Socks, Sales, and Soapboxes

I’ll start with some soapbox shouting…

It irks me that some knitters with blogs (who will remain nameless) have their blog set up so that you cannot comment on their posts without a Google/Blogger account. Seeing as I already have 3 personal email accounts, 2 logins for the network at work, a login for the help desk, another for the scheduling system, at least 2 for web-based activities for my classroom, and many, many accounts for other online activities of both personal and professional natures, I am positively piqued that someone, especially a knitterly person, wants me to have another account purely so that I post a comment.

As for sales, I have found a shop called Stitches, just like my club, nearby. The good news is that they had a groundhog day sale where everything was 50% off, and I got this stuff.

 

I swatched a pair of socks for my husband using the US2 bamboo needles I bought to give them a try. This is my first time using any wooden-type needles, and it is definitely different. They are lighter and the shop owner was right, stitches don’t slip off the needles normally.

The bad news is that they are going out of business in March. However, maybe I can buy more needles if I decide I like them.

I have also been knitting more socks. I am still working on my Paint Box Socks. I also started this pair for my mother, see why below.

 

They are Regia Canadian Color, and are nice and soft. I told my mom I am going to steal them. The picture is awkward as I have been working too long and need some rest before my brain is fried.

And to wrap up all of the title together, I am putting the lone, lonely Fancy Silk Sock in a time capsule. It will be accompanied by the story told here. It was my mom’s idea. There is no use trying to wait for another ball of this yarn to become available. I have been checking to see if the Magic Stripes Lumberjack Black yarn has been in anywhere, and no one has gotten any. I went to Lion Brand’s website, and the description of said colorway was grayed out like they don’t have anymore. I emailed Lion Brand this message:

When will more of your magic stripes lumberjack black yarn be available in stores?

Now, maybe I didn’t explain my problem clearly enough. This is what they wrote back:

Hi, You can locate stores in your area that carry our yarn by clicking on “local stores” at the top of our home page. Not all stores, however, carry all of our yarns in all available colors so you will need to check with the individual store. You can order any of our yarns in any color online at http://www.e-yarn.com or by calling our toll free order number at 1-800-258-9276. With Warm Regards, Lion Brand Yarn Company

I tried thier online store. No Lumberjack Black.

What is up with this??? Did these people actually read what I wrote, and check their store? Do the just have some person sitting in an isolation both answering emails from a script? A person who has not been told of any of the changes occuring at Lion Brand in the past year? 

So I wrote back. The yarn I need? Discontinued!

(I didn’t like this yarn in the first place, so I am not considering this a huge loss. However, could they have told me this the first time??!!)

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Spreading the word

I have started a club at school for students who want to learn to cross stitch, crochet, and yes, knit.

I had been knitting at school to finish presents for people, and my students wanted to learn. They said we should have a club, I should start it, and it should be called Stitches. (Did I mention I love teaching at this school?) So I agreed, I did, and it is.

Yesterday was our first meeting. I had seven girls show up, half of who wanted to cross stitch and the other half wanted to crochet. (I know, but I have hope that some of them have said they want to learn to knit who couldn’t make it yesterday.) So between some very excited and impatient students, I taught the basics of both skills in an hour, and by the time I was done, I felt like I had been run over by a truck. However, it made me very, very, very proud that my one student came back 4 hours later, (we also had meet the teacher night for the second semester) and showed me her inch-plus-some scarf she had crochet. Her mom came by as well and told me how she was also trying to teacher her sister. By my second period class today, she had a foot.

Hoorah for me converting some other poor unsuspecting soul to the obsession of fiber arts!

Teaching myself new tricks

I’m knitting slowly.

I got this a few weeks ago

 

to make this. ( I couldn’t get it not to glare and get the colors right.)

 

Snowflake, from Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves.

Now, I have not done any colorwork beyond stripes, so this will be my first Fair Isle piece. I promise myself that I will swatch faithfully (no laughing here) so I don’t have to rip it out six times, and I have read the instructions. Please believe that I am learning from my mistakes, (we will see, won’t we?). Instructions give various ways for holding the yarn, as anyone who has read instructions for creating Fair Isle knows.

I learned to knit by casting the yarn from my right hand. You may call it the English or American method. (I am also a heretic, in case you were wondering.) This worked fine for me, and I have had no problems with it. In the past year I have managed to become adept enough at this skill that I don’t have to look at my knitting frequently, and I am fairly quick, though by no means speedy. I looked at the directions for holding both strands of Fair Isle yarn in one hand, and decided immediately that I would tangle the yarn many times if I did this.

So I have been teaching myself to pick stitches from my left hand, (or Continental) so that I can use both methods of holding the yarn for Fair Isle. This is why I am now knitting slowly. I started trying this at the beginning of January. I have now been trying it for 3 weeks. I think I am finally starting to get the hang of it.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress, however I think I need more practice before I cast on.

Penny Measuring System

I am very excited about what I am calling my Paint Box Socks.They are in Patons Kroy sock yarn, colorway Paint Box.

I am knitting them at a very small gauge, which I didn’t think about when I started, (maybe something should have clicked when I was getting 10 sts per inch when I swatched) so it is taking me some time. I have only today, two weeks after I started the socks, realized how big a deal this is.

To give a comparison, I put a penny on my knitting and took a picture.

 

I took it on the ribbing, but for the comparison, I measured on the stockinette stitch part of the sock. (Right now that part is too small to photograph the penny on.) I get 7.5 stitches for the width of the penny on these socks, which are knit on size 1US needles. To compare, I get 5.5 for the same stitch patern per penny on my mom’s Fancy Silk Socks, knit on size 2US using Magic Stripes. And, compared to the hat I knit for my husband, I got 2 stitches per penny, from Lamb’s Pride Bulky yarn (10US).

Clearly, I am defining a new way to measure your gauge if you can’t find a measuring tape.

Random Ramblings

1. So, I am still kniting. I have finished one of the Fancy Silk Socks for my mom.

The bad news is that I have weighed the sock and the leftover yarn from the ball, and it is not close enought to attempt another one. Especially if I want matching stripes. (47g is close to 39g, right?)

2. In other knitting related events, I have shipped off the baby socks to my friends, who had a baby girl named Lucy Elizabeth on Saturday. Mom and baby (and dad) are all doing fine.

3. I have started twice on a pair of socks for my cousin as well. As soon as I realized that my original plan to use a stitch pattern I invented was not going to work, because I had started with a k2p2 rib, and the pattern was a k2p2 rib variation. I decided, for my own fussy reasons, that I could not have the cuff be so similar to the foot. So, I am starting over. I do realize that I probably didn’t invent the stitch pattern I created accidentally, however I have not seen it anywhere else yet, so it is mine!

4. I was also reading through the Harlot’s site, and got to thinking. (Don’t be alarmed! It really will turn out ok. Nothing burned or crashed or had a heart attack. Keep reading.) What was my approach to yarn? I know I am not a harlot, as I have not yet stooped to any level for yarn. So I looked up harlot in the thesaurus, and decided I am more of a Yarn Hustler. I looked up the definition.

1. an enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter.

2. Slang. a person who employs fraudulent or unscrupulous methods to obtain money; swindler.

Just insert yarn for money in the second definition, and you’ve got me. Now, this has me wondering, what kind of Harlot are you?

5. Some people asked where I got the sale yarn in my last post. I considered long and hard about whether I should share my secrets here (see #4), but decided it would be ok, because I would probably profit in the long run by having more opportunities to get yarn, since more people would be buying from Yarnware (www.yarnware.com). (sneaky, aren’t I?) They typically have selected colors and amounts in 25% off categories, with lots of varieties of yarn. Sometimes there are good things in the 50% off range as well. Since I don’t have a worthy LYS close, I have to resort to the internet frequently. Although I am not above subcoming to cheaper, acrylic yarn.

6. In totally unrelated knitting news, I have science news! It was very exciting, as the three baby hissing cockroaches I have in my classroom have molted! (This means that they shed their shell to grow larger, for those who are not science geeks.) It was so exciting that one of my coworkers actually went home to get his camera to get this picture. (The newly molted one is white. They look like the brown one once their new shell hardens)

Cute, no?

Sock Obsession

I have been knitting. What, you might ask, (of course you asked!) have I been knitting? Why, I have been hit with a lighting bolt gently persuaded to knit socks!

This is the Fancy sock I was working on for my mom.

No, it is still not done. I hate have serious concerns about this yarn. It is Lion Brand Magic Stripes, in color Lumberjack. Now, I have other Magic Stripes yarn, yet this colorway is thicker and not as soft as those other colors. I have no clue why, as the yarn labels have the same gauge information on them. Maybe someone can explain it to me who has more experience in these matters.

The reason I have not finished one of the above pair yet is that I keep getting distracted. I decided to knit some friends who are expecting baby socks with the left over yarn I have from Ella’s birthday socks.

Cute, huh? My mom informed me that she wants something to fit into it, and could I make it sometime soon? Maybe I’ll dig out one of my old dolls and put them on it, and give it to her. That will make her happy, don’t you think?

I have also started a pair for myself.

These are also made from Paton Kroy sock yarn, in colorway Paint Box. I like them, and they will fulfill one of my goals this year.

And when I’m done?

Why, I’ll knit more socks, of course!

p.s.: believe it or not, all of the above were sale purchases. I know!