Archive for the 'Yarn P*rn' Category

I’ve been merrily chugging along

July 22, 2010

on the socks I posted about last time. It does appear that the up-side-down, iron heel is going to work out nicely. I’ll show some pictures after a few more rows.

Meanwhile, I wanted to share some photos of the yarn I dyed. I really had a blast. I’m going to try a few more batches, and maybe I’ll put some up for sale. Meanwhile here’s what I did.

The first few were dyed onto the Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select base yarn. That’s a superwash, low micron count merino. The experimental iron heel socks are from this yarn base and I find knitting with it to be quite nice. I’ve frogged a number of times as I experiment my way along, and this yarn promises to be a winner. It stands up well to frogging and reknitting and has a nice twist. I used some longer color paths so this yarn stripes when it is knitted. They are not wide strips, but it does stripe. (Take a look at the previous post to see what I mean.)

I’m going to start off with the “ugly” skein and get it out of the way. I just didn’t like the muted tones. I call this one Muted Tartan. (clicking on the photos will embiggen them)

The rest of these I like. Here’s Purple Rain:

Smashed Blueberries. I had one small 85 g skein and I dyed it the same as this one. That’s the skein I’m using for my iron heel experiment.

Deep Blue Sea

Caribbean Waters

Berry Nice

Royal Treatment. I’m not using any kind of special lighting or anything for the photography. Although I have a color corrected monitor because of the work I do, you can see that my color matching is off a bit, especially between these two photos. I believe the closeup photo to be more correct.

The following four skein pairs were dyed on a Louet Gems yarn base. Each skein is 50 g. I haven’t knitted with this yarn yet, but it feels quite nice. These were dyed in short color repeats. I think this will not stripe, but I haven’t knitted any yet to be sure.


Pinyon. I really wasn’t trying to match the colors of the pinyon trees that surround our house. But obviously, these colors have seared themselves into my head. I think it’s pretty much spot on. It’s hard to see on the little branch I included, but the bracts surrounding the base of the needles matches the light gold/staw color in the yarn. There only pinyon color I don’t have represented is the bark.

Golden Rose. My color matching is off again. I know all monitors are different, but I think the photo showing both skeins is more correct in this case.

Teal Green

So, what do you think? Am I on the right track?


I looked through all the sock yarn

November 11, 2009

and decided that gifting/selling/or otherwise disposing of skeins could count toward my 15 project total. After significant deliberation, I decided to part with a skein of Wollmeise.

I listed Poison Nr. 5 on Ebay. I have never actually listed anything on Ebay before today. I am now an “official” seller with three items listed: the Wollmeise and two Day-Timer planner covers I bought several years ago as prizes in a contest that never materialized. I’ve been carting these two leather planner covers (in sizes I don’t use) around for a decade now.

The planner covers were no-brainers. Why not sell them? I hope someone buys them. Keep your fingers crossed for me!



The Wollmeise. Well, that’s a different story. I love this color. Trouble is, I don’t actually wear many clothes in this color and I like my socks to match my clothes. I have other skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn in purples and pinks. I don’t exactly know why I’m attracted to this shade. Fuschia was my favorite crayon color when I was little. I still love it. I just don’t wear it.

Besides, I have three other skeins of Wollmeise in blue/green shades that I will wear. No doubts! One is already wound in preparation for sock project #2. I looked at the three unwound skeins and after careful deliberation, decided, “What the hell.” Poison Nr. 5 is officially listed on ebay.



I suppose I might regret this decision. Or not. Depends how much it sells for!

When I worked for the

November 10, 2009

federal government, we had plenty of freezes. Spending freezes and hiring freezes topped the list.

Nicci, in the Tassie Stitchers Group on Ravelry proposed a Stash Freeze. I’m liking that. She said, “I am now formally on a stash freeze, and may not, not, not, purchase any more yarn until I have made at least 15 items from stash yarn. (in a small voice – unless someone asks what I want for Christmas – that can’t count).”

Well said! I jumped on board; I am number 6 to sign on. I will concentrate on socks to work on trimming the sock yarn stash (although I have heard that sock yarn never counts as stash). Pair 1 is on the needles.

A momentary aside: If that were true about sock yarn not counting, I would have to bail on the whole idea — I can’t even imagine how long it would take me to knit 15 sweaters or 15 lace projects — my other two primary stash components. Forget that. I could never keep away from yarn purchases for that long. So, in this instance, and perhaps this instance only, sock yarn counts as stash.

Thank goodness I got that last little purchase of the Tasmanian wool offered by in at the end of October!


It looks a little splitty to work with. No where near as nice as the Japanese-spun Tasmanian wool that they had at the Handweavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild of Tasmania. But at $2.98 a ball vs. heaps more, (I put that price right out of my mind) I can live with it.

It satisfies my “need” to have some Tasmanian yarn in my stash.


Photo spree of yarn spree

July 14, 2008

Even though work has been hectic and I haven’t had much time to post, that hasn’t kept me from having a few yarn sprees. The highlight took place on a trip to St. Louis to visit mom. We went to three yarn stores: Knit and Caboodle in downtown St. Charles, a small knit shop very close to my mom’s house where I bought her some nice needles and . . . drum roll please . . . The Loopy Ewe!!!

I was too excited to remember to take my Little Loopy inside for pictures and I had a hard time conversing with people–such a shame because everyone was so nice!! I was so overwhelmed at all the choices. Take a nerdy, computer-geek knitter into a the mecca of sock knitting and the ability to interact like a normal human being vanishes. Oh well. As you can see, the inability to speak does not correlate with an inability to shop.

Shopping at The Loopy Ewe

I got some lovely Collinette merino blend and Claudia Handpaints sock yarn at Knit and Caboodle. [Note: Opal’s tail in the photo. She can’t stand me paying attention to anything other than her!]

Shopping at The Loopy Ewe

There are a couple of skeins not shown because these are for Chris in Germany and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Chris is quite an enabler. She told me about The Knitting Goddess in the UK who has a lovely Yak/Merino sock yarn (the three skeins on the left). She also packages up same difference yarn which has two smaller skeins in the same colors but different (two same difference yarns shown on the right).

Goddess Knits

I also heard through one of my knitting lists about a special sale on qiviut/merino at Cottage Craft Angora Mills in Quebec. I hope I have enough to make a sweater:

Qiviut/Merino blend

Oh dear, when I went to check their URL I saw that they now have a qiviut/angora blend special introductory offer. Sounds wickedly nice!

And finally, there was a fiber festival this past weekend just a few miles from home and I came home a happy shopper with yarn, books, heel salve, patterns and gadgets. How’s that for a home-town spree in the yarn-barren San Luis Valley!

Great prices!

Lovely yarns from Crazy Monkey Creations in Colorado Springs!

They, Crazy Monkey Creations, sold the two big 840 yard skeins as closeouts for $6 each! The blue one is an alpaca blend. I really liked the feel of their 65% Merino/35% bamboo sock yarn too. What fun!

Great sale from a store originally located in Winslow,AZ.

What more could a knitter need?

Lest you think I have not been knitting, here’s the latest two pairs of socks:

Kroy Patton in blues

Rainy Day Lace Socks in KTS4 Yarn from KIM!! She's the best.

This last pair is a DK weight merino I received from Kim in the Knitter’s Tea Swap 4. The pattern is Rainy Day Lace from MagKnits. I tried to find the link for you because this is a fun pattern to knit. Alas, my google skills are weak this morning. I’ll see if I can find it and post it later.

I really enjoyed the knitting with the colors in Kim’s yarn. She did a great job of dyeing this skien. The picture just doesn’t do it justice. I picked the Rainy Day pattern because all the soft blues, grays, purples and greens reminded me of light summer rain on garden flowers. I am thinking of these as “slipper” socks because they are so soft and cushy. I may even try to find some soles to sew on to protect them so they last a long time.

Well, the most exciting knitting project will have to be on hold for later this week. A clue: it involves a small dog and a sweater.

Diving dog

May 27, 2008

The sweater is finished and put away for summer:


Sweater in the Wind

The strangely ugly Austermann Step socks are finished:

Socks done.

Opal loves to climb on me.

Although these are about the most unattractive socks I have ever seen, I am in love. They are extremely comfortable. I think it is the combination of the Milanese Lace pattern which makes for a very cushioney feel and the Austermann Step yarn which is infused with jojoba and aloe vera. I wore these inside my work boots when I scooped horse poop in the coral yesterday. A delight!! (The socks, that is. Not the poop.) The work boots have a seam near the top of the foot that usually makes a little red spot on my foot by the time I take them off; but, not yesterday!

I even started a new pair of socks. Can you tell I had a nice relaxing holiday?

I specifically picked this yarn, even though it is by far NOT the most exciting in my stash because it will be a very quick knit. I set a goal for myself: 10 pairs of socks knitted by the end of summer. I am counting September as a summer month even though here in the Valley it usually feels much more like fall. But hey, it’s my goal; I’ll make the rules. I am counting the ugly Austermann’s as pair 1. So, if I can average two pairs a month, I should make it. However, many other projects tempt me. Another sweater perhaps? A shawl? Lyra? Too many choices, so little time.

I have some amazing sock yarns in my stash now: a wonderful yarn gift from Chris in Germany (right), a lovely skein of Lisa Souza yarn (center–too bad the subtle color doesn’t show very well–it’s mother of pearl and it is so beautiful!), and I had to compare the Lisa Souza hardtwist petite to some Sock Pixie yarn (left) because the yarn base looked so similar. I just wanted to see them together. Of the three, the Handgefaerbt from Chris feels the best. It has an amazing sheen to it and is very, very soft. Of course, I don’t mean to diminish the other two gorgeous yarns in any way!

Meanwhile, little Opal is getting much bigger. Here she is at five months:

I find her antics terribly amusing. Ever the proud mom. This weekend, I was washing out the tea pot and there were a few stray green tea leaves floating about. Since the dogs needed water, I just poured the water with the tea leaves into their bowl. This fascinated Opal to no end. First she tried scooping them out with her foot.

Then she tried diving for them, submersing most of her head into the bowl and making bubbles.

I finally took her outside with the bowl because she was making such a mess. Done diving? No way!

I had to toss out the water and replace it with fresh to get her to stop. What a little goof.

Back at work; but not working

April 3, 2008

As much as I love traveling, there are a few things I hate. You know–dealing with all the stuff you have to do before you go. For me that involves:

Horses. (Where can they safely stay without needing food or water delivered daily? Thankfully the neighbor offered pasture which helped their brains after a long winter in the coral and also took care of their bodies!)

Chickens. (I gave the last four to the Amish boy who watched them for me last year–he likes chickens as much as I do–sad to have them gone forever but good that they are in a nice home. I just didn’t have time to rebuild the side of their pen that the snow took out this winter and I KNOW the fox would have eaten them if the girls strayed from their electric-fence protected enclosure.)

Cat. (She had to live alone in her room with a giant-sized litter box and self watering and feeding containers. After seven days, Godzilla-aka Ida Rose-the cat was ready to go outside for a while! I couldn’t believe how HUGE she was.)

Dogs. (They went to the Dog Days Inn in Alamosa, which turned out to be great!)

Work. (I had to deal with last minute projects and make sure clients knew I would be gone.)

Packing. (What to take. How many shoes. How much room to leave for wine-which ended up being totally unnecessary since we just had most of it shipped so we didn’t have to deal with it. Only bad part is that it still hasn’t arrived yet.)


yada yada yada. You know. All the details.

Then you go. And it’s great. You see wonderful things.

View of the N. California coast

Calla lilies naturalized all over the place!

And you drink some good wine:

And you find some pretty sock yarn at the yarn stores along the way:
Trekking pro natura and two skeins of Colinette Jitterbug

This picture doesn’t do the Trekking justice. It is a wool/bamboo blend in denim shades. Yummy. And of course the Colinette Jitterbug is incredibly gorgeous.

And you use the cutest little HiyaHiya circular needles imaginable to get around TSA’s restrictions on metal knitting needles.

Milanese Lace socks in Austermann

Hmmm. Too small to see clearly in that picture. Let me try again:

HiyaHiya US0 9-inch circular needle

Can you believe I was actually able to knit through the heel turn with these 9-inch circular needles? From needle tip to cable join is only 1.85 inches long. The actual bamboo needle segment is only 1.5 inches long. The entire circular actually measures 9.25 inches.

It was a challenge and I couldn’t wait to get this pair back on my 8-inch double points. But, it was kind of fun to knit with needles this small. Great airplane solution and I enjoyed stretching my ability some.

I even got a pair of socks started on the way home with the Zitron Lifestyles yarn I bought while we were in California:

My very own pattern!

After the not-so-scratchy socks, I have completely gotten over my fear of sock knitting sans pattern. I bravely embarked upon this pair with a nod from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s “Knitter’s Almanac.” I used a cable pattern she mentioned in that book to embellish the sides of this pair of socks. I think it is quite successful so far. They have some interest without too much competition to the lovely self-patterning/striping yarn. I got another quick nod from The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook on the heel and I have invented my own way (ie not so elegant yet–but I’m working on it) of adding in reinforcement to the bottom of the heel where I always wear my socks out first.

So many good things about vacations.

However, the problem with vacations for me happens when I get home. Getting back to work. I loose my mojo.

I am at work. I am at my desk. I have everything open to where it should be and I have all the notes I need in front of me. But for the life of me, I can’t get anything done.

Vacation hangover perhaps?


March 3, 2008

Could it be that this pair of socks is jinxed?

The Knittery Cashmere Merino

Don’t you just love the colors of The Knittery yarn? It is so soft! It’s really a lovely yarn to work with.

Perhaps Chris in Germany has it right, I am not supposed to knit with this yarn now; instead, I am supposed to be knitting the Boyfriend Socks. She suggests this because she knitted a pair with yarn I sent her. They are lovely! I have the same yarn in my stash and wouldn’t it be fun to have a pair for me too!

But, I was dragging my feet because the cables scare me! Instead, I thought, a nice quick lace pair first. If you’ve read prior posts, you saw that I struggled with Anne Hanson’s pattern. Then I thought, OK, a top down with something less than 60 stitches would be better. I took the lace cuff from Evelyn Clark’s Girlfriend Socks, added an extra knit between repeats to make it a 7-stitch pattern, then transitioned into a 14-stitch repeat lace pattern from a sweater I liked. I eliminated the knit row between pattern rows to make the lace more compressed. I just liked the way it looked.

So far, so good. But, I took it off the doublepoint needles and put it onto a cable needle to try it on. Good idea. Won’t fit over my heel. Not easily anyway. Hmmm. 60 stitches too big. 56 stitches too small. Back to the drawing board.

I did like the way they were turning out. I guess I’ll just have to save this idea for another yarn, another time.

Meanwhile, here’s wicked dog:

The Knittery Cashmere Merino

That’s my sleeve in case you are wondering. She is a willfull little beast. Sometimes we tell her “NO!” and she gets so angry she isn’t being allowed to do what she wants, that she will stand there, stare into your face, and bark right back at you.

What a funny little creature. In spite of the occassional wicked moment, we will miss this stage after she grows out of it.

We’ve reached a truce

February 21, 2008

We’ve settled, for the time being, on the name “Opal” for the newest family member.
Opal with Christmas Man in the background
She’s a ball of fire! In the background of the picture above, you can see one of her favorite toys. I call it “Christmas Man.” Note the red nose on Christmas Man right above her head. This is happy thing. It means that instead of my fingers, she bites the nose part of the time.

We’ve reached a knitting truce. She lets me knit occasionally. In exchange, I tickle her belly, pull toys around the house on strings, hold her in my lap, feed her, clean up poop, take her outside, show her where to look for mice, teach her how to be nice to Jakob, let her chew on my zipper pulls, give her bits of mail to play with and otherwise serve as playmate, mom and teacher.

Even so, I did manage to finish one of the scratchy socks except for the kitchener at the toe. The other sock just needs another inch or so before I start toe decreases. If all goes well, I’ll finish them tonight and move onto The Knittery cashmere/merino. YUMM.

New aquisitions include some wonderful yarn from Miss Babs.
Miss Babs
Don’t you just love the Rose Garden skein?
Rose Garden
Also stunning are the Pigeon Roof Studios:
Above: Dovecoat. Below: Fig.

Ah, the luxury of more yarn than time. It is so lovely to crawl up into the loft where I keep the yarn and be away from Miss Opal and her little milk teeth for a moment or two. I pet the yarn, look at all the colors, dream about what I will knit and then descend back into the Wild Kingdom.

Spend a few minutes with Opal in the evening and it won’t be a mystery why the resident non-knitter and I keep humming the song “Wild Thing.”

Which Category do You Fit In?

November 30, 2007

Maybe I’ve just been looking in all the wrong places; but, lately, I’ve been seeing two kinds of knitting blogs. Half are written by attractive, thin, young blonde women who knit amazingly fast. The other half are written by middle aged, slightly overweight, older white women, who knit amazingly fast. I fear I fall into the latter category minus the knitting amazingly fast part.

So, it was with delight that I stumbled across Does Anybody Give a Damn? today. Deawn lists her occupation as “Diva” and has some absolutely fantastic photos of guinea pigs. Oh yes, and she knits too. Her Clapotis is lovely. I strongly recommend a trip down the page to look at some of Deawn’s older posts, including the August 29 one regarding a museum in Iceland. What a hoot!

Along the same vein, I thought I would include one photo of some yarn p*rn.

Yarn from The Knittery in Australia

Once again, Jakob is providing the obligatory-animal-part-adjacent-to-yarn shot. Thanks Jake!

I got the yarn at The Knittery’s closeout sale on 100 percent Merino wool for socks. 15 percent off. Might as well buy four skeins if you are shipping to the US. That’s where the postal price break is.

Something to Talk About

November 6, 2007

If you went back, and read the posts from the begining–which wouldn’t take very long to do at this point–you would see that I started out with the intention of writing every day. Within a day or so, I realized this was an unrealistic goal. I don’t usually work on the computer on weekends (although lately I have!). So, I revamped my goal to posting five days a week. Then, when I got slammed with even more work, I backed off to a few times a week. Now that I am working very long days, the lyrics from that Bonnie Raitt song, “Let’s give them something to talk about . . .” run through my head. Why post unless I’ve got something really worth talking about!

Today I interviewed a gentleman who, among other things, runs an antique store. I met him at his store, the Golden Fleece in Del Norte, Colorado, for the interview. Of course I looked around. What I found: a pair of hand knitted socks, presumably dating from 1878 because of the knitted date near the top band.

What follows will be picture intensive. I am so amazed at the skill this knitter displayed!

cotton hand knitted socks

First a quick overview of the pair and basic details. The toe and heel:

Star toe


Lovely stitch pattern on the front and back of the leg leading up to the top band with the knitter’s initials. I think it’s “AML” although, this is hard for me to see.

front of leg

Presumably the knitter's initials

back of leg

back of foot and lower leg

The attention to detail is fantastic. I love the “mouse-teeth” picot finish and the stitch work is so fine inside.

Mouse-teeth edging

pattern detail, cables and lace!

Here’s the date: 1878.

date knitted at top

What do you think? Authentic or not? There are in such amazing condition. They look unworn.

I’m guessing this would be worked on a 00 or 000 needle; but, I’m not sure. They appear to be a nice soft cotton. The foot is rather small; perhaps, a women’s size 5 or 6 by today’s measurements. I would appreciate any thoughts from the experts out there! I have larger images. Let me know if I need to load them.