Thanks to Loopy Lou

September 26, 2007 @ 1:24 am
posted by kris
Filed under: gifts

OK, I am so terrible! I received a package from Loopy Lou last week and I didn’t blog about it because I was busy with school starting and with the Benediktbeuern weekend. I would’ve taken a picture of what she sent, but, well, I tore into the chocolate and ripped open a tape measure already. And I was waiting to blog about it because I wanted to take a picture and it’s been too long now so I just said screw it – it’s better to blog with no picture than to not blog at all. She was so sweet – if you remember, she won my last contest and sent me some Green and Blacks almond chocolate (my absolute favorite) as well as another big bar of Galaxy chocolate and 2 tape measures with inches. I am supposed to share this with Elem and Cashyie, so I will give Cashyie a tape measure and Elem the chocolate, or vice versa. But the G&B is MINE and it’s already gone with the help of the husband. Yum, yum, yum! Thanks so much Lou and sorry I didn’t post earlier with pictures!

Comments (2)

Super secret project unveiled!

September 24, 2007 @ 3:54 pm
posted by kris


Isn’t this gorgeous?

Gusset of coolness!

On the foot

So, here is the secret project that I’ve been working on. It’s the Fratello socks by Yarnissima! I am always on the lookout for great socks for men and this one is a winner. The pattern is fairly simple, purl side out, with a little bit of travelling sts. The design of the sock is genius, and if you’ve seen her patterns online, you’ll know that Yarnissima is the queen of cool gussets! I only have one sock done, and will hopefully get the second sock done sometime before Christmas!

The yarn is an exclusive color from Wollmeise and I LOVE this coffee brown!!! You can buy the pattern by itself or get the yarn+pattern in a kit. Contact Yarnissima at yarnissima (at) gmail (dot) com for more details and how to purchase.

Comments (15)

Benediktbeuern…what fun we had!

@ 10:59 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc


(l-r) cashyie, ms. b, deknit, fbz, elem, tini – click for more pics!

Do ya think I have enough yarn?

So this past weekend, we had our Knitters Uncensored sleepover at Benediktbeuern. On Friday night, at around 10pm, I decided that I wanted to make everyone some project bags. Yeah, great idea. It was the most badly sewn things I have ever made. And when it was 5 am, I decided that I had to cut corners if I was going to finish. So instead of covering up the seams like I normally do, I just did an overlock stitch, which isn’t as pretty, but it gets the job done. I got 8 done and 4 not quite done, but 8 was enough. I was tired, it was 6am. I told my husband to wake me up at 9am so at least I got a couple of hours of sleep.

We all met up at the main train station – we had some out of town guests – Tini, Fbz and deknit. I met fbz before at the spring market (notice how she only comes when the Wollmeise is at a market?), but it was a first to meet Tini and deknit. Tini, if you remember, was my SP10 downstream and deknit was fbz’s upstream. How cool it is for Secret Pals to meet! EVERYONE was awesome, and it was really, really cool to hang out with knitterly folk.

We had to transfer trains in Tutzing, and because the first train was late, we had to wait an hour for the 2nd train. No problem, everyone just whipped out their knitting! It was sooooo cool to knit en masse. We got lots of stares as well as compliments.

We finally arrived and had problems contacting the person so that we can check into the ZUK (hostel). But finally, the guy came and we got our rooms. Man, they were HUGE rooms and only 30eur per person. I shared a room with Victor because we both snore. We all dumped our bags and then ran over to see the Wollmeise and Yarnissima. Since I helped them set up the booth the day before, I had my first choice of yarn and man, that was bad. I bought 6 6-ply, 7 sock, 5 worsted weights and one laceweight. Ohhhh… Some of them are for swaps and gifts, so not all mine. Sniff… But still, serious damage!

But everyone else combed through her stuff. She had 3 large baskets full of “versuchskanninchen”, which are ones that she played around with the colors – so you can get things that are unique and no one else will have it. Then we all split up and roamed around the other booths. We were also joined by Andrea (Das Schneeschaf) and her boyfriend. During dinner, she whipped out her stock of Marisilk and everyone gasped and ran over. Her boyfriend was laughing and was so embarrassed about how everyone was oooohing and ahhhhing. Like we care what he thinks!!! :) I came away with 2 gorgeous skeins!!!

The market itself wasn’t very big (or as big as I had envisioned it in my mind), but it was full of interesting (and very expensive) things. Felting is huge here. Not knit felting, but needle felting and what not. They even had some kids workshops where they made some felted flowers. There was a woman who was dyeing her yarn there in a huge kettle – she was using plant dyes. There were also spinning demonstrations, which one woman told fbz that she should just stop trying and take a class (the nerve!).

That night we all came into our room and had a really loud get together. We were supposed to have a sock design workshop with Yarnissima, but well, she was tired from having worked the whole day and we were all distracted by yarns and just chit chatting. So she just said a little bit of history of how it all started. Oh, and she unveiled her “Fratello” pattern, which was my super secret knit project. I test knitted it for her and it is a great sock. Very masculine and perfect for my husband. Sadly, I knitted up one side and have to still do the other. The yarn is an exclusive color from the Wollmeise, so contact Yarnissima for more info. The kit (pattern + yarn) is only 25 eur. Or if you want just the pattern, it is 6 eur.

The alcohol flowed freely. We had Whiskey, Williams grappa, Raspberry vodka, Proseco (sp?), cosmopolitains, etc. We were all drunk and knitting or spinning. Everyone went to bed at around 12:30 or so and me and Cashyie stayed up later drinking even more. We laughed and laughed and laughed, and then we went out to the train station to buy her train ticket. We had a nice drunken adventure. I can’t even remember what we were laughing about. Geez. I remember that we thought it was funny that the Germans in the group were talking in English to each other, even if no one was around. But I think that was pre-alcohol.

The next day, we all rolled out of bed and got breakfast. It was in a completely different building far away and I was so confused about finding it. I eventually did though. Then we just hung out knitting and had one last look around. I got some rosewood and ebony Holz und Stein needles. I’ve heard good things about them and wanted to try them out. But you know what? As I was knitting with them, I really missed my Knit Picks pointy points and the join on them wasn’t good for doing magic loop. It’s ok though, I’m getting through it. They would be really nice for anything other than socks, which defeats the whole purpose. The woman I bought it from said that the company is forcing her to up her price from 9,90 to 15,00!!! So she is selling out her “old” stock at the “old” price. So of course I had to buy it right? Also, you can’t buy these over the internet, or at least that’s what she said. And I think she’s right because I haven’t found any online vendor yet.

I was also supposed to meet my friend Linnea on Sunday, but I couldn’t find her. I didn’t write down her cell number and I wasn’t sure if she had mine. We should’ve confirmed up the details BEFORE I left. DOH! Linnea, I am so sorry if I missed you and hope you had a great time watching Sting! :)

We all said our goodbyes at the train station and everyone went their separate ways. Except for deknit who is staying with me for a few more days. It is Oktoberfest, after all! Thanks to everyone who came out to join us! I had a blast and want to do it again next year!!!

Comments (15)

Help me with care instructions

September 17, 2007 @ 3:17 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc,shawls

OK, this is something that I’ve been wondering for awhile now. I am going to give the swallowtail to my friend, but what should I say for the care instructions? I mean, if she washes it, she would have to block it again in order to get those points, right? Can I say “just don’t get it dirty” or “dry clean only”? Does that work? I would feel awful to give someone something that wouldn’t be the same if she washed it.

Help me please!!! Thanks!

Comments (12)

Bad day…

September 14, 2007 @ 1:17 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc,rants


Rowan, my poor baby

I had a really long and full day that ended up with tears and a cast. My son Rowan was being stubborn with me today as we were walking home. We were holding hands and he decided he doesn’t want to walk. All of a sudden he throws all his weight down and I’m holding him up. He’s a heavy kid – like 35 lbs. So, he dislocated his elbow. At first I couldn’t tell anything serious had happened but noticed that his hand and arm were limp. Oi! Took the train to my husband’s work place and my other son decides to play with the door handle and falls in between the train and the platform. Geez, could this get any worse? Luckily, the gap wasn’t big enough for him to fall past his hips/stomach, but still a shock. Yeah, mother of the year right here! Two screaming children on the crowded train. We eventually make it to the hospital. The doctors had to reset Rowan’s arm twice and checked to see if anything was broken (it wasn’t), but it still hurt him so they put a 1/2 cast on him. Poor baby! He cried pretty much the whole time but now he’s sleeping happily in his bed. The cast will be on only for 4 days since nothing was broken. sigh… Now I need a drink…

Comments (28)

WIP: Chevron scarf revisited

September 12, 2007 @ 1:00 am
posted by kris


I heart this scarf!

So I started this chevron scarf a loooong time ago, maybe in April? I can’t remember, that’s how long it’s been. I was slipping the first stitch, as I usually do to make a nice edge, but when switching yarns, it was getting to be weird and tight. So I just left it and put it in a bag and kinda forgot about it.

Then, Shannon from the SSK podcast tells me about how she found the perfect yarns to knit the scarf with and she already started and got lots done. Well, being the competitor that I am, I have to re-do mine too! Since I talk to her almost every day, sometimes for HOURS, she has a lot of influence in what I knit. She is even nice enough to send me some beads so that I can start my Hanami stole. I’ll tell you that story when I actually start the stole.

Soooo…the old work got ripped an started the new one. I am liking this one a lot better. Not slipping the first stitch and it’s fine. I don’t know what it is – maybe you have to be in the right frame of mind to knit something so boring and repetitive? I’ve been in a sock knitting slump lately, I think because I have too many singles and feel like I get nothing done. And do I knit the 2nds for them? Of course not. I already have about 8 inches done. I don’t know if I’m going to keep this one for myself or if I’m going to give it as a christmas gift. I don’t know if I know anyone who would wear such crazy colors besides myself!

I DID finish a pair but can’t post about it because it’s for my Sock-it-to-me pal and I know she reads my blog. Sucks! Stop reading! :) I think she knows that it’s me anyways…

Pattern: Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Socks that Rock Farmhouse and Watermelon Tourmaline
Needles: Knit Picks US5 options needles
Started: September 10, 2007

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Swallowtail shawl is finally blocked

@ 12:51 am
posted by kris


Finally blocked and pictures taken!

Detail of shawl edging, not completely straight…

I finished this shawl so long ago and have been super lazy about blocking. I haven’t ever blocked anything that needed pins before and I think that’s what was holding me up. I am slightly disappointed that it is so small, but what should I expect from only 1 skein, and I didn’t even use it all up as I was expecting to. But I am extremely pleased with the result, and I may have even pulled it too tight while blocking in my hopes to make it bigger.

It was a very enjoyable experience knitting a shawl, and I can see more in my future. I just gotta find people who would wear a shawl and then like them and then like them enough to knit for them! HA! I don’t know if I could take making something bigger than that though. 300+ sts was about all I could handle. Maybe if I wasn’t so goal oriented, it would work better for me.

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Yarn: Sheepaints Marisilk in Berryshine
Needles: Knit Picks US6 options needles
Started: August 29, 2007
Completed: September 3, 2007

Comments (9)

First package from my SP11 and other SP goodies!

September 9, 2007 @ 3:41 am
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal


My First SP11 package arrived!

Tiefer See from Tini

My First SP11 package arrived!

Woohoo! I got my first package from my SP11 and it is from Finland!!! :) I knew it was another European country, but I didn’t know which one. How lucky am I??? It had *3* skeins of DK/Sport weight yarn (Vourelma Veto) in beautiful shades, just perfect for my boys – instead of socks, I think these are calling out to be hat/mittens for this winter! At least that’s what they told me when I first laid my hands on them. It is so soft and squishy and most important – machine washable! :) Actually, I think they could be socks AND mittens AND hats! In addition to the beautiful yarn, I also got some bamboo dpns and dark chocolate. In this picture, the chocolate is all gone and I saved the wrapper so I could pretend that it was still there, but it’s not. My husband and I had it for our after dinner desert and dipped it into peanut butter. It was kind of weird (in a good way) because the peanut butter took on a whole different flavor when mixed with this chocolate. And between the two of us, it was literally gone in 2 seconds. I’m serious. Thanks so much SP11!!!

In strange-yet-wonderful news, my SP10 downstream (meaning the person *I* spoiled) gave me a skein of Wollmeise in Tiefer See colorway! Claudia kept asking me what my favorite colorways were and wouldn’t tell me who it was from. I was so curious to find out! And when I got it, it was from Tini!!! Did I tell you that she called me once to surprise me and it took me a few seconds to realize who it was? She threw me off with her scottish/british accent! And then we’ve been just missing each other on Skype but we will for sure see each other at Benediktbeuern, which is in a couple of weeks! Yipee! Thanks so much Tini and sorry for the delayed response!

Speaking of SPs, I also got a nice postcard in the mail from my SP10 and SP8 hostess, Bobbi. It was of the Lego area in the Mall of America. Geez, I can’t imagine a mall so big it can fit a freaking roller coaster in it!!! Thanks Bobbi for thinking of me!

Comments (16)

My Sockiversary

September 5, 2007 @ 9:16 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc


My very first sock

Before there was a knitting blog, I had/have a personal blog about the family with a few knitting posts. When I started my knitting blog, I migrated some posts over so I don’t really have a blog start date. So I decided to have a “sockiversary” instead of a blogiversary!

On September 5, 2006, I completed my first sock. It was horrible, the gauge was super loose (I had no idea what I was doing), but still wearable. I have never knit with yarn that thin and needles that small, never knitted with dpns before, I didn’t know anything about socks, I didn’t really know the whole world of knit-blogging and podcasting. I was participating in Secret Pal 8, and my upstream pal, Ingrid, sent me some sock yarn since my downstream pal, Michelle, was so into it and I had to know what the deal was. She got me a skien of Cherry Tree Hill super sock and I did the “potluck sock” pattern from their website. It was a simple ribbed sock.

That’s where it all began…And I can’t even begin to tell you what happened in the year since. Serious lifestyle changes, lots of yarn purchased, lots of knitting, lots of blogging, befriended lots of knit-bloggers, lots of picture taking (I am ashamed to admit there are more pictures of yarn than my kids!) and learned how to take better photos of yarn and socks. I joined the local SNB group and then it started to really go crazy! I met my partners in crime, Elem and Cashyie. Elem introduced me to Wollmeise yarn, although he himself hasn’t had any sock yarn, so we went down the crazy Wollmeise path together, and brought lots of people with us! We even started a crazy podcast and I’ve started dealing out the crack yarn to habitual users (Taste of Germany).

I have 26 finished objects – 17 pairs of socks (and several single socks), 7 scarves and 2 bags. Wow, I haven’t counted it all until now and I’m quite pleased with myself!!! :)

It’s fun to look back and see all that I’ve accomplished. Looking forward to the next year to see what knitting brings!

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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.