Acts of Knitting and Nerdery

This is the story of my awesome pink Chiberia Socks.

Chiberia Free Sock Pattern

Greetings from #Chiberia!

I really wanted to try a Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I’d seen so much love given to this bizarrely named heel method that I had to, HAD TO try it. Moral imperatives and all that.

And I really wanted to make some socks with this yarn that I dyed awhile back. Apparently I neglected to take a photo of it properly skeined, but this is what it looked like while it was drying…

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I’m still under Black Friday’s thumb, so on Saturday I dyed more yarn. I haven’t made much progress on my current knitting project since Black Friday is a needy little bitch. Dyeing is much less demanding, only needing attention in short bursts.

This time out, my friend Maarit picked peach mango. Amy asked for grape. And I wanted teal, which I figured that I could get out of a combo of mixed berry and a teal egg tablet.

Here’s the before shot:

Undyed merino wool yarn

First I laid a base color of peach mango, which is also a dark, slightly orange-toned yellow, precisely the color of mango flesh.  Read more…

For the microscopic minority of you who don’t know me in real life, by day I am an SEO Manager, and one of the websites I work with deals with all things Black Friday. We post all of the Black Friday ad leaks we can get our hands on, and because they’re leaks and not official releases from the retailers, they can come at any time of day. When they arrive, my phone sounds an alarm that strongly implies that we’re all on a submarine and about to die. I picked it because it had to be loud and obnoxious enough to wake me up in the middle of the night. When the alarm sounds, I must drop what I’m doing and attend to whatever just happened. That pretty much kills my social life, since I either must bring my laptop with me everywhere, or just resign myself to never going anywhere.

For me, Black Friday isn’t just a single bargain basement shopping day – it’s more like 30 days of house arrest with a colicky baby. I’m more or less trapped at home by Black Friday, and since I’m going a bit stir crazy (with 19 more days to go), I’m doing whatever I can to keep myself entertained.

And do you know what I find entertaining? DYEING YARN. Who’da thunk it, right? (Shut up.) So I ordered myself a bunch of Knit Picks Bare fingering (get your mind out of the gutter, Dave, it’s yarn). Thank you to the internet gods who magically bring whatever my heart desires directly to my front door…

For my first skein in this batch, I polled my Facebook friends: which Kool-Aid colors should I use?

“Black cherry,” the abovementioned Dave wrote. And thus it was decided.

But I’ve never been able to bring myself to just dye a skein of yarn a single color. I’m a variegated yarn junkie, and it totally shows in my experiments with Kool-Aid and my slow cooker. Here’s the before photo.

Yarn Before Kool-Aid Dye

 

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I spent a day at Stitches Midwest this summer. It was my first yarn convention. It was okay. Yes, I bought some yarn (though not that much, only three skeins), and some stitch markers. I really did not go crazy. I don’t have much to say about it, other than it was a lot of yarn in a big fluorescent-lit warehouse convention center type place.

Towards the end of the day, I spotted a sweater sample on a mannequin and immediately I knew I had to make it. It was lacy, and soft and fuzzy and drapey and OHMYGOD I HAD TO MAKE IT.

$7 later I had a copy of Knitter’s Magazine with the pattern. It had some crazy looking thing on the cover that the guy I was dating at the time referred to as the “space lamprey sweater”. If you have this magazine, you totally know how perfect that is.

I did not make the space lamprey sweater. I did make the Lush and Lacy Trapeze by Brooke Nico, and I even made it with the same gray Lotus Mimi yarn, which is 100% mink. Did you know they make mink yarn? Because I didn’t know they make mink yarn, and it is surprisingly affordable, and it is my new most favoritest thing. It is so flippin’ soft. I could pet it all day.

Here, look at this cool thing that I made.

Lush and Lazy Trapeze Sweater Read more…

Ahh, the classic school essay, “What I did on my summer vacation”.

Suddenly, I discovered sock knitting. And it was just in time for summer, when the idea of a heavy pile of wool on your lap is really kind of gross. So I pulled all of my sock yarn out of my stash and piled it up on top of the bookshelves in my living room and started making socks.

Okay. Back up.

I made one pair of socks, using some pretty green stuff from Fleur de Fiber, which is awesome stuff dyed by my friend Angela.

Green Hand Knit Socks

Pattern: Charade / Yarn: Fleur de Fiber

Lo, I realized that I liked making socks! I had more hats and scarves than any one person needs, so this revelation was welcome, because I don’t believe that it’s possible to have too many socks.

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It’s been awhile, eh? Sorry about that. I’ve been a bit busy. And lazy. But oh well.Norway Knitting on TV

Anyway, right now (and I mean if it’s still Friday, November 1, 2013 RIGHT NOW) the entire population of Norway is watching a bunch of people knit on TV.

It’s brilliantly mundane and I didn’t watch for very long before getting very bored, but I will say this much: knitting directly from the spinning wheel is a special kind of badassery.

Norway, you cray cray, and I think you just rocketed to the top of my list of places to visit in the world.

I ♥ U

 

I was positively dying over $5 in Paris after Christmas. It’s a dead simple striped, seamless sweater and I totally had to make one. Immediately.

I started it out with some orange and gray KnitPicks Swish Worsted, but quickly figured out that I didn’t have enough of the carrot orange. Lo and behold, KnitPicks had discontinued the color and no one who had it stashed on Ravelry was willing to part with it. After much pouting, I went in a totally different direction. I picked up some Berroco Vintage in gold and teal at Windy Knitty and started over.

Of course, I called it $5 in Chicago. (Even though the yarn cost me considerably more than $5.)

Then I was a terrible knitting blogger and didn’t take any photos of it. Well, in my defense, self-portraits are hard, and having to shoot in the winter is hard since the light is gone, and so not much knitwear photography has been getting done lately.

But then I went to Los Angeles on a short vacation to visit friends and just happened to wear my $5 in Paris to the beach in Santa Monica. First, I made one of my friends take a picture of me with this cannon, just so I could get a good picture of the sweater for the blog.

$5 in Paris Sweater

I’m told this cannon is a famous Santa Monica landmark, though no one could tell me why.

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It’s been quiet around this here blog lately. That’s what happens when all of your projects are for people who are known to peek in at this thing from time to time.  I’ve been knitting like mad to get things done.

Undina Dress for Brianna

My 3 and a half year old niece Brianna turned up in a photo a few days ago wearing a sweater I made for her when she was about 21 months. “Does that really still fit her??” I asked my sister in disbelief. “Not really,” she replied, “But she loves it and wants to wear it anyway.” Brianna is also going through a phase wherein she insists on wearing only dresses. Apparently, pants have been deemed unacceptable. So I made her a new sweater dress.

Undina Sweater Dress

The pattern for Brianna’s dress is Undina and Lir. I made the Undina version, adding an extra 3 inches to make it more of a dress for our little fashionista. Yarn is Knit Picks Swish Bare DK dyed with Kool-Aid in my slow cooker.

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I’ve been quiet. But see, there’s this thing called “Christmas” coming up, so blogging about what I’m working on is kinda not happening.

But I can give you a sneak peek at the yarn I dyed for two of my secret Christmas projects.

Yarn dyed with Kool-Aid in a slow cooker

Secret Project #1

Secret Project #2

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I started this project back in February when I decided that what I wanted more than anything else in the world was a big smooshy orange scarf. I found the softest cream-colored chunky baby alpaca, gave it the crockpot treatment to make it orange. The scarf became my train project, and then was set aside as I moved from Rogers Park to Edgewater and the weather warmed. I picked it up again a few weeks ago and now, ta da! I have a soft, warm orange scarf.

Orange Drop Stitch Scarf

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