Sunday, August 28, 2011


I keep saying I want to update this more regularly. Apparently I stink at doing so. I could make a long list of excuses, but I won't. I will say it's partially due to the fact that I discovered that my blogger droid ap was pushing ads onto my phone. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind seeing ads at the bottom of free aps, but pop ups, no way! So I un-installed it.

So, As I mentioned before, I finished my hitchhiker scarf! I even managed to get 42 teeth, even though the last one was 2 rows short. Joe even managed to take a good picture of me wearing it, which is nice. I have very few pictures of myself I like sharing.

Since I finished the hitchhiker, I've been knitting away. I managed to bind off the left front of my whisker cardi. I you all remember me talking about that a bit back. That just leaves the right front and the sleeves. Then all the finishing tid bits that I hate.

I've also resumed my fancy socklets, which were the culprits responsible for the breaking of my needle several months ago. I had managed to cast on and do 3 increase rows on the toe before the needle snapped. As you can see they are coming along well. These are from the Knit Picks fancy feet anklets kits. It is the Saturday pattern done in twinkle heather. The yarn is really fantastic It's soft and sproingy and not splitty in the least. The  stitch pattern is really showing up nicely. This is my first time following a pattern blindly, without doing all the math myself. I was really trepidatious about them fitting properly. It gives 2 different stitch counts for the cast on based on foot size, but the rest of the sock is all 1 stitch count. The heel you start once you are ready, it doesn't give a set length or anything. Which is good and I would have ignored it any way. What's amazing, is that I'm trying on the sock as I go and so far it is fitting well!!

Other than that, I've started horseback riding again. His name is Tiny and he's a lovely 18 hand Belgian lad. It's been fun to get back in the saddle. Riding was always the one form of exercise that I enjoyed. I will say it's a lot harder now that I am older and fatter. However, muscle memory is a blessing. Tiny's a lot of work, but at least I enjoy it.

You'll probably be seeing more regular project updates from me, and hopefully more reviews (I have lots of them to write up). I am doing the Harry Potter Knitting & Crochet House Cup on Ravelry this fall. One of the requirements for it is that you do a project a month. So I'll have lots of knitting to write about! Also, I might be going to Japan in October, so look out for more on that.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


So, just a side note, I updated some of my Sock Summit posts to include pictures and correct some typos caused by using swype to write them on my phone.

So, when I am looking to buy almost anything online, I like to look at reviews. I also like to look at lots of pictures. Since I've been knitting, I've noticed there aren't a lot of reviews out there for knitting tools. Sure, Vogue Knitting and others have some, but that's once every couple of months. Particularly, I've noticed project bags are quite limited on photos and reviews. I love project bags and am in fact addicted to them. However, they have to have the right kind of pockets and other things. So I am cautious when buying new ones. With that in mind and to help out my fellow knitters, I've decided to start doing reviews on my project bags and possibly other knitting tools on my blog. I am going to try and do a new one every Wednesday. If you guys like my reviews, let me know. If you know of another site doing project bag reviews, let me know. If you have any questions I don't address in my review leave a comment and I'd be happy to provide other information.

With just 1 caveat I'll begin this review. Please keep in mind that my reviews are in no way endorsed or influenced by the companies whose products I am reviewing. These are just my thoughts on products I have purchased. All photos are take by me (currently on my cell phone, I am hoping to buy a good camera soon). If this is your product and you wish to talk to me about my review, feel free to email me or leave a comment.

Slipped Stitch Studios sock bag
Since I am still in post Sock Summit recovery, I'll start with the sock project bag and pattern wallet I got there from Slipped Stitch Studios. I have been lusting after her products for some time, but given the cost and lack of interior bag pictures I wasn't sure about them. So I was excited to see she was at Sock Summit and I could look at and handle her bags in person before making a commitment. Laura had made some sock project bags to debut at the Summit (they aren't available on her Etsy page yet) and was offering a show exclusive price. Sadly I don't have my receipt, but I recall it being $16. These were available in her super cute assortment of fabrics. Mine is blue with hedgehogs and hearts on it. She also had her miPattern saver wallets $5 off with purchase of a magnet set. So I couldn't resist.

interior of Slipped Stitch bag
Let me start with the bag. It fit my 425 yard ball of sock yarn quite comfortably. It has 2 interior pockets which are roomy enough that I stick my needles in them when not in use and I could fit more. They are perfect for cable needles, altoid tins, spare needles ect... They are about 5in deep and 4in across and my caked ball of yarn sits mostly below the edge of the pocket with the bag open. The drawstring is handy when I'm feeding yarn through the top. It allows my cake to stay safe from the cat hair, while letting me easily knit from it still.

miPattern Saver Wallet
miPattern Saver Wallet and
The miPattern Saver Wallet is also great. Especially with the addition of the pattern magnets. The wallet fits several pages of regular 8.5x11" paper with no problem. I had a 5 page pattern in there last week and felt I could fit more easily. The magnet was strong enough to hold all the pages in place as well. The magnet is actually 2 magnets covered with fabric on one side  so that it is hinged with fabric on one end. This allows it to be used on non magnetic surfaces, but it also means the magnets must be lined up. This leads to my only complaint about the pattern wallet and magnets. When moving the magnet along a lace chart, I found that I had to stick my whole hand into the wallet to move the magnet up to the next line. This made it a bit cumbersome and annoying. So I ended up only moving it every couple rows or just moving when I was done knitting for a bit to mark where I left off. That said the magnets are quite strong and despite lots of jostling in the knitting bag, the magnet never moved between uses. The pocket in the back of the pattern wallet is perfect for storing your magnets or a folded up pattern or other supplies.

In addition the fabric used on all of these items is quite nice. The stitching is well hidden and very sturdy. After a week of heavy use I did not observe any wear or other issues. So from a structure and quality view point, these are also top notch.

I highly recommend these and can only imagine that Laura must put the same attention to detail into her other Slipped Stitch Studios products. They are a little pricey, but given the durability, lovely assortment of fabrics to choose from and attention to details, I think they are worth the cost.

This weekend I'll be posting about the books I just finished reading and my completed project.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A week late and a skein short

So, this will wrap up my sock summit report. I meant to do this last sunday when I got home, but I was simply exhausted. I was in bed by 8:30 and had to be up for work monday morning.

Saturday morning, I had a volunteer session in the bookstore again. It was fun, I got to meet some more authors. I also picked up 2 of Cat Bordhi's sock books. The reason for the books (other than I've been wanting them) was this mysterious whirlpool heel on the f2f pattern description. I wanted to be prepared.

Saturday afternoon was the planning for self striping success class. It was really good and taught us to forget measuring our socks and let the stripes do the talking.

Saturday evening was Stephanie's (The Yarn Harlot) lecture. It was nothing short of hysterically funny, informative and thought provoking.

After all that, Clarine and I decided to get some dinner. We decided seafood sounded good and after consulting google maps, we decided on South Park Seafood Grill and Wine Bar. It was quite lovely. I redeemed oysters and chardonnay for Clarine, so my work was done. After our lovely dinner, we walked over to Rougue where I had a ginger beer that was fantastic and I got to meet an author friend of Clarine's. I made a much later night of it than I wanted to, considering the f2f competition the next morning.

So, Sunday morning I was pretty nervous. I was actually too worked up to drink my coffee which is saying a lot. I met up with my team ahead of time, we were all wearing our matching t-shirts. Thankfully we got the pattern early on, do we to review it and divide it up. It seems my panic was for naught. The cast-on's were all of our choosing as were the bind-off's. For the specific bits, clear instructions were given with a key. The only thing I looked up was a refresher on provisional cast-on's.

The sheep were adorable, and watching them get sheared was fun. Once the fleece was distributed, things were in motion. I got a quick and dirty lesson in flicking fleece and helped get our spinners stocked. Once they had spun enough yarn to get me started, I went to work on the toes. I did 2 at a time magic loop. Interestingly the increases called for in the pattern were the same ones I had learned in my Friday class. So thank goodness I asked for extra help with those.

Toes being fiddly and time consuming, I finished them around noon. Just in time for lunch. After quickly eating a hot dog and drinking nearly a liter of water I was ready to go again. I moved on to doing the leg of the sock, which had a lovely lace pattern.

2 of the pieces I knitted for f2f
A few notes here. This fleece came straight off the sheep, with not time to wash it. While the sheep wore coats, there was still some vegetable matter. Also, all of the natural lanolin was still on the wool. So while my hands were soft, there was this pervasive smell. As I knit with it, the wool warmed up and it just made it smell worse.

It was a lot of fun. There were reporters and importers running around and taking pictures and asking questions. In the end, my team won. We raised almost $400 for doctors without borders. My thumbs hurt for 3 days.

Since sock summit, I have finished my hitchiker and started a new secret project. It is for a steampunk swap on ravelry. I'll post pics of tge hitchiker shortly dvds the other project once my swapee received it.
yarn bombing at Sock Summit

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