Saturday, March 31, 2007

Harlotized

I think that, quite possibly, yesterday was the most perfect day I've had as a knitter. First, there was the package with all its knitterly goodies. Then there was the time to knit most of the day, resulting in the near completion of a sock whose heel had been turned only the previous night. My newest sock book also arrived. But mostly there was the Harlot.

J and I arrived at Joseph-Beth very, very early. So early, they didn't have anything set up yet. So I picked up my reserved copy of the book and we walked around the SouthSide Works for a while, then came back to watch the bookstore employees set up chairs and pounced on seats -- in the first row. J left once to get something to drink, but I pretty much stayed put and worked on the sock. Here is my Harlot-style shot of the sock and where she would soon be talking:

Then she was there, wearing the Bohus -- which, I must tell you, is absolutely stunning in person. I think I must knit one.

Her talk was funny and extremely amusing. J even enjoyed it, which thrilled me to no end. Since I had reserved my book in advance, we were in the first group to get called up to get in the signing line. I dragged J along with me and introduced him to Stephanie as "my favorite Muggle." I made him show her his socks (he was wearing these ones; I was wearing these) and she showed us hers. I asked her if they were Trekking; no, she responded, "they're Meilenweit Boot Stretch. You can get it at Knit One." (Was I really having this conversation about where to buy sock yarn in Pittsburgh with the Harlot?)
Then there was the moment that really blew my mind. When I handed Stephanie my book to sign, she asked me who I was. So I told her my name and what my blog was. And then these words came out of her mouth:
"Oh, I've been to your blog! You just finished some blue baby socks, right?"
WHAT?! THE HARLOT'S BEEN TO MY BLOG?! Well, color me incredulous. Yes, she assured me, she had been to my blog, and when she tells people she's been to their blogs, she really means it (she apparently clicks on the links to blogs that people leave in their comments). How she has the time to visit all these blogs while blogging herself, and writing books, and knitting sweaters like the gorgeous Bohus, is beyond me.
All of this was amazing, but the truly incredible moment of the night was when I got to hold the traveling sock while Stephanie held my nearly complete sock:
Proof that we were there, and that it wasn't just an amazing dream. Look for us in Steph's next post -- we'll be the less blurry folks in the front row.
ETA: Jen was there with us in the front row, too. I'm sending her picture I took of her and the Harlot joking around like old buddies. We'll see if she posts it.
ETA: I am in complete and utter shock, all because of this. Not only did she remember my blog name and what I'd recently knit, she linked to me. If you've come here from Her Harlotness' post, welcome! Make yourselves at home. And leave me a comment! I'd love to take advantage of this moment of unbelievable luck to find some new knitting blogs and connect with some other knitters!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sockret Pal Revealed!

J and I just came home from lunch out to find a box waiting for me -- my final package from my Sockret Pal! My spoiler these past months has been Becky. Take a look at the wonderful loot she sent me:

A gorgeous pair of Jaywalkers (more on those in a second), a pedicure set (we'll not even discuss how badly I needed this!), a Yarn Harlot book, an adorable Japanese figurine (already at home on my bookshelf), two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in a very J-friendly shade (I guess we know who will get getting socks out of this!), and some adorable stitch markers. Let's get a close-up of those, shall we?

Are these not the happiest looking stitch markers ever? I almost want to string these on a bracelet or necklace and wear them out as jewelry. They are going to really cheer up my knitting!
Now, as to the socks, check out these beauties:

I tried and tried to get a close-up of the colorway to show you how gorgeous these are, but clearly I am more talented as a knitter than I am as a photographer. These are also LLSS; the colorway is called Sand Ridge. It's a marine-y blue, dusty grape purple, and a slighly peachy beige. Just beautiful.
Thank you so much, Becky! You have spoiled me rotten and I've enjoyed every minute of this exchange!
Tonight, the Yarn Harlot visits Pittsburgh. Pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Finished: Baby Socks AND An Interview

Pattern: My own (I'll post it here if there's any interest)
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential (75% superwash wool, 25% nylon), colorway Gulfstream, leftovers from a skein used for another pair of socks
Needles: bamboo US 1 (2.25 mm) dpns
Started/Completed: March 23/March 27
Recipient: Baby Oliver -- welcome to the world!

Baby Oliver was born just last week to some friends of ours and upon hearing the news of his arrival I immediately went into baby-knitting mode. I'd knit a hat for his older brother about a year and a half ago; never being one for the matchy-matchy look in children, I thought this baby should have a different knitted garment. I knew I could whip up a pair of socks in just a matter of days, so here they are. I used leftovers from some other socks, which is my normal way of dealing with sock yarn scraps. At first I tried to use what was left of the Knit Picks Memories my Sockret Pal sent me (which I used for my Monkey socks), but alas, there was not enough. So the first half sock in that colorway was ripped and these were cast on.

This pattern is just a basic rib/stockinette combo. These are probably on the large side for a newborn, but at least I know he'll grow into them some day (and when he grows out of them, his mom can keep them as a reminder of how small he once was!).

Now, I bet you're wondering, just what is this interview alluded to in the title of this post? If you've been reading the blogs long enough, surely you've happened upon this meme once or twice. A blogger asks another blogger five questions, to which he or she must respond on his or her blog. Said blogger then often asks his or her readers if any of them would like to be interviewed and the cycle continues.

Earlier today I read Miriam's answers to her own interview questions and asked her to "interview" me. Here are her questions (quite good ones, I might add!) and my answers.

1. What is your favorite sock pattern?

Wow, that's a toughie right off the bat. It's hard for me to pick an absolute favorite sock pattern, because there are so many that I've enjoyed and so many I still want to knit. If we're going strictly by the number of times I've knit a pattern, then my most popular would be the Jaywalker (three pairs for me) and the Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock (two pairs for J, one pair for me, one pair for my dad).

2. How did you get your name? Are you named after anyone? Is there a story behind it?

In the Jewish faith, it is tradition to name children after relatives who have passed away. Usually the Hebrew names match up, but often the English names begin with the same letter as well. I am named after a Celia (whose exact relation to me I always forget) and a Dina (one of my great-grandmothers on my father's side). An interesting side note to this is that my parents had planned to name me something completely different -- Lauren Rebecca -- but dropped that idea after they mentioned the name to my grandmother and heard complete silence at the other end of the phone line.

3. How do you knit? English, Continental, combined? And who taught you to knit?

I have always knit English (i.e., I'm a thrower) but have been teaching myself a bit of continental in order to do stranded knitting two-handed. For years I was also knitting combined, even working the stitches properly so they weren't twisted, without realizing it. It was only in the past year that I realized what I was doing, and only in about the last six months have I started wrapping my purl stitches the more traditional way.

My aunt taught me to knit when I was about 7 or 8 years old, with some horribly fugly orange acrylic yarn and aluminum needles. Although I can't remember, I presume she taught me to purl as well; the rest of my knitting skills I've taught myself through books and the help of the Internets. I had a very weird role-reversal moment over Thanksgiving, when the aunt was in town. I took her to one of my LYSs to get a circular needle and showed her how to knit in the round -- she'd knit with circs before, but never connected her stitches to make a tube. (Next on my list is showing her how to make socks!)

4. What is your favorite food?

Another difficult question for me, as I love food and have favorites for different moods. Generally I prefer savory comfort foods with lots of spices. I could eat pasta every night of the week, especially with a good tomato sauce and crusty bread. One of my favorites has always been eggplant parmigiana, although lately I've discovered that it doesn't really love me back. I also love Indian food, but I rarely eat it as J does not particularly enjoy ethnic cuisine.

5. If you could choose one (and only one) yarn to knit with over and over again, what would it be?

Isn't this question akin to asking a mother to pick a favorite child? There are so many yarns I love to knit with, and so many I've yet to try. If I could pick only one, however, it would be a sock yarn, as socks are, hands down, my favorite item to knit. Of the yarn with which I've had experience, I would say Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock is my favorite, although Socks That Rock is fast becoming a serious contender. Ask me this question again after I've gone through a few of my STR skeins and the answer might be different.

Now, would you like to be interviewed? Leave me a comment and I'll e-mail you five questions to answer on your blog (don't forget to leave me your e-mail address if I can't readily find it on your profile or blog!).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spring has Sprung!

I've just returned from a long walk outside, where it is gorgeous. The sun is setting now, there is not a cloud in the sky, and it is warm but not humid. I did several laps through the cemetary up the road while listening to an episode of Cast On. It was so nice to finally be outside again and not be shivering. Now I've got windows open and ceiling fans on to cool off the house (we get a lot of direct sunlight in the afternoon). It appears spring has finally arrived!

I did not do much knitting this weekend on account of being out most of the day yesterday (shopping with my mom while J and my dad looked at cars) and having to do work today, but I did finish two socks -- two nonmatching socks -- since my last post.

On the left is the first of my Inside Out socks (the pattern from the February sock kit for the Rockin' Sock Club) and on the right is my own design, not yet named, but not going anywhere (remember the unfortunate Knitty coincidence?). I was not terribly excited about the RSC socks until I finished and tried it on. Not only does it fit, but the ribbing on the sole is brilliant -- so soft and squishy!

Right now my only socks on the needles are some baby socks for some friends of ours who had a new baby boy last week, but I'll be starting the second Inside Out sock soon. Tonight I'm planning on swatching for an Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket. I had planned on using the yarn left over from J's Cambridge Jacket, but as I was out walking I remembered that I had several skeins of a seafoam-y green wool -- very non-gender-specific -- I bought deeply discounted when the local JoAnn's was going out of business. I have four 1.75 oz skeins; the pattern calls for 3 oz of wool. If it's not enough, I've got plenty of scraps of yarn that will serve well for stripes.

Happy spring!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Of 40 Guys and Phallic Socks

Last night was of course the monthly meeting of the Hurricane Knitters (one of these days we will have a button) and we had a very good showing. I got there first and snagged a table in the center of the cafe so that we could all have a good vantage point from which to look out for you-know-who. Jenn and Amanda (with her fab-oo new haircut) soon showed up, followed by Betsy, Donna (fresh off her contest win), Jen, and Lori. Donna and I compared our February RSC socks and found them to equally resemble male genitalia; I'm sure someone has a picture of our socks somewhere and will shortly be posting it to her blog. We also petted each other's sock yarn, shared the newest additions to our knitting book libraries, and I did some show-and-tell with the surprise that was waiting for me when I got home yesterday:

Still life with Socks That Rock
(left to right: Lucy, Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Ruby Slippers, and Lemongrass)
All of us kept checking our watches and were getting more and more anxious, as 40 guy did not seem to be showing up. Then, just as we were starting to discuss what we would do if he didn't show (what would be blog about? could we still call ourselves the Hurricane Knitters?) -- well, he did. He performed his usual routine -- read a little graphic novel, muttered a little to himself -- and then took his 40 and went. And that was that.
Meanwhile, I've made good progress on my first RSC sock:

I plan on doing two more cable crosses and then binding off, probably using Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind-off so it doesn't cut off my circulation. I desperately want to start a new pair of socks or some other new project (can you believe I'm dying to cast on for another sweater as spring is finally arriving?), but I am determined to finish these socks first. I can do it, right?

BTW, did you see Guido and the other knitters on the Today show this morning?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Taking Stock

First, consider this your monthly reminder to come out and join the Hurricane Knitters at our monthly meeting, this Wednesday, March 21, starting at about 7 p.m. in the cafe of the Waterworks Barnes & Noble. All fiber and 40 fans are welcome!

* * * * *
Although I've missed the two-month mark, finishing (the knitting, at least) J's sweater has inspired me to review my yarn "diet" and see just how well or poorly I've been doing since instituting The Rules. I went back through the archives to see just how much yarn has entered the stash and how much has left it. Let's take a look:

Skeins In since 1/10/07 (and source):
2 skeins Knit Picks Sock Memories (from Sockret Pal)
2 skeins Knit Picks Gossamer (from Sockret Pal)
2 skeins Lily Sugar & Cream (for Sockret Pal)
2 skeins Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (purchased at knitting festival)
2 skeins Brown Sheep Wildfoote (purchased at knitting festival)
1 skein Brooks Farm Four Play (purchased at knitting festival)
1 skein Autumn House Farm sock yarn (purchased at knitting festival)
1 skein Socks That Rock Mediumweight (Rockin' Sock Club)
1 skein Colinette Jitterbug (purchased with gift card)
1 skein Austermann Step (purchased with gift card)
1 skein Koigu KPPPM (purchased with gift card)

Total skeins in: 16
Total skeins purchased with my own money: 9
Note: I did not include in this tally the yarn for J's sweater, as it was ordered before The Rules were instituted, or the STR I ordered on my birthday, as it is not yet physically in the stash.

By comparison ...

Skeins Out since 1/10/07 (and project):
2 skeins Regia (Jaywalkers)
2 skeins Pace (J's Valentine's socks)
2 skeins Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (Sockret Pal's socks)
1 skein Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (sent to Sockret Pal)
2 skeins Lily Sugar & Cream (sent to Sockret Pal)
2 skeins Cascade Fixation (sent to Sockret Pal)
2 skeins Knit Picks Sock Memories (Monkey socks)
2 skeins Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern)
1 skein Austermann Step (Widdershins)
1 skein Online Supersocke (Plain Vanilla Socks)
6 skeins Cascade 220 (Cambridge Jacket for J)
1 skein Knit Picks Essential (sock not yet seen on this blog)

Total skeins out: 24
Overall effect on stash: -8 (down 8 skeins!)

Not bad at all, if I do say so myself. We'll see in another two months if I can do as well or better.

Meanwhile, since I finished up the biggest project, I've moved back to all the smaller WIPs. Foremost among these is my first sock for the Rockin' Sock Club. Here it is as of last night:

I don't mean to be crass, but what does this look like to you? Thank goodness it stretches out when it's on the foot and doesn't look quite so, um, phallic.

I must admit that I'm not wild about this pattern and I kind of want to frog and knit something else. But, I did join the sock club in order to try new things, including the patterns. If I'd wanted to just knit with STR, I'd have just ordered the yarn, right? I will make myself work on these and hopefully will enjoy them more once I get to the cabling. I plan on bringing this sock on Wednesday and will be letting anyone who asks squeeze the STR!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Where did the weekend go?

I can't believe it's already Sunday night. We had a positively crazy weekend. J got in late on Friday night because of the weather, as a result of which we did not make it to the hockey game (although we did watch it on TV over dinner). Yesterday was spent running all over town, attempting -- unsuccessfully -- to apply for a passport and getting our taxes done. Today basically consisted of eating a late breakfast, doing two loads of laundry, and driving to the airport and back.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, however, I did manage to make a trip to the yarn store and the book store.

I had received a gift certificate to Knit One from some friends for my birthday and we were in the neighborhood on Saturday, so we made a quick stop. Since I was using a gift card, I decided to treat myself -- here's a skein of Colinette Jitterbug, a skein of Austermann Step in blue shades (socks for me this time!), and an orphan skein of Koigu that will make some anklets. The colors are way off in this photo; they're all gorgeous shades of blues, purples, and greens. The book in the background there is Stefanie Japel's latest, Fitted Knits. There are quite a few items I plan on knitting from this book already; most of the designs, like the designs we're all familiar with from her site and online magazines, are seamless top-down constructions. I've realized that I really suck at seaming together sweater pieces.

Speaking of seaming, I finally finished all the work on J's sweater save sewing in the zipper (which still needs to be purchased). I finished up the collar and the crocheted borders this morning, with just enough time for J to model it before he had to leave again for the airport:

We pinned it together so you can get the idea of how it will look. He's quite happy with it. I, on the other hand, am not very happy with how the sleeves turned out. Maybe one day I will figure out the maths required to change the sleeves.

Fortunately the back looks great. Especially with that cute little tushie. Sorry, did I just type that?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

What have we here?

Well, first we have some blocking ...

(That's not dirt on the sleeve; those are just wet spots where the spray bottle dripped.)

Then we also have some seaming ...


So far, the shoulders are sewn together, both sleeves have been sewn in, and one sleeve has been seamed. Tonight I'm hoping to get the other sleeve and the sides done. If I'm really fast (and can stay awake), I'll start the collar as well. Perhaps this weekend we'll have a chance to pick up a zipper and I can finish.

I was so worried that by the time I finished the sweater it would be too warm for J to wear it. Don't you know? We're supposed to get 1-3" of snow tomorrow. Figures.

Monday, March 12, 2007

In the Home Stretch

Thank you for all of your birthday wishes and for your fiber pushing. I did indeed order myself some STR lightweight as a birthday gift for myself -- in colorways Lemongrass, Little Bunny Foo Foo, Lucy, and Ruby Slippers. I tried to pick out colorways that weren't too loud but were also a little outside of my normal palette. I did use my coupon from the first sock club shipment and, as I consider my birthday to be a special occasion (one that truly comes but once a year), this purchase falls entirely within the scope of The Rules and so does not count against the yarn diet.

We did have a lovely, busy weekend, although unfortunately J spent much of it on the phone or the computer. The plus side of this was that at least the two of us were in the same room for most of the weekend and, while he worked, I knit. I finished up the first sleeve to his Cambridge Jacket and started the second along with working on the first STR sock and starting another. I will finish the second sleeve tonight; depending on how long that takes, there may be some blocking action as well. (I think I've decided to block by pinning the pieces into place and giving them a good spritzing; I'd originally planned to wet block, but now I'm worried about the pieces stretching too much out of shape if I gave them a full bath.)


This evening I came home and discovered my latest My Points reward -- a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card -- waiting for me. I was impressed with how quickly it got to me, as I'd just redeemed the points last week. I already know what I'm going to get with it. Take a wild guess what it is. I have all that sock yarn coming to me and still a lot to work through in the stash -- it's only right that I get some new sock patterns to go with it!

This week it's back to the regular schedule -- normal work week, J is gone until Friday evening. We have plans to go to the hockey game(!) Friday night; perhaps I'll make like Lolly and take my knitting to the game.

P.S. You've heard the big news, right?

Friday, March 09, 2007

It's That Day Again...

Yep, it's my birthday. I'm turning 20-something again. (I like the age I've been for the past year, so I've decided I'm just going to stay that age for a while. When my kid brother called me to wish me a happy birthday, he informed me that I won't be "old" until I'm at least 70 and I'm not really a grown-up until I'm at least 35 -- not even if I have kids before then. Thanks, brother!)

J came home a day early to spend the day with me (I luckily had the day off from work, too) and we are heading out for dinner soon, so today's post comes in bulleted list form.
  • Last night I finished the first sleeve of J's sweater, although it was not without drama. I finished the increases as called for in the pattern on Wednesday night and, when I spread it out to look at it, discovered that not only had I increased once on the wrong row, it was also an inch longer than it should have been. So I spent the entire hour of Lost tinking back to where the mistake was, remeasuring, and refiguring the increases to get the correct length. Then, of course, I had to do a bit of math to work the shoulder shaping to account for the fact that I'd done less increases than I should have. Fortunately I had the foresight to write down what I did so when it comes to the second sleeve I'll do it right. Theoretically. The second sleeve is started, but did you really want to see more gray stockinette? I didn't think so.


  • Finally, after nearly two weeks, my Sockret Pal spoilee got her final/reveal package from me last night. I was spoiling Rebecca, and judging from her post I did a pretty good job. It's a good thing I checked my e-mail this morning to see that she got it before I was up and about this morning, because otherwise I might have gone straight to the post office and been not very nice to the people there.
  • I got an e-mail from my Sockret Pal this morning telling me that not only is my final package soon to be sent out, she also sent me something for my birthday! I can't wait to find out who she is!
  • As my birthday treat to myself this morning, I cast on for my first Rockin' Sock Club sock.

Wow, is this yarn ever cushy. Would it be very wrong to break my yarn diet in order to buy myself some more STR as a birthday present?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Tale of Two Experiments

Last night I conducted a little dyeing experiment here Chez Knit/Wit. I'd had this yarn in my stash for quite a while that didn't particularly appeal to me, to put it nicely. Frankly, I don't even remember why I bought it, although my guess is that it was cheap and I was trying to get my Knit Picks order over the free shipping threshold. Here's what it looked like originally:

This might be the perfect colorway for someone, but not me. I'm not into the oranges, and yellows I like only in small amounts. I decided to try to overdye these skeins with blue, figuring the yellow would turn green, the orange would turn brownish, and the white and gray areas would turn shades of blue. So, on the way home from work, I stopped by the supermarket and picked up a fistful of packets of Kool Aid. I think I used about 14 packets of Blue Raspberry Lemonade (which turns out kind of cloudy, I should tell you) plus two packets each of Lemon-Lime and Grape for some depth to the color. I put all but two of the lemonade packets and one of the grape into the pot; once the yarn was submerged, I sprinkled the contents of the last three packets on top.

Here are the (vastly improved, if I do say so myself) results:

Although one skein is a tad bit darker than the other -- obviously it was the one that got the majority of the second grape packet -- I'm very pleased with the transformation. Now I have shades of blue, deep purple, olive green, chocolately brown, and small spots here and there of the original colors. As an added bonus, the yarn smells deliciously fruity!
Experiment Numero Uno: Success!


Now, onto the second experiment. Last night, after posting, I was taken with the urge to cast on a sock (and it wasn't my first STR sock). You see, for several days I'd had a pattern running through my head, so I wanted to see how it would look in yarn. I decided I'd design a sock and, if it was any good, maybe submit it to Knitty or MagKnits. It knit up quickly and I was thrilled with how it looked:

Then today, just as I found myself getting caught up at work, I decided to go check out the submission specifics for Knitty and discovered that the spring '07 issue is up. Bonus -- submission details and new patterns! Great, right? Er, well ... Just go look at this particular pattern. Look at all familiar? Yeah, IT'S THE SAME PATTERN. The only differences are a cuff, an extra knit stitch, and a purl stitch. Grrrrr. I'm still going to finish the sock, but obviously now I can't submit it anywhere because it will look like I've just copied this other pattern -- right?

Experiment Numero Dos: Curses! Foiled again!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Finished: Plain Vanilla Socks

Pattern: Basic stockinette sock worked over 64 stitches
Yarn: Online Supersocke, color 770, one 100 g skein
Needles: two US 1 12" Addi Turbo Circs
Started/Completed: February 28/March 6

These are my March Socks for SAM3, but they certainly won't be my only pair for the month, judging by my sock knitting performance in February. After the last pair I knit went so quickly and were so satisfying to knit, I needed another purely stockinette fix. This yarn at least kept things interesting with its self-patterning; I'm convinced that using self-patterning or self-striping yarn makes you knit it faster, since you can't wait to see the next pattern or stripe take shape.

This yarn wasn't entirely enjoyable, however. I found it to be quite rough and scratchy, especially compared to the Austermann Step. These socks will need a good soak or two to soften them up before I can even think of wearing them. At least it came from the stash!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cue the Angelic Chorus

It's here! It's here! My first Rockin' Sock Club shipment is here!





***Spoiler Alert: If you're still waiting for your first shipment and want to be surprised by the colorway, don't scroll down!***




After being disappointed day after day upon coming home and seeing no box on the doorstep, today was finally the day. I was starting to think that the yarn kleptos in Leetsdale had been holding onto it (and I have a beef with the Postal Service, which I'll get to later), but as it turns out it was only mailed on Saturday, so it actually got here pretty quickly.

It did not disappoint and it was definitely worth the wait. Now I finally know what all the fuss is about regarding Socks That Rock. This stuff is so delightfully squishy and soft, and the colors are just gorgeous. The pattern for this month's sock is quite interesting and I think it will be very fun knit. I am holding off on starting the sock at least until I finish my current pair (2 1/2 inches of foot and the toe to go on the second sock, so that probably means I'll get to start tomorrow).

Also in the package were my Rockin' Sock Club binder with dyer's notes, a helpful foot measurement/sizing chart, and pages for keeping track of foot measurements; a Rockin' Sock Club button; a NSK (Notorious Sock Knitters) bumper sticker; a keychain of BMFA's signature emergency sock yarn; and a coupon for 10% my next purchase. I plan on using that next item soon, but I will not be using it to break my yarn diet. You see, J keeps asking me what I'd like for my birthday (which is this Friday, by the way, if anyone wants to send me yarn!), so tonight I told him I'd like some more STR. It won't be here by my birthday, but I'll be just as happy if I can pick out my colorways.

So, you want to know about my beef with the USPS? I'm going to tell you anyway, if only to push down the photos a little more so as not to ruin the surprise for anyone. Here's the story: a week ago Friday, when I was taking a vacation day to go do all the errands I can't do on the weekends, I also stopped at the post office to send off my final package to my Sockret Pal. I sent it delivery confirmation so I could track it and make sure it got to her. All last week, I checked. And all last week, it only told me that my package had been accepted. Finally, this morning, it told me that it was sent from the shipping facility -- this past Saturday. That's right, they let that package sit for a whole week before sending it out. Now, I may not have sent it overnight with tons of insurance, so they didn't make a whole lot off of me in postage, but that seems kind of rude, doesn't it? Next time I'm in that post office I'm going to be sure to mention it. Fortunately my Sockret Pal seems to be okay with waiting a little longer for her final package and at least she knows it wasn't my fault.

Okay folks, you've made it long enough, here's the shot you've been waiting for:

Some of the goodies -- the binder, bumper sticker, button, emergency sock yarn, and the gorgeous skein. I think that the yarn deserves its own closeup, don't you?


This is STR mediumweight and the colorway is called Monsoon. As usual, the colors aren't captured at all accurately here. The darkest shade is a deep slate with a touch of purple; the other sections are dusty shades of olive, chocolately brown, and taupe. Shortly after taking this photo, I put it on the swift and wound it into a lovely STR cake, so now it's all ready for me to cast on!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

And now we return to our regularly scheduled programming ...

Now that the flurry of sock knitting that was February has passed and the sock-knitting demon that possessed me seems to have let me be myself again, it's time to return to the other WIPs that have been patiently waiting for my attention. Foremost among these is J's Cambridge Jacket, since spring is coming quickly and if I don't finish soon, he'll have to wait until next fall to show it off.

When last we saw this sweater, the back and two fronts had been completed and the first sleeve had been started:


I am into the second section of increases (every fourth row, or every other RS row), which means I won't have to pay such close attention to counting rows from here on out. This should make for some good knitting while I watch my latest Netflix movie this evening.

I did indeed cast on for a new sock after posting last night, a plain stockinette one out of some self-patterning yarn. It's a basic superwash/nylon blend, but after the Austermann Step it feels incredibly scratchy and rough. Thus begins the return of the fingertip callouses ...

I got all excited this evening when I got home and saw a big box sitting on the front stoop. I thought I was going to have two days in a row of knitting packages, as my Knit Picks box finally came yesterday (after sitting in Leetsdale since noon on Saturday); I was convinced this would be my first shipment from the Rockin' Sock Club, which was due to be sent out this past Monday. Unfortunately, there was no sock yarn in this box, only an engagement gift from some family friends (very nice in its own right, but not as soft as Socks That Rock). Sigh. Perhaps tomorrow.