aswim in knits

Sunday, September 30, 2007

warning: recycled content ahead!

Jane is hosting her annual "Show Me Your Socks Contest". I took this photo back in the winter, remembering her annual contest. We had just bought our new house, and were spending weekends there doing work on it, but had not yet moved in.

This was just after doing laundry. At the time, I wrote "What will we do when we move in and hang curtains???" Well, no curtains yet, but we have painted the walls and replaced the folding camp chairs with real furniture.

This photo shows 8 pairs of socks that I have knit for myself, plus one pair of Sockapalooza gifted socks. From left to right:
Generic socks in Artyarns Ultramerino
Generic socks in Jawoll Jacquard
Sockapalooza 2006 socks, from Ruth
Thujas in Big Print
Jaywalkers in Elann something-or-other
Broadripples in Cascade Fixation
Generic socks in Sweet Georgia
Simply Lovely Lace in Louet Opal
Generic socks in Koigu (shown below!)

It does not show the two pairs of socks I've finished for myself since then --
Diagonal Cross-Rib socks in Artyarns Ultramerino
Garter Rib Socks in Schaefer Anne

It also doesn't show the socks that I've knit for others since I started knitting socks
Generic socks for Thom in Smart superwash wool (read below)
Spey Valley socks for Da (see below)
Saucy Socks in Nature's Palette for my recent Sockapalooza pal
Friday Harbor socks for Boss Lady knit in Baby Cashmerino
Baudelaires knit in Koigu for my MIL last Christmas
Jaywalkers knit in Artyarns Ultramerino for my first sockpal
Whitby socks knit in Louet Opal for my dad
Embossed Leaves socks knit for my MIL 2 Christmases ago
Red Sox socks for my Mom
Red Sox socks for my Dad (both in red and white Silja)
Generic manly man socks knit in Regia Tweed for Thom

And, for the smaller feet:
2 pairs of baby socks for Afghans for Afghans, one in Koigu and one in Knitpicks Sock Garden
baby socks for the Wooly Babe, in Socks That Rock
baby socks for the Peanut, in Koigu
baby socks for MJ in Koigu

So, if you count the baby socks, that's 26 pairs of socks that I've knit!

And, in the interest of playing by the rules ("Take a photo of the very first pair of socks you ever knit, as well as your last/latest pair."), I present the firsts and lasts ...

These are my first socks for me:
Knit in Koigu, with a pattern cobbled together from various sources.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I knit my first pair of socks for Thom before these, in the days before Ye Olde Blogge. In fact, since I don't have a photo of them, I'm pretty sure that they were pre-blog, and therefore, my first socks ever. I'll have to go look in his drawer so I can take a photo for Ravelry. They are DK weight green tweed, and knit from the pattern in the Bible According to Ann Budd, green version.

Anyways, my most recent socks are these ones, a pair of Spey Valleys for my FIL, finished just a few weeks ago.
Spey Valley

Sportweight green tweed. Like father like son.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

sock sacks and woolly gatherings

Well, it seems like you liked the sock sacks that I posted yesterday! Thanks for the compliments.

Since several of you mentioned that you would want to buy one if they were available for sale, I'm considering making some to sell, to augment the wheel fund.

Here's the deal, though ... I work full time, and go to grad school (50% of full time schedule). And I coach 6+ hours per week. And I have a 90 minute+ commute to work. Which is to say that my crafty time at home is limited -- I do most of my knitting while carpooling to work (Thom drives in the morning, the longer leg of the commute!), or at lunch, or in the late evening before bed.

So, I'm going to make some bags when I have time and post them for sale, here or through Etsy, when I get around to it. I won't be able to take many custom requests. Of course if I know you in person or online, and you are really damn charming, I'll probably bend that custom request rule just a bit :)

sock sacks
sacks I have sewn

In fact, I may be at the sewing machine this weekend. I just found out that the school assignment that I thought was due on October 24 has been moved to the 31st. Therefore, I may find myself at a certain well known sheep and wool gathering later this month. In which case, I may want some extra cash on hand!!! Let me know if I'll see you there. Umm, I mean IF I end up going ...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

look what came in the mail

My mailbox has been bursting with goodies recently.*

I only bought one thing -- a skein of black Cascade 220 -- but I've been selling and swapping a lot. Several weeks ago, I went on a fiber crawl in Maine with some blog buddies. I fell in love with two spinning wheels, and realized that I needed to save some money for a wheel of my own. I decided that some of my stash would be better off in other peoples' homes. A big thank you to everyone who bought something from me! My wheel fund has grown quite a bit :)

Through the wonder that is Ravelry, I also arranged several trades. Let's call it "stash reassignment."

First, several swaps for some Araucania Nature Wool. I am planning some felting projects, and learned the hard way that it can be important to use all of the same kind of yarn when knitting something to felt, or uneven felting could occur.**

I love the colors and subtle variegations of the Nature Wool. I checked out the yarn on Ravelry before swapping, and it looks like it felts pretty well. I'm planning some more felted clogs, with dark soles and lighter tops.

mail call

From the top left:
2 skeins of purple from Kara
2 skeins of gray from Megan
2 skeins of navy blue from Megan
2 skeins of brown, one from Jen and another from Megan
2 skeins of purple-ish pink from Jess

I gave Megan three different things from my stash, and she also sent me some Patons Merino that I didn't photograph! Jen got some All Seasons Cotton. I made some sock project bags for Kara and Jess. Kara got the one on the left, and Jess got the other two -- one as a swap, and she bought the second one :)

3 bags

Here's Jess' photo of the bags with stuff in them --


I also got a skein of beauuuuuutiful Wollmeise from winning a contest on Rachel's blog. That's the blue in the lower right corner of the mosaic above. Rachel rocks! Not only did she give out really cool yarn as a prize, but she also let me pick the color I wanted and then bought it just for me :)

And, I swapped with Sarah for a copy of Mason Dixon Knitting, which I've already put to use (more on that in another post). I have a couple of other swaps pending, too! Good times :)

I'm really happy with my new yarn. I am much more likely to use this than what I had in the stash, lovely as those things were. And I had a lot of fun making sock bags. Kara liked hers so much, she's going to buy 2 more from me!

All around, a great experience, and I made some new friends!

* That's a figurative expression. We actually have a mail slot in the door. When anything bigger than the slot arrives, it gets left between the wood door and the storm door. I can tell it's a good mail day when I get home and the storm door is held slightly ajar from all the packages.

** That's another post. One that requires photos that I have not yet taken!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

greens and blues, part II

A while ago, it looked like most of my knitting/spinning/fiber acquisition was focused on things that were green or blue. I never posted about what became of those things. Here's a quick roundup:

This bobbin of singles ...

mystery fiber

Became this skein of chain-plied yarn.
handspun mohair/sheep
(144 yards of worsted or aran weight, I think)

This sock ...
Spey Valley, modeled

Became this pair of socks ...
Spey Valley

Spey Valley
Project Specs:
Pattern: Spey Valley, from Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Regia Tweed 6ply from Webs
Gauge: 6.5 sts/in
Needles: size 3 for the top of the leg, size 2 for the lower leg and feet
Size: Men's size 12 1/2 wide
Posted to Ravelry

These will be a gift for my father-in-law for Christmas.

And this skein of sock yarn ...
Dream in Color Smooshy

... became stash :)

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Friday, September 21, 2007

sockapalooza socks

My sockapalooza socks are here! These came from blogless Carrie Anne.


They are lovely and soft and fit just right. The yarn is Mountain Colors Bearfoot, which Carrie Anne correctly guessed that I would like, though I had not yet knit with it. Apparently, Carrie Anne is persistent -- she said that she tried a few different patterns before deciding that the colors would look best in a stockinette sock.


The colors are fabulous, and exactly what I would have picked for myself! I can see myself wearing these often this winter, especially when curled up indoors and studying on a chilly weekend afternoon.

But the most fitting part? The name of the colorway.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

rounding the bend and nearing the finish line

Despite my best efforts, the color of my Peace Fleece sweater refuses to be photographed. This is the best I got.

PF sweater

Oh, you wanted to see the sweater too? It's thoroughly unremarkable. It's nearly done -- maybe another 3" to go, and a few ends to weave in.

PF sweater

I really hope to have a new sweater by the end of the weekend. Of course, I also have a paper to write for class. I've been exceptionally disciplined so far this semester. My plan is to go the library and study every Friday night (LOSER!) so that I can knock off a few hours of homework at the start of the weekend, and actually enjoy one of the weekend days without homework looming over my head. So, if I do good work on Friday and Saturday, I can loaf about and knit on Sunday :)

Also, I finally managed to get photos of several other knitty things (though not all), so more posting shall ensue. Though not right now, since I need to go explore some legal issues in higher education.

PS -- Go give the Mafia some fiber-bloggy-love if you haven't yet. She's had a first class shitty week. Would that wool could make everything better.


Saturday, September 15, 2007


I just got an update from my sockpal that my socks are on the way. Woo hoo! A new sweater on the needles (one sleeve is done, one to go, and then another six inches on the body) and new woolies for the feet. Bring on the cool weather!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

a chill in the air

I don't particularly like summer. Too hot! Too humid! Too sweaty! But, I like the fall. And as soon as the New England evenings started to get just a wee bit chilly, I got in a sweater mood. A wool sweater mood.

So, did I return to my Nantucket Jacket, which only needs sleeves? Or the pre-blog Must Have Cardi that I owe my mom from 2-3 years ago? No, I started a new sweater!

PF sweater

This is a top-down raglan pull-over in a nearly un-photograph-able color of Peace Fleece. It's a medium-to-dark brown with green and maroon tweedy bits. I wanted a snuggly, casual, pullover v-neck sweater, much like a sweatshirt. I think this will fit the bill nicely. And, being nearly all mindless stockinette, it is perfect for a fast knit that requires no attention.

I acquired this yarn from a SnB member who decided that she was no longer a knitter. (But that's a story for another post.)

I think I have 6 skeins of it, which should be plenty. But, to be conservative, I knit until waist length, and now I'm working on the sleeves. Once the sleeves are long enough, I will go back and finish the body. I don't know what I'll do if I'm short on yarn, but it will be easier to deal with at the waist than at the end of one sleeve, right?


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

welcome, baby Amalia

Just about a month ago, my childhood best friend had her first baby, a little girl named Amalia.

(Look at that fuzzy little head!)

Of course, some handknits were in order.

Project specs:
Pattern: Sirdar 1564, "Round neck cardigan with frill edges"
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 2.5 skeins, in color 007 (I think)
Needles: Size 5 and size 3 Addi Turbos
Gauge: 22 sts/in in stockinette, I think
Posted to Ravelry.

I'm almost at the end of the Spey Valley socks (just one toe left to graft, and ends to weave in), so perhaps there will be another FO soon. However, since grad school classes start tomorrow night, don't expect a lot of knitting to happen this fall. Or spinning. Or blogging. Or blog commenting. Or housecleaning. Gah.

Oh, and I just heard from my Sockapalooza pal, who tells me that my socks are finished, and just need to be blocked and mailed, which should happen early next week due to a business trip next week. Perfect -- that will be just in time for fall weather and sock season :)

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