Category Archives: swaps


Sweet fancy Moses, that’s what I get for having lots of time. I fill it with other stuff.

My days got really busy and I have only just realised that The War is on! Not only have I not cast on, I haven’t dyed the wool. Doh! Maybe we’ll go with cream socks after all.

And today is going to be fiendishly busy too.

Oh dear. My assassin is going to be miffed when she finishes my socks and finds herself with unwound hanks of yarn to work on!


Did I mention the word “insanity” in my profile? Yes? Oh good.

To date I have wound some of my skein of Sock Wars KnitPicks Bare into a small ball, knitted it, frogged it and measured it: about 30″ makes a round of 44 stitches. I reckon the Sock Of Doom will be about this or maybe a few stitches less.

I have cut a piece of cardboard down to 10″, and wrapped yarn around it in three different places. I have pulled it off in mini-hanks, soaked it and slung it into three cups full of different colours of Kool-Aid, cooked it in the microwave, rinsed it, left it to dry, rolled it into a tiny ball and knitted it once again.

It looks nice.

This is SOOOOOO not like me. If it weren’t for a start-date that was a week away, I would be half way up the first sock, without so much as a gauge swatch. But the forced inactivity (as regards this particular yarn, at least), is making me very ambitious.


I just worked out how many wraps I have to do, into three different hanks, to get a roughly similar number of stripes of each colour; thus:

yarn-monkey says that 180 yards are needed for a pair. That’s 90 yards a sock. That’s 270 feet, or 3240 inches. My piece of cardboard is 10″ high, so I can wrap one sock’s worth of yarn around it 324 times. Every three wraps equals (I figure) a round on the sock. So each sock will have 108 rows. I have three colours in mind. So I should do 36 rounds’ worth (or, oh look how nicely the maths worked out; 108 wraps) for each colour. Twice.

But of course, I want them to stripe, so I’ll have to lay out the loops I wind, shamrock-like, in multiples of 3.

This is why I like short deadlines. See what I do to myself when I’m given time?

Sock Wars Mobilization

Ooo, Ooo, I got my package from KnitPicks today: Bare DK for dyeing and two sets of their new Options interchangeable circular needles.

I hadn’t noticed in the pictures that the cables and accessories are a fabulous purple colour. I was predisposed to love them before I ever tried them. I haven’t knitted with them yet, but I did assemble them. Impressively smooth join and a cable that doesn’t want to be in a tight loop for the rest of its life? I think the Knit Picks folks were being honest when they said they were made by knitters for knitters (which I’m sure they probably did, somewhere).

I am dying to carve out some time to wind the luscious yarn into balls, then knit a guage swatch, then frog it and measure it and figure out how best to dye it.

Maybe I should be cleaning the kitchen instead of blogging, in that case.


Sock Wars and Trekking Mitts

OK, so the Cyberman Sweater is seriously in the frogpond. That’s what you get for winging the pattern for a style of sweater you’ve never knitted before. Not to worry. I broke out the Stitches software and have a pattern I think will work. At least I know my prototype was cute, if small. It should knit up not-too-slowly once I get going.

I’m very excited that yarn-monkey has posted the specifications for the Sock Wars bloodbath, that is due to start on September 22. The good news is that the pattern is in DK, which means it will knit up relatively quickly. That is also the bad news, since I’m sure there are knitters out there who do not have two small children and two grown men to look after at that point (no, I’m not a polygamist, but I will have my father-in-law staying) and who will also be able to knit socks quickly.

I ordered some “Bare” DK from KnitPicks and intend to break out the Kool-Aid and dye the yarn into something fabulous. I may get #1Son to help. Or I may not, since I have great plans for how I can figure out how much yarn goes into each round, and create great looping stripes of colour. (You know it’s all going to end up as a puddle of mud, but hey, even that will go well under business trousers).

After I had clicked the “BUY, BUY, YOU CRAZY FOOL” button, it did occur to me that I might never see the finished result, should I be killed in the first round, but I’m hoping that wherever the socks end up, they end up with someone with a sense of humour, a digital camera and a blog.

In other news, I broke out the Trekking XXL (which seemed only fitting coming up to today’s 40th anniversary of the first broadcast of Star Trek), that I bought at the Knit and Crochet Show back in July. It is absolutely gorgeous. Subtley gorgeous, but gorgeous nonetheless. I’m knitting some fingerless mitts (and maybe mitt covers). I had started them as socks, but I couldn’t bear to put this beautiful colour where I wouldn’t see it very much. Looking down at my hands will be like looking down into the tarn at the bottom of a ridge on a mountain I once climbed on a clear autumn day, back when I was free to date outdoor cats. It is deep and blue and watery and as natural a blue as I can imagine.

And what’s more it feels great in the hand.

I’ve been very impressed with KnitPicks, but I have to say theirs was the first sock yarn I ever used and it almost put me off for life. I think the fact that I was using needles too big (what did I know?) didn’t help but it felt like I was knitting with string. Trekking feels like I’m knitting with spun baby hair and sponges. Hmm, that didn’t sound as attractive as I meant it to.

Anyhoo, I’m off to add the mitts to the sidebar. Pictures tomorrow in the natural light, if I remember, because I’m not sullying this project with yellow artificial light.