Sweaters and SEX

Hooray for Stash-Enhancing-X-peditions! But before I get to the yarn pron (boy, this is a dirty post already, and I haven't even gotten a paragraph in), I want to show off my Eris Sweater so far. Those of you who've known me for a while know I did this sweater a while back in KnitPicks Andean Silk. It's a gorgeous sweater (deeeeeep wine red/purple), but I was a beginner and my cables were Not. So. Good (sort of the understatement of the century, really). It's hard for me to wear the sweater knowing how many mistakes there are, because I have crazy bastard OCD tendencies and am convinced that everyone is staring at my sweater going "Oh my god, she TOTALLY screwed up that p2tog tbl. What a loser!" So I took out the basic raglan sweater I was knitting out of grey Malabrigo and started on Eris the Second.

Here's the body so far. I'm working on the hem right now, which is knit on sideways:

(By the way, because I'm vain I have to say this - I'm making this oversized. I do not require my sweater to be that wide, I'm just going for comfort. That is all. :))

Here's a detail of the hem, which I find just so frigging neat in its construction:

And a close-up of the collar.

Yeah, I'm a big (dirty-minded) show-off. I know.

Now to the important part of this blog: The yarn pron! I know I shouldn't buy yarn so soon after the Stitches West insanity, but I was having A Day (tm). Mercury has gone retrograde and taken my peace of mind with it. It was either retail therapy or real therapy, and this still worked out to be cheaper.

The Haul:

6 skeins of Malabrigo in a colourway called Violetas destined to be the Three Sisters Jacket (from Cheryl Oberle - google, I'm too lazy to add links today) and...

More Baywood Sock yarn in the Luxury blend. I'm so lucky this dyer still likes me, because I really do take god-awful photos of her yarn. It's so shiny and yummy in person, and this picture totally does not do it justice. I don't have plans for these yet, but I felt better buying them. ;)

Also, I will buy ANYTHING with pretty shades of blue. I am a freaking nut for tropical blues. So "Waves"? Best. Colourway. For. Me. EVER. Thank you Baywood lady, I love you in the most platonic non-stalker-y way. Please make more. :)


Stitches West ate my Brain

I thought going to see the Yarn Harlot would prepare me for any kind of yarn-y madness the world could throw at me. I was horribly, horribly wrong. Stitches West is quite possibly the most insane event I have ever been to. Not that that's a bad thing. Only, there was so much yarn and so many people that I don't think I actually REMEMBER any of it.

Here I am with my friend Jessica (modeller of the Dibs on Ribs sweater of Woe (TM)) about halfway through when we took a break to eat. Note the dazed and confused expressions on our faces.

Here's the total yarn haul. Jessica acquired: Victorian Lace Today, a Laura kit from White Lies Designs, and a bundle of alpaca lace from Lisa Souza in a lovely sage colour. Jeanne acquired a beautiful eggplant coloured yarn from Cheryl Oberle and some rainbow and blue coloured wools from I-Don't-Know-Where (she wandered off on her own for a bit - brave girl!). I also picked up Victorian Lace Today, along with an Angelina kit from White Lies Designs in a pretty blue colour, the Three Sisters Jacket pattern from Cheryl Oberle, two sets of sock yarn from Lisa Souza (in Violet's Pink Ribbon and Lime n Violet) along with a rainbow-y coloured alpaca lace, and finally some Tilli Thomas Pure n Simple and Rock Star to make the Simple Knitted Bodice. Here's a pic of our total haul:

And here's my personal stash enhancement (on top of some other stuff):

I had to take an up-close picture of the Tilli Thomas yarn, because it really is breath-takingly lovely (quick side note: the beaded yarn is actually much deeper in colour, the flash washed it out):

Now, I rarely get yarn-political on this blog, but I do have to go there for just a minute (those who want to skip this can just end here -- don't worry, I still love you :))...


I feel like when I post a picture of yarn on this blog, that I am tacitly endorsing that yarn. However, Tilli Thomas engages in a business practicing called Keystone pricing that I find to be a disservice to the yarn community. For more information about Keystone pricing tactics, check out Consumer Friendly Yarns, or listen to Brenda Dayne's or Lime & Violet's take on the subject. So yes, I'm probably a hypocrit for purchasing this yarn... but damn, it was too pretty not to buy. ;)

Coming soon, for those of you still reading: The Eris Sweater rides again!


The Series of Tubes is Complete

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on my Heelless Sleeping Socks! Of the three sock patterns I've done out of this book now, I think these have turned out to be my favourite.

I was worried they were going to be too skinny for my legs, because the cast-on is only 48 stitches on size 2 needles. I wasn't too sure about the lack of heel either. Luckily...

They fit like a dream! The pattern makes for a good soft grip on your legs, so there's no sliding around in them. They stretch to accomodate the heel quite well, putting to rest my fears about "Oh no! No Heel!" And I can say that I have slept in them, and they handle a good nap quite well. No slipping down around the ankle, no twisting and cutting off circulation. Comfy, did I mention comfy? I absolutely love having silk in my sock yarn... it makes me me feel so spoiled.

All in all, a very good sock.

Next on my list of vintage knits is the Gentleman's Fancy Sock. I suspect these will take much longer to knit as they are on size 0 *gulp* needles. Still, the delightfully bright Schaefer Anne makes the work more than worth it.


A Series of Tubes (socks, that is)

The vintage sock madness continues today with one and one/fourth of the Heelless Sleeping Socks. These are my first ever tube socks, and the one I've completed sure is comfy! I've never owned tube socks before (am I right in thinking they're more of a guy accessory?), so these are definitely New! and Exciting!

The back of the book makes a point of mentioning that for this sock, there are "no heels to knit!" I confess, I rather like knitting the heel of a sock. It breaks up the monotony, and gives you that joyous feeling of being at least half-way through your sock knitting. I'm very much looking forward to finishing and wearing these this weekend, when I will present you, dear reader, with the obiligatory foot shot.

A quick sneak peek at the not-so-Valentine's scarf (I got distracted by the socks, what can I say?), and the remaining skeins of lucious pink Malabrigo. The scarf takes two skeins, and I'm thinking I can certainly get a hat and armwarmers out of the remaining three. Feel free to disabuse me of this notion.

Annnnnnnd, at long last, the promised picture of the Log Cabin Blanket. It's a little... not square due to the eleventy-million different gauges of yarn used. It's lap blanket sized at the moment, but I'm thinking eventually I'd like to get it to 6' x 6'. The darling boyfriend's brother bought me 3 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun, and I suspect they'll be perfect for this project.

Another long promised picture: My work newt! I've always had bunches of funny little animals, and this guy is from a disasterous PetCo shipment. Usually I try not to buy newts from big places, because it just encourages them to order more and for the most part they have NO idea how to take care of them. In this case, there were 7 newts, most of them missing legs and bits of their torsos. I medicated the bejesus out of them, but 4 died immediately. Over time, his two buddies went to Newt Heaven - so I decided to get him a small tank so he could hang out in the office with me.

Behold, Marlowe:

Please note, if you want your co-workers to even begin to think you're sane, do NOT bring a newt to work. ;) Nevertheless, Marlowe has become quite the attraction here.

Last, but not least, in the Turtlegirl tradition of Friday yarn pr0n...

That's one skein of Schaefer Anne in an i-have-no-idea colourway, and one skein of Baywood (that's the yarn in the teacup) in Tea Roses. This was my sad attempt at an "artsy" shot. Please feel free to pretend like you're impressed. ;)


Happy Birthday to me (several days late, I might add)

First things first, since I am bored and stuck away from home, all pictures to follow are cellphone camera pictures, so please forgive the blurriness.

The 12th was my 24th birthday (also the Birthday of Miss Zanti from the Knittyboards - Feb 12th-ers are totally the best). I got a load of nifty presents, some of which I'll try and put in a post tomorrow after I've had a chance to take and upload photos at home.

My gift to myself: More Baywood sock yarn, bwahahah. This is the cuff of the Heelless Sleeping Sock, also from Knitting Vintage Socks. I finished the first one last night (pictures to come, I promise) and it is SUCH a comfy sock to wear. This is the Baywood 50/50 wool/silk blend again, in the colourway "Once Upon a Pink"

I'd also like to say thanks to Baywood Yarns for posting my socks on their blog. I am absolutely SHAMELESS when it comes to compliments, so I sure appreciate it! Please note: I am saving as much money as possible to buy out their yarn at Stitches West (where we will be "officially" celebrating), and may be inclined to growl viciously at anyone who tries to thwart me in this endeavour. ;)

One of the biggest surprises on my birthday was the two dozen gorgeous roses my mother sent me from Ah Sam's, the coolest local flower shop.

Here's the flowers they day they arrived:

And here they are today, blooming quite spectacularly and making my cube smell quite deliciously of roses.

Below and to the right are the super pretty daffodils my co-workers got me for my birthday. It's finally starting to feel lively in this here cube!

As soon as I get a chance, I'll put up pictures of what I think is the coolest birthday gift I've ever gotten: hand-made duck pjs! My friend Jeanne made them for me, and I cannot express how neat it is to have perfectly tailored PJs! I feel very spoiled and posh. :) One of my great co-workers also got me a gift certificate to the LYS, and I used it to pick up some Schaeffer Anne in a delightful orange-y colour. I'm definitely ready to be done with dreary winter hues!

Thanks again to all those who left compliments on the Vintage socks, and I hope to have some more sock pr0n up very soon!


The Return of the MOAC, and some Vintage Sock Pr0n

Argh, I thought I was getting better, but the infamous MOAC knocked me out for a good week. On the bright side, I've gotten quite a bit of knitting done. The Christmas before last, my darling boyfriend got me the book "Knitting Vintage Socks," so I decided to make a wee project out of doing several of the patterns in it. I've acquired a fairly decent sock yarn stash, and I've just discovered this stunningly beautiful yarn by a local dyer. Frankly, I'm loathe to share it, because I live in absolute terror that my dear readers will deluge my LYS with phone orders for it and there will be none left for me!

Both pairs of socks are out of that darling Baywood yarn. The first, the "Bed Sock" is her 50/50 wool silk blend. Now, I love this yarn and this colour, but there is one caveat - I almost ran out of yarn. I had to do some serious fiddling with the toe of the second sock, but I think it's more or less not noticeable. This is a blissfully soft yarn, and suits the idea of the luxurious Victorian Bed Sock quite well:
The gratuitous on the feet shot:

With the stretch of this yarn, I think I could have gone down a size on the needles (both pairs were done on size 1s), and still had a great sock. I have another skein of the wool/silk blend, and I think I'll try a sock on size 0s to see how it turns out.

Pair of socks #2, the Fancy Silk Socks. These are in Baywood's standard 100% wool sock yarn. The colourway is Jewel Box, and my LYS can barely keep this in stock. I don't think the photos do it justice at all. The red is just stunning in person - absolutely luminescent.
Standard shot #2:

And just to show off the colour striping, here are the soles of the Fancy Silk Socks.

The Fancy Silk Sock pattern is quite cursed for me. I think the socks still turned out lovely, but I've never had SO many mistakes in one sock before. This is entirely my fault, although I do wish the pattern would have been a bit clearer about the instep stitch repeat not dividing evenly (the last stitch repeat is halved), because there's no dead-on picture of the sock to let you know. I followed the original toe, which is a drawn together toe. Not my favourite, but I sort of like to follow the vintage pattern as much as possible. I noticed that originally there was a purl ride dividing the cuff and the leg pattern, and I rather wished I'd put that in. I'm not sure why Nancy Bush opted to take it out.

I've got two more skeins of Baywood to use up - and I think I'm going to continue doing the vintage socks. There's a great sense of being connected to the past working these patterns. It's fascinating to think that 100 years ago, some woman was knitting these same socks. Of course, probably her socks were a wee bit more solid in colour, but still!

The Log Cabin blanket continues, and is decently lap-blanket sized. It's gone back to being my project of last resort. I'm currently working on the Flickering Flame Scarf that I learned about on Lime & Violet. My boyfriend's darling mother sent me 5 skeins of Malabrigo in a lovely dusty pink for my birthday, and so I'm working up a scarf/hat/possibly armwarmer set in time for Valentine's day. I'll try and get some pictures up in the next few days.