Sunday, January 04, 2009


So, I've been up to a few crafty things over the past, um, five months.

I needed a necklace to go with a blouse I planned to wear to my Christmas party. So I got out my polymer clay and mixed up some colors. I tried and tried to create a circle like in the fabric, but failed miserably. So I ended up mixing and marbling the colors and liked the results. I got out my beads and found I had some tiger eye and Botswana agate beads that went perfectly and voilá! I was further pleased to discover I had sometime in the past made a purple and gold bracelet that went almost perfectly. Of course, when I went to get ready in the hotel room, I discovered I had left them on my bed at home and had to go to the party jewelry-less. Which made me feel kinda naked. I did rewear the blouse on Christmas day, however, so I was able to wear the whole ensemble.

This fall, I bought a new medium-weight coat, which was dark brown with a tan, red, navy, cream and black plaid lining. I had no gloves to match, so I dived into my stash and discovered I had tan, red, cream and black Merino Style from KnitPicks. Hooray! I wore my new coat on a road trip out west in early October and I took the yarn along. I got one glove done and up to the fingers on the other one. It was cold and snowing in the mountains and I failed to bring any other gloves or mittens. When I got home, I tried several times to finish the gloves, but made very little progress. One day, I pulled out the glove project bag and discovered I had lost the tan yarn. I faced the dilemma: rip out the other glove's fingers and make different color fingers? Or leave the one done glove as it was and make the other not to match? As I was thinking this over, a miracle occurred! I went to visit my sister and see her Christmas tree. And on her coffee table was the missing ball of tan yarn! A Christmas miracle! It had made its way under her couch, and she found it when moving furniture to put the tree up. I took the yarn home. I dilligently worked the fingers. Halfway up the middle finger of the second glove, it became clear I did not have enough tan left for the index finger and thumb. So I pulled out the index finger on the other glove, finished the other thumb in that yarn, and made the two index fingers red. Let's call it a design feature, eh? They'll keep me warm, anyway. I knit them tightly on size 4 needles. Should be fairly windproof.

A few months back, when I was struggling to make my sister The Ugliest Socks in the World (more of which anon), I had to put them aside and give myself a break. I wanted a pretty, lacey sock, because a friend had picked out some pretty pinkish Koigu for her birthday socks. After several false starts, I decided on Knitty's Spring Forward socks. I also decided to try the Magic Loop method, which I love. Absolutely love. I was happy with four dpns, but Magic Loop makes it so easy to keep the project tidy when it's time to put away. I used to have issues losing stitches if I wasn't careful putting the work away. I've been converted. And I really liked the Spring Forward pattern. The lace was easy to memorize and easy to decipher on the couple of times I lost my spot. I knit these mostly while sitting on a bench in the sunshine, watching my boyfriend practice on the driving range. A definite success.

Now, what's all this about The Ugliest Socks in the World, you ask? For several years, I have been buying sock yarn I think my middle sister would like. Every one I showed her, from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Argyle, to Regia Cotton in Surf, to the fabled Trekking XXL 100, failed to excite her interest. Then one day, she came home and presented me with a ball of OnLine Supersocke 100 in the ugliest colors I had ever seen together in one yarn. Let me enumerate: Petal pink. Baby blue. Royal Blue. Cream and beige jacquard. Dusty rose. Apricot. Pale, pale, pale pink. And back to the cream and beige jacquard. It was like one of those 1980's sofas with the "impressionistic" pattern on it. A sofa which had been place in front of a southern-facing curtainless window for twenty years. My sister requested "fancy" socks, but not cables or lace. I settled on Grumperina's Jaywalkers since the yarn was self-striping. I started these socks at Knitting Camp in July, complaining mightily to all and sundry. I made a fair bit of progress and had hopes that I would finish soon. I came home and had my sister try on the sock in progress. Too small, and I was almost to the ankle. I tried to convince her to renounce the yarn as hideously ugly. No dice. She liked the yarn. The colors reminded her of high school. O-kay. I cast on again for the next larger size. I knit these socks through countless movies and NCIS and CSI episodes, losing Packer games and in front of the computer reading blogs. Finally, two nights ago, I finished the second toe and wove in the ends. They fit and my sister likes them. I am free of the albatross around my neck. Things I learned from these socks: Jaywalkers are not for me. I need a sock with more ribbing to accommodate my cankles. And ugly yarn knits a lot slower than pretty yarn.

I was afraid The Ugliest Socks in the World might prejudice me against OnLine Supersocke 100, so I immediately cast on this:

Now, there's a colorway I can work with.


Helen said...

let me say, that picture does NO justice. those are UGLY in person ;) Glad you finally finished them, heh

Batty said...

I love that necklace! It absolutely completes the look. It was the first thing I noticed about the picture, and not just because it's in the middle. Fabulous work!

And loads of knitting too... I also have loads of sock yarn, and a couple of skeins are pretty darn ugly. But you found someone who loves the ugly socks, so good for you. I knit some socks for myself and hope they'll wear out. That way, I'm not throwing out perfectly good sock yarn.

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

I still think you should have done the middle fingers in the red and called them driving gloves. And O! how I love the Koigu socks. Welcome back to the world. Word verification: unsibbil. Why is that? I think I am quite sibbil.

Elizabeth said...

Kathy told me today that I had neglected to comment on this post! Sorry for the oversight!

Love the necklace.
Hate the socks.

We're starting to talk about dates for alt.knitting camp 09. Let me know if you have any block out dates to avoid.