Blue sock

Zen and the Art of Emotional Maintenance

There is turbulence in my life right now, and I am, for once, turning to knitting to find my zen.

This morning, I picked up my Knee High to a Grasshopper socks, a pattern offered, hell, three years ago as part of Blue Moon's Rockin' Sock Club--the introduction of BMFS's Silkie Sock yarn, before it was commercially available. When the pattern was released, I loved how it looked in the photos, loved the softness of the yarn (I am a silk whore), loved the colorful interplay of the colorway: magenta, navy blue, green, and brown, threaded throughout with a shot of white.

Collapse )


I'm close to finishing up some projects: the Leyburn socks (my version), a small size Tulip Sweater, and I did finish the Ribby Shell (my version) I was working on, so what happens?

My camera, which I intended to take photos with this weekend, went AWOL. Missing. Gone. *Poof*.

So, they're really pretty, and maybe I'll get to post photos of them someday. Maybe this is just what I needed to get an upgrade on my ancient 4 megapixel camera.

Besides, you didn't really want to see pictures of my WIP, which are the Shaped Triangle Shawl in Fiber Fiend's Silk Laceweight in a variegated colorway called 'Mother Earth' (reds, browns, and greens) (because we all know unblocked lace looks like a pile of speghetti noodles) and Sahara in plain, unadorned cream.
Pattern love

It's hot, so there must be knitting

Ahoy, there. I know it's been a while since I posted. Not that I haven't been knitting, but I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not a knit blogger. Most of what updates I have been making have been going onto Ravelry (User: alix), but that's just project notes and photos when I can get around to taking them.

However, I started writing a 'real' blog post about my evening last night, realized it was mostly knit content that most of my friends list wouldn't give a crap about and thought 'you know...I have a blog for that purpose'. So here I am. :)

Collapse )

Maybe posting here will get me off my arse to photograph my recently completed socks, especially since, as far as I know, none exist out there as yet for nathaniaapple's Stained Glass Socks....
HP scarf

Recent knitting-related items acquired

A few months ago, I had what I considered to be a stroke of genius for esmerel's birthday gift this year. One of those knitting-related things that I thought she'd really like and probably wouldn't just buy for herself, that wasn't yarn (both of which we're trying to cut back on): clear shoes to show off her hand-knitted socks.

However, after discussing it with the Purlescence gals, I was on a mission to find a very specific type of clear shoes: ones that would breathe. The biggest argument against the ones I was previously aware of, the Regia Transparent Boots, is that there was no ventilation, so your feet perspire, moisture accumulates, and soon you're walking around in soggy socks in clammy boots.

One page I found was Another was I wound up buying a pair of clogs for her.

A week later, wendyknits posted about her new Skechers Cali Surfers. *facepalm*

I'm sharing this latter one especially because that's the pair I wound up buying (and if I had to do it over again, I probably would've gotten those for Ezzy). I like the fact that they're closed toe and closed heel, and they're remarkably breathable, although I have had a little bit of condensation towards the end of the day. They're still on-sale for only $15/pair with free shipping if you're willing to sign up with their shoe club.

If you're interested. :)

(Although in looking for links, I just found Clear Converse lo-tops. They have the same drawback as the Regia shoes (unvented->hot), but there you go if you think it's your favorite option

Another clear shoe summary page:, which found via this post on knitting earlier this week).

The other thing I picked up was based on an idea I saw someone else implement. I thought it was such a great idea, I copied.

Marking tags with string - For labeling my gauge swatches. Because I have a gauge swatch I did a little over a month ago now, and I can't remember what needle I used to knit it in. Which makes it completely useless now that I'm almost ready to knit the yarn. Write the needle used and what the yarn is and attach it to the swatch, and it's permanently marked.

White key tags for finished items being provided as a gift. The key ring allows you to attach it securely to the item somehow (maybe through a stitch), and the metal-rimmed tag gives you a place to write down fiber content, size (if applicable) and on the back, brief care instructions.

Oh, for the cleverness of knitters.
Blue sock

Zen and the Art of Frogging

There was a time when the thought of having to rip out a sock would reduce me to a state of 'Bored now!' If I had to do a major frog job on a sock, it generally got tossed back into the sock stew that is my stash bin until I could come to terms with losing that many hours of work.

Somewhere in the last four months, I've gone through a conversion. Gone zen. Made my inner peace with sock frogging. Because I haven't knit a sock since the Thraven Lenore sock back in February that I haven't had to rip a significant chunk out of: I had to completely rip out most of a sock with the Blue Parade when I had the wrong gauge; I ripped and re-ripped the heel of the Panda Cotton Socks while I experimented with one I was happy with, in addition to swatching lace patterns for the cuff, on the sock itself, until I settled on one I liked; and I ripped back about half of a finished cuff on the Chocolate Cherry socks until I figured out they actually fit. And I've barely batted an eye in doing so.

I think some of it is attributable to the fact that I'm not just following a pattern any more. I'm going off the beaten path into the realm of customization that requires a certain amount of trial and error, and a willingness to know when to cut my losses and backtrack.

It's not perfect. I have two pairs of 'finished' socks that are patiently waiting on additional work from me--the Blue Parade socks to decide whether or not I can live with the fact that I forgot to put matching increases on the calf of the second sock, and last year's Rockin' Sock Club Knee High to a Grasshopper socks, in which I need to pick out the bind-off and rip back the ribbing to add elastic into the top of the cuff so they'll frakking stay up on my leg.

But I comment on this at all because I wound up ripping back from nearly the heel to toe on my latest pair of socks, a variation of Wendy Johnson's Lucy Socks, because of a random comment someone made at Purlescence on Monday: "Those look bigger than I would expect a sock to look." Well, that was because I figured the STR Lightweight ~= Claudia Fingering in terms of gauge, and it wasn't.


I could've switched to the smaller needles (US: 0 vs. the US: 1's I'd started on) and just kept going, but then the foot of sock #1 would be a different size than sock #2, and I couldn't tolerate that. So, out it came.

Rip. There goes almost a week of work.
Lace--Peacock Feathers

Breaking radio silence with actual content: Everything Else

I haven't just been doing socks, it's just that socks are easier to knit and finish. Here's everything else I've been working on, some of which are actually done.

(Again, some of this is copy-and-pasted out of my Ravelry notes.)



Collapse )


Collapse )


Collapse )


Collapse )


Collapse )