Because I really feel for this yarn, I don't want to send it off to languish in some other yarn hoarder's stash. If you wish to adopt this skein you must agree to knit it up within the next month. You also agree to send me pictures of what you made, and some details about the pattern (if you used one), how you liked the yarn, how the yarn behaved, washed, etc. (the more details the better!), whereupon I will post them here and show everyone (or at least myself) the proof of your warmhearted greatness. Alternatively, if you have your own blog and would like to post there, just let me know and I'll link your entry here!

Save this yarn. The moose needs a home.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Worldwide Knit in Public Day

Went to my local SnB this morning--which in my case is in the chapel at my church--with several other church women such as myself. It started out last year as a "contemplative knitting" Bible study prayer shawl knitting class. That didn't last long. One of my friends there is making a baby sweater out of this incredibly soft cotton yarn, but did not have the ball band and could not remember the name.

"I'll bet that's Rowan Calmer," I said. She didn't know, though she thought it sounded familiar. She's going to bring the ball band next week, and If I am right, I am going to take that as a sign from God that I need to buy some Rowan Calmer. If I am wrong, I am going to take it as a sign that I need to buy whatever kind of yarn it is. So there.

Today, however, is the 10th. And yesterday, not today, was WKIPD.

Erm, can I be blamed for not knitting in public when I didn't actually go out in public yesterday? I stayed home and in my nightgown all day. No, I wasn't sick. I made breakfast, lunch, dinner, and muffins, and I knit. Got the first Socks that Rock sock finished.

(Ignore the weird stains on my carpet. I have a four-year-old. And a dog. And hey, I'm kinda clumsy myself.)

You know, I'm not totally loving the STR yarn. Not totally loving it. I don't know why. I think in part that it's the colorway combined with the fact that it's medium weight. The striping/variegation needs to look...smoother somethow, which isn't possible when the yarn itself is bigger. It's certainly an incredibly soft, cushy yarn, and softens up a lot with washing. I will make the other sock, and then perhaps use the rest of the yarn (because there will be much left) for a fair-isle sock or mitten project.

I am trying not to feel guilty about turning WKIPD into KIYNAHD (knit in your nightgown at home day). But then, I do a lot of knitting in public anyway. I knit during our last job candidate's job interview. I knit during parties. I knit during conferences. I knit, I knit, and I don't give a....

Well you get the idea. If I can listen and knit, I knit, if I can talk and knit, I knit.

I don't knit while I'm teaching, and I don't knit while I'm in church. But other than that...

I knit.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Oh, Canada...

Hrm. Looks like I won't be purchasing anything from my favorite Canadian yarn shops for awhile. The Canadian dollar is far too strong these days. It has gone from being worth 84 cents American to 94 cents American in the past five months. Yow! That makes the yarns at places like pickupsticks.ca and thesweetsheep.com too rich for my blood these days, and more expensive than they would be at American yarn stores.

Sigh.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Finished Objects

For some reason I'm on a tear about socks. I have a few lonely socks needing mates, but instead I've been knitting pair after pair of new socks. Mostly because the new ones are for friends, I suppose, and the lonely socks needing mates are either for me, or for my husband, who does not deserve socks (because he's so fanatically picky and acts as if he's doing me a favor when I knit him a pair) but I make them for him anyway.

These are my latest. This is a pair for Scott:


I will be staying with Scott in Chicago when I go to Stitches Midwest. He deserves socks. This is the first time I've used Colinette Jitterbug and I must say it's lovely stuff. Just gorgeous. Soft and cushy. I've heard horror stories about the low yardage of the yarn, but I had plenty left. Granted, Scott's feet are not large, and there isn't a very long cuff on the socks.

This next pair is for Doris:


It's my own hand-dyed self-striping yarn--Henry's Attic Treadsoft (it should be called Treadsoftsoftsoft). Quite the pain in the ass to dye, I must say.
Now, I have dived head-first into my first pair of Socks that Rock, in Farmhouse medium weight. This is the cake of yarn:

And this is the cuff so far:




Just a simple 3x1 rib.

Part of the reason i started this blog is to keep a visual record of my finished objects. Doris already has a sweater in Noro Kureyon that I neglected to take a picture of before I sent it to her, and Scott has a scarf that I didn't photograph either.

Another reason I started this blog is to record my spending on knitting and knitting related items. Bless me father, for I have sinned. But listen, if Patternworks is selling Koigu for $6.99 a skein, who can blame me for indulging? Okay, so I didn't have to purchase another $75 worth of yarn from Woolygirl, all in the same afternoon. Not to mention the $150 I plunked down for five Lucy Neatby dvds.

Sock yarn, I have decided, is like heroin. One day they're going to make a movie called "Sockspotting." It will be about a group of obsessive sock knitters who troll through various yarn shops, "scoring" yarn, hiding their stash, and indulging in dazed group knit-ins.

They'll all be high. On kool-aid fumes. And not one of them will look like Ewan McGregor.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Sock Clubs

There's a discussion on the Knitter's Review about sock clubs, a topic that is of abnormally large interest for me. I've considered joining a few, but never did, mostly because I'm an anal-retentive freak.

I do understand the reasons why people join sock clubs, despite what sometimes seems like excessive cost.

1) You receive a unique sock-club-only yarn.
2) You (most of the time) receive a unique sock-club-only pattern.
3) You have access to a community of knitters that is knitting the same exact thing as you are, in the same exact colorway (most kals cannot match the "exact colorway" part).
4) There are extra little surprises included most of the time, little notions or extra patterns or whatever.
5) Sometimes being a member of a sock club grants you extra rights, like being able to go to Camp Cockamaimie for the Socks that Rock club (which was initially open only to sock club members, and the general public later if there was room).
6) Sometimes the sock club provides yarn that is not only unique to the sock club but also EXTREMELY hard to find. The Pureknits Yarntini sock club comes to mind.

Sock clubs cater towards people that love that kind of experience, people that enjoy being surprised and trying something new or different. It does not cater to the anal-retentive among us (such as myself) who might fret if the yarn color isn't what they might like, or the pattern is toe-up instead of top down. I like knitting socks on four needles from the top down, with a heel flap. I've tried the other ways and this is what I do. I would not do a toe-up sock pattern on a dare, and I don't want to pay for a pattern that's toe up, or have to dither with changing it. As for the yarn, I saw the colors of the first two Socks that Rock shipments and I would not have bought either one. So why not peruse the site and pick out a couple of skeins that I *do* like for less money?

But that's *me*. A lot of us knitters challenge ourselves with something completely new we would never have considered doing, and like that. However when I try something new, I like to do something that I have thought about, and that I've planned in advance. Thus, sock clubs are not for me, even though I'm very drawn especially to the little surprise "happies" that come with the yarn.

It's odd that the most expensive sock club out there is the one I most considered joining. The Pureknits Yarntini club, which works out to almost $60 a shipment because the first shipment comes with a book and a misocrafty bag as well. The yarn cost, even with shipping, would usually come to about half of that. But Yarntini is extremely hard to find, and unlike Socks That Rock can't be bought easily under ordinary circumstances. Surely that accounts for the popularity of the club (it's sold out) as well. I was tempted myself, because Yarntini is just glorious stuff.

It just comes down to the type of person you are. Control freak knitters, who have a harder time going with the flow (such as myself) will just end up annoyed. I don't even want my *husband* to buy me anything without telling me, because I'm afraid he'll waste his money on something I won't like that I'll have to pretend to like when all I'll be thinking about is why he spent money on something I don't like.

You can see why I wish I were the other kind of knitter, sometimes.