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what am I doing here?

in which susan proceeds to get caffienated and knit all day. if only I could get paid to drink coffee and knit... that would so be the shiz-knit.

really? 10.31.2006 |

dang. what's this all about? I mean, there are certainly less attractive ways to use yarn, but seriously. I must be in the wrong business if this is selling for $168. can you believe it?
and this? $368! how long could it possibly take to knit either of these things? do people really buy this stuff? go ahead and click on the photos if you want to buy one of these babies for yourself. actually, if you want one, I'll make you one for the bargain basement price of $299. heck, I'll make both for $299. how's that for a deal? feel free to start lining up while I go grab my 35s.

half empty? 10.30.2006 |

how sad is this? my sock yarn stash barely fills half of this ziploc bag. I think I can do better than half empty. which is precisely why I felt I had to go and get me some of this socky goodness.
every little bit counts, right? and this stuff is so yum! it's soft and pretty and mmm mmm good... also, hello super crazy long yardage! what a great way to round out a totally not so productive socktober. I mean, I've got to stock up for next year. yeah. that's it. next year.
also, the other night, my mom dug out this box of china-yarn that someone had given my aunt and somehow got stored away in my mom's closet over 10 years ago! score one for me! it says it's "high quality hand knitting yarn". and believe me, nothing says high quality like an upside-down G.here's a close-up of one of the skeins. my limited chinese reading abilities (aka on the verge of illiteracy) tells me that this stuff is from the 19th shanghai fiber something... factory, maybe? I guess it doesn't really matter. apparently, it's 100% wool and seems really similar to dale of norway baby ull, both in texture and weight. there are ten 50g skeins in the box along with what appears to be washing instructions (handwash only, it seems). I should get a picture of that next time - it's pretty amusing.

anyway, I wonder if this stuff is dyeable. my mom said something about it being "moth-proof". what does that mean? has it been treated with something that might prevent it from being dyed? I have no idea! but looking at all that off-white yarn just makes me want to dye.

only another knitter would understand... 10.25.2006 |

...if I were walking down the street with my feet looking like this:
so, does this count as a pair of socks? how do you people do it? how can you make two of the exact same thing, out of the exact same yarn, one right after the other, without going crazy?? (look how I say this like I've never been able to complete a pair of socks... weird how different it is when I know I can't give someone just one sock as a birthday gift.)

I know I said that I was going to finish either the thuja or the koigu socks this week, but now I'm thinking maybe I should just start on another pair. (haha! I said pair! who am I kidding? y'all know I really mean just one, right?) a new pattern in a new yarn! not very deep down at all - actually, right out in the open where everyone can see - it's what I really want. I mean, seriously... matching socks are so overrated, aren't they? how could koigu on one foot and cherry tree hill on the other not be totally sexy? is anyone else with me on this?

I did it! 10.24.2006 |

I finished the pomo!! finally! I put a yellow filter on the pic to try and make the color appear more the way it does in real life, which I've decided is impossible to do when I take pretty much all my pictures after 10pm inside my poorly lit home. also, the filter makes the rug look like it's been peed on. sorry 'bout that... one of these days, I will actually finish something during daylight hours or I will find some way to wait until daylight hours to take the picture, which I also seem incapable of doing. the color still didn't come out quite real-life, but it's closer, and definitely better, than without the filter. actually, just kidding... it's somewhere between this picture and the ones from before. oh whatever. it's turquoise!

anyway! I've got one more week left of socktober and I'm trying to decide how to finish out the month. I think I'll first take some time to finally bind off that koigu sock, but (God-willing) that won't take me a whole week. I think I'll either make koigu #2 or thuja #2... pomo #2 will definitely take me deep into november (sockvember anyone??), so I think I'll save that for later. I want to have an actual pair of socks by the end of this month! right? go me!

important things to think about when knitting pomotomopotomotomus (or however you spell it) 10.19.2006 |

1. use chart A for the leg
2. use chart B for the instep
3. keep alcohol handy
4. decrease every other row on the gusset
4. no, you don't know how to count
5. you also are not so good at following directions/reading english
6. there will be ripping, tinking, and/or reknitting, which can lead to increased blood pressure and spitting while cursing the knitting gods and also maybe shaking of fists at the sky, especially if you did not pay attention to #1-4 above. luckily, the yarn doesn't seem to mind the abuse. unfortunately, the knitter does and might need a long lie down.
sigh. why is this pattern kicking my ass so badly? I'm going to blame it on pms and a shortage of chocolate. the gusset issue has been remedied, although I somehow managed to untwist one of the twisted stitches at the pick-up edge. how did that happen? oh well. I'm going to ignore that one, because if I have to rip and reknit one more round on this stupid heel, I will have to go out and buy myself a whole case of beer. actually, that doesn't sound so bad. friday? you're coming soon, right? I need you...

ps. in adding that cherry tree hill link, I noticed that they are having a design contest! obviously, I am not cut out for the sock knitting, let alone the sock designing, but how exciting for someone who can! heehee. also, the yarn I'm using is the turquoise, which the cherry tree hill folks seem to be better at photographing than I am. also, I think I need to buy some of the teal. also, I love socks. also, sock yarn. also, I should get back to work.

it was a dark and stormy night 10.17.2006 |

ok, not literally. the weather has actually been quite nice. but it was a long night for everyone in the insaknitty house last night. no need to go into gruesome details, but lets just leave it at there was not quite the amount of sleeping that some people are accustomed to.

also, I totally screwed up on the potomoto heel! well, not the actual heel part. I thought I was smart enough to not need to use the chart for the instep, but apparently, I wasn't. so I need to tink back about 6 rounds, which I gave up on around 1030 last night. one of these days, hopefully before socktober ends, I will have a completed sock. see how quickly my expectations are dropping? at first I thought I could finish all three unfinished pairs of socks I've started for myself in the last few months, then I thought I'd be happy with just one pair, and now I feel like I'd be happy with just the one pomotomo. it really is turning out to be quite pretty. no pictures, though, since it doesn't look that much different from the last pic I took, except that there is now an incorrect instep attached to it. please note that there would have been a whole lot more knitting if I had not been camping this weekend. so I am not a total slacker! just a partial one.

hey, so has anyone else out there tried out moo.com? they were giving away 10 of their little photo cards for free to flickr users a few weeks back. I just got mine in the mail yesterday and I just have to say that they are super super cute! they're really small, about 1" by 2.75" and come with this cute little holder thing. check it out! go get some! fun for everyone! (no they're not paying me to say this, but maybe they'll give me some more cards for free. heehee.)

put a sock in it 10.13.2006 |

I know... I've been such a bad socktoberfest participant... I haven't even done the meme yet! so here goes, 13 days behind schedule:

(edited to add: haha! did I forget question #1?? sigh...)

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I started making socks in june (of 2006). I "taught" myself. the vast majority of my knitting was "self" taught. that is, if you consider "self" to be the internet and a buttload of books. anyway, no, I was not taught by a real live person, but yes, I love the sock thing! perhaps the lack of the real live person is to blame for my weird interpretation of directions/patterns. I think I get a lot of my inspiration from other bloggers, too. this question is going nowhere. no wonder I subconsciously skipped it earlier.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
well, my first full pair was the elfines I made for my friend's birthday. my first sock is my pink thuja, which is still waiting for a mate... I'm not sure how the elfines are holding up, and the thuja is unworn, cuz I feel silly wearing just one sock.What would you have done differently?
I probably would have been better about learning how to kitchener the toe properly. also, I would also have known that "sl1 pwise" doesn't require you to also bring the yarn to the front. I think I would also have done it toe up instead.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
considering I've only knit a few socks in my short sock knitting life, I guess I don't have that much experience with lots of sock yarns. but I loved the artyarns supermerino I used on thuja, and I LOVE koigu, and I am also a big fan of cherry tree hill... I have a bunch of other yarn in the stash that I'm eager to try out. I'll let you know what I think of those when they someday turn into real socks.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
crochet and I have a love/hate relationship. I can't imagine crocheting socks. I can't imagine crocheting anything that isn't some kind of rectangle. I am not opposed to dpns, but I prefer magic loop, since you only need one needle and there's nothing to lose. also, I'm not sure how to start a toe up sock otherwise. I am a toe-up fan all the way! I like being able to know how long I can make the leg without worrying about running out of yarn before I finish the toe. also, I am scared of the kitchener...

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I am a short row (sherman) fan, but mostly because I haven't figured out how to do a toe-up heel flap. also, I think I like the look of the short row heel better. altho, sometimes the flap looks better with certain patterns... so... really, I guess I'm on the fence.

How many pairs have you made?
pairs? I've officially completed two pairs. haha. but for gifts. the elfines and the crooked cable socks. I have two lone (as in lonely) socks and one soon to be lonely sock. will they ever have mates? only time will tell... that's the point of socktoberfest, tho, is it not? for susan to have at least one complete pair of socks?

guess what, tho? someone is ready for a heel! looks like he's also ready for a wedge. heehee. please don't ask me why it's taken me so freaking long to get the leg done on these. it's not even "these". it's just "this". sigh. so pretty, tho... yums... please keep in mind, these are really a turquoise, which is turning out to be the most impossible color to photograph. anyway, happy friday! momma's got a new pair of shoes!

new digs 10.11.2006 |

got a new look here! what fun! I know nothing about html. I'm not even sure what html is. whee!! if you'd be so kind, please let me know if anything seems to be looking or functioning oddly... honestly, I didn't really know what I was doing and I'll be tinkering behind the scenes here and there. try pulling on the "pull". I'll try to make that more fun as soon as I figure out how... (I've been alerted that the pull doesn't work in IE! gasp! my apologies to the IE users out there... you should download flock instead. just sayin'.)

anyhow, if you think this looks as spiffy as I do, you can get it and/or other free templates from here. they say they're going to be adding more as time goes on, too. join in the fun!

pictures! of actual stuff! 10.10.2006 |

I realize there has been quite the shortage of photos on this blog as of late. I'm making up for that now, tho! I spent a good part of my free time this weekend knitting a last minute think pink scarf. I had a little help, too.

I think I now know why people advise against employing child labor. by the end of the day, this is how my little "helper" looked. where are her pants? why is she only wearing one sock?

the good news is that the scarf did get finished! it's now on it's way to sydney in virginia.

I realize it looks like it's more white than pink, but it really is a very lovely pale pink.

pattern:
my so called scarf by sheep in the city
yarn: rowan little big wool, color 501 (pale pink), about 2 and 1/3 balls
needles: us13 clover bamboo straights
finished: october 8, 2006

notes: I ended up only casting on 20 stitches, instead of the 30 called for in the pattern. I also used little big wool instead of the manos. but, really, it's a scarf, so I guess none of those changes really matter all that much. it was actually a faster knit than I'd originally anticipated. I'm sure the huge needles helped. at first, I thought that the stitch pattern was a bit complicated, but after a couple rows, it all seemed to flow rather nicely and I managed to crank this out in two nights. it's snuggly soft and warm! I hope that it warms the heart of it's eventual recipient. I really like the look of this scarf and I think I might make another for myself!

please, use your imagination 10.06.2006 |

I haven't taken a single picture all week. and it's not that I don't actually have anything to show, because there has been knitting. really. I'm not sure why there hasn't been any picture taking, except perhaps for typical rainy day laziness. then again, it hasn't even been that rainy. just rainy enough to get my car from really dirty to really really dirty looking. I contemplated a car wash, but then decided that it would be futile, since it is only going to rain again. plus, the laziness.

anyway, I ended up taking yesterday off, just like I'd plotted, and made my way down to the soon to be closed lys in alameda (sob! whyyy??) with a friend and her super cute baby. this time, thankfully, they were actually open. and, also thankfully, everything on the store was on sale, just as I'd been told. 25% off of everything! there is actually quite a bit of stuff left - lots of rowan - which is good, since they're not planning on closing until november. sadly, though, there was no more koigu. I did manage to find some pink yarn for the think pink scarf and some totally unneeded sock yarn for more socks that may or may not ever be made.

after rummaging through the entire store several times, we realized we were just minutes away from sushi house (some of the best sushi you can get in these parts) and decided to head there for lunch, where we managed to just about finish an entire sushi house boat. yummm!

then I spent pretty much the entire evening knitting the think pink scarf. more accurately, though, it was more like knitting and ripping and then knitting and ripping and then knitting and ripping again. I just couldn't figure out a stitch pattern I was truly happy with. also, the yarn is a little weird. it's super soft, but it seems like it's a thick piece of nylon with a bunch of wool fluff just wrapped around it. and you can't really tell until you start knitting. the yarn is currently sitting in a pile on the couch at home, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. I think I'm going to do this. but we'll see!

potomotos are also getting a little bit of love. I've got about two repeats done on the leg (which really isn't much, when I think about it). the slowness is most likely due to the season premiere of lost, during which I mostly sat on the couch clutching the not-yet-a-sock a little too tightly (good thing I don't use wooden needles, as I'm sure I'd have snapped one within the first 5 minutes of the show) in my sweaty little hands while my heart pounded and my head spun and I yelled "what?! WHAT?!! what the... what???!!" at the tv. anyway... soon, I'm sure I will have 3 complete socks and not one complete pair. I must be the worst socktoberfest participant ever.

I feel bad for the no pictures all week... so... in the spirit of oktoberfest, here is a picture of isa with my friend, dean, during last year's superbowl. cheers!

pink! 10.03.2006 |

I stumbled across this today:
october is not only socktober, it's also breast cancer awareness month. I'm a little bummed I didn't read about think pink earlier, since the deadline is the 15th, which doesn't leave me much time to knit! I'm going to try to get one scarf done, though.

I lost my grandmother to breast cancer when I was nine, when I was too young to really understand what was going on. I only have wonderful memories of her. she was so warm and loving and eternally upbeat, even in her last days. she was always smiling and laughing... maybe that's why I never really realized what a terrible disease she had. I still think of her often, and though the memories as faint, I feel like she left a big imprint on my life. and a selfish part of me wishes I could have known her in my adult life just cuz I feel like we would have had so much fun and that I could have learned so much from her. she was a knitter! actually, I vaguely remember her trying to teach me, but I think I was too uninterested at the time. I had asked her to knit a sweater for my cabbage patch kid and she tried to teach me to knit it myself. I was probably too busy climbing the cherry tree in her yard or fighting with my brother at the time.

so, as a tribute to my dear grandma, I'm going to have to let socktober wait a while so I can do some pink thinking. anyone want to think pink along with me?

socktober is here! 10.02.2006 |

another month has managed to sneak up on me without my noticing. the weather has taken a fall-like turn, which might have tipped me off if I'd been paying attention. I love the fall, even in the not so fall like fall that we get 'round these parts. sometimes I miss living in a place where there is an actual fall, but then I remember that an actual fall usually quickly turns into an actual winter, which I am really not fond of. altho, as I've been getting older, I'm finding I like the cold a lot more that I used to. maybe, one day, I might actually like snow - the horror!

anyway! it's socktober! and I didn't even realize it until today. I spent last night knitting away at the big one (which is growing at a leisurely, but acceptable pace - I've gotten almost 12" of back done) instead of my many socks! what was I thinking? a whole night of sock knitting was missed. *sigh* I think I was just sad that I drove all the way to alameda yesterday, where yet another lys is closing (what is going on here?) and liquidating all their stock, only to find that they stopped being open on sundays (notice that is not what it says on the website)! needless to say, I was pretty bummed. there is a good chance I will head up there on thursday again, tho, after I take isa to her 18 month well check. I'm thinking about taking off that whole day. I normally feel like I need at least a day to recover after having to endure holding down my screaming baby while she get stabbed repeatedly by the nurse. four shots again this time. faint! I need to start doing my deep breathing exercises to prepare myself.