Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sockret Pal Questionaire

The Sockret Pal partners have been assigned so here are my answers to the questionaire:

The basics:
How long have you been knitting? About 25 years, on and off. Sweaters, hats, mittens, cables and colourwork. I started knitting socks this year and I love it!
Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep? Intermediate.

The measurements:
While your pal may ask for some additional info to ensure a great fit, please provide your shoe size, or any other fitting related info you think is pertinent. European size 39, about US women’s size 8. My feet are 9” around and 9 ¾” long. Leg just above the heel is also 9” And my calves get very, um, shapely about 9” from the ground so anything longer than that needs shaping, and anyway I don’t think my calves needs any more padding ;-) Sock toes on the blunt side fit me best.

(fiber related) Favorites:
What colors do you love? Blue is my all time favourite, all shades except baby blue but including purple, greenish blue etc. My second favourite is red, fire engine red. I also really like orange and grey.
Do you prefer solids or variegated? Oh dear, I don’t know. It depends on the stitch pattern. Lace and cables needs a solid(ish) yarn but stockinette is more fun with a variegated yarn. I have a tendency to fall in love with varegiated yarn, and then I fall in love with patterns that work best with solids…
What fibers do you most love to knit with? Wool, wool, and wool. Well, animal fibers anyway. I must admit that I have only ever tried wool, mohair (in the eighties) and cotton. And cotton is too unelastic, not fun to knit with.
Who do you consider your favorite yarn vendors? Hmm, I haven’t tried more than a couple. Simply Sock Yarn Company and Get Knitted are both nice. Or does vendor mean yarn manufacturer? In that case I’d say Fleece Artist and Opal, but I haven’t tried much fancy yarn. Peer Gynt from Sandnes is a very nice yarn for Norwegian sweaters. I have heard rave reviews of both Sundara yarns and Socks that Rock, it would be great fun to try those.
What projects (other than socks, of course *S*) do you most enjoy knitting? Lace!

(fiber related) Dislikes:
What fibers can you not stand to knit with? To wear? I avoid everything acrylic like the plague. I’m a fiber snob, sorry :-) And I hate knitting with cotton, it’s so unelastic, knitting becomes a fight for every stitch. No fun at all. So I absoultely prefer to knit with wool and wool blends. And I do live in a cold climate, so wool socks are the best anyway.
What colors would you never wear? Light pastels. Booooring.

The Tools:
Plastic or Metal? Bamboo or wood? Not plastic. Metal is nice and what I mostly use, as it is easiest to get around here. I have some sets of lousy wooden dpn’s, but it would be fun to try nice ones.
Circs or Straights? Circs! I never use straights, even for flat knitting, the ends get too heavy.
DPNs or Magic Loop? Both :-) But I prefer magic loop, less shifts between needles and easier to try the sock on as I go.
Are there any knitting accessories you don't have in your collection but would like? I only restarted my knitting very recently, so I don’t have much except some needles. And I must admit that I don’t know what’s to get. I would really like needles in those US sizes that are in between the metric ones, size 1 (2.25 mm) and 2 (2.75 mm)

The Extras:
Do you have a wish list? If so, please share the link! Haven't got one.
Do you like sweet, sour or salty? (or all of the above? *S*) Dark chocolate, and salty licorice.
Do you have any allergies your pal should know about? (Certain foods, smoke, pet hair, etc) All nuts and almonds, peanuts. And I can’t stand tobacco smoke.
Favorite scents? Scents you can't stand? I’m sensitive to strong scents, they make me sneeze. I prefer citrus, mint, spice, not sweet ones.
Do you collect anything (other than yarn and knitting toys of course)? Fabric and quilting toys! Especially batiks. I’m a quilter too you know…
When is your birthday? (month and day is fine!) May 30
Do you spin? Dye your own yarn? Nope, but I would love to try. We actually have spinning wheel at the cottage (from a relative who emigrated to America in the 1880’s, no less), but I don’t know how to work it.
Your favorite author/band/vacation spot, anything you think will help your pal know you better... Books: I have read the Lord of the Rings countless times (love the movies too), I like Harry Potter. Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, and Peter F Hamilton. I mostly read fantasy and science fiction, when I have time to read that is, and don’t get caught in a knitting or quilting book or magazine. Music: Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, U2 (yes I was a teenager in the 80’s :-) Rammstein, Celtic/Irish music. I love Australia (have been there twice) and we’re going there to visit my sister (she lives there permanently) and her family in December. So my pal might get an Aussie prezzie!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Commuting is Good

... at least for sock knitting! We spent the weekend at our cottage in the forest with my parents and I knitted in the car for about an hour on the way there, and a little one of the evenings. Today I commuted almost 1 hour each way by train: more knitting. This is the second tiger sock now:

I was at the stitch marker before we left for the cottage, now I have done the gusset and am about to start the heel turn. I have two more days of train riding this week, I might finish that sock!

I have eight rows left on my Leaf Lace shawl, I'm almost done! But these last few rows are s l o w. I haven't decided on my next shawl project yet, but I'm tempted by Miriams designs, maybe the Mountain Peaks shawl and really use lace weight yarn, maybe red? I have never used lace weight yarn before and I certainly don't have it in my stash. I have to search around the net for some info, I think. This town is really boring, craftwise. We do have a couple of yarn stores, but they mostly have acrylics and novelties and some very standard wools. There are a couple of shops that sell patchwork fabrics and supplies, but it's not their speciality and they don't have much. So, I *love* the internet!

I got the name of my pal/spoilee for the Knitters Tea Swap the other day! I have sent an anonymous email for reassurance. No I'm just waiting to hear from my other pal, my spoiler! I have looked through my pal's blog, and checked the presentation on the swap blog and I have some ideas. We'll see what I can come up with :-)

Monday, September 18, 2006


I have finished the first tiger sock. I love it! It is knitted toe-up and I decided I would make it as long as possible, but when I weighed it I realised that I had only used about a third of the ball and it was still plenty long. So I will have leftovers, for kids socks maybe.

And I'm on the last repeat of the Leaf Lace shawl, only 4 rows left before the edging. It's hard to determine how big it will be after blocking. The patterns says about 45" from top to bottom and I think I'm getting close to that. It should be plenty big for 165 cm me, shouldn't it?

Here is the crumpled mess hanging upside down over M's office chair.

I have also signed up for Socktoberfest! It sounds like fun.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Compatibility problems

The new Knitty is up! And there are some nice patterns, and some not so nice of course. I really like these socks (and they come in size that fits me!), this wrap, this kid's sweater, this wrap-around sweater, and these socks.

I've notices a problem with my sock yarn stash and the patterns I fall for lately. I like socks with texture, cables, lace, fun ribs. These patterns don't show very well in varegiated or self patterning yarns. I don't have any solid sock yarn in my stash. I think I need to do some shopping... Just you wait until I get to know who my swap partners are. I have to shop for them, so then I can shop for me to (just to save on shipping of course ;-) Mmmm, I need me some Lorna's Laces solids I think.

I'm trudging on with the Leaf Lace shawl. I have one row left on the 11th repeat. Just one more to go I think. It's difficult to judge how big it is getting. I want it big, warm and cosy, but I also want to have enough yarn for the edging. I seem to have plenty of yarn though. I'm just running out of the fifth ball and I have four left, so I should be good for another couple of repeats if I want to. We'll see.

I have almost decided to rip the second Dragon sock. It is a bit smaller than the first one so I really have no choice. Blah.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Another swap

I forgot to mention that I've joined Knitters Tea Swap 2. You swap tea, enough yarn for socks or similar, and goodies. Perfect for a tea drinking sock addict like me :-) These swaps all sound like so much fun, I'm really excited, and full of ideas of what to get for my pals. But now I'm signed up for two swaps this autumn/winter and that has to be enough. Especially as one of them requires that I knit a pair of socks...

Actual Quilty Content

[I wrote this post a couple of days ago but Blogger has uncooperative until today. Oh well.]

So I paid a quick visit to a quilt event this weekend. There were maybe 15 vendors, a Bernina sewing machine demo and a small exibition by the local guild. And lots of classes, but they where pre-booked only. If I had traveled 300 k just for this I would probably been disappointed, because the reputation says it so great, but now we only drove maybe 50 k extra so it was OK.

I have been in a bit of a quilting slump for the past months, I'm uninspired and don't know what I want to do (even though I have UFO's galore to finish if nothing else) So it was fun to see some new things, buy some stuff. I got a little fabric, a piece of Paula Nadelstern kaleidoscope fabric I just couldn't resist and two batik packs on sale (one for Mom). I also got some nice Sulky varegiated quilting thread and a little metallic thread for an upcoming class. And two Australian magazines. And a few beads and notions. Fun, fun.

I also saw some nice quilts.

Big and little version of the same pattern:

Both are really nice. They are from a quilt shop near our cottage in the woods, Tyger & Ting. The next quilt is also designed by them. This is just half the quilt, it was hanging over a railing. The diagonal bits are actually fluffy chenille.

I don't know who made this one. It was part of the guild exibition and I saw no name on it. The style reminds me of old utility quilts made out of suit remnants and such. Very nice and graphic. A bit 50s or 60s in the design I think.

Don't know who made this one either (sorry) It's a nice Lone Star design, fun with the 'spokes', makes it a bit wheel like.

I have a Lone Star UFO hiding here somewhere, queen size. The star is finished but I haven't added the background squares and triangles. I plan no border, only to make it float a little on the background and then a multicoloured binding in the same fabrics as in the star. I have no idea on how I will quilt it yet.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Good news and bad news

M and I attended a wedding this Saturday (one of his cousins) and had to drive about 4 hours each way. I don't like driving much but luckily M does so I didn't have to. I've always found long car trips a bit boring, because I can't *do* anything, I tend to get car sick, reading is out of the question. This time a brought some knitting just to try and see how it worked. It worked beautifully! I could knit a lot without getting sick at all, probably because I didn't stare down at the work all the time as I usually do. Instead I really made an effort to knit without looking.

So the good news is that I've made good progress on my tiger sock.

The bad news is this:

Just as we got home I realised that I had forgotten to purl black over black, twice. First some 14 rows down and then about five rows down. I refuse to rip out all that! So I dropped the stitches instead. The two spots overlapped so I first dropped five stitches and reknit them on dpn's about halfway up again. The I dropped two more at one end of the others and knitted everything back up.

There a couple of small ladders but I think they'll disappear in washing and blocking.

On Sunday we visited Quiltköping in a nearby town. It is an event with a small exibition, vendors and classes. I didn't take any classes, but I spent some money :-) And took pictures. So my next post will have quilty pictures!