Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Box-of-Chocolate Socks; More Squares; In Other News

Box-of-Chocolate Socks

Today looks dreadful and snow-threatened. It was sunny and warm just a few hours ago. I've been so busy these last few weeks that I've had little time to update my blog. Of course, I'm never too busy to knit, so I do have a finished object.

These are my second socks for February's Socktopia. The theme for this pair is "life is like a box of chocolates." I wanted to work with a pattern that might suggest little chocolate treats, so I chose a baby rib from Sensational Knitted Socks.

Box-of-Chocolate socks:
Yarn: Spunky Eclectic Napoleon
Pattern: 2x2 2" cuff over 64 stitches on size 1 dpns, leg and foot done in a baby (mock) rib
Timeline: cast on February 12 and finished on February 24
Recipient: these socks are for me

I'm not sure if the pooling was caused by the baby rib pattern or the yarn itself, but I really loved this yarn and don't really mind the pooling. Spunky Eclectic's yarn is superbly fluffy & springy.

More Squares

Natalie of Mommy, Look What I Made sent in two squares, one in memory of Virginia Nell Strong and one in memory of C. Bradley Mulholland, who passed away last week. Thank you so much, Natalie. Your squares are beautiful, and I'm happy that you found some comfort in making them. Your notes really touched me. Thank you.

In Other News

I finally got my hair cut after seven months. The last time I had it cut was this summer at my cousin's salon in Bangkok. I got a curly girl cut, and I loved loved loved it. I will never go straight again.

Manly and I get to go to Atlanta on Thursday for a conference. Perhaps one day there will be conference in some city that's actually romantic.

I live on a block of brownstones. This means that there is always some construction or renovation being done and that there are always strange vans and men cussing on their cell phones and spitting. I suppose this is part of the charm of brownstone living?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day isn't at all romantic; it's windy and the sky is raining ice. Suddenly I regret not buying much of anything in the way of groceries last night. Seeing Manly leave to work today, I thought to myself, Manly needs a hat. And suddenly, I remembered a skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky I bought in November, how I planned a Valentine's Day hat for him and never did.

I finished my Kool-Aid socks over the weekend. I washed them in lavender wool soap and a bit of coconut scented conditioner. They smell very happy. These are my "Bed of Roses" socks for Socktopia. There are reds and pinks and whites and yellows, and why, yes, I do believe there are blue roses these days.

I was pleased with how the colors didn't pool and seemed to distribute well throughout the different sections of the sock.

Bed of Roses/Kool-Aid socks:
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare 100% merino, fingering weight
Pattern: Astrid's Twirls (modifications: size 1 dpns, cast on 66 stitches then decreased to 60 after gusset)
Timeline: cast on January 22 and finished on February 11
Recipient: these socks are for me

I've been toying with the idea of trying a dyeing enterprise to explore my love of sock yarn and colors and to also help the bank account. It's an idea I've had for a long time, and I think I should stop putting it off. So I'm placing an order soon for some professional dyes and sock yarn. Now I just need to think of a cute name for an etsy shop.

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Lone Knitter

p.s. I'll be playing around with my blog template over the next few days. I've been wanting a "cleaner" look to my blog & figure that customizing it and upgrading it to the new blogger would be a good opportunity to change my blog. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Henry; January's contest winner; bed-of-roses socks; sewing update


My dear neighbor Henry passed away two weeks ago. He was 86 and died of methothelioma, a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos. He was exposed to asbestos when he worked at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during the second world war. I loved him very much, and have been so saddened by his death. His wife passed away about a year and a half ago, and he seemed to have lost all love of life. I miss her so much, he would always say to me. I think I see her sometimes. And all I could do was hug him and hold his hand. He was the kind of man that would talk to you and listen and look you in the eye and really talk--not just small talk. He would also kiss the ladies right on the lips and he always told me he loved me. Towards the end, I would send Manly out to help Henry sweep and bag the leaves that fell from the autumn trees.

This square is for Henry.

January's contest winner & contest update

Mims from Oregon (blogless) will receive a copy of Knitting for Peace. She sent in three (!) lovely squares in memory of Arrie Mae. Thank you so much, Mims. These squares will make a lovely addition to my and Mom J's blanket drive. We are so happy to have these. Mims earned three contest entries and still has two entries in the contest jar. She also earned six extra entries for the Trekking 126 that will be awarded in June. Thanks so much, Mims!

February is such a short month. I'll accept entries that I receive by March 3 for February's prize. February's prize will be Big-Needle Knit Afghans, which is an incredibly gorgeous book--if you thought that you'd never be into knitting afghans, the patterns in this book will change your mind. And perhaps the Lone Knitter will throw in a little something from her yarn stash as well.

Send in your squares, y'all!

Bed-of-roses socks

This month's Socktopia themes are: Life is like a box of chocolates…; Forever in my Heart; Bed of Roses; Short and Sweet; and Laissez les bon temps rouler!

I liked the bed of roses theme, and I thought I should see how my Kool-Aid socks would knit up. After all, I did dye them about a year ago. I dyed these with Knit Picks dye-your-own 100% merino wool. I think the dying process made the yarn a bit harsh, and I wish I would have used conditioner when rinsing out the Kool-Aid to soften the yarn up a bit. I think I might have overdone it on the vinegar as all. I think the feel of the yarn is keeping me from knitting these up as quickly as I would like. It's just not pleasant when the yarn isn't gliding and soft and squishy. I do think they'll make nice soft socks once they're washed.

Here's my word on Knit Picks merino sock yarn: it does not felt when washed; it does not felt when worn; it is sturdy; it is oh-so-heavenly soft; it is lovely to work with; it is cheap. My one complaint is that they aren't available in fun colors. Knit Picks seems to have done away with the brighter colors in favor of more neutral ones. Oh well! Guess I can always dye my own.

Sewing update

I finally finished cleaning the sewing machine that I've had sitting around my apartment for almost three years now. Mom J was getting rid of it, and I knew I might need a machine to sew up some drapes I was thinking of making. You know, I haven't touched a sewing machine since I was about twelve, but it all came back to me. I plugged in the machine, turned it on, wound a bobbin, threaded the needle, and sewed up the seam that was falling apart in Manly's jeans. It felt really awesome to fix something so quickly. So the sewing machine is working! I'm so excited. Now I just need to finish my prospectus so I can start my quilting.