Plays with Yarn

A place where I can ramble about all things knitterly.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Drumroll please!

The contest is over. And the prize goes to....

*opens envelope*

Kris, with her guess of 26 pairs!

Runner up, since I didn't say "closest without going over," is Gina, guessing a whopping 30 pairs!

(The magic number was 27. The rest of you give me way too much credit for self-control in the face of sock yarn!)

Thanks to all who entered. Kris and Gina, I'll e-mail you for addresses and color preferences.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

CONTEST reminder

Hey y'all! One more reminder that the "how many socks can Jaimi knit" contest ends Monday morning at 9:00 (Eastern time, because, well, that's where I am.) I'm still only at one entry, so someone needs to challenge Natalie for the prize!

My crazy weekend is just beginning, but I'll be back on Monday.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Secret Pal 4 Questionnaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- a nd/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

I'm mostly a yarn snob. I much prefer natural fibers. I'm not a big fan of most Lion Brand stuff...I don't like Wool-Ease, and the novelty yarns they have I've found are actually more expensive than the yarn store versions, yard-for-yard. I'm a sucker for things that are soft and/or hand-dyed.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I sort of crochet. I'm starting to get the hang of it. I'm considering taking spinning lessons at the LYS, but I'm concerned that it'll turn out to be an addiction and I'll drown in a sea of yarn and fiber *grin*

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
I'm sensitive to a lot of perfumes and to smoke.

4. How long have you been knitting?
I've known how to knit for most of my life, but I've only been knitting actual stuff for a bit less than a year. Before that it was endless swatches out of Red Heart cotton.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yep, on Amazon, it's under

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Nothing too strong...I like citrusy, fruity stuff (my current shower gel is Body Shop satsuma), and also the sweet vanilla-cookie type stuff.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Lord yes. Chocolate is a weakness, the darker the better.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Everything else takes away from my knitting time ;-) I'm also a graduate student, so I'm lucky that I have time for one hobby.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like pretty much anything that isn't rap, hip-hop, or your typical Top 40 material. Favorites are classic rock, hard rock, country, and trance. I love MP3s. I own an iPod, and am currently attempting to talk myself out of buying a larger one.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
Yellow! I also like dark reds, any shade of blue, and any color you could describe as a "bright pastel".

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have two roommates and their cat moving in this weekend, and my boyfriend is around on the weekends. I have a spoiled brat of a cat who for the most part, suprisingly enough, ignores my yarn. (Helps that I haven't used straight needles much lately, so the ends of those aren't waving around.)

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Graduate (someday) and somehow make a living out of craftiness. I'll start by writing knitting software for Macs :-)

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Anything soft. I like variegated/space-dyed stuff because I enjoy watching how the colors work up. I can't really pick a specific yarn though. Currently I'm lusting after the Knitpicks line.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'll try anything once, though I'm getting over the novelty yarn craze. There are good acrylics, there are bad wools. Depends on how it's made.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Socks. I have an obscene collection of sock yarn.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Anything that has more variety than miles of stockinette. I tend to enjoy knitting in the round because of my hatred of seaming.

17. What are you knitting right now?
Clapotis, a blanket for my cousin, a pair of mittens, and a pair of socks. I always have socks going...I take public transit, and they're nice and portable and help to pass the time. I'm mulling over the idea of swatching for a sweater soon.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
They look great on tall skinny people. I am most definitely not one of these people.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
After knitting a sweater on straights, I've decided that circs are better for my wrists. That was painful.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo. Though I'm in lust with my Denise interchangeables. I'd marry them if I could.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Oh yes. Yes yes yes yes yes.

22. How did you learn to knit?
I *think* my grandmother taught me. It was so long ago, I don't even remember.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I have a Kidsilk Haze beaded scarf I started in April 2004.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Cats in general, Hello Kitty in specific-ness. I also like Funshine Bear and 80s cartoon kitschiness (think the T-shirts they sell at Hot Topic and Torrid).

25. What is your favorite holiday?
My birthday. No, just kidding. Though I think my birthday is during the SP period (end of March). I'm a big fan of Halloween.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
You mean besides yarn? Hello Kitty stuff, various tote bags (I keep buying different ones to "try out" as knitting bags), and books. That last addiction comes from pretty much being born and raised in a library.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Disappearing again...sorry!

If anyone has Lucy Neatby's book Cool Socks, Warm Feet, it is my sworn duty to extol the praises of the Modified Conventional Bind-Off she describes. It's nice and stretchy.

And that's the only knitting that's been happening, is the sock. I've had some stuff come up that leaves me no knitting time temporarily (except on the bus, of course), so since knitting will be sporadic, so will the posting. I'll be back to knitting after the weekend. I'm sure I'll post once before Monday to remind everyone about the contest! (I've had one entry so far.)

BTW, Rogue is currently the front-runner with 11 votes. I swatched with Lamb's Pride, and alas, Lara was right, I couldn't get it to the right gauge. I'm not holding out much hope for the Cascade 220 I'd bought specifically for Rogue either, so I might have to spend my yarn store cert on something different. I can't think of the brand of the yarn I'm thinking's relatively cheap, it comes in decent sized hanks, it's not as soft as Cascade or Lamb's Pride, and it's made by a Canadian company. Google says, "Briggs and Little." That's the one! I could have told you where in the yarn shop it was, but that wouldn't have helped anyone else identify it. There was a nice heathery rusty-pinky-red I was eyeing the last time I was in there.

quick contest clarification

Had a question on what exactly you're supposed to guess. It's how many pairs of socks I could make from my sock yarn stash.

Hope that helps!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A poll and a blog contest!

First off, the poll. I feel like swatching for a sweater soon, but I'm being indecisive about which one to swatch for. This is where y'all come in!

What sweater should I make first?
Top-down raglan
Berkshire pullover from Weekend Knitting
Must-Have Cardigan by Patons

Free polls from

Next: In an attempt to bring lurkers out of the woodwork, I think I'm going to have a "How Many Pairs of Socks Can Jaimi Make?" contest. All you have to do is e-mail me at himeykitty at hotmail dot com (with a subject sort of resembling "blog contest") with the number of pairs of socks you think I can make from my stash. Assume that 100g of yarn makes a pair of socks (I like short socks, so I can get a pair from less than that, but just to make things easier.) Also include your favorite color in the e-mail. The deadline is next Monday (the 31st) at 9am Eastern time, and I'll announce the winner sometime that day. The prize is...what else? Sock yarn! (Which is why I asked for your favorite color.) If you have a blog, put the address in your e-mail too. I promise not to buy any more sock yarn before the end of the contest.

Monday, January 24, 2005


Suppose I can take down my Christmas countdown. The last gift has been finished and given (only a month late *blush*), though your Blogmistress seems to have forgotten to take a picture of it. (Kelly? Can you help me out with that? *bats eyelashes*) It fit perfectly, everything was long enough, and it looks wonderful on her. She told me how warm it is too, which is great considering it's barely cleared the zero-degree mark here in a week.

I also switched to Bloglines. Only 7 of the blogs I read don't have a viable feed, which is quite possibly amazing. So my blogroll over there ---> is a bit shorter, but that doesn't mean I stopped reading those blogs...I just switched services to add the blogroll to my blog.

Now...apparently February is Fix-It Month around the blogs. Which leads me to the thought...which of my UFOs will I actually finish, and which should I rip out and save the yarn from? I'm thinking the Turino Silk bag is facing the frog's hard on my hands, and I don't like the way the colors are melding together. I really would like to finish Ruffles too, but frankly, the knitting is boring me, and I'm not even sure I'd wear it anyway. So maybe that will visit the frog pond as well. I can see that yarn as a mistake rib or thermal knit scarf instead. Is ripping two of the projects out rather than finishing them cheating on my YNBA? You know what, I don't care! I'll just have to finish the beaded scarf instead. I should work on that tonight.

Clapotis is almost done, which is nice because I'm starting to get bored with it too. 10 of 13 of the straight section repeats are done. I started a pair of mittens last night (the Super Mittens from Weekend Knitting) because, like I said before, it's bloody cold here. Finished one of them, which ended up being too big and rather stiff. That's okay, that just means they're layerable. (Magic gloves underneath, anyone?) And I really need to work on Michael's blanket.

All this means I'm itching to start something new. I'm thinking maybe Rosedale. I could always use a new cardigan. Swatching will commence soon.

Time to go clean up the sidebar now.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

There are currently no pictures on my blog.

I need to fix this problem IMMEDIATELY. (These pictures will be broken Saturday night into Sunday morning. My host e-mailed to tell us about maintenance during that period. So if you read this then, just come back after Sunday morning.)

Don't mind the moisturizer holding down the corner. It was the only way to stretch it out so you could see all the pretty ladders. I made my Clapotis slightly narrower (only 4 repeats of increase rows rather than 7), and this is 7 repeats through the even rows. Note to self: Clappy in pure wool was NOT a good idea. Those ladders are hard to coax down.

Just as I thought, I finished them. Here's one of them. (Ignore the hole at the corner of the short row heel. I was too impatient to wear them to fix it....and you'll see why in the next picture. And for the record, my legs are not really gray.)

The first useful object I've crocheted. The yarn is some random old Sirdar something-or-other from one of the boxes my advisor gave me. See the shirt I'm wearing? See how perfectly it matches the Kroy socks? Yeah. Totally by accident. (Kelly joked about buying my clothes to match my yarn.) Oh, and feel free to admire my eyebrows. I had them waxed tonight for the first time ever, and I feel so....kempt. (No, I don't believe the root of "unkempt" is actually a word. That's still the best way to describe how I feel though.) I'm talking to the Boy on the phone in the picture. He says hi.

I still have to take pictures of a few other things. The stress scarf, most notably. I missed a few Christmas presents too, but those are long gone. Presents on the whole were well-received and are being used by the recipients. Go me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I think I'm going to change the terms of the YNBA

*sigh* I was going to try to last until February 1, but that's coming up soon and my stash is still huge. Huge huge huge huge huge. So I think I'm going to change it to not buying more yarn until I finish a certain number of projects from my stash.

Of course that leads to questions. Do I count the commuting socks I make as projects? And what about my gift certificates to Joann's and to the yarn store? Can I use those, or do those have to wait as well? (Could buy books with them, I suppose.) And do the UFOs in my sidebar count, or do they have to be new projects from stash? If I learn to spin, does roving count?

You know, if I change the rules, I can make the new rules. So there's no use in agonizing over these's whatever *I* feel is good. new yarn until I finish 10 new projects from stash. Significant projects, not stupid little beanies that I make just for the hell of it. (At least one of them will be a sweater, since I have a number of sweater-sized batches.) I think I will allow myself to spend the gift certificates as long as it's on yarn that has a purpose. And I need to finish 2 of the 3 UFOs that I have on the sidebar AND all the current WIPs. (And sew Kelly's sweater together too, which goes without saying.) Also, the more yarn I can unload on eBay or whatever, the better. I've got a bunch sorted out, it's just the actual posting of the auctions. (Anyone who reads this interested in Noro Iro?)

I'm putting this out there for accountability. We'll see how long I can last.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Maybe this crocheting thing isn't as bad as I thought. I just happened to find another size I hook last night and FINISHED the hat. 4 hours of work (give or take, started it at 6, finished around 12:30, with LOTS of breaks) and I have a CUTE hat. Pictures to come. I'm wearing it right now.

Decided this morning I need some lightweight wristlets. My gloves refuse to stay under my jacket sleeves, and that little strip of wrist skin got really cold today (it was 2 below...and yes, that's Fahrenheit...when I was waiting for the bus). The random khaki Koigu KPPPM I have lying around will be perfect. I'll most likely try to modify the Elegant Gauntlets from Sally Melville's The Purl Stitch a bit. I'd love them as is...if I weren't going to tuck them under a pair of gloves. They won't be able to go as far onto the fingers for this purpose. I'll probably stop maybe half an inch or an inch after the thumb gusset. That'll get them up onto my knuckles.

Almost done with the Kroy socks. Tempted to finish them up today while I'm doing my reading for class. Then I have to come up with a new travel project. Maybe the wristlets. I have an ACM meeting tomorrow afternoon, and I usually knit at these things (provided the secretary shows up, because being vice president, I have to take over for any other absent officer).

Poll: I have a number of projects listed as "on hold" over on the sidebar. If I were to pick one back up, which one do you think it should be? Leave a comment with your answer. (The Master Knitters program doesn't count. I don't feel like knitting swatches right now.)

Monday, January 17, 2005


So I decided to try crocheting for the 190837486th time tonight, and got rolling along on a hat made out of some of the random yarn Elise gave me. I'm 2, maybe 3 rows from finishing and I BREAK my crochet hook. And it's not like I was putting a lot of pressure on more than I had been for the rest of the hatl. Rrrrr. I was on a roll too!

Clapotis is about halfway done. I made it narrower, because I didn't think I could use something that wide. But now I'm getting bored with it, of course.

Picked up this years Knit It. I want every single sweater in there.

Decided to sign up for Secret Pals 4. Maybe I can reduce stash with it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Clog socks with a DNA cable up the back. IIRC, the cable panel on the scarf I made is 20 stitches, so that should be about right for a pair of socks for me in fingering weight.

How to reinforce the heel flap though....

*emerges from the ashes*

Yep, I'm still around. School just started back up, and I'm back from England, so regular posting will start happening again. (Not like I'm not at a computer constantly when I'm in school or anything.)

Yes, my Christmas countdown is still in my sidebar. Haven't finished Kelly's sweater (still!) I have about 1.5 inches to do on the front at the shoulders, then the blocking and the making up begins. I can easily finish the knitting tonight while I'm doing another load of laundry. Other than this, not much knitting is being done. Just socks on my bus ride to school and I worked on Michael's blanket some in England (mostly when we were in the hotel room I was too tired to do anything besides stare at the TV). If only I had been able to knit during the total of 12 hours we were in the air....

But as soon as I finish the sweater I can start a new project for ME! Yay! Not sure if I want to start a sweater or do something smaller. Might be a good time to start Clapotis. I've got options!

By the way, I did break the YNBA while I was in England. 3 balls of Rowan Calmer on sale. I am a bad human being. No, not really. But I can last until February 1 on this side of the pond. (Then I have gift certificates to spend.)