Thursday, October 18, 2007

I think I may have made up my mind...sorta

Ok, so I am designing this Hermione sock for my terrific sock pal. And of course I want it to be the very best pair of socks EVER MADE so that she will MELT with pleasure every single time she looks at them, never mind wears them.

I thought I had decided on the stitch patterns. I did! I did! And I got input from someone who likes Hermione so much it is part of her screen name, and someone who adores Ron and should know what Hermione would like sort of by reflection, and Socker, and....

Well, I hadn't. But Now I have, and life is sweet because I can knit on them all the way to Rhinebeck, and all the way back, and...and...

Well, life is just sweet!

No pictures cause I don't want to tip her off!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Many are the joys of a really good yarn sale - Slight Deathly Hallows Spoiler

Many are the joys of a super yarn sale. I have tighter foul lines for what meets that criteria than most would, perhaps. Twenty-five percent, or even 40 percent off the normal price of a yarn does not constitute a great sale – it merely constitutes the first price at which I am seriously likely to purchase something.

There are a few exceptions to this, of course. I have paid full price if I needed a particular color desperately, or if I am getting something for someone else, but generally, buying full retail does not entrance me. Blame it on my background if you’d like, but I can’t get really excited till I see them practically giving stuff away – and it has to be really nice stuff.

Then, however, I am a goner.

Yesterday I went to another Smiley’s sale and did a little stash enhancing. It was thoughtful purchasing. In one or two spots it probably stopped short, actually, of where it should have gone. Read, and tell me if you could have been any more restrained.

The first thing that went into the Laundry basket shopping basket was two bags of Calzetteria sock yarn, 70 % shrink resistant wool, 30 percent nylon, in a heathery tan. My excuse? A vest in Knitters I have wanted to make since 96 or 98, and which I will probably enter in the State Fair if I do. Cost? One dollar a ball.

This sock yarn is on the slightly thicker side of fingering – 165 yards to 50 grams, and I wanted to be absolutely certain I had enough. Twenty balls. Well, I do also knit socks, and this WOULD work for Ravenclaw bronze if it had to… which made it a possible match for the 17 or so balls of blue Kroy I got there at 1.50 a ball maybe 7 years ago… I also threw in a bag of red, because Socker loves red.

Not every color was on sale at this price. They didn’t have pale grey/silver, and if one prefers movie Ravenclaw colors (For some reason I seem to have a lot of Ravenclaw friends) or if one wants to knit a sock for Severus, one is going to need a silver grey. I got three of those at the Smiley’s normal in-store price of 2.99 a ball.

There is a Moda Dea yarn they have in textured multicolored wool. I thought another ball of this for some secret knitting, especially since I was able to find a ball of Filatura Lanarota 100% Wool Worsted at 1.99 that was a PERFECT match for one of the colors. How often does that happen? I think it’s the second time I’ve ever managed to match a color in a multi myself, but I’ve only been knitting seriously for about 13 years… I bought two other balls in a color to match a friend’s coat, totally forgetting that she is a tall person and might want a longer scarf than stumpy here would. Ah, well, thin scarves were in at some point…

I went to town with that Worsted at 1.99 a ball for 100 grams. I already have a sweater’s worth in the rust heather, but I keep having to forcibly restrain myself from knitting a pair of socks in it, so I got the six balls of that color sitting there, just in case they were the last six in creation. I also got three of the teal heather, because I have one already and a vest pattern in Fitted Knits that I want to make out of it. The three balls of burgundy with bits of lovage carded in should end up as felted slippers for my mother. (And here I digress to note that if Bellatrix Lestrange had ever dared throw an unforgivable at me, there would have been no duel. My mother would not have wasted a “You Beach!” on her, either. One shot, just to the side of the sternum (Her left, Mom’s right) and my parent would have been neatly dusting off her wand and asking quietly “Would anyone else like to try cursing my child?” This is why Mom gets a call to ask which of the burgundies she would prefer, right there from the sale aisle. When you have a parent like that, you should at least TRY to treat them right...and I still owe her the shawl.)

I was in an expansive enough mood to buy two balls of grey yarn for socks for DH, who normally gets nothing because he does not like hand-knit sweaters and wears through socks till they are cuffs and then expects me to fix them. I will have some black left from what I bought at the last sale to do a pattern on the leg…

The one thing I bought that I did not enjoy the spend? A booklet I have put off buying for several years. It was 7.95 and had four patterns, three of which are ugly and useless, one of which I really wanted. I finally gave in and just got it.

Oh – there was VIBE on sale for one dollar a ball as well. I was wavering over the colors and the fact that I would have to buy two whole bags…and the two bags of a different super bulky at home that I need to knit up first. I was advised to knit that other stuff first…

No, you really don’t have to add up everything I spent and tell me what it cost. I know what it cost. I cost less than the three bags of sock yarn at their regular price for everything I got - never mind any original MSRP’s. I am content…

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I Should Have Been Sleeping...

Well, between looking for patterns for my pal on the web, and looking for the box of spinning/knitting books that I can’t find (and that box includes Alden Amos’s spinning book as well as an old Mon Tricot Stitch directory and a sock book that currently lists as out of print and $290 in the used book trade, so if any of you have any influence with the universe I would be most appreciative if you could influence it towards sending me to the correct part of the basement or garage, but…) and looking at Favorite Socks by Interweave press, I thought I would do a little bit of an inventory of sock patterns that I happen to have around in various books, magazines and so forth last night, when I was a little too tired, probably, to knit.

This does not include any free patterns I have downloaded from the web, any individual patterns I have purchased, or any sock patterns from any magazines other than IWK and one from Spin-Off. It does not include any patterns from books I know I own but can’t find, or from half the books I do have lying around, because I have not gotten to them yet. It does not include anything I have designed and knitted myself or with Socker’s help.

So far I am at 213.

Even considering that there must be at least half a dozen patterns in there for your basic top-down sock that is still a LOT of sock patterns.

I thought I would use this information for the good of all sock-knitting kind, so today’s post will be one of a few to come here that attempt to inform in some meaningful way on the topic of sock patterns.

Sock Patterns in Interweave Knits.

Going through my copies of Interweave Knits, I came to the following two conclusions: I seem to own all but six issues out of the first eleven and a half years of publication of this magazine, and I seem to have every single issue between 96 and 2002. You can consider this, then, a fairly inclusive list. I will note issues I am missing – if you happen to have those issues, would you look in them, see if there is a sock pattern, and, if so, let me know in a comment? I will then update this list.

(Under the category “pattern” I have left out the word “Socks” if it is included in the pattern name.)

Issue Sock Pattern Designer Page(s)

Fa 96 no patterns

Sp 97 Meida’s Nancy Bush 70

Su 97 No socks

F 97 Evening of Falling Stars Roxanna Bartlett 22

W 97 Eesti Trail Hiking Nancy Bush 50

Sp 98 Mayan Jean Moss 26

Su 98 No socks

F 98 No socks

W 98 No socks

Sp 99 No socks

Su 99 No socks

F 99 Ute Nancy Bush 73

W 99/01 No socks

Sp 00 No socks

Su 00 Traveler’s stockings Nancy Bush 80

Up-down Spiral Sandy Cushman 84

F 00 Priscilla’s Dream* Priscilla Gibson-Roberts 76

W 00/01 Austrian Candace Eisner-Strick 66

Sp 01 Ilga’s 72

Su 01 Boudoir 44 , 48

F 01 Better Mousetrap Debbie New 98

W 01/02 No socks

S 02 Don’t have issue

Su 02 Don’t have issue

F 02 No socks

W 02 Don’t have issue

Sp 03 Dresser Scarf Priscilla Gibson-Roberts 94

Su 03 Merino Lace Anne Woodbury 74

F 03 Love Stamp Priscilla Gibson-Roberts 94

W 03 Eastern European Footlets Priscilla Gibson-Roberts 72

Uptown Boot Jennifer L. Appleby 100

S 04 Waving Lace Evelyn A. Clark 82

Su 04 No socks

F 04 No socks

W 04 Lace Knee-Highs Kristin Spurkland 100

Retro-Rib Evelyn A. Clark 110

S 05 Cable Rib Erica Alexander 92

Su 05 Padded Footlets Mary Snyder 44

Go With the Flow Evelyn A. Clark 96

Baby Socks 100

F 05 Don’t have issue

W 05 Embossed Leaves Mona Schmidt 96

S 06 Simply Lovely Lace Karen Baumer 64

Su 06 No socks

W 06 Cowgirl Slipper Ann Budd 132

S 07 Roza’s Grumperina 120

Su 07 Working toe-up* Ann Budd 24

On-Your-Toes Ann Budd 30

Spiral Boot Veronik Avery 48, 116

F 07 Tyrolean Ann Budd 41 and 78

Snowflake Chrissy Gardiner 56 And 124

* a basic way to make socks, including multi-size chart.

Have I reached any conclusions after this exhaustive little survey? Yes, and they follow, in no particular order:

1. What were they thinking, Summer 98 –Summer 99?

2. What was I thinking in 2002?

3. None of these are terribly complicated socks.

Most of the ones with stranding do not strand the whole sock.

One is a mosaic pattern

One is a cabled-Austrian sort of thing

Many are a simple one color stitch pattern

There are numerous ways to skin a sock represented, from direction to heel type

When compared against the table of contents for IWK’s Favorite Socks:

17 of the 25 are listed here.

One of the 25 is available as a free download on Knitting Daily (Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks by Ann Budd)

One of the 25 is in the Summer 02 Spin Off, which I also have (Two-yarn Resoleable Socks)

Therefore, there is no need for me to buy this book. Granted, I would have them all in one spot, but I would be making a working copy to avoid carrying the book around (Permissable under fair use) and I might as well just make that copy from the magazines.

If, however, you did not have the foresight or cash to start buying Knits in 96, you might want the book. At least 17 of the patterns seem to be from the magazine, so if you don’t own back copies there are a lot of patterns you don’t have. Still, like all pattern collections, look first to see how you like the individual offerings.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Today is Tuesday

Tuesday is named after the Nrose God Tyr, who put his hand in the wolf Fenrir's mouth and got it bitten off for his troubles.

This may or may not have affected his knitting. He was a god, after all.

And knitting had not been invented.


I have lots of stuff but need to mess around with pictures, and I have not had the energy. But these few things you can appreciate without pictures.

1. I have to frog 90 stitches to a row by about 35 rows on a sock. This is over 3,000 stitches. I am not going to cry!

2. Smiley's has another sale, starting Thursday...