conceding defeat

I am absolutely exhausted. But I can’t sleep. I took 2 Excedrin earlier (on top of drinking several caffeinated beverages) to ward of a migraine that’s been stalking me for days. The result? No sleep for me. I gave up on rest half an hour ago after lying in bed for well over an hour.

Anyway. To be completely contrary and stubborn, I’m posting the Chartres pattern for free. Pffft! to everyone who thinks I should charge for every single pattern I write. I talked at length with ShiBuiKnits tonight, I’m already guaranteed 4 pattern buys from them and several other designs I showed them have been potentially accepted. I have a meeting set up with them next week to go over the details in, well, detail.

So, what does that mean? I think that means I can afford to give away a pattern or two. Since I’m going to be selling them (ShiBuiKnits) two sock patterns as it is, they really don’t need or want the Chartres pattern that much – esp. when I already had it written up (in PDF form) for a different gauge. Let’s also not forget that I have a half-dozen ideas sketched out for different socks, anyway, that I will be selling to someone.

Right. Back to the point. The Chartres pattern is up and available and free.

We had a lengthy debate at tonight’s Sip’n’Knit on the subject of free patterns. Many people don’t think designers should give away patterns. I dunno. I don’t plan on giving away every pattern I write, but it seems silly to try and charge for them all, too.

I also appreciate how many knitters take the time to write out patterns for the rest of us, without charging even a nominal fee. It’s, like, karmic. One should give as much as one receives. And, anyway, I like writing patterns. It’s good practice and it’s a learning exercise.

One of the patterns I’m probably going to sell to ShiBuiKnits is Clara – a 1920’s felted flapper’s cloche. I got some luscious yarn at Knit/ Purl tonight to make myself one (insider’s discount!); which I’ve promised to try and bring to the meeting next week. To go with the cloche I’ll be making (tomorrow’s looking promising for that), I’ve decided to post another tutorial on how to calculate felting handknits (as well as how to felt handknits by hand). Hopefully I’ll have that done to post by Saturday.

I think that’s everything of merit. At the moment. I’m making tons of progress on the knitting. I have the buttons for the ShiBuiKnits Spocks (got them tonight) and I’m just up to my ears in ideas and patterns. Now all I need is a good night’s sleep.

Anyone want to sneak up behind me with a frying pan?

design consultant?

I can barely contain my excitement. I was asked, tonight, to be a designer for ShiBui Knits. They’ve requested the right of first refusal. And they even gave me yarn to swatch several projects I have in my head. ((shrieks again, runs around, sits back down))

Umm, they’re also interested in the modified version of Chartres I have in my head, as well. Soo… I’m sorry, no new pattern tonight. I’m afraid the pattern company with cash wins the pattern. But here are some better pictures, so you don’t hate me completely:


And some of the heel and cuff detail:


I’m going to change the pattern quite a bit, anyway. Since I made up the cuff lace, I figure why not create an instep design to go with? Mostly because I don’t like the traditional “Smiling Diamonds” lace as much as I did. Something connected to the cuff and more copacetic with the heel will be good. Better, really.

So, yay!, that’s my good news for the next month (probably). I need to go and work on the ShiBui Spocks now. I’m on the heel of the right calf-high spock at the moment. I’m hoping to finish the set completely tonight and then block them tomorrow when I CO for the child’s knee-high version.

Breathe. I need to breathe. And learn to knit in my sleep. It’s the only way I’ll ever knit everything I want to. Is there, like, a self-hypnosis tape for that?

another set of socks

Shocking though it might seem, I finished knitting another pair of socks* tonight:


A better picture and the pattern will be posted tomorrow. I swear.  But, really, how could I deny anyone the horrible, too-flashy, late-night, FO picture after months of carefully planned day shots?

Right now I’m doing everything I can to avoid dealing with reality.  I need to work on the right ShiBui Spock tonight (I have the yarn sitting here next to me, pinned by a swift and ball-winder).  I also need to work on Stephie’s present, which is much more tempting than the spock.

I want two more sets of arms.  I’m certain I could manage to knit on 3 projects at once, I just lack the physical capability.  Anyone else want to petition G-d for a change of anatomy?

I also want to have to sleep less.  I should make a list, so I’m ready when this comes up.

*Yes, I do know how to knit other things.  In fact, I really want to knit other things than socks.  The socks are just bossier than lace and jumpers.   

on confidence



(now named Chartres, which will make sense once the sock is completed)

has been sidelined by this

ShiBui Spocks wip

(the first adult ShiBui Spock in “peacock”)

I, in my youthful confidence and arrogance, proclaimed far and wide at Knit/ Purl on Saturday that I would have a ShiBui Spock knitted up by the following Thursday’s Sip ‘n’ Knit. And, look at that, today’s Wednesday.

In my defense, I wasn’t expecting to have to unload and move all of Mum’s paintings, clean the garage, clean the house, and keep Mum from living off of ice cream in the 5 days I’d given myself.

Which means that today I frantically wound the skein into a ball, checked and rechecked the pattern I spent hours editing yesterday, quickly swatched and cast on. As of right now I’m an inch away from the new and improved heel (see, I have been doing something other than cleaning or hiking at Forest Park).

If I actually manage to make my own idiotic deadline, I’ll… have three more Spocks to knit. I shouldn’t have told myself that. But you, yes YOU, need to give me your leg measurements so I can actually write a knee-high version of this pattern. Please.

Other news? I’ve finally pared down my Bloglines subscripts to the blogs that actually update more frequently than once every leap-year or less than 3 posts a day. Subsequently, I should be catching up with other people’s lives eventually. Sooo, if I respond to a post you made, oh, 3 years ago – don’t be too surprised. Last I checked I was done to 3-digits with a 1 in front. Maybe I’ll be caught up by the New Year. (Western, not Jewish)

And, just to prove that I am a spinner and that my wheel hasn’t been collecting dust, I show you this – 2 oz of lace-weight Chasing Rainbows merino/ cashmere in “Hyacinth” that is waiting patiently for it’s mate, 2 oz of Chasing Rainbows silk/ cashmere in “Hyacinth”:


(I swear it looks more vibrant in person)

not a newt

It turns out Fig is either an Oregon Slender Salamander or a Clouded Salamander. It took Mum and I nearly half an hour in the Audubon shop to actually find a book with something like him in it. We probably won’t be able to tell what type s/he is until maturity. Right now Fig is in the midst of the metamorphic phase and doesn’t have much colouring yet :)

But he seems to really like his terrarium (especially the little Maidenhair Fern we put in with him), and it also looks like he ate all the baby crickets we bought yesterday. Kinda shocking. Maybe we need to get bigger crickets.

Anyway. Mum and I took Charlie to Forest Park again. I love this park. For once I had my camera and fully charged batteries. Lemme see… I loved this log, because the moss was growing on it in spirals:


Charlie really, really, really enjoyed playing in the creek. We finally had to drag him out and back onto the path. We also met a nice couple with a seeing-eye dog who was so cuddly and enormous, Charlie didn’t quite know what to do with him. I threw sticks for them both. But, no matter what, Charlie wouldn’t follow either of us into this pool, not even for a stick:


Walking down the path, we saw the coolest crumbling structure that I couldn’t resist exploring:


I loved seeing the ferns and moss growing right out of the stonework, and the way nature was slowly absorbing it:


Charlie was fascinated by something there:


Eventually we moved along and I couldn’t resist photographing the coolest tree-roots I’ve ever seen. I’ve never see so many fallen/ downed trees (naturally gone “whoomph!”) in my whole life than I’ve seen in Oregon:


Back home they were dragged out and cut up. Here they cut out the part that’s obstructing the path, and let the rest do what fallen trees do. It was fascinating to Mum that part of the tree had been polished smooth by years of water-wear:


Soon we realised that we had one heck of a return trek to tackle and made ourselves turn around. I love creek beds, but I have to say that the climb back up their ravines is never fun. But, we made it and went and got some congratulatory gelati to celebrate the fact that we didn’t call search & rescue or for an airlift.

Then we went home and crashed for some time. Seriously, we went hiking for 2 or 3 hours. Easily.

This evening, I got back to work on my newest sock design. I’m tempted to change the name because “Colinette” no longer fits. It needs something more, well, French. You’ll understand when you see the finished socks. Here’s my progress as of an hour ago:


Also, I have a small request. Could you please, please, please measure your legs for me? ShiBui wants a knee-high version of the Spocks and I need to figure out the average measurements for each size. Also, children’s measurements would be lovely, too. Here’s the #’s I need:

  • Age (for child sizes):
  • Shoe size:
  • Instep circumference:
  • Ankle circumference:
  • Calf length (ankle to just below the knee)
  • Calf circumference at largest measurement:
  • Below knee circumference:

Thank you!

gabbing away

Feet blistered. But it was definitely worth it. I’m all by my lonesome right now; taking care of the dog, doing laundry, cleaning, knitting. Well, knitting tends to get done more than the other activities on the list. The Family is away and I am blissfully alone right now.

Well, almost. Charlie is a border collie mutt. Charlie is incredibly neurotic. Charlie chews on his feet when Mum and Dad are away. I could pet him all day long, and he’d still chew on them. The thought of slipping him some Prozac crossed my mind several times today.

Sooo… I took him out into the back yard and threw his squeaky toy around until he wouldn’t run for it anymore. He’d just stand there, panting, looking at me like, “Aren’t you gonna go get that?”

Which was when I led him back inside and let him collapse. An exhausted border collie is a much less neurotic border collie.

And, while I was outside, I took a photo of Colinette’s progress:

Colinette 1 progress

Umm, Colinette is going on hold since I haven’t designed the heel yet. I didn’t think I’d get to it so fast, honestly. The mitigating factor in it’s progress has to do with the fact that I have too many WIPs and too many WIP bags containing them – so I grabbed the wrong project on the way out the house.

On the way to tonight’s Sip ‘n’ Knit I had planned to work on the Slightly Twisted Sock 2, and then on Bean’s present 3 at Knit/ Purl. Instead, I worked on Bean’s present on the bus (not the best idea, I admit), and Colinette 1 at the store. (sigh)

Some projects really aren’t meant for travel. (But, because of the bus-time, I’m 1/2 way through Bean’s, uh, thingy and will be able to ship the set off soon! Thus proving that I am not a deadbeat, but just need more time than G-d has deemed to give me everyday. Okay, admittedly, this is my fault. I should have considered the ramifications of knitting something at 9.5 sts/ inch.)

Anyway. Moving on.

D, at Knit/ Purl, gave me 4 skeins of ShiBui Sock yarn for the ShiBui Spocks pattern. I got to go into the Inner Sanctum of the Bat Cave ShiBui (Knit/ Purl) yarn storage rooms. (drool) I was good, I only looked and touched everything and drooled and went “ooh” and “ahh” a lot.

Is it so wrong that I wanted to move into the ShiBui stock room?

No, of course not.

Other news? Not much. Mum caught a newt for me (in Eugene). How funny. It was hiding in the outdoor workbench we have at the house in Eugene. So, she called me up and described it – asking me to find out what it’s habitat and diet were. Right. Have you ever tried to identify an animal using just the internet and another person’s description?

Probably not. Most people must be more sensible than us.

We’ve decided to name him (her?) Fig.