Saturday, April 28, 2007

April Sock Kit!

Oh, I have been so remiss with this blog lately. Primarily it has to do with getting photos of everything so I can post them (in other words, being too lazy to do this). But, I also have found a handful of other random things to do that take up my time. Boring subject, really. All I can say is that I really, really do need to post photos of my gorgeous new skeins from the Socks that Rock folks, because they are to die for.

Instead, I am going to post my April sock kit. I do like the colors in this month's kit pretty well. Like last month's kit, they are not colors I would normally pick out on my own, but I do think the yarn is pretty and let me tell you: it is soooo soft. I has silk in it this time -- the first time they've dyed with it. I am very excited to try it. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Socks that Rock Silkie in the colorway Walking on the Wild Tide.....

Here is a photo of the kit that I received:

And here is the pattern -- actually two patterns, in that you can make a long or short version:

I am going to make the short version.

That is all for now! I have to do some knitting and hardly want to spend any more time blogging right now. Ha.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I have had a crappy few days. Nothing big, but definitely stressful and a little more overwhelming than they probably should be. Friday was incredibly long. I had to do continuing legal ed stuff for the Illinois Bar (and have to do more on Monday) and I was feeling crabby and tired at the end of the day -- among other things, I'm not even sure why I was there taking the class, since I'm not a practicing lawyer. In addition to this, my cell phone appeared to be broken and my transit card wasn't working. BUT! Lo and behold! What did I have with me during that awful day? My Rockin' Sock Club sock!!

I didn't knit while people were presenting -- they could see me and I was concerned that they would take it the wrong way -- but I did get to knit when a presenter didn't show up that was supposed to and I did get to knit on the el home, which made me a considerably happier camper by the time I got home. Seriously, it made my life just a bit better. I am SO glad to have had this to do.

To make things even better, I got a bunch of yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts (the people who make Socks that Rock) on Saturday, which I will definitely have to photograph and post because the yarn is AMAZING. It made me so much happier. Though, I have to say that I was a bit frustrated when I realized (too late) that their sock kits (that they sell on their site -- not their rockin' sock club kits) don't actually come with instructions (for the pattern that you've bought the yarn for). To be fair, they do state this on the website, but I didn't see it. I was too transfixed by the pattern that I thought I was buying in kit form to notice the words. Waaaahhhh. It made me feel very whiny. I shall survive, though. I was going to make this project for mother's day, however, and I don't know if I can get it done in time, now. :(

Lastly, today, I was at a Green Living festival here in Chicago. I walked in and it was PACKED. I am not much for crowds. I was completely overwhelmed by the place. I was in a crowd-stress-induced stupor in about 10 minutes after being there. Yikes. So, at some point, I left my husband behind while he asked important questions (that I wish I had had the patience to wait for) and went outside into the incredibly beautiful day and knitted. Once again this weekend, knitting saved my mortal soul. Yay! I sat in the middle of Lake Shore Drive on a grassy knoll....

I think I may actually finish my Feb. socks before the next kit arrives in the next week or so! Yay! I just wonder whether I'm going to be able to cable on the train. Probably not. So, I'll read instead. Unless I start one of my other fabulous knitting projects now that I have all of this unbelievably gorgeous STR yarn.

Friday, April 13, 2007

One down, one to go....

Well, I finally finished ONE of my Inside Out Socks from the Rockin' Sock Club's February 2007 kit. I did the toes and heels on 1s, the main part of the foot on 0s, and the leg on 3s!!! Here are some pictures of the sock, which is meant to be wearable on either side! (I don't know why I can't get any good colors with my camera. Obviously it has to do with light. Sorry if you can't really tell what the socks look like....)

The sock:

The sock's cable from the outside:

The sock's cable from the inside:

I feel like a big loser for having taken so long to complete this, but what can I say? I really have knitted about 4 of them, if you count all of my froggings, so I tell myself that I'm not just incredibly slow. The result of my latest obsession with finishing them is a very sore wrist, by the way. There has to be a way to do this without injuring myself. I'm gonna have to figure that out -- I don't want sock knitting to be a painful experience every time.

So, why did I have to frog the darn things so many times? The short answer is: because I've never done cables before. The first time I did the leg I did it on 2s. The legs looked good, but I got nearly to the end and decided to try them on. Well ... that was when I learned that my cables were WAY too tight. I ripped them apart and started the legs again.

The second time I did it, I realized that I changed my pattern somewhere and needed to fix it (not paying attention) and had to rip it, rip it, rip it. The third time, I realized that I was just completely wrong about the pattern. Somehow I had managed to make up a pattern that was only loosely based upon the actual pattern. Anyway, ripped that apart. I cannot believe that particular mistake and have a hard time pardoning myself for it.

Needless to say, by the time I figured everything out, I went nuts trying to finally get one finished. And I did. Which, as I noted above, caused me big pain. But I'm still happy to have the darn thing finished. I look forward to finishing the second sock and doing it right the whole time.

If it wasn't for my bazillion froggings of the sock, I would change a few things in my second sock. Since I don't want to re-do the first one to make it match the second one, though, I won't. The changes I would make are:
a) I would change the length of the foot. I think I did it a little too long. Actually, I might change that in the second one anyway because I think that it won't be too noticeable a difference between the two socks.
b) the gauge of the foot. I think I might play with the needle size on the foot. I think in the long run, it might be a smidge too tight on my foot. It's not painfully too tight or anything -- no lost circulation, to be sure. It's just what I think is wrong with it. Lastly,
c) I would try to knit the leg on 2s instead of 3s and just be really loose when doing the cables. However, because it actually fits on my leg on 3s, I'm NOT touching them again!

TOTALLY UNRELATED QUESTION: if you were to receive a baby sweater, would you rather get a cardigan or a pullover? Which one is easier for parents to use? I can imagine arguments for either one. Also, if I do a cardigan, what is the deal with the buttons? What do I have to do to make sure they aren't buttons that will be put into the mouth and choked on?


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Great Mojo

As I try to figure out which place is the best to receive the hand knitted items that I got as The Hat Lady here in Chicago, I've spent some time with these items and I have to say that they have a remarkable amount of good mojo. It is wonderful to see these items that so many people clearly put time and love into. The Harlot said in her blog something about the thought of homeless folks wearing something that was made with so much love and how good that made her feel. At first I thought this was just a nice sentiment. Then, after seeing these wonderful goods and meeting the people who made them, I have a new understanding and appreciation for what she said.

Here is a picture of all of the items together:

Here are some of the ones I felt like taking close - ups of. They might give you an idea of why I felt so impressed by these guys. Admittedly, maybe these aren't incredibly difficult to do or anything, but they prove (to me at least) that when folks set out to do their knitting for this event, they didn't just slap something together. Everyone made something nice:

It also helped me to appreciate how different we all are as knitters. There are many patterns in the world that I would never do because they are just so not my style. But, when I see them knitted, I can really appreciate their beauty (at least all of those that I got to see here in the hats, etc. -- there are admittedly some patterns in the world that will never look good to me) and am glad that there are so many of us making such different things. Life would be too, too boring if everyone knitted the same things that I do.

So, that's my deep thought for today.

No new reports really about what I'm up to with my knitting. I am STILL weaving in the ends on the baby blanket from a hundred years ago. I still haven't done the accompanying bear for it. I haven't gotten anywhere with my sweater. I had to frog the leg portion of my STR Inside-out Socks, because my cables made the leg too tight. And on it goes....

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Harlot!! And a tale about how I became The Hat Lady for Chicago

I think the reason that I blog about my knitting has to be almost 100% Ms. Harlot's fault, so it is fitting that I should be able to post something about The Harlot herself. Last night, my mother and I went to Borders in Oak Brook, IL to see Ms. Pearl-McPhee.

We left our house pretty early so that we would miss the rush hour traffic. We got out to Oak Brook (from the city) at about 5 and went to dinner and then to Borders at about 6:15. Seeing as how it was more than an hour before her talk (she was beginning at 7:30), I felt kind of embarrassed and clearly overeager by being there so early. HOWEVER, when we got there, the seats were already almost full!! I was so glad we had gotten there when we did and would likely try to get there earlier the next time I wanted to see her.

By being there so early, I had an opportunity to talk with my neighbors and I met a lot of nice people (what a surprise, right?). Also, at some point, a woman in the crowd decided to organize an impromptu show-and-tell. We all got up and showed what we were working on, mentioned the pattern, and the yarn, and everyone else in the crowd nodded knowingly and appreciatively:

I probably don't have to tell you that there were A LOT of socks. But, there were a lot of other good things too.

It was wonderful. One of the women in line with me to get the book signed said, "It's really cool how you can say what pattern you're knitting and everyone knows exactly what you're talking about." Sometimes folks could even guess what others' patterns were. It was pretty unusual and wonderful.

The Harlot's talk was funny -- so funny it made me cry. In fact, I overheard one of the guys who works at the bookstore saying, "I don't know what she said -- I couldn't hear her. All I know is that I heard lots of laughter, some more noise, and another burst of laughter." This is the same guy who (when I was buying the book) actually said the words that we had all talked about but I never actually expected to hear: "I've never seen so many knitters." To this I actually said, "Muahahaha! That is exactly the point!" Yes, I may have outed us and our plans, but it had to be done!

After TWO HOURS of waiting in line to get my book signed, I finally met her. The way I justify this kind of wait is that I had to wait anyway, since I was The Hat Lady and had to collect the hats! A lot of people just handed me their hats, but I think there were more than a few who were suspicious and who wanted to share them w/ Ms. Harlot, and they dropped them off at her signing table. Embarrassingly, my mother took a picture of the exhausted (but gracious) Harlot and me:

That is THE Bohus sitting in front of me on the table. It is unfreakingbelievable. It is beautiful, soft, and exquisitely knitted. Well done Harlot!

As for how I became The Hat Lady for Chicago, I noticed that no one else had taken on the job. It's that simple. So, I posted on her blog about doing it and got no response. It occurred to me that the woman is BUSY, so I emailed her directly about doing it and she said she'd like that. So, I did it. I will be posting pictures of the hats soon. There were a lot of them very generously donated. I couldn't believe it. So, stay tuned.

If you live in Chicago and have a brilliant idea about which homeless organization these should go to, please let me know. Otherwise, I will be doing the research and determining where they should go soon. I will let you know what I pick.