Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FO: Liliana's Socks

I uploaded the pictures for this post exactly seven days ago, and have not had a moment since to write the post! Between school, elementary school, holiday prep, and ignoring the dishes, things have been busy around here. Tomorrow I am cooking my first ever Thanksgiving and having 12 people in our wee apartment to celebrate. We have had that many people for dinners before, I am more worried about my ancient oven tackling the 20 lbs turkey.

FO: Liliana's Socks (for my MIL)
Pattern: Burning Rings of Fire, a free pattern by Kristen Kapur
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Sockotta Sock Yarn, purchased from Birds-N-Yarn
Needles: US 2 Knitpicks Options DPNs, my current weapon of choice for socks

I impulse bought this cotton blend while ordering some Lorna's Laces online. I do not know what came over me at the time, because I like neither cotton socks nor self-striping yarn. You know how enticing yarn sales can be, mystery items just appear in your cart. When the yarn arrived, it occurred to me it might actually be perfect for some MIL socks. I had a feeling she would like a cotton blend rather than 100% wool, since she tends not to get cold too easily.

Now that they are all bound off and blocked, I am a bit concerned they will be too small for her. I think I will try and block them again. I made the largest size indicated on the pattern, and knitted a longer heel flap and thus longer gussets, and knit an extra 1.25 inches into the foot of the sock. I will give them another block just in case, and then make N try them on for fit. The MIL's feet are rather on the larger side, which makes for all the more sock to knit!

I cast on these socks mid-August. They have since lived exclusively in my purse, acting as my bus and car knitting. I cast off about two months later, showing that time on the Muni bus need not be wasted. These socks will make their way to my Christmas knitting pile, which is pretty measly, but does include a hat for my Grandmother in law, and will hopefully accumulate a few more hats before Christmas rolls around.

Note to my neighbors: A top sign your neighbor is addicted to yarn is the erratic sticking of feet out of the bedroom window followed by a series of foot contortions, all of which said neighbor is simultaneously photographing with enthusiasm. Do not be alarmed. If you fear for the neighbor's sanity, the best course of action is to drop by with a care basket of chocolate and, um, more yarn.

Monday, November 16, 2009

From Sweden with Love

More fiber goodies to share! As a wedding gift, a friend from Sweden sent us this crochet lace doily.

Now gracing our dresser, the doily lays under my jewelry boxes, and continually reminds me how awesome the fiber arts are! Transcending generations and continents, the traditions perpetuate. How can you not love it?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stash Bustin

More like yarn shopping... Sonny and Shear is a lovely online yarn and fiber retailer that is family owned and stocks the good stuff. They offer a "bust your stash" coupon--send them 2 lbs worth of ball bands, they email you a 10% off coupon. Some incentive to bust that stash! I just cashed in my bust my stash coupon on a skein of Dream in Color Starry in Gothic Rose. Dream in Color yarns are right up there with Malabrigo for me in fabulous factor. Better get knitting, so I can earn more coupons :)

Mosaics by the pool, Hearst Castle

Friday, November 13, 2009


I think its a widely recognized feeling in the fiber arts that part of the magic we feel is a connection to the past. A knowledge that we could make socks if all the sock factories in the world disappeared, just as women (and men!) did in the pre-industrial days. Knowing that the art we practice connects us to thousands of women all over the world, all across time is magical.

As a wedding gift, my aunt made me lace trimmed pillow cases. My grandmother was an avid knitter, a master of everything from the cable to the bobble to fair aisle. Another of her loves was lace trimmed linens, always pressed perfectly, and always in use. Another thing that makes knitting magical for me is using something so beautiful, and making something that is both inherently gorgeous and functional.

My grandmother passed away when I was fourteen, before I grew into a knitter. Knowing my love of knitting, and my Grandmother's, my aunt made me this gift in honor of my grandmother. She made and attached the lace, and wove in a ribbon to match the shirt my husband sported at our wedding.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Notes on sanity

It has been an incredibly busy couple months, semester, year, etc. The last two weeks have been particularly insane at school, with state assessments, standardized tests, arranging student teaching placements, and big projects due left and right. When I get this busy I tend to pull in, be more introspective, and sadly, I stop doing things that keep me sane! So here I am, tests looming, writing on the blog again, looking for my sanity. If you find it, do let me know.

There has been some knitting. Not much knitting, but some. I am almost done with my on-the-bus socks, a gift for my MIL. I am on the second repeat of the second chart on my Aestlight Shawl, in DIC Starry. I must echo the Yarn Harlot's thoughts on the Starry, its lovely, but not quite as silvery as one would hope. Yet, I love it, and want more of it! Kristina recently introduced me to the Dizzy Sheep, which features one yarn for sale per day at bargain basement pricing, and I have since been checking every day, hoping for more Starry.

Knitting is one of those things that keeps me sane, but the time in which to do it evaporates in the face of other tasks. I can see why doctors prescribed knitting as a cure to anxiety to housewives in the old days. As I knit each stitch, I can feel my mind sifting, processing, and clicking things into place. I am always glad when I sneak some time to knit a few rows. Most of my knitting is 6:30 am bus knitting at the moment, and I won't lie-- I have nodded off once or twice!

In good news, Thanksgiving and Christmas are nearly upon us, which for me means vacation and knitting time! In preparation, I ordered some yarn for my first sweater! I bought Valley Yarns on Webs, my first time buying their in-house brand, in a chunky weight, dark blue heather. They were offering a sale for knitting daily subscribers, so I hopped on it. I got enough yarn for a sweater plus a free pattern for 25 bucks. I am planning to knit the sweater featured in the latest Berroco newsletter, Nimbus. Its more of a sweater coat, which comforts me since I won't have to be too worried about a precise, tailored fit.

Some photo documentation of my last few busy months:


Central CA Mini-Honeymoon aka Mini Moon: Hearst Castle

Mini-Moon: Castoro Cellars Vineyard

Mini-Moon: Castoro Cellars Vineyard

Mini-Moon: Sculpture Garden at Clautiere Winery