Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Socks Revived Socks Design Contest

As I mentioned Monday, I completed the pattern for the socks I just designed and put them up on Ravelry. Since I put it up on Rav, I have gotten a number of emails from people who spotted it there and liked it. It has been heartwarming and given me a feeling of inclusion or acceptance or something. It's been nice.

Here's a link to the contest, in case there are any budding or veteran sock designers out there who don't already know about it: Socks Revived Socks Design Contest

It felt pretty great to hit send on this one, I have to say.

I'm also almost done on the orange sweater, amazingly. I am working on the two shoulder sections of the front, which I usually do last because it's the most gratifying piece to work on. I will be writing this up as another free pattern when I have completed it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

En Pointe Socks - Free Pattern

I have finished the "pink socks" pattern, finally. Since I'm still really new to designing, and don't know if I've made mistakes (though I was really careful and I think I found everything), it's another free pattern. I'll put it up on Ravelry shortly. I was encouraged to finish it now because I plan to enter it in the Socks Revived Design Contest being run by Exercise Before Knitting.

download now

Adam has cautioned me to enter it in the contest and then let it go. He has seen me get super depressed when something I submitted to a magazine didn't get accepted. I know lots and lots of people will be entering the contest, and only five winners will be chosen. So, most people will not win! probably myself included. But I worked hard on the design, and I am proud of the result, and the socks are gorgeous in person, and I am taking the chance to enter the contest, even if I don't win.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spinning today (and the past few days)

Several months ago, I got a package from Blue Moon fibers called "Sheep 2 Shoe" which, although a slight misnomer / glossing over of details, is a neat idea where they provide you with fiber dyed in one of their colorways and instruction sheet, and you spin the fiber into sock yarn and knit a pair of socks. So, from sheep to your shoe - with a brief pit stop at the shearer, the skirter, the fleece washer, the carder, and the dyer - you get a pair of worsted-weight knitted socks. It's cool. The weird part was the colorway I received, which I feel sure I would never have ordered: navy, fuchsia, violet, pale lavender, cream, and crazy chartreuse!

I don't mind any of those colors individually ... but I would never put them together myself, and I would never buy them as a group. So what I suspect happened was they sent me something other than what I ordered, and I didn't realize it when I received it because I didn't look at it carefully enough. Anyway, now, I'm trying to work through my stash as much as I can, rather than buy more fiber. (I've had a few yarn slips lately, but am getting back on the wagon, and I've been doing well holding off on buying any more roving.)

So I pulled this out and followed the instructions they gave for how to spin it their way. They tell you to split the fiber in three pieces lengthwise, and spin each to a certain wpi, ply together, and then wash & set the twist. I've split it, spun it, and plied it, and will get around to washing & setting in a day or two. I think it's incredibly ugly!

The plies didn't exactly match - one of the thirds was a little heavier than the other two - so it's just muddy, and horrendous. Even if the plies had matched - and there are lengths of the yarn where they do - I just hate these colors from start to finish. Whoo-hoo! Hideous yarn! Adam had nice things to say about it, tried to make me feel better about it, but bleccccccch.

Now here is some yarn that I think is just gorgeous.

It's Mountain Colors' "Bearfoot" fingering yarn in colorway Sandstone - superwash wool, nylon, and mohair, surprisingly. It's divinely soft and I am in love with it. I rarely say such things, but I actually carried this around with me in the store and stroked it against my cheek. Tonight as we watched "Chuck" I wound it by hand into a ball, even though I have a perfectly good yarn winder, because I wanted to be doing something with it while we watched TV. It's going to be a pair of socks, because I don't want to waste it on a wrap that I will never wear. I can't wait to knit with it and watch the colors move across my needles.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I'm reading something other than the Sword of Truth series, for once: Flawless, by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell. I didn't think it would stand the test of the exercise bike (compared to the S.o.T. books, which are great for the bike), but it does just fine. It's just as engrossing as a heist movie (e.g., "The Italian Job," "Ocean's Eleven," etc.), which I love. In fact, in some ways it's more fun to read about it, because it's really well researched, and you get a lot of interesting detail about why such and such a method of securing a safe deposit box door is better than another. The one thing I really wish the book had is pictures - or even drawings - for example when the authors are describing a tool the thieves devised to solve one of the many seemingly insoluble hurdles between themselves and the loot. But their descriptive powers are strong, and it's not terribly difficult to use your imagination and figure it out. Their pacing is good too. Given that you know from the outset that they are able to break in and steal the safe contents, the way the authors build up to the actual event, and start to show how things break down (leading to some of the thieves' arrest), is very satisfying. I've covered quite a few "miles" on the stationary bike with this one, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next - I'm only halfway through.

* * * * *

Today I had a doctor's appointment that was LESS than satisfactory, given that I had to wait 45 minutes to be seen by the radiologist, who informed me that since I marked "could possibly be pregnant" on the form she couldn't do the scan. I was able to have the sonogram, since that's not an X-ray, fortunately, so it wasn't a complete waste of my time. I became really annoyed, as I thought about it while I waited for the sonogram after being turned back from the mammo, that they didn't tell me not to have sex after my last period, given that it was so damned important. How was I supposed to know, if they didn't tell me? For frak's sake! I got them, though - I found the opinion survey table on my way out and unloaded all this on them. And they did the sono, which was all I really wanted to have done. Mammograms SUUUUUUHHHHUUUUUHHHHHUUUUCK.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Watching the Prada Fall/Winter collection preview

Although I pay very little attention as a general rule to high fashion these days, when I was a teenager I was devoted to it, learned to sew to make my own goofy riffs on what I thought was in style, and even kept a scrapbook/sketchbook with my own ideas. Today I wear more or less the same thing every day, because I just don't have the energy or (as Adam puts it) the give-a-shit to dress fashionably. (Also because I'm fat, and it feels like putting lipstick on a pig, frankly, to dress up when I am fat.) BUT I read in Knitter's Review about the new Prada show, in which Ms. Miuccia makes use of knits in a pretty big way, and I had to check it out.

At first I thought everything was impossibly dowdy but after watching for a while (there is a lot to see) I started seeing things I liked. At one point I saw something that was quite similar to the design I submitted to, which was rejected by, Interweave Knits a year or so ago. A-line, swingy, and yes, dowdy in a sixties married lady kind of way, it is worth taking a look, if only for the knitted collars, cabled socks with high heels, and fabulous hair ornamented by knitted headbands on every model. I DEFINITELY want to make a headband or two along those lines.

Here's a lovely knitted coat. It's hard to capture (or, really, see) the cables in it, but I'm pretty sure it's knitted and I like it!

Check out this knitted bag, and following it a better picture of the knitted dress it's carried alongside:

This chick had all the moving grace of Julia Roberts, which is to say, none at all. (Watch Ocean's Eleven, the scene where she walks down the stairs, to see how J.R. clomps along.)

Check out the whole show. There's way too much for me to take screenshots of everything I liked. I'm definitely going to try to incorporate some ideas from this into stuff I make this year.

Pink sock, coming along nicely

Here you can see progress on the pink sock I have designed.

I'm considering a fancy lace edge along the top, because I like how they look and they are loads of fun to work as well.

This stitch pattern is pretty easy to work and I memorized it fairly quickly. And it's so pretty!

One unrelated note. Here is the "graveyard of traffic cones," as Adam named it, that we passed on our drive in this morning - a huge, dirty pile of snow in which unlucky cones found themselves.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone