Friday, June 29, 2007


i finally realised today what that often-used knitting abbreviation "knit in st st" actually means. many people will think that it translates as "knit in stocking stitch"; that is to say, knit one row & purl the next. but today, its deeper meaning became clear: "st st" actually stands for "stockinette stupor".
this is something that many knitters will have experienced without knowing the technical term. also little-known is the fact that "stockinette stupor" is in itself an abbreviation, the long translation of which is as follows:

"you will take some yarn & needles, and sit down with a cup of coffee one morning to cast on for your next project, which initially calls for you to knit for some time in st st. after a few rows, a strange feeling will come over you; your mind may begin to wander. suddenly, you will be brought back to yourself by one of the two following things: you have a sharp, shooting pain in your hands, wrists, arms and/or shoulders; or, you have run out of yarn. upon coming back from the stupor you will then realise the following:
- it is now three o'clock in the afternoon
- your coffee has long since gone cold
- you have forgotten to eat any lunch
- at least 10 inches of stockinette sleeve have appeared in front of you
while under the influence of a stockinette stupor, it is possible that you may still continue to do the following things, although you will most likely not be aware that you are doing them:
- breathe
- remember to go to the loo as & when needed
- answer the phone and/or reply to any conversational attempts made by passing people
- serve customers, ring up sales, and take money
a knitter under the influence of a stockinette stupor cannot & should not be held responsible for their actions while in this state."

seriously - i have no idea how this happened.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

a pair of prize monkeys

these beauties are washed, blocking, and nearly ready to wing their way off (flying monkeys?) to their new home in LA, where they are hoping to see a palm tree.


i finally managed to make it over to claudia's blog (i've been internet-deficient for a few days), and here's the final tally:

$40, 190.

how crazy is that?? the mind, it boggles. & not only that, but for the final raffle (& this is just on claudia's blog, & doesn't count the offshoot raffles like anne's draw & the monkey sock draw here) there were nearly 200 prizes donated as well. us knitters, eh? we're something else.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

monkey socks are go!


lawebchick, you are (or will be soon) the proud owner of a brand spanking new pair of monkey socks, knitted especially for you, because you are a kind & generous person. (everyone else who got in touch with me is kind & generous too, but alas i only have one pair of socks to give away!). i've emailed you to get your address & foot size so i can finish the socks - so far i've taken the foot length on both socks to five pattern repeats (my foot, which is a UK 6, takes six pattern repeats, so i figured this would give me a good leeway for foot sizes either side of mine).


i have been checking claudia's blog obsessively today but haven't yet seen her final tally; as of last time i checked, though, her donations had crashed through the $35000 mark. aren't we incredible?? my little-read blog alone got 22 comments & a further 25 emails from people who donated - pretty exciting!
thanks to everyone who donated & left me comments or emails - i'm still in awe that so many people can pull together for such a good cause. i'll be finishing the socks this week & mailing them off to their new home, wherever that may be (although, & i'm just guessing based on the winner's name - maybe LA? how glamorous!).

Friday, June 22, 2007


dear blog,
you may have been wondering where i've been lately. i know it's been an awfully long time, and i have no good explanation. i do have something important to tell you; you may be shocked & upset to hear it but there's no good way to do this except to say it straight out.

there's someone else.


yes, it's true - i got my ravelry invitation last week, and i'm completely smitten. for the past several days, ravelry & i have been wantonly (for there is no other word for it) uploading pictures, cataloguing my yarn stash, keeping track of my needles, patterns, & books, listing my projects & finished knits, and browsing together through her many & vast databases.
i'm sorry if this is hurtful, but please don't take it personally. you should have known from my knitting habits that i'm not the kind of girl who can be tied down - i can't limit myself to one project, or pattern style, or type of yarn, so why would you expect that i could limit myself to one website?
don't get me wrong, dear blog, i love you & i always will. but ravelry has features that you don't, & can fulfill aspects of my knitting life that you just can't. while my involvement with other websites may have been mere flirtations that you knew would never last, i must admit that my feelings for ravelry run deep, & i know that this is the start of something big.
& so i wonder, dear blog....

... how do you feel about an open relationship?

Sunday, June 17, 2007


for a limited time... all sock yarn on the old maiden aunt site is on sale!! only £10 per skein including UK postage (£2 extra for international postage). i've got a pile of new dyeing yarn coming in soon & i'm lacking storage space, so take advantage of my small workroom & get some lovely handdyed sock yarn for a bargain price! only one skein available in each colourway so get them fast...

nothing but blue skiestulips from amsterdam

that 70s sockplum pudding

brown eyes bluecandy girl

Monday, June 11, 2007

home alone

with the RSA away all day saturday & sunday for work & family things, i was faced with an entire weekend on my own. & with so much free time on our hands, we didn't really know what to do.
some of us simply took long naps, and waited for the time to pass until the RSA's return.


& some of us were actually quite busy...
... spinning up the rest of this

... eating delicious breakfasts

... & renting lots & lots of bad films from the library


sometimes, a little solitude goes a long way.

p.s. - don't forget about the monkey sock prize draw - there's still time!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007


knitters never cease to amaze & overwhelm me.
in the fundraising push for claudia's MS ride, so many people have donated so far that she's set a new goal of $30,000, since it looks like she'll easily surpass her initial goal of $20,000 - and there's still three weeks to go before donations close.
three days after anne made her pledge to match $1 of her own hard-earned cash for every $10 donated, so many people stepped up that anne has run out of money to match their donations.
& even my little-known blog has had a record number of visitors, with lots of people leaving me a comment or emailing me to let me know they've donated so i can enter them in the draw for the monkey socks. if you don't know what i'm talking about, all the info is here; read it, give $10, and help out while getting the chance to win piles of lovely prizes!!
i was spurred on by all the generosity & spent all of yesterday working on the monkey socks.


i worked on them so much that one sock is almost completely done (i've left the last bit of the toe until i find out the foot size of the winner) & the other sock is ready for its heel flap! after all that i'm overwhelmed by the monkey socks as well, so i'm taking a sock break today & watching old films while starting the origami-knockoff cardi in my reclaimed silk.


after all my sock knitting, these 4.5mm needles feel like tree trunks!
keep donating, and keep overwhelming me...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

a sheep, a slip, & some sock yarn

the sheep:


a bag o' fleece presented to me by (blogless) victoria, for free!! (thanks victoria!) it's quite dirty & full of lanolin, and it has been living in my hall cupboard wrapped in two layers of plastic that you can still smell it through. i briefly pondered trying to clean & card it myself, & then almost immediately sent it off to norweft to be processed into rovings for a mere £15 (a bargain, as it saves me oh, about seventeen days of work).
the slip:

a yarn purchase (whoops). an enormous, luxurious, expensive, international yarn purchase. two big skeins of mini maiden (laceweight wool/silk blend) in "bronze" from coloursong yarn. i blame anne - she's asked me to test knit her new bee shawl pattern, and i needed the perfect honey-coloured yarn. i've been doing pretty well, though, on my knit-from-your-stash pledge - since january, i've bought the following yarn: 4 little skeins of cashmere laceweight from hipknits (on sale for £5 each); 9 balls of rowan scottish tweed chunky (for a big winter jumper for the RSA, also on sale for £5 each); and now the mini maiden (10% off, although still costly). not bad for such a knitting addict, eh?
& the sock yarn?

that 70s sock plum pudding
brown eyes bluecandy girl
clockwise from top left: that 70s sock; plum pudding; candy girl; brown eyes blue

the first batch of self-striping sock yarn, now available in the old maiden aunt shop! only one skein of each colourway, so go now, buy some, & help me pay for the mini maiden...
(& don't forget to donate money to claudia & win cool stuff - you still have more than two weeks!)

Monday, June 04, 2007

prizes for a good cause...

in my almost-year of blogging & my year-and-a-half-or-so of being part of the inter-knit world, it's come to my attention that knitters are some of the most kind & generous people on the planet. & here's yet another example - claudia, whose blog i came across through anne, is doing this, a two-day, 150-mile bike ride to raise funds for the National MS Society. & since knitters seem to band together in these acts of generosity, folk from all over the knitting world have donated a pile of prizes, which you can win by pledging money to her bike ride fund. as if that wasn't enough, anne is helping with the pledge push by matching $1 of her own cash to every $10 donated to claudia, and offering yet more prizes to folk who give money!
so, how do you get in on this amazing act of generosity, and win some great stuff to boot? just follow these 4 easy steps:
1) go look at claudia's prizes here, and anne's prizes here.
2) then, go to claudia's pledge page here, and donate whatever you can (if you're UK-based like me, think of it this way - even if you can only afford a fiver, that's $10 US with the current exchange rate!). there's also a link on claudia's blog sidebar if you'd rather donate through paypal - each $10 you pledge will give you one chance in the drawing for claudia's prizes.
3) after you've pledged, email anne at i_gaveATknitspotDOTcom (removing the words AT & DOT & replacing them with the symbols, of course), and tell her how much you gave; she'll match each $10 with $1, and add you to her prize draw, where you have the chance to win all kinds of cool stuff, including this:

little fish
"little fish" handspun from oldmaidenaunt; 70% bluefaced leicester/30& silk blend; a fine DK weight with 100 grams & 220 yards.

& to sweeten the pot even more...
4) once you've done all that (checked out the prizes, pledged to claudia, & emailed anne), come back here and either leave me a comment or email me. let me know that you've given something (it doesn't matter how much, as long as you give whatever you can!) & i'll put all the names in a hat and draw a winner for these babies:

the yet-another-pair-of-monkey-socks, knitted especially for you!

what do you think - can we get claudia past her goal of $20,000? the bike ride starts on 24th june; make a donation before then, let anne & i know about it, and win cool stuff while helping people - what more could you want?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

progress, of sorts

the yet-another-pair-of-monkey-socks are going well so far:

(left, after a quiet work day on friday, & right, after a very busy saturday!)

astute observers will notice that the sock pictured is not, in fact, being knitted in the yarn that i wound up last post (which was "dragon fire" sock yarn from lavender sheep on etsy). i knitted a few rows of the sock & decided that although i really liked the colours, they just didn't work with the pattern (there was some unfortunate pooling happening). i may swap the yarn for something else on the knitty coffeeshop, or try it again in another pattern (maybe a pair of pomatomi?).
undaunted in my quest to knit yet-another-pair-of-monkey-socks, i wound up another ball, this time from sunshine yarns (another etsy seller) in "watermelon patch" - much better! my only concern is that it's labelled as "handwash", so i may throw a little test swatch in with my next machine load of other knitted socks & see what happens.
& the other excitement of the weekend?


alas, it's not a new finished project, but a two-year-old knit. i made it in silk from hipknits when i first started knitting. in my enthusiasm, i didn't notice until it was too late that the hand-dyed silk is actually two distinctly different shades of the same colour, & because of how i knitted it, the sweater is sharply divided into one shade on the front & back, and the other shade for the sleeves. & although i liked the pattern, there were a lot of things that i didn't like about the finished sweater - the colour variation, for a start, but also the fact that my finishing was appalling. as a result, i wore the sweater a grand total of three times, & it has lived in the back of my closet ever since.
i felt vaguely guilty - it's such a nice yarn! - & have finally decided that i should do something about it. & the result?

skeins of purple silk, drying in the bathroom! unravelling an entire sweater was a bit nerve-wracking, but the right decision, & i'm glad i finally did it. my plan for the reclaimed yarn is a modified version of the origami cardi from the latest interweave knits magazine (about halfway down this page) - modified in the sense that i love the cardi's construction, but a) my gauge will be off; b) i probably don't have quite enough yardage; & c) i don't like the bobbly sleeve pattern thing happening in the original. i'm hoping to start it as soon as the yarn is dry, & this time i'll alternate rows with the different shades so i don't have the sharp colour division that happened the first time (& hopefully my finishing skills have improved as well since then!). i'm guessing it should be a fairly quick knit, so hopefully i'll have a brand-new summer sweater soon!
& in the meantime, there's always more monkey socks to knit.. *

* i blame cara - as soon as i feel i'm able to leave the monkeys & move on the other sock patterns, she goes & knits up just about the cutest socks ever. now i need to knit yet another pair, this time with a picot edge...