Monday, October 23, 2006

Shot Fired at Canadian!

I love Canada. I would never wish any harm to any of our neighbors to the north. That being said, I launched my high-caliber weapon toward Ontario today! I finished the red wool Socks of Doom just after midnight, and rushed them to the post office right after work. Whew!! They are on their way. And may they bless the feet of their recipient during the cold winter months ahead. Love ya, Knitrovert!

With Sock Wars overlapping
Socktoberfest , socks are about all I can think about lately! My goal of two pair during Socktoberfest has been met, and I'm on to more for Christmas gifts! Go, Socks!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The War Wages On

My first Sockwars victim, ROKJen, finally received the socks I made. Due to international shipping and a Korean national holiday, my SOD (Socks of Doom) were delayed (mailed 9/25; arrived on or about 10/11), adding more tension to the game.

I should have received SiP (Socks in Progress) from someone further downstream shortly after my kill, but alas, no. Nearly four weeks have passed. My nerves are on edge. I'm afraid to check my mail every day for fear that my assassin will get me first.

After numerous emails and forum postings, it has finally been determined that one of the warriors is AWOL. This caused a back-up in my stream (ouch!). After finally identifying my next target, it's back to knitting more SOD. (Watch your backside, Knitrovert!!)

So, off to the yarn store for more ammo. I chose a soft red wool...
I'm thinking holidays coming soon...
Okay, here I go... Ready, Set, Knit!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Do BOOTies Count?

In celebration of Socktoberfest, and at the risk of letting the Christmas cat out of the bag, I present the following:

"BOOTies" (not-quite-socks) for my Great Niece (ultra petite - that's a quarter next to them). (Modified from an Annie's Attic pattern.)

And "Papa Sox" for my dad modeled by Zak. (My own design.)

Secret Pal 9 Questionaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love natural fibers. I do use some acrylic or blends when making gifts for loved ones who refuse to hand wash anything. I would love to try some of the new soy silk, banana and bamboo. I LOVE hand painted yarns for socks and hats. (I detest most of the fake fur/eyelash "yarns.")

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Hmmmmm... My straight needles are in a pottery pitcher hand painted with irises. My Circulars are in zip-loc bags in a three-ring binder. My crochet hooks are in a cardboard box I've been using since the early '80s(!).

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned knitting basics from my mother at around age 10. Soon, I was making up my own designs for my Barbie dolls, my pets (toy poodles), my brother, my dad, etc. I guess my skills are at the advanced-intermediate level... there's always more to learn.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Nope... maybe I should!

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I am allergic to most fragrances... I love real roses, though!

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Mmmmmmmm....chocolate.....*drool, drool*

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
In addition to knitting, I spin, crochet, sew, cook, read and write.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Love those MP3s! My music is very eclectic ... I don't care for most rap, heavy metal or anything that is louder than my teenager!

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love cool colors... blues, purples, greens. I also love dark chocolate brown (mmmm...chocolate...)

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Just me, my teenage son, two cats, a turtle and a laughing poodle... quite the zoo.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Not so much on the ponchos... I do love scarves and mittens. Hats depend on the style, color and fiber.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks, hats, bags, scarves, toys

13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks, hats, bags, scarves, toys (getting ready for Christmas gifts).

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes, please!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I'm and Addi Turbo girl...especially circs.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Japanese umbrella swift and two ball winders.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
*chuckle, snort* Does a partially finished linen bag from early in the twentieth century (circa 1930's?) count? I inherited it from a family friend, have worked on it, but still have not finished it. :o}

18. What is your favorite holiday?

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Knitting books, patterns, hand painted iris mugs.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I subscribe to Knitter's, Interweave Knits, and Spin-Off. I recently bought SnB Nation and Happy Hooker.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I have yet to knit socks using the Magic Loop method.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Love them socks! I have a nicely turned size 10US (41Eur) pair of feet.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
December 17th

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Recycling Experiment

Anyone who knows me very well, knows that I cannot just do one thing at a time. Undiagnosed ADD?? Maybe. I know that it's just the way I have always been. While I am working on one thing, I am also dreaming up many more. I will not have enough days in this lifetime to finish all my projects, so I can justify (at least in my own mind) jumping from one fancy to the next.

For some time I have looked through the sweaters at my local thrift stores with the idea of recycling the yarn. Recently, I spied a New Zealand wool sweater. While the sweater was nice and wearable, it didn't work for me as is. What could it become in it's new life?

I detached and raveled, washed, dried and skeined one of the sleeves. It yielded a 100gram ball of two-ply at approximately 150 yards.

I then ran a felting test... I knited a swatch in three different gauges and washed it in the machine in hot water, cold rinse. It didn't felt!! Hmmmm....

My son has an incredibly large's all those wonderful brains, right?! I bring this up because it's very hard for him to find a store-bought hat that doesn't cut off his circulation. So the first reincarnation of my thrift sweater is a beanie for Zak. Mmmmmm...warm... Cozy enough to nap in!

Okay, I'm still dreaming... How many other things will this one sweater become? More to follow...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Socktoberfest Meme

1. When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I learned to knit from my mother at about age ten. But I knit like I cook, rarely following a recipe exactly. It didn't take long before I was making up my own designs. Socks, however, came much later...after I learned to spin (circa 1985). I taught myself the techniques in order to use some of my handspun wool for socks.

2. What was your first pair? How have they “held up” over time?
I don't remember the very first pair. I do still have an "early" pair that have been darned many times. Because the yarn was softly spun and they were of a fairly loose gauge, they wore out quickly.

3. What would you have done differently?
Tighter twist yarn, smaller needles/gauge, more shaping... But I STILL love the handspun/hand-dyed yarn!

4. What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
I don't really have a favorite. The feel of my own handspun is comforting. The wear of some of the wool-blend yarns is good. I haven't found a cotton yarn I like for socks, yet.

5. Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I still use my trusty double points. I have also used 2 circulars and enjoyed it. I may try the magic loop on my next pair. My attempts at crocheting socks are not happy memories.

6. Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
My fall-back is still the flap. I don't mind turning the heel. For some yarns (striping, etc.), I like to use the "second toe" heel.

7. How many pairs have you made?
I lost count just before the turn of the century.

Happy Socktober, All!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm up for more!

While Sock Wars 2006 wages on, I'm taking up arms (hands) to make more socks for Socktoberfest!! My plan is to make at least two pair for Christmas gifts!!