The marvelous Wendy Johnson (the mastermind behind Toe Up Socks for Every Body and Socks from the Toe Up) has a copy of Silk Road Socks to give away. Of course this makes me feel a fluttery in my tummy because Wendy is a real and proper designer (this apparently means ‘designer I would be all nervous about meeting and whose books I’ve bought in actual stores’). But, because I love you all and want to take over your knitting needles, I’m stomping on my nerves and letting you know about the drawing. Head over and leave a comment if you still need a copy!
You guys totally talked me in to doing them. They started out as my ‘too sick to think’ socks. I really didn’t think you would be interested in them, but it seems you like them! Of course the super-simple to knit socks turned out to be unexpectedly challenging to write up.
Once the cold medicine-induced brain fog lifted, I got it figured out. Lots of lovely folks helped me test them to be sure that the instructions were clear.
Then, well, then I stuck them in my ‘to be photographed’ basket and let them hang out for two months. It was too cold to go frolicking outside without shoes, and I didn’t think I could get the pictures I wanted inside.
Enter my new boyfriend camera.
Yeah, I finally broke down and bought a grown up camera. It took me a long time. I had to talk myself into it. But it was so totally worth it.
I can now take pictures inside…you know, that place where the furnace works and where it very rarely rains (not never, there was that one really unfortunate experience, but rarely). That means pictures will be much less weather-dependent. This bodes well for timely pattern releases. Of course it means I will have to be sure to vacuum before I take pictures, but that’s likely easier than waiting for a warm dry sunny day in this part of the world.
If you’ve been waiting for these, head over and check them out.
So the other day you met Alphonse. He’s quite dapper, and makes a perfect house guest. Today I’m showing off some truly funky sock blockers.
Now you know we’ve got some big feet in this house. I wear a ladies’ size 11, and The Boy wears a men’s size 13. These are big feet. I decline to feel bad about this, as the size of a person’s feet is more or less out of their control. The only thing I felt bad about was the difficulty in vigorously blocking socks in these sizes. I had a pair of wire blockers in what they called extra large. They more or less worked for most of my socks, but they didn’t really make much of a dent in The Boy’s socks. Enter these guys:
My parents found them at an antique store, so alas I can’t tell you where to find your own. They are labeled with the number 11. I have no idea how, or even if, this correlates with a current shoe size. They are just a bit big for my socks and the perfect size for The Boy’s. I’m completely taken with the pointy toes.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, this parade of tools is a way of hiding that my knitting isn’t terribly earth shattering at the moment. The louche socks are taller. The secret socks are taller. The pile of swatches for cough book two cough is growing. With any luck at all, the pattern for truckle should be out early next week.
Have any of you guys used ‘antique’ knitting tools or put non-knitting supplies to work for you on the dark woolly side?
He is a perfect example of the odd encounters that this knitting thing can lead to.
I found him on an online antique store. I sent off a little email to the store asking what size his head was. Instead of just answering me, the shop wrote back asking why on earth that would matter. They went to great length to explain that this was a prop. It was meant for display. It was absolutely positively not for real hats.
I (graciously I hope) explained that I wanted him to be a working toy, not just something to sit on a shelf and look pretty. They were more than a bit perplexed. Eventually, grudgingly, they coughed up the measurement. For the record, it was stamped right there on the underside, so it wasn’t a terribly arduous piece of information for them to ferret out.
Now normally, I’d decline to patronize an establishment that seemed to be so hesitant to take my money. I’m polite. I wouldn’t want to distress them by forcing them to engage in unwelcome capitalism. But in this case, I had to succumb. The price was right, the size was right, and I simply couldn’t let Alphonse languish in durance vile. I had to rescue him.
He arrived a few days ago.
Alas, the shop LIED about his size. Instead of reporting the size stamped right there on the underside, or actually measuring, they seem to have pulled a number out of the ether (I can think of another place from which they may have pulled this number, but I’m trying to be tactful). Alphonse is, alas, slightly smaller than my head or The Boy’s head or the heads of most of my other hat victims recipients (we’re a big-headed bunch it would seem).
Never fear. Alphonse is staying here. I am smitten with him. I will attempt to cultivate some small-headed friends so he can be put to good use. For now, he still makes a perfectly fine photo prop, even if he won’t be put to work as a hat blocker any time soon.
The second of the green swirly socks, henceforth to be known as Louche, is now underway. Even more important, the scribbling, calculating, and doodling required to write the pattern has been completed. I’ll likely turn it from my chicken scratch into something someone else has a hope of reading and put it out for testers later this week.
As a scheduling note, the pattern for Truckle is done and ready to go out, save only a picture. Of course getting a picture requires me, plus The Boy, plus daylight, plus either a house suited for photography or a day with obliging weather. I’m hoping this coming weekend will work, but I’m not sure. I’m eager to get it done so I can start wearing the things before the winter finishes up completely.
The cowl pattern is also done, save for the photograph. That, however, will require the services of the lovely Lauren. My guess would be early March for that pattern.
Meanwhile, I plan to go look at all the pretty ice.