They’re here! The pattern for Wrack (The Boy’s latest socks, and oh buddy has has he ever earned them with the shipping shenanigans of the last week or so) is up on ravelry.
You’ve watched these click along all through last December. And if you’ve been here for a while, you know that me knocking out a pair of socks in less than a month is pretty darn speedy. Part of that is the yarn (squoosh aran by Skeinny Dipping, and a lovely fat sock yarn it is), but part of it is totally the pattern. The cables get you off to a good start, then you switch to ribbing for a while and cruise along at top speed. Then, just as you’re in danger of losing steam or getting distracted, you make one more little cable swoosh and you’re done.
And, as usual with my fat socks, I’ve written the pattern so that you can totally make it with more traditional sock yarn too. It’s written for gauges of 7, 8, or 9 stitches to the inch, and with a cast ons of 54, 60, 66, 72, 78, and 84 stitches. That means you’re going to be able to fit pretty much any size foot you might want to knit for (and a few sizes that might make you a bit weak in the knees if you think about them for too long).
So if you know somebody who could use a snuggly new pair of socks (hint, this could very likely be you, isn’t it time you knit something for yourself?), these may well be just the ticket. They’re up on ravelry now. And, through the end of the day Friday, use the code SANDY to get a dollar off the regular price.
Well, that was a bracing few days. Most of those copies of Curls have gone off to new homes in lovely yarn stores (and yes, you can totally ask your favorite store to get in touch, I’d love to send it their way, too). The porch has looked a little something like this for the last few days. But never fear, we’ll be back to yarn-y goodness next week! In fact, Tuesday will see the release of the lovely brown boy socks you watched me make earlier this winter. We took the photos for them when we were in Charleston, and looking at them (and then looking out my window to the piles of snow) is really making me rethink this ‘live somewhere with a real winter’ decision.
Folks on the mailing list will get a message when it comes out (and some sort of shiny coupon code), so be sure you’re signed up if you want to hear from me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go see if I can make it be spring just through the power of my despair.
- February 26, 2015
Have you seen those blogs that make their authors’ lives look hideously perfect? The sort where every dinner is nutritionally balanced, gluten free, organic, free range, ethically sourced, and served on a beautifully decorated table in their breathtakingly landscaped back yard? Or the sort where the whole adorable family goes on fabulous ski vacations, wearing matching hand knit sweaters, and the only thing brighter than the snow is their perfectly straight teeth? Or maybe the kind where someone says ‘I woke up one morning, wrote an ebook on a whim, and by dinner time I was running out of places to stack these pesky piles of cash’?
Yeah. So. I totally get the urge to edit your life and show off the pretty bits and talk about your successes. That’s just fine. But just in case anyone is wondering, sometimes life is messy and work is hard. Like, say, yesterday. Yesterday when I got two tons (two, actual, literal tons…like 4,000 pounds) of books delivered. To my garage.
And, just to make sure to give you the full picture, getting them delivered meant getting them up the driveway. The snowy driveway. Pro tip, pallet jacks do not work well in snow. It took the delivery guy, The Boy, and me all pushing as hard as we could to manage it. That’s after The Boy bought a snow blower and spent two days battling the snow. Even then, we had to split one of those pallets up into smaller loads (that means picking up every single 40-pound box, putting it on a second pallet, shoving that up the driveway, rinse, and repeat) to make it work.
The next time someone tells me my job sounds so restful and expounds at length about how lovely it must be to do nothing but play with yarn and dream up patterns all day, I’m going to have four thousand pounds of something left in the middle of their driveway. Seems only fair.
You know what this means don’t you?
(Well yes, yes it does mean my entire front yard is covered in a foot of snow and is a featureless, frigid whiteout of despair…but that’s not exactly what I had in mind…look at the yarn instead of the background.) It means it’s almost photo shoot time.
The next photo shoot is in early April, and these are all the yarns I’ve used in it. Running top to bottom we’ve got Bare Naked Wools, Vice, Quince, SweetGeorgia, Frog Tree, Phydeaux, Elemental Effects, Alchemy, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Manos, Uncommon Thread, Lorna’s Laces, Anzula, Shibui, and Mrs. Crosby.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some projects to block. I think this one is going to be a ridiculous amount of fun. Which one are you most curious to see more of?
- February 19, 2015
- tags: tools
As I was packing my knitting bag for our recent trip, I realized that a rather substantial proportion of the stuff I tote about with me for travel knitting aren’t things you’re likely to find in your local yarn shop. Sometimes you can get a version of them in a yarn store, but the yarn store version isn’t quite as good. And some of it is just stuff you won’t find there. So since I’ve finally gotten my knitting bag to the point where it’s pretty much perfect for me, I thought I’d share what’s in there! You can see several of my travel essentials here.
First up, that ruler. Now, I know you’ll think I’m dorky to have a favorite ruler, but by all the woolly gods, I have a favorite ruler. I love it for a few reasons. First, it’s tiny (thinner than a credit card) and tucks in to my travel needle case with ease. Second, it’s disgustingly precise (32nds and 64ths of an inch on one side, 10ths and 100ths of an inch on the other side). Finally, the measurements go all the way to the very end of the ruler (which I know is controversial in the ruler world, but it’s what I like). If you’re going to make a swatch, you might as well measure it exactly, and this ruler is the best way I know to do that. If it encourages you to go ahead and make a 6 inch swatch instead of a 4 inch swatch, all the better. I may have accidentally liberated mine from my college drafting lab, but you can find one over here (do yourself a favor and get a few, someone will want to borrow one and they do tend to walk off).
Next, those scissors. Again, it seems like a really silly thing to care about, I know. But so many tiny scissors are absolute crap. Either they’re too small to use with comfort or the blades are about as sharp as a nail file or they get fused together the second time you use them. These are proper (sharp, functional) scissors, with handles big enough to use that don’t stop working after three snips. And while I can’t promise what the TSA will do on any given day, I’ve taken them on many plane rides with no problems at all. You can find them here (they seem to have stopped making the blue and green ones, but I have the gray and red ones linked here too, and they’re just the same…I just match them to my travel case, which is totally normal).
And of course, my magic safety pin stitch markers. I lov these enough I included them in the Curls goody bags. They are light weight, fit more or less every size needle I ever use, take up no space in your kit, don’t snag, and can even serve as an actual safety pin in a pinch. The only trick is they tend to be shockingly expensive if you buy a dozen in a fancy baggy in a yarn store. But they’re super cheap if you buy a pile of them on amazon (300 or so for less than $10). Get a bag and split them with a friend (or just hoard them for yourself, you’ll find all sorts of things to do with them).
And finally, and perhaps most shameful of all, graph paper post its and the One True Proper Pencil. Yes…yes I do take these with me everywhere. Most everything I knit is for a pattern, and that means I need to take notes as I work. Those notes are often in chart form, and that paper makes it easy. And that pencil is the only pencil I don’t end up wanting to use as a weapon, so better for everyone really if I stick with it. But even if you’re not quite as determined about it as all that, an easy way to keep track of how many repeats you did on the foot or the clever thing you figured out about the thumb comes in kind of handy (and pens don’t belong near yarn).
So how about you? Any non-knitting products you’ve seized upon for knitting? Anything you simply must have in your travel knitting kit? I can’t be the only one with strong opinions about these things.