Traveling Sock

Michele from Knitsane tagged me with a meme, but I’m still thinking it over. In the meantime, you get this photo–I think it’s one of the better ones from this traveling project gimmick. 

The AMNH is kinda racist* but still cool. I love the dinos, the gems, the whale room, and the old-school vitrines.

* See this photo of a vitrine in the Hall of Asian Peoples! Someone was telling me about this book, Give Me My Father’s Body, about the fight of an Inuit Eskimo to get his father’s body back from the museum, where it was on display.

If you want to knit a dinosaur, here and here are some dino pattern links.

Posted in Socks, travelingproject, Uncategorized at May 31st, 2007.

Traveling Sock at Alma 

 Does it count as a leisure activity if you do it at a bar?

I don’t know how I missed this, but there was a Freakonomics column a few weeks ago in the NY Times Mag about knitting and whether it counted as a leisure or work activity. It’s not particularly groundbreaking* and in fact, I think the whole premise is kind of duh-inducing (Surprise! Knitting does not save money!), but there is this quote, which I found mildly amusing:

“On a more personal note: one of the authors of this column has a sister who runs a thriving yarn store,** while the other is married to a knitting devotee who might buy $40 worth of yarn for a single scarf and then spend 10 hours knitting it. Even if her labor is valued at only $10 an hour, the scarf costs at least $140 — or roughly $100 more than a similar machine-made scarf might cost.”

I am glad that I am not married to one of the writers, since he would always be calculating the opportunity costs of my hobby. (If I were his wife, I would say “What’s the opportunity cost of (a) making your wife mad and (b) making her even madder by pointing out THE MOST OBVIOUS THING EVER?”)

On a random note, the article discusses this weird machine that grows plants in water that I was JUST pointing out to Adam at Zabar’s today. This is the kind of gadget that my college roommate would describe as “You need that like you need a bullet in the head.”

*Some magazine did a funny charticle that summarized recent freakonmic-like economic theories and rated them by “Likely to appear as an article in Slate” and “Duh factor.” Oh–I just did a google search. It was The New Republic. Here’s the article if you happen to subscribe.

** I looked up all the knitting posts on the Freakonomics blog, and I discovered that Steven Leavitt, the Freakonomist, is the brother of the owner of Yarnzilla, which I have actually ordered from. Apparently, said sister named both Yarnzilla and the philosophy “Freakonomics.” The blog also discussed the whole Socks That Rock Sock Club drama-o-rama.

Posted in Uncategorized at May 28th, 2007.

Rowan Aranspun cakes

Here are six skeins of Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran that I bought at Purl (they were 40% off, and I had a gift certificate from Adam, so it ended up only costing me $24) to make this:

Equestrian Blazer

It’s Kate Gilbert’s Equestrian Blazer in the Winter 2006 Interweave.

It calls for a 6 needle, but I seem to have a really loose gauge, so even when I knit on a 0 needle, I think my swatch might still be too big!

Rowan Aranspun

Also. It has gotten really hot here (Memorial Day! The start of summer!) so I’m feeling a little less enthusiastic about knitting with wool.

But meanwhile, here’s what the traveling sock has been up to:

Traveling sock mosaic in May 2007

Riding the Cyclone, visiting police precincts, drinking and hanging out.

Posted in Sweaters, travelingproject, Uncategorized at May 27th, 2007.

Karen Allen

I was going to try and improve on People magazine’s punning title for this post, but the original editor did a pretty good job. I was sitting in a doctor’s office a couple of months ago and found this article, which I ripped out for the blog. It’s an article about Karen Allen, who played the love interest in Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Hence the article’s title.) She now is a knitting teacher and hand-knit-sweater-store owner. Personally, I think her sweaters are a little too muumuu-wearing-English-professor-like for my taste, but here ya go:

(Actual knitting post to come later this week.)

Posted in Uncategorized at May 22nd, 2007.

Many people, including me, have been defeated by Robert A. Caro’s massive biography of Robert Moses, The Power Broker. I own the book, and got as far as Chapter 5 in a week, and I’ve been stuck there since November 2006. Anyway, I went to see two of the Robert Moses exhibits currently in New York today, and I’m sure it would have been even better if I had read the book first, but I didn’t.

(Adam, who takes all the beautiful photos on this site, was being driven crazy by his side job of being the official photographer for New York Minknit and so he gave me his old camera. Fortunately for you, the readers, this means that I can now post photos of traveling sock when it is not near Adam. Unfortunately for you, this means the photo quality is going way down, since I do not currently have the photo skillz of Adam. So, I apologize for the quality of these photos, since I am still learning how to use the camera.)

Robert Moses 007

Here is the second Ugly/Spring sock in front of a proposed Mid-Manhattan Expressway that Moses was trying to get built from 1946-1971. At one point, it was suggested that the Expressway run through the tenth floor of the Empire State Building. Craziness!

This was the Robert Moses exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, which was pretty good. I had no idea that Robert Moses built Tavern on the Green and the Central Park Zoo. (One plaque said that before Moses built the Central Park Zoo, the old zoo had these deranged animals that were prone to attacking visitors. Moses also wanted to build an “oldsters’ home” in the Ramble, in Central Park. Perhaps I should really finish that Caro book.) Also: free before noon! And lots of intense Robert Moses quotes:

Robert Moses 002

Then I went with my friend to see the Panorama that Moses commissioned for the 1964 World’s Fair.

Traveling Sock visits the Unisphere

But first. The Unisphere.

The Panorama is awesome. Since it’s a permanent exhibit at the Queens Museum of Art, you can go at any time. Until next week, the Queens Museum of Art is also showing a related Robert Moses exhibit. We ran out of time to check that out, but it looks great too.

Panorama, Manhattan

The sock hovers over the Manhattan part of the Panorama, a mini-replica of the entire city of New York, including all five boroughs and all of the bridges.

Since Adam normally takes the photos, he’s used to my weird photo schemes for showing off the knitting. But today, I had to try and distract my friend–“Look! It’s Staten Island!”–while I was taking photos. But I finally had to admit that I was, yes, taking photos of a sock.

This post is more about the New York part and less about the Minknit part of the blog, but more real knitting content to come soon.

Posted in Socks, travelingproject, Uncategorized at May 20th, 2007.

FO: Trekking sock 

Yarn: Trekking. My co-worker gave me this ball of yarn, so I’m not sure about the price and color.

Needles: Susan Bates 1s. One set of 5 that I had all year, until last week, when I lost one needle at BAM while attempting to knit while watching The Namesake.

Pattern: Classy Slip-Up, in Knit Socks!: 15 Cool Patterns for Toasty Feet, by Betsy Lee McCarthy.

This pair of socks actually took me exactly a year to make. I looked in my archives and I started knitting them in May of last year (well, it looks like I tried to start in April, but I really got going on May 14, 2006, which is exactly one year ago). This is because of two reasons:

The talking socks  

In addition to some computer-mouse-gripping issues / bad posture habits, I was knitting the first sock extremely tightly, which gave me tendinitis for a while, and I had to go to physical therapy. But thanks to the physical therapist and improved ergonomic habits , I can now knit socks again.

But of course, I got the dreaded SSS–Second Sock Syndrome, where I was unmotivated to knit the second sock for months. Hence its popularity as the traveling project:

The many faces of the Trekking Socks 

Memories…misty colored memories…

The sock. It went everywhere. Even to the jail called Alcatraz.

But now they’re done:

Socks a-jumping 

I don’t know if you can tell, but my gauge got looser over an entire year of knitting. Apparently, I used to knit extremely tightly. I’m not sure I became less stressed, but maybe the sock and I reached a special understanding or something. Also, some action shots of the socks mid-jump.

I liked this yarn a lot, and I would use it again. Also, I liked the pattern, and the book Knit Socks! is extremely clear and very easy to follow. Provided that I can conquer my tendency to hold sock needles in a death grip, I would and will make more socks.

Posted in Finished Objects 2007, Socks, Uncategorized at May 13th, 2007.

School Products mosaic 

School Products

Address: 1201 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY

Phone: 212-679-3516


I’ve been to School Products twice. Once with my co-worker (without her, I would have never found it, because it is in such a weird office building*) and once with Adam last week, after a  horrible Shake Shack burger. Danny Meyer, please go check on Shake Shack because I have been having PTHD (post-traumatic-hamburger disorder) ever since.**   

Anyway. I have decided that School Products is like the Strand. Like the Strand, School Products is famous and considered a New York icon, and yet, I don’t quite get why the two are so beloved. True, both offer good deals (I bought Twinkle’s Big City Knits at the Strand for 40% off last week) on hard-to-find, expensive stuff (School Products offers yak, camel, and cashmere yarn), but yet I find them both sort of uninspiring. I find the Strand much better since it’s been renovated (I know, heresy to Strand lovers), but it’s still kind of meh. The Strand still has an unwelcoming element to it, I think.  I know that School Products has lots of awesome stuff for cheap, but I didn’t feel compelled to buy anything. I think it’s partially because it has a weird office building vibe, with industrial carpeting and overhead florescent lights. Also, I have to admit, I think it’s because it’s not styled very well.

I think it’s a lot like going to a sample sale. I’ve scored some great bargains at sample sales, but often I feel so uninspired. Things that I might be lured by if it was showcased in a fancy store seem so horrible when jumbled into a big cardboard box. (Especially Marc Jacobs! There is always so much crappy Marc Jacobs at sample sales. I used to be a much more avid sample-sale goer when I worked in midtown, and before I decided to kill off my shopping habit.)

It’s terrible and shallow, but in a way, perhaps it forces you into buying things you truly like. Because if yarn or clothes can appeal to you even in a crappily lit and weirdly laid-out store, then you’re judging them fairly–in a blind taste test, as it were–without being swayed by designer names or fancy styling. (Books don’t really suffer from styling. It’s just that the Strand used to be really hot and dusty all the time, and in a bad way, not a charming way, and I could never find anything I wanted. But it has improved, post-renovation.)

That being said, School Products does have a large selection of yarn on cones, many at substantially cheaper prices than at other yarn stores. They are also owned by the same family that produces Karabella yarn and who wrote Runway Knits, so they have the full line of Karabella yarn. I’ve seen a couple products made with Karabella Aurora 8 yarn, and when knit up, the resulting material looks very crisp, if that makes any sense, and seems to have very little halo. Though Grumperina has a bad review of it here, I would still consider it for a future project.

* See below

School Products

** My friend offered to split sliders with me the next day, when I was hanging out and having drinks, and I was like “No! I have bad feelings about ground beef!”

Posted in the Business, Uncategorized, Yarn Stores at May 6th, 2007.

I was slothing a bit this weekend and surfing the Internet, looking at random knitting organizational stuff* and I went on Lexie Barnes’s website and I found this post, with a still from Desperate Housewives with my bag! Adam gave it to me for Christmas a couple of years ago and I use it all the time. It’s really big, actually, and I use it to drag gym clothes, lunch, a knitting project, library books to and from work a lot, and I’ve also used it as a travel bag. It’s padded, so I can fit my laptop in it, and a week’s worth of clothes. Also, if you happen to put things that spill in your bag a lot, you can wipe it off. All useful qualities.

Lynette has my bag!

1. Me knitting with my bag on the subway 2. A paparazzi shot of Felicity Huffman knitting on set 3. A shot of me knitting in the airport 4. Lynette (Huffman) about to reveal her desperate housewife secret. (Just kidding! I do sometimes watch DH, but not recently, so I’m not quite sure what is going on in this scene.)

Anyway, via the power of Google, I found out that Felicity Huffman is a knitter, so I’m guessing that might be her own bag that made it into the scene.

*I think it’s the accessories that really get you in any hobby, money-wise. Nobody needs fancy organizing cases, but they’re so alluring! Though also kind of for amateurs. It’s like fancy gardening gear–unnecessary for people who actually garden, but strangely appealing for people who dream about gardening. Like silver plant tags and such. (Publishers of hardback cookbooks, I’m looking at you.)
**If you want to get involved in a controversial handbag discussion, go to Sarah’s blog, where her Dior bag is getting her commenters all riled up!

Posted in Uncategorized at May 1st, 2007.