Friday, February 29, 2008

Scavenger Hunt Swap arrives!

When I saw a Priority Mail box perched on my mailbox, I knew I was in for a treat. I opened the box and it was full of brightly wrapped and tagged packages.

Here are the scavenger hunt categories:

  • Local: Texana Coffee: "A toasted pecan flavor with a hint of smooth vanilla caramel". The flavor sounds perfect. The beans smell really good.
  • Round: Stitch markers. Frieda says "as suggested in Cat Bordhi's book". Since I intend to get her new book, these will be great for trying out her techniques.
  • Hard: Darning needle case. It's a beautiful hardwood case on a key ring. My darning needles currently live in a cracked plastic pill bottle.
  • Green: Frieda-made project bag. This is really nicely done and definitely a step up from my quicky bags. Pretty print, too.
  • T: Tasty treats. Oh, yeah. Ghiradelli Squares in 60% cacao dark chocolate with caramel inside. This is the San Francisco treat, not Rice-a-Roni.
  • Funny: Fabric with knitting chickens. This is a riot. I love whimsical fabrics, especially knitting-related ones. I'd not seen this before. I'm going to scan one of the chickens and make it into an icon, probably for Flickr. Frieda also sent a coordinating blue/gray fabric. You know it's going to be another project bag.
  • Yummy yarn: Yarn Pirate "Solstice" sock yarn. Oooh, it's biffle. Isn't that what Lime&Violet call Bluefaced Leicester? I've been wanting to try it. The colorway is great: dark blue to denim-y blues to lavender.
  • Extra: KnitPicks "Bare" for dyeing: There were only seven categories. I got this because Frieda though I'd like to dye it. I just dyed my last skein of Bare last week and expected it to be a while before I could even think about getting any more.

Thanks, Frieda, for a lovely treat. Thanks, Carly, for coordinating such a fun swap. I'm determined to play in the next one, too

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some coffee to brew.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sock Knitter's Tote

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Several people asked me how I make these, so I wrote up some instructions.

Note: Making these can be addictive. I designed the bag to be reversible. If you've got a fabric stash, you can spend many happy hours picking pairs of fabrics to use for the bag.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Am I Unreasonable?

Here's the story: An online yarn shop gets an order for two skeins of sock yarn (two skeins required for two socks of this kind of yarn). When they pull the skeins out to ship them, they see that the skeins and from different dye lots. If you were the person in charge of this particular task would you:
-email the customer and ask if they wanted not-matching dye lots? -or-
-send the yarn out with a little note saying that if the customer didn't like the match, they could send the yarn back and they'd send skeins that matched. Eventually. After they reordered it.

Am I unreasonable to expect the first option? You know I'm whining about this because I got the second option. I'm sending the yarn back and requesting a refund. I don't know what their policy is on refunds but I don't care because they screwed it up. The yarn was a semi-solid color, so the difference between the skeins was noticeable. And it was for a swap! I wasn't going to disappoint a swap pal with something that can be controlled.

The good thing that came out of this was I got some totally different sock yarn from a totally different online shop. There's no dye lot problem because the skein's got plenty for two socks. I had to order some for my pal and some for me both. I HAD to order two. There was a minimum order requirement. And I wasn't sure which colorway would be best for her, I had to have two to compare. And it was on sale. And I've not seen this kind in any of the three LYS within 20 minutes of here. See, I'm very reasonable.

::several days later::The shipping was refunded both ways along with the cost of the yarn. I still think it could've all been avoided with a simple email, but oh well.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scavenger Hunt, unwrapped

Since Karrie, my downstream partner in this swap has her stuff, here's what I picked:

  • Something round: Lindor truffles
  • Something local: A sock project bag I made myself
  • Something green: A chocolate frog, wrapped in green foil
  • Something smooshy: The pick-your-own category. Dream in Color Smooshy yarn
  • Something hard: Double-pointed knitting needles
  • Something related to the letter T: It's a tape measure shaped like a sheep*. You pull the sheep's tail to get the tape to come out.
  • Something funny: You want fries with that? stitch markers (also home made).

*Note to the person who sent me a tape measure just like this one. This is a totally different tape measure. I liked mine so much that when I saw this in a LYS, I had to get it for this swap.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What I've been up to lately

I dyed three skeins of yarn today. Two of them are for swaps and one's reserved for the Sock Knitter's Pentathalon. Well, it'll be the first pair anyway. It's a wool/silk blend. It's mostly a denim-y blue with little bits of a couple of other colors.

I went to Only Ewe on Sunday. They had a big sale, but I was very good. I only got yarn for a swap, plus yarn to make another pair of felted clogs. I have a pair that never shrank down enough that I've been wearing anyway. There are many holes in them.

I've got two competition/knit along type things. The Pentathalon starts March 1. I signed up for Sock Wars III, but that doesn't happen until May. My plan is to knit something with the extra skein of TOFUtsies I've got around here somewhere. It'd be nice to get a feel for one's weaponry before the War begins.

I told myself I wouldn't sign up for any more swaps for awhile, so why am I working on FIVE of them?:
Sock Knittin #2 (Swap-bot): Theme is embellished socks. Almost ready to send.
St Patrick's Day Sock Yarn Swap (Swap-bot): Almost ready to send.
Knitter's Holiday/Spring (Ravelry): I need to get to work on this one.
Sock Knittin #3 (Swap-bot): Theme is cabeled socks. No partner yet, but it's nearly ready to go.
April Showers Sock Yarn Swap (Swap-bot): No partner yet, but progress has been made.

I have managed to work some knitting in. I'm making Bayerishche socks. The yarn's more of a minty color than what shows in this pathethic photograph. The pattern would show up better in a plain yarn rather than this Koigu, but there's no way I'm going to frog it. The pattern's not difficult, just tricky to get started.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Scavenger Hunt

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I mailed the scavenger hunt package yesterday. I didn't want to give anything away, so the unwrapped version of this will have to remain, ummm, under wraps. Five of the seven things are fiber-related. I made two things. I hope my partner enjoys them all. It was fun coming up with them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Can't Stop the Signal

If the words
Firefly: Season 2 make your heart skip a beat, click here immediately.

What does Firefly have to do with knitting? To me, about four dozen Jayne hats and possibly Wash's sweater.

Death Smells Pretty!

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is what I received from Jessica, my Hat Attack assassin. I like the yarn she used for the hat. If you look right in the lower middle, you'll see a single dark red bead. It looks like I got shot right between the eyes. Well, if I pull the hat down in front it does.

Right above the bead is a vial of BPAL perfume called "I Died for Beauty". How funny is that? I've always wondered why so many people were obsessed with BPAL, but never enough to get some myself. This was an especially nice treat.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Dead Parrot Hat

Originally uploaded by Echo 6979
I happened to be online at the same time as Echo79, my assassin. I highly suspect this to be the hat that will kill me in Hat Attack. I like the yarn and she did a good job with the pattern.

If she still had it early this morning, then I'll make my goal of killing my target before she gets me.

::dancing away, singing "I Am Not Yet Dead"::

Saturday, February 9, 2008

That was fun

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is my Hat Attack hat. USPS has it and I expect it'll be in Chicago on Tuesday. The pattern's called Binary Cable Hat. It has the number from 0 to 15 in binary as represented by the cable crosses. How fun is that? There's a variation to add Fibonacci stripes so I'm going to dig up some more yarn and try it.

I left the Clown Barf pompom off on purpose. It was enough to just threaten to put it on. I hope my target enjoys the hat. It was fun to knit.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Battle Prep

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I'm prepared for Hat Attack, which begins on Saturday. There are dpns and a cable needle. I got gauge with them and the blue/yellow yarn. If I get a wool-allergic target, I'll substitute the Red Heart for the wool. I've got a prepaid mailer and I know where I can mail for first pickup on Monday. I've got a First Aid Kit to send to my target (it contains crime scene tape bandaids, a packet of Advil, and a nice bar of chocolate). The little zombie has it's own needles and yarn and the button of the Zombie Scarf Knitalong. Some people from Hat Attack will be doing that once they've been removed from competition.

I expect to be able to finish the hat before Monday. I don't think anyone can get a hat to me before then. There's no one on the list that's within reasonable driving distance to hand over a hat. Besides, my town isn't the easiest place to find, let alone my house.

To do: check gauge on the Red Heart. Find where I stashed the stamp for the prepaid mailer. Pull out a bunch of DVDs to watch. Head over to Ravelry to taunt the poor knitters who have never done cables before.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ready for Hat Attack

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Dear Assassin, I knit faster than you do. I've been doing cables since the Kennedy administration. Don't even waste your time casting on.

Dear Target, As you can see, I'm ready for you. You'll soon be a knitting zombie.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sock Wars III

I just came from the Sock Wars III rule page. It was posted about two weeks ago, but I found it only a little while ago. Here's how my speculation of a couple of weeks ago turned out:

...the pattern will be designed using Tofutsies... Correct.

...the War will be structured in a different manner than it has in the past?... Wrong. It looks like it'll be the same.

I don't think that the sponsorship will make using Tofutsies a requirement. Correct.

Organization/communication will have to improve.
It looks like steps are being taken in this direction. The things that jumped out at me were:

-Proof of postage:
This can be a scan/photo of a certificate of postage or a photo of the stamped up package. Anything that conveys proof that you have actually mailed the item, and the date it was mailed will do. You should be able to produce this within 48 hours in the event of a query by the mods.

-Targets not posting their death or other similar flakiness:
We will contact that person and they have 48 hours to respond or they are automatically kicked out of the tournament. Previous “flake” precautions should avoid this. There will be mega public humiliation for anyone pulling this kind of disruption and we will work out some kind of consolation...

IMHO, this alone will make the tournament run much, much, much more smoothly. And it will cut back on the whining. I get so fraking sick of whining, she whined.

-Everybody will get socks. A team of volunteers will step in and make up for the flakes.

I think we can expect a new location for SW III on the web.
Looks like I got this one right. The Yahoo! group is a temporary holding area.

Signups start February 14, as does the new web site. Sock Wars III begins May 9.

Stash-only February

Originally uploaded by Paula knits

It is stash-only February on Paula's Planet. No new yarn. No new patterns. Here is why:
1. BFF by Cookie A, in Plymouth Sockotta. One down, one to go.

2. Rocket Yarn, in color Retrograde. No plans for this yet.

3. Yarn Pirate, in color Kalamata (under the Rocket Yarn.) No plans for this yet.

4. Two balls of Koigu. No plans for them yet.

5. Fearless Fibers in Amethyst Pink (under the Koigu). Probably for the February Sockamania socks.

6. Two pompoms in the colorway someone on Ravelry calls Clown Barf. They are for Hat Attack. The yarn for that isn't pictured here.

7. Tofutsies. I thought I'd knit something with it before Sock Wars to get used to the yarn.

8. Lime & Violet in Veronica Lake. No plans for this yet.

9. Two balls of Patons Kroy Socks in Hickory (under the Lime & Violet). No plans for this yet.

10. Dream in Color Smooshy in Pansy Golightly. This is for the Momma Monkey memorial socks, using her pattern Kaylee.

11. The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes in Beach Sunset. No plans for this yet.

12. Recycled sari silk yarn. I'm thinking of designing a journal bag using this yarn.

13. Socks That Rock mediumweight in Bella Coola. It's for the last 2007 club pattern.

14. One of several sock totes. This one is waiting for me to make the cheeseburger and fries stitch markers I've mentally designed.

Not shown: my choice for this month's Paula's Planet Sock Club and the Ravelry socks I'm inventing.

The pattern situation is just as bad. I'm planning on doing Bayerische by Eunny Jang for one challenge. There's another challenge I've been tempted to sign up for that's going to use laceweight for socks. That'll be no problem, I've got a skein that I can dye. I'm going to dye some yarn for a swap so I can just do that at the same time.

What time? Am I crazy??

Friday, February 1, 2008

R.I.P. Momma Monkey

Gigi Silva, aka Momma Monkey of Socktopia, passed away over the weekend. Sock knitters may know her gorgeous patterns. My sympathies go out to her family. I'd been looking forward to her getting well and reappearing on the Internet knitting scene. You've gone too soon, Momma Monkey. Thanks for your lovely designs and your generosity in sharing them with us.