A mysterious tube

Guess what the mailman brought me today?

We have a very, very nice mailman, he actually brings us any larger items, instead of just leaving them at the local post office for us to come and pick up.

Anyway, this is what he had in his hand when he rang my doorbell this morning:Taking a closer look, the tube turns out to be from someone very, very secret:

Yup, it's my first Secret Package from my Secret Pal! (Oh, and Pal? I'm sending you virtual hugs right now.)

There was a lot of tape around that mysterious tube, so I unraveled, and unraveled... and finally managed to extract the letter attached to the outside of the tube. I read the letter as I opened the tube, and found...

a lovely scarf! (One that, as it turns out, perfectly matches the brand new, navy blue jacket that I got yesterday!) It's just so very pretty, I'm sure I'll be wearing it a lot. The edging is apparently crocheted by hand. I'm impressed. That must have required a Very Small Needle.

But alas, there was more... (Well, I knew there was more, since I cheated and read the green Customs Declaration sticker before opening.)

I don't know why the right-hand picture is so blurry (I re-took it three times), but anyway, these are two magazine covers from 1942 and 1943! They're so cool! I think I'll have to frame them and hang them in our new apartment. I love how there's one girl all ready to go to war, very masculine and patriotic, doing the men's work, and another struggling with her knitting--which is really the exact opposite. I like to think of it as two sides of the same girl.

So in case you were wondering, Secret Pal, this was a wonderful package. I love it. Thank you so much!


Bye-bye stripes!

So I started a sock. I cast on, knitted a few inches, yada, yada, yada. I won't even mention the name of the pattern, but it showed off the stripes quite beautifully.

However... the cast-on edge looks... disastrous. Really awful. I mean, look! It's terribly uneven--the cast-on stitches are about twice the size of those in the pattern. Being a perfectionist, I just can't live with an ugly cast-on edge.

When you read this, I will have frogged the whole damn thing. Turned out, when I took a really good look at it, that the ribbing looked really weird, too. Apparently, I knitted the first inch of ribbing far too loosely.

Oh well, it was just supposed to be a swatch, anyway. R.I.P. Sock.


An unexpected pause

I know I promised no baby posts, but... this is what someone's been doing lately. The Evil Baby's crawling all over the place and generally requiring much more time and care than ever before! (He's not actually that evil, but when you're two people trying to study and the third one makes weird noises and attacks anything within ten feet... you get the picture.) Aaaargh.
And to top it off, believe this:

I haven't knitted anything At All for two weeks.



Of Being Un-Independent and Yarn

Dear self-patterning sock yarn-hating friends (and you know who you are),

I have let thee down.


I am now the owner of not one, but two (the horror!) balls of Self-Striping Sock Yarn. If you want to kill me, please do so now.



First, I just want to say I have the fullest respect for all the lovers of self-patterning / multi-colored yarn out there. I'm just not a fan myself. Such was also the case with self-striping yarn, until... I realized one day that my mother was on holiday in the Land of Plenty of Sock Yarn (i.e. Germany) and got this weird idea to call her and ask her to hunt down a fine specimen of self-striping for me. So she did. And if I were any less down with a really bad cold right now, I would post pictures. In fact, my head is so fuzzy right now I can't even remember the yarn brand. Argh. -- Pictures to follow soon, anyway, promise.


I know I'm late ;)

but here are my answers to the SP8 questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love wool. All kinds of it, from the stickiest, most unknittable thing that ever came from a sheep to the lovely alpaca fibres. Silk is also nice. I don't like synthetics, and I'm not a big fan of cotton, either.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Um, well, I have a rather strange-looking pinkish tube that I crocheted for the purpose, and it works as long as I don't buy more needles...

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Well, I knit my first, uh, object when I was about -- 8? I've been knitting seriously for about two or three years. What's the difference between intermediate and advanced? Oh well. Since I usually don't have enough patience to finish things, let's say I'm intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

Uh... I don't really like scented products (except perfume in a bottle).

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I absolutely adore chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I can make quite tasty cookies, cakes, and buns, if I do say so myself. I don't spin. I crochet, but I'm not very good at it and I much prefer knitting.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Jazz is my thing, and, strangely enough, old country music. My computer can play mp3s.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love warm/burnt colors, the colors of fall. I don't really like pastelles, or very bright, loud colors.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live with my boyfriend and our six-month-old son. No pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear scarves and mittens. Hats are difficult to find because I have a really large head. I don't wear ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I like variety, so just about anything.

13. What are you knitting right now?

A red vest, self-striping socks (first time), uh... and that's probably it (not counting the UFOs I haven't decided yet whether to finish or not)

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I haven't received that many to date, but I think I've liked all of them.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Straight ones are nice because they look so traditional, like you're a little old lady who's been knitting forever. Circulars are very practical, and I love them for colorwork. I haven't used circulars much either, so they're still kind of new and exciting.
Bamboo rules. Aluminum and plastic are nice, too, but bamboo... ohhh.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Nope. Neither.

17. How did you learn to knit?

My mother taught me. Later, I read books and freshened up my skills.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

Oh... I have no idea. I've ripped the oldest ones. A year, maybe?

19. What is your favorite holiday?

I don't think I have one. Christmas is always nice, though.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

My boyfriend says I collect old knitting books and magazines (up to about 1956), and old cookbooks (and he's probably right, judging from my bookshelf).

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Well, I'm always up for books about lace or the 1940s-50s period. I don't subscribe to a knitting magazine.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Probably yes, but none that I know of. I tried magic loop and wasn't too impressed. I love doing cables without that ridiculous special needle, though!

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I am now (got my first ball of sock yarn about two weeks ago). I have really large feet, about 10.5 inches/26.5 cm long.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

October 6.


Yarn porn, by request

Well, it's been a while... I'm kind of ashamed of myself. I got a request for some more yarn porn, and, well, here it is!

Garnstudio's Vivaldi, black (1 ball)

Garnstudio's Alpaca, some kind of raspberry (4 balls)

Atacama Alpaca
, blue-green (2 skeins)

Araucania Nature Wool, darkish red (1 skein)

The other week, I found myself in a yarn store with a very limited amount of money in my pocket, so... I just bought a little bit of everything :) I adore alpaca, so I had to have some of that. (Enter raspberry and bluish-green yarn.) Then I realized I don't really have any black yarn, and maybe I wanted a scarf or a shawl or something. So I got the Vivaldi. The Nature Wool, I don't know, it just sort of came along. In the general spirit of yarn-buying, I guess.