Monday, April 29, 2013

Sock Endurance Monday: Monkeys

on the needles 
fresh off the needles
Monkey by Cookie A is the rock star of sock patterns. Most internet-savvy sock knitters (and about 99% of Sock Knitters, note the caps, on Ravelry) seem to have made this pattern.

My Monkeys were my second-ever pair of socks. I knit them out of a yarn I bought by name, Robot Overlord out of Lorna's Laces.
That was in August of 2011.
a year and a half later
They were my favourite pair even as others came along. The yarn is strong and sturdy and holds up to anything you throw at it.
By now, the socks are felted over, and they fit me like a glove. The sole is thinning out, and I fear they are not long for this world.
I could darn them, but I think I'll let them pass on in dignity.

Plus, I've just finished another pair of Monkeys! This is the only pattern I've repeated so far.
old and new
This time, the Monkeys were made out of Another Crafty Girl's Strong Sock in the dyed-for-me-first Pokemon colourway Chimchar. I'm sure these will be just as well loved as my first pair was.

Have you knit Monkeys yet?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I’ve started a new project to help me practice my photography. 
I’m sure a lot of you have heard about Project 365. Well, I’m putting my own twist on it and calling it Socks 365. 
But it’s no fun to play alone, is it? 
So I’m challenging all of you to play along, too!
Take a picture of your socks (on you, or get creative!) every day and share them in the Ravelry group, or on Twitter (#socks365), on your blog, on the project365 website…
And who knows? There may even be prizes for those who play along… ^_^
You can follow my project on the Project365 website, on Google+ or on Twitter.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sock Endurance Monday: For the love of Calico

freshly finished
It was my birthday yesterday, so today for Sock Endurance MOnday, I'm talking about my favourite socks, made in a colourway inspired by the feline love of my life.

 It may seem a little self-serving to talk about socks knit in my yarn, but honestly, I treat them just as I treat all my other socks. There's no special treatment, there's no fudging.
I do adore these socks very much (that's why I kept a skein in the first place), and I wear these all the time.

These socks go in open shoes a lot, because I love the stripes. They also go in boots occasionally, and in closed sneakers. I wear them on long walks and bike rides, and in the house.

I knit these Houdini socks for the construction, and I have no idea why I haven't done them again. I knit them in September of 2012 out of half a skein of my own Run Away base, a merino/nylon light fingering yarn.

current state of the heel
as they are today
They are hard-wearing socks, and very smooth. I wasn't expecting to love them as much as I do, but they're a great balance between hardy socks and pampering socks. I wear them very often, and they're one of my go-to pairs of happy socks.

I mostly hand-wash them, but they've gone in the washing machine several times, too. Haven't put them in the dryer yet, but I would if it came up (I don't use my dryer for anything very often).

How would I rate them?
  • Wear & tear: excellent
  • Colour fastness: great
  • Felting: none
  • Pilling: none
  • Fuzzing: little
  • Washing: good
  • as worn in shoes
  • Comfort: excellent
Do I still love them? Moreso than I thought as I was knitting them.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adventures in craft shopping, Tokyo style, Part 1: Fabric Town

No crafter's visit to Tokyo can be complete without a day of shopping for fabric or notions or wool, or all of the above.
I didn't make it to Fabric Town in Tokyo's inner north last time, but this time, I wasn't going to miss it.

Fabric town, or more accurately, Fabric Street in Fabric Town is just a skip away from Nippori station, which is conveniently located along the famous Yamanote JR line.
Down Momiji bridge and along a short street, there are pretty sign's pointing the way.

Fabric street does exactly what it says on the tin. Want new curtains? The curtain fabric shop is for you. Need sequined dance fabric? Suit cloth? Fine lace collars? There's a shop for that.

Fabric prices (and quality) run the whole range. If you can't find it here, it might not exist at all.

Just strolling along the street is a nice experience. You could duck into the many small, ground -level stores, or lose yourself in the mother of them all, TOMATO.  They give you a convenient guide to their various building, but just dive in and have at it.

Want to shop but don't have the space for Fabric, or don't sew at all? Never fear, get some notions! From embroidery thread that looks like a gorgeous, hand-dyed yarn skein to walls of buttons, from lace-edged zips to cast-iron sweater clips, from grosgrain ribbon in all the colours and patterns to sew-on patches, they've got the notion for you.

And tools. All the tools you need and some you never even knew existed!
I got myself some wonderful Clover needles for hand sewing. Their points and eyes are things of beauty.

I also got buttons, lacey zips, embroidery floss, a sweater clip and several kinds of grosgrain ribbon.

I didn't buy any fabric here, but I do have some. Stay tuned for part 2 of this post!

Monday, April 8, 2013


It's been a great day for food as we've been exploring the temple and old town of Asakusa. I had some sweet potato with chestnut, a strawberry in sticky gum syrup on ice, a chocolate-covered banana and mochi  in crushed peanuts. Omnomnomnomnom.

Sock Endurance Monday: Who doesn't love stripes?

pretty yarn cake
freshly finished
Can you believe that it's taken me this long to actually knit up self-striping indie yarn? But it's true! This skein of Desert Vista Dyeworks in the wonderfully named Summertime came to me through destash.
I knit plain afterthought heel socks in September 2013, which was apparently my month of socks.

They're one of my heavy rotation socks, and I always wear them in shoes where you can see them, so open MJs or sneakers. I also wear them around the house a lot.

afterthought heel coming soon!
They're a great light-weight sock and so bright and happy!
The fit isn't ideal, as the afterthought heel fits me a bit funkily (my first afterthought heel sock), but otherwise, these socks are great.

state of the heel, see the funny ear?
The blue stripe bled a bit on first wash, somewhat toning down the brightness of the rest of the stripes, but otherwise, they've stayed wonderfully vibrant and I love them a lot. I always handwash them in Soak.

current state
How would I rate them?
  • Wear & tear: excellent
  • Colour fastness: great
  • Felting: none
  • Pilling: little
  • Fuzzing: little
  • Washing: good
  • as worn in shoes
  • Comfort: good
Do I still love them: Absolutely!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sock Endurance Monday: Treat them kindly

freshly finished
This week, I'm going to look at a favourite pair of mine, and how they stood up.
unusual construction!
My Bi-partisanship socks were definitely a case of wild yarn infatuation. The yarn is Woollen St Mills Princess Sophia in the Ron Weasley colourway. Soooo pretty.
I adore the sock pattern, too. It's perfect for wildly variegated yarns.

I knit these socks in September of 2012, and I wear them often and for medium stretches of walking (several hours)

I tend to wear these socks in open shoes so I can admire their prettiness. They feel a little delicate to me. I handwash them in Soak. They're 100% Merino, so they're wonderfully soft, but they're not going to last forever.
how they are today
It doesn't bother me when my socks don't wear like iron. Like a flower in full bloom, it's to be enjoyed before it fades. And besides, if my socks all didn't wear out in a timely fashion, I'd have to stop knitting them. And I really enjoy knitting socks... you know, in case you hadn't noticed.

heel fuzzing and thinning
There is a definite fuzzy halo going on with these socks, and the colours have faded a bit. Overall, they are becoming more soft and more delicate, and they're still a favourite, so they're in constant roation. I'd be surprised if they live longer than a year.

How would I rate them?
  • Wear & tear: okay
  • Colour fastness: good
  • Felting: none
  • Pilling: little
  • Fuzzing: a fair bit
  • Washing: delicate
  • Comfort: excellent
as worn in shoes
Do I still love them? Yes, very much.