Sunday, October 29, 2006


October has continued to be incredibly busy at work, to the extent that I feel totally drained, physically and mentally. For the first month since joining Sock-a-Month, I have been unable to finish a pair of socks. In Soctoberfest, yet.

That is the sum total of my progress. One sock, just past the heel. I've had to re-do that heel three times, because I seem to have lost the ability to count, and, for the first time ever, I also managed to lose a needle along the way. Trying to look at the positive side, I am one-third of the way done for November.

I don't even have any doodads to share with you, unless you count this:

My new sock blockers! For which I have no new socks!!

So, in lieu of pretty socks, I will leave you with a picture of some pretty yarn.

I'm gonna go have a nap -- cya next month.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cabled Rib Scarf

I have finished and mailed off my scarf for the International Scarf Exchange. From reading my recipient's blog, I got the impression that she wasn't too much into the frou-frou but definitely would welcome a touch of utilitarian luxury.

The pattern is the Cabled Rib Scarf, designed by Anne at Knitspot. It was easy to remember after the first repeat and fun to knit.

I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, which apparently may or may contain cashmere, but in any event was a pleasure to knit with, has great stitch definition while remaining incredibly soft and cushy, and has wonderful drape. This yarn also apparently has a bit of a reputation for pilling, but it behaved well as I dragged it to and fro while knitting.

I have fallen in love with reversible cables. I may have to make another one for me, but in a different colour because 5.5 feet of grey is quite enough, thank you very much. :-)

In the Other News Department: I continue to be amazed by the generosity of knit bloggers as they support each other in various activities, be they walk-a-thons, causes for cures, blankies for various people or general emotional support. With this in mind, I come to you, hat in hand, and ask for your assistance. It seems that one of us is in desperate need of an intervention. I ask not for your monetary assistance, nor your knitted squares. I simply need someone, anyone, to please, please, please design another dish cloth. I am feeling extremely guilty. (Hi, Shannon!)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Knitters Tea Swap 2 - Package Received!

A most delightful package arrived in the mail yesterday -- my swap package from the Knitters Tea Swap 2!

Melinda, from Chicken Without a Head, sent me this delightful assortment of tea, yarn, cookies and chocolate. Yummm!!

Melinda is lucky enough to live in the beautiful city of Seattle. Ah, the joys of living in a port city! She sent me some green pear tea from one of her local shops, as well as a sample of their black tea. She also sent a box of her favourite herbal - Strawberry Vanilla - and some Seattle signature tea, Market Spice. To munch while drinking the tea, she sent some Ginger Nut cookies (I love ginger!) and some chocolate. (Note to self -- remember to renew membership at gym.)

For the yarn portion of the swap, Melinda sent me three skeins of deliciously soft and beautifully blue baby cashmere and .... a humongous hank of her own handspun!!! This yarn is gorgeous, and I tried to capture it in "pr0n" shot.

Blues, green and -- sparkles! How totally cool is that!! Melinda reminded me that it should be knit tightly to improve durability if I were to use it for socks, but I'm thinking maybe scarf? I'll wait to see what Anne comes up with for her next man-lace design. Sparkly blue and green man-lace -- yipeee !!!

This was a most delightful ending to an extremely hectic week. Thank you very much, Melinda --

-- I'm about to enjoy a cup of green pear tea (which smells wonderful!), some ginger cookies, and catch up on my blogs, a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I continued to be amazed, astounded, astonished -- gobsmacked -- at the generosity and kindness of knit bloggers.

A short while ago, Julia at Knitting History had a contest. She discovered she had an "extra" copy of Alice Starmore's Sweaters for Men and offered said book as the prize. All one had to do was post a comment. Can we say "Starmore"? Can we also say "hard to find"? Can we also also say sweaters for "men"? Of course I entered because I've longed for that book for, well, a long time. As it turns out, however, I did not win the contest. Seems a certain Miss W had the luck of the random numbers in her favour that day, and I am very glad she won, because she is a very nice person, and I hope she enjoys the book.

However again, as it also also turns out, Julia had an extra "extra" copy of said book and she offered it to me. Out of the blue. Just because she's an extremely nice person. I accepted her offer. :-)

Thank you, Julia! I've already flipped through it, admiring the Veritable Variety of patterns, and will pursue it at my leisure when I have more time. Some designs seem a little dated, but many are classics. I may actually knit a sweater. :-)

In the Other News Department, I have made some progress on my Sockterbest Mama-E D.Mac sock.

It's ready for a heel, but it's also on hold for a moment because I discovered that the scarfs for the International Scarf Exchange are to be "received" by November 1, not "in the mail" by Novemer 1. Oops. I mailed out my Tea Swap and Chocolate Swap packages just about two weeks ago, and they still haven't been received. So much for expedited delivery, thank you very much, Canada Post. 13,728 stitches knit, plus the five rows I had to rip back and do over, and about a gazillion more to go. Gotta knit faster !!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

G, B & U

G is for Good

Good # 1

Although I do not usually post about acquisitions, I feel compelled to celebrate the fact that Koigu, a yarn dyed in Canada, is *finally* available in Ottawa, the nation's capital. Hallelujah!!

I might have bought a skein or 10.

Good #2

I haven't posted a doodad for a while, so in honour of Socktoberfest, allow me to share my method of storing DPNs. I used to use one of those roll things, but then I came across this:

I found them in a local dollar store. I believe they are originally designed to store utensils or silverware, but they're the perfect size for DPNs. I can keep each size in its own little tray. They stack for neat storage.

B is for Bad

Bad #1

I was going to post my answers to Lolly's Socktoberfest questionnaire (BTW - What's the difference between a questionnaire and a meme?) but I decided, after coming across the gazillionth questionnaire on other blogs and saying, "Yikes, not another one," that I wouldn't. My BAD. Sorry, Lolly.

While I was preparing to answer the questionnaire that I am not going to answer, I was digging around trying to find my first pair of socks that I knit back in 1999 using the famous Two-Strand Wool-Ease Socks that was all the rage many, many years ago that I had knit just to see how socks worked with the intention of determining how they held up, but I couldn't find them, and since I'm not sure whether I kept them or gave them away in the first place, I reminded myself that if I was to have done something differently, I really should have kept better track of a little piece of history, and likely should have used a nicer yarn, like Koigu, or Cherry Tree Hill, or one of the many wonderful handpaints that are available, but since I just wanted to figure what the heck a heel flap and gusset were, and I obviously did figure it out since I've many too many pairs to count since then, in the end, it was probably irrelevant. :-)

Bad #2

I did, however, find the second pair of socks I knit. I remember slaving over them, playing with gauge and stitch count so the colours wouldn't pool or stack but would still give me a nice pair of socks. And nice they were, for many years. Alas, Cleckheaton Tapestry, though beautiful, isn't really meant to give you socks that last for 20 years. The socks, though wonderful, are on their last legs .... err, toes.

U is for Ugly

Ugly #1

I apologize if I owe anyone emails, or responses to comments, or anything like that. It seems my computer was hit by an Ad-bot, despite about 37 prophylactic programs, and it is slowly eating its own hard drive. I have managed to save all my saved knitting patterns and photos and am in the process of saving all the rest of the crap I have accumulated over the past five years with this machine. My inbox has managed to empty itself several times, and my address book is now toast. It seems I get to spend the long weekend reformatting my hard drive and trying to load everything back on.

Ugly #2

I didn't pay much attention to blogs until I found Bloglines, and then I fell in love. At last count, I am subscribed to 718 blogs. (No wonder I don't get much kintting done.) However, in the last few days, Bloglines has decided that it wants to "help" me by automatically refreshing itself every five minutes. And while it does that, I get to sit and watch it, because it won't let me continue reading the blog I'm currently viewing. And if I should happen to go somewhere to comment and try to get back while it is refreshing itself, it freezes and shuts itself down. Thank you, Bloglines, for trying to be ever so helpful and thinking I am too stupid to click refresh myself when I want to refresh.

Jason, over at Jason Knits, has a very cool Google Reader blingy-thingy on his blog, and I am Very Seriously considering taking my blog reading business elsewhere.

According to the Bloglines home page, if you put the phrase bloglines freedbacking into a post, Some Poor Sap from Bloglines will actually read what you've written. I apologize, SPSfB, but since Bloglines has wasted an inordinate amount of my time this week, I decided to put this little bit of bloglines freedbacking way down at the bottom of this post so you can also waste a bit of time reading a bunch of nonsense about socks before you get to the bloglines freedbacking that you want/need to read. Turnabout is fair play. Unless you are a fellow socknitter, in which case, I hope you enjoyed the post.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Smothered in Chocolate

My swap package arrived today, and I have been absolutely smothered with chocolatey goodness!

There was a gorgeous mug that will be perfect for hot chocolate; a beautiful hand-made bag that's perfect for a sock-sized project; a very cool "Parisien" tape measure; some wonderful note cards; and some chocolate! Chocolate shortbread cookies, chocolate covered caramels, chocolate covered espresso beans, a dark chocolate Toblerone bar, a Dagoba chai bar, a Dagoba hazelnut bar, a Jamaican rum-filled chocolate bar and a trufle-filled chocolate bar! WOW!

I also got some yarn :-)

Isn't it beautiful! One of a kind, specially dyed just for me in a chocolate-covered cherry colourway, by my wonderful -- and perhaps sneaky -- swap partner. Attached to the yarn were some incredible beaded stitch markers -- three in chocolate colours and one completely personalized.

I was lucky enough to be paired with the incomparable, and wonderfully generous, Mama-E !!!!

Thank you, Erin -- I'm totally overwhelmed!

One of the stitch markers has been transferred to my current project. I've been saving a Very Special Yarn I received a while ago for a very special occasion, and I had decided that Soctoberfest would be the perfect time to finally enjoy a colourway named for me, now officially christened with the stitch marker, beautifully dyed by none other than the very same Mama-E. Yes, Erin, D.Mac is finally on the needles as my Socktoberfest project!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pride Goeth

Sometimes you're knitting along and everything just falls into place. The yarn and the pattern are a perfect marriage, and the fabric that's being created is just what you hoped it would be.

The colours play nicely with each other, and you're so delighted with what you are creating that you frequently stop to admire your handiwork.

The colours are so enticing that, although you had originally intended to do a short-row heel, you change your mind midstream and do a flap, just so you can watch the colours play in the Eye of Patridge.

Life is wonderful.

You start the gusset, and then you remember why you had originally planned on a short-row heel.

You tell youself that although it looks pretty bad from close up, once it's way down there on the foot it may not be as noticeable.

That's when you discover that you can't even get it over your heel.

One of the joys of having multiple WIPs is that when one becomes problematic, you can turn to another.

Beautiful yarn and beautiful fabric, and yes , it does look a little bigger. Well, actually *quite* a bit bigger. Hmm ....

It's been one of those weeks.