Saturday, June 03, 2006

saturdays are for slumber, staying dry, socks, and swaps!

there's been a lot of undocumented [for multiple reasons] news over the past couple weeks. here we go, in chronological order:

luscious littles from yahaira

samples from pureknits

even though i didn't get the freebie bamboo hank from yahaira, she was sweet enough to send me some stuff in the mail anyway! included with a handwritten note were some sample mini-hanks of pureknits bamboo (both the older base and the new, awesomely saturated stuff) and a tuft of fable handknits baby alpaca. this i will tuck away to swatch on a rainy day. (which literally, at least in boston these days, are about a dime a dozen.) the bamboo is so silky and über-bright!


head-scratchers from secret pal 8

secret pal is über sneaky!my secret pal must be a mind-reader, because i have loved (the drama! the agony!) scavenger hunts since the day i was born. i still remember going on mad easter basket hunts and following clues written out by my mom. this even led to mystery hunting at mit and even beta-testing a friend's hunt (which clearly needed testing). anyway, my secret pal is keeping my goods hostage until i can identify her blog conclusively through the clues which she will dole every month. how fantastic is that! this first clue reads: the love of a queen gave me my name / shared by those on page, screen, and stage / my beauty and flight gave rise to dance / but now mostly take naps and prance. cleopatra. elizabeth. victoria. mary. guenevere. queen of hearts (alice in wonderland). lady macbeth. dancing queen (abba). hmmm. so i'm guessing that my pal has a pet (or a small child) that is named after a queen character (because what else may nap and prance?). i also know some other hints, such as that she is from jacksonville, florida (at least the return address says so); and her name (or so i know thus far) is 'kate' (she accidentally signed her name on an email). or was that an intentional booby trap? aiya! i will be sleuthing for a bit... :) this game is so enthralling...



spring feverish over candyswap

candyswappers! candyswappers!
candyswappers!vive la candyswappers! is there anything more brilliant than to arrange partners and send yummy things to each other? beth from portland completely blew spring out of the water with her package, which i breathlessly tore into on thursday evening. she packed a bunch of colourful treats, including mike + ike, hawaiian tropical taffy, ring pops, a candy chinese yo-yo toy, toffifay, a candy necklace, sumptuous blueberry cheesecake cookies, and choxie chocolate-covered espresso beans. to top it off, she even included an assortment of botanical notecards and a sweet handwritten note. smiles galore! unsurprisingly, my roommates also appreciate the extra sugar around the apartment. :) the toffifay is hazelnutty goodness, and the most fun seems to be popping them out of the tight plastic holding tray...



a luxurious bounty from my one skein secret pal!

one skein pal swap!

on a day like today, pouring rain from morning til evening, seeing a box on my porch stamped with cats and pawprints on the exterior hinted a ray of brightness. i took it in, noticing an absence of a return address (though the departure zipcode suggests my OSSP is from california), and quickly opened the kitty-fied package. hidden within a thick haystack of shredded paper (yay for recycling! boo to plastic and styrofoam shipping materials!) were a treasure trove of items beyond imagination. mind you, the only true criteria for this swap is just to sent one skein of any yarn, and an included handwritten note. catmum (her pseudonym) send a baggy of scharffenberger and nestle (japanese-style!) chocolate with a cute recipe for fruit and chocolate curls, a mix cd with artists ranging from sneaker pimps to piazzolla, and a short story about a japanese kitty (it starts out 'I AM A CAT'). secret pal already is knocking socks off my feet, and then i see this...

one skein pal swap!

200 yards of luscious, luscious 4-ply 100% mongolian cashmere! in a beautiful bright chartreuse! i simultaneously swooned and fondled the hank. it's KEJA, the mill-dyed line, from jade sapphire. this is a yarn so luxurious, so ridiculously extravagant that i would never in the world buy it for myself. but my OSSP chooses instead to splurge for me. it's unreal... thank you so much!

the fate of the yarn is still up in the air, but i'm deeply considering the ribbed undulations of kureopatora's snake scarf (here's a beautiful beginning WIP of one), or the subtle lace in ribbed leaves scarf. thoughts? any suggestions for what do make in the future with this supersoft sweet lime yarn? :) *nuzzle*


sock drama

here's the fated yarn, the socks that rock i purchased while at the oregon coast with la famille niknak last summer, and its had numerous fits and starts. at first it began as a jaywalkers attempt, but that pattern and my ankles do not get along. rip. recently, now with some toe-up socks two at a time on two circulars under my belt, i thought i'd give this yarn another incarnation as cable twist socks. after a tumultuous time starting the pair (i would do annoying things like accidentally knit with the other dangling end, or somehow end up knitting the two separate socks together), i increased until i thought it was decent, at 64 stitches. i did one and a half 8 row repeats of the pattern, and sat back and saw this:

socks that suck socks that suck

the colouring on the toes are adorable. however, once it gets to the static circumference, there's a whole lotta flashing going on. see that one side is morphing into one red blob, the other is conjoining into a blue mass? if i continue the whole sock will be hideously unwearable. no good.

back to the drawing board. froggies.

this afternoon, following a delightfully nostalgic lunch at rosebud diner in davis square, we chilled out at someday café and i got cracking on redoing the socks. voilà, magic happened at 56 stitches around.

socks that are tending to rock socks that are tending to rock

as i was explaining what happened between attempt 1 and attempt 2 for this yarn and these socks, nick asked me if there was some sort of topological equation that one could perform, taking the yarn colouring as the parameter, that could calculate the optimal choices of number of cast-on stitches for a sock to prevent pooling or flashing. hot idea, right? i think that that might be something that keeps me up at night... i'd be surprised if a dogged knitter hasn't figured this out on their own already. i think you would probably also need to consider needle size and tension in the calculation, because goodness knows i'm a tighty. right now i'm getting about 8 sts = 1" on size 2 needles with the STR farmhouse in either lightweight or mediumweight, whatever it was before they started offering three distinct weights. anyone know?

we watched godard's masculin féminin tonight. not enough energy to write an extensive review at this moment; perhaps tomorrow. however, i must confess that i love the 60's fashion aesthetic! supersimple swing shifts and unashamedly flirty bobs. i love the boldly striped "C" scarf and coat ensemble that madeleine wears out on the town. it's all about peter pan collars, full a-line silhouettes, and white mod boots.

[it's still raining. i'm glad i have a blanket to hide under tonight.]

1 Comments:

Blogger Reese said...

oooh yahaira sent you yarn!! what will you make with it? and wow you participate in a lot of swaps! i've only participated in one (dye-o-rama) so i am impressed when people do more than one. hahaha... scharffenberger!!! oh how i love them.

you can totally calculate how much is the optimum amount to cast on using a bit o the maths. measure about how long a couple of the colour repeats are. then knit some up on the needles you like. pick some random amount of stitches like say 40. then rip them out and measure how much yarn it took to knit them. now you have stitches/inch or cm of yarn and length of colour repeats. you should be able to figure out how many stitches you can get per colour repeat this way.

i'm sure you could write an algorithm for this, but honestly, i'm TOO lazy for it! me and excel do just fine together.

1:36 PM  

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