Knit Picky: February 2007

"properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit...
 and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either."
~elizabeth zimmerman

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
My Day So Far...And Some Other Stuff

I feel totally disoriented today, which may or may not be linked to my absolute lack of sleep last night. I tossed. I turned. I sat up and petted cats. But what I did not do was sleep more than about 45 minutes consecutively. Weep.

This morning I rushed to work convinced that I had a 9am meeting. I was certain that the traffic on the freeway would lead to more weeping and gnashing of teeth, but I made it in by 8:50. (Yay) Of course, upon my arrival, I discovered that I had no meeting. Great. (I don't like mornings, nor do they like me. I typically have a loose affiliation with "9am" as a concept. I'm usually more of an 8:47 or 9:04 person, for some reason.)

I came in and hit the ground running with work because I was out for a good chunk of last week after having my wisdom teeth pulled. The pain was ridiculously intense for over a week. Today is the first day that I'm painkiller-free. And yesterday was president's day (thanks George and Abe for dying so we could commemorate all your hard work with a day of lounging and sleeping late!), so we were off. But today, lo, the crazy workload was back.

Sometimes when I have to go out to get an uber-healthy lunch (like today's jaunt to Del Taco), I can't remember where I parked my car all 4 hours before. It's like my cubicle is a sensory deprivation tank from which I must become reoriented every time I venture outside it's tiny two walls. I get to the parking lot and it's like, where is my car? Is it here in the good parking lot? Or downstairs in the other parking lot*? Is there a chance in hell my space will still be here in 15 minutes when I get back from my wacky drive-thru experience? Aaaaarrrggghhh!

I think exhaustion may be making me a leetle bit crazy. I want to shout all kinds of things to my co-workers and make silly comments to my clients. I also want to tell the vendor who is hounding me to give him my credit card # to wait the fuck up, because I don't live on his schedule. The truth is, I hate talking to strangers. I would be happiest if my entire business life could be lived exclusively through email. This is an unusual attribute in a marketing person, from what I've been told. Go figure.

Other things about which I've been meaning to blog for ages

Great places to buy knitting supplies include:
a) Angelika's Yarn Store. Unbelievable customer service, and fast! About a week before my wedding last June, I decided that I needed plastic knitting needles to get me through security. I ordered some Bryspun circs and dpns and within about two days they had all come with samples of obscene amounts of yarns. It was awesome!

b) Brooklyn Yarn Tree Customer service like you've never experienced. Right after tax time last year I got my refund and decided I was finally going to get me one of those gorgeous silk Lantern Moon needle cases. I searched all over the Internet trying to find a specific color combination that I had fallen in love with, and finally found it at Yarn Tree. A couple of hours later The Boy called from home to tell me that Yarn Tree had called and was having difficulty processing my order, and he gave me their # (did you see that I wrote hours; not days, hours, people!). They apologized profusely that they weren't going to be able to get my order out right away because they no longer had the color that I wanted, but if I wanted to select from their brand new cases that hadn't even gone up on the site yet, they would give me one for the same price as I had paid for the other (older) version. Hells yeah! And I had that puppy in two days, I think.

So, you should buy from these people if you like extremely efficient and friendly customer service and rapid shipping. If you don't like those things, you're weird, and should probably shop at mary maxim or something**. I don't know.

c) I haven't blogged about this in ages because I needed to take a picture first, but in the last several months or so, I've really started to enjoy the fruits of the online knitting community. I was contacted during the ISEIII event by a knitter in Luxembourg named Eva. Eva and I have now become pen pals, and recently (or not so recently, if you calculate by days and months instead of eons), we did an exchange. I ordered and sent to her some items that she was coveting from KnitPicks, which cannot currently ship internationally, and she ordered and sent me five (5!) skeins of Trekking XXL, which I've never used before. Ooooh, so pretty.


I must finish The Boy's sock soon so that I can make myself something with this yarn. Can't wait...

Sadly, they do not pay me to blog (oh, if only someone would!), so I need to get off my 'lunch break' and go do work. And call back the extremely annoying vendor who has now emailed me twice and called me 3x asking me to call him. And I'm going to be sweet as pie because that's how I was raised. While on the inside I will seethe with rage and burning anger. Because that's how I was raised.

*The other parking lot is down stairs and across the street from where my office is located. However, we shiny, happy Whatsamatta U employees pay $65/month to park either there or directly in front of our offices. Guess which one is my preference. And guess which one is always snatched away from me moments before I pull into the parking lot. The two answers are not dissimilar.

**Actually, I know of nothing particularly bad about mary maxim except her catalogs. Acrylic overload with hideous patterns, all copywritten in these hideously joyful, faux-super-excited voices. Who the hell sold her my name? I need to know so that person/entity can be destroyed!

posted by Stephanie at 2:19 PM

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I Married Bigfoot!

Not in the sense of the super-hairiness. Or even the excessive height. No, it's just that The Boy has feet that just don't suit two skeins of Koigu. No way, no how.

We reduced the length of the cuff on the socks I'm making from 7" to 5-1/2" to save yarn. Why did it not occur to me that a) ribbing eats yarn like mad, and b) he has ginormous feet and 175 yds was just not going to cut it?

Koigu socks for him

So (and this counts toward my YFC07 update, I think), I had no choice but to buy yarn. Darn. I headed on down to the not-so-much-immediately-L YS where I got the Koigu at a trunk show. And they were out, naturally. BUT. They suggested contacting the woman who I buy the Koigu from when she's in town, Merilyn from Foxyknits. (If you don't know La Merilyn, get to soon. She's marvelous and generous and has AWESOME customer service). So after caving and buying myself two skeins of Lorna's Mixed Berries sock yarn (I am weak; so, so weak), I headed home, contacted Merilyn and lo! she had one more skein in the exact same dye lot and color. [Edited to add the date of my 'free' yarn buying day used: 1/21]

Close up

So after eking out as much of that first skein as I could, for as long as humanly possible, I reached precisely the point at which I would begin the toe decreases. Then I took two days off knitting the socks to knit my step-grandmother a hat*, and then the Koigu was there, and I was able to finish the first of The Boy's socks.

The Boy_koigu socks
Please ignore the nipple-like toe. This is my first round toe. It looks better after weaving in the ends.

I'm using the Oak Ribbed Pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks, but I had to modify it for The Bigfoot. You know, to make it bigger.

Here's my petite little foot modeling The Bigfoot Sock. See where my thumbnail is? That's the very tippy end of my big toe. That's how big Bigfoot's feet are.

Me modeling Boy's sock

So now I'm working on sock #2 but it may get worked on simultaneously with a baby sweater (cotton) for my soon-to-be-born second cousin. I'm not so good with the project polygamy, but I'll give it a shot.

*Finally, I'm sad to say that my step-grandmother's cancer has come back. Just last year she miraculously conquered StageIV cancer and went into remission. But the bastard is back. So she asked for a new hat to wear to chemo (I made her two last year), and this time she was particular about her colors--she really wanted fall colors. I dug through my stash and found four balls of Tahki-Stacey Charles Dazzle in color 003 that I got from elann a few year's ago. It is the softest 100% new wool. And in person? Check it out!

Teri's candy hat_front

So.Beautiful. I adore the colors. They look like candy to me. (And yay, I have three more full balls of the stuff.) The ball band said 108 yds, but I have a bunch left over. In fact, the yarndex site I linked to says 183 yds per skein. Hmmmm.

The doctors are not optimistic at all for Teri (my step-grandmother). Our sincere hope is to get her into City of Hope. Hope is our watchword, just now. My parents are wrecks and I'm sad. So, if you're so inclined, would you send Teri your good wishes/vibes? We would all appreciate it!

Thanks you fabulous knitty community!

[One more edit: Gwendolen, I would love to chat with you! You can email me directly at conchobara at yahoo (dot) com. I will look into adding this link to the blog so if anyone ever wants to reach me without going through comments, you can.]

posted by Stephanie at 5:58 PM