Monday, December 26, 2011

Eulogy For a Sock

Completed Uptown Boot Socks 2

Born at the Brooklyn Court House in April of 2007, these socks had a good run. They developed a hole at some point, and I darned them, but after having worn them quite a bit recently, they just couldn't handle the abuse. This morning, I found a sizable hole in the heel of one of them, and while I could darn it, I think I might have used the rest of the yarn creating hexipuffs. They were good socks, and they will be missed.

I learned an important lesson here. Nylon is to sock yarn what water is for humans.

Uptown Boot Socks, may you rest in peace. You were good socks. I'll probably knit you a remembrance pair once I get over the hurt.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Preparing for Yarn Disasters

detail: Decadent Fibers Creme Brulee

This is probably something I should have posted before the hurricane, but there were a few other things I was a little concerned about. I live in a basement apartment, and it was entirely possible during the storm that we would get a little to a lot of flooding. I also knew there would a LOT of time spent with my boyfriend's family and that knitting might prevent me from harming any of them. Here's what I did to prepare:

  • When I moved to this apartment, I was worried about what could happen to my yarn, and I needed an easy way to transport it as well. I put it all in clear plastic bins from The Container Store. Amusingly, these boxes were called Sweater Boxes (and they stack on top of each other!). The plastic proved to be a good move, as there were a few boxes on the floor that ended up getting wet, but the yarn inside them is totally fine.

  • I have a box of pretty yarn that I usually keep on the floor next to the TV. It's in a fabric box because the fabric box is pretty, and it's open. I simply moved this onto a TV table, which kept it above the water and fine.

  • You may have seen my blog Yarn365. I love taking photos for artistic reasons. However, one of the things I did before I moved last year was take photos of all the yarn I had and document which box it was in. I wanted to make sure that when I got to the new place, I knew that I had all my yarn. This proved to be useful in that, if anything bad did happened to my yarn, I had proof of my collection and how much it was worth in case I needed to file an insurance claim.

  • I was also worried about being bored, so figuring out what my next pattern would be was instrumental. The project for my brother's wedding is too warm to work on should the power go out and the AC fail. I was going to finish a shawl, but I was running out of yarn and I lost the bead needle I needed to string the beads onto a new ball. If I finished the sock I was working on, that'd be bad. So I started swatching. I settled on knitting a Cosy V Neck Pullover (Ravlink) from Fitted Knits: 25 Designs for the Fashionable Knitter (AMZ Link). It's top down and I finished the V-neck part and was ready to join for the round when I realized that I'd omitted the neckline shaping. So I ripped it all out Sunday night.

  • However, my issues with the pattern were all mental. I could read the pattern, despite the fact that the lights were out and our transformer exploded because I had a Neck Light. My SNB went in on this. I think we got something like 20 lights alltogether so we got them cheaply. It was pretty awesome to be able to continue to knit despite the dark.

  • Overall, we weathered through ok. We had a transformer explode on our block and we had to leave our house because of a possible gas leak whose origin they still don't quite know. But everyone here was safe, and I hope you were too.

    (photo: Decadent Fibers Creme Brulee from Rhinebeck last year, the yarn of my hurricane project)

    Friday, August 05, 2011

    Is all knitting so touchy feely?

    I was poking around Amazon this afternoon and found the book Knit in Comfort. I started thinking to myself: why do I see so many novels about women finding themselves through knitting? I thought, why don't I write the less dramatic book about a woman finding her friends through knitting. Then I realized what I was saying.

    I'm that woman.

    I moved to the city, started reading all the time and realized I was only living in my head. To get out of my head, I taught myself how to knit, and I started finding knitting groups to be social. I met friends, awesome friends that I've had for a while now. I had some awesome experiences (remember the yarn bus, the first Rhinebeck experience, and moving the stash to Stan's?).

    Looks like knitting is a life changer after all. Even if it isn't as touchy feely as all those novels make it seem.

    I wonder if a non-touchy feely knitting life changing book would sell. Probably not. I'll bet a book that describes the intersection of dating and knitting would be hilarious and sell quite well though. Call it "When to Flash Your Stash."

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Book Expo America 2011

    Book Expo America (BEA) was held this week. As usual, I snagged a few catalogs from publishers I knew would have some crafty books. Interweave didn't have a booth this year, and I didn't know who was showing their stuff, so I missed out on picking up their catalog, much to my dismay.

    Like last year's post, I'm taking advantage of the Amazon Associates program that Blogger and Amazon have teamed up on. In return for my linking to amazon (which I do all the time!), if someone actually buys something from one of my links, I get a (small) cut. Just wanted to mention it in the spirit of full disclosure, fully not expecting anything to come of it.

    And now, on to the books!


    $22.95 | October | Paperback

    Undoubtedly Storey's key knitting book forhte fall, this book seems to be derived from that Life List Mem that circulated the internet a few years ago (My response can be found here). More than just a list, this book also has 122 tips and tricks to help you complete your knitting bucket liest, 33 yarn fibers to try before you die, 64 personalities to meet and 69 styles and traditions to explore at least once. There's a promotional sweepstakes for a trip to a fiber arts festival (Maryland or Rhinebeck - I'm not sure which), some Storey craft books and a fiber shopping spree. Visit their website for details.

    $24.95 | February 2012 | Paperback

    The author of The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques is back with this comprehensive book of circular knitting techniques. Radcliffe covers Fair Isle, twined knitting, helix, tubular knitting, and double knitting techniques. Patterns for each technique will help cement the concepts learned. I'm not sure if I'll pick this one up. It might prove as a handy reference, but I'm not sure how much is included in this book that I won't know. If there's a pair of knee high argyle socks though, count me in!

    $35.00 | June 2011 | Hardcover

    This book is billed as "a one-of-a-kind photographic encyclopedia of more than 200 animals and the fibers they produce." To me, this seems to be the yarn porn edition of The Knitter's Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber. And I don't think that's a bad thing. :)

    $18.95 | February 2012 | Hardcover

    I have a pair of jeans that I love which I've recently realized shouldn't be worn. I'm sure you have socks with heels and toes that have worn right through. This book seems to take a creative approach to the process of patching and darning. I can't wait to take a closer look!

    Somewhat unrelated, I just now realized that Storey has The Sewing Answer Book! I have The Knitting Answer Book and have found it helpful. I might pick this book up since my sewing skills are nowhere near my knitting skills. I would like to be a better sewer.


    $22.50 | September 2011 | Hardcover

    "If Betty White can host SNL, then it's time we give Grandma the credit she deserves."

    From the description, this book seems to be part tribute to grandmothers, part pattern book. Knitterati share their stories of knitting with family members as well as patterns inspired by those family members. I'm always amazed by how contemporary vintage knits can look in modern yarns. Also, I have to say that this book touches a kind of sentimental and nostalgic note for me, and I'll probably pick it up.

    $27.50 | Septmeber 2011 | Hardcover

    I really liked the patterns in Custom Knits and am rather looking forward to this book. While I'd wished for more techniques in the first book, I'm hoping that this second book can fill in the blanks.

    $24.95 | September 2011 | Paperback

    As previously stated, I'd love to hone my sewing skills. I think that because I don't take the time to do so, this goal could take a while. The up-side for publishers means that I pick up all manner of sewing technique books hoping that one will finally make me feel confident enough to sew an amazing dress. That kind of confidence will never come from a book. But this book looks so pretty and complete that I'll at least look at it and maybe even take it home with me in the hopes that it will explain everything I need to know

    $16.95 | November 2011 | Hardcover

    Bad holiday sweaters can happen to anyone, don't be that knitter! Appearently, this book is derived from a website (who knew there was such a site!?). While not a knitting book per se, I think this would be a great gag gift to any knitter!


    $30.00 | October 2011 | Hardcover

    I have both of Clara's other books and have found them to be extremely well researched and informative. To that end, I'm rather excited about this new addition to the series. I haven't really sen too many books that focus on the yarn being used (perhaps the only exception is Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn) In addition, the book features 20 patterns from sock knitterati. The best part, in my opinion, is that the book will be available as an ebook, though at the same price as the hardcover.

    $19.99 | November 2011 | Paperback

    Ah, the perennial problem. Most stashbusting books fall a little short from my perspective. I'll check this book out when it publishes. I seem to fall for Melissa Leapman's patterns anyway. The ebook for this will also be available, and will also cost the same amount as the paperback.


    $27.50 | September 2011 | Hardcover

    I love Liberty fabrics. I love their store in London. I think I might just love this book. It looks absolutely lovely. I do have some Liberty fabric that I just don't feel good enough to sew. While I don't think this book will make me good enough to sew those precious fabrics, I'll probably end up buying it for the photographs!

    So the interesting thing I found this year at BEA is that there really was a lot of emphasis placed on ebooks. Personally, I've switched over. Since I bought my ipad in July of last year, I haven't really bought a paper novel. I've bought craft books and comic books/graphic novels, but no novels. I often end up scanning the patterns I want to use to pdfs so I can view them on my phone or iPad while I knit.

    It's fascinating to me, as someone in the book publishing industry, to watch this transformation from pbook to ebook. A few years ago, when all of this was new, I told myself that I loved the feel of printed books and I'd never read off a device. Here I am though. maybe it was the need tomove all my books (except the knitting ones!) into storage. Maybe it was walking around with Winter's Tale (that 600+ page book was really good, but REALLY heavy!). Maybe it was Malia showing me that GoodReader can create a line I can move when following a charted pattern. At any rate, I'm feeling more and more like I don't really need a physical book.

    The other thing I find fascinating about knitting books these days is the fact that authors can (successfully!) publish their own books. Knitterati like Cookie A and Ysolda publish their own books quite successfully without a publisher. To my knowledge, this doesn't occur in other genres. Sure, folks self publish books all the time. Where I think knitterati are unique is that it actually seems to work!

    I'm hoping to get my hands on at least a few of these books to give them full on reviews. So look out for that in the future!

    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Delinquent Blogger

    I've been up to a lot recently.
    Let's start with what I was up to in 2010.
    1. Pearl Ten Malabrigo Feather and Fan Cowl
    2. Bergen Street Mits
    3. Sock 2 of the Pinstriped Jaywalkers - I got sock one and skein 2 at a swap, I just needed to complete the second sock
    4. Hoot - an owl barrette for Kara
    5. Sparkly Spiral Knee Socks
    6. *KNITTING OLYMPICS PROJECT* Tangled Yoke Cardigan (didn't finish in time for a medal, but I did finish it, and I wear it all.the.time.)
    7. Ingenue from Custom Knits
    8. Bee Sweet Mohair shawl on the Bias - this was a sample I knit for Annie & Company Knitting
    9. Damson - this was also a sample for Annie & Company Knitting. I loved this pattern and will no doubt knit it again.
    10. Brown Baby Bobbi Bear for Desi, Illanna's baby!
    11. Ishbel - this was also a sample for Annie & Company Knitting. They forced me to knit it out of Jade Sapphire 2-ply Cashmere. It's dreamy. I ended up returning some yarn at Purl yesterday and got some Jade Sapphire 2-Ply Cashmere/Silk to knit one for myself.
    12. Rainbow Half-Assed Leyburns - Maybe I'll knit the actual pattern sometime. I was too lazy and the pattern wasn't showing up in the solid colored yarn I was using. Still love these socks though. They make me happy.
    13. Seraphim - I started this shawl in Hawaii in 09 and finished it sometime in the summer of 2010.
    14. Silken Straw V-Tee - I decided to turn this into a tank top, but I might try to put some sleeves on it anyway. Kaplan has some sort of policy where you can't wear tank tops to work.
    15. Monhegan - I knit this sample for Nora Gaughan. Unfortunately, every time she's pinged me to knit a sample for her after this I've been busy. The most recent time with freelance for The Knitting Book
      - forthcoming from DK Publishing. :(
    16. Kai Mei socks by Cookie A.
    17. Twisted Carrot pillows for Heidi & Stew's wedding gift
    18. Briar Rose Quincy hat - which I've already forgotten in a cab and have lost
    19. Briar Rose Quincy Scarf - which still matches the hat, wherever the hat is...
    20. Nutkins out of Mountain Colors Barefoot in Mountain Tango colorway - God, I love these socks. This yarn is still one of my favorite sock yarns.

    The only reason I got so much done was because I spent a few months there being unemployed. The stash came in REAL handy, I'll tell you what. I really wish there were a viable way for me to just knit all the time and support myself that way. The amount of money I was bringing in during that time from knitting, however, just wouldn't have cut it on its own (I should give a shout out to the Federal and NYS Department of Labor for those unemployment benefits).

    In 2011 so far, I've managed to knit two baby gifts already.
    A Robbie Robot from DangerCrafts for Bess and Jeff's baby boy (born this week!).

    Robot for Bess and Jeff's Baby

    This pattern was fun, but for some reason kept crashing the Goodreader app on my iPad. It worked fine on the Goodreader app on my iPhone 4 though.

    And yet another Baby Bobbi Bear for Beth and Erich's baby boy to come. (I can't get enough of this pattern, it's so adorable!)

    Baby Bobbi Bear for Beth

    I'm working on a gift for my brother's wedding and I'd also like to knit an Ishbel before wedding season because I know I'm going to get cold at all these weddings. I had some extra yarn from the Robbie Robot and the Baby Bobbi Bear to return to Purl on Friday, so I picked up some Jade Sapphire 2-ply Silk Cashmere in Sterling:

    Jade Sapphire 2-ply Cashmere/Silk

    I think that'll be a gorgeous Ishbel, right?!

    I have so much more I've been thinking and knitting about, but I'm really interested in drawing a little tonight, so I think I'll hop on that instead.