Spring is for Socks-Week #1

Hello! How far did you get on your socks this week? Feel free to post on this entry or on Horrific Knit’s Facebook page with your progress.

As promised, here are some Ravelry links to patterns I like:

Globe Trotter Socks-the pattern I’m using for this knit-a-long

Eminence Rouge Socks-heavily cabled, and a project that I intend to cast on some day

Redd Soxx-beautiful, also heavily cabled, knee socks. Definitely for the more experienced knitter.

Diamond Lace Socklets-Cute little anklets with a lace pattern

Spring Is For Socks!

I’m happy to announce that Horrific Knits is hosting an informal sock knit-a-long!

What is a knit-a-long? A knit-a-long is when people work on the same or a similar project at the same time, offering each other support and help. From today until the first day of summer, I’ll be posting once a week with my progress for the week.

Feel free to use whatever pattern you want, and current or hibernating projects are more than welcome!

Next week I’ll post a round up of some of my favorite free sock patterns.

the second of the 3 spirits

you would have thought that with this whole long, drawn-out fiber diet thing, i would have at least blogged for the end of it. but i missed it.

in my own defense, this weekend i was out of state. i had to make an appearance in rhode island for our family christmas gathering. i have gone in something like four years, i really had to go this year. it was the normal too much food, too many loud family members in too small a space, and too many awkward moments of not knowing what to say. but with my past history, this means i have another 4 years before i have to reappear…

so how did i actually do?


-i used something like 7 balls of yarn over the course of the month, including holiday wishes and 3 1/2 pairs of socks.

-i spun roughly 4 skeins of wool before my spinning mojo left me and i got sucked into the epic sock challenge.

-i didn’t finish any rolags, bumps, or braids, and i received 2 bags of alpaca fiber. my mom replaced my broken spindle.

-i bought several balls of yarn for socks and christmas presents. i didn’t buy any yarn for myself, or at least, any yarn that was intended for myself on the outset.

-mid’s mom dropped off a massive box of yarn while i was gone. while it was very nice and it will get used it does defeat the purpose of a fiber diet? BUT. the rules did state that gifts don’t count!

great fiber no buy: day 27-white christmas

i say this with the full understanding that with the way my life works, we will be back into the 70’s with no snow for christmas this year.

however, with temps about 10 degrees under where they should be and wind chills driving even lower, and an estimated 16 inches of lake effect forecast by tomorrow morning, we’re probably going to be seeing a white christmas this year.

one of the strangest things about the city of buffalo is how…weird the general attitude towards snow is. when i was growing up, everyone would say, it’s not so bad here. it could be buffalo. buffalo’s the place that gets all the snow.

for some backstory that may or may not be relevant, i was actually born in newfoundland and my mom says that snow is in my blood. my parents were both stationed on a lend-lease base and i was born in a blizzard at the end of march (a snow bound fire sign. i think it explains a lot). i was raised at the halfway point between utica and cooperstown (think baseball hall of fame), which is something like the third worst area of the state for snow. i then did my bachelor’s at oswego- as in, the colbert report’s prime example in 2007 as to why global warming DOESN’T exist. (that’s a joke, by the way. apparently i’m no good at humor.)

what i’m driving at is that i’m fairly familar with snow. buffalo in fact has let me done for the past two winters for what people around here seem to consider ‘bad weather’. the past two winters have been fairly mild, with the notable exception of the day that the University at Buffalo decided it was unnecessary to plow and left me snowed in my apartment all day. now that we’re getting what is starting to reach snowfall levels that i would consider ‘bad’ the entire city is in a panic. it leaves me bewildered, because this is the type of stuff that oswego deals with all winter…but buffalo is the snow capital of the state?


the major issue facing me on a day to day basis right now is the fact that the bus stop that i use to get to work every day is roughly a mile, uphill, in a suburb that seems to think of sidewalks as being a luxury item and shoveling is a gift to society, not something that is mandated by the town. i actually do fairly well temperature-wise when mid lets me walk instead of dropping me off. i do actually wear layers now, including my boot socks (these poor socks get washed on an almost daily basis now) and tights.

my boot socks do have a flaw though, in that they’re not nearly tall enough. i have really heavy, thick calves which means that ‘normal’ knee high/mid calf patterns aren’t going to cut it (see: the whole issue with the boot socks and my self esteem).

which all boils down to me using all the orphaned skeins of sock yarn and drafting out a proto-pattern for tall socks for my winter commute.

great fiber no buy: day 21-doing it wrong

i’m doing it wrong.

i’ve got to be.

i know that i’m not doing all that well with the whole no yarn thing. however, i really do think that if i don’t buy the yarn for the chili boy challenge, i’m just not going to get anywhere fast, and it’ll be this time next year and i’ll be talking about how mid’s angry with me for not having the socks knit.

a.c. moore had a special today where if you had the special coupon, you’d get 25% off your entire order. i had gotten a coupon saturday when we went in for something else. mid’s company had their christmas/holiday party at a local resturant last night and we got out early enough that i convinced myself to use that coupon. i thought that i did well. i got one ball of sock yarn for free, essentially. in fact, you could say that i was proud of myself. i’ll take a pair of men’s socks for $5.

until i came across a post on another blog that mentioned saving something insane like 80% off of a grocery bill using coupons. i do use coupons- that is, if i can find coupons that work for things that i actually buy (this is harder for me to do than it sounds, considering mid can’t eat a lot of things due to having a wonky tummy) or that don’t require buying more food than what i have storage room for, or room in the budget for. saving a dollar off of frozen chicken is probably a good thing if you have need and/or freezer space for 3 boxes of the stuff.

however, for the sake of honesty, i do cut corners in a lot of places in order to make room in my budget for things like sock yarn. i do most of my grocery shopping at aldi’s or other low cost grocery chains (though i avoid buying produce there, it’s just subpar in quality). even on heavy weeks i’m $10 to $20 under what a normal week would be at wegmans or another chain. we’re trying to eat out a lot less. i take the bus a lot, or walk. a lot of my current money issues are due more to the amazing imploding station wagon of 2010 and my graduate education than anything else.

we now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

great fiber no buy: day 20: the future’s so bright…

…i have to wear socks.

i have a thing for ugly things. i’m a fan of the ugliest finished object thread on ravelry. i’m the one that’s attracted to really horrific colorways. i like clown barf yarn. i like to seek out really ugly things. extra points if it’s really bright ugliness.

i’m not a really big fan of wearing bright, warm colors, except in small projects (i really love my rainbow poo mittens– named for the prize that you get in neopets). it’s not something that i try to push on anyone else, either.

so when mid announced his 11 pairs of sock challenge, i realized that i was going to have start buying sock yarn at every paycheck, essentially.

i had to work black friday, but mid had it off. i work a modified second shift, so we had time to do some shopping. after we discovered that michael’s had no yarn on sale (who came up with that bright idea?) we went to have ewe any wool? on main street near harlem. mid likes the tobacco store next door (he’s given up cigarrettes but i think i’m going to have to pry his pipe out of his cold dead hands), and i like the sock yarn selection there.

anyway, i was trying to pick out men-approved sock yarn and stuck on more navy blue or going with brown.

when he came up with this:

trust me...the camera pics aren't doing this thing any justice.

i’ve started refering to them as the starburst socks, because that’s all that i think of when i look at them. they’re literally wince inducing under florescent lights. they were driving my eyes nuts while i was working on them at work on friday.

and yes that would be signs that i had the wonder that is mighty taco on saturday:

it's a buffalo thing. but it should be an everywhere thing.

great fiber no buy: day 18- respect


Mid bought me an early christmas/yule present on sunday. i’m quite happy.

i’ve been looking for a copy of respect the spindle for about 6 months now. it’s one of the better books on the market that’s purely spindle spinning. most spinning books will cover the extreme basics of spindle spinning- top vs low whorl, how to do very basic drafting, mention the difference between a worsted and a woolen spin. it’ll amount to about a chapter’s worth of info, and you have to sort of guess your way through the rest, and go online (or take a class) and hope that you can find someone who can sort it out for you.

respect goes a lot deeper, and for someone who’s been self-taught and doesn’t have steady access to other spindlers, it’s been a godsend. in 3 minutes i figured out the difference between worsted and woolen yarns. i got the basic gist- it has to do with the amount of air allowed into the single while you’re spinning but that was about it. every explanation i got from very well meaning individuals on ravelry amounted to, you let more air in for woolen and smoosh it out for worsted (i think. i may have that backwards). anway, respect has some really clear pictures including pictures of the drafting triangle for both worsted and woolen that finally cleared up the difference for me- it has to do with how you form your triangle that allows air in, or doesn’t allow it in as the case may be.

for whatever reason i couldn’t find this book anywhere including my normal go to online sources. i could have purchased straight from interweaves but the shipping seemed high at the time that i looked. i finally found a copy at the indie bookstore on elmwood. i’m quite pleased.

photographing one's feet can get a little akward.

i finished the scrap socks yesterday. the people that have seen them in person seem to react favorably to them. i don’t think they’re attractive, at all. but they’re scrap socks, and while i do favor certain sock yarns i’m not one of those people that have to have cute/pretty/attractive socks…i mean, it’s a sock. they fit better than i feared but i defintely move up at least a size for this pattern, or even mod the pattern for slightly bigger than that.

current stash count: i haven’t been spinning so nothing was added to the stash this week. i used 1 skein for the scrap socks, and i’m giving someone a skein to learn to knit with today which brings me to a difference of postive 2 balls (i used 3, bought 1 for mid’s next pair of socks) that i can buy.