Taste of Germany update

July 31, 2007 @ 2:54 am
posted by kris
Filed under: Taste of Germany

OK folks, this is really happening!!! Woohoo! I put my order in to the dyers and I’m giving them 3 weeks to get it to me. I am making 10 kits and it will be first come, first served. Whenever I post the final data + picture, I will tell you from what time I am accepting orders. From there, I will take the first 10 emails I get and invoice them through paypal. I am still trying to finalize how much it’s going to cost but it looks like 70 euros will be it. And I was wrong on the shipping, it’s going to be 12 euros worldwide and 6 euros within the EU. If there are German buyers (which I doubt), it will be even less. It’s just going to be the yarn and a little info on each dyer (no extras, sorry!). I will post a picture here of what the yarns will look like and you can decide from there if you want it or not. This kit will be “blue” and will contain:

1 skein Wollmeise sock yarn
1 skein Marisilk (sea silk lace weight)
1 skein regular sock yarn (75% merino/25% Polyacryl)
1 skein Merino/Silk/Ramie sock yarn
1 skein 100% merino lightweight sock yarn

If you have any questions, please let me know.

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And the winners are…

July 28, 2007 @ 10:01 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: contest

drumroll please…

Europe: Lou in the UK
non-Europe: Schrodinger knits in New York

Whoa, the Brits ruled this contest. Even though Schrodinger is in New York, she is actually British. Thanks everyone for playing and stay tuned for another contest in a couple months! I can’t make these project bags fast enough, everyone wants one and I can’t keep them in the house. Hmmm…business idea? Nah, I don’t think I like sewing THAT much! But maybe to make a few side bucks… :)

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Kept me laughing for weeks

July 24, 2007 @ 10:13 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

In the Saturday Night Live episode with Drew Barrymore (Feb 3, 2007), she did this “commercial” about Firestarter brand smoked sausages. Based on her character in the movie Firestarter, she is now grown up and sells sausages that is cooked over a fire that is started with her mind. Anyways, she is married to this singer (or “song stylist”) and these are part of the lyrics:

Slide the casing through your moist lips, a jointless finger made out of PORK”

OMG, I can’t stop laughing. I mean, who thought up “jointless finger”? Everytime I say it I totally crack up. Another line that is the 2nd funniest:

Plump big sausages in the smokehouse, crammed full of savory MEATS

And just the way he sings it makes it soooo funny. I wish there was a clip of it online, but sadly, I can’t find any. Anyways, if you have a chance to see it (I got mine off iTunes), it’s hilarious!

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Putting down the needles..and a new CONTEST!

July 21, 2007 @ 8:53 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: contest


My new project bags

The lining of the Sushi bag

So, I’m really weird that when I have too much to do of one thing (ie knitting projects), I just put it down altogether. That’s why I don’t like to cast on too many projects at a time. But what do I do? I cast on. Geezus! I know that I’m really competitive with myself and when I stalk too many blogs and see all the great things that people are producing, it makes me get all crazy and want to knit 24hrs. I feel like everyone is one collective person and they are kicking my ass as far as knitting is concerned. Weird, right?

So the last couple of days, I haven’t knitted at all. None whatsoever. I still read blogs and drooled on some flickr pics, but that’s about it. What have I been doing, you may ask? Well, I am spending more quality time with my boys, I got caught up on some stuff at home that have been falling by the wayside, late night hilarious skype chatting with Stephanie of the SSK podcast where we did an impromptu swap because I felt so bad that she didn’t have any Wollmeise yet, reading Harry Potter (YAY!) and believe it or not SEWING! You heard that right. I saw these little project bags and it didn’t look too hard to make. I haven’t taken out the machine in quite awhile. I forgot what a sweet machine I have. I really should start sewing again, but I just don’t have the space for it.

Anyways, I had some babysitting time and went to lunch with Michael. He lost his wallet so we went to look for a new one. It has to be small. He hates when it’s really big, and 75% of wallets are really big. In the process of looking for one, we pass the handbags section where I found the perfect handbag. I am very particular about the shape of my bags. It was kind of expensive but not overly expensive (99 euros). Then I also had to get another wallet myself and then we found one for Michael. After finding the wallets, we went to the fabric section of the store (department stores here normally have a fabric and craft section) and I bought a bunch of zippers for the bags.

When I came home, I was so excited to start, that I put the boys down for their nap and then started cutting and sewing. I forgot how to do stuff on my machine! How do I thread the machine to fill a bobbin? How do I do the reverse stitch? Why are the stitches all weird and crazy (tension was off)? So I had to relearn how to use it. I made so many mistakes, but finally got it down. In the picture of the pattern instructions, the bag looked really long. So I thought I could cut off some of the length. WRONG. It ended up to be this little tiny thing that I don’t know what to do with. So, then I did another one as is, and it came out perfect. Well, not PERFECT, but you know what I mean. I am extremely satisfied with my work, crooked sewing and all. The only thing I wish I could do was have the liner separate, so you don’t see the seams. If anyone knows of a free pattern like that, let me know.

And let me tell you – fabric here is RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE. Like 20 euros a meter. 20 freaking euros!!! And that’s for the “nice” normal fabrics. Others are like 14 euros, I saw some crappy ones for like 6.50, but that was rare. No wonder no one sews here, except for Tini. Thank god I’m a fabric hoarder.

Anyways, since I haven’t had a contest in awhile, I thought I’d give away two sets of a sushi bag + one skein of sock yarn (haven’t decided which ones yet, but it will be from a German indie dyer). I will choose one person from Europe, and one person from the rest of the world. So, leave a comment complimenting me on how fabulous my bags are (HA!) and I’ll have a drawing on July 28th at midnight Central European (or is it Daylight) time. Don’t forget to put where you are in the world!

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A picture for your SO’s

July 18, 2007 @ 9:39 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

Have an SO who thinks your stash is big? HAH! I saw this awhile ago (don’t know why I didn’t post about it then) and nearly fell out of my chair. This woman’s stash is bigger than several stores combined. Seriously. Go check it out!!!

Mochimochi Land

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Seems like forever…

July 16, 2007 @ 11:38 pm
posted by kris


Montego Bay Scarf

My latest acquisitions

…since I blogged! I’ve been busy with hank wanking, podcasting, casting on waaaaay too many projects, and staying up late playing with Ravelry. It’s a disease. OK, so let me get you caught up on what’s been going on at casa Bockstark. Or should I say Haus Bockstark? Dunno…if there’s a german translation for that.

First I finished one side of my Vista Mare aka Billy Reid socks. I love it, even though it’s tight going around the heel. Let’s just hope it fits cuz I’m not ripping this baby out. I would like to sell the pattern for cheap – like $2 – so that I can avoid getting a job. Haha. But really, I’m serious. If I could make money knitting, that would be SO AWESOME!

Next, I cast on for a secret project that I cannot reveal since I was asked not even to show any pictures at all. I don’t think I’ll be able to show anything until September. I don’t know how I’m going to live. For some odd reason, I feel like if I can’t show the “proof” that I’m knitting, I must not be. Why am I so weird?

Then, I couldn’t wait any longer and finally cast on for the Montego Bay Scarf. Ridiculously easy, and oh so pretty! I am using the Marisilk that I got as a gift from Andrea of Das Schneeschaf. I’m knitting this when I need to take a break from my very labor intensive socks.

OK, and I’m not on my yarn diet anymore. Wollhuhn Tanja doesn’t think I was ever on one. And she said that it’s bad for my health. Doing the Taste of Germany thing has really made me crazy. After all, I have to see and feel these yarns before sending them out right? heh. So far I have 4 dyers and still deciding on the 5th. It has been really cool getting to know all these german dyers, they are all very, very nice. Check out all my purrrrdy new yarn…

Also, last week, Elem and I met with the two goddesses – Claudia (Wollmeise) and Marjan (Yarnissima). They were so much fun to talk to!!! This is the 2nd time that I met Claudia and the first time to meet Marjan. I am so glad that they both took a much needed break to come and visit us. It is really nice to talk to fellow knitters not only about knitting but parenting/kids too. I’ll see them again in September when we all go to Benediktbeuern!! Oh god, I don’t know how much money I’m going to spend. Too much…

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The Why and the How

July 10, 2007 @ 10:02 am
posted by kris
Filed under: sock-it-to-me swap

This is for the Sock-It-To-Me Sock Swap questionnaire. I need to say why and how I learned how to knit. I know I’ve written something very similar to this, but I have to post it again if I want to win that gift certificate for STR yarn!!!

I was 20 years old and working for the Space Sciences Lab at UC Berkeley. I was just a lowly old “Principal Clerk” doing various administration tasks like answering phones, making copies, typing email, letters, faxes, etc. One of the women who worked there (KathB) was my idol. She was really smart and nice and worked her way into a programming job from an administrative position. She had 2 boys who were the most well behaved and smart boys I ever met, and basically I just wanted to be her. I tried my best. Now, 16 years later (gasp!) I also got a programming job at Microsoft, although now I’m a stay-at-home-mom of 2 year old twin BOYS! I don’t have her beautiful blond hair, blue eyes, fair skin, and thinness though. Damn. I hear cosmetic surgery is coming along though. Look at what they’ve done with Michael Jackson! ;)

Anyways, she brought in her knitting one day. I remember exactly what she was making. She was making afghan squares for a friend and it was of various San Francisco landmarks. I particularly remember one of the Golden Gate Bridge. I thought it was really neat and I liked watching her knit, it was mesmerising. Do I sound like a stalker yet?

That didn’t get me to start knitting though. Another day, she brought in some dishcloths or maybe I saw it at her house. I thought they were the coolest thing ever. I don’t know why. They were just dishcloths. She had a huge pile of them and she always gave them as Christmas presents. Well, that just made me squeal with delight and I immediately bought a book, yarn, needles, whatever and started to learn how to knit.

I got really serious about knitting then and hammered out a sweater in a week. I was quite impressed with myself. I still knit the dishcloths though and give them as Christmas presents. A lot of the people I knit them for usually has raggedy earlier versions of ones I gave them and felt too bad to ask for more. That makes me happy! I like useful knitting.

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Last package from my SP10

July 9, 2007 @ 6:33 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal


My awesome final package!

Look at my new cute matching project bags!

I finally got my last package from my SP10! She sent it to me over a week ago, but due to the postal strikes in the UK, I guess it took longer than usual. Wow, what a package it was though, totally worth the wait! There was so much stuff in here, where do I start? She made *2* bags for me – one a bigger project bag that can hold everything without being too big, and a smaller drawstring bag, perfect for a sock project (oh she knows me so well). I already have my Vista Mare’s in it. She also made for me a wee sock bookmarker (sorry, you can’t see it in the pictures)!!! It will come in quite handy when the new Harry Potter comes out in only a few more weeks. I also got a cute sheep card, a cute sheep retractable measuring tape, chocolate (YESSSSS!), and lovely kitty stitch markers that she made herself. Did you know that these are my first stitch markers? Well, I do have these old plastic ones from the 90′s but I don’t count those. So I’m looking forward to them hanging off my needles!

Thank you so much, Nicola, you have been a really great pal!

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Sock-it-to-me swap questionaire

July 5, 2007 @ 10:59 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: sock-it-to-me swap

Here are my answers!

1. What are your foot measurements? (Please give shoe size, length and circumference.)
I wear a 7, and I have fairly wide feet. I also have a semi-high instep and usually short row heels do not work with my feet. FC=9in, L=9.5in

2. How long have you been knitting? How would you rate your experience? (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced.)
I have been knitting about 16 years, off an on. But it’s only been in the last year that I’ve been feverishly knitting socks!

3. What is your favorite color? Your least favorite color?
Oh, I love lots of colors! I love deep, rich colors – blues, purples, dark reds, earthy browns, greens. I’m not a fan of pastels, and I don’t like black or white in my socks.

4. Do you have a favorite fiber? What type?
I love natural fibers – merino especially. And I’m a yarn snob – no acrylic for me!!! :)

5. Do you have any allergies to certain fibers?
Not that I know of.

6. Do you have an Amazon, or other type of, wishlist? (If so, provide the link.)
Yep, My kaboodle list

7. What techniques, if any, would you like to learn?
As far as knitting is concerned, I think I’m pretty much satisfied with what I know. But for related things – I would like to learn how to dye yarn!! I’ve tried unsuccessfully! I also would like to learn how to spin with a drop spindle.

8. Do you have a sweet tooth? What are your favorite snacks?
My previous pals have gotten me hooked on Green&Blacks dark chocolate w/almonds. Oh my god, so yummy! But of course, that’s only in England. But I’m willing to try any chocolate, especially dark and/or with almonds! mmmm….I want chocolate now!!!

9. What is your family situation? (Children, Husband, Pets…etc.)
Married with twin boys (2.5 yrs)

10. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Metal, plastic or wood?
Definitely circs! I haven’t used straights in a looooong time. I use Knit Picks options needles as well as their classic circs.

11. Besides socks, what are your favorite items to knit?
scarves, baby things, anything small and quick to knit

12. Is there a pattern, (sock or otherwise), that you are dying to try?
Hmmm…I guess not really. I have a ton of things queued, but it’s all a matter of time…

13. Do you like to read? What are you reading currently?
I do, but haven’t in awhile, too obsessed with knitting. I will, however, put down the needles to read the new Harry Potter coming out soon!

14. Do you collect music? (On an iPod or MP3 player.)
No, not really.

15. What kind of music do you listen to?
Rock, top 40, whatever

16. Is there anything you collect?
Not really. Yarn! :)

17. What are your hobbies, aside from knitting?
Photography, movies, traveling, internet surfing, shopping, podcasting!

18. Are you participating in any other swaps or knit alongs?
SP10 just finished, but I signed up for SP11, also The Truly International KAL, and Summer of Socks 2007

19. Do you have a favorite scent?
Not really, I like pretty much anything except for a really strong floral scent or powdery (if that makes any sense).

20. When is your birthday? (You don’t have to add the year if you don’t want to, LOL.)
In April, ask for details…

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My new love…Marisilk!

July 4, 2007 @ 1:23 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: yarn


My new love!

So, through my search for all the indie dyers in Germany, I found Sheepaints, which is run by Sabine. I ordered two skeins from her – one normal sock yarn and one bamboo sock yarn. I haven’t knitted them up yet (yes, shame on me). She has outstanding customer service and she even included some yummy swiss chocolates with the package!!! Out of the blue, I get an email from Andrea (Das Schneeschaf) and she tells me about her yarns. Her shop is relatively new, only a few months old, but she does something very unique – she airbrushes her yarns! Some of them are completely airbrushed, some of them are dyed regularly, and then have airbrushed parts. She puts a lot of love into each and every skein! Then I find out that Sabine and Andrea know each other and are friends! They are both really nice gals.

So, they listen to our podcast and decide to send us some yarn. They sent us a whopping 4 skeins of yarn!!! Sabine sent us 3 skeins of sock yarn and Andrea sent us 1 lace-weight Marisilk. They are all beautiful, but my heart skipped a beat when I touched the Marisilk. It is made with the same stuff as the Hand Maiden sea silk (70% silk, 30% sea cell). I haven’t received my Hand Maiden yet, so I couldn’t tell you the difference. But oh, it is so luscious!!! Sabine and Andrea both carry Marisilk, so go check them out! I had to convince Elem (and soon Cashyie) that the Marisilk belongs with me. It wasn’t easy. And I feel a little guilty. I haven’t knitted with it yet, but plan on casting on soon. I think the Montego bay scarf is calling out to me!!!

If you’re interested in trying some of their yarns out, look out for my posts of the “Taste of Germany”. I will include one skein of Marisilk!

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What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.