Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Happiness Is

...finally being able to see and feel your new yarn. I have never ordered from KnitPicks before, and of course, like everyone else, I was seduced by their low prices. Since I think I'm becoming more of a sock knitter than anything else, I decided to stock up on some sock yarn. In the back, you can see three skeins of the dye-your-own, the bluish stuff is Memories in "Morning Glory," the purplish is Sock Garden in "Hydrangea," the pinkish is Sock Garden in "Star Gazer Lily," and the other two balls are Dancing in "Tap." Also pictured are some Clover dpns, which are cheap, very cheap through KnitPicks.

The sock yarn, with the exception of the Dancing, is a bit thicker than the sock yarn I've been working with, and I have to admit that I'm a bit excited about this because as much as I love making socks, I have a secret desire to make them faster.

Just so you know, KnitPicks is discontinuing the Sock Garden colors. They are consolidating their hand-painted sock yarns under one line called "Memories." The "Morning Glory" colorway was spared, however, but still retains its "Sock Garden" label, at least for now.

I'm still searching for KoolAid packets to dye my yarn with. So far, I've only found orange and strawberry-lemonade. I'm going out of town this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to find some other colors. I'm looking for a blue, black cherry, a yellow, and a red.

Hopefully my other KnitPicks sock yarn will arrive today or tomorrow before I leave. When I placed my initial order, I just thought the yarn was on sale, I didn't realize these colors were being discontinued. When I found that out I quickly placed another order for more Star Gazer Lily, Hydrangea, a color called Paper Doll, and Daffodil. Maybe I ordered others as well; I can't remember. I think they are discontinuing their Parade line as well. I want to order some, but I think I should go on a yarn diet for now.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Consolation

Yesterday, I bought myself flowers, because it is almost springtime, after all, and I felt as if I needed some of these tiny tearoses. And since I had missed my package full of flowery yarn, I at least had these roses.

I'm making some progress on my Lorna's Laces sock. I wish I had size 1 dpns to switch to, but even if I did, I don't think I could because these Addis are indeed a 1.5 although they say 1. I have to say, I miss the way dpns pinwheeled about in my palms. I miss holding one in my mouth as I switched needles. Although it's been great mastering this magic loop method, I have to say that it feels strangely mechanic to me, a bit synthesizer-ish and I feel like musician who just misses her hand-carved violin.

I'm proud of myself: yesterday was my first day knitting in public. I knitted in a bar before, but there really wasn't anyone around except for some drunk friends of mine who said I was "weaving." But I knitted yesterday on the subway platform and on the train. I felt strangely animal and alert, as if I were readying myself for a fight or flight. Truly bizarre. A strange adrenaline rush, I think, because I must have felt scared and suddenly aware that something so private to me had become public.

Last night, I dined with some friends, and I had the best oxtail that I've ever had. I'm so glad that it's making its way back into American dining. There are two places in my Brooklyn neighborhood that make braised oxtail: one place just mixes a few bits of it into the pasta and charges $18. This other place gives you full pieces of oxtail on the bone and a lot of fresh pasta for the same price.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sadness Is...

stepping out of your apartment for a few minutes and missing a package, and not just any package, but a package full of yarn and needles. Sigh. Is there any consolation? My boyfriend says, well, you're still knitting a sock. Being a yarn lover isn't so much about loving to work with the yarn as it is about looking at, admiring, and imagining the possibilities embedded within that yarn. So I suppose I'll wake early Monday morning and trek over to the post office. I'll get there right at 8:00. I'll meet that package like a lover being reunited with a beloved. And it also doesn't help that today I'm as menstrual as I can get. I feel 16-year-old menstrual. Everything feels out-of-place: my barrette is pinching my hair, my bra is pinching, my back hurts, my head hurts, I can't seem to pin-point whatever it is I'm craving, I can't focus, I keep dropping things, the sky is overcast, I feel irritable and depressed, and alas, I've missed my package full of yarn.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I Love This Yarn

I love this yarn so much that I don't want to put this project down. I hate the fact that I have to spend my Sunday grading and not working on this sock. I'm so excited about knitting socks that I ordered a bunch of yarn from KnitPicks. I don't expect that the yarn will be as lovely as this, but it might be almost as nice and save my wallet from hurting too much. I also ordered some dye-your-own. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Finally Crossing the Finish Line

I finally completed my KO project. The toe was grafted Thursday night. I'm disappointed that it took so long for me to finish these socks, but considering that I've had such a hellish past few weeks, I think I did pretty well. These socks were made using Online Supersocke in colorway number 765. I used a 1X1 rib for the cuff and a traditional heel flap. As far as bargains go, this yarn was cheaper than most sock yarns. One $8 ball will give you two socks and lots of leftover yarn; however, if you want to knit with something absolutely delightful, then I suggest using another yarn. After using Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock, I don't know if I can use anything else. While the Supersocke was fun to work with and I enjoyed seeing the colors and pattern develop, the yarn itself wasn't very springy and a bit rough to the touch.

I thought I was going to try my hand at toe-up socks, but the instructions led me to believe that I should use dpns at least through the toe. I didn't have size 1 dpns, so I thought I would just make another pair of simple, no-frills socks. I think I needed to. I think I really needed some mindless knitting after the last few weeks I've had. I know this sounds crazy, but I kind of miss using dpns. So I visited my LYS and asked for size 1 dpns and all they had were Clovers, which I don't enjoy very much because for some reason the size and brand are embossed so deeply into the bamboo that my yarn always drags over it and frays. I guess I could file it down with a nail file, but I was hoping to find some aluminum dpns, but I guess these upscale yarn stores in my part of the world don't carry them. I know if I file down the embossed sections of the Clovers that they get slicker with use, but I simply don't know if I have the patience. So I'll use the magic loop for now, but I'll probably be buying some size 1 dpns soon. The yarn store owner asked me what I was using and I said the magic loop and she said, well, you should stick with that--you need to increase your learning curve. What??? I have no idea what that meant.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Holding a Toe-Up Sock Dream

Forgive the blurriness of this photograph, but I had to show how lovely the Lorna's Laces looks when wound into a ball. I should be finishing my KO socks (see post below), but I just love the thought of working with this yarn that I had to somehow give in without really giving in. So I wound one hank and will wind the other hank when I finally do finish my socks. I'm remembering that I also have another pair of socks to finish. So, two more toes to go before I can even think about using this yarn. I'm hoping to try my hand at toe-up socks. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New Personal Best

When Emily Hughes was asked if she was disappointed that she didn't receive a medal at the Olympics, she said she wasn't. She said that she was thrilled just to have a new personal best. I'm a little depressed that I didn't get one of those really cool KO medals, but I do have a new personal best. I'm so impressed that I'm almost done with these socks. I may be able to do the toe tonight if I finish packing early enough. (I'm going away for a few days.) I admire very much the grace and dignity with which the A.D.D. Knitter accepted the fact that, being an academic, perhaps spring break would be the best time to complete her KO project. And I'm so proud of my training partner Leslie for finishing her project. I can't decide if I want to do another pair of socks after these, or finish the stole I started. I do love making socks, and I want to make purty purty socks, so perhaps I'll make more socks. But then, I really do want to buy a spindle and start spinning...I think the A.D.D. Knitter's knitting A.D.D. may be rubbing off on me.