Saturday, June 28, 2008


I has socks, and a new toy.

No pattern, just a basic sock--I love the yarn so much (Blue Moon STR lightweight, in Oregon Red Clover Honey) that I didn't think it needed much fuss and bother in the way of fancy stitch patterning. I used a seed rib stitch for the leg and instep. Now I have a hankering to knit some Monkeys or lace sox in a solid color, so I might be using this.

Gems fingering weight in Aqua. I'd bought an assload of it back in '06, thinking I'd make a lace stole...yeah right! I ended up selling off two of the skeins, and have 4 left. Two I'm keeping for socks, so the other two are up for grabs. They're in my Etsy shop under "Destash" and I'm letting them go at a very good price! Just passing along the info.

Stitchjones Dept: All good. The newest retailer to carry Supersocks in their shop is Naked Sheep Knit Shop, in North Portland. That makes 2 in Portland, 2 in the burbs, 2 at the coast, and 1 online. Watch for new Stitchjones Supersocks colors coming to Woolgirl in July! Also, stitchjones.com is still under construction--the shopping cart is being configured. When we go live, which I'm hoping to be stocked and ready for next month, yarn and fiber lovers will have a state of the art online shopping experience. It's going to be superb, way above and beyond the content of many indie dyers' websites (if I do say so myself).

To expedite production, I invested in this gadget.

Lousy pic, but it's a motorized skein winder from Ball and Skein. It works great--not that it'll be a time saver, but it will eliminate the need for rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder from all the hand cranking. The revolution counter doesn't seem to work, but I think that might be an assembly glitch. Mr. Stitchjones put it together for me, as "Allen wrench" is far beyond my ken, and just about the extent of his. What can I say--here we are in the DIY capital of North America, and neither of us are the handy type! Ah well, we've managed to get by.
Today was hot enough to boil a monkey's bum. According to some billboard thermometers I saw when we went out to eat tonight, the mercury exceeded 100 degrees. After reskeining a dozen skeins this afternoon, I took time out for a swim break, and it did me a world of good. Hope you're keeping cool and comfy, wherever you may be! Peace out.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


going around

Since I've got no exciting knitting or fabulous new yarn colors to show you, I thought I'd do a meme. This is the (in) famous Flickr Mosaic Meme that you may have seen going around the blogosphere. I'm not going to tag anyone, but in case you haven't seen this and want to play, here's what to do.

The instructions to create the mosaic are:
Type your answers to each of the questions below into Flickr Search
Using only the first page, pick an image
Copy and paste each of the URLs into the mosaic maker

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

Some of my answers may be rather obscure from the pics. I have to tell you that the answer to #3 is "Danvers", the town in northeastern Massachusetts where I grew up. When you type "Danvers" into Flickr, you get pics of the imposing-looking, Gothic building that we knew as Danvers State Hospital-- a mental institution. (Well, old Danvers High did in fact seem like a laughing academy at times!) I haven't been back in 10 years, but I hear Danvers State has been turned into condos. #7 is New Zealand, #9 is not a chick with green eyes and tape over her mouth, but what's written on the tape. Just wanted to clear that up. #11, a word to describe me, is not "Jack Black," that's actually 2 words. It's "Tenacious", and of course, my search turned up pictures of the vastly over-rated "Tenacious D".

If you do one, let me know so I can see it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Back from the beach

I'm ba-ack from the coast, and whoa, what a toime I had! It meant having to miss Saturday's Worldwide Knit In Public Day festivities on Saturday, and the Pride Parade on Sunday, so I hope those who participated in those events here in PDX metro had a great time, and I'll look forward to them next year.

Let me tell you about the beach trip. If I had to use one word to sum it up, that word would be "rewarding". I'm happy as a razor clam to tell you that Stitchjones Supersocks is now available at two locations on the north Oregon Coast: Coastal Yarns in Cannon Beach, and a brand new shop in Manzanita called T-Spot (no website yet). Both YSO's were extremely nice and loved my yarns--I came home with the yarn suitcase nearly empty and checks in my wallet! T-Spot has been open for just one week. In addition to the great yarns such as Manos, Lamb's Pride and a good assortment of Berroco, Olga carries teas and Belgian chocolate. When you're on the north coast, check it out, it's a very cute shop. I might even be teaching a beginning sock class there this summer--woo, another excuse to hit the beach! I'll keep you posted on this. And Sherry of Coastal Yarns has Blue Moon and an amazing collection of yarns.

Even though I sold yarn and got orders, I was really there for the first-ever retreat of the Cat House Band. The guys practiced Saturday afternoon.

(That's Mr. Stitchjones on the far left.)

The audience was small but fierce.

Then there was the scoping out of the venue for Sunday's gig at the Wheeler Crab Fest, and a bit of general goofiness.

Aaand finally, the performance.

Some action in the mosh pit.

I even managed to finish a sock, but don't have a photo of it yet. During the past week I was contacted by another online yarn shop interested in ordering, so I've been in a dyeing frenzy. Must go now, as several pounds of wet wool await.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Back to the beach

Does anybody remember that movie? It was Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello in the mid-1980's, married with children. I remember that Pee Wee Herman made a guest appearance, and did a goofy rendition of "Surfin' Bird", with his little suit and bowtie, but that's about all I remember about the movie. It was a dismal attempt to recapture the "Beach Blanket Bingo" days, or rather squeeze more money out of them. And none of this has anything to do with what's going on in my life, which is that I'm going to the beach tomorrow. Finally! Lord, but I needs me a vacation. This will be sort of a working vacation, as I am visiting two yarn shop owners at the Oregon North Coast, and like Mary Poppins with middle age spread, I'll be bringing my carpetbag full of hand dyed yarn. (My PDX Knitblogger buddies are very familiar with this.)

I must be doing pretty good at this Stitchjones thing, because today I was contacted by an online shop--in Atlanta, yet! They like my colorways and wanted to know if I did wholesale sales. (Has Pinocchio got a wooden butt?!) This is the first time a yarn retailer found me, which is pretty darn exciting. I'll keep you in the loop!

I managed to actually finish knitting something with my own yarn. Tree Bark Socks, designed by my friend Cindy, in the "Syrinx" colorway. It was a fun and easy knit--I didn't carry the slipstitch pattern down the foot though, as my shoes fit better when I knit the foot in stockinette.

I can't wait to wear 'em!

Today was definitely a dyeing day. I did 4 worsted skeins, 8 sock yarns and a half pound of roving. Although my legs and back feel the effort, it's not that much really. Like spitting into the Grand Canyon, considering I potentially have three new wholesale clients, and if you haven't been over to the website do have a look, as it's got nice pictures and once the shopping cart is running, I think I'll have quite a few more orders than I get from Etsy (although my Etsy sales have definitely been boosted by Ravelry and word of mouth. Or since I sell sock yarn, maybe I should say word of foot? Oi, but I'm tired!)

J. and I will have to figure out sooner rather than later, how to get the dye works out into the garage rather than in the kitchen. Because it's the kitchen, I'm always cleaning up as I go. So I think if I had a separate work area, I could focus more on making lots of yarn, rather than immediately wiping up every stray drop of dye and speck of powder! The biggest thing will be getting a sink put in the garage. I can't imagine trying to dye without the sink two steps away. In the meantime though, we're all coping as best we can. Today was Michelle's last day of her junior year. She might have some summer work as an on-demand QA contractor at the translation company where I used to work. How that seems like a distant memory, even though it's only been since last September that I left! And how unsure I was about leaving. Now there is so much going on with Stitchjones, that I know I made the right decision.

I am really loving this yarn lately.

It's a thick/thin wool worsted with an acrylic thread. I've been calling it "Crinkle," and after a false start or two, I figured out what color palettes are best for it. The colorway is "Blues Trio". It's 132 yards, and I got such a great deal on it that I can sell it at a good price. Only problem is, I'm almost out! I've contacted the manufacturer, though, and hopefully their wholesale minimum isn't too high.

Wouldya look at me, rambling so much I'm starting to bore myself. I'll resurface sometime next week, with beach pics, stories, and hopefully good news! On Sunday, 14 colorways of Stitchjones Supersocks will be available at Woolgirl. I love Woolgirl's yarn photography--and her yarn, for that matter!--and can't wait to see how pretty she makes my yarn look!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends, and may the weather be perfect for Worldwide Knit In Public Day.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Settling down

Don't worry, I'm not going to wax all elf-shot Rushian poetic in this post! It's just that I got to see my favorite band play live for almost three hours, and I was swept away. Like Flutter, O queen of the dark and divine, quite a few of my friends and customers have told me "The Trees" is a favorite among my several dozen colorways. So I was just giving a little backstory in the last post.


Before I move on to other topics, I just have to say that I was not allowed in the Clark Co. pit of hell Amphitheater with my knitting! Officious pricks and prickettes. I should have camouflaged my sock in progress better, or at least used bamboo needles instead of my Addi aluminum size 0 dpns. "Oh, this could be used by someone else as a weapon." Yeah, those $8 beers might make somebody go postal! And I had a Tree Bark sock in the Syrinx colorway, all origins for colorway names traceable back to Rush albums of the 70s. Just itching for a cellphone pic in front of the giant video screen, because I am a complete and utter nerd. Even so, I have started a bit of a Harlot-esque trend. At least a few of my fellow Rush freaks on Ravelry are doing the same thing during the 2008 leg of the "Snakes and Arrows" tour. One got a shot of her Monkey sock in progress during an instrumental titled "The Main Monkey Business".

See how we are?

Now back to regularly scheduled BS--I mean knitting!

I don't have Photoshop, or else I would put a caution warning on the above photo--"Eye Protection Required" or some such message. Basic socks in Opal Neon. I'm still plugging at knitting up my stash, distractions and all. The color distribution stayed pretty regular, except for some wild ziggy zaggying going on just below the cuff of the sock on the right.

Hand Dyed, Handspun Bliss

This is a gift from Bobbie of Tiggywinkle Knits - some BFL roving I dyed up. Bobbie spun it into gorgeous singles, then did her plying and cabling mojo to create this beautiful yarn. (I am lingo challenged when it comes to spinning.) Anyway, thanks again, Bobbie--I love it!

I've Seen The Future

Reason #1,412 to love Ravelry: A few months back, I heard about a new knit shop opening at the Oregon coast resort town of Manzanita. I don't have much info, other than it's on the main drag (Laneda Avenue) and is called "Tspot". I sent a Rav mail to the owner, who wrote back saying she would like to meet with me whenever I was at the coast. Next weekend will be my chance! It so happens that my husband's band retreat is taking place in that very town, and I am invited to go along. The owner of Tspot is expecting me and my yarn. W00t! I do regret missing Portland's annual Pride celebration, as we march as a family every year with the Welcoming Congregations, but this opportunity seems to have come together for Stitchjones better than I could have planned it. And I'm finally going to the beach, which I've been whinging about for quite some time! On Sunday the 15th, the Cat House Band is playing at the Wheeler Crab Festival. Be there or be square, folks.

And not to start unfounded rumors or anything, but I've heard from my evil twin a reliable source that Stitchjones might have a booth at Madrona '09! That's right, you heard right, if that happens I'll be hobnobbing with the glitterati (and in need of assistance, ya sure you betcha)! Hate to use the tired old expression, but stay tuned.

Monday, June 02, 2008


The Trees

Before it was jazzy green sock yarn, it was a rock fable.

The Trees

by Rush

There is unrest in the forest

There is trouble with the trees

For the maples want more sunlight

And the oaks ignore their pleas

The trouble with the maples

(and they're quite convinced they're right)

They say the oaks are just too lofty

And they grab up all the light

But the oaks can't help their feelings

If they like the way they're made

And they wonder why the maples

can't be happy in their shade

There is trouble in the forest

And the creatures all have fled

And the maples scream "Oppression!"

And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union

And demanded equal rights

They say the oaks are just too greedy

We will make them give us light

Now there's no more oak oppression

For they passed a noble law

And the trees are all kept equal

By hatchet,


and saw.

OK, yes, it's very late. J. and I just got home from the concert, and I promise you a full report next post (whether you want it or not, heh,) probably tomorrow. Or today, since it's after midnight. I have just had these type of images running through my head since Rush played "The Trees" at the show, and thought a little pictorial interspersed with song lyrics was the best way to illustrate where the inspiration came from for "The Trees" colorway. Which has become one of Stitchjones' most popular, and brought about this amazing sock design!

The pattern is available at Cindy's blog.

Oh man, I am one weary warrior. Scratchy-throated from all the screaming I did tonight, and I'm not hearing so well right now. More tomorrow, or whenever I get back on here.

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