Friday, September 29, 2006

Some of the socks

The complete half pairs. From left to right, the Vesper Self Striping Sock in Sweetwater, knit plain; Socks that Rock in Ruby Slippers, pattern is slip rib, I think; Socks that rock - the first sock club yarn Rainforest Jasper which I teamed up with Jasper and for the cuff, heel and toe). These are for the bf. These are the first three pairs to be tackled in Socktoberfest.

These are other socks that I have on random needles which will also be included in Socktoberfest. The Sherbet Is a Socks that Rock that I bought for myself but have since realised my Nana will love more so these are for her birthday in November. The other is my much loved Seashells by Sophie's Toes. Both are plain knits. The colourways are too beautiful to mess with more than that. The Seashells will come with me to Fandomedia.

This was as far as I dug the other night in tallying up socks in progress. I do fear there are more to be discovered when I clear the path by knitting up all these skeins of yarn!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Holiday knitting

I'm always ahead of myself. The future possibilites are always more enticing than struggling with the current actualities.

I have my eye on the end of the year and holidays. Being Jewish I don't have to worry about knitting for the holidays but rather I get to dream about what I am going to knit on my holidays. At the moment we are planning to head off to the island for a week or so. And I'm dreaming about what knitting I think I shall take. Initally I thought Socks! But really, in theory after October I should be going well, sockwise. I want to knit my sister a shawl for her wedding - as a present not to wear. And that may take up November. But now I'm kinda thinking I should bite the bullet and knit a large garment for myself - something like a jumper or a tank top or I really like the dressing gown in Mason Dixon.

I've never knit something this serious before. I am a competant knitter. I have no trouble following a pattern and am quite happy to change or adapt others and am adequate with maths. I just have never undertaken something that requires that much yarn. I think it would be nice to be working on something that large when you have nothing ahead of you but days lazing on the boat deck and using your progress as a way of measuring time.

I'm thinking about it cause if I do decide to, I'll need to organise tools and yarn ahead of time.

Date night is Wednesday night so only had a couple of hours to knit and um, I crocheted those hats - one completed, two only need the brim to go and I started a new one as well.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yarn Incentive II

And does it work? Straight after posting the last post, the first thing I did was see what was left to do with the results section of paper 3 and actioned a few things, tagged some others to be done at home and I'm already further ahead.

I think it works.

Yarn as incentive

Sometimes you have to have a reason to buy yarn - to legitimise accumulating yet more sockyarn, to be exact. Recently I bought several skeins of Sophie's Toes yarn. It's gorgeous and interesting and a delight to knit up. And then she updated her store. And there were two more beautiful skeins that I had my eye on. The thing is, at some point you have to feel guilty about making pairs of socks for AUS $35. Well I do. But then I haven't told you how much sock yarn stash I have. So I thought and thought and then I thought, "Well I need a kick in the bum to finish my ezine and launch it and to make the edits to a nonfiction article I wrote AND got paid for agggggges ago. These might do the trick." The ezine got launched and I had earned the Fall Mums colourway. But I kept forgetting to work on the article. I didn't though keep forgetting to wander past her etsy store and ogle Pony. And then last Friday I thought, "Bugger it. I want the yarn, I want it now, finish the damn article." And I did. I sat there until it was done. And then I ordered the yarn.

Having the first skein contigent on the second really worked for getting two hideous tasks out of the way. And now that I lust after yet more sockyarn that I probably don't *need*, yet am weighed down by many odious tasks that I don't want to do *cough* phd thesis *cough*, I'm wondering if I may have found a cure.

So in that frame of mind, and considering that I will do Socktoberfest next month and hopefully finish many of my started sock pairs, and may sell some of my knitted baby items at the upcoming fair ... I thought I might state here what I have my eye on and what they are traded for, so it's on record if I cheat :-)

I'd like to try The Knittery. I've got four skeins picked out (Passionfruit, Chocolate, Summer and Coral Reef). I'm going to trade 3 skeins for completing the current 4 books I have to read and 1 skein for cleaning and sorting out my garage (how did it get this bad in so short a time?)

And completing Paper 3 for my thesis will be traded for 4 Lisa Souza yarns. I have my eye on Mars Quake, Milk and Honey, Mombassa (my mother was born there) and Lime and Violet. Completing the results section of the paper gets me Mars Quake. I'll have to work out the rest.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yarn stashing

I think I actually live in fear of yarn vendors closing shop before I have managed to buy their yarn. There is a level of panic when I see yarn I like of it not being there when I come back. Probably this is partly from the quest to own Vesper Sock Yarn or Brooklyn Yarns or Sundara - all of which I have actually managed to buy but not necessarily in the colourways I most wanted.

We really don't have very many yarn stores here in my city. We have Spotlight. If you are prepared to drive, there's a Lincraft left somewhere here. And there's possibly 3 dedicated small yarn stores I can think of - I've only actually been to 2. These are still very much aimed at the grandma type knitter; I have not seen much in the way of "young" colourways and yarns.

So I don't get to see and touch and enjoy the types of yarns I can see on the internet in person. And so, sometimes it's hit and miss when I order things. And that's okay because *someone* will like the skein as socks! And half the time I'm finding people bag'sing them anyway. And that's okay too - maybe because I'm a process knitter - I don't mind because I get to knit with the colourway and see how it turns out and then I gift it and it's like a two for one deal.

Some yarns are nontradable. Some I have bought specifically for me and no matter what, you can't have them. I buy Socks that Rock for me but seem more happy to gift those socks away than a lot of the yarns from smaller outlets I buy from (except for Ruby Slippers and Lemongrass - mine mine mine) . Maybe I just have more favourite colours than others.

But even with larger sellers, I still have this urgency of what if they close down and I never got that skein? Like Lisa Souza for example. And I ogle the certain colourways that I have my eye on and I hope the site will still be there when I come back later. Somehow, I guess, I'd rather buy all my future yarn purchases now and have them at home in the cupboard than never have them at all!


I didn't do any knitting last night at all. I spent the whole knit crocheting instead :-) I broke my own rule - to finish all the projects on my bedside before bringing any new balls or skeins of yarn into the room (and thus starting new projects). I was doing well after the weekend and there was space and room to pile things, you see. And it's far easier to repeat a project when you do them all up together. And that's how I came to start 3 new sunhats last night and am now working on 4 at the same time. These are all for the fair on the 9th and are variegated acrylics. I'm testing the theory that you need to have the stock to sell it :-) We'll see.

But the fair is on the 9th of October, as I said, and after that I might lay back a bit on the baby wear. I'm thinking of taking a pair of socks with me to the convention I'm going to this weekend. I'm knitting my Seashells socks on bamboo needles and I'm thinking of taking them. I don't want to be distracting to the people on the panels but to sit all day long for the whole weekend is a lot of time sitting still.

I was listening to Lime and Violet on the way home last night and again into work this morning. I think they convinced me to sign up for Socktoberfest. I have that many pairs of socks in various stages of completion I thought I might aim to get them all done in the month. I have 3 finished half pairs. And at least 3 more half pairs started on needles (none the second to any). I asked the bf how many socks he thought I could get done in a month and he thought for a while and said, "hmmm... I think 8 halves" and that was without telling him I was contemplating completing started socks first! So that will be my goal - to finish all started pairs of socks.

Of course that's sooooo hard to do when you keep getting beautiful new skeins in the mail. Yesterday brought Sunshine Yarn's Chocolate Covered Cherries, or similar. I took photos and they are to come.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mystery Solved - Sock Candy

Ahh.. new from Blue Moon Fibre Arts ... or just new to those of us not with access to distributors of this fine product - the Tube Sock Kit! Wonder what colours they comein! And other, nonwool fibres.

The last order I made with them was very large (about 20 skeins) and there was mixup with postage so I'm too shy to email and find out what colours they come in.


I started another post but it sounded a bit apologetic. When I have photos I'll post them and if they suck, they suck.

I've been thinking a lot about why I knit and what kind of knitter am I? Am I a process or product knitter? And does it matter if I am one, or the other or both or neither? I suppose I could be trying to understand my uncontrollable urge to stash. Except reading other knitters' blogs and books, this isn't really that weird. And lots of people stash tools for their hobby ... like my Mum with her beading and quilting and most people who love to read keep libraries, often with large book queues. There's nothing worse than sitting down at 9pm at night with a good DVD or movie on TV and thinking ... "hmm yes I'd like to make this in pink and white" and not having any pick or white whatever on hand. It stifles creativity.

So then, I am trying to understand my compulsion to cast on and start projects and then ... cast on and start other projects. I guess I'm not project driven to the point that I think "I want a scarf/socks/sweater" and then sit down and make it to have it. I tend to think of wanting to make things so I've made them. Sure I like to have things I've made, although I don't tend to keep a lot of what I make. But often I enjoy the experience of following a pattern and seeing how it turns out. And that means that since I'm not driven by a need for whatever the object is NOW, I can enjoy trying out a variety of patterns at once and pick up whatever I feel like knitting at that point in time.

The trouble with that is that every so often I suffer anxiety - too much to knit, too little time, what should I be knitting now? And whatever I am knitting now is preventing me from knitting that, over there, now. I deal with this in two ways. The first is to pick one object, the thing closest to being finished, and work on that to completion. This satisfies the panic that I finish nothing. The second is to pick say 5 objects and work on them in rotation, either by repeat or number of rows or next step in the pattern, or sewing up. This satisifes the urge to be knitting everything at once.

Finally, why do I knit? Especially if I gift most of what I make, or like I am doing now, making to sell generic items. If I knit things and don't care about them when they are finished (often they go straight to the intended person or put away in the cupboard to be wrapped and labelled and priced for sale) then I can't be knitting for the finished object. This got me thinking last night about artists. Painters paint and when they are done, they try and sell it. The majority of their work goes away to be viewed by other people. They put their heart and soul into a piece and then out it goes into the unknown. Gone forever. On the other hand, how many paintings can one person keep? Even if the answer is 30, prolific artists will paint far more than this in a lifetime, and they won't love every single one of them. Thus, its the act of painting where the pleasure is derived - the act of creating, and once done, the enjoyment is found in doing it again and the first object, whilst loved, may not hold the same allure as the blank canvas of potential.

So then. Does that make me an artist? Am I practicing my craft more as an art than as .... a craft?

Friday, September 22, 2006

First genuine post

Knitting blogs are all about the pretty - I'm well aware of that. I shall dig out my camera and get into the habit of diligently photgraphing the pieces I talk about.

I didn't do that last night though due to ... well... general procrastination. I did, however, do heaps of knitting. I frogged back the heel of my Vesper sock and reknit it and got an inch or two into the foot. I worked on another hat for the fair I'm doing on Oct 9 - it's an orangey-yellow and lemon yellow stripe. I have about 12 rows left of decreasing to do and another bites the dust. I also finished one baby sock out of the left over Beachcomber colourway of Sophie's Toes. I'm hoping to get a pair out of them and sell them for ~ $6 or 8. A nice subsidy to my own pair of socks.

I feel really bad though. Not only do I have about 16 UFOs on the needles, I have at least 7 socks on the go. Not pairs either - the Vesper stripe in ... I can't remember the colourway but its blue, orange and lime; Sophie's Toes in Seashell (and I'm gazing longingly at the other colourway I have of hers on the bedside in Avocado Salad); Socks that Rock in Ruby Slippers (its the second); Sunshine Yarn in Watermelon; Socks that Rock in the first sock club colourway, Cedar Creek (it's for the bf so I added some Jasper for the cuff, toe and heel); Socks that Rock in Sherbet. And I have a feeling I started another Socks that Rock for my mother but I need to check.

This is disastrous. It's not even all the projects I'm working on. And the worst of it is that I have this many sets of dpns so when I finish a sock, I just cast on another one since I don't really need the needles for anything else. *sigh*

Thursday, September 21, 2006


this is my test post