Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Where money goes

Yesterday I found myself hunting on the Internet for sock yarn. I don't know why. I have no money. My 2006 knitting Schedule is already set, and it doesn't allow for additional sock projects. And yet, there I was, browsing through Get Knitted and Knit Happens just as if I were not someone who has recently dropped thousands of dollars on a lawyer's retainer fee. However, I kept my self-control. I did not buy. Even though I remain desperately curious about how Lorna's Laces knits up.

(I lie. I know exactly why I went surfing in these places. It's all the knitting podcasts I've been listening to lately. All those great interviews that Marie Irshad's been doing with shopowners...I had to go take a look. Curses.)

And then...

Pampering socks for Mom
I found myself at Yarn Forward's website (hooray for online Canadian companies). And I found this - Austermann "Step" sock yarn. This is your usual 75% wool/25% nylon blend, machine-washable, niftily-striping sock yarn. However. This stuff has aloe vera and jojoba oil "impregnated into the fibres", according to the product blurb. Apparently these serve to "protect the skin against dryness, and provide care for feet on the go." The effects of these oils apparently remains after more than 40 washes.


My mom's feet are the bane of her existence. They blister super-easily, are frequently uncomfortable, and generally give her a really hard time, especially when it's hot. During the summer, her floors are littered with talcum powder because she practically buries her feet in the white stuff in an attempt to keep them dry and blister-free. Therefore, whenever I hear of products designed to keep feet comfortable, I instantly think of my mom.

Now. I know that $17.99 plus tax and shipping is way more than I would ordinarily be willing to pay for sock yarn. I also know that wool socks with oils in them are unlikely to keep her feet cool and bone-dry. However...$17.99 plus tax and shipping is pretty much bang-on my budget for my mom's Christmas gift. And if they are given at Christmas, well, that's wintertime, and at that time of year, they should be ideal to pamper her feet.

I'm also fairly confident that her usually prone-to-itching-upon-contact-with-pure-wool skin will not react to this stuff, because of the oils, and also because of the superwash nature of the yarn (I am also fairly sensitive to pure wool, and I have ZERO problems with my Fortissima socks). Throw in the fact that I haven't thought of a Christmas gift idea for my mom yet...well, that adds up to a heckuva lot of good excuses for clicking on the 'add to cart' link, boy howdy. Even DH thought it was a killer idea. (Yes, I know it's only April, shut up, I'm open to Christmas gift ideas year-round. Yes, I am a freak.)

I got colour #8 - "Brombeer". Big red, black and grey stripes separated by thin strips of white. They're going to be great.

(I'm way ahead of The Schedule. I'll whip them up in no time knitting continentally. I'll be fine.)

Black dress socks for bro
Well, I felt bad because I finally decided not to make the Kroy socks for my brother after all. I still think this was a good decision, because I really do agree with my dad that my brother wouldn't like to wear anything so fussy on his feet. However, I really liked the idea of knitting him some socks, hence the feeling bad. So...well...there was this 75% wool/25% nylon, machine-washable, solid-colour sock yarn (Scheepjes Invicta Extra) selling for $4.59 a ball. That's a pretty good price. So I got two balls in black for socks for my brother. It's okay, it'll come out of our Christmas budget. I'm just ticking off my Christmas list like crazy here, how more responsible can I get?

(More continental knitting. I'll totally have time to do these.)

Black dress socks for DH
Alright, and while I was at it, I added two more balls of the black Scheepjes Invicta Extra black sock yarn to the shopping cart, for DH. He needs more socks. It'll come out of our clothes budget.

(Yes, I am starting to pack on the socks, but I still think my new-found continental knitting skills can pull me out of the fire.)

Blue dress socks
I may also have added some royal blue Scheepjes Invicta Extra sock yarn to the shopping cart. Oh, come on, don't look at me like that. The colour looked really gorgeous! And the only thing DH has dipped into the clothes budget for so far this year has been new underwear. There's lots of leeway for a sock yarn-obsessesed wife to satisfy her sick, depraved cravings new socks.

Or I may make them for my dad for Christmas. I'm still undecided. Either way, I am so into the spirit of the 200Sox thing.

(Do not even think of mentioning The Schedule to me. Look at the sidebar. I am eight weeks ahead of myself. I totally have time for all these socks.)

Self-patterning socks #2 for DH
No more knitting on these socks has been accomplished, but I'm a little more decided now on whom they're for. The pendulum has swung back the other way and I'm back to making these for DH. They will either be the second pair in his birthday gift, or, if I finish them really soon, a gift to celebrate the fact that DH just successfully achieved his 'Certified "Class A" Clubmaker' designation with the Professional Clubmakers' Society (PCS), which we're all super-thrilled about. (Shameless plug: looking for custom-fit, game-improving golf clubs which won't cost an arm and a leg? Give him a yell.)

Dress socks for DH
At last, I started the second sock last night while DH was grocery shopping. It's not much, but it's a start:

(the first sock is a little rumpled because it's been carried around smushed up in my bag for a while)

Garden Shawl for MIL
I am over halfway done the body of the shawl. I'm not kidding! Look!

The fern chart is complete and I'm about halfway through the flower blossoms chart. It hit me last night that I am probably going to finish this way ahead of time. And then I the hell am I going to sit on this thing for over half a year until it's time to give it to my MIL? Augh!

Herald tabard for moi
Thank you VERY much, rachel and Mel, for your spot felting tips. That's really good to know. I'm not sure yet whether I'll have to used those tips, though, because...well... I tried the tabard on.


It is way too big. For most tabards, it doesn't matter so much that it's way too big, because the folds of the material drape around me and it still manages to fit properly. But because this is a thick, felted material, it doesn't fold, it just sticks out awkwardly. And the neckline is frickin' HUGE. It'll slide off me the second I start to move. And the less-felted-than-the-rest-of-the-tabard front left corner is really, really obvious.

And to add insult to injury, the bathroom mirror is filthy, hence all the white spots on the photo. Sorry.

This is so going for another felting trip through the machine. I'm so nervous. more thing. As long as I was spending ridiculous amounts of money at Yarn Forward, I also added a 3mm circular needle to the shopping cart. It bumped my total to $50.28, which gave me a more efficient shipping price; I've complained before about my need for another 3mm circular; and the $4.75 it cost is totally do-able even with my meagre $7.50-a-week 'fun money' allowance. So I feel no guilt.

But that's it for now. I swear.


rachel said...

Don't forget, once it's really felted you can chop that tabard up wherever you need to and reseam it, panic not! (and should it wind up too small just knit another strip for each side and felt it and insert it) - you designed it, you decide how it is put together!

Tanya said...

It's a pity the tabard process is so frustrating... it's *such* a cool project! Chin up, the SCA's all about trial and error! (erm, I mean; you've got lots of experts rooting for you and offering GREAT suggestions!)