Friday, February 6, 2015


I feel stupid posting this. So why voluntarily engage in stupid? Well, because I'm not so loftily principled that I would spurn something positive and fun just because it's also partly stupid. It's a matter of degree, and naming the beast is the first step towards embracing reluctance.

For February Sockdown I have to furnish proof of sock, so here it is. First up, my project in good light. It's Queen of Diamonds Sock by Kristi Schueler worked in Spunky Eclectic handspun Superwash Corriedale, colorway Tahiti.

Queen of Diamonds cast on

The yarn was a 2010 Ravellenics project. The pattern is written toe-up but I'm knitting it top-down because I cast on when I was tired and cranky after shoveling snow. Here's a requisite photo showing my cast on and the number of projects (14) before I set up my Ravelry project page.


And here's a photo showing my project page and the number of projects (15) after I set up my Ravelry project page.


I also need to furnish proof of placement for my second giveaway for Free Art Friday Montclair (#fafmtclr), coming soon. ETA: Here it is in the wild, on the Northeast sled hill. Also, now we're supposed to use #fafmtc. OK, whatever, photographic proof.

Nosewarmer on Northeast sled hill

Such tough-sounding talk has its appeal, I suppose, by derivation. Kittens enjoying pretending to be tigers. Rawr. (I am the only one troubled by the hint of animal cruelty in the video?) I've never much cared for the fad of knitters appropriating the language of racism and addiction or ultraviolent competition. Similarly, I'm increasingly troubled by my own use of the language hostage negotiators use when dealing with psychopaths who kidnap and brutally execute people. Such language doesn't seem strong or daring to me – while admittedly colorful, it also seems inauthentic and unreasoning. Gentle readers, YMMV, if it works for you that's dandy. All I know is I need a different vocabulary.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Foot Notes

Incredible to relate, during the blog drought I started and finished a pair of socks. Could the drought have been so long? Objectively it wasn't, or rather the combination of pattern, Puschkinia by Kirsten Kapur, and yarn, Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes Paintbox Gradient, were just so compelling that time stood still. Whatever. I'm quite pleased with the results.

Puschkinia FO

The yarn was an impulse splurge at last year's MDS&W. I don't often do that, but I'm glad I indulged. For one thing, I fell in love with Foot Notes while making Camino de Santiago. (Did I ever post its FO photo? No?? Gah, lemme fix that.) The yarn is wonderful to knit, on the softer and less sproingy side, yet with excellent stitch definition.

Camino de Santiago

Then there's the colors. Foot Notes Paintbox Gradients are comprised of 15 skeins of 30 yards (27 m) each. I selected the Wild Thyme colorway – it was very hard to choose, they're all so wonderful. Costly too, but ah well.

Foot Notes Paintbox Gradient, Wild Thyme

The pattern is masterfully written, as all of Kirsten's are, with helpful exposition for less experienced knitters (but not so much more experienced knitters become annoyed). In the flower section I made the CC yarn dominant over the MC yarn, and reversed that in the ticking stripe sections. I offset the ticking stripes just for fun, made an eye of partridge heel for fit, and a contrast toe to match the heel. It was a most enjoyable knit. Were I to knit the pattern again, I'd use two solids rather than a gradient to make the colorwork and stripes pop. But that's for next time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Great Blizzard of 2015

Sorry about yet another blog drought. Sigh.

Speaking of the weather, according to the quite alarming forecasts, overnight was supposed to be the Great Blizzard of 2015. There was the usual rush to the supermarket, then the tri-state region hunkered down with travel bans, warnings of white out conditions, and expectations of setting snowfall records. But the storm formed 90 miles to the east, so the forecast 30+ inches (76+ cm) of snow never materialized roundabout Exit 151, although other locations were hard hit. In the end we got maybe 5 inches (12.7 cm). Oh well, I'm relieved and disinclined to grumble at the forecasters. Instead, I made a nosewarmer.


I modified the pattern, knitting and decreasing in the round instead of knitting flat and using short rows. I worked the decreases opposite from the way one would work a sock toe (ie, ssk, k2, k2tog instead of k2tog, k2, ssk). The nosewarmer is for the next Free Art Friday Montclair (#fafmtclr), February 6. My first offering disappeared satisfyingly quickly, but there was no finder's photo posted, which is a bit of a bummer. I'm hoping for a finder's photo this time.

Friday, January 2, 2015

First Friday

Happy New Year! Roundabout casa Jersey Knitter it seems especially auspicious that 2015 is the Year of the Sheep. In Japan the New Year's postage stamp depicts a knitter sheep that has finished the scarf it was making 12 years ago. May that bode well for the many UFOs buzzing around Area 151!

Year of the Sheep post card stamps

Photo credit: AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama.

Indeed, encouraged by that example, I dug out an, er, vintage UFO, the wee beaded bag from ::cough:: September 2006 and finished it with an I-cord strap and a beaded edging around the flap. It felt wonderfully right, as if I'd never put it down. Behold, the first FO of the new year (with NJ quarter for scale)!

Wee beaded bag

It seems to me one shouldn't hoard such good karma for oneself. Accordingly, I left the wee bag by BAB for Free Art Friday Montclair (#fafmtclr), a local version of a global scavenger hunt. A lot of FAF pieces involve graphic arts, but I thought an objet could add a touch of whimsy to the day. It does seem as if some FAF scavengers take things a bit too seriously, as if the goal is having rather than finding. That said, if you find the wee bag, take it if you wish – it's free. Or, leave it to brighten someone else's day.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One Last Sock

Behold the Singleton Socks of Shame! During the year three socks came down from the clothesline of shame, none went up for a total of seven Socks of Shame at year end 2014. Not too shabby – this tough year is tied with 2011 and 2012 for the lowest number of singletons of shame.

Singleton Socks of Shame, year end 2014

Singleton Socks of Shame 2014, left to right: Meadowlands, Fawkes, Julesokker, Love Me Knot, Clouds, Chain Link, Hanauma Bay.

I was very tempted to try to finish the Hanauma Bay pair and set a new record, but common sense prevailed. While I've sometimes willingly complicated my life, lately there have been so many involuntary complications that a space for grace makes for greater peace and happiness. I did finish my Ixslein socks for November Sockdown, and it is they that have the honor of being the last FO of the year.

Ixslein FOs

On the Asian calendar 2015 is the Year of the Sheep, which would seem to bode well for crafters. May it be so! See you next year!!

Edited to correct the last digit of the new year, oops.