Sunday, December 9, 2007

She's Baaaaack

Things have been quiet at Hipp Crafts, but super busy in the Hipp home. I have WIPs coming out of my ears. Whose idea was it to knit 2.5 pairs of socks (more on that later), a scarf, fingerless mitts, and a hat in time for Christmas? Oh yeah, mine. Every crafter seems to fall into this pit at the end of the year...but oh what a fun pit it is. There are certainly worse things than having tons of knitting to look forward to.

So as I knit my way out through the holidays, I will do my best to not ignore this blog as much as I have the past four weeks. For now, here is something beautiful Mr. Hipp captured on our recent trip to Baja.

More photos of our trip on Mr. Hipp's Flickr site starting here. (Can you spot me in my new Ravelry t-shirt? I also wore this great yarn-lover shirt.) Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Handmade - Good for the Wallet, Good for the Soul

Would you like to give and receive handmade gifts this holiday season?

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Consider taking the handmade pledge! Just click on the image above for more information.

The best thing is that the gifts don't have to be handmade by you. That means the great stuff at Etsy counts. I'd also like to recommend a handmade source dear to my heart: MayaWorks. I had the opportunity to visit some of the women behind these handcrafts in Guatemala a few years back. Their stuff is really handmade, really beautiful, really durable, and really directly improves the economic situation of women and their families. They let me hop onto a backstrap loom and weave a bit of a shawl. (I'll have to dig those photos out to show you.)

Loved ones - if you read this blog, know that you will get at least one handmade gift from me this year, and know that if you want to give a gift to me (awww, thanks!) I would appreciate a handmade gift as well.

Mr. Hipp and I are off for a much needed mini-break on Thursday. We'll be back with photos and hopefully some completed crafts next week.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Every time I worked on these Monkey Socks for the swap, Ozomatli's Chango ran through my head.

El otro dia, yo vi a un hombre, un hombre feo, parece chango, chango peludo, hasta la barriga, y su espalda, parece bosque.

The other day, I saw a man, an ugly man, he looked like a monkey, a hairy monkey, down to his belly, and his back looked like a forest.

MonkeySocks 001

The song is about 4.5 minutes long. I estimate that it took 25 hours to knit these socks (yes, I am a very slow knitter). That's about 333 hairy monkeys on the brain.

Pattern: The ubiquitous Monkey by Cookie A
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, Colorway P485 (light and dark blue, pink, lavender)
Needles: US 2 KnitPicks Harmony DPNs
Modifications: Cuff is regular 1x1 rib instead of twisted rib, for extra stretchiness a la Octopus Knits, altered left-slanting decrease (see below)

My pal's feet are 9.5 inches around and 9.5 inches long. I ended up doing five pattern repeats on the foot to make it work. It may seem a bit short, but these socks stretch like a mofo. My feet are 10 inches long and 9 inches around and they fit me just fine.

About those left-slanting decreases: SSK was not doing it for me; when followed by a purl stitch, as in the pattern repeat, it came out saggy baggy bleh. I still used SSK when followed by a knit stitch, as in the gusset decreases...then it was perky pretty nice.

MonkeySocks 004

I experimented with various types left-slanting decreases with the help of this extremely helpful post on nonaKnits and settled upon the sl 1 k1 psso. Way better results and still really simple to do.

MonkeySocks 006

These were my first ever cuff-down socks! I am enormously proud of, and surprised with, how they turned out. The whole toe-up concept just seemed to make much more sense to me when I first started making socks...that's how you put a sock on, so wouldn't it make sense to knit it that way too? That, and I was irrationally frightened of having to graft a toe; so irrational, in fact, that learning a figure-8 cast on seemed way less daunting.

If you have the same phobias, make the plunge and try a cuff-down sock. It's really not that bad! These socks helped me break out of my knitting box and I feel like a better knitter as a result.

All the teeny stitches on socks has left me craving some fat needles and easy gratification...but more on that later. Mom's Guilt Socks have been neglected for too long.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Fluffy Clouds

Happy Halloween, everyone! Halloween is on hump day this year; not great for having a party. So our friends had an early Halloween Saturday night (and a late sleep-in on Sunday morning).

The best part of Halloween is the opportunity to craft. Other craft bloggers have been able to post earlier in the day than this hardworking girl -- check out their handiwork here and here. The Hipp household, per usual, took a different crafting tack: Bob Ross.


Mr. Hipp + 'fro wig + an artist's palette = the PBS painting master reincarnated. I went as a Bob Ross original painting. My costume was so much fun to make, and I loved having a non-slutty costume. (Click on "Listen" to hear a great musical rebuke to the phenomenon.)

Do you want to be a Bob Ross painting for your next costume party? Follow these simple directions and you too can be non-slutty and FABULOUS:

1.Get two artists canvases, in a value 2-pack that is 40% off if you can swing it.

2. Watch Bob Ross - The Footbridge on YouTube and follow along on one of the canvases. (Mr. Hipp did well, don't you think?)

Faux Bob Ross

3. Paint something fun on the other canvas. Our party host turns 35 today, so the second canvas became a birthday card with lots of space for party guests to sign.

Pumpkin bday card 2007

4. Cut two 14" lengths of grosgrain ribbon. Those who were visited more often by the Boobie Fairy may want to have longer ribbon so that the canvases hang below your bosom.

5. Lay the two paintings face down about 12" apart, top edges facing one another in the center.

6. Take one of the ribbons and use a staple gun to attach each end to the backs of each canvas's top edge, about 1" from the left side. Repeat with the second ribbon, 1" from the right side.

7. Put on your comfiest jeans and some sneakers. If you have long hair, twist it up so it's off your back.

8. Put on your canvases: stick your head between the ribbons and let the ribbons lay on your shoulders. One canvas should be on your front, the other on your back.

9. Optional: Grab some permanent markers so your friends can sign the backside painting.

Have a safe Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The SIL iPod Cozy, Version 1.2

I just realized I never posted specifically about finishing up this little project. Since finished objects are few and far between at Hipp Crafts, this one simply cannot go undocumented.

Katy iPod 3
Pattern: My own, sized for an iPod Nano
Yarn: Leftovers from Sockapalooza 4 socks
Needle: Clover bamboo US 6 dpns

It is just just a 2x2 rib tube with a little flap at the top, closed at the bottom with 3-needle bind off. A bit of Velcro secured with hand stitching makes sure that the SIL's precious iPod does not escape. Easy peasy, that's the name of the game.

In case you need to make a cozy of your own, the first generation iPod Nano measures 9cm tall by 4cm wide by 0.5cm deep. Teeny.

The second generation video Nano is a whole different story. Mr. Hipp and his little red buddy are officially jealous and would like to have a hand-knit cozy as well. It never ends, does it?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Fires and Finally, A Finished Object

This is first and foremost a crafting blog, and I debate internally on how much of my "secular" life to share here. There are times -- of which there seem to be many, lately -- when my life outside of crafting has been so overwhelming that I feel it would be disrespectful not to mention it.

The southern California wildfires are still burning, thankfully none close enough to our home to necessitate an evacuation. The Santiago Fire is in the mountains about 3 miles east of where we live. The smoke and ash in the air make it unbearable to be outside for more than a few minutes, and it is actually much better today than it had been during the early part of this week. Let's hope for a quick end to this disaster, and please keep the firefighters and the people and animals who have lost their homes in your thoughts.

And now, as they say in the morning news when they move from the Iraq War to Britney Spears: "On a lighter note...". The Child's Placket Neck Sweater is finally d-o-n-e and I l-o-v-e it. You can get the milk without buying the cow here (pattern is in pdf).

Childs Placket Neck 003
Patten: Child's Placket Neck Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Size: 0-6 month, but bigger yarn resulted in about 12-month size
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease, Dark Rose Heather
Needles: Addi Turbo 16" circulars & Clover bamboo dpns, both in US 9
Buttons: Wood, from JoAnne Crafts, and little plastic ones from some old shirt.
Modifications: Just the yarn, this pattern was super easy to follow as is!
For Ravelry users, the info is also here.

The first thought was to use grosgrain ribbon to line the placket and give stability to the button holes and the button band, but I found the stretchiness in the button holes was a good thing. If they get out of shape, I can take the sweater back and add the stabilizing ribbon then.

Childs Placket Neck 005
Instead, I used smaller plastic buttons to back up the public buttons. They are on there super duper secure, with quadrupled knotting as only a former climbing anchor builder can do. I refuse to let these buttons pop off an get into a little one's trachea.

Childs Placket Neck 001
This dear little sweater was made for a co-worker's impending baby. Since said baby is still impending, the 12-month-old sizing may not work out with the seasons. (Based on informal polling of mothers, babies often wear sizes that are 1-2 sizes bigger than their age. Meaning this baby will probably be wearing the sweater next August...not exactly sweater season in the OC.) I've decided to gift it instead to a family baby who is now a jolly 6-month-old and will be a roly poly 9-month-old come winter. And she lives on the east coast. Perfect!

Finishing this sweater was a pleasant break from the Monkey Socks, which are due to my pal this week. I've got two more repeats then the toe and sock number 2 will be d-o-n-e as well. Gotta get busy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Monkeys Monkeys Monkeys

We've been monkeying it up here at Casa de hipp.

Koigu Monkey Socks

The color is a bit off in this photo. Koigu is hard to capture in artificial light, and I wasn't ready for photo time until late in the day. This colorway is gives a bit of a twist on my Monkey Sock Swap pal's preferences. She likes pastels, which is a major departure from my stash of crazy bright colors. This colorway has the desired soft pinks and blues but with an occasional shot of electric blue for me! Love love love it.

Part of yesterday afternoon was spent on the monkey-themed goodies to go with these socks. I pulled out some pretty pink fabric from my pile of soon-to-be-thrifted clothes and sewed up a little project bag. Don't worry, the thrift pile clothes are all very clean!

Monkey bag

The outer fabric used to be one of Mr. Hipp's striped shirts (too big) and the inner fabric used to be one of my dresses (also too big -- do we think we're fatter than we really are?). The ribbon came wrapped around a blanket I bought on sale (of course!) at Target. I sewed two rectangles together on three sides for the outer layer, leaving a 1" opening near the top of each side seam. Then I sewed two rectangles together on three sides for the inner layer, this time with no side openings. I put the inner inside the outer and sewed them together around the top and also about 1/4" below the side openings. Thread the ribbon through the side openings, cinch tight, and done!

Monkey bag close up

This is by no means an original design, but if anyone is interested in seeing more detailed directions, let me know and I'll write up a mini tutorial.

And of course, the monkey face. Ah, I love it! It's an iron-on from JoAnn's. A pack of two was only 99 cents, so the backside of the bag has the same little monkey face on it.

Free fabric + free ribbon + 99 cent monkey face iron-ons = happy skinflint crafter.

Oh wait, is this supposed to be a knit sock exchange? I'm getting distracted by all the other monkey craft fun. Second Monkey sock, here I come!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Time Flies

Where have I been since that last post? It feels like ages have passed. Most of my time has been spent are various local hospitals -- my father had a massive heart attack just over two weeks ago. Since then, he has been in an out of the ICU, in and out of consciousness, off and on a ventilator, in and out of operating rooms...and now he is finally home. The picture above is of us a couple of days ago. He is recuperating fantastically well!

Small public health soapbox moment #1: If you and/or a loved one smokes, please consider quitting and/or encouraging your loved one to quit. My father's decades of smoking were a direct contribution to his heart attack and the pace of his recovery. It is possible to quit and so worth it! There are free online resources and my co-worker swears by Nictone Anonymous.

Small public health soapbox moment #2: CPR really does save lives! If you aren't already CPR-certified, do so as soon as possible. My father went into full arrest (no heart beat, no breathing) immediately after his heart attack. Thank goodness he was at a party with several CPR-trained persons. Their quick and effective actions not only led to the later revival of his heart and lungs at the ER but also kept blood and oxygen circulating to his brain, preventing brain damage. He doesn't remember much about what has happened in the past few weeks, but every other aspect of his memory, mental capacity, and personality are intact. The American Red Cross offers classes in most areas.

On the crafty front, I am almost done with the first Monkey Sock for the swap. It is easily the most beautiful thing I have ever knit. I will take photos of the sock itself later today, but here is a glimpse of the delightful Koigu it is made from:

Koigu KPPPM in P425 colorway

Have a great Monday. More Monkey news in forthcoming posts.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Where My Stitches At?

Have you ordered your Ravelry t-shirt yet?

We were out of town last weekend visiting the NC. Internet access was a whopping $8.95 per day in our hotel, which is too steep for this craft blogger. Surprisingly little knitting was done on the plane. Why? I've been teaching a summer school class at a local university and it's been kicking my ass. I got to grade and compile scores instead of having quality knit time. Thank goodness it is all wrapped up now! Now don't get me wrong...teaching is super fun, and the students energized me every class session with their enthusiasm and intelligence. But WOW is it exhausting. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if I weren't also working full-time at my regular job.

The one little bit of knitting that I have accomplished recently is an iPod Nano cozy for my sister-in-law (the lovely Miss Hipp). I used the leftover yarn from the Sockapalooza 4 socks and whipped up a cute little seed stitch pouch. Too bad it was half an inch too short! Grrrrr. That's what I get for thinking I could eyeball the 9 cm length. And you know how seed stitch is -- can't stretch it worth a darn.

So I started over today, this time in 2x2 rib so that it has a bit more give in either direction. Me likey so far.

Some news of my Monkey Sock Swap pal's socks (agggh! the gauge nightmare!) in my next post.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hipp Crafts...Courtesy of Flickr

H Letters 449 P P


How cool is this? Spell with Flickr rocks! You put in your word, then it searches images on Flickr to spell it out for you. If you don't like one of the letters, you can click on it to pull up another random selection. It even auto-generates the html code so you can pop it into your blog...presto!

Found this link from the beautiful How about orange... blog. She's got a lot of other cool craftiness over there. So inspiring.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Time Suck

Despite getting a Ravelry invite several months ago, I have only just recently logged on and started exploring. Oh my goodness, no wonder people rave about it. All of my internet goof-off time this week - which used to be dedicated to blogs - has been poured into setting up my Ravelry notebook and checking out what others have posted. It is amazing. If you haven't added yourself to the list for an invite yet, go do it now! You don't need to have a blog outside, just a Flickr account with photos of your knitting and your stash. Freaking great.

Before I go back to Ravelry today, I thought I'd share a few things I've been working on. (I seem to get super-crafty-productive only when I am stressed and busy with work. Anyone else experience the same thing?)

Mom's Guilt Socks - first one was completed last night, afterthought heel and all:

Mom's Guilt Socks 004

Child's Placket Neck Pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (made from this corrected pattern) - for a co-worker's impending baby:
Child's Placket Neck 001
I still need to close up the underarms and buy some buttons, but this thing is basically done. Super fun and super easy. It's my first seamless raglan sweater and I LOVE it. I may never go back.

If you want to visit me at Ravelry, I can be found under username "MrsHipp". Take care, y'all!

(BTW: Those of you in So Cal - did you feel the earthquake a few minutes ago?!?)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Monkey Sock Swap

Sockapalooza 4 was so much fun that I signed up for another sock swap. This one is all about Monkeys!

This sock swap has a few rules: You knit some Monkeys for your pal, add in three monkey-themed gifts, some sock yarn, and a Cookie A pattern (she designed the Monkeys and has lots of other beautiful designs). It's going to be fun to work out the specifics to meet these rules.

If you want to sign up, head over to the Monkey Sock Swap blog and contact Rebecca. Sign ups are through August 31st, so hurry!

As part of my enrollment, I need to answer some questions on my blog. Getting these answers ready has made me totally excited about this swap. I can wait to get my pal and start working on some Monkeys!

Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep? An intermediate, although I still have a lot to learn about knitting socks.

The measurements:
Shoe size = U.S. ladies 9
Foot circumference = 9 inches
Foot length = 10 inches

Yarn preferences:
What colors do you love? Blue, green, teal...but really, any color will make me happy
Do you prefer solids or variegated? Variegated!
Do you prefer wool, cotton or acrylic yarn? Wool, superwash would be great
What colors would you never wear? There is no sock color that I would never wear!
What are your favorite brands of yarn? Koigu, Regia, Lorna's Laces
Are there any new brands you would like to try? Trekking, Woolmeise, Yarntini, and Louet Gems all look pretty interesting

Cookie A. patterns:
Which of her patterns have you already knit? None
Which pattern(s) would you like to knit and don't already own? Rhiannon, Flicker

Other pertinent information:
Would you be willing to have an international Monkey Pal or do you prefer one in the U.S.? International is fine
Do you have any allergies? None that I know of
Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? It is definitely exposed to two cats, there is no smoking in this house
Are you on Ravelry yet? If you don't mind having new firends, what is your Ravelry name? MrsHipp, but I haven't had a chance to really use it yet; that's one of my knitterly goals for this weekend.

Thanks, Rebecca, for organizing this swap!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another Revamp

I was feeling the itch to re-do the colors on my blog. It was time to feel something light and fresh. So I picked a new template, selected a cool gray color scheme, and simplified the header with a close up of this:

Lovely yummy scrumptious stick your face in the softness Malabrigo in the kettle-dyed azul profundo (deep blue) colorway. The wound yarn cakes were sitting on my coffee table for ages, like a lovely piece of sculpture or dreamy photo book.

The gift certificate I got to purchase Wick yarn for Mom's Guilt Socks was generous enough to include four skeins of this Malabrigo. This is my first extended Malabrigo experience (more than just petting it at the yarn store) and now I know what all the hype is about. I haven't settled on what to make with it yet... at just over 800 yards, I think it would be a bit short for a sweater. Maybe a snuggly vest? Or a hat, scarf, and mittens set? But really, who cares -- even unknit this stuff is great.

Speaking of Mom's Guilt Socks, they are on the needles and progressing nicely. I'm doing them toe-up and am going to try an afterthought heel, partly because I want to see what it's like and partly to allow them to be easily repaired if need be.

Enjoy the new look (we'll see how long it lasts) and if you have some Malabrigo laying around he house, give it a good squeeze for me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Sock Karma Really is Reversed

You may remember that I debated between two different yarns in my stash in making my Sockapalooza 4 pal's socks. One I had in great quantities, the other I received from an almost sock pal in Sockapalooza 3. I decided to go with the almost pal's yarn, not only because it is yummy and would be fun to knit with, but also because I had (small) hopes of reversing any bad sock knitting karma that might be attached to them. Not to get all Pollyanna on you, but I really wanted to make lemonade out of these lemons.

Well folks, the karma is officially reversed.

Not only did I get an amazing package from my official sock pal for this year - Katrina at Here in Topeka - but I also got a package from a sock savior!

The lovely Sarah at Yoshimi Knits made a whole second pair of socks for Sockapalooza 4. That's right, she had a regular sock pal to knit for, but also volunteered to also be a sock savior for some poor soul (me!) who didn't get socks in the last round. That's so freaking nice.

The socks themselves are totally awesome - screaming bright green and they fit like a dream. I actually had socks in this same color in high school and college that I literally wore to death. They finally disintegrated and were sent to hole-y sock heaven. I loved them so much because the brightness would peep out between my Birkenstock clogs and the hem of may pants to make me happy.

They're full of truly beautiful details, too. The toes are shaped asymmetrically to match the curve of one's toes. That means I have a definite left and right sock! So cool. And the raised knit stitches from the leg and foot extend onto the toe and the heel:

Sarah also sent the leftover yarn - enough to make a second pair if I wanted, or maybe some matching fingerless gloves? - and some English body lotion and foot scrub. I am so pampered!

Thanks, Sarah, for your kindness. I love the socks and am totally inspired by your willingness to be a sock savior. You've proved that bad sock karma really can be reversed!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Crafty Friends are Awesome

Anita and I met during our first year at UCLA. We lived on the same floor in the residence halls and went through so many of life's firsts together...first time living away from home, first college classes, first "real" boyfriends, first Spring Break road trip. Together with Belinda and Shannon (and sometimes L - what ever happened to her?) we formed a pack of loud, laughing, silly girls, who watched "Golden Girls", studied to the wee hours of the night, shared acne-fighting secrets, created innumerable inside jokes, and eventually figured out what it means to be young women.

Anita, recently gave me this knitterly t-shirt. She saw it and knew that the super-geek knitter in me would totally love it. How great is this shirt?

And how great is it to have friend who totally gets what it means to love crafting so much that you would want it emblazoned it across your chest? I love it. L-O-V-E it.

BTW - The necklace I'm wearing the picture was made by Anita. She creates beautiful jewelry hat she sometimes sells but often gives to loved ones (yet another perk of having crafty friends - crafty gifts!). She blogs about everything new and fashionable at Anita Stylist. Go check out her blog - you will be way cooler for doing it. Promise.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Thursday started out as a yucky day. I felt ill all morning, and was in a mood to match. So I made use of sick leave and went home to rest and recuperate.

But guess what was waiting on my doorstep to brighten my mood? My Sockapalooza socks arrived!

There were so many treasures inside, I was struck wordless for several minutes. Mr. Hipp was home as well, and all he heard was shrieks, gasps, and giggles.

My sock pal - Katrina at Here in Topeka - was amazingly generous. The package and lovely note were full of sweet thoughtfulness. Katrina really made an effort to personalize this package for me and I am so grateful for it. It made me feel much better after my yucky morning!

The socks were packaged in a super-cute Sockapalooza-themed bag made by The Knitting Ewe On The Go (it is the perfect size to be a project bag for a sock-in-progress). And the socks themselves - wow. They are made from Sunshine Yarns superwash merino wool in the Tulips colorway. She made them from the Conwy pattern in Knitting on the Road because she saw that I had been to Conwy during my trip to Wales and Ireland last year and had fond memories of the place.

The photos of the socks here are of them drying on sock blockers today. That's because my camera conked out after I took the photos of the package and before I could get photos of them on my feet. I wore them during my feel-better nap on Thursday afternoon, and then all day at work on Friday (the fit is perfect!), so I figured I should wash them before showing you Katrina's beautiful handiwork. I got my camera running again today, so here are two closeups - they really don't do the socks justice, but hopefully you can get the idea of how much she spoiled me with these.

There was also whole skein of Sunshine Yarns sock yarn in Fiesta - love the bright colors - because she saw that I am a yarn diet and thought I might like something new to play with. (So sweet!) It also came with a copy of Knitting on the Road, which I have been drooling after for ages, so now I have the Conwy pattern she used to make my socks, plus a whole bunch more! Socks made from these patterns are all over the internet and look like a great way for me to learn some new techniques. I've already marked the Denmark socks for Mr. Hipp, who studied there while in college.

And I have no idea how Katrina managed this, but the book is SIGNED by the AUTHOR HERSELF! That's right, Nancy Bush put a note in there just for me! Here's another peek at the socks, too.

But that's not all...Katrina also met famous knitter/writer The Yarn Harlot and took a picture of her holding my socks-in-progress! And - I think this is so cool - Katrina entered these socks in the Washington County (Oregon) Fair and won first place in the cabled socks division. OMG - my socks are not only touched by fame and greatness, they are also prize-winners!

Check out Katrina's blog for more details on the story behind these socks and news from the life of this truly wonderful woman.

Thanks, Katrina, for transforming my Thursday from totally yucky to one of the coolest days ever!

(BTW - the socks I made for my pal arrived too! Check out Hippezippe for the results, as well as pictures of her many hand-knit socks. She must be the most prolific sock knitter in Europe!)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Big Send Off

The Sockapalooza 4 socks are on their way to their new owner in a far-off land. Once I get the news that my sock pal has received her socks, I can spill the beans about who she is. Wait until you see her knitting blog! She is an amazing and prolific sock knitter!

I made sure to give the socks a good washing before wrapping them up. The tag for this yarn suggests adding a bit of vinegar when washing. I had never done this before, so when Roxanne at Zen Yarn Garden left a comment here, I took the opportunity to ask her what the vinegar is all about. She wrote back right away, with this great info:

I suggest just a dab of vinegar in cool water for the first helps to preserve colour a wee bit. If the colour runs a bit, don't worry, it's just a little excess coming out like a new pair of jeans - it's to be expected with dyed yarns. My dyeing process helps with colourfastness and I have rinsed them quite well before you get the yarns too. Just a dab will do's an old trick with colours - a little vinegar in the wash just keeps the colours a little longer.

Thanks, Roxanne! I just got a bottle of lavender-scented, no-rinse, Eucalan wool wash. (Visit their site to get a sample!) So I filled the bathroom sink with water and added one cap-full each of Eucalan and white vinegar. The vinegar really did do the trick -- minimal bleeding! I was a little worried that the vinegar smell would remain which, given that these are supposed to be worn on FEET, would not be a good thing; but I took a good sniff after they dried an it's all good.

As a little treat for my sock pal, I packed the socks into this charming lunch bag.

The hand knit wool socks look like such an anachronism against the thermal silver lining of the lunch bag; but I guess that the anachronistic nature of hand-knits is what makes the craft so popular today, and why it lends itself so well to blogging. Combining an old craft with new technology brings a very calming source of balance.

I didn't finish up my trail of notes to ensure that sock #2 is identical to sock #1, so here you go:

  • After finishing the heel, start back in the pattern for the leg
  • Knit 58 rows in the pattern so that you get 29 little eyelet thingies; end with row 2 of the pattern
  • Cut yarn for main color, leaving enough tail for weaving in later
  • Switch to the contrast color and, using size US6 needles, purl all stitches for 2 rounds
  • Switch back to US 4 needles and begin knit1 purl 1 ribbing, do 14 rows of ribbing
  • Use this method to create a stretchy bound off edge; pull the cuff wide after every 2 stitches are bound off to make sure it's not too tight
  • Weave in all ends
With all the excitement of making these socks for my sock pal, I almost forgot that I can expect a pair of socks to arrive on my doorstep as well. (Giving really is as good as receiving.) I can't wait for my own Sockapalooza 4 socks to arrive!

Have a great week!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sockapalooza 4 Socks are DONE!

Yay! They're done! And my new sock blockers arrived just in time to model them. The socks still need to be washed and blocked for real, but I was so excited that I had to post them right away.

There are still a lot of leftovers from the Raspberry Chocolate yarn that is the main color of the socks. How much? I don't fist size when it's scrunched up? Very scientific, I know. See, I never weigh or measure my yarn so I have no clue what I have. I leave that sort of thing to the more organized and anal amongst us. I have to be organized and anal at work, so I save energy by letting my crafts be controlled by fate, luck, and happenstance. A little heartache with unsuccessful projects now and then is worth the freedom of crafting laziness.

Some of the yarn will get wound off to send to my Sock Pal -- along with the leftovers of the green/brown used for the toes, heels, and cuffs -- to fix any holes that might arise after what I hope will be many wearings.

But what to do with the rest? My sister-in-law would really like some little footlets from this yarn, but there's a chance it won't be enough yardage. I think I'll go ahead and take the risk -- use bigger needles, plain stockinette, and live dangerously!

Monday, July 23, 2007

HP in the House

We got one copy of the book just after midnight on Friday evening. A 15 minute drive seemed waaaaaay too long to wait to crack it open, so I had Mr. Hipp read it aloud to me as I drove home.
We finished at 10pm (me) and 11pm (Mr. Hipp) last night. An excellent read indeed! I am sad to think that it is the end of the Harry Potter saga, but at least I have the movies to look forward to.

Speaking of which, have you see the latest movie in IMAX? We saw it before picking up the book on Friday. The final fight scenes are in 3D!

Sockapalooza 4 socks are nearly done and are simply scrumptious, and my order from Halcyon Yarn arrived. That means Mom's Guilt Socks will be on the needles soon!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Southern California Knitting

I was able to make considerable progress on my Sockapalooza 4 socks while the in-laws were in town. After making the toe of sock #2 at the Getty Center, I took out the knitting again to work on the foot while chillin' by the pool. A poolside seat, a sarong, and a flip flop to hold open a Harry Potter book so my hands are free for knitting. What else could a So Cal knitter want? Oh man, I love summer.