Category Archives: Alongs

Sock maniac

Just a Knit Wit is heading off to college next month (after a few years away) and is a bit nervous about the whole thing. Leave her a comment with a funny college story and you could win a very cool prize package. Comments must be received by July 20.

The Cat’s Mum is celebrating her 200th post and upcoming blogiversary – leave her a comment telling her what you’re obsessive about and you could win something “noice.” Comments must be left by midnight, Australian Eastern Standard Time, August 4.

Sockamania is open for new members! Update 7/13/07: Membership is now closed. Anni’s adding members slowly to make sure she can keep up with the admin. She says she’ll open it up again in the future.

I’ve been a member for three months and I’m extremely impressed by the patterns Anni’s creating for us. Shall we review?

The May sock – I didn’t get very far, but the pattern is lovely and I will finish the socks.

The June sock – I finished and I love the pattern. I’ll definitely knit this pattern again.

The July sock – I’m off to a good start! This is also my Tour de France Knitalong project. I did modify the pattern a bit – its 68 stitches weren’t going to fit me, so I added three stitches to each of the plain knit columns (for a total of 80 stitches). The plain knit columns looked really boring when they were twice as wide, so I added some right and left twists to liven things up. The yarn is Sundara Lenten Rose, a Petals Club selection from earlier this year, which appeared briefly as an RPM sock.

The little gold row markers I’m using are omega row markers from Entrelac’s store. Oh, and Spindlecat has kitty magnets in stock… And… Whoops, spent $31.50. Darn it. Etsy is dangerous!

Yesterday Janna commented that May seemed to have a literary bent, what with the stationery and the diary. You could say that…

“This blue book looks to be especially tasty, but I’ll wait until Mom’s not looking before I check…” -Mayhem

Vacation knitting

Have a special knitting friend who could really use some gorgeous sock blockers? Nominate her/him in the comments over at Leggy Creations before noon EDT, June 30, and he/she might receive a set of special friendship sock blockers.

Kristi’s got a new etsy store, where she’ll be selling handcrafted personal care products. Leave her a comment about your favorite scent before midnight EDT on July 4 and you could be randomly selected to win some of her concoctions.

You can join the Tour de France KAL anytime before the Tour officially starts on July 7 – and you don’t need to be a bicycling fiend to participate. 🙂

Oh, I had grand plans for all the knitting I would get done over vacation! I took all sorts of things along toward that end. Ha! I did about 2″ on my first July Sockamania sock (left, below) and I started the Meilenweit Colortweed sock (right, below) at Michaele’s Stumbling Over Chris party. That’s it.

“Knitting needles! Oh, how I missed our special time together while you were gone, Mom.” -Mayhem

“See? See how much I missed you? I am hugging your foot!” -Mayhem

“Whatever, May. You’re such a goof.” -Chaos

“You take that back, big kitty! I am not a goof!” -Mayhem

Haphazard Thursday

Deb likes to knit for babies, but there’s a baby shortage in her life. Rather than creating her own baby to knit for, she’s going to knit baby items to donate. But it’s hard for Deb to knit baby items without a specific baby in mind… so she decided to knit for Chloe and Morris’ baby and created the 24 Baby Knitting Shower. Drop by and leave her a comment if you’re interested in knitting along with her!

Do you read I Can Has Cheezburger? Don’t click unless you have a lot of time on your hands! (If you’re at work, please recognize that you will be giggling aloud. This may or may not be problematic.) Here’s one of my favorites – guess why! And here’s another.

How cool is it that there’s a community radio station in northern Minnesota called KAXE (pronounced K-AXE)? It’s eclectic and excellent and you can even listen to it online. Saturday night from 7 – 9 pm CDT, check out Green Cheese, an extremely fun call-in trivia show. Not all callers are entirely sober, but many have Fargo-worthy accents! (And hey, you can even buy sports bras emblazoned with their logo!?!)

Reading Update
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. Quite some time ago, Sachi sent me a first chapter excerpt of this book. I read it, but wasn’t that compelled to rush out and read the rest of the book. Finally picked it up from the library and decided that the first chapter doesn’t really do the book justice – it gets quite a bit better after that. It’s not world changing literature by a long shot and some aspects of the book are a bit predictable, but overall I enjoyed the read.
Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie. Kincaid and James again. 🙂

Gluten-Free Update
If you have celiac disease like I do, I highly recommend subscribing to Gluten-Free Living. (Although I’m horrified at how out-of-date their webpage is.) They do a great job of actually researching celiac disease’s urban legends, providing information about new research, keeping up with legislative developments, and reviewing new products. The Spring 2007 issue featured an article about gluten-free beers – I didn’t know that Anheuser-Busch was making a gluten-free beer (Redbridge)! I was familiar with Lakefront Brewery’s New Grist, which I actually tasted before those darn migraines convinced me to go alcohol free. (It was tasty – even my gluten-eating beer connoisseur brother agreed.) The same issue also mentions a few restaurants where it’s possible to get gluten-free pizza. Woo-hoo!

Knitting Update
Does anyone even remember that I knit? 😉 The laptop bag is knitted – I just need to sew it together and felt it. And I’m working on two different socks, but it was too darn dark last night to take decent pictures. Maybe tonight it won’t be stormy… although the forecast is inauspicious. Instead, shall we take another look at the lovely Mayhem and her cute ‘tocks?

“What? Yeah, so I’m flexible. I coulda been a gymnast! Or a master yogi.” -Mayhem

“I don’t know why you think this is so interesting…” -Mayhem

Abundance abounds

Local knitblogger Deb is thinking of opening an Etsy shop to sell her hand-dyed yarn. If you suggest a name for her store that she ends up using, you could win some of that same hand-dyed yarn. Leave your suggestions by June 4.

Had a good weekend up at the cabin with my brother and SIL and I even got a little bit of knitting done. Friday was 80F, sunny, and very buggy. It rained Friday night; Saturday was cloudy, breezy, and at least 25F cooler. Definitely fewer bugs. Sunday morning we awoke to lazily drifting snowflakes! Eeeeeeeek!!! No bugs, though.

I was one of numerous winners of Sachi’s birthday contest for my amazingly brief revised lyrics to Happy Birthday. Sachi sent me some of her gorgeous handspun (with beads!), a skein of Cascade Sierra Quatro (which I haven’t tried before), stitchmarkers, and some chocolate (not pictured). Thank you, Sachi!

“Is Neatnik reading? I know she likes pictures of my butt.” -Chaos

Local knitblogger Kelly sent Chaos and May some catnip mice that she made – you’ve already seen a couple of the pictures of how well the mice were received and you will see more, since one of the mice had Chaos cavorting like a kitten!

“Mmmm… stripey… Hey, wait a minute – I do not cavort. Whatever that means, I’m sure I don’t do it.” -Chaos

Check out what Kelly included for my refrigerator – thanks, Kelly!

Yesterday my Coffee Swap package arrived from (tragically blogless) Laura, who knows how to do an awesome swap package. She baked gluten-free biscotti for me and they’re very yummy! In the picture below, Chaos is trying to get into the bag of biscotti – no way, Chaos! Those are mine. Laura also sent me some Equal Exchange fair trade coffee, a wee bottle of wool wash, two balls of purple Jaggerspun wool silk and an Addi lace needle (with a note that she better see some lace on the blog soon…), dark chocolate truffles (not pictured…), black kitty statuettes, and stitchmarkers.

“I’m sure Laura meant to include a note that the biscotti were for me.” -Chaos

The stitchmarkers came in a cute necklace style bag, which will be very handy for holding markers as I need them… and keeping them out of harm’s (feline) way. There was one more blue kitty head marker that managed to evade the photo shoot.

The black cat statuettes are really cool, aren’t they? (No, I will not be getting another cat so I have a set that matches the statuettes!) Thank you so much, Laura!

Let us bib

Signups are open for Sockapalooza 4 – sign up fast, because they won’t be open for long! I think I’m going to skip this one – the pressure of knitting socks for someone other than myself or my family – oh my. I did sign up for Sockamania, which is limited to 25 people, so act fast if you’re interested in that, too! 4/13/07: Sockamania is now closed.

Signups open April 16 for Knitters’ Coffee Swap Round 2! Mark your calendars – Round 1 was a blast.

Not only is it the month of prizes for participating in the Walker Treasury Project, but Karrie is offering an additional special prize to a randomly chosen mosaic swatch knitter. Since the only mosaic swatches so far have been knitted by Karrie and one other person, you have great odds on this contest!

You could win a free Jordana Paige knitting bag – winners will be announced on April 23.

Knitting Update
Coworkers whose wives are having babies… what to do but knit bibs? 🙂

“I do not approve.” -M

“I do not approve. At. All.” -M

“A little help here, big kitty? No?” -M

“Heh. The secret is to look so pathetic and betrayed that Mom removes the bib herself!” -M

Doesn’t taking a picture without the flash (even as terribly blurry as it was, since May moved her head) convey a totally different feeling? How would you caption this last picture of Mayhem?

I hope you’re all sitting down… oh wait, you’re at your computers. It should be ok.

Yay, KnittyMama! She actually got a decent picture of me from Wednesday night. 🙂 (Please note that I’ve been updating yesterday’s post with links to people’s pictures and tales as they’re available.)

Twitching about the upcoming Harry Potter book release? Maybe participating in the Hogwarts Sock Swap will help distract you for the next several months. You have until April 30 to join.

You can sign up for Jennie’s Sound Swap until April 11. However, number of participants is limited, so sign up early!

Julia is having a contest a day for the next week. Check in each day to see what the new contest is! Winners will be selected randomly on Friday, April 13.

Question for Those in the Twin Cities
Does anyone know where I could take an ASL class in the area?! The Minneapolis Community Ed class I was signed up for was canceled (even though it still appears on their website). I’m not interested in taking a college level course (even just auditing). Thanks for any leads!

Pet Food
Obsidian Kitten has some great posts about making your own pet food – definitely something to think about in the light of recent events.

Jeanne turned me on to a good blog for tracking the current pet food issue, as well as others that come up.

Knitting Update
Ready for a bit of color shock? I’ve been working on Project Spectrumesque socks that are a bit different than my usual colors, but this week has been so crazy, I haven’t had a chance to blog about them until now. You might’ve seen this first sock in some of the pictures from Wednesday night – it’s a plain stockinette sock, knit from Regia Crazy Colors. This sock has some black and purple in addition to the pink and red, so it isn’t too much of a stretch. (The purple bag with black cats on it was made by Trek!)

“I am much cuter than the kitties on the bag, of course. Oh, Addis – my favorite!” -M

The next sock is quite a bit further outside of my usual color range…

“Addis, Addis, tasty tasy Addis…” -M

That’s Sundara’s sock yarn in Bird of Paradise, the most recent colorway in the Petals Collection. Initially I tried a garter rib, because I wanted to avoid the less stretchy slip stitch rib in the pattern that came with the yarn. However, the garter stitch broke up the colors way too much. Here’s a shot of the sole (stockinette) – imagine this with much, much more color choppiness.

“Are you going to eat that entire Addi, May? Maybe you could save a little nibble for me?” -C

So I conceded that Sundara knew what she was doing, using slip stitches to pull the alternating rounds of color together. I didn’t use the same ribbing as in the pattern; instead, I decided to use R1: *K1, slip 1 (as if to purl), K1, P1*; R2: *K3 P1*. I like it. A lot. And I’ll probably try a variation of this ribbing on other socks in the future – as long as I remember to make my sock heel deeper to compensate for the slight loss in stretchiness.

How many RPMs can Lola run?

I finished binding off my STR Titania RPM socks last night as the credits rolled for Run Lola Run – a perfect finish for March FiberFlix! Plus, this pair of socks is my last project for February-March Project Spectrum.

Check out how much yarn I had left – that’s approximately 7 inches. Yeah, that definitely added to the excitement. To maximize my yarn usage, I knit each sock toe-up from the opposite ends of the ball.

The sock on the right was knit using the RPM pattern as written. For the sock on the left, I reversed the pattern, so the spirals go in opposite directions. The stitch pattern definitely “pops” more on the sock on the right – is it because the spiral goes the same direction as I was knitting? Or??

“Well, since Mom’s done knitting, I’m sure she won’t mind if I steal this little bit of yarn…” -M

“Eating yarn is very dangerous, Mayhem – don’t do it!” -me

This definitely isn’t my favorite STR colorway (it was a sock club selection last year). I’m not sure that teal, burgundy, olive, orange, rust, lavender, and light blue really work together. Interestingly, the yarn in the miniskein keychain that came with this skein is slightly darker and the colors work much better. (Um, yes, I might’ve been trying to calculate how much yarn I could get out of the miniskein, just in case…)

“Hmph. Meanie. You didn’t need to take away that yarn. I shall sulk.” -M

Snow is Project Spectrum, right?!

Margene is celebrating her third blogiversary! Leave her a comment revealing a little secret about yourself and you could win some fibery prizes on March 14.

Sundara is celebrating the first anniversary of Sundara Yarn. Guess how many skeins of yarn she’s dyed in the first year – submit your guesses by March 7 and you could win some very yummy yarn!

It’s very snowy here. That truck hadn’t been parked there more than 60 minutes yesterday when I took this picture. If you enlarge the picture, you can see the snow falling (use the truck as a backdrop). This morning? The cars look like snow banks. I’m working from home again today. 🙂

While I was looking out the window at the snow, I got this cute picture of Mayhem’s little kitty arms:


I started another pair of socks earlier this week, using some Opal Zebra. This yarn is boring me (why is it more interesting in the ball than when knit?!), but at least it fits the Project Spectrum theme (the white). The foot is plain, but I’m knitting the cuffs in the Jaywalker pattern.

“Dum-de-dum-de-dum… oh, look, some yarn on the floor again.” *yawn* -C

I joined FiberFlix. There are two films for March – you can watch Run Lola Run (my personal choice) and/or Logan’s Run. Fitting the theme of motion, I’m knitting the previously mentioned Jaywalkers and will also be starting some RPMs from my first Sundara Sock Club yarn, Lenten Rose (also a very Project Spectrum color – sort of a greyish plum).

“You put this yarn by me and you expect me to be good?! As if!” -M

“I mean, look at that tasty yarn cake!” -M

“Mmmm… yarn cake…” -M

I quickly rescued the yarn at that point!

Pajamas and contests and cats, oh my!

Mark Super International Pajama Day on your calendar – it’s Super Bowl Sunday (February 4). All you need to do is stay in your pajamas all day and relax. Ahhh….

Debra is having a National Delurking Week comment contest. Leave her a comment by midnight, January 16, and you could win some sock yarn, stitch markers, and chocolate.

Anne is celebrating her one-year blogiversary at the beginning of February. Send her an email by midnight, February 2, and you could win one of many lovely fibery prizes.

Lucia is having a contest in which you submit a picture of yourself knitting socks in public. The contest is open until the end of January and you could win some mysterious sock yarn. For every entry received, Lucia will donate $1.00 to MSF.

I got home Friday from an absolutely hellish week at work (I can’t remember the last time I worked five days in a row) to discover a wonderful package from Tink! (Let me just straighten things out for the knitters – even though her tagline is “I Tink, therefore I am,” she’s not a knitter; it’s short for Tinkerbell.)

Tink sent me a lovely black cat travel mug. She also sent an extremely appropriate bowl for Chaos and Mayhem, along with some sparkly mice and a bottle of catnip-flavored bubble blowing stuff.

“Is she mocking my tail with this??!! And who’s she calling pampered, anyway?!” -C
*sniff sniff sniff* -M

“Oh, this reminds me that I haven’t seen my beloved SRM for many, many months…” -C
*sniff sniff sniff* -M

Um, please ignore that tail sticking out of the litterbox on the right side of the following picture. I just noticed that… Whoops!

“This mouse is pretty cool! It jingles and sparkles and is easy to carry by its tail!!” -M
“Hey!!! Give a guy some privacy back here!!!!” -C

I’m particularly fond of the travel mug because it’s quite similar to my favorite coffee mug.

“Dum de dum de dum de dum…” -C

Ok, this may be a better comparison shot:

“I’m still not convinced that my tail isn’t being mocked…” -C

Ack!! Ack!!

Ok, I’m not feeling very coherent, since I watched the first 21 hours of 24 (season one) over the weekend (damn you for lending me the DVDs, Amy!), so I’ll just tell you about a few things going on around knitblogland.

On Friday, Margene had a nice round up of a contest and some recent ‘alongs that’s definitely worth checking out.

Stephania’s having a contest for her birthday – drop by and guess how many fathers she has (!!!!) and you could win some fun yarn!

You knew it was coming – a Victorian Lace Today Knitalong.

Lolly’s announced Project Spectrum 2.0! It starts February 1 and the colors are combined a bit differently. Also, each group of colors gets two months, so hopefully things will feel a little less frazzled.

(I’m sitting back and scoping out all the various ‘alongs that are appearing and biding my time. I’m trying not to jump on all the bandwagons, since that inevitably means that I fall off most of them.)

Oh, all the “acking” in the title?! Look at what I discovered when I pulled my sock knitting out of my purse Saturday morning. Sorry these pictures are so terrible – I was distraught.

May quickly took advantage of my distress…

“Hee hee – I’m sure Mom won’t notice me running off with this little bag of yarn right now.” -M