Deadlocked on socks

To say that I am going to be “busy” over the next two months would be an understatement. March is the last month before a huge deadline (I cannot tell you what sort of fortitude it took to not put the word huge in capitals and make it another colour or something) I have to prepare for a new tour at the same time (that schedule has me so freaked that I have actually started working out more to increase my odds of survival) and in April itself I am only home for three nights, and they are not even consecutive. Me being me, I have begun to handle this sense of impending doom and crushing workload the way that I always do.


That, and I am thinking about a new sweater (and a hat, oh…and that skirt, and maybe some mittens, and spring will be here in two months and maybe something out of hemp… ) but all I am achieving is socks. Socks, socks, socks. There’s something about the progress possible with socks that makes other deadlines and a sense of impending doom rather manageable.

On the plane on the way home from Madrona I started these:


Rivendell by Janel Laidman, part of a sock of the month club a while ago. (I “procured” it right from Janel last year with a patented technique that I cannot reveal to you here. We can’t all have my secret weapons or I would have nothing left but my charm and speed, and those won’t take me far.) I love this sock, but sadly, the colourway is “glacier” and that was a poor choice for February, and I have decided to put it aside. I’ll be back to this one, as soon as there is grass or flowers to pose it in.

Those were replaced by these:


Almost plain socks in a STR lightweight rare gem (one of a kind colourway). I love this one. I’m not sure how Tina at Blue Moon makes the rare gems (I suspect that they may be her mistakes and experiments given a charming name) but for once I’m glad it’s not a regular colour I could buy…. because I would. The pattern is my plain vanilla sock pattern, with a 1×1 twist embedded in two of the ribs that are carrying on down the leg. I’m at the heel now, and I’ll have to make a decision soon about how far (or if) the twists will go down the foot.

Then (I think I might be starting to appear a little fixated) I am beginning another pair of socks.


STR (again) in Ravenscroft, sort of a black/blue/olive/green colourway. Very manly. They are destined to become some cabled socks, started as soon as I meet my word count for today and earn the right to go anywhere near my ball winder.

This almost meets my sock needs. I’ve got one that’s good for the bus and while I’m thinking (that’s the one with the twists) one that replaces thinking (that’s the cabled one coming) and now all I need is a totally plain one to do at the movies or on the phone. I’ll figure that out later.

Q&A from yesterday:

Marcia said:

“I have had that pattern for years. So, you’re telling me I should actually knit it?”

Yup. This is an awesome pattern, and for those of you who think it’s a hard one, it really isn’t. Not at all. Seriously. The pattern is intuitive, you’ll have it memorized in no time at all. The hardest parts are only establishing the patterns so that you can see where things are going, and you can get through that bit with a cup of coffee and an hour of reasonably distraction free knitting. (If you find it really hard, have someone “read” the first rows out loud while you knit them. Makes it dead simple.) Once that’s done, you’re on fire and there’s no slowdown at all until the sewing up, which isn’t even that bad because….well. Sewing up just isn’t that bad. (I know some of you don’t like it, but your sweater deserves it, and I know you’re smart enough.)

The other thing I like about this bad-boy is that it looks really different on everyone. If you cruise the Ravelry files on it, you’ll see that it really changes with the colour, the yarn and the knitter.

A whole bunch of you said:

“Stop taunting me with this pattern because it only comes a limited range of sizes.”

I know, and I’m sorry. (Not that it’s my fault, I didn’t write the pattern) but because I feel your pain. I was at Old Navy with Sam yesterday trying to buy pants and you don’t even want to know about how pissy I was when I left. I would have had to cut 40 cm off of any pair of pants in the store to make them work. Now, everything can’t fit everybody, and I am sorry about Patons shrunken Canadian sizing, but on this blog, down the left hand sidebar, there’s a .pdf for upsizing this pattern, should you need to. You’ll still need the pattern, but at least now it can come in your size.

A whole bunch of you said:

“You did what to stabilise the neck? What are you talking about? Explain how.”

Okay. I’ll show you on Monday, since I’ll have to take some pictures. Plus, I’ll really need a couple of days to get over the irony of me being asked to show how to do a crochet anything.

Even more of you said:

I can’t find the pattern!

There were a lot of possible sources listed in the comments here on this entry, and one or two in yesterdays. It’s a current booklet from Patons, not at all discontinued or anything. If you go to the Patons website they have a Store Locator here, and you can find stores that carry the line in your area. There’s even a list of internet sources here. I swear it’s out there, you might need to order it, but it’s out there.

(The pattern book also has the Urban Aran in it, which Brooklyn Tweed cardiganized and put on his blog. It might be backordered just for that. What a great sweater. Maybe I should make that next…. )

146 thoughts on “Deadlocked on socks

  1. I really like the glacier colorway, but it should definitely be held off until that dog day of summer when you decide you cannot take anymore and you begin thinking that snow is a good thing. Then work on glacier.

  2. Actually, your charm would take you pretty far, I think. I love the way you write, the things you knit. Thanks for doing this blog.

  3. Darn you for making me want to knit more socks!! I can already feel the pull of the purple/pink/black colorway of Tofutsies at my LYS. It calls to me..
    I am also waiting (not so patiently) for my friend to return from Stitches West. She promised to bring me STR!
    Must. Resist. Casting. On. Socks. At. Work.

  4. It is difficult, isn’t it Chelsea, to read this at work and not immediately close the office door and break out the yarn!

  5. From one short person to another I’d recommend not bothering trying on pants that don’t say ‘ankle length’ or ‘short’ on the tag. The Gap always seems to have some… Regular pants just aren’t worth the anguish. πŸ™‚

  6. That sweater looks great! You may have helped me get over my fear of knitting sweaters. It looks like a sweater I would actually want to wear. I don’t know why but there are so many patterns out there for sweaters that look frumpy, and this sweater does not look AT ALL frumpy to me. I am actually getting a little giddy thinking about making it. Thank you so much SPM for helping get to this point.
    Hi, my name is Carol and I fear knitting sweaters. πŸ™‚

  7. Screw it. I’m casting on a vanilla sock in that fun stuff I picked up at knit night this week. Totally your fault.

  8. I can’t believe this sock yarn is my namesake!!! This is the best thing I have heard in a long while (but I suppose I should get out more…..)
    Enjoy making your Ravenscroft sock.
    Moi Ravenscroft

  9. So let me get this straight. You’re eulogizing a sock whose pattern isn’t available and follow that with a yarn which isn’t available? Trying to spread the frustration level around so we’ll blennnnnnnd, are we?

  10. Me. AKA “YH Bandwagon Jumper.” Rabbitch’s “Revenge” is en route to my polar ice cap of a home in Cleveland, and I’m practicing socks using some Trekker XXL and your sock recipe.
    I’m so looking forward to having colour, I’ll even spell it with a u.

  11. OK, TOTALLY don’t blame you for putting the glacier aside. A year ago i lived in the desert,and i would not have “gotten it”, but this year i live in Northern NY, and i totally “get it”. Love the new Rare Gem colorway.
    Also, you ROCK for agreeing to show how you did the neck reinforcement!!!

  12. Thanks for the tip on upsizing the Must Have! I’ve had the pattern for a while and figured I’d have to upsize it myself.
    LOVE the Rivendell socks!!

  13. Long Island update: We finally got snow! Enough to sled, build a snowman, take pretty pictures. It will all be ice covered by tomorrow (or so they say), but for now it is a divine distraction for DD.
    Oh, and please show us your next sweater project, so I can get over my strong desire to find Street Smart! I’m already in the midst of 2 sweaters. Do I really need another one?

  14. I hope you survive April! I am still trying to get over the fact that March starts in a week ::gasp::
    I confess that I’ve never felt a yen for the Must Have cardi (yours is fab and I bet it will be super-well worn), but the Urban Aran on that same booklet has been on my ‘must knit’ list for a loooong time. I’d so cast on for that this very moment if I had my word count done πŸ˜‰

  15. I got the Rivendell kit from Chameleon Colourworks (or is it Colorworks?) awhile back and haven’t started it, but am delighted to see it up and almost-running on your needles.
    I’ve also been coveting the Raven series on STR, and am dying to see how it knits up.
    So, go, Stephanie! Knit like the wind! Give me the vicarious information I long for to get my own butt in gear!

  16. I found the pattern booklet at JoAnn’s last year. It might still be there….
    Great sweater, Stephanie! And you’re right; anyone who knits is smart enough to crochet (and vice-versa!)

  17. Again, love your sweater. Checked out the Ravelry link. Helps me not at all in deciding what color mine should be, although someone had a nice shot of their back, so now I can picture how to make the cable mirror each other. I would do them like the pattern, but then dear DH would mention in passing…”it would be really cool if those cables mirrored each other…” and I’d be ripping out before the words died in the air.
    Jared’s Cardiganized Urban Aran is amazing! Hubby and boys would all love that sweater, but hubby has a 54 inch chest. I doubt I could alter that pattern THAT much! Oh geez! I have an auction shawl to finish and you are tempting me to stray………..

  18. i have an utterly boring shawl and a slightly less boring baby blanket to finish before i can start on my next project, 2 boogas. the picture of the rare gem socks makes me want to cast on for another sock i know will be an only twin. . .

  19. I have to chide you a litte for being pissy about an EXTRA 40cm on pants. I would die of happiness if that was my problem.
    As we all know, you can’t add what isn’t there to begin with, and too-short rises are simply painful.
    If you are clever enough to seam a sweater, then surely you can hem some pants.

  20. You’re only home for three nights in April? That’s appalling! Working hard is one thing; living out of a suitcase is another. I’ll have to bring you treats when I see you at WEBS – beer? Chocolate? Handspun yarn? New underwear? Those old metal sock dpns I never use, the ones my mother gave me? Joe?

  21. Thank you tons and tons for the link to the instructions to upsize the Must Have Cardigan. Now to track down the pattern…I can’t wait for the book with the Rivendell sock pattern to come out. It is delightful. And finally, I have two of the STR Ravenclan colorway yarns (Korpi and Haida), and think they are really nifty. One is destined to be used in one of Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways socks – I even have it wound already. The other I haven’t decided about yet…

  22. Oh, Yes, make the Urban Aran cardigan. It’s wicked easy, even if you’ve never done cables (like me, though I know that’s a snap for you). I’m making it in Louet’s Riverstone in a celery green and I’m loving it! Check the Paton’s website for correx, though, there’s a couple. When it’s done I’m going to make the Must Have in chestnut brown. This sweater thing is taking a serious bite out of my sock knitting, I must say.

  23. Yikes- now the Rivendell pattern will be harlotized- it is definitely worthy. I could see that in a number of lovely colorways.
    Does anyone else have problems with their superwash yarn not keeping their tootsies warm?

  24. I was thinking like Lynn up there–what can we bring you? I’m already pondering on what can go in a taste of Rhode Island goody bag for you (don’t worry, no clam cakes or anything; I’m a chocolate-coffee-sweets kind of gal).
    I don’t fit into any of the women’s jeans in Old Navy. I always buy men’s. They don’t seem to make straight-up pants for females–it’s all bell this and low-rise that and capri the other. I just want jeans, for crying out loud.
    And I got my must-have cardi book from Patternworks, years ago, if that helps anyone.

  25. I would like to know the 1×1 ribbing also. And I see you are going to be in London in September. We were there last year and I was so excited to go looking for yarn stores. Couldn’t find a singe one! Harrod’s doesn’t carry yarn anymore and people actually looked at me quite quizzically when I asked about finding yarn. I saw plenty of sheep outside London…but never found the yarn! You’ll have to let me know what you find!

  26. The sock spell has fallen at my house, too. Yesterday I finished the forest green Elfine socks I was knitting for my sister. I had already cast on a Crusoe sock in Koigu, so as not to have no socks in progress, and the purple Gloss yarn arrived last week for my mom’s requested socks, which I may cast on later tonight. It’s so uplifting to see knitting progress in a short amount of time. Socks are great! (And your glacier socks are very intriguing …)
    ~ Dar

  27. Re the Paton pattern: For those in the U.S. with access to JoAnn Fabrics stores, they carry the book. Probably have it online, too! And it’s less than $6 U.S.

  28. Maybe it’s my monitor, but that Ravenscroft looks much more like a “do not knit when depressed by the weather” color than the glacier. I love the rare gems! Blue Moon was so packed with people at Madrona that I ended up passing (ok, ok, and my designated one bagful of yarn had been reached despite me continuing to try to compress it – I needed one of those “suck all the air out” compression bags instead I think), but only because I also know I have a local source here when I need a real STR fix (not to mention ordering online).

  29. re: running the cable down the foot — I’d recommend not to. I did that on a pair. To my eyes, it looks odd — draws the sock together on the side of the foot. And since I stopped it at the toe, the toe looks odd too. Feels funny as well to have that along both sides of the foot. Every time I wear that pair, I regret what I thought would be so clever.

  30. It seems that we have similar tastes in sock colorways. I, too, am having that “sockthang” going on.

  31. Sometimes socks are all I am up for knitting, and it’s amazing that I will occasionally feel guilty about it! As though for some reason knitting a plain sock is not as valid as knitting a sweater. I always have to remind myself that knitting is a hobby, which I’m supposed to enjoy, so therefore I should knit whatever I darn well feel like.

  32. I just need to know… mainly to gauge just how crazy I really am… how many UFO can one have before it is unacceptable to start another?
    I am thinking only until size 8 needles run out, but perhaps that is not correct.

  33. For the love of Ravelry…not only did I find a website that carried the Patons booklet, but I snagged her last one until her shipment next Friday. I have been watching the progress of this cardi very closely, and upon seeing the finished project I knew I could resist no longer.
    Thank you Stephanie, for being the most wonderful kind of knitting enabler!

  34. How did last years tour socks end up? And, has a skein of yarn made itself worthy of being your next tour socks?
    Have you tried the Old Navy ankle length pants, are they still that much too long?

  35. Wanna trade deadlines? I have an operating grant, complete with the scary numbers…c’mon…it’ll be fun!

  36. Would you chop the 40 cm and send them to me to add to my pants? I’m letting out the hems on the talls and they’re still too short! We could have a nice exchange going on.
    This is the reason I knit. Because I can make the lengths any size I want to. I might even have gloves with fingers that don’t end halfway down my fingers!

  37. I overheard at the Blue Moon booth that the gems are mistakes she overdyes.
    The sweater looks good and also useful.
    Good luck with the deadline. See you in April. We’ll see if you can still see us.

  38. Thank you for linking to BrooklynTweed’s Urban Aran cardigan. I, too, thought that sweater would make a super zip-front cardi and all I needed was someone to show me!
    I ordered my Patons Street Smart booklet from Jessica at Weaving Rainbow and hopefully it will land in my mailbox soon. She may have more.
    As for Old Navy pants, I gave up on them long ago. All of their women’s pants & jeans seem to be cut for women with no hips, thighs or a$$, not curvy divas like me. Fuhgeddabout men’s jeans. But Old Navy skirts fit me. Go figure.

  39. From one short legged knitter to another, capri length jeans are perfect for showing off hand knit wooly socks. April in the US is great weather for them (mostly, okay maybe not in Maine or Chicago, but). On my short legs, the capri’s come to the tops of my socks. No cutting, hemming needed.

  40. I too am in a sock spiral. Trying to break the sock thing, I cast on for a sweater in the Patons wool, frogged it, started another, frogged it, too, and gave in to the sock thing. This too, will pass.

  41. since we’re getting our first *real* snow here in brooklyn i’ve been craving bright (for me anyway) too. some non str handdyed goodiness for me today but wow is it curing those winter greys.. which is sad b/c i really really want/need to finish my grey veste.
    i’m thankful you do the tour thing (am currently begging husband to drive me up to northampton since i have a conflict when you’re in nyc, though i could potentially count it as “research”) that schedule sounds insane and i wish i could help somehow… will you go near instant coffee? i have a small plan..

  42. I am no help. I have similar sock problems. I am blaming the high levels of stress upon me for the fact I can’t accomplish anything but socks.

  43. Thank you for linking us to the upsizing for the Must Have pattern!!!!!
    I have had the pattern for so long but I definitely bought it without looking at the sizing. It gathered dust until now! And duh, why did I not look for some instructions on the web for upsizing? But here you are to the rescue.
    Thanks so much!
    Now it is time for me to begin my first sweater.
    Your faithful though ample blog-reader,

  44. What lovely colors, even the Glacier, in a better time. I’ve been coveting some STR for a long while, and just the other day when I was, you know, checking the site and wracking my brain for an excuse to get some (Yes, I do need an excuse, mostly because of my yarn aviary of Opal that nests in the living room)my husband came up behind me and instantly requested socks made from the Raven Clan.
    Since I don’t want to pay shipping twice, I was hoping someone who has worked with STR before could tell me if I need one or two skeins for a mens’s size 9 for a pair of plain 3×1 ribbed socks?
    I know someone can help me on this one. Thanks in advance!

  45. Thanks for showing the cool STR “gems” sock up close. It still looks lovely. Tina’s “mistakes” are fairly wonderful.

  46. I love seeing all the great STR colourways – if only it was available here in the UK (sigh). I can only think about socks lately, too. They are the perfect project for so many reasons.

  47. Haha, between a Brooklyn Tweed plug and a Yarn Harlot plug, that pattern book is going to be *impossible* to find! πŸ˜‰
    I love the ‘rare gem’ colorway too, and can’t wait to see the cabled sock! Have a lovely weekend Steph. =)

  48. OK, now I understand why everything I have been knitting for the past 4 months looks like a flower show has exploded in my living room (Vermont. February. We have similar issues). Keep the glacier for the summer, when you want to stay cool (and if you extend the pattern, wouldn’t it look great as hose at a Ren Fair? Maybe not Elvish….but still.)
    BTW- WEBS is my LYS- and now I know what I am doing tomorrow, snow willing. It’s not that I consider you an enabler- I think “facilitator” is a much kinder word! Truly. You make everything look good.

  49. I participated in a knit along for this sweater, a few years back. At that time there was a Yahoo group and they provided a range of embiggened sizes as well.
    It is my favorite knit garment, to date and I always get compliments on it.

  50. Sewing up itsn’t about being smart, it’s about being good. I understand the sewing up, I just don’t execute it very well…..

  51. Wow–that ‘Rivendell’ sock is really amazing…I’m so there.
    And I know what you mean…I’ve got a whole bunch of sockyarn and no time to knit it. All I want to do is cast on socks.

  52. Beautiful socks! Beautiful yarns. I used to be afraid of socks until I knit a pair of Red Sox for my dad. He loved them, and it was all downhill for me after that, hehe.
    You can get the Patons pattern for the cardigan at a local chain craft store (U.S.) which I used to work for, and which I don’t know if I’m allowed to mention here…

  53. The buzz around the Blue Moon booth, was that Rare Gems are colorway attempts that Tina doesn’t like, so she overdyes them. I cannot quite comprehend this; if I attempted to overdye an undesireable colorway, I would get “Common Mud” rather than a “Rare Gem”.
    If you get the real story from Tina, please post it. I consider myself lucky to get a hank of a colorway that I would have bought many of, if I had had the chance.

  54. Dear Stephanie,
    You are doing for knitting patterns what Oprah does for books! I think you may need to start notifying the distributer of your next pattern BEFORE you start blogging about it so they can stock up in advance for all of us who are captivated by your projects!

  55. Stephanie, Last year I knit the cabled hoodie from the Paton’s Street Smart booklet. It was easy to knit, directions were good and it sewed together like a dream. My daughter loves it! Would recommend it. Linda (Had to shorten the sleeves)

  56. I am a shrimp diva, too. I feel you on the pants thing. It seems like only yesterday the average height for a woman was 5′ 4″, leaving me only two inches behind. Now the average height is 5′ 6″. That means that what could have once been dealt with by wearing a civilized heel now requires a seamstress. Merrr.

  57. “Glacier”? What were you THINKING?
    The photo of the glacial sock reminds me of high noon midwinter on the 45th parallel. No bloody shadows and 3 hours till “sunset”.
    I confess, I’m inspired to try a cardigan. Thanks for the push!

  58. I started the sweater. I’ve had the pattern a couple of years and always wanted to knit it. Seeing yours helped me decide to actually pick up needles and yarn! Navy heather Galway. Did gauge swatching. (not a usual thing for me) Got gauge. Started the sweater. For once the pattern set up row was perfect! I knit two rows of the pattern. The next time I picked it up the dogs were acting weird and wanting out and one was barking at me for some unknown reason. And then the hub wanted computer help. And I got totally lost and frustrated and frogged it. Today I decided that I really need to try that sweater. It will be a first aran for me, beyond a few hats, and more interesting (complicated?) than I’ve ever knit. I didn’t get far enough to “see” the pattern, I know that. Can I get uninterrupted time to actually get that far? That’s the question. I’m going to go get my yarn and needles and try again. Wish me luck. And peaceful knitting!

  59. Speaking as a person who is five-feet-nothin’, I always have to hem all my garments, even those which are supposedly “petites.” I can make a whole other pair of pants from what I cut off the bottom. And don’t even talk to me about sleeves! I had to learn to sew in self-defense or else spend all my money at the tailor’s. Socks are gorgeous!

  60. I love the sock…I was knitting a sock on my lunch break at work today. The man that works across from me asked what I planned to do on the weekend and I said “work on my socks”, he asked me if I knew that you could go out and buy socks at the store……some people just don’t understand:-)

  61. That’s a beautiful sweater. I went to a site mentioned in the comments, as you suggested, and found the leaflet. Unfortunately, I also found five other leaflets I had to have. Fortunately, they were priced very economically.
    I’m like you, not quite as tall as pants are usually hemmed. I have found that petite pants often don’t need hemming, particularly in the woman’s sizes. These seem to be styled for women who really don’t want their so-called waistbands a couple of inches below their navels. The other helpful hint I can offer is Lands’ End, which will custom hem their pants, usually at no charge.
    Have a happy, busy month and get some rest whenever you can.

  62. Please Please Please knit the Rivendell socks for me. I will love you forever. I will knit you that skirt you want(and not make you spin the yarn).It’s my birthday soon….well in April, the end of April.That gives you lots time, sort of. I will knit you lace, I will cook for you. Bring you wine. My soul aches for those socks. Please please please I AM your very best friend in all the world.And if I had those socks I could….RULE THE WORLD AS THE QUEEN OF ALL ELVES!!!!!!! (blue flames flashes in dennys eyes, and for a minuet she looks strangely evil)

  63. Oh look at all the yummy STR! I need to do a few pairs of plain socks.
    Thanks for all the hints on the sweater and where to find the pattern.

  64. So, for the pants thing, having heard you tell a couple of Joe stories at Madrona, I’m thinking you need to find a pair of spike heels! Joe would probably enjoy that. With that said, I watched you knitting on that sweater in Tacoma and was facinated with how quickly you knit, and the complete lack of anything near you that resembled a pattern. And you have to quit talking about this sweater, its all your fault, as it is, that I bought the yarn for the OTHER sweater, can we say Kuni, and i’m working my way up the ribbing.

  65. The Patons Book that everybody wants is definitaly back ordered, my sales rep for Spinrite (Patons and several other’s distributer) says she has absolutely no Idea when the book will be back in and even if I ordered it to have in stock if I’d get it anytime soon. I want to say if you find one grab it up and get outa where you are ASAP!! Cuz someone is bound to want it to at the same time, lol!

  66. Son of a motherless goat. I’m glad someone mentioned the limited size range before I went hunting the thing down.
    Love that colorway of the almost plain socks! It is very cheery!

  67. I just finished my very first pair of socks, and could not have done it without your help from Knitting Rules. Someone else on another blog said they did socks with your help and they were right; it’s easy (she said after ripping out twice.) They’re beautiful and I’m eager to do another pair. (You did say socks are addictive…) Thanks!

  68. We sell that book and can order it if we run out. It’s $5.95 Cdn (+ GST for Canadian residents). Anyone interested e-mail me at darganknits at hotmail dot com. It could be shipped for the cost of the postage, which shouldn’t be much.

  69. Oh,good! You are going to talk about the neck thing. I was wondering as on a recent pattern I just left the neck stitches on the holder. Why cast off then pick up, me thought. I’d appreciate insight — even if does involve the dreaded C word.
    Loved the sweater. Socks are good when they are done – especially second sock. Afghans – you’re just glad it’s over. But a sweater – ah, the joyous satisfaction of completion and especially when it is the sweater you had envisioned it to be.

  70. I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t understand what you did to the back of the neck (and more importantly: how you knew to do what you did in the first place.) Am awaiting tutorial.

  71. I’ve tried to figure out just why the making of socks is so addictive. Well, it’s definitely partly the yarn, partly the variety of ways to knit them up. They go on humble feet, ennobling them with handcrafted goodness. They feel so good when you put them on, too; nothing like store bought socks. And they’re such a portable project. By the way, I love the glacier colour, but I got this weird kind of chill when I looked at the picture. Kind of like I was standing naked on top of Mount Everest. Not that I’d do that, but. I’m going now.

  72. Hi,
    Catching up on the last two days of blog.
    The cardi is beautiful and so are the buttons you chose. Yes, I have a button box. I snip buttons and have been known to buy a worthless worn out old raggedy thing at the thrift store in order to cut off the buttons. Can always use another rag…Good buttons can be hard to find.
    Sock knitting. Sounds to me like you are taking a zen breather before the tour. Socks are like vanilla ice cream, egg custard and basic mashed taters with butter. Soft, pleasing and easy to enjoy.

  73. Careful — if you knit those socks for Denny, all will love her and despair.
    Oh, wait. No difference, eh? Carry on.

  74. I love socks! I recently started knitting socks and I love them, but I love yours more! You are an amazing knitter.

  75. I also have a number of Big Knitting Projects in my mind, yarn in stash and at the ready, and, yet, I keep casting on socks, and fantasizing about new sock yarn.
    To wit:
    After getting my ass kicked by basic-enough socks (your recipe, STR medium weight) this afternoon, I am going home to cast on a fix revenge tide-me-over pair that I wanted to have done by Valentines Day.
    You know…

  76. to find the pattern, Google “Patons 500989”. You’ll get links to retailers that stock the booklet

  77. O.K. I know you’re really busy but I have holey socks and Abby told me that you had some instructions in one of your posts about how to darn socks and I have now been searching for more than an hour and can’t find it. If you could even point me to a month/year or if you know where I can find good instructions that would be great! If you can’t get back to me for a while that’s o.k. cause these socks have been holey for over a year so they can wait:-)

  78. When it comes to pants for height challenged people of a (ah hem) normal body type I swear by Reitmans Petite trousers. Haven’t had to hem a pair yet. They regularly go on sale for $26 and less and have the best return policy ever. I can have whatever I want when it’s under $30 bucks for a pair of dress pants.
    I’d described my legs as serviceable and they meet the ground while I’m standing up. Sitting down is a another matter. Does swinging your legs while attending meetings that go on and on burn up the calories from the break cookie that was a big as your head?

  79. I have to ask you Don’t you worry about putting your sock in progress or yarn in the snow? When you take it back inside isn’t wet? I think that would drive me crazy!!

  80. Hee…I made a post about what I bought at Madrona today, and was laughing myself silly. (Because, y’know, although I *still* have 3 in progress, I haven’t yet finished a sock. This is carrying process knitting to new heights, I think. What’s worse is I want to cast on a few more. Which wouldn’t be a problem, except my completion speed and perseverence is, obviously, nowhere near yours.) Meanwhile, I have a large basket full of sock yarn…several tote-sized bags full of sock yarn…and what did I bring home from Madrona? Four more skeins of sock yarn; 9.2 oz. of mini-skein leftovers of Bearfoot sock yarn in related colors, hopefully enough to make a pair; and the only non-sock-related purchase, 2 ozs. each of bombyx silk roving and 50/50 silk/merino roving from Crown Mountain Farms. (And no, I don’t plan on making silk/merino socks.)
    Why do I have this suspicious feeling I’ll never get around to knitting any sweaters in the foreseeable future?

  81. The Rivendell is gorgeous! I love the colors and the patterning, though I can understand about the grey needing to be put aside in the middle of winter. I’ve been doing the same thing, knitting with reds and purples like it was going out of style. More socks!

  82. oh i was going nuts trying to find that paton’s booklet from the first time you revealed it here! the paton’s storelocator kept telling me to go to michael’s, so i did. but to NO avail! and the staff were annoyingly unhelpful/uninformed. anyhow, ebay was the total saviour in this instance. got my copy there at a decent price and in no time at all, it showed up in my mail!

  83. pssst. Stephanie! I wanted to let you know first – the blanket I’ve been knitting for the last year and a half – the one you had people bury me in yarn for – it’s done! I didn’t quite finish in time for today’s post, so the final post with finished object pictures will be up next Friday, but I thought I would give you a heads up. Thanks again!

  84. Socks can be kind of addicting. Oddly enough, when I’m backed up with homework and a deadline (I’m working on a Masters in Education. I’m not supposed to complain about homework – something about setting a good example?), I suddenly find myself totally interested in knitting socks. I love socks. Socks are awesome. Short row, figure 8 toe up patterns. I feel successful while doing socks. I feel productive while doing socks. I can wear them anytime of the year. They are my favorite. πŸ™‚

  85. That IS a wonderful sweater – and SO becoming on you! By the way, there is a GREAT deal of high-energy excitement already forming up in anticipation of your visit HERE, might I add!

  86. I was talking to Angelia at Unicorn today they have been besieged with orders for the sweater pattern! love the rare gem, Bob Ross said there are no mistakes only happy accidents….

  87. Oh, I need that Rivendell pattern. I bookmarked Janel’s site and I’ll be on the lookout for the book. I assume she’s self publishing since I can’t find it on Amazon.

  88. The Rivendell are lovely so far. Can’t wait to see the finished product! I have 1 question and 1 suggestion. 1)To echo Martha’s comment,”Does a pattern on the foot of the sock ever make it uncomfortable to wear for you?” 2) It seems like you will be travelling a great deal in April, you may want to seriously consider working on circulars (with bamboo ends)whilst travelling. They make getting through security MUCH easier.

  89. Your “Must Have Cardigan” is beautiful in the light grey color. I knit mine with Cascade 220 “Ruby” which I love. The MHC was my first cabled cardigan and I plan to knit another. BTW, I ordered the pamphlet from Patternworks although I don’t think they still have it.

  90. Dear Harlot, please tell me how much yarn was left over from the 6th ball of Northampton. The reason I’m asking is that I’ve recycled some aran from an old sweater and I’m desperately trying to calculate whether it will be enough to knit the Must Have Sweater. I think I’ve got 1360 metres (assuming it didn’t shrink lengthwise in the years it was in cobbled-together-crochet-sweater). I’ve swatched it and it meets the correct tension (although the fabric is a little stiff – is yours?). Now, all I have to panic about is whether I have enough yarn, based on length, to knit the cardi.
    Help, please!

  91. On the 1×1 rib socks…I think you should figure out a way to cross the two ribs across the top of the foot, making a big 1×1 ribbed “X”. πŸ™‚

  92. You are right, the brooklyntweed version of that sweater is gorgeous. He took something nice and made it WOW! But where are his instructions for modification? Maybe I just scanned his website too quickly?

  93. Oh heavenly socks… is there anything else more satisfying to knit? I am totally in love with Rivendell and I’ll have to keep checking back to see when the book is published. Good luck with your word count, I hope it comes quickly so you have lots more knitting time.

  94. i just posted the other day all about how when i’m really stressed or under a lot of pressure, the only thing i can manage to knit is socks. My friends know I’m realllllllly stressed when I start pumping out A LOT of socks one pair right after another!

  95. Hey, a comment totally unrelated to your post but just a quick message to say how glad i am to see on your tour dates that youre comming to see us here in good old blightly! Unfortunatly i’m not going to be able to make it (i’m training to be a nurse and am on wards all through september) but i hope it may be a sign of more harlot to come. And also to say thank you for making me chuckle (and confusing my boyfriend who doesnt quite understand the concept of ‘books about knitting’) πŸ™‚

  96. This doesn’t have much to do with the knitting (although you ARE making me even more frustrated because I have a finger in a splint and can’t do any for three more weeks). But if you buy trousers or jeans from Lands’ End, they will hem them for you. Down to the quarter inch. And with a fast turnaround time, too. I’m short, and I don’t shop anywhere else.
    L.L.Bean sells “Petites” with a 28″ inseam, but assumes you are short-waisted. This can result in the occasional wedgie.

  97. Martha, Stephanie(from the comments) Hopefully I’ll be ably to answer your question about the Rivendell socks being uncomfy. I may be casting on a knitted winter skirt for a dear dear DEAR friend while I’m wearing them. hint hint hint hint . Steph’s best friend in the whole wide world Denny Love you Steph.(oh my Birthday is the end of April, the green grass month)

  98. How do you do it? How do you knit that quickly? Or is it simply that you knit in your sleep? The cardigan does look wonderful, and it is such fun to see 169 versions of the same thing on Ravelry πŸ˜‰

  99. Hey, I love you and I’m your friend too. Can I have socks for My birthday?

  100. The Rare Gems is way cool. Way, way cool. I’m grooving on what’s happening with those colors, and the teeny twisty thing.
    I too picked Ravenscroft as the first of what is destined to be a small flock, no doubt, of Raven Clan stash/projects, so I’m there with you. Love the Raven yarn.
    I’ll show you what I made with it, when I see you at SOCK CAMP IN APRIL!!!
    (Sorry to yell, but I’m just a wee bit excited!)

  101. I love it! That’s how I choose my sock patterns as well. Actually all my projects. And I think the weather has been why I haven’t been able to pick up my husband’s aran sweater. The natural color matches the snow. Thank goodness the sun is out! He might get to wear this by next fall.

  102. I ran out of Street Smart booklets on Thursday but hope to be getting more… my distributor said that they were back ordered, but someone else said they went back in stock (at the distributor’s distributor) on Thursday & my distributor said that they would probably have their copies in 2 or 3 weeks..
    I hope to have more copies in March… mid-to-late March as a guess? Here’s hoping!!

  103. Maybe you could use some of those secret weapons and get Janel to sell a PDF pattern on her blog/site? Or make a deal with someone and get a kit going for those of us who come to this completely unarmed? Please?
    Glad you love you new sweater… nothing feels better than not only getting it right, but loving it when you’ve got it on.

  104. I see that you are using an “I Love NY” coffee mug! If you really do love New York, and really, who doesn’t, can you please schedule a book tour stop in another NY location other than NYC? Like Rochester? We’d love to have you visit and Rochester is not very far from Toronto-no airplanes needed!

  105. Ahem. Not to be pushy, but my birthday antedates both Rachel’s and Denny’s (by quite a few years, too.) No pressure. Just keeping the record straight. (Elbows out, feet planted.)

  106. So Denny, are you thinking if we knit the skirt we’ll get socks faster?

  107. Regarding the tour: St. Paul is PSYCHED to have you! The auditorium at St. Catherine’s seats 650 people, and there are only 150 tickets left. And they’ve only been available for a week. You should let me know what kind of treats you want delivered to you after you speak…we have a pretty intense meth problem here, if that’s your thing.

  108. 1. Okay, I know I’m a bit late to the game, but your new cardi is gorgeous! Perfect fit, just cable-y enough to be endlessly fascinating, looks totally comfortable, and the lovely soft gray will go with everything. (Your hair looks fabulous in that photo too, though I’m not sure I can attribute that to the sweater.) A success all around!
    2. Re your plans for that stunning STR colorway: don’t you worry that cables won’t show on a color that dark? I bought a bunch of Elsebeth Lavold’s silky wool in a gorgeous navy blue (love her yarns but the colors usually too muted to look good on me). Anyway, I love the color but after I got it home I realized the cables in the selected pattern (Hild, lovely cabled/ribbled turtleneck) wouldn’t show in the dark color, so why go to all the trouble to knit them? Have you any thoughts to share on this? (No, I didn’t return the yarn. It’s too pretty.)

  109. Rivendell??
    Blimey. I play the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) “Lord Of The Rings Online” and literally just logged out in Rivendell.
    (Just finished defeating a Nazgul and bringing the glad news back to Elrond. :D)

  110. Just LOVE the socks. I always seem to have at least 3 or 4 things on the go, including socks! I really enjoy the ‘clever wool’ that knits up in fairisle patterns. Trouble is all my friends want them too! I love the thought of all that snow -I know I would probably hate it if we had as much as you but it does look really lovely. We are in the middle of Summer here(Hobart.Tasmania) and last week it was 34C, today it is 16 with snow on the mountain – go figure!!!!! Barbie C

  111. 3 unconescutive nights?! (or should that be nonconsecutive?)
    That is madness. You are a pretty great lady to be so kind to all of us fans. But holy h*ll lady – that cannot be good. I think you need another incentive for your itinerary maker to be kinder to you.
    I love the Glacier colourway – but you’re right, the STR is a much better choice for this time of year.

  112. You had to, just had to, add the link to the Urban Aran where my honey could see it, click on it, then announce “Could I have that for my birthday?” Now I’ll have to join the hordes of readers searching for the pattern!
    And please tell me I read that wrong, and you didn’t seriously say you would be home only 3 nights in April? Because that’s just insane! (Ah, unless you’ll be in the Philly region for like, three or four days, in which case I salute your publicist and promise to buy you much beer!)

  113. i need to say thank you
    i find myself in charity projects
    that need knitted squares
    7 by seven by 9 by six
    your scarf pattern from o6
    knit two knit back of next stich purl
    loves my aycrlic yarn other patterns
    just hate the yarn all its pretty colours
    i am to only knit for me this year
    i said to me myself and i but
    many hands make the work go quickly
    and i have dead lines to put the work
    in the mail thank you madam

  114. I followed the link, and that Rivendell sock is *gorgeous*. Looks like there’s going to be another new sock book I’m going to have to buy!
    Re the Must-Have Cardigan, that’s one I had my eye on for a couple of years, but seeing you do such a beautiful job of it makes it very, very hard to keep it from cutting in at the front of the queue. πŸ™‚

  115. It’s winter- i’m sick of it. Grey sky, grey dirty snow, grey salt on the hardwood floor…. blah.
    So- I ordered Kauni. COLOR. I may be nuts— but will be attempting my first colorwork sweater….I love th kauni autumn sweater…. but think the basic kauni (squares) might be easier…I want this to be a good experience— any input?
    (ps….. if I do the basic sweater… I’ll be doing it to work upto the autumn one;)

  116. The Glacier colorway reminds me of a summer sky just after sunset, when nearly all the color is gone, but a warm breeze lingers.
    Oh, well, I tried. While you’re doing tutorials, could you do one on seaming reverse st st? I cannot get it right.

  117. Am also hooked on socks after completion of a sweater yesterday, but my finished article is nowhere near as lovely as your cardi being perhaps the most godforsaken mess I have ever created that may only possibly fit Quasimodo due to it’s odd neckline. Thought i was safe from sweater disasters after completing two great ones and therefore assumed all the disasters were out of the way – how wrong I was. may get the pattern to kit this sweater, that’s gotta work. The other sweater may have to be butchered with the aid of a sewing machine. Will now only knit patterns previously tested by other ravelers to prevent further bouts of jealousy when your sweater works and mine doesn’t!!

  118. Oh please, please, PLEASE, come down to Miami, Fl on your book tour. I swear it won’t be -50 degrees out, although it’ll be hotter then hell and your hair may frizz, but we have really awesome A/C down here!

  119. Oh please, please, PLEASE, come down to Miami, Fl on your book tour. I swear it won’t be -50 degrees out, although it’ll be hotter then hell and your hair may frizz, but we have really awesome A/C down here!

  120. I finished my first grown-up sock last night and posted a terrible photo of it on my blog. My dear old college roomate commented, asking if I had ever read Neruda’s “Ode to My Socks.” Maybe you’ve already read it, but if you haven’t it’s wonderful. I found a translation online at knittingrat’s blog. Reading it makes it so much easier to cast on that second sock!

  121. I didn’t find it that intuitive until I was most of the way up the back. I did write down some tips & tricks on my blog in hopes that others can avoid some of the learning curves I experienced.
    I am still loving it, though.

  122. Enjoy the peace and quiet.
    Missed you at Stitches West. The Socketeers had a great time and we did sell, sell and then sold more.

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