Saturday, October 20, 2012


Dear Blog,

A few days ago I received two knitting books in the mail. Neither of these books, I think, were meant to be read from cover to cover, neither of them contain patterns. Both of them are solid, large, hardcover, resource books. The Principles of Knitting, which I've merely flipped through so far, is basically an encyclopedia of knitting techniques. My favorite bit to tell people is that it's got more than 7 different ways to cast on and bind off. (I started counting but got bored. It's loads though. ) I like it because this way if there's something I've forgotten how to do, not only can I look it up - even when the internet is being flakey - but more likely than not I'll get more than one answer, and an explanation as to why one would be better than the other in certain circumstances.

The other book is the fleece and fiber source book. This one I am reading from cover to cover.  I'm still really looking forward to buying a spinning wheel and starting to learn how to spin, so fiber and sheep and everything wooly is just on my mind. I want to know what breeds to buy, what types of fiber preparation is best, and which wool to spin what way and to knit what items. The idea that some breeds of sheep produce wool more suitable for one kind of end product, and other breeds produce significantly different wool... Well I find it fascinating. And not only is the book well written, it was designed for those of us who like to see and touch things. Every page is laid out like a little scrap book with pictures of the sheep, the raw fiber, and spun and knitted samples. I'm sure if they could figure out a way to let us feel each sample they would do it. And I'm not going to lie. I'm really really enjoying looking at the pictures.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Dear Blog,

Today I want to write about my finished Dragon Dance socks. I finished them on the 2nd, but I could have finished them way sooner if it weren't for my eternal optimism.

It all started after I passed the gusset decreases in the 2nd sock. Trying it on I noticed with minor annoyance that it was tighter than the first one. "Stupid guage" I muttered to myself. "Why Can I never knit both socks consistently? " But I didn't really think much of it. I've resigned myself to the fact that my gauge varies pretty wildly and theres nothing I can do about it. I kept knitting the foot and comparing the sock to the first one, noticing with growing alarm the unavoidable difference in size. The 2nd sock was considerably smaller/narrower than the first. I fretted and fussed, but kept knitting, always thinking that it would work out. I got as far as the last toe decrease, realizing that my big toe was still sticking out even though I did them the same way as for the first sock. By this point any sane rationally thinking person would have had to give up and realize defeat. But oh no, I pulled some lame ass added toe rows and kitchener stitched the ugly thing together. Wasn't until I tried the "Finished" sock on that I was forced to admit that the whole thing was squeezing my foot like a hungry boa-constrictor.  So I ripped everything out back to the gusset decreases. (turns out I decreased too many rows and had 10 less stitches on the needles than I should have. )  I re-knit the whole foot which actually only took around 2 days, and now the pair is finished and done. It feels so much better to just fix mistakes rather than trying to kid yourself into thinking that you can live with them.

On another note, today is the one year anniversary of my Vampire Boyfriend Sock project, so appropriately I am finally casting on the 2nd-sock for that pattern. Let's see how long it takes me to finish this sock of cabled goodness :)

Until Next