Friday, December 26, 2008

Mmmmmalabrigo sock yarn

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I'm very lucky. I can hop in my car and within 20 minutes be at one of three LYS. I know I won't continue to be this lucky if I don't continue to support these shops. Sometimes, though, they just don't have what I need. That's when I try not to feel guilty and shop online.

As soon as I heard about Malabrigo's new sock yarn, I knew I had to have it and that it would be a good choice for a gift that's somewhat time sensitive. I picked out the colors I wanted and checked on prices. There were some really good bargains to be had, but the colors I wanted weren't in stock in virtually all the places I looked. Then I visited The Yarnery, which is in St Paul, MN. They had the colors I wanted in stock. The price was a bit better than average. The shipping was a bit on the steep side, but wow was it fast! I ordered the yarn late in the day on 12/23. I had a shipping confirmation within an hour. The yarn was in my mailbox on 12/26. That's with a postal holiday in the middle, boys and girls. Can't beat it with a pointy stick. I ordered yarn from them a long while back and got the same good service.

Oh, and the yarn? Yum. I am so tempted to keep the gift skeins, but I'll be good. Maybe Santa will bring me some more next year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Chris-mouse

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
These are the Drops Christmas Mice, modified to be cat friendly. I knit the darker one in the round and it was much easier. I left out the ear and tail wires. I stuffed them with little bits of lamb fleece and lots of catnip.

I'll tell my cats that the Santa Cat brought the mice for them, but they are pretty skeptical.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ohhh nooooooooooo

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is the back of the leg portion of Stricken sock I've been working on. It's upside down, with the heel at the top of the picture. The pattern runs down the front and back of the sock. For the most part is knit in the round.

Having survived about 7" of teeny twisted stitches done in intricate patterns, the new challenge rears its ugly head. The heel flap is done flat. This means that stitch twisting and cabling have to be done on the wrong side also. When this bit of information finally sank in, I said many bad words. I worked past the heel last night. When I saw it this morning, I snapped the picture and immediately frogged it back to where the heel flap starts. I think I can do it correctly if I go slowly and work only in good daylight.

However, I'm worried about having enough yarn to do both socks. I checked it before I started, but it just doesn't look like enough. The yarn was a limited edition, so getting more's not a possibility.

I've got to face it. If I'm going to put this much time and effort into this pattern, I've got to make sure there's plenty of yarn. ::sniffling as I pull the needles out:: I'll be in my stash.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Still Twisted

A week ago, I decided to look up a pattern in Socks Soar (see previous post) and knit them. I found the book without any trouble. When I found the pattern, there were pencilled notes in the margins. I'd already knit the pattern. This was one of my many pre-Ravelry socks that aren't photographed or recorded, so I'm only a little surprised by this.

I went back to my notebook of patterns I want to do soon (as opposed to the great big huge notebook of patterns I want to do eventually). I'm still on the twisted stitches kick, so I was delighted to happen upon Stricken in the notebook. One of my Knitter's Holiday swap buddies got me this pattern. Stricken is by my favorite sock pattern designer, Cookie A. She's coming out with a book next year. I've already got it on Amazon preorder. The book has patterns but also information on how Cookie creates her designs.

The pattern's fun, but not easy. I've made several partial frogs and restarts.
Fortunately, the yarn I'm using is putting up with the rework. It's a merino/silk blend from The Unique Sheep called Luxe. I'll be getting more of this yarn.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bavarian twisted stitches

My KnitMeter isn't exactly accurate. I have been knitting lately, but have been frogging most of it. I finished a pair of socks that were UFOs since July. I tried two different patterns with my handspun, and threw the second one down in disgust last night. Nearly everything I've been doing lately has not been working out. Jobs. Christmas gifts. Knitting. ::sigh::

I decided to go in a completely different direction with the knitting. I made Eunny Jang's Bayerische socks earlier this year. I loved doing the Bavarian twisted stitches and have been wanting to do some research into the technique. I discovered that three books I already own have patterns in them:
Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles (socks)
Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitters Almanac (hat)
Nancy Bush's Fok Socks (Chalet socks)

It appears that there are two sets of books on Bavarian twisted stitches, both in German. Ravelry's got some good information on getting them even though I think they both are out of print. I think that with a German dictionary I could find them useful. I haven't used the language since college, but expect that enough of it might come back. The books are:
Uberlieferte Strickmuster aus dem stelrischen Ennstal by Maria Erlbacher
Bauerisches Stricken by Lisl Fahderl

Both are three volume sets. Now all I have to do is find a job, pay off some things, and I can hunt them down. In the meantime, I'll be attempting the socks from Socks Soar.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Rule

The new rule is: if I want to start a new project, I have to complete something that isn't done first. This has not been working out very well as far as knitting goes. When I picked up my first UFO, I remembered why I put it down in the first place and I can't get motivated to work on it. I would rather finish the socks than frog them, but I don't seem to want to fix them so they fit. Bad knitter, no cookie!

I have discovered that if I'm bored enough, I will do some housecleaning. It's bad for knitting, good for cobweb elimination.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I finished something

With this post, I finish NaBloPoMo for 2008. That might not seem like much, but it's not been a good year for finishing things. Here are some things that have not been finished so far in 2008:

  • Adventure Socks. I was going to design a couple of socks for a possible computer game related knitalong. These were to be based on a maze in the ancient computer game Adventure.
  • Lovely Socks. These were going to be for the same KAL. They were to be based on the Lovely Furniture series in Animal Crossing.
  • Leaf Socks. Same KAL, same game. The leaf looks like your basic leaf with a little circle missing from one edge. I did work on this, but had no success.
  • Fruity Oaty Girls. If you're a Browncoat, these need no explanation. If you're not, these need too much explanation. They were to be little knit dolls. I was going to Kool-Aid dye the yarn for them. The packets of Kool-Aid are in a pile on my worktable, as they have been for months.
  • Godzilla. This is the one from Knitted Icons. I got partway through him and decided that the spiny ridge up his back made him look more like a T-Rex than an actual Godzilla.
  • Able Sisters knit hat collection. I spend entirely too much time playing Animal Crossing. The Able Sisters are dressmaking porcupines who also sell accessories. I've been wanting to do real life versions of their knit hats for fun. I'm thinking of doing them doll sized.

This isn't all, just the stuff on the top of the pile. My Hibernating list on Ravelry is growing all the time. My goal right now is to finish spinning that batt. The new house rule is that no new project can be started until one old one is done. Check back for next year's NaBloPoMo and maybe I'll have some finished things to share.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yarn in progress

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
It clearly has some fuzzy spots, but it looks like yarn to me. The batt this came from is from Lorna's Laces. I bought it when Fiber on a Whim closed their brick-and-mortar store several weeks ago. The batt's 5 yards long, which has a lot to do with why this looks better than most of what I've hand spun to date. I expect to make it 2-ply.

The picture shows not quite 1/4 of the fiber, so there might be enough to do socks, if it isn't too thick.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Garn Studios Christmas Calendar

The calendar is coming back for another year. From December 1-24, a new free knitting pattern will be posted each day. The link's for US English. If you read better in another language, the patterns are offered in several others. That really impresses me. I think the native language for those folks is Norwegian.

The patterns are nice and I have several stashed away from last year. I'm looking forward to having a little present to open daily.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I put the jacket where I can't see it and picked up some fiber. I haven't worked up the courage to try my spinning wheel, which is something else around here that could be dusted off. I've got a top whorl drop spindle that I bought at SAFF a couple of years ago. I'm not sure if I'm using it properly or not. The fiber holds together when I spin it, so I'm guessing that it is at least close. There's something soothing about twirling the fiber around and winding it up.

It's Thanksgiving here. I'm thankful for things that make me calm and relaxed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More mini patterns

I'm not only avoiding working on the jacket, I'm avoiding cleaning the house.

These are from Berroco:
Minutia mini sweaters from last year.
Minutia 08 new mini sweaters this year.

They've also got holiday CARDigans, which are little sweaters on cards.


Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Just when I needed a new distraction, Mochimochi Elves!

No, I didn't get the pattern.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jacket avoidance

It's a rare day when I don't do anything with fibers. I haven't decided what to do next on the jacket. Instead of knitting or crocheting, I finished up a holiday swap. That involved going through a picnic basket full of ribbons and trims. About half of it was a tangled mess. It is now less tangled. The lace is in a separate bag. The little short bits are in the trash. The swap's packed and ready to mail.

The box I used to ship the swap used to hold UFOs. When I moved the UFOs to their new location, I started wanting to work on them. I think it is a symptom of not wanting to frog and redo a big chunk of that darn jacket. At least I'd get something done, hmmmm.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One step forward, two steps back

I found a long-unworn denim skirt that I'm using for the jacket back. It has a pleat in the back that I'm going to keep as is. The jacket's a little longer than the one in the design, and I think this should make it easier to wear.

The size and shape of the denim needs to be adjusted from how I originally cut it out. I tried sewing and pinning it together and the fit wasn't good. I think the sleeves need to start out wider that the ones I have, too.

To keep myself from chucking the whole thing in the UFO bag, I took a time out and made a couple of things for an upcoming swap. I don't think the recipient will come by here, but she could so I won't describe what I'm doing. Both things worked, thank goodness. I've got most of the swap ready to go. I just have to come up with a couple of things that relate to the theme I've chosen for the swap. I'm going to Google the theme and see if that gives me some ideas. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No time to blog...

...too busy crocheting.

Jacket front: done
Jacket back: Yoke almost done. Denim part not done yet.
Sleeves: each about half done.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bin Dump

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I dumped out a bin of wool last night and choose the rest of the yarns for the crochet denim jacket. The pattern is not very specific on yardage, so choosing is a bit challenging. The yarn I had for the sleeve top should've only done half of that section. Yet you can see that there's enough for the front trim and the back flower. Based on that, the eucalyptus colored Brown Sheep yarn should be enough for the middle section. I expect that there won't be enough of the gold heather to finish, so I'm filling in the the mystery wool. It is more of an oatmeal color than what the picture shows, so I think it'll work.

Back to the hooks.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jacket progress

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The leftmost piece is the side front. The middle piece is the neckband/front. The yarn's a wool/llama blend by Cascade. The brightly colored piece is the top of one of the sleeves. The yarn's two balls of Manos del Uruguay wool. The balls are not identical, but have a lot of the same colors in common. I'm crocheting two rows in one and switching to the other for two rows..

I've got to decide on more colors for the sleeves. There's a lot more pink in the Manos del Uruguay that this picture shows. I'm considering some multicolored pink as the next stripe, with some beige-ish stuff to fill in when that color runs out.

The last stripe's a problem. I've got some green that works with the other sleeve colors, but doesn't work well with the front colors. Looks like it might be time to dump a bin of yarn out and hunt for another solution.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

I was digging through my bookshelves today, trying to find the recipe book that goes with my bread maker. I haven't found it yet, but I did find something else. It's The Designer Collection (for Bears) edited by Judith Shangold. It's a book that was published 15 years ago. Vogue Knitting got together with a bunch of famous knitwear designers and came up with the cutest designs ever for teddy bears.

What was it I said last in the previous post? I wanted cute little sweater and hat patterns. This book has many. My only problem is not having the exact size bear to go with the patterns. They were all designed for 10" bears. Muffy's the closest I have and she's only 8". Uh, oh. I'll be monkeying around with different yarn weights and skipping pattern repeats to make sure the sweaters fit correctly.

I think what I really ought to do is find the recipe book and then stash this book in its place. I don't need to be starting another project right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mini Knitting

I like little things. Dollhouse-size miniature objects amuse me to no end. When I run across teeny little things to knit, I am compelled to make them. A couple of years ago, I bought a set of size 0000 knitting needles to make sock earrings.

When I heard about the mini sock advent calendar, I had to get the pattern. I think I'd do the foot a little bit longer than what's shown for days 23 and 24 because the proportions look a little off somehow.

That got me going on looking for other little things. I found a pattern for mini lace socks. These are miniature versions of the designer's full size socks. There's a fee for them, but the money goes to charity.

Then I found a mini mitten pattern. Now I want mini sweater patterns. And mini hats. It's amazing what ideas come to you when there are 10,000 other things that need to be done before throwing myself into new projects. Even teeny ones.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I put that Feedjit thingy on this page because I was curious about where visitors came from. It is fun to find out that people in Bulgaria or Iceland or Australia have ended up here in their web travels.

One thing that I found out was that I'm showing up as being in Lawrenceville or Lithonia. That's a bit weird, in that I know I'm an hour away from Lawrenceville. I'm not quite sure where Lithonia is. Now Feedjit has set up some sort of link page for people in a close geographical area.

I may be in the Lawrenceville blogosphere, but I'm nowhere near it geographically.

IYNF 2009

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has declared 2009 to be the International Year of Natural Fibres. Focusing on natural fibers is a good thing for farmers, especially poor ones, who grow plants and raise animals for fiber. It's a good thing for the planet, in that natural fibers are not a one-time petroleum-based creation.

I can support this in my small way. I'm pretty conscious of what kinds of fibers I buy. I'll make sure to focus on the natural ones much more in the future. As for my immediate plans, I found some wool/llama blend in my stash that will be the main part of my crocheted jacket. I found some Manos del Uruguay wool that'll work well with it. The colors will be more subtle in my jacket than the original, but the original wasn't made with natural fibers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

One completed mystery sock

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I'm trying to make myself finish the foot on sock #2 before I can start on that crocheted denim jacket. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In the To Do Queue

This is the September 2008 issue of Crochet! magazine. I usually don't buy needlework magazines, but this pattern made me buy it. It is made from bulky and worsted weight yarns along with what could be recycled denim. I've got a some green heathery wool that I brought back from Ireland several years ago. I think it wants to be part of this project.

I want to go stash diving and start playing with this right now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Done with Super Sock Scarefest

That's done as in, I'm not knitting anything more. I got almost 4.5 of the 5 pair of socks done. The spiderweb did me in. When I saw how nice other people's spiderwebs looked, I decided I would frog mine. Today's the deadline for pictures to be posted, so I'm officially all done. Based on postings to the forum, I think I got more done than the average player, so I'm okay with that.

I'm still working on my first Ravsock. I'm doing better on tension with the intarsia. I had to frog the intarsia a second time for the same reason: reading the chart wrong. I don't know why, but I have to work with the chart upside down for me to knit it correctly. It's working now. D'oh!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meret=Mystery Beret

This is the completed Woolly Wormhead mystery KAL hat. It's knit from mmmmMalabrigo.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Magic Fairy

I happened upon a post for Purl:Away on Ravelry. Since my birthday will occur during this event, I'm asking for the Magic Fairy to wave her wand and allow me to attend. As long as I'm wishing, make it single occupancy. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I've been working on my Ravsox. I am getting lots of intarsia in the round practice. Since they are top-down socks, I was following my own chart wrong. I got almost all the way through the first pattern before I realized it. It's a royal pita to frog. The one good thing is that I'm wrapping the yarn correctly to prevent holes, because they are not easy to take apart.

Back to the needles.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Decisions, decisions

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is clue 3 of the Yarnarian mystery sock. I'm having a bad camera day: the left side is a wide band of pattern and the right side has a narrow cable-like pattern done the center. We can choose where we want each to be. I'm thinking the big pattern down the front and back of the leg and the narrow one down each side.

It's strange the way the yarn striping shows up in the photographs. When I look at the knitting, the color changes are much more subtle. Maybe because I want it to be more random, my brain's editing the stripage out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Harry Potter sock yarn

I participated in a couple of Harry Potter swaps a few years back. We made a sock knitting kits based on house colors at Hogwarts. It was challenging, because it wasn't that easy to find. If you were lucky, you might get a skein from an independent dyer doing a limited run of various house colors. Otherwise, you had to hunt for commercial yarn in the right colors. There was no Ravelry to help you.

I was remembering this today when I happened upon Opal sock yarn in a series based on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This isn't related to house colors, but it is really cool yarn. I thought I was so over the self-patterning sock yarn until I saw this stuff. I think Ron was the most perfectly matched to the character. Hedwig (I want this) and Tonks were particularly good, too.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Games Knitters Play

I like playing computer games. I first became addicted to the text-based game called Adventure. Fast-forward 30 years, and I'm playing Animal Crossing on a little pink Nintendo DS Lite. How does this connect to knitting?, you might ask. It's all tangled together, grasshopper, much as a ball of yarn stolen by a pussycat. I happened upon my most recent obsession, Molehill Empire, via Lime&Violet.

It's virtual farming. It sounds goofy until you try it, then it's big fun. Some things grow fast enough that you can knit in between harvesting and taking them to market. That's what I did yesterday with the super secret project.

If anyone's looking for me, I'll be working on my Ravsox and up to my virtual derriere in lettuce and carrots.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just a quickie post

I am in the middle of a super secret project. It is something that just came up. Don't ask, I can't tell you about it. It started out looking like this:

In other news, I tried the Ravsox and the intarsia in the round indeed works better in blocks of color. I do need to concentrate when I do it, though. I'll get back to it later.

I have two new ideas for the game socks. The patterns themselves may work okay. The connection between the patterns and the games may be kind of obscure. Getting them done and test knit may be kind of impossible. I'll try it anyway.

Friday, November 7, 2008


  • KALs are both up to date. Nothing to do until new clues are posted.
  • I can't work up any interest in finishing the Black Widow Spider socks. It's miles of knitting around and around just to finish the foot of the first sock. Even the plain non-instarsia stitches look bad to me.
  • My idea for a computer game theme sock did not work out. I don't have a new idea yet. I have less than three weeks to have the thing completed and test knit. I think this isn't going to happen.
  • I think the Traveler socks could use a longer cuff. I've completed one of them, so doing that would require starting over. I just don't want to face that right now.

I guess I'll pull out the Ravsox and give them another try. Maybe intarsia in the round will work better for me with blocks of color instead of little strands of spiderwebs.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mystery hat - clue 2

I really like working with Malabrigo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Slogging through the spiderweb

I'm struggling a bit with the intarsia. See the spiderweb in the previous post? I frogged it and reknit it. It still doesn't look all that great, but it has improved. The tension's better, but the stitches are not consistent in size. It's frustrating. I've been knitting for decades and it looks like I picked up needles for the first time.

I want to finish the socks soon so I can get back to a pattern I'm attempting to design. It's for a series of knit-alongs based on computer games. I'm a total Animal Crossing: Wild World addict. I've got an idea for socks based on something from that game. The one thing I can guarantee is that it won't be intarsia!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


*if you live in the US and haven't already done so

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mystery Knit-alongs

I like mystery knitalongs for smallish projects. You can knit little bite-size pieces of a project, then go back to whatever you were doing before the most recent clue distracted you. Doing them with other people is good, too. If you're have a problem, other people may have it also. You can all work it out together. If there's a chart error, somebody else may catch it before you even see it.

I'm involved in two KALs at the moment. Ruth the Yarnarian is posting clues every Monday for a pair of socks. It can be found here. The other is a beret created by Wooly Wormhead. She's famous for creating knitted hats on straight needles rather than in the round. This hat is in the round, though. Ravelry members can find the project here. Here's my beret so far, knit from mmmmm my first Malabrigo:

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I told myself I could not start any new projects without completing an unfinished one first. Then Knitty released Frankensocks. Ooooh, shiny, must knit new pattern! I justified doing it by picking all the yarn out of my sock leftovers box. The ribbing on top is Koigu. The rest of the leg is someone's Sock Wars leftovers that I neglected to send with the socks (sorry, whoever should've gotten it). Most of the foot is Noro. The toe's some self-striping yarn with silver in it. I'm not sure what the yarn is I used for the fake stitching. It's definitely Frankenstein-ish, but not as groovy as the original. Go click on the link and look at them. They are much nicer in only two solid colors. The top ribbing on these is only and inch (1.5" on the original) and the leg has only 3 pattern repeats (4 on the original).

I recommend the pattern because the pattern's different on both socks and there's pattern throughout both socks. Socks seem to go so much faster when it isn't just round after round of knit-knit-knit.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Intarsia in the Round

It's that time of year again: National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo as it is often referred to on teh interwebs. My goal is to post something daily throughout the month of November.

Today's topic is intarsia in the round. Intarsia involves knitting a section of color that's different from the rest of whatever's being knit. In ordinary, back-and-forth knitting, it is easy to do. You knit the intarsia section and finish the row. When you come back to the intarsia section on the next row, the alternate color yarn is right where you need it to be.

When knitting in the round, this doesn't work because the yarn is not where it needs to be. This has been bugging me, because I had an idea for some socks that I wanted to do with intarsia sections in them. I could not figure out how to it. Now I've learned how: Knit the first row of whatever you're doing until you're done with the intarsia section. Stop. Turn the work around and go back the other way (probably purling) doing the second row of intarsia stitches. Don't work any of the main color stitches, just slip them. When you finish the second row of intarsia stitches, Stop. Turn the work back around the right way. Slip the intarsia stitches you just worked. Pick up the main color yarn and knit around as usual. Repeat until the intarsia section is complete.

I found out about this technique when I downloaded the final Super Sock Scarefest pattern. Janine Le Cras is the person I have to thank, as she's the author of Black Widow Socks that uses intarsia in the round. If you'd like to see a tutorial, Janine recommends this.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Think Pink

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I like pink yarn. The color makes me happy for some reason, especially if it has bits of other colors in it. Maybe it reminds me of my favorite ice cream, peppermint stick.

I like wool/silk blend sock yarns. They feel nice sliding through my fingers as I knit.

I like buying yarn when it benefits charity.

If you like these things, too, head for The Unique Sheep and get some of your own. The yarn in the picture is the colorway Hope in the 25% silk/75% superwash merino Luxe. They've got another pink color and other weights and yarn types, too. Half of the sales of those colors are donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Study in Self Control

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Self control? On what planet would that be a picture of self control?? There must be $200 worth of yarn there! And you bought all the sock yarn? Are you insane??

Well, yes and no. Fiber on a Whim is closing their brick and mortar store and they are having a big sale. This would've been heading toward $200 but I didn't pay anywhere near that. They carry all sorts of yummy fabric and I did not buy as much as one fat quarter. I looked at some cute Amy Butler bag patterns, but put them back. Oh, and the sock yarn? There were two balls left. $2.80 each after the discount.

The real control came from avoiding the yarn shop up in Cumming that closed recently. I know they would've had much more tempting fibery goodness on sale. I also know that I would've had to put any purchases on an already unhappy credit card, so I didn't allow myself to go. I paid for today's stuff in cash.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Crochet & Knit "Reader" Giveaway

Giveaway Item(s): Three project bags (see below)
How the winners were chosen:
Giveaway Began: October 11, 2008
Giveaway Ended: October 17, 2008
Winners were emailed early on: October 18, 2008

Rules: No duplicate entries/comments. No spamming. Giveaway is open to everyone. Winner MUST respond within five days, otherwise they forfeit their winnings, and a new winner will be announced.

Find other Crochet and Knit Giveaways to enter!


Route 66 goes to Rachel O.

Skull/Stars goes to Cassidy.

Coffee Shop goes to Kelly D.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Look what I got for my birthday

not pictured: Intentions Yarn Club membership.

I was able to indulge myself because my dad sent me a great big check as a birthday present. I'm being good with most of it, but had big fun wandering around one of my LYS.
I've wanted the book ever since it came out. I've knit enough socks now that I need other options beyond cuff down and toe up.

The blue blob is actually a dusty periwinkle/purple color. It's my first Malabrigo. I'm joining the Wooly Wormhead hat KAL in a few weeks. I had some heather Cascade 220 in a similar color that I was going to use. However, all the cool kids were getting Malabrigo, so I took this opportunity to get some too.

The Noro is Silk Garden sock yarn. I've used the regular Noro sock yarn before and enjoyed it. This was a total "oooh, shiny" moment. I saw it and grabbed it and didn't even look at the price tag until I got it home. Hmm, wonder if there's something in the Cat Bordhi book that I can use this with?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Me and Ravelry's top 100 socks

I started organizing a bunch of sewing and knitting stuff today. I did it because I wasn't in the mood to finish my bat wings. I started the bat because I wasn't in the mood to work on my latest Super Sock Scarefest socks. Now I'm posting this because the organizing threw my little brain into overwhelm. I was surrounded with little piles of things and could not decide where to put any of them. Break time!

Ravelry has a list of the top 100 sock patterns that appear in people's project lists. As a chronic sock knitter, I thought it would be fun to see which ones I'd done. Many of mine aren't in my project list, as I haven't entered most of my old completed stuff into Ravelry. Italicized are ones in my pattern/to do book.

1. Monkey
2. Jaywalker
4. Embossed Leaves
5. Pomatomus
10. Spring Forward
19. The Detonator
23. Baudelaire
24. Tidal Wave
28. The Firestarter
36. Bellatrix
37. No Purl Monkeys
43. Fawkes
56. Wee Tiny Swap Sock
65. Bayerische
70. Conwy
72. BFF Socks
79. Lenore
80. Dublin Bay
87. 'Vog On
88. The Solstice Slip

When you consider that a number of the patterns were beginner and generic ones, this is not too bad. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be downloading a bunch of free patterns and adding others to my ThingsIWant List.

By the way, Ravelers, this is the list.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bats! Bats! Bats!

I'm all over anything that's cute, whimsical, and cleverly constructed. That's why visits to Mochimochi Land always make me happy. I think Anna Hrachovec is a genius designer.

When I saw this today while reading Lime&Violet's Daily Chum, I had to get the pattern. It's knit with worsted weight, but I'd love to make itty bitty bats with leftover sock yarn. Imagine a whole dowel with multicolored teeny bats hanging from it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stitches South

I'd heard of Stitches East and Stitches West. I hadn't read up any more on them because I knew I was in no financial shape to attend. I was wandering around on Ravelry a little while ago, and happened on a forum for Stitches South. There's going to be a brand new Stitches event in April 2009 and it's going to be in Atlanta! Woohoo!! I signed up to be sent the brochure when it is available.

Vote Fibertarian!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Look carefully and you can see lots of little ghosties on these socks.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

In between stuff

I gave up on Hat Attack. Knitting to the required size makes a hat that's much too small IMHO. It would appear that the hat designer figured bigger=longer rather than bigger=more stitches around. I know I'm not the only person with the problem, but it is obvious the powers that be don't see it. As that song I once heard on Cast-On goes, c'est la @#$%ing vie.

My next project is whatever's conjured up for Super Sock Scarefest on Sunday. In between, I get to work on my Bead Journal Project for September. I'm on the second try there. I was advised early on to be flexible in what I chose to do. I can see why. I'm considering a third option right now.

Since I have to have something to work on, I'm knitting Godzilla from Knitted Icons. Maybe he can chase away all the dinky hat patterns and pick up the beads that the cats keep spilling.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hat Attack II: Twice the whining

I struggled like crazy to get widthwise gauge for this. Now they're saying that it'll be a 'misfire' if we don't get the correct freaking lengthwise gauge.

In any case the hat so far looks child-sized. It definitely wouldn't fit over my head. I'm going to frog my work so far and go up a needle size. I hope my target has a small head. I think she has children, maybe it'll fit one of them.

I'm tempted to commit hat suicide and send my yarn to my assassin.

Note to self: don't sign up for any more of these things.

Hat Attack II: Electric Instant Replay

The pattern's yet to be released, and I'm already dying. I have the same assassin as I did last time. She knits as fast as I do, which is pretty fast. Her package has to travel about the same distance as mine does to my target. At least I know I'll get a good hat. I'll be able to help my assassin get a little farther on in the game.

It is taking all of the fun out of it, though.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Gargoyle Kat can see the feathers, but you might need to go here to see them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The Ravelry Knitter's Holiday swaps amaze me every time. When I got this one today from LeiLani, I was stopped dead in my tracks. It's amazing. Even the shipping box carried out the dragon theme she used.

Here's what was inside:

  1. He's hard to see, but he's a tiny, rainbow-colored "Mighty and Ferocious Dragon". He's even breathing fire. So cute.
  2. A book of excellent patterns, including: a dragon, Here There Be Dragons socks, Dragon Scale Gauntlets, Stricken Sock Pattern (Cookie A! Yum!!), and Rivendell Sock (so pretty).
  3. Mythical Creature origami set, with a book and origami paper to make dragons and more.
  4. Dragon Eye oolong tea.
  5. A set of dps in a special dpn pocket.
  6. A dragon-patterned project bag that LeiLani made.
  7. Candy to represent the dragon's treasure. The Jelly Bellys look like dragon eggs to me. The gold-wrapped Werther's look like big golden rocks. The bag for the gold has pretty ribbon roses and beads on it.
  8. 60 second fix for hands (smells GREAT) from Crabtree & Evelyn. It's been labeled: For Dragon Skin.
  9. A very cool dragon teacup, with an insert for holding tea leaves.
  10. Handspun/dyed yarn from Spider Goddess in the colorway: Dragon Scales!
  11. Koigu, in purple and green which sound quite dragony to me. Love it.
  12. Dragon bookmark. I just got the new Neal Stephenson book yesterday, so you know I'll be using this right away.
  13. A piece of yarn. The holiday this swap was celebrating was Hat Month. I rarely wear wooly hats. LeiLani made a hat using that yarn and donated it to the Warm Woolies project in my name.

This was such a nice swap. Thanks again, LeiLani.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Slow Bee is done

The picture is about 1/6 of the whole piece. It took me over and hour to bind off 800+ stitches. I cringed a little bit when I started studying the picture. Did I screw up or is it just how the unblocked piece lay on the floor? Either way, I'm not changing anything. I'm also unlikely to do anything like this anytime soon. I like knitting lacy patterns, but not on a big scale. Right now, I'm just glad it is done.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What Insomnia Girl has been doing

Originally uploaded by Paula knits

::later that same day:: I am having big fun and also getting unexpected Stuff. When I whined about having to frog the first Wasp Woman's heel, YarnYenta sent me some groovy stitch markers (skeleton pirate heads). It wasn't her fault that the instructions cut off the line that said "Knit chart twice". It was some evil Microsoft software that did it. She sent the markers anyway. Can I have an "Awwww, thanks, YarnYenta!"?

Then Sobeknofret had a little contest for us to guess what she'd named her Mummy socks. I won some cookies for my correct guess of "Are You My Mummy?". Doctor Who fans should of course catch the reference. I am now a True Geek Goddess. I'm even more proud of that than I am for having the first completed pair of SSS socks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2008 Bead Journal Project

I'm no longer participating the 2008 BJP. I got really frustrated after multiple false starts, and have chosen to work on different things instead. Sorry if you wandered in to see what I'd been up to.

I hope you're having fun beading.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Wasp Woman

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
A Ravelry person called sbknitter showed off her finished socks with a little display something like this. I liked the idea so much I decided to give it a try. My next one will be up in a day or so and then every ten days until right after Halloween. Trick -or- treat?

Friday, August 22, 2008

A good thing about swaps is... end up with some yarns that you might not run across otherwise. Five were from swaps on Ravelry and Swap-bot, and one was a Ravelry trade. All of them came from Etsy shops. Since you get extra points in SuperSockScarefest for socks made from Etsy yarn, I was hoping to find some in my stash.

I expect that I won't be able to use them all for SSS. They may all be sock yarn, but no two are the same. They range from 375 to 550 yards. Suggested gauges are all different. It's also possible than none of them will be appropriate for the patterns. I might try to use them anyway and go for creativity points. I guess I'll see tomorrow when the materials lists are posted.


Yarn Smackdown turned out to be kind of disappointing. Some people involved are really nice. Some people are flaky. I did my best to share information with people who needed it, but some other people just couldn't do that. I don't think I'll be knitting in these sorts of things any more*. I guess I'm getting too old and crabby to put up with it.

I will be playing with SuperSockScarefest, though. It starts on the first of September. On that day and about every 10 days after that, we'll have a new pair of socks to knit. I'm guessing that it'll be a half dozen pair of socks. We don't send them anywhere and we don't have to know what anybody else is doing before we take action. That sounds really good to me. There are even prizes. The materials list is supposed to be posted tomorrow. I'll soon be busy digging through my stash for my scariest sock yarns.

*Edited to add: well, since I'm already signed up for Hat Attack II and have the yarn, I'm doing that. It starts September 16. I should be between pairs 2 and 3 of my SSS socks. As long as the pattern allows for a large head size, I should be okay with this.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sam meets Sue

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Sam the Ram meets Sue the Ewe. I did a Sam several years ago and he came out really badly. I put him away and knit Sue and that wee little shawl. I did Sam again as my main Olympics project. The pattern part came out almost perfectly. The purl stitches that form the background leave a lot to be desired in several places.

The yarn I did them in is called fingering, but I think it's closer to a sport weight. I think I'll do them both again in laceweight. I won't be starting them anytime soon, though. Maybe they can be my next Olympics challenge.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Toasted by Pink

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Lynn aka YarnFlicker smacked me down with these pretty pink socks. I tried to tweak the color, but it still isn't showing up correctly. They are dusty pink. She also sent me some yarn, how nice was that? It surely took the sting out of death.

Yarn Smackdown is very well managed, but still frustrating. Contacting people is a whole lot harder than it should be. I am making myself see the fun side of it and not get irritated when people do things I think of as flaky.

Well, I'm trying to not be irritated. One person who should've contacted me three days ago has disappeared from the database. A couple of us are trying to reach another person whose email address can't be found. Bizarre.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Medal 2

I got this: for knitting these:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My First Medal

I received this:

for completing this:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Knit/Olympic Break time

My fingers are a little bit tired, so I'm taking a break. Here's the current project status:
  1. Sam the Ram: I got him started. It'll be a couple of days before I can do more.
  2. Food Fight: I knit my toast and sent it off. So has my assassin. Unfortunately for me, she lives a whole lot closer to me than the person I'm aiming at. I guess I'll learn about zombie knitting next week.
  3. Flying Arrow Socks: I'm halfway done with the first one. My target may be easy to take out as she's got some distractions. I don't know this for sure, though.

Two more projects get started tomorrow. Uh, make that later on today.

Friday, August 8, 2008

08/08/08 08:08

I love dates with numbers that repeat, so I'm getting a big kick out of the Olympics starting today. It must have something to do with having 10/10 as a birthday.

I am not getting a big kick out of my (enter favorite swear words here) cable company. Let's just say that I am not happy that I may miss the Opening Ceremonies through no fault of my own. I'd like to give Charter Communications, whose fault it is, a big kick in their collective behinds.

The Ravelympics are a hoot. There are 15202 projects to be completed 5469 Ravelers in 16 days. An Opening Ceremonies thread was created that was meant to be opened at the same time as the real Olympians started to march into the Beijing stadium. The thread couldn't be locked fast enough and we're already marching in.

We'll be posting our finished object and have a moment on the Podium and be acknowledged by Augustus Bobicus.

I suppose I ought to go to bed. I can start in on my first project at 08:08 am (US Eastern is twelve hours behind Beijing). Since I won't be watching the Olympics, I've dug out my Firefly DVDs to keep me company. I should reappear with pictures by Monday sometime.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I don't care if the designer's name is Gray Tabby. I refuse to move off of your keyboard so you can download another sock pattern!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Surprise from my last Sock Wars target

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
There was a box propped up on my mailbox door today. I wasn't expecting anything, so I was very curious. I should've recognized the name Pammy Knits on the box, but haven't been adequately caffeinated yet today. Pam was my last official 'kill' in the current Sock Wars. When I read online that she'd received the socks and that she liked them, I was happy. I didn't think about it again until today. She sent me a box of goodies as a thank you! Pam's generosity and thoughtfulness included:

  • A set of cute sock-shaped point protectors.
  • A set of handcrafted wooden knitting needles with ladybug finials.
  • An Evelyn Clark pattern for Oddball Sock Monkeys. Lately I've been making more monkeys that I have socks. This pattern uses leftover sock yarn. Perfect.
  • Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn in yummy colorway Florentina. I have been wanting to try this yarn. I also have this thing about Wales, where Colinette yarns come from. Whenever I need to go to my happy place to calm down, I go to Wales. Now I can knit a whole pair of socks there.

Pam, you're wonderful for doing this. Thanks so much.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


My Ravelympics details. I am signed up for:

  • Sock Put. My goal is to complete at least one pair of the Advanced Socks (see Summer Yarn Smackdown). Remember to add Paula tag to project as you move past the first pair of socks.
  • Amigurumi Toss. My goal is to complete at least one Crochet Amigurumi (see Summer Yarn Smackdown) AND Sam the Ram. Remember to add Paula tag to project as you move past the first amigurumi.

I can start Sam on Friday 08/08/08 at 08:08 am.
At noon (or whenever patterns are posted), I switch to Smackdown projects.
In between Smackdown projects, I continue on Sam. This continues until no later than Sunday 8/24 11 am.

Summer Yarn Smackdown

My Summer 2008 Yarn Smackdown details.
Food Fight. Dead. Zombie toast prepared. Awaiting zombification and target.
Advanced Sock. Dead. Awaiting zombification.
Granny Square. Dead. Zombie granny prepared. Awaiting zombification and target.
Crochet Amigurumi. Dead. Zombie bear prepared. Awaiting zombification and target.

Food Fight: info passed on okay.
Advanced Sock: Dead target has yet to post. The other info passed on okay.
Granny Square: Management knows I've not received info from target. No entirely sure who needs the info.
Crochet Amigurumi: Target sent me no information and neither did my assassin. Assassin's assassin now knows this.

Granny data:

EG killed YB

YB killed SX

SX killed me

I killed FR

FR killed LN

LN killed somebody, don't know who yet

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I can't possibly have 100 different kinds of yarn around here. Ravelry tells me otherwise. This ball of Therapi was my 100th stashed yarn entry.

The really scary part is that not all of my stash is in Ravelry. I've got a bin of yarn that's Red Heart and other man-made fibers. This doesn't count because I use it for amigurumi and charity knitting that wants machine washable fibers. Oh, and the bag of eyelash yarn I bought at Big Lots. And that furry stuff I got when SuperTarget was selling yarn in the dollar section. Those shouldn't count.