Civil War Socks

Pattern: Basic sock recipe from More Sensational Socks.

Yarn: Three skeins of Koigu, from Knitty City. Two in navy and one in grey. Two packages of navy reinforcing thread, one package of grey reinforcing thread.

Needles: Size 0, Susan Bates DPNs.

Project started/ended: Started December 1, 2008 or so, finished March 24, 2009.


Civil War Socks

I promised these socks to Adam a long time ago, and they finally were finished! In time for his birthday, at least, even if I might have promised them for his birthday last year. Oh well. Anyway, Adam took these photos himself in his office, so they seem to fit pretty well. They’re pretty standard top-down socks, with decreases along the back of the calf, a slip-stitch heel, and a round toe. Adam picked out the colors himself, saying he wanted more blue, because, as he said, the “North won the war.” I made each blue stripe 18 rows high and each grey stripe 7 rows high, but for some reason, I fear that one sock might have still come out shorter than the other.

By the way, if you’re not reading Errol Morris’s blog on, you really should. He’s got a great interview with this guy about this mysterious Civil War photo, and it’s really interesting. And I say that as an average person, and not as someone who went to see Mary Todd Lincoln: The Musical.

The one skill I learned on these socks that was really helpful was how to weave in the ends as you go, which is really useful for stripe-y projects. I followed the instructions on this site here

Posted in Finished Objects 2009, Socks, Uncategorized at March 31st, 2009.

squares 2 and 3

Trying to knit a square a day. Here are the latest two squares.

Posted in afghans/blankets, Uncategorized at March 30th, 2009.

Am I the only person who finds status updates on Facebook a bit stressful? Mine are decidedly un-witty. I don’t think I can Twitter, because even writing Facebook status updates makes me anxious. Anyhow, I’m blogging from my parents’ house, because my mom suggested, correctly, that I should refrain from visiting my dad while I have a sore throat, because he’s in and out of surgery and we don’t want him to get infected with a cold. For those of you who know my dad in real life (or are just interested), we’re still not sure what’s wrong with him. They found these large tumors in his pancreas and kidney, but the pathology department can’t get a read on what kind of cancer it is, and in fact, the oncologist thinks it may not be cancer, but a different kind of tumor. So my poor dad is being wheeled in and out of surgery to get more tissue samples, though my mom reports that he is holding up better, and making Seinfeld jokes. EDITED TO ADD: My mom just called from the hospital. The doctors are awaiting final diagnosis from Stanford, where the samples have been sent, but they think it might be lymphoma, which is actually great news, because it is generally treatable, unlike other cancers. So we’re still waiting and hoping.

first log cabin square

Here’s the first log cabin patch for my dad’s blanket. I’m following the basic Mason-Dixon Knitting instructions and inspired by the muted colors of the Amish quilts.

Noro shawlette

I also started Kate Osborn’s silk kerchief, with the exact same colors she used. What can I say? I’m a follower.

Garter Yoke Sweater

My garter yoke sweater (from Knit.1) is almost done–I just need to finish up one sleeve and knit the other one, but it’s sort of a big project and not very portable, so it’s been on hold for a bit. (The auto-photo function on this camera is broken, hence my weird arm shots.)

Loud monkey socks

Here is the loud monkey socks (photographed up close with my mom’s camellias). Normally I like the challenge of lace, but in the past few days, I’ve put these on hold as as well, too.

I agree with Sarah’s comment yesterday about waiting rooms, that they really could be improved. My dad is at California Pacific Medical Center, which I had not heard of, but which all my friends in the Bay Area keep calling CPMC. (One of my friends today clued me in–she pointed out that when I was growing up, it was called Children’s Hospital.) Another friend of mine who is a doctor pointed out cheerfully that residents at CPMC are considered to have landed a cushy gig (along with UCSF and Stanford), because the food and hospital atmosphere is supposed to be nicer, and the patients wealthier and more insured. (As she jokingly said, “Just like your dad, Moneybags.”) So I know, especially compared to some of the larger hospitals that serve indigent populations, this is already one of the nicer facilities in the Bay Area, and I know with shrinking budgets, the money is more urgently needed for doctor salaries and equipment, and I definitely think that is where the money should be spent, and not necessarily on glamming up the waiting rooms.

That said–and the CPMC’s waiting rooms already are quite nice, with tvs and such–I do think they could use a bit better lighting and just generally a more cheerful atmosphere. To acknowledge my secret tv watching obsession, this is actually a plot line on Brothers and Sisters, where Nora Walker (Sally Field) is trying to build some sort of recovery house for cancer patients and their families. But I am sure the main reason why the waiting rooms are depressing is because of the reason why you are in the waiting room, rather than the atmosphere itself.

Posted in travelingproject, Uncategorized at March 27th, 2009.

sock in the emergency room

My dad had to go to the emergency room, and he’s still in the ICU (far from my threats of play-by-play recaps of Gossip Girl, much to his relief, I suppose. Though I noticed the ICU had a waiting area with many copies of The Economist and a copy of The Thorn Birds, which I did briefly contemplate reading, but I was a little too worried to read about the forbidden love of priests.) Knitting actually has been useful, because along with the anxiety, there is a TON of waiting around at the hospital. I finished up Adam’s socks, and am now working on some stockinette/garter stitch projects, which is not too complicated to knit in these situations. (The sock is at the emergency waiting room above, with a copy of Forbes. Dear hospitals: Concerned families would like to read about celebrity gossip, not economic analysis, y’know? Please give us more US Weekly issues, and less Economist.)

I did have a chance to stop by ImagiKnit yesterday to pick up some yarn to knit a blanket for my dad. I am the world’s slowest knitter, but I am hoping I can churn out something relatively rapidly.

Posted in travelingproject, Uncategorized at March 26th, 2009.

traveling sock

So, I’m here in California, and here’s how far I am on Adam’s second sock. Just a few more stripes to go before it’s done! It’s nice to have some knitting while I go around in the car with my parents (I’m licensed to drive, but am such a terrible driver, I really can barely do any driving at all). Heading out to a doctor’s appointment soon–with my knitting, of course. I was thinking of re-reading Infinite Jest, but it’s a little daunting with everything going on. I did read Princess Diaries 10, Forever Princess, by Meg Cabot, (the final installment in Princess Diaries), which I recommend, and A Harlot High and Low, by Balzac, which is also kind of a sequel (to Lost Illusions). Maybe I should read all the Gossip Girl books instead–might be light enough. I’ve been threatening to read them out loud to my dad–don’t know if he can take all the Serena/Dan/Nate/Jenny intrigue!

Posted in travelingproject, Uncategorized at March 23rd, 2009.

My posts might be a little less frequent–my father is sick*, and I am flying out to California tomorrow. I did, however, pack an entire bag of knitting, so I’ll try to post updates on that along the way.

*I mock cancer in The Friday Knight Knitting Club and Julia Roberts’s career, and now fate mocks me. Damn you, fate!

Posted in personal, Uncategorized at March 20th, 2009.

Stitches East
I saw on thew New York Ravelry group that Stitches East was closing. I never actually went inside this store, so I can’t tell you anything about it. I did try to go once when I was visiting the MoMA, but it was closed. Adam took a picture for me (above) and I peeked in, but I don’t know anything about the store. It was in a sort of unusual mini-shopping mall inside an office building (below). These kinds of mini-malls are, I think, kind of rare in the U.S., though I have seen them in other countries. Hong Kong has a few like this, and Paris has their passages, which are, of course,  fabulous and Parisian, and immortalized by Walter Benjamin. (When I was a freshman in college, I sat through an entire class baffled by who Valtah Benhameen was, and it wasn’t until the end of the class that I suddenly made the connection between Walter Benjamin and his German pronunciation.) Milan actually has a mall kind of like this too. I wouldn’t be surprised if the original architect had been aiming for a Parisian passage feeling, but the result (at least on a weekend) is that it’s kind of weird and dreary. I think if it was connected to a train station, like most mini-malls are, if would make more sense, but it’s in a bit of an odd spot. I’m sorry though that this store is closing–the economy is smushing down on the yarn business, I guess.

Stitches East

Posted in Uncategorized, Yarn Stores at March 17th, 2009.


The colorway name of this yarn is “Secret Garden” and at first I was like yeah, right, if by “secret garden” you mean NEON*, but I went to the Orchid Show at the Bronx Botanical Garden this weekend, and it’s true, many flowers do come in shockingly bright colors. (*Also, the name “secret garden” sounds like a euphemism for some sort of un-ladylike things to talk about, but anyway. I do like the book The Secret Garden, but that book is actually about a GARDEN, and not um, other things.)

The Orchid Show

Aren’t these orchids wild? I loved their colors.

The Orchid Show

The show also had a whole wall of these white orchids, which were pretty neat. (Traveling sock pattern, is, of course, Cookie A.’s Monkey, which according to Ravelry, is the most knit sock pattern ever.)

Posted in Socks, travelingproject, Uncategorized at March 16th, 2009.


Pattern: HoneyCowl, by Fig and Plum

Yarn: One skein of Mona Lisa Fibers, a hand spun yarn, by the owner of Just 4 Ewe. Ninety yards of burly hand spun Corriedale, colorway Greensleeves, $30.

Needles: Size 10.5, 16″ needle.

Project started/ended: Started Monday, March 9, finished Tuesday March 10. This took me maybe five hours to make.


Modifications: I made this one repeat shorter and a little narrower than the pattern. It’s nice and warm, and a little funky.

Posted in Finished Objects 2009, Scarves, Uncategorized at March 13th, 2009.

For those of you who are interested in food, Adam wrote an extremely detailed description of all the food we ate in Milwaukee here. For those of you who are interested in fiber, on the other hand, here is a mention of the first yarn store we visited.

I did a little research and found that Milwaukee residents seemed to recommend three yarn stores, Just 4 Ewe, Loop, and Rhuama’s. Just 4 Ewe was actually quite close to where we were staying, so we went there before we went to play an awesome afternoon of bingo. It was described as being in a cute little village, which Adam refused to believe, especially when we came up near it and it kind of just looked like a strip mall. But actually, the center of it IS a cute little village (see above), and it’s a live/work artists’ community, with the shopkeepers living above their stores, most of which are artisan-y stuff (pottery, beading, etc.). Adam said in the car that this was his favorite yarn store ever, and I am pretty sure this is because when he came in, the owner offered him a dish of homemade blueberry crumble and coffee. Note to yarn store owners: Free food is very alluring for non-knitting significant others.

Just 4 Ewe

Anyway, the owner was very friendly and chatty, and she had a lot of interesting info about Milwaukee. She also sells her own handspun there, which I bought for a cowl, and some sock yarn dyed by an independent dyer in Milwaukee. (I like having souvenir yarn that’s local to the area.) There was a pretty big and deep selection of yarn here, and it was a really cute and friendly store.  Plus, they had a really neat electric ballwinder:

Just 4 Ewe

Just 4 Ewe

Address: 8615 S. Market Place
Oak Creek, WI 53154
Phone: 414-768-Yarn (9276)

Posted in Uncategorized, Yarn Stores at March 11th, 2009.