One Stitch at a Time

Last week, I knit something.  I can’t show you (yet), but I can tell you this: It’s a test knit for Chrissy Gardiner’s forthcoming book, it was fun and fast, and I think it’s an excellent pattern for people who’ve been wanting to try toe-up socks but have been a little intimidated.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to say about that for today.  In other Secret Knitting News, the Knit Picks sample I knit back in July appeared in the latest catalog and on the Knit Picks site.

I haven’t been doing much knitting of late, since I’ve been trying to make some progress on “Santa’s Journey”, my Christmas stocking.  Here’s what it looks like so far:

Stocking in Progress

Santa is slowly materializing, right before my very eyes. I have realized that by working from the bottom up, I’m going to have a headless Santa at some point. I promise to take a picture.

Not knitting has not stopped me from increasing my stash, though.  I resisted all the new stuff in the latest Loopy Ewe sneak-up, but bought the first three skeins of Sanguine Gryphon’s Kypria series:

Sanguine Gryphon

Left to right, that’s “The Deep-Bosomed Earth” (#1), “Momos” (#2), and “A Fateful Plan” (#3). The three tags with paragraphs of the story are tacked up on the corkboard in my office.

I also scored some Yarntini at long last, courtesy of Sonny & Shear:


Those are “Designated Driver” and “4-8-15-16-23-42”. There are still a few skeins of each (and some others) available for sale, if you’d like a Yarntini fix, too. I’m pondering buying some more of the “Designated Driver” and making a shawl. If I ever get to actually knit again.

One Pomatomus, Two Skeins

I finished the first Pomatomus sock while watching Rachel Maddow last night, but a picture will have to wait for the weekend. I manage to finish kitchenering the toe right at the spot I’d marked as the halfway point of the ball. But when I weighed my sock, then weighed the remaining yarn (all on my trusty Weight Watchers scale; at least it’s getting some use), I seem to have used 1 more gram on the sock than I have left.

Here’s the frustrating thing: I think I’d actually prefer a shorter leg. But the idea of ripping out the first sock and doing it all over again fills me with dread. I’d rather knit up the second sock with what’s left and take the chance of having to do the last couple of rounds with a different yarn.

Speaking of yarn (and aren’t we always, really?), Stacy of Tempted Hand Painted Yarns, well, tempted me over Plurk with new colorways of Glam Grrl. I was helpless to resist, I tell you. And then these lovely things showed up on my doorstep a few days later:

Tempted Glam
Red Diamond

Tempted Glam

One of these days, I’ll get my hands on some Branded in Glam Grrl. But that day is not today.

One Sock and a New Skein

I finished up the first ‘Vog On sock the other night during Palin’s speech. Yes, in this house, we watch both party conventions, although our politics are firmly left of center.

'Vog On

That picot bind-off gave me something else to focus on, at least. I’m not in love with the way it folds down at the top, but I think the sock itself is very pretty. I’m already into the gusset increases on the second sock. I like this lace pattern a lot, and I love Judy’s magic cast-on, now that I seem to have gotten the hang of it.

A couple of days ago, my second skein of Wollmeise appeared in the mail (thanks, Sandy!).

Wollmeise Fluffy

That’s the Fluffy in Wilder Mohn. The picture doesn’t quite capture the rich reds, but it was the best I could do before heading out the door this morning.

I’ve been keeping both skeins of Wollmeise (along with my 2 new skeins of Numma Numma – never fear, I will get to that entry!) on my desk where I can look at them. And pet them. And maybe squish them a little.

Choices, Choices

Last week, there was a bit of a perfect storm on the Wollmeise front.  Sign-ups for her sock-club were open for three days, and then she did a shop update while people were waiting to find out if they’d gotten in. And then the Loopy Ewe split its Wollmeise shipment into three separate sneak-ups.

Oh, the feeding frenzy.

I entered the lottery for the club but didn’t get in.  (There were over 1000 entries for 535 spots.)  I had three skeins in my basket on her site, but left them, because I couldn’t quite afford both the club membership and the order from Germany.  I missed all three Loopy Ewe sneak-ups – I was in the car during the first two, and on the Reference desk for the third.  (I hear the third one lasted at least 10 minutes.)

I was offered two skeins by folks in the Loopy Groupies forum on Ravelry.   One Fluffy in Wilder Mohn, and one of the original 100% merino in Gewitterhimmel.  The latter arrived Saturday (along with some gorgeous nummanumma, which will be the subject of another blog entry).

Here it is posing with a baby banana tree in my yard:

Wollmeise and a Banana Tree

So, the question is: what do I make?

I’m thinking of making Helena from the Fluffy Wilder Mohn for Little Miss (although we’ll see how that works out as far as gauge, since the pattern calls for a DK weight.  It could be a little too lacy in the stockinette section to really work).  From the Gewitterhimmel, I’m thinking socks for me.  The Wollmeise has generous yardage (574!) and reportedly looks FANTASTIC is twisted stitch patterns.

I’m leaning toward the Estonian Socks from the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Sock Book.  But other possibilities are Kate Blackburn’s Catherine, SpillyJane’s Naive Socks, Kristi Geraci’s Froot Loop, and the Roman Rib Socks from Little Box of Socks.


Loopy Loopy

Last week was a busy one on Ravelry. At least, in one particular thread in one particular group.

It was Wollmeisemania over among the Loopy Groupies, as a bunch of us checked obsessively for days, waiting for the elusive Wollmeise 80/20 to be posted. There were people who stayed up all night… two nights in a row. There were people who checked every hour on the hour. There were people (like me) who had to get off the computer and go to work and missed it by 15 minutes.

It sold out in 5 minutes flat, people. That’s insane. But I did have fun chatting with everyone in the thread, and I went and ordered myself some consolation yarn:


Lorna's Laces


Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Lakeview, a lovely colorway and also the name of my old neighborhood. I also ordered a bar of moisturizing soap that sounded nice.

And since this was my 6th order, I got some nifty goodies. That’s right, I’m officially a Loopy Groupie now. I also seem to be officially out of my Not Buying Yarn phase, but let’s not discuss that. Let’s discuss this instead:


Loopy Groupie Goodies


The official Loopy Ewe tote bag, a keychain, some chocolate kisses, and a skein of Fannie’s Fingering from Farmhouse Yarns. In blue, my very favorite color. The only negative is that it says it’s handwash only. I only buy superwash, because I don’t trust myself to remember which socks can’t go in the machine. Maybe I’ll embroider a little something on the inside to remind myself not to toss them in the washer.

In honor of my new Loopy Groupie status, I signed up for the Loopy Ewe Swap. I watched from the sidelines for the last round, and it looked like so much fun. I’m already planning my package. Hmm, maybe I should wait until I have a partner!

The Last Yarn

Just before Christmas, I went to Etsy to buy a swift. Somehow, a skein of sock yarn leapt into my cart, and I just had to purchase it.




That’s Merino/Tencel fingering weight from Cavyshops, in the Dorothy colorway. Interestingly, the picture for the skein that’s up in her shop now hasn’t been reskeined, and I don’t quite like it as much. Reskeined, it’s lovely. I keep changing my mind about what to knit with it.

It’s lovely, and it’s the last yarn I’ll be purchasing for a while.  I am on a serious Knit From Your Stash kick these days.  And, yes, for me, sock yarn does count as stash.

Christmas Come Early

Yesterday, we had a family Christmas get-together, during which I was unable to resist the siren song of my knitting, since I was so close to finishing the Feather & Fan Socks.


Feather and Fan Socks

Pattern: Feather & Fan Socks by Judith Sumner, from Socks, Socks, Socks
Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight in Haida (Ravens series), from Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Needles: Brittany birch dpns, size 2, set of 5, all of which are now dark blue
Modifications: Swapped out the garter stitch ridge at the beginning of the heel for another pattern repeat, did Eye of Partridge instead of ribbing on the heel flap. I also did all the decreases on one sock one stitch over, but it will never be noticed from a trotting horse.

And, they fit! Oh, glorious day, I made a pair of socks that fit on my feet!

I wore them to work this morning and made everyone admire my fancy socks.

I worked half a day today, since the library was open in the morning, and when I came home, there were two packages waiting for me. The first was full of pink and purple loveliness:


Yarny Goodness

When Miss Violet of Lime & Violet put up some her stash for sale, well, the phrase “sharks on chum” really is the best way to describe it. Several items vanished out of my cart when I went to pay for them, but a skein of Doodlebirds Swell Socks in Goth Girl, a pink and gray skein of Austermann Step, and a cotton shawl kit from Rowan made it to my house, along with a note from Adminnie and a Thank You note and candy from V. I promise to do right by your yarn, Miz V.

But that was not all, oh, no, that was not all! (Sorry, Dr. Seuss moment)


Sasquatch and Stitch Markers

A little Loopy Ewe package was also waiting for me. It held two skeins of L&V Sasquatch Sock in Connect 4 to make a scarf to go with the socks I’m working on for K, some Stitchkeepers, and a packet of Entrelac stitch markers, which are very, very pretty.

It was like my own private little yarny Christmas around here.

The Ravens Have Landed


From left to right, we have Valkyrie, Haida, and Thraven, all in Socks that Rock Lightweight.

I am currently searching for just the right sock patterns. I have a hold on Socks, Socks, Socks from another library branch, because I saw a pattern on that looks good. I’m also thinking Pomatamus would be lovely in either Thraven or Haida.

It was quite the exciting mail day, since this also arrived on my doorstep:



An Annie May spindle and green Corriedale roving, plus two ounces of fabulous rainbow dyed wool roving. Someone on (where else?) Ravelry was destashing. She also sent a copy of Spin It. Oh, yes, I am going to learn to spin yarn. Next, I’ll be keeping sheep in my back yard.

Only This, And Nothing More

It turns out that BMFA actually does ask that Sock Club members not sell their kits during the year of the Sock Club.  So, I’ll just have to wait until next year for Lenore.  No matter.  It’s not like I have a shortage of sock patterns or yarn to occupy me until then.

Especially since I purchased my very first ever Socks that Rock after work on Monday.  Three skeins of Lightweight – Thraven, Valkyrie, and Haida – just shipped sometime today.  Yippee!

I got my order in around 6:40 Monday evening.  It would have been slightly earlier, but when I got home, I found that a package from my dad had arrived.  It contained some things my late grandmother had put aside for me, including some very old photographs, a child’s Bible given to her mother in 1904, and letters from the young man she was seeing before she met my grandfather.  Also notable were a small embroidered pennant and a silver bracelet, both personalized with her first name, which is the middle name of our Little Miss – those will be set aside for her.  I need to get a couple of archival clamshell boxes for some of the things, like the scrapbook she made (which is definitely acidic paper).

Also in the box was a copy of Abbey’s Complete Book of Knitting, which has some nice stitch patterns in it.  I’ve heard that my grandmother told people she taught me to knit, but she didn’t.  She taught me to crochet and to embroider and to do stamped cross-stitch, but I never could get her to teach me to knit.  She did give me a bunch of her straight needles a few years ago, though.  And I’ve been using one of her teeny tiny steel crochet hooks to do the beading on Secret of the Stole.

The Yarn Harlot Does LA

Yesterday was my first Saturday off in a few weeks, and I was busybusybusy. Little Miss and I got a late start on going to our church’s Yard Sale, then walked by another yard sale (with a not so much accurate sign that said “Estate Sale”) where I bought a bunch of buttons. After picking up a cinnamon roll for K, we headed home, and Little Miss went down for a nap.

Then, it was out the door again, this time all by myself, to drive downtown for the Yarn Harlot. It was odd being in the Central Library in a non-work-related situation. I had to borrow K’s library card in order to get my parking validated, since I can’t find my card. (I memorized the number some time ago. The sad thing is that this is the second card I’ve lost. I’d be more concerned about it if I weren’t checking my own account activity on a very regular basis, so I know no one else is using it.) Stephanie was highly entertaining, even while being (unknowingly) threatened by the Giant DPNs of Doom:



She’s not nearly so blurry in real life, but I was three rows from the back of the auditorium. “Get there 10 minutes early,” said K. Yeah. Sure. I was in line 20 minutes before the start time, and I was still nearly in the back row. In fact, I was in just about the same seat I usually occupy during the monthly Book Order meetings. And, yes, that’s a sock she’s knitting during the Q&A time.  My knitting is not so blurry in real life, either, but it’s a test project, so I won’t be putting up a real picture of that until the pattern goes live.

I found out about the test knitting gig through (where else?) Ravelry, where I also found out that the Yarn Pirate Booty Club is open for enrollment. With all of these new opportunities to spend money, I am in search of new financial planning software. I am not loving the Quicken 2004 I’ve been using. Any recommendations for a Mac-OS-X-Tiger-friendly program?