Friday, October 26, 2007


Originally uploaded by micenrats99
This is the only picture I got of this yarn that wasn't totally black. I tried to tweak the color a bit. This is close to what I see when I look at the yarn. The color that looks kind of cranberry is really a dark burgundy. You can see three colors when you look at the yarn, but there's not as much contrast as this shows.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A monkey sock

A monkey sock
Originally uploaded by micenrats99

All of the yarn I'm currently crazy about has been earmarked for my homemade 2008 Sock-of-the-Month club. Someone gave me this yarn in a swap. I appreciate the effort it took for her to find it, but I'm over my self-patterning yarn obsession. I needed a project to keep me out of trouble while waiting for the latest STR club yarn and/or Sock Wars socks to arrive. Since all the cool kids are making Cookie A.'s Monkey socks, I had to give it a whirl. It's a fun pattern.

The sock's sibling may have to wait, however. A little while ago, I saw a Priority Mail envelope rubber-banded to my mailbox. Would it be the War socks that would kill me? Would it be my new ammunition in the War? Nope, it was the STR club yarn.

*****STR SOCK CLUB SPOILER ALERT***** Continue reading at your own risk. Some folks are quite cranky about such things. so they've been warned. The pattern and the yarn are both called Lenore. The pattern, which I love, is by the Yarn Harlot herself. I couldn't get a good picture of the yarn because it is dark. Maybe I'll get over my fear of the spoiler police and take it outside to photograph. It's part of the much-anticipated Raven series. The color ranges from brown to burgundy to black. The colors are not my favorites, but I like them better than any of the other 2007 yarns. The pattern appears to be well suited to them, too.

The package included plastic spiders, which have been swiped by my cats. Thanks, Blue Moon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Harvest Sock Swap

My person received her stuff last week.

I think the person sending to me is working on my stuff.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Originally uploaded by micenrats99
I made it out of DK weight wool I had left over from Munkeh. I think that if someone made it out of two strands of worsted and left the base off, it'd make a hilarious toilet paper cozy. this one is cuter when you can see both of the arms. They are just above the black line in the middle of the dalek.

I'm going to try it again only on a smaller scale. I've got some gray fingering weight. I'm hoping it'll be small enough for a cat toy. I'll stuff it with some fleece and catnip. I'll also leave the embroidery off and change how I interpreted a few of the stitches.

What to knit next? I stashed the bmps because I am tired of working plain black stockinette on the foot. I have a half-done sweater that I can't motivate myself to pick up yet. The newest STR yarn and pattern should be here soon. Another Sock Wars sock maybe be on its way (or not). But I want something to knit NOW (whine, whine, whine). Maybe I'll try a mystery sock I saw on Ravelry, using something out of the bottom of the knitting basket.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sock Wars day 7

Originally uploaded by micenrats99
My original victim sent his work to me very quickly. I got one sock and the ribbing on a second this afternoon. Finishing was tricky. I had to try three different needle sizes to try and match his gauge. I wasn't as successful as I would've liked. Perhaps blocking will help. I hope it will.

I'm still listed as Alive. I have no idea what's going on with my assassin. I think I know who she is. She hasn't posted anything to the Yahoo group where all the war activity is. I guess I'll go see if she's part of Ravelry.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quidditch ~ Round Three

Slytherin's got a snowball's chance of coming out of last place, but I'm posting anyway.
1. a. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
2. d. Grindewald
3. b. No
4. a. Deathstick
5. d. Fred
6. d. They were all white
7. a. Snape
8. b. Kelpies
9. d. Milkman
10.a. Flintwick

Bertie Botts Beans
Jelly Slugs
Chocolate Frogs
Blood Pops
Jenean's first HSKS kit
(Bonus Point: Who made the kit?) Ansley

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sock Wars, Day 5

My target's dead. He may not be crazy about baby pink death, but somebody on Ravelry liked it. My picture of the socks is now one of the sample pictures that's displayed on the Scar pattern page.

I don't know who my assassin is or what they've been up to, knit wise. I know the name of my new target, but nothing else about her. I guess I'll go work on Munkeh's knit tshirt. I'll have a pic of him before the socks of death show up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sock Wars, day 4

It is highly unlikely that my target will wander by here, so I'll talk about my current status. I mailed the completed socks on late Saturday afternoon, as I think I posted earlier. I don't think they went out of the post office until 6:30 yesterday morning. They went priority, which means today's the earliest I can possibly expect them to arrive. Possible, maybe. Probable, maybe not.

At any rate, my target has posted that he's going to keep knitting until he's killed. He didn't say how far he'd gotten, but it did not sound like he was ready to mail yet. If I do get him before he finishes, the earliest I could have another pair to work on is probably Friday.

I know absolutely nothing about my assassin. All I know is that there was nothing in the mail today but junk, the FedEx truck hasn't been by, and I'm still listed as Alive in the database.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The environment, yarn, and me

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

I've given some thought to how my hobby affects the environment. I prefer to use natural fibers, which I think is helpful. Every time a new natural option is offered (bamboo, maize) I make sure I try it. I'm learning to spin and want very much to use my own yarns to make things. It seems to me that moving closer to the beginning of the yarn-making process is easier on the environment.

Anything that keeps us from having to use excessive energy seems good. I never go out to buy yarn unless I've got other errands to run in the same area as one of my LYS. Knitting itself doesn't use much, except for lights for knitting at night.

I need to learn more. Very few activities are completely harmless. How can I continue to knit and reduce the environmental impact? What kind of effect does the dye have when I use it to dye yarn? Are animals harmed in any way when their hair is harvested for our yarns? What other things am I doing that I could do differently?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Birthday yarn

Birthday yarn
Originally uploaded by micenrats99

This is what I got for my birthday. It is all sock yarn from Lime & Violet. The base yarn is called Sasquatch. I didn't get the joke until I was standing here taking pictures of the yarn. It's sock yarn. Sasquatch=Big Foot. Get it? D'oh!

The top two colors are from the faerie series. The green one is called Finvarra and the violet is called Lesidhe. The peachy color is from the dancing with the yarn series and is called Electric Slide. They look so tasty that I'd like to lick them, except they smell a little bit smoky so I won't.

I've been compulsively checking the Sock Wars database. I'm still alive as far as the database goes. My assassin could have their weapon on the way and not telling me, though. The pattern we are using for the war is called Scar. I like it. It's easy enough that a brave beginner can tackle it and interesting enough that it is fun for those of us who've already made several dozen pair.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Originally uploaded by micenrats99
They're in the mail. My target is in the U.S. I think I'm the only person so far to post in the database that someone's dying.

I didn't know how tired I was until I got behind the wheel to drive to the post office. I think I need a nap. I'm so weary that I haven't opened the yummy box of Lim & Violet yarn that arrived today. I'd rather look at it for the first time when I have the energy to appreciate it fully.

And it looks like these pink socks are going to a guy. Hope he enjoys death by pink.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Preparing for War

Sock Wars starts tomorrow. I'm trying to take care of all of the basic tasks so that I can do nothing but knit until the socks are in the mail. I've got a priority envelope and stamp. I have the sincere hope that I won't have to mail the first pair out of the country, as I did last year. I know which local post office has the earliest pickup on Monday. You can't get anything into the mail on Sunday around here. I decided that I wouldn't go the Express Mail route because of the expense. My personal goal is to get farther than I did last year. I was one of the first people killed last year. The Yarn Monkey said that she'd try to keep all the first rounds in their own country, so I have some hope.

I'm a little concerned about the needle size for this pattern. The cashmerino I'm using calls for size 5 for gauge. I usually have to go down a needle size, but I had to go all the way down to size 1! I'm gonna swatch again just to be sure.

The Munkeh is all knitted, except for his tshirt. If I have some time after re-swatching, I'll start sewing him together.

I was reading a Ravelry discussion on whether or not to join the Rockin Sock Club again next year. Someone did the math, and for what it costs you could buy 11.4 skeins of Socks That Rock yarn. That convinced me to not join again. The people who run the club are really nice and they do a good job with it. However, I've only liked one of the patterns so far and none of the colors. I think I can find other ways of broadening my knitting horizons that will be a tad less pricey.

A woman named Ruth said that she was doing her own sock club with things in her stash. She pulled out yarn and patterns and put them in separate ziploc bags. Once a month, she pulls a bag from the bin and bingo, it's a sock of the month. I'm so going to do this. Maybe I'll start between swatching and monkey sewing. In any case, I'll be afk until the war socks are in the mail.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Harvest sock swap

Harvest sock swap
Originally uploaded by micenrats99
This is the Loksins sock I sent to my partner, along with a few other goodies. And the pattern and the rest of the yarn, of course. I hope she likes it.

I enjoyed making the pattern. It has what looks like cables coming down either side of the leg part. You don't actually twist the stitches as you might in a real cable. Then half of each pattern comes together down the foot portion.

P.S. Today's my birthday, so leave a nice comment as a prezzie. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Knitting and laughing

I'm listening to Lime&Violet and knitting a Monkeh. They were talking about the Second Sock Liberation Group. This is a brilliant idea. If you suffer from second sock syndrome, just knit two different socks with the same yarn. I may have to do this.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

HSKS3 Trivia

Oops, sorry, Slytherins. I knew once I send my kit off, I'd forget about this part.
1. c
2. b
3. a
4. c
5. b
6. d
7. a
8. b
9. b
10. d

A Gryffindor Quidditch Uniform

A Hufflepuff Quidditch Uniform

A Ravenclaw Quidditch Uniform

A Slytherin Quidditch Uniform

A Picture of the Room of Requirement

Letter Carrier rode up on a Sheep

Originally uploaded by micenrats99

When I pulled the mail out of my mailbox today, I imagined that the letter carrier came via sheep. All of this yarn arrived today. Woo hoo! It almost makes up for no mail delivery on Monday.

The left three skeins came from The Loopy Ewe. The pastel stuff is Cotton Candy by Claudia Handpainted Yarns. It looks like if you could eat it, it would melt in your mouth like cotton candy. The skein next to it is Stone by Fleece Artist. I'm not into brown very much, but this looked interesting.

The brightly colored skeins are Knit Picks Dancing. Leslie saw a skein of yarn I had up for trade on Ravelry and swapped it for these. I like these much better. I hope she likes the Step I sent her as well.

The brown (it's actually khaki) and gray yarns are for the monkey I'm going to knit. I'm going to finish my Harvest Swap sock first, then work on the monkey until Sock Wars starts. That's the plan until some shiny object or pretty yarn distracts me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Swap-bot hand dyed swap

Swap-bot hand dyed swap
Originally uploaded by micenrats99

I had to show this off. Jenifer dyed this for me in a Swap-bot swap. I hope I can someday be half as good as she is.

I've never had a Flickr comment on one of my pictures before, but there was one on this before I even had a chance to see if the picture loaded properly.

How'd you dye that?

I'm not very experienced at dyeing. I've taken a couple of classes and the most recent one is the one that stuck. I took it at SAFF last year. The instructor was Nancy Shroyer of Nancy's Knit Knacks. It was a class in handpainting yarn that's guaranteed not to stripe.

For this yarn, I mixed up a light strength teal dye and painted it on. Then I added a little more dye powder to the liquid and painted it on. Then I mixed up a new batch of medium strength and filled in most of the blank spaces.

I wrap the yarn up in plastic wrap and put it on a plastic plate. The plate's one of those with dividers, so the yarn's not sitting flat. Then I nuke it in the microwave for 8 minutes. No dye pot needed. I let the yarn cool, which takes a surprisingly short time when you consider how hot it is at first. I rinse it in cool water. I've dyed this way several times, and there's virtually no dye coming out of the yarn when I rinse.

I air dry the yarn with it draped over a wooden drying rack. I turn on the dehumidifier and that usually has the yarn dry and ready to go overnight. I do poke at the yarn from time to time, opening out spots where it is more damp

The yarn I used was Knit Picks Bare, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon. It's nice and soft.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Harvest Sock Swap

Originally uploaded by micenrats99

I dyed this yarn for the swap. It's a little bit lighter and a little bit more green than what shows up on my screen. I used several different strengths of the same color dye. The pattern I chose probably would look best in a single color. I think the shading will make it a little more interesting. I hope my partner likes the color.

I'm going to start working on it in a little while. It's a good tee vee night.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Originally uploaded by micenrats99
These are the Socktopia Mystery socks. They are done. The pattern's okay, just not suitable for the yarn I used. I knew that might be the case, but I knit with it anyway.

Next, I'm back on the bmp. I'm down to the foot on the first sock. I think when it is done I'll switch to the sock for the Harvest Sock swap.

A nice person named Debbie sent me some yarn. It was over and above the requirements for a Swap-bot birthday swap. I know nothing about it except that it came off of cones and it came from I'm going to have to do some research. All of them seem to be lighter than sport weight, two are probably cotton. One's a novelty yarn. The last one has a conventional texture, but I have no idea what it is made of.

Time to go play Nancy Drew.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Originally uploaded by micenrats99
I had to go down to US 1 dpns to get gauge on this stuff. That's good because I've got three socks on needles/holders at the moment and none of them take size 1.

Let the battle begin!

A note to my yet-to-be-assigned target: I'm sorry if you don't like pink. I chose a color I like because I'm the one knitting with it. If you'd rather I waited to get my assignment and then go off to my LYS for yarn, you've missed the point of the exercise. There's no way I'm going to waste hours of good knitting/mailing time to take your preferences into account. If this hurts your feelings, please go find a lovely sock swap out there where people go out of their way to make people happy. I know they are out there because I'm participating in some of them. This, my target, is WAR! These are war socks, not your prom dress or your wedding gown.

Monday, October 1, 2007


If you're a fan of The Doctor, you're already giggling over this picture. Yes, there's a pattern available for it. If you've never watched Dr. Who, this creature is a Dalek. It's one of the scariest aliens ever. You've got to salute the person who would take a nightmare and turn it into a cuddly toy. Amanda Downs, I salute you. :)

I'm probably going to have to make this. If I get tired of working on my bmp socks, this is next. That's only because the monkey yarn hasn't been shipped yet. It'll be my first Dr. Who project since I knit a Dr. Who scarf back in the early 80s. I've got the official BBC instructions for it around here someplace. You had to send a SASE in to TV Guide and they sent them.