My current work in progress:

Stornoway, designed by Alice Starmore from her book Fishermen’s Sweaters, knit in Frangipani 5-ply guernsey wool in the Aran colorway, on a 3.0mm needle.

Archives for March 2009

What’s Normal?

Leslie commented:

I’ve a question about sock height. You said you made the Sunflower Socks taller than normal – so what’s normal? I saw somewhere that height should be equal to length of foot – fold the socks in half on the heel and they should match. Is that right (or “usual” may be a more apt choice of words)? If so, then I’m unusual as usual – I prefer mine longer.

What I should have said is that I made the Sunflower socks taller than what is normal for me.

There is no rule for how tall you should make your socks, really. Unless the leg of the sock has a definite pattern that is “x” number of inches tall, that is. It depends on how tall you like ’em. If you like ankle socks, make them shorter and if you like mid-calf, make them taller.

As a rule of thumb, I generally make my socks so that the height is at least equal to the length of the foot, but I do sometimes make them taller. A lot depends on how much yarn I have. 🙂

New Sock!

I started a new sock yesterday.Shocking, no?

This yarn is Shaefer Heather, which is a lovely blend of 55% merino wool, 30% cultivated silk, and 15% nylon. The colorway is one of their “Subtly Solid Botanicals” in “Ash,”which is a lovely grey that has a bluish cast to it. It’s a fingering weight yarn, but a beefy one, so when knit at the gauge of 8 stitches/inch I get a nice solid fabric. It has a lovely sheen to it and is wonderfully soft. Here’s the sole of the foot:


This is destined to be a “guy” sock, so I worked up a design with some solid (but flat) cables interspersed with wide ribbing. So far so good!


Are You Crafty?

Check this baby out:


This is Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts, to be published by Potter Craft on March 31, 2009.

This book covers many many different crafts, including paper folding, quilting, rubber-stamping, candle-making, and many, many more. There are step-by-step instructions for many many projects. Enough to warm the cockles of any crafter’s heart. Here’s a shot of the Table of Contents (enlarge it to read):


And a page from the book at random:


And another:


Want my copy? Leave a comment to this blog post by 4:00pm EDT Thursday March 26, at which time the random number will pick a recipient.

And here is Miss Lucy, protecting her fuzzy rat toy. Awwwww!


Sunflower Socks

My Sunflower Socks are done — I finished the second one on the train going in to work this morning.


Sharon and I are putting the finishing touches on the pattern and will have it available at The Loopy Ewe within a couple of weeks. Incidentally, my Flora sock pattern will be available at about the same time.

I did make my Sunflower socks taller than I usually do. I used Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock, which is pretty high yardage, so I just kept going. I still had a fair amount left over from each sock.


In other news, I have scheduled a book-signing in Richmond, Virginia, on June 27th, at The Yarn Lounge. It’s on my Travel page. 🙂

This is a quickie post because it has been Quite A Day. I was never so happy to get home to the quiet. (Lucy is a talker, but she does so in a quiet little voice.)

In fact, I’m considering from now on dressing all in black and becoming complicated so people will avoid me.

Lucy doesn’t even want to hear about it.


About Those Avatars . . . and Other Random Thoughts

Several of you have commented on the cute little avatars that now show up next to people’s names in the comments and asked how to get them.

According to my awesome web guru Daisy, they are actually built into WordPress, but are generated by the Gravatar service. Do you know about Gravatar?

If you sign up for an account there and upload an avatar for yourself, it will display beside your name when you leave comments on sites that are gravatar-enabled.

If you don’t have a gravatar, my blog assigns one to you. There are a few different “styles” of them — I can select a style from within WordPress.

I love WordPress. 🙂

I Have Died and Gone to Geeky Heaven

Because Neil Gaiman himself posted a tweet on Twitter with a link to my YouTube video of the Coraline ad. (See Thursdays’ blog post.)

My Little Dell Laptop is Happy


The KOARC gave her a memory upgrade!

Possibly the Most Obnoxious Product Packaging Ever


‘Nuff said.

What You Don’t Want to See on Your Saturday Afternoon Stroll


And an hour later:


I’ve Been Lazy and did Little Knitting


As Lucy looks on in disgust.

But We Did Pick a Winner for the Sally Melville Book

The random number generator chose Lorien.

Congratulations Lorien, and thanks to all who left a comment.

Lucy is pleased.


Assorted Random Bits, Some Happy, One Not-So-Happy

I’ll address the sad item first, because it is an important one.

Every morning I watch a tiny bit of local news before I dash off to work, and I always see my favorite newspeople: weatherperson Kim Martucci, and traffic reporter Angie Goff. (Angie is also one of my buddies on Plurk and Facebook — Hi, Angie!)

WeatherKim posted a very sad post on her blog about a kind man whose dog is about to be taken away because the dog is is a pit bull — well, I won’t go into details here but will direct you to Kim’s blog to read the sad story. Kim is trying to find someone to help Jody and his dog Chopper and I’m passing the story along in hopes that someone or some rescue group has a solution. Thank you so much for taking the time to click the link over to Kim’s blog and reading her post. Scroll down to reach today’s entry.

Okay, onward.

A Lovely Random Bit

Sharon has finished her first pink Sunflower sock.


Isn’t it fabulous?

The pattern will be at The Loopy Ewe soon, as soon as we get it finalized. Sharon and I are so pleased you all like it so much!

A Fun Random Bit

Every weekday morning I take the subway to work, and there is a short stretch of tunnel that has animated ads posted along the tunnel wall. I finally got around to filming the latest ad:

Please excuse the reflection of my and my camera — pretty much unavoidable. But isn’t that great?

A Very Random Bit

I laughed at some of your comments yesterday about my poor dry hand in the earring photo. They always look like that when I come home from work — after washing my hands multiple times during the day using the industrial strength soap available there. I don’t put lotion on my hands at work because I never have time — I think I need to find a totally greaseless lotion that sinks in immediately so I can do so without messing up papers or keyboard.

But anyhow, I do put lotion on after I get home!

A Feline Bit


Mother-Daughter Knits


I recently received a review copy of Mother-Daughter Knits, by Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter, who are — you guessed it — mother and daughter.

I’ve long been a fan of Sally Melville so was happy to see this book.

The book has a wonderful detailed section on customizing knitting patterns to fit your particular body type. Anyone who has knit a beautiful sweater only to find it heartbreakingly unflattering will appreciate the wisdom shared here. The book is worth buying for this part alone.

But of course there are patterns too! Designs from both Sally and Caddy, described as:

30 customizable garments for women of all shapes, heights, and ages, including:

  • a slimming Jackie Kennedy—style Camelot coat,
  • a reversible tank top with a scoop neck,
  • a Jane Austen—inspired jacket with an empire waist,
  • a flirty top that enhances feminine curves.

A couple of my favorite includes include this shopping bag:


And this wonderful coat:


Would you like a copy of this marvelous book? Leave a comment to this blog post saying that would. On Sunday March 22 at noon, EDT, I will ask the Great and Powerful Random Number Generator to pick a recipient and send that individual a copy.

In other news, I have the first Sunflower sock completed!


And I got a fabulous new pair of earrings:


If you enlarge that photo you can see how badly I need to put lotion on my hands. 😉

The earrings are handmade, 22k gold over silver. I bought them from Allan Mason who has an etsy store here: Go have a look-see — he’s got some gorgeous pieces and his customer service is perfect!

Here’s a pic of the earring being worn. Note how the camera angle makes my face look huge! And it’s a nice up-the-nose shot too, eh?


And Lucy is no longer green and scary.