Thursday, June 15, 2006


Last night I went to the SnB at Lettuce Knit. It was actually a combination SnB/birthday party for the Yarn Harlot. Consequently, there were way more knitters than usual, munchies, booze, balloons, and...a 20% yarn sale in honour of Stephanie's natal day.

I, uh...I bought some stuff.

Foot-pampering socks for Mom

This is "Sea Silk" from Handmaiden. It is really cool stuff and I've been hankering (no pun intended) after some for a while. But the cost was always kinda prohibitive. At 20% off, though...I caved. This stuff is niiiice. It even smells like the sea (that salty seaweedy tang).

I bought it because I thought it would make absolutely fabulous socks for my mom. She blisters super-easily, and finds wool scratchy. I had bought some Austermann Step yarn - infused with jojoba and aloe oils - intended to be socks for my mom for Christmas. But lately I've been nervous that this yarn, being 75% wool, would be too scratchy for my mom even with the oil infusion. Whereas silk is absolutely not scratchy, and the advertised release of vitamins and minerals, anti-inflammatory properties and whatnot from the seaweed in the yarn strikes me as a huge plus for my mom's wussy feet.

The only thing is that there are 400m of yarn in this skein. That's enough to make a small lace shawl! (As evidenced by one lovely lady who showed up last night in a GORGEOUS dark purplish lace concoction made out of a single skein of Sea Silk. Harlot took a photo of it last night and will probably be posting it on her blog today, so go take a look.) And it's definitely enough for more than one pair of socks. So...what do I do? I mustn't keep it all for myself - that would be wrong. But it's so tempting! I really must use at least half of it to make Mom some socks. But the other half - what do I do with that? Make something small and snazzy for myself? Make Mom a second pair of socks? And then...what do I do with the Austermann stuff? Do I still make her socks out of it? Which socks will be her Christmas gift this year?

Sigh. I just don't know.

Another thing that happened last night was that Harlot brought some stash overflow and gave it away. Yes, gave it away. She put it on the ground and started a feeding frenzy. Seriously - inside of five minutes everything but the crochet books was gone. (That's right, she couldn't even give the crochet books away. Although I suspect this was due more to the quality of the books themselves than the crochet subject matter, because Drea - avid crocheter - flipped through at least one of the books and then put it back with a decisively-uttered "No.")

I hung back from the frenzy a bit, because I already had my Sea Silk by that point and was feeling pretty good about my stash enhancement already. And I didn't want to seem greedy, plus, other knitters clearly were more interested than I in acquiring free yarn. However, when I noticed that nobody seemed keen on the skein that had caught my eye when the bag first hit the ground, I waded in and picked it up.

This is Landscapes, a 50/50 wool/acrylic bulky yarn from Lion Brand, and I think it's kind of cool. I might make something nifty for DD with it.

Anyway, good times. Really good times. I enjoyed myself tremendously. And I got to go part of my way home with several very cool people, which was a great treat.

(Unfortunately, it all came crashing down when I arrived at the bus terminal and discovered that I'd missed the bus that drops me off at the end of my street by twelve minutes, and that the next one wasn't coming until 11pm. No thanks. I had to take another bus that took me to my general area but forced a 20-, 25-minute walk home. In 2" heels. And a fairly chilly wind. In the dark. Really late at night. Fun. Plus, you could tell that DH had been holding down the fort because this morning I discovered a towel bunched-up on the rod and DD's toothbrush stored face-down on the counter in the upstairs main bathroom. Sigh.)

Stornaway sweater for DH
The gussets on this project (of which Carrie K is a fan, and which is probably one of the few things about all this gobbledegook knittingspeak that Tanya understands) will have to wait for the moment, because I have placed them on scrap yarn, divided for the armscyes, and am working me way up the front of the sweater, baybee. This is fantastic, not merely because it is a major milestone in the project, but also because it allows me to finally spread out the work and see the pattern in all its glory:

I am pleased.

Garden Shawl for MIL
My work on this over the weekend got my momentum going again, and I've been working on it quite a bit so far this week. As a result, I am now on THE LAST CHART before the edging. Admittedly, the last chart comprises about 20% of the body of the shawl, but still, there is something so beautifully close to being finished about 'the last chart', even if I am totally fooling myself by thinking so.

Socks for DH's boss
At last! DH came home on Tuesday night and announced that he'd been able to covertly compare his shoes to his boss' shoes. He estimates that his boss' shoes are 1" to 1.5" longer than his own. This means, presumably, that his boss' feet are 11.5" to 12" long, since DH's feet are 10.5". DH also guesses that his boss' feet are a bit wider than his own, but this shouldn't be a big issue since DH says the socks I make for him have some give around the feet.

So I'm going to make socks the same girth as I always do for DH, but make the feet about 11.75" long. That should work. Yay!

The only disadvantage of this is that DH still won't have any handknitted dress socks. I'll have to get more black sock yarn and rectify that problem. But first things first.

Another interesting tidbit DH brought home from work was that his boss' wife is an avid knitter! Lace, cables, colourwork, the whole gamut. She also has a knitting machine. Hey, maybe she reads knitting blogs, too. So...Barbara? If you're reading this? Please don't spill the beans to your husband that I'm making him some socks. However, if you can give me more precise measurements of his feet, I would greatly appreciate it.

MP3 player cosy for moi
The earbuds that came with my MP3 player have this really neat doohickey with a plastic loop on it, so that you can loop it around the buttons on your coat/shirt/whatever, and thus have your clothes hold your MP3 player for hands-free listening.

But last week, the part with the plastic loop unscrewed from the rest of the earbuds cord somewhere on the subway and was lost, presumably forever. (But I am optimistic - I keep checking the ground in the transit system in the hopes of spotting it. I did see one this week and snatched it up, but it didn't fit my player. So clearly I'm not the only one who has experienced this kind of loss.) And you know what? It's really damn convenient to have hands-free MP3 listening. Because after I lost the doohickey, I realised that when I knit standing up on the train, I don't have a spare hand to hold my player. So I either have to slip it into a pocket (which most of my work clothes don't have) or tuck it into the space between two buttons on my shirt (yeah, that's a barrel of fun, especially when it slips out and tries to pull the earbuds out of my ears as it falls). Or not listen to the player at all...which sucks. I want my knitting podcasts!

Bottom line? I need an MP3 player cosy. Something socklike, with a hole for the earbud cord, a handle to let me carry it hands-free, and a securable top flap to keep it safely inside. And maybe some strategic lace holes so I can access the buttons without taking the player out of the cosy.

Hey, I think I've found a use for the extra yarn from these socks!

Simple scarf for DH
Monday night after blogging I ended up having some time to work on this, and it grew to be about a foot long. However, since then it hasn't been touch and I might be screwed for getting it done by Sunday.

Herald tabard for moi
At the beginning of next month, two friends of mine are getting a very spiffy SCA honour (membership in the Order of the Laurel), and this week they asked me if I could be the herald for their induction ceremony. Well, duh, yeah, I'd love to. :) Obviously, I will want to wear this tabard to look as spiffy as possible, and obviously again, I will not want it slipping off my shoulders. So I am going to try to finish it to my liking by the event.

And lastly - comments responses. Carrie K was very generous with her comments over the past few posts, and she said:

Not posting a pic of an unpublished (yet) pattern is sensible.

I thought so, too.

You self striping matching sock people! Y'all slay me.

Yep. I'm just that anal. I admit it!

Well, no doubt Spain left a big mark on South American culture and vice a versa so it's bit difficult to untangle the provenance.

I know. I think it would be okay, but I don't know - are modern-day Mexicans resentful of the Spanish influence? For, you know, repressing the native culture and trying to kill them off? I myself have no idea. My boss is half-Mexican. Maybe she'll know. I could ask her.

(I'm probably waaaay over-thinking this.)

We have to bitch about purling?

Apparently so. I have gathered the impression that generally speaking, knitting is the 'good stitch' and purling is the 'bad stitch'. But I could be wrong.


rachel said...

I am just green with envy that you got to meet the Yarn Harlot, I somehow doubt I'll ever get from the UK to Canada to see her! You've been knitting up a storm lately, I've managed one ankle sock and blamed the hot weather for teh lack of knitting!!

Stephanie said...

Thanks so much for coming last night...It was a better time because you were there!