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Posts Tagged ‘Socks that Rock’

I’d missed out on Sock Madness last year so when rumors of Sock Madness 2 started circulating, I signed up immediately. I thought that my sock knitting skills had vastly improved over the last year and that I knit socks fairly quickly and felt pretty comfortable with any difficulty level. One thing I’d recommend though to anyone who decides to take on something like Sock Madness is to arm yourself with lots of movies for entertainment and motrin for the inevitable pain.

Movies, Madness and Motrin

Pattern: Zombie Socks by Sheryl Giles designed for Sock Madness 2
Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock lightweight in Obsidian
Needles: 2.0 mm / US 1 Knit Picks Circular Nickel (2) 24″
Ravelry Links: GuiltyPleasures and Sock Madness
Started: 3/13 11:00 am; Finished: 3/15 8:30 am

Zombie's Rock

Thursday morning at 10am as I sipped my morning coffee, I did as I do most mornings at that time and checked my email. There it was. The sock madness email I had been anticipating. As I sprung from the sofa and into my office / craft room, I started up my office PC and printed out the sock pattern while searching for my swift and yarn. Normally there would be no searching, but the craft room is in the midst of a remodel and so things aren’t in their usual places. Hubby came into the room to see what all the bustle was about, and in my best panicky voice I said: “I can’t find my swift, I can’t find my swift.” As he holds his coffee in one hand, he reaches over to the top of my double wooden filing cabinet and calmly says: “It’s right here”. I gratefully smile at him as I grab the pattern from the printer, my needlecase, the yarn from its container, and rush to the dining room table to turn my yarn hank into a ball.

Zombie Madness (legs)

I quickly read through the pattern. Zombie Socks. Sounds interesting enough. I cast-on and after the necessity of the ribbing was completed, I excitedly began knitting the stitch pattern. I was definitely thankful that there were no jobs, or children to get in the way of my knitting time, and although I miss hubby while he’s at work, when he walked out the door at 2 pm I was anxious to knit all evening until he returned home at 1 am. I had the stitch pattern memorized immediately and since there are dropped stitches, I wondered why the instructions didn’t have me knit through the back loop (ktbl) of the stitches before and after the dropped stitch to reinforce them. Then I finally realized that since Zombies are a bit on the disheveled side (although I’ve not personally met one), and by not reinforcing the stitch, it makes it look less “neat”. Besides, I’ve already knit the “neat” version of this pattern before. It’s the Tangled Up In Blue pattern by Judy Becker. You know the one .. Judy of Judy’s Magic Cast On. There were a few minor differences, in Judy’s pattern but overall I kind of felt like I was knitting the same sock pattern twice.

Zombie Madness

During that day I was able to complete the leg of both socks, and at bedtime I was grateful that I had a bottle of muscle relaxants in my medicine cabinet. The next morning as I worked on the heel flaps, my body told me that it needed a day off to rest. As I opened the bottle of Motrin I told my body to be quiet since there was no time for rest and things would be fine. As I continued to knit, I noticed my knitting was quite labored and slow. I also noticed that the pain had not been helped by the Motrin and when I finished the heel flap on the second sock, I noticed that things weren’t lining up. Riiiiiiippppp. I recounted, I repositioned stitches, and started again. I then realized my problem was that I was trying to watch new tv programming, and new-to-me movies, so my concentration wasn’t focused enough on the socks.

Zombie Madness (heel & leg)

I glanced over at the 100+ DVD’s in their dilapidated shelving unit and figured that this is the ideal time to re-watch movies I know and love so that I can more fully concentrate on the project at hand. I knit and knit and knit and when hubby arrived home at 1 am, he found me in the same position as when he had left that same afternoon. He could tell I was in pain since non-stop knitting and fibromyalgia are not a great combination, and he highly recommended I go to bed. I assured him I wouldn’t be up much longer, and whether he believed me or not, he must have been too tired to argue with me and put himself to bed. I doubt he was surprised much when he woke up at 7 am and found a completely exhausted wife sitting on the sofa with socks in hand working on the toes.

Zombie Madness (toe)

By 8:30am hubby was off to work and I had finished knitting, photographing, and uploading my sock photos to Flickr. I sent off my email to notify the Sock Madness maidens that I had completed my socks, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I gathered up my finished socks, the bottle of Motrin and the strewn about movies, put them in a pile on the table and went to bed.

Zombie Madness

One final note, it’s now 4 days later and in my division only 23 people have completed their socks. Since the top 40 people continue on to the second round, I was obviously a little over-zealous with pulling an all-nighter to complete my socks. Damnit.

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There’s so much to share with you regarding Stitches West, but I’m going to break it up into several posts so I don’t overload your systems with photos.

We left the house Thursday morning and drove from Southern California to Northern California. We were lucky enough to be staying at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency hotel which is attached to the Santa Clara Convention Center where the Stitches classes and shopping are. The hotel is very nice as are the rooms, but it seems like they tried to make everything a little bit contemporary which made for poor room functionality.

Hyatt Hotel Room

The bathroom had a wonderful shower curtain rod that bowed out so that you felt like you had more space in the shower, but the sink in the bathroom had the faucet mounted to the left of the sink which turned out to be very awkward to use.

Hyatt Regency bathroom

After getting settled into our room, I went to the hotel lobby to meet up with a Laura and a few friends from the Anaheim Hills Knit Night on Mondays, so that we could attend the Ravelry meet-up together. Actually if it weren’t for Ravelry, there would not be a Monday knit night with these incredible women. It was interesting to see so many Ravelry users in one room, and I loved finally seeing Jess and Casey in person (from obviously a distance).

Jess & Casey

The only downside to the event was the cash bar. Obviously nobody told catering that knitters do indeed drink, and so there was only one small bar with one bartender. There was a continuous line for that bar for at least an hour. I felt so sorry for the bartender. After the Ravelry meet-up I met my husband at the hotel sushi bar for a bite to eat to fortify myself for the 3 hour shopping spree I was about to participate in. The area was crowded, understaffed, and slow as mud, but luckily the sushi was quite good. We finished dinner just in time to race to the market area to meet up with friends.

Most everyone was stopping at the Raverly booth first to pick up their Passports (more detail on that in a future post), but hubby went there for me as I raced to the Blue Moon fiber Arts booth. I grabbed a lot of skeins of lightweight sock yarn as I made my way through the mass of knitters in the booth. Since the purchase line was really long hubby waited in line for me while I figured out what I wanted. I think there were 7 skeins of yarn in my hands when I met up with him, but when I saw there will Mill Ends for about $7 less a skein than the regular skeins, I dumped most of the yarn I had and grabbed 3 skeins of it. I handed hubby enough money to make the purchase for me, and then told him I’d meet him at the next booth. Do I have the perfect husband or what?

Socks That Rock (Stitches West)

I ended up with 3 skeins of Socks That Rock Mill Ends (1 skein of lightweight and 2 skeins of mediumweight), and 1 skein of Socks That Rock Silkie in Valkyrie. I just noticed yesterday that the Blue Moon logo is backwards on the labels and there are no colorways written on them so who knows what they are. I guess I’ll just call them gorgeous!

Next, I was off to Purlescence Yarns to purchase the Tulip Baby Cardigan kit. It was a bit more money than I’d normally spend on a baby cardigan, but I believe I’ll be using the pattern over and over again since there never seems to be a shortage of women having babies.

Tulip Baby Cardigan Kit

My final purchase for the evening was at Chameleon Colorworks for a skein of her beautiful Bambino yarn. I first saw her hand-dyed yarn at TNNA and instantly fell in love with the Twinkle Toes, Bambino and Evolution yarns. The Loopy Ewe just added the Bambino and Evolution yarns to her store today, so I suggest you get over there and pick some up. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

Bambino (Briar Rose)

The market was open for 3 hours, but frankly after only getting 3 1/2 hours of sleep the night before, I was too exhausted to continue on and wanted to rest up for my class with Cat Bordhi. I think I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.

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My dear friend Laura designed her first lace shawl project, and she honored my request to test knit it for her (along with some other very talented knitters). I’d like to present you with my attempt at her pattern, the South Seas Stole:

click photo to enlarge

Pattern: South Seas Stole by Laura (to be released soon)
Source: Fiber Dreams and Ravelry
Yarn: Laceweight Mystery Yarn — nylon blend?
Beads: 8/0 Marble Marine Green T1207
Needles: Knit Picks Options Harmony size 5 US

This is the very first time I’ve ever test knit for someone and hopefully I’ll be able to do it again in the future because it was so fun! There were a few bugs here and there, but those have all been worked out and the final pattern is amazing. Actually, the entire design is amazing. I would go on & on about all the details, but I’ll save that for Laura to do when she releases the pattern in a few days.


I loved adding the beads to the stole and I even made a mistake and added extra beads in a section that I wasn’t supposed to. It’s alright though because you’d never know unless I told you. The needles, oh those needles! I can most definitely recommend the new Knit Picks Harmony needles for lace knitting. In the past I’ve used the new Addi Turbo Lace needles, but these Harmony needles score a perfect 10 in my opinion.

I had a heck of a time getting the colors to show correctly since I’m obviously in desperate need of a photography class, but it’s a beautiful blue/green colorway that has very subtle variegations throughout the yarn. Although I’m not sure what the yarn is, I will say that it wasn’t very cooperative when it came to stretching for blocking or the points that should be prominent on the edges of the shawl. Regardless, it did come out very nice and I’m hoping DH has a dress-up Christmas party this year so I can wear it.

Look at this beautiful skein of yarn I received from Tiennie. Of course, how can anyone ever not want Socks That Rock? She held a blog contest (as she frequently does) and all I had to do was leave a comment (which I love to do) and she randomly drew a name. The colorway is Rose Quartz and I’m already dreaming of what pattern will be worthy. Thank you so much Tiennie!

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I will not bore you all for the hundredth time with my woeful tales of fibromyalgia. Instead, I will bore you with my woeful tales of my huge behind. It follows me everywhere and is just taking up too much room, so it must go. Not to mention, none of my clothing fits anymore and so I must lose the weight or buy a new wardrobe. Personally, I don’t want some skinny salesgirl to find me weeping on the floor of some dressing room while trying on clothing, so I’ve opted to change my diet.

In the past if I found myself with an extra pound or five hanging on my behind, I’d just up my workouts and off it would go. Actually, at one time I was on the thin & fit side of normal, but that’s because I was working out for at least an hour a day. These days though, exercise is almost impossible (curses to the fibromyalgia). I can go for a small walk, but as far as getting up my heart rate, it’s not happening. At least for right now.

I’ve tried to watch what I eat, the quantity of the food and the quality. But honestly, I’m just watching it all go from my plate, to the fork, to my mouth so that isn’t working at all. I decided after much research to try the NutriSystem diet plan.

Normally, I’m against pre-packaged foods and such, but at this stage, I’m at the end of my rope and I’m out of control and I’m more tired of being fat than I am against this diet. It’s also helpful that I’ve dragged my husband into the whole thing so we’ll be suffering together. Misery loves company.

I’ll be posting occassionally about my dieting adventures and I’ll either warn you in the title so you can skip it, or I’ll try to add some yarny goodness so you’ll have something of interest to see. Regardless, I do think I need to share my experiences on this diet to help keep me sane and since you’re all my friends, you’re really the only ones I feel comfortable sharing this all with.

So, as promised, here’s the yarny good stuff:

3 beautiful skeins of STR lightweight in Atomic #6, Spinel and LunaSea. Of course since Blue Moon Fiber Arts releases their Raven collection in less then one and a half hours (6pm PST on November 5th), I’m sure you’ll be seeing more STR on my blog soon.

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My April SAM KAL 3 socks are completed and ready to wear … well, ready to wear if I weren’t currently wearing sandals.

Pattern: Baudelaire by Cookie A.
Pattern Source: Knitty.com Summer 2006 issues
Yarn: Socks That Rock lightweight in Jasper
Needles: (2) KnitPicks Circulars size 1 US
Modifications: Judy’s Magic Cast-On


Notes: I *so* love that this pattern was written from the toe up. Maybe I had a bad experience with cuff down socks or something, but toe up socks just feel natural to me. Also, after having to convert the last few sock patterns I knit, it was nice just to follow the instructions as written. I also am glad that I was able to see Cookie demonstrate these socks on a recent Knitty Gritty episode since she does an interesting modification to the short row heel. When the directions say to wrap and turn, she instead turns her knitting and then does a wrap (yarn over). It’s really very clever and I much prefer it to the normal wrap and turn method. The 8 row 22 stitch pattern repeat was fairly simple and at some point on the leg section, I finally had it memorized. I also really liked the added touch of the cable going up each side of the leg next to the lace pattern. As usual, Cookie hits a home run.

I’ve finally acquired a smallish sock yarn stash now and have quite a few wonderful patterns, so now it’s just narrowing down the choices. Since DH’s birthday is in June, maybe I should knit a pair for him?

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