Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Heelless Sleeping Socks & College Football; My Mystery Sock KAL Prize; Behold the Trekking 126 and Opal Hundertwasser; What I'm Doing This Weekend

Heelless Sleeping Socks & College Football

There are some very non-academic pastimes that I LOVE. Knitting is one of them. The other is college football. I don't know exactly how I cultivated this passion for watching young men hurl themselves against one another, but I love watching a great college football quarterback execute plays and surprising all of us with a clever move when we know just how impossible that certain move should be. I root for the Irish, partly because that's where I earned a graduate degree, and also because I love deep, storied traditions.

I love gameday. It means that I can knit and watch the game. I'll also watch games that affect the ranking of the Irish. This past gameday, I worked on the Heelless Sleeping Sock pattern in Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks, a book that Mom J gave me.

The pattern is absolutely delightful. The Koigu was absolutely delightful to look at and feel. At first, I was skeptical of the pattern. I didn't quite trust the small cast-on number. I didn't quite trust the "heelless" factor. (I did the original "vintage" 9 pattern repeat instead of the 7 and a 1/2 the "contemporary" pattern calls for.)

Knit and believe. The socks knit up quickly (I cast on Friday night and weaved in ends Sunday morning) and feel great. These socks are Christmas gifts, and everyone that I've given socks to swears that they can only imagine wearing hand-knit socks to bed. The recipients feel that it would be blasphemous to wear them out and about. So, heelless sleeping socks are perfect for gifting, especially if you don't know the recipient's shoe size. (Trust me: if they know you knit socks and you ask for their shoe sizes, they'll know what's up! Better to not spoil the surprise!)

Speaking of giving knitted socks for Christmas. Check out this poll that Spectacled found.

My Mystery Sock KAL Prize

For finishing my MANFEET socks before Halloween, I was entered into a drawing for a prize and won the drawing. Here are the goodies that Amanda of Bulldog Knits and Katrina of Here in Topeka sent to me.

The package was so cute. It was Halloween-themed and wrapped in silver and black tissue paper. I got some Swizzle sock yarn. I was looking for yarn that my little sister might like for socks, and this one is perfect for her. She's a huge fan of black. I also got a Chibi needle set in an orange case. I have been meaning to get myself one, so this was a nice surprise. Amanda also sent a nice card with, of course, a bulldog on it. I also have knitting notecards to send to fellow knitters. In the black fabric with orange ties there were the sock coin purse (how cute!) and the little Halloween-themed stitch markers. The stitch markers have little balls of yarn with little knitting needles in them. Thank you so much, Katrina and Amanda. I love all my prizes, and for my first KAL, this made the experience extra sweet!

Behold the Trekking 126 and Opal Hundertwasser

I got my Trekking 126. I can't believe I got my Trekking 126. I keep staring at it. I keep wondering if it's just a dream. There is a ball of Trekking 126 on eBay right now. It's already over $40. Wow! Good thing I got mine when I did. Thank you so much, Kyra, for sending it to me. I hope your doggie is doing well!

Snuggled up to the Trekking 126 are Opal Hundertwasser yarns. The story goes that the artist Hundertwasser always wore two different socks at once. When I knit up this yarn, I will make sure that the stripes don't match. I love non-matching stripes. I'll probably take the same approach with the Trekking 126.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! On Saturday, I'll be knitting and watching this. Don't forget to vote for Brady Quinn for the Heisman.

With love,
the Lone Knitter

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

the fee for getting my life back

First of all, I want to say thank you, thank you to all of you who offered to check their local yarn stores for me. It's so nice to know that there are so many fellow knitters who are willing to help a knitter in need. If you ever need me to scope out some yarn for you, just let me know and I'd be so happy to return the favor.

I have learned some things about the Trekking 126 that I have been coveting: the last bag from the distributor was sent to Abundant Yarn and they sold out of it very quickly; lots of knitters have blasted yarn stores with no on-line presence with emails and phone calls (yes, I am one of these knitters), so even those stores are sold-out; and Skacel is not planning on reissuing this colorway.

This is the heartbreaking email I received from Skacel:

"There is no replacement for Trekking 126, however Trekking color 12 is very pretty similar. "

Hmm...I think this Skacel representative meant to write "Trekking color 128." Lee, my Hotsocks swap spoiler, managed to find a lot of 127 when she was looking for 126, but no 126.

There were three balls of 126 on eBay in the past few weeks. (The person selling them also got them on eBay; she got all three of them for like $13!!!!) The first ball went for over $40 and the second went for about $19. The third went to....................................ME!!!

I paid more than retail for it. It ended up going for $26 plus $5 shipping; however, I have purchased Trekking for $17 retail, and the extra $$$ I'll just consider the fee for getting my life back. Yes, I have been spending too much time trying to track down this yarn. Now I can get back to knitting and cleaning and, oh yes, there is that prospectus that didn't go over too well with my advisor.

A very nice knitter offered to swap her 126 with me for two skeins of Koigu or something very "tempting." Considering that two skeins of Koigu would cost about $24, another yarn purchase to make the offer extra "tempting" would cost about $20, and shipping it would cost another $5, I would say that I made out pretty well getting the 126 from the eBay auction.

Now that I have my life back, I am in a rush to get my holiday knitting done. I have several socks planned.

What you're seeing in the photo above are socks for my mother's birthday, which is just a few days before Christmas. The yarn is the Koigu that I purchased about a month ago.

Here are some skeins of Koigu that I'll be using for other socks. The Koigu knits up pretty quickly and the colors are so vibrant and beautiful that I am always so happy when I'm knitting.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Delivery conspiracy

There must a delivery conspiracy against me. Today, I waited and waited and waited for a package that I missed on Friday. The notice said that it would be delivered today between 10:30 am and 2:00 pm. Clearly, the notice was a big lie. It's now 4:30 and still the UPS truck has yet to show itself. The only thing keeping me from going completely crazy is that the package contains no yarn or knitting accessories. The package is full of hair products.

A little before Halloween, this came in the mail:

It's sock yarn from Yarn Pirate, in the Culture Club colorway. It was around Halloween when I got this yarn, and the Yarn Pirate threw in that little skeleton guy with a parachute. What a nice touch! I am so into this colorway. It makes me nostalgic for my childhood in the 80s, and the colors are so loud and yet the neon green and neon pink belong so perfectly to the silver and the black that seems to be evoking vinyl records.

I wanted to show you my Koigu sock in progress, but my camera ran out of batteries.

So I'll devote the rest of this post to my sock-yarn obsession.

I have been on the look out for Trekking XXL in colorway 126. Does anyone have a yarn shop near them that has it? Is anyone willing to trade or sell the one they have? Is anyone willing to sell their (yes) leftovers? (Yes, I want this yarn so badly I will take your leftovers!) This yarn is sold out on-line. I have even been emailing bricks-and-mortar shops and they too are sold out. There were some on eBay, but I didn't think paying the auction prices was a good thing for my graduate-student budget.

I've heard that the company that makes Trekking is coming out with a colorway that replaces this one. I don't know if that means they will be identical or similar or nothing alike. I'm willing to wait if they are going to be identical.

My boyfriend wants to know when my yarn obsession started. He says it just started all of a sudden.

I'll tell you when it started: It started when I went to order Trekking 126 and there wasn't any Trekking 126 to be had. It started when I found out that yarns are discontinued. When I found out that once a dyer makes a batch, the dyer may not make another batch or the dyer may, as in the case of Socks that Rock, come out with new yarns every year and there's no guarantee you'll like the new season's colorways.

This is when I become obsessed.

How many times did I see the Trekking 126 for sale and passed it up because I couldn't justify the cost? How many times did I say, maybe I'll order it next month? How many times did I dream about the Trekking 126 and never bothered to spend five minutes ordering it? I just thought, however naively, that it would always be there. I really thought it would be available forever and ever, that I would be able to have it whenever I wanted it. Not so.

And that is why I snatched up this and this. They are limited edition Opal sock yarns designed by a German artist named Hundertwasser. I couldn't find a US yarn shop that carried this yarn, so that's why I had to order it from Astrid's Dutch Obsessions.

What I have learned is, if you see a yarn you like, buy it. Don't hesitate, because when you go to buy it, it will be sold-out, discontinued, selling for crazy prices on eBay. Your search for the yarn will take away from your knitting time. Your boyfriend will wonder whether or not he should back out of the relationship now that he knows you're insane.

I'm still trying to learn how not to go crazy waiting for UPS. It's now after 5:00 and no UPS truck has come up my block. I will try to remain calm; I will try to resist the urge to call UPS headquarters to complain and further cut into my knitting time.