Archive for January, 2009

Rockin’ Sock Club shipment #1! Spoiler Alert!!

I finally received my first shipment from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club! I thought the wait was going to drive me crazy…after hearing about people from Japan, Canada, and everywhere in-between getting their packages I seriously began to stalk my mailman. When it comes to mail I am not a patient person!

Luckily, the contents of the package were well worth the wait. Check out all the goodies! In addition to the luscious yarn; a keychain, sticker, button, mini skein, dyer’s notes, and binder pages for keeping notes. And, of course,  the pattern, Queen of Beads, which looks super complex but I’m excited to attempt, nonetheless!

And beads! LeGasp! Color me intimidated. I’ve never worked with beads before but I do love learning new skills so I’m ready to give it a shot. I neglected to take a close up pic of my beads but they are a lovely iridescent teal color.

But the most wonderful thing is the yarn itself… blue is one of my favorite colors and this yarn is gorgeous. It’s dark yet vibrant and is swirled with turquoise and teal. Looking at it makes me think of water rolling and tumbling…

I’m excited to get started but unfortunately this is a crazy week for me. We have a guest staying with us next week so I’ve been cleaning the house and moving crap into storage and I’m been frantically helping my husband prepare for his 1st gallery show which opens next week. The socks may have to wait….(we’ll see how long that lasts!)

January 31, 2009 at 10:11 am 2 comments

Yarn Porn

Yesterday was a happy day for me as I received 2 packages in the mail full of yarny goodness. The first was from Indie Dyer’s World of Warcraft Sock colors with my chosen November and December colors (along with an additional accent skein from November). Prepare for a bunch of yummy pics!

I got Something Finney, a murloc inspired colorway:

I love the autumn-like colors. But I had a hard time turning down the other choice: Rezzing Again, so I got an accent skein of that as well:

And my selection from November: Long Ears, inspired by Night Elves.

I was tempted to pick the other color which was inspired by Taurens, but I couldn’t pass up these luscious hues.

Then, I got a package from Blue Moon Fiber Arts containing a skein of Beryl so I can finish up my husband’s socks. Of course, I wasn’t able to just order the one skein I needed. It just so happened that a couple others jumped into the shopping basket as well!

Fire on the Mountain:

And a skein of Gypsum, which I think I’ll make into Leyburns eventually.

After receiving all this yarn I was excited to cast on for something, so I chose Long Ears and decided to start some Jaywalkers.

Unfortunately, last night I was made of fail. It took me forever to cast on… I had so many problems. I decided to do two-socks-on-one-circular, but it was so frustrating at first… I was using the long tail method and didn’t use enough yarn a couple times. Then I completely lost my ability to simply count the number of stitches I put on the needle. Then I kept joining and twisting, despite my best efforts not to do so. After this happened about 4 times I cast on each sock onto DPNs, joined, knit 3 rows, then transferred them to the circular needle (which, in itself was a feat).

After that, things went smoothly until I realized the socks would be waaay too big for me. The cuff itself was about twice the width of my ankle, and the rest didn’t look too promising. I had decided to knit the medium size based on the measurements given in the pattern. The problem is, my feet are big (size 9), but I have twigs for legs and bony ankles. So I chose the medium size to accomodate my feet, not realizing the cuff would be so loose.

So it looks like I’m gonna start over with the small size and maybe find a way to increase when I get to the foot.

Sigh… it sucks not making progress after wasting a whole night.

January 26, 2009 at 4:16 am 5 comments

Blog gripes

First and foremost, I want to apologize to anyone who had to sign up for a Vox account in order to post a comment on my previous blog. My blog was originally on Livejournal, then I moved it over to Vox without really researching it much, and I didn’t realize that this was the case.

That said, I got kind of annoyed with Vox… it has some cool features but it’s missing some crucial elements I really want (the ability to add custom html content, for starters). I’m really regretted not being on WordPress… almost all my friends use WordPress, including my husband. I was debating making another move, but right now WordPress only allows one to easily import blogs from Livejournal and a couple others, but not Vox. Similarly, Vox does not have a feature where I can export or back up my entries (another annoying thing). So I basically either had to start fresh or manually copy and paste each entry into WordPress…. which actually turned out not to be that bad considering I only have like 17 posts to date. In fact, it only took me about an hour to get everything transferred!

I’m going to make this blog’s look different than my last one. The pink was starting to annoy me. It’s so weird… I go through such strong “color phrases” where I’ll love one color one month, and can’t stand it the next.

There was one year I wore almost nothing but blue. Most recently I was on an orange kick. Right now I’m totally digging purple, which is weird for me because that’s never been one of my favorite colors before.

In other news, I’ve ripped out all my progress on my two-at-a-time Belle Epoque socks. I can live with a few flaws in my knitted work, but the mistakes were starting to pile up – particularly in the sort of lacey-cablely part of the pattern. But now that I have a “feel” for the pattern I’m going to start again and go more carefully this time.

I also went to my LYS last night for their weekly Stitch N’ Bitch and somehow found myself walking out with this:

A Namaste Zuma bag in peacock! I’ve been wanting a good knitting bag for a long time and I think I’ve finally found it! I am a total bag-a-holic. While I don’t own any bags that are “designer” or pricey, (this Zuma is probably the most I’ve paid for a bag), I do have a closet full of them. But out of them all, there isn’t one that really works for holding my projects when I’m on the go. The big ones all have zippers or too few pockets, and the small ones are… well, too small.

The Zuma is deceptively small on the outside, but it really holds a ton of stuff. I love the magnet closures and the front pocket has mutliple slots which are perfect for holding my circular needles and iphone. Right now it’s holding my dreaded Avalon hoodie and my Noro striped scarf!

Now I need to plan more outings so I can use it more. (One of the setbacks of working from home is that I don’t get out very much…)

January 23, 2009 at 2:53 am 2 comments

The Never-Ending Socks

I had one goal for this weekend: finish my husband’s socks because I am really sick of knitting them and I want my sock-plate clear for when I start the Rockin’ Sock Club. (Sock plate…. ewww)


Ran out of yarn!

That’s right, I ran out of yarn. I can’t say I was that surprised, but I was in a stubborn state of denial until the bitter end. Even before I turned the heel I began to have that sinking feeling that I didn’t have enough yarn to finish, but I preferred to look the other way and say “I’m sure it’ll be fine – a little yarn goes a long way!” (Let me just say I am terrible at guessing how much yarn is needed to complete something and I was hopelessly optimistic).

Well, a little didn’t go a long way at all. I still have about 5 inches left to knit:

Ran out of yarn!

So I’ll have to order another skein and hope that it looks semi-similar to the original skein, which I purchased about 2 years ago. The most painful thing is knowing that the socks still aren’t done. I swear, they are testing my patience and are making me more prone to falling victim to Second Sock Syndrome again. I wish I hadn’t knit the leg part so long because then I’d probably have enough yarn to finish. But mostly, I wish my husband’s feet weren’t so big! Uggh… they will be completed though, mark my words!

January 18, 2009 at 2:45 am Leave a comment

In which I find myself with more time on my hands, hence the lengthy post.

Every other Tuesday morning, my LYS has a thing called “Breakfast Club” where, for $5, you can come in a couple hours before the store opens to knit and enjoy good company, coffee and bagels. It’s sort of become one of the highlights of my, well, fortnight. And it’s pretty much the only time I go to my LYS to sit and knit for a couple (or few) hours and spend time with other knitters (and crocheters).

Seeing as how I’m fortunate enough to work from home, I realize I could, hypothetically, go to the LYS like every day of the week and hang out, especially since it’s only a 15 minute bike ride away. But, of course, that wouldn’t be very productive – especially since the yarn store also doubles as a black hole where all time and space becomes distorted. Therefore,  what feels like an hour and a half is actually more like… uh, 5.

5 hours is what I spent there today I’m somewhat shocked to admit. But I think it’s ok because I’m sort of in job-limbo. (More on that in a second). Anyway, I enjoyed myself as always but I did not get an inch of progress out of my dreadful Avalon Hoodie. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I had to rip back 3 times because, no matter how closely I tried to follow the directions, my collar was not turning out at all like it was supposed to. And looking at the photo of the finished product, I can not conceive of how the corresponding pattern could possibly result in that same look, because, believe me, I’ve tried. I do find it mildly suspcious that in ALL 4 photos of the finished product, the model’s hair or hand just so happens to be covering up the crucial part of the pattern upon which I am stuck. (I could just be paranoid and delirious, however.)

What are you hiding, woman?!

What are you hiding, woman?!

As of right now, I am screwing the pattern and just improvising something that I (hope) will work. But I have to say, I am getting dangerously close to loathing this project and wanting to rip it all out and never speak of it again.

I should have just spent those 5 hours finishing my husband’s remaining sock.

I was so frustrated I had to buy some yarn to soothe myself. I bought some beloved Noro to make a striped scarf. I wanted to use Silk Garden but there were no colors available that I liked. So I went with Kureyon. And instead of colors mixed with dark stripes, I’m going to try a light-striped version.

Noro Kureyon

I also picked up these cute and teeny little circs. I had no idea they came in this size! I’m gonna try to knit a sock on them, because double pointed needles get on my nerves sometimes (although they are quite efficient).

Teeny Circular needle

Anyway, back to the job-limbo. For the past 5 years I have worked for a certain comic book company as the writer and illustrator for one of their monthly books. It has been a most satisfying run, but alas, all good things must come to an end. Last week I completed my final issue. And for the first time in years I find myself without a deadline.  I do have other projects lined up but nothing as reliable as that first one, and those are still in early-stages. So right now I’m sort of in project limbo and have a bit more time on my hands until things pick up on my other projects. Part of me is like “woo hoo!” because I suddenly have some time to get some personal projects complete (I’m trying to write a novel), and of course, knitting! But another part of me feels a little adrift and sad at losing such a big part of my regular work routine.

Right after I finished my final issue, I felt a little melancholy and decided that I needed both a pick-me-up as well as some kind self-congratulatory prize for my 42 issue run. And what better way to acheive  that than with a little retail therapy?

In what was clearly a haze of desperation and sorrow, I found myself signing up for Blue Moon Fiber Art’s Rockin’ Sock Club. I can’t be held responsible for my actions, really. 😉

I must be crazy because I have only completed ONE pair of worsted acrylic socks to date. But, when I’m learning something new I ususally like to just dive right into it and tackle it head on. So what better way to learn to knit nice socks than to subscribe to a sock club that will surely have patterns that will drive me insane? Of course, the yarn is main draw to the club. BMA has some of the most gorgeous colorways out there. I ordered two skeins of their yarn back in my early knitting days (when paying more than 5 dollars for yarn was ghastly and risque!), and I loved and treasured them so much I couldn’t bear to use them. As a result, they have been sitting in a bowl on my coffee table as decoration for the past 3 years! Of course, for my husband’s socks I finally relenquished one of them (Beryl) and used it. And I love the yarn so much I am totally sold.

One last note…. it seems I have been wearing my aforementioned acrylic socks a little too much. (More like slippers than socks, really. I only washed them once, but I swear they don’t smell!). It is a little painful to see a gaping hole in something I spent hours on… but it kinda just makes me love ’em even more.

January 13, 2009 at 2:43 am Leave a comment

Sock Bug

Ok, well, remember how I swore off socks some months ago? Well, I have officially flip-flopped. In fact, I have worse than flip-flopped. I have caught the sock bug… bad. All I want to do is knit socks. I’ve lost interest in all my non-socks projects. Yes, it’s that bad. So what would make me change heart so drastically? Well first it was reading the latest book by the Yarn Harlot. Every time I read her stuff, I come away wanting to make socks, period. (She just has a way of making it sound like they are the most amazing thing in the world).

The Yarn Harlot Writes Again

Then, completing my first pair of socks which I mentioned a couple entries ago was a factor. Even though they’re made of cheap acrylic and they’re kind of saggy on my feet, I’ve been wearing them almost nonstop since I made them (and as I write this, in fact). They keep me warm and cozy when I’m in the house and I get a little ego boost every time I look at my feet and think, “I made these”!

The real cincher, however,  was when I made a sock for my husband. (Yes, just one. I’m still working on its mate!). I wanted to make a “real” sock, using tiny needles and sock yarn (Socks that Rock medium weight in Beryl, for those who want to know). What I didn’t realize was how much time it would take. This wasn’t anything like my first pair which were knit with worsted yarn on size 6 needles – those were cake compared to this. And it doesn’t help that my husband has huge feet and that the pattern was a time consuming and mind-numbing 3×1 rib.
It was a real test of patience to finish that sock. I always kept it nearby and did a few rows here and there, whenever i had a chance. And I had a couple of marathon sessions too. But I was determined to finish it.

And I finally did, on Christmas eve while hubby and I were visiting my folks for the holidays.

A single sock

I got that familiar warm and fuzzy feeling of completion, but the best part was seeing my husband actually put it on. It was a little tight, he admitted, and I realized that I would possibly have to rip it back. But he wouldn’t give it back to me. He insisted it was fine and it would “probably stretch out” on its own, and he continued to wear that one sock for the rest of the night and urged me to hurry up and finish the second one!

So even though the pattern is pretty dull, I’m fully determined to finish the second one! I think I may have officially beaten Second Sock Syndrome! Of course I can’t really say that until I complete the pair, but I feel optimistic!

I’ve also decided to give 2-socks-on-one-circular-needle another try. And naturally, because I like pain, I chose one of the more difficult patterns (well, difficult for me) in the book to attempt to re-learn the technique, Belle Epoque, which has a picot edge AND cables, and Yarn Overs! (Oh, my!).

But so far, so good. The picot edge was a headache and if I was more type A, I might have re-done it so that it looked better, but I’m not. So I will learn to love my flaws. I like the technique of knitting two at once and I’ve finally gotten into the flow of it. The yarn tangling continues to be a problem, but that’s partially my fault because I chose to knit from two ends of the same ball of yarn, rather that separate it into two. As for the yarn – I love it! The color is just amazing and the yarn is so soft. I got it in a swap so I don’t know exactly what it is, only that it’s by Mystical Creations. I have a feeling these socks are going to take a while though.

Belle Epoque in progress

I want to start another pair of socks… something that is less boring than the pair I’m working on for my husband, and something less complex than the Belle Epoque ones… but I’m trying to convince myself to finish those before I start any new ones!

When I went home for the holidays I brought along my Avalon Hoodie to work on, but since I was so enamored with my sock projects, I didn’t even touch it. I have to say, the more I look at it, the less i like it. The way the yarn is pooling isn’t really appealing and I’m still not convinced it will fit right. But I have to remind myself that it’s still in progress and not yet blocked… and it may end up being cute! But taking photos of my progress didn’t really encourage me…

And on one final note, I’ve joined Indie Dyer’s WoW sock club! What better way to feed my new sock addiction than to buy yarn inspired by my WoW addiction? 😀

Speaking of WoW, here’s a peek at my main toon, Tauren Hunter Ishtaur. I just dinged 60!


January 9, 2009 at 2:40 am Leave a comment

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Rockin’ Sock Club 2009

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