January One -- Jaywalkers

December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

We have winners!

Karen W.


Stacey S.




I've emailed all the winners - so if your name is up there and you think you might be a winner, check your email (and your spam filters!) Email me your address and I'll get the prize out to you as soon I receive the yarn from Blue Moon.

There really were only six possible socks to choose from: the Trekking Walking on Sunshine Sock, the STR Hot Flash Jaywalker, STR Panzanite Jaywalker, the Koigu Embossed Leaves Sock and the Koigu Purple Knee High. And the last pair of socks knit in 2006 were...

My new shoes and my new socks!
Dansko Camilla in Black Oiled Leather

That's right - who knew I was so predictable? I started the year knitting jaywalkers and I ended the year knitting jaywalkers. Nothing like completing the circle.

Jaywalkers in STR Hot Flash, picot edge variation. I forgot how much I like to knit this sock - it goes SO quickly. This is my 10th finished pair of Jaywalkers. I still have a pair to finish - and maybe I'll make another pair, you know, to even things out. But not quite yet. I've started two new pairs of socks:

Simple stockinette socks, two at a time, G-Rocks and January One. Perfect together.

I hope you all have a happy, safe, wonderful New Year. Thank you so much for spending some of your time here. I really appreciate it and enjoy you and the blog and the larger knitting community so much. It's given great richness to my life. Here's to 2007! Bring it on!

Posted by Cara at 11:59 PM | Comments (40)

April 14, 2006

Rare Gems

I guess I might as well admit it. I'm a sock knitter. I know you all think I'm a sock knitter, but I've been avoiding the label because, well, I DO knit other things besides socks. Although it might not seem like it these days.

I finished three socks while I was at my sister's. The first one I'm going to talk about is a mate - so now I have a pair.

Yes, yes. I ran out of yarn. I'm still using the old put up - I've got a lot of STR skeins to get through - but it wasn't all the fault of the yarn. The colorway is a RARE GEM, which means no one else in the world has it but me! Sometimes mistakes are made in the dye pot and Tina transforms these "mistakes" into gorgeous unique colorways through overdyeing. I was worried from the start that I'd run out and in this world of self-fulfilling prophecies I did. The funny thing? I made a mistake in the pattern. I hope you're laughing because I certainly did - this is my 11th pair of jaywalkers? I've lost count to be honest. So here I am knitting on this sock and I decide to do a stitch count and I realize that somewhere I added an extra stitch. The best part is that I made the mistake in a place that's completely obliterated by the pattern! That's why I couldn't see it. (For those of you intimately acquainted with the jaywalker pattern, I added the second ktfbl on a knit row down the middle of the sock so on the next row the pattern was unchanged for the first ktfbl. And if you understand that - maybe it's time to find a new sock pattern. ;-) ) When it became clear to me that I was going to run out of yarn, I called my favorite dyer Tina and asked for some Spinel, which I thought would work perfect for the toe.

And I think I was right! I love the sock. Then I had to decide whether or not I wanted both socks to match, since I had already finished the first sock with the Rare Gems yarn. I decided I liked them different. Truly a pair of Rare Gem socks.

I love them. They will sit in my (soon to be determined) sock drawer and wait for the cold feet of fall.

I also finished one of my Hot Flash jaywalkers:

OH MY GOD! I have GOT to start counting more. This time I made a very similar mistake (left out a ktfbl) and ended up a stitch short. I'm getting better with the whole perfectionism thing though because I didn't rip it out and fix it at the source (the mistake was on the cuff and when I figured it out I was on the foot.) I fixed it where I found the mistake. Same as the Rare Gems sock. Love the sock. Will be making another one.

And in the biggest news of the day, I finished sock ONE of my Sockapaloooza socks:

LOVE the yarn. LOVE the pattern. LOVE the sock. (That's three loves for sockapalOOOza.) It is SO hard knitting socks for someone other than yourself - especially someone far away that can't try them on for you. They are pretty loose on me so and a bit long so I've got all my toes crossed that they will fit the recipient.

I think it's pretty funny that the jaywalker looks bigger than the sock pal sock. So not the case.

Anyway. That's what I knit while I was away. It was excellent to see the kids and hang with my sister but I'm VERY glad to be home. Look for lots of black and bead lace knitting to come and another sock pal sock. That's going to be pretty much it until the end of April. Deadlines loom. Oh and if anyone has any ideas about sending expensive and IRREPLACEABLE jewelry through the mail (fedex, etc.) please let me know. I left my fancy wedding ring at my sister's and I want it back in my possession ASAP. I don't feel like going back down there to pick it up and I'm missing it desperately. But can you really send that kind of stuff?

Posted by Cara at 11:26 AM | Comments (34)

March 15, 2006


Hi! Let me introduce myself. My name is Cara and I used to blog. A lot. Oh god how I miss it. I'm home again folks and I can only hope you missed me as much as I've missed you. And miss you I did! I'm SO out of the loop. I forgot not one but TWO birthdays: two of my best blog buds Margene and Wendy. How awful am I? I pride myself on being an excellent friend - I work hard at it - and I totally dropped the ball. So much so Margene sent ME a present for HER birthday! How ridiculous is she and how much do I suck?

Bunnycrack from Kim! Awesome, no? That Margene. She rocks. Happy happy birthday to you! And a FANTABULOUS birthday to the BOOKISH Girl! Sorry guys. Next year I'll do better. I promise.

So G and I had our homecoming last year night (But oh man it felt like a year! Being at my sister's - no matter how much I love her, the kids, spending time with them - is NOT a vacation. I work hard. This time there was lots of work and lots of sick so I'm happy to be home.) and it wasn't what I had anticipated to say the least. I'm on the train coming up from Philly and I get a call from G-Love. He had arrived home a couple of hours earlier and when he finally got home from the airport he realized a mistake had been made! Right out of our favorite movie, G had picked up the wrong suitcase at the airport!!!! Now, before you start snickering and think to yourself WOW! She bagged a winner! I saw the suitcase he picked up and it was identical to his bag. And to make matters worse, the bag itself is very different and easily identifiable. Georgie is the last person on earth (I guess, now, one of two) to NOT have a roller bag. Know what I'm talking about? He carries a soft suitcase (not a duffel) and it's got this bright orange/yellow trim and the word LUCAS on it. So here comes the same bag on the baggage carousel and right next to it - TOUCHING it - is his other bag. He was on the phone arguing with the car service guy about where to meet and I was ringing in on the other line and he just picked up his bags and left. It wasn't until he got home that he realized he had the wrong bag. When he called me I was all like OH MY GOD it's FRANTIC and what if there are drugs in the bag?! Apparently only an I-POD, ten pairs of sneakers and some condoms. Somebody had fun in Miami.

When G called me I was like no biggie - pick me up at the train station and we'll head over to the airport. I always come into Newark Penn Station and the airport's like ten minutes from there. One problem though - G flew into La Guardia. Nothing like a midnight run to LGA. While we were going through the tunnel we got a call from American Airlines informing us they had his bag. Whew. We got to the airport with a little detour (missed a sign) switched out bags and headed home. Thank god we made that little detour because we took the BQE home and there was like a ten mile back up going TOWARDS the airport. Which we would've been stuck in. Maybe until today. Sometimes there is such a thing as luck.

So we're home. Safe and sound. I miss the kids terribly - I've spent A LOT of time with them this month and now they're off on a fabulous family vacation. The baby and I had some great bonding time. As sad as it is, it's a great ego boost when the little guy cries every time you're out of his line of sight. Awwww.

Knitting was sporadic. I found that weaving in ends on Short Rows was a great nap filler. I'm almost done, believe it or not. I have another new goal for this sweater - I want it done by Passover. And I have a FANASTIC new project on the horizon - details later in the week I hope. I need it for an event at the end of April so I have to start it soon, but it's something I've been dreaming about for awhile and I think it will be phenomenal if I can pull it off.

Socks, socks, socks! I finished a jaywalker and cast on for a mate (not this sock's mate - but you know how I like to switch socks up.) And the embossed leaves saga continues!

Looks like I haven't made any progress, doesn't it? Uh uh uh! Looks can be deceiving! No sillies! It's not the second sock or anything as ambitious as that - it's still the first sock. Only a brand new incarnation! I got to the turning of the heel, believe it or not, and decided it wasn't right. I had done about 15 rows of ribbing and the 3.5 pattern repeats called for and, well, it looked short. So I ripped back to row 12 of ribbing and started knitting the pattern on size 2 Addis. I continued on 2s for two repeats, then switched to 1s. Right now I've got about 3.5 repeats done and I'm planning on doing 4.5 and then starting the heel. Everything's going along pretty well now. I'm happy with it.

Anyway. I'm back. And I hope to be back for good - for a while at least. There's still a lot of running around this month and now it's extending into April and May but, it's okay. I'll deal.

Hope you're having a GREAT day!
L, C

Posted by Cara at 02:18 PM | Comments (24)

February 21, 2006

Come Play With Us

So Becky tagged me for the "The View from Your Front Door" meme. I told her that it would be really, really boring. I'm not so sure she believed me.

I live in a high rise apartment building, so looking out my front door gives me a wall. A very boring wall. I thought I'd take a picture of the hallway too. This is walking straight out my front door and turning left:

It's a crappy picture of the hallway, but it's usually pretty dark out there. They're supposed to be re-doing the hallways in the building - walls, carpeting, lighting. They're charging us a gazillion dollars but the board's fighting about it. As usual. Supposedly it was all supposed to be started and halfway completed by now and I think they painted the stairwells and maybe ripped out one floor. Fun, fun, fun! Anyway, the most interesting thing I can say about my hallway is that sometimes it scares the freaking crap out me. (Ask Jen. She'll tell you. I totally wigged her out the other day.) It's because sometimes, when I'm walking down from the elevator to my apartment, all I can think about is the twins in The Shining. You know - the ghost girls who want Danny to play and then the hallway fills with blood and I literally break into a run to my apartment. I hate scary movies and I think The Shining, with Jack Nicholson, is one of the scariest movies ever. But yet, whenever it's on, I have to watch it.

I much prefer the view from my balcony:

For this very nice meme I will tag: Jasmin (because I learn something new on her blog everyday), Kris (because she's my bp and she lives far from me), Stephanie (because she has a beautiful blog and lives in a beautiful place), and Kimberly (because she takes great pictures and here's a good excuse to take some more.) Do you want to do it? Well, then, I tag you too!

I may have exorcised the Ikea Demons yesterday when G and I test drove a car out of Sweden known for its safety and family appeal. Welp this car is the fastest car I've ever driven and I've driven some fast cars. The last time we had that much fun in a test drive we bought the car. We're still a couple of months away from any decisions, but I know what I want. Actually, I have to say that car shopping yesterday was one of the most pleasant experiences we've had in a while. Two dealerships, two different cars, two test drives. No one gave us a hard sell. Both salespeople loved the cars they were selling. Both extremely likable. I'd feel good buying a car from either one. And that says a lot. What was interesting too is that one salesperson had been in the business for over 20 years. The other was just barely OVER twenty years OLD. But that second test drive, with the young guy, MAN was that fun. You know you're in for a good time when the salesguy gets in the car and says, don't worry, I went to Skip Barber. Yipeee! G and I are still laughing over it!

I'm off to the dentist today. Blah. I hate the dentist. Well, I actually like my dentist and everyone in the office. I've been going there for 15 years and G something like 20. In fact we both have appointments today - one after the other. All together now: AWWWW! We get to see each other in the middle of the day, which is always a treat and may just help relieve the awful anxiety I get at the dentist. And it's going to be bad today - I haven't been in a while.

I leave you with my knitting from yesterday. Favorite STR EVAH! ;-)

Posted by Cara at 09:17 AM | Comments (34)

February 20, 2006


As the indomitable Snow put it, I'm suffering from Post Ikea Stress Syndrome. P.I.S.S. How great is that?

When last you found our intrepid Heroine, I was going to take the fucker apart and show it who's BOSS! On Saturday G and I ventured out to a Lowe's to get some supplies for rip down and rebuild. I think we were successful. Things were looking up!

Cedar balls, for the finished product, and an electric screwdriver. I was OPTIMISTIC!!!

We started to take the thing apart. The first thing we had to do was get those little grabby half circle things out of the holes - you know the ones that hold the metal thingamajigs? You don't? Consider yourself lucky because once you get those things in there they don't freaking come out! So we're trying our hardest to get these fuckers out and it's amazing we're still married and we can't get them out. Then I think hey! Maybe all I have to do is unscrew these screws over here and I can get it out! No go. Those little wooden Ikea pegs things that I want to stick in some Swedish designer's eye are everywhere in this piece so even if you take the screws out you can't get the thing apart. So we're back to trying to get the top off so we can begin to TRY to take the thing apart but we can't do it. I'm crying. I want to throw the thing out. And G's totally with me. I call Ikea and ask them if I can drop the thing off and pick up a new one, since I can't take it apart. The woman tells me I can return it fine, but it has to be unassembled. In the calmest, most exacerbated voice I have I tell her that if I could get it apart, I wouldn't have to bring it back. She puts me on hold. I want to set fire to everything around me made of particle board. She comes back and tells me that they'll take it, but I'll have to pay an additional percentage, depending on its condition, over and above the 30% restocking fee. I say thank you and hang up. We consider this. Really, really consider this.

One problem. The freaking thing won't fit in our car.

So we, two intelligent creative people, think of what to do. We'll rent one of those trucks from Home Depot! Yeah! That's it! And we'll take it back to Ikea and get 50% or less than what we paid for it then buy a new one! Then return the truck! So we'll be out an extra $500 but it will be PERFECT!

I actually made a few phone calls to some people to see if I was crazy to do this (G was right there with me, god love him!) but no one was home. Which turned out to be a very, very good thing.

This is CRAZY! I thought. GO BACK AND RETHINK! I was right when I started. Go back and drill the freaking holes in the wood. Turns out that middle piece, remember? It's not particle board. It's solid wood. Maybe that's why it's the piece that holds the whole sideboard together? Anyway, we get to measuring and turning it this way and on its head and every which way and in the end WE DO IT! WE DRILL HOLES AND THE DRAWERS WORK! And it's all fixed and we can dance and sing and rejoice.


As I'm finishing the rest of the drawers, I realize that one of the reasons you needed to put that freaking piece of wood in the right way, besides the holes, is that the stain is on the front side out. You know. To match up with the rest of it. So I've got all the drawers in and everything's together and this thing ain't never coming apart, but I've got a nice solid piece of PINE sticking out of my DARK WALNUT dresser. FUCK!

Off to Home Depot we go.

It looks good enough for me, so please don't tell me if it looks bad. Seriously. I don't want to know. This thing about killed me. I have poly for it too but I'm letting it go for now. I can always poly it later. Jacobean MinWax if anyone's interested.

You think that's the end of the story, don't you? It's NOT! So I hated the drawer pulls that came with the dresser and I walked into Restoration Hardware and found the perfect pulls IMMEDIATELY. Bought them, brought them home, tried them out. BINGO! They don't fit. Well, they fit, but the screws were too short and they didn't come with backs. What the? So on our venture to Home Depot we got some longer screws and some nuts and washers and problem number 3,719: the screws are silver and the pulls are a dark bronzy color. So the guy at Home Depot suggests we paint the screws. We buy paint and long discussions ensue on what's the best way to paint these little teeny tiny screws that will attach the draw pulls that I adore for the dresser that I now loathe.

The ones I love on the left, the Ikea icky ones on the right.

Not to fear, my lovelies. At around midnight Saturday night in a stain induced haze I figured out the problem. So genius am I.

See (well you can't really see, but take my word for it) the Ikea pull has like a tube that extends through the hole in the drawer front and you screw in the screw into the back. So what I figured out is that I could attach the Ikea drawer pull onto the INSIDE of the drawer and screw in the screws on the beautiful drawer pulls into the tubes from the front. Make sense? Look at the picture again. It makes perfect sense and better yet it WORKS!

For all intensive purposes fuck it This thing is FINISHED. I do like it. I like it a lot. But I'm still mad so I'm not filling it with yarn just yet. I want that to be a kind of spiritual event. So I need a day or two. Soon though. I'm getting there. Recovery is hard.

Knit Olympics:Day Ten: PROGRESS!

I started the second mitten. As I mentioned before, I'm doing the reverse on the second one. Pink as the Main Color, Navy as the contrast. I like it! I'm confident these mittens WILL be finished by next Sunday.

I also started a couple of socks:

On the left is the ribbing for the Embossed Leaves Socks from the Winter 2006 IK (do I really need to link to it?) in Koigu #P704 and on the right is a new Jaywalker in STR Panzanite (no it's not on their website and Toni at The Fold doesn't have it - if you like it, call and ask for it!)

We're off to look at cars today. G has a spreadsheet with him. Oh fun!
L, C

Posted by Cara at 12:00 PM | Comments (45)

February 06, 2006

Red Hot And...Fizzling?

I like that word. Fizzle.

My weekend was eh. G had to work a lot so I was kind of lonely. PMSy. And I learned that miscommunications, misunderstandings and hurt feelings make me headachy and tired and a bit sad. So eh.

I also learned that our virtual relationships leave a lot of room for interpretation by virtue of the fact that they are virtual. We learn so much about each other through unspoken language: body movements, facial expressions, voice inflections. Just the other day I was talking to my sister while she was picking up my niece at school. She told my niece there was someone on the phone for her. I heard my niece ask if it was Cara? But her sweet little voiced raised so high at the end of my name that I could hear her surprise (talking to Cara on the phone at the playground at school? What fun!) and delight that I was lifted even higher than her voice! All that very important non-verbal communication is missing from email and blog posts and what might be a heartfelt admission or admonition or constructive criticism or a plain old pat on the back can be received in a way that was much much different than the deliverer intended. I teach my students this all the time. When we do critique in my classroom, the student being "workshopped" (yes - it is a verb) is not allowed to speak at all. Why you ask? This seems cruel when everyone is sitting around discussing their story - the good the bad and the ugly? Well, for one thing, when you write and hopefully your story goes out into the world, you will not be able to sit by the reader and say - no no! I didn't mean that! I meant this! You're reading it all wrong!!! The writing must stand on its own. And while you can never guarantee that your readers will always get exactly what you intended - by the sheer fact that they bring along all of their stuff and you brought along all your stuff in the writing and that stuff will never match up - you can try to get your point across as best you can and hope that the broad idea of what you wanted is out there.

Most of us are not sitting in a room together, or talking on the phone - most of us have never even met each other! But good or bad our words carry weight and what we say when we blog means lots of different things to different people. While I certainly don't expect everyone to read my blog or even like my blog, I would hope it would be clear that when I blog, I try to blog the way I try to live: with respect for everyone.

Whew! I feel a bit better now.

Onto the Red and Hot and I'm not really sure about the Sizzling.

(What a difference white balance can make! The only difference in exposures on these two pictures is that top had the white balance set to Auto and the bottom had the white balance set to sunny. Neat huh?)

Here are my red hot sizzling socks. Ruby Slippers, STR, Jaywalkers with a picot edge, size #1 Addis. Can I tell you? I don't LOVE these socks. I like them very, very, very, very, very much but I don't love them. The pattern is great, true, the picot edge is the cutest, true, the yarn is fantastic as always. It's the color I don't love. And the striping. The STR colorways I like the best are the ones with lots of different colors - making little stripes everywhere. These are too blocky and the stripes are too thick. But I have to tell you I like them A LOT better on my feet than I did on the needles. They are definitely growing on me. For anyone keeping count, this is my seventh full pair of jaywalkers. ;-) (I've actually got eight pair finished, but one's mismatched so I don't count it.)

There was some spinning this weekend!

I went back to the biffle and MAN was I a lot happier! This is Lisa Souza's biffle in the Mardi Gras colorway. About 2 oz. G's out again tonight so I'm hoping to spin up the rest and try my plying head. I hope it all holds together - it seems so fragile at times. And a lot fuzzier than I remember! I'm still basically spinning to spin and get the hang of things, but it's all good. I enjoyed myself last night which is the most important and I'm happy with the way it's going.

I finished the Jo Sharp swatch, which I think I'll talk about tomorrow, and I made some really good headway with the ends on Short Rows. Thanks to a comment by Anmiryam, I've been weaving in the ends between split purl bumps in the most crowded of places and that seems to be working. I've got somewhere to wear the sweater now - I'll be in Boston at the end of February, so I need to get it done by then. Goals. They're good sometimes. (Speaking of goals - go wish Anmiryam good luck! She's pursing her dreams and we should all be encouraged in that! YAY Anmiriyam!)

Have a great day!

Posted by Cara at 02:20 PM | Comments (38)

January 31, 2006

Knit. Eat. Sleep.

Rinse. Repeat.

It was a wonderful vacation. We slept great. We ate even better. And, well, I surpassed my knitting goals. There was lots of cuddling and togetherness. A pedicure. A spin out. A suite. All in all, it couldn't have been better - even though the weather wasn't as warm as we'd have liked and the wind was a bit too strong. I wouldn't trade it for the world though.

Here's what I knit:

I finished the Short Row sleeves. YAY! All that's left is to weave in the 3,418 ends from the back and the front and seam, do the collar and seam some more. I can taste the end. Hopefully it won't take another six months to finish.

I finished my Rare Gems sock AND my first Red Hot Sizzling Sock. The RHSS is knit using Ruby Slippers STR with the picot edge modification - I started it Wednesday when I should've been packing - managed the picot edge and a couple repeats before it was time for bed. So most of the sock was knit in Florida - including the last couple of repeats and the toe while waiting on the runway for the plane to take off. The flight took about two hours longer than scheduled so I was also able to cast on and start the second Petroglyph sock. I got past the ribbing and a few repeats - but we were watching The Wedding Crashers on the plane and until I got smart and put it down, I screwed up some of the repeats. I'll rip that today and start the second RHSS as well.

The food was unbelievable. I had what can honestly be described as the best meal of my life. I was dizzy it was so good. We ate at Mark's in South Beach. For an appetizer I had Jumbo diver scallops, puree of calabaza, guava butter and plantain chip. Georgie had Tartare of yellowfin tuna, avocado, cucumber noodles, lemongrass oil. For dinner I had pistacio crusted lamb chops with brussel sprouts and cauliflower with bacon and pomegranates and potatos au gratin. G had Maine lobster tossed with saffron linguine, roma tomatoes, basil, white beans, English peas and prosciutto, served with roasted garlic crostini. Neither one of could speak the food was so good. (All of the dishes above are on the menu at the website except my lambchops.) I don't even remember dessert, but it paled compared to the meal.

The next night we ate at Azul in Miami. I started with the butternut squash soup with hazelnuts and G had fried oysters wrapped in salmon, tuna, beef and crab carpaccios. For dinner, Georgie had the halibut and I had the Salmon duo - one side of the plate had poached salmon and the other side had salmon wrapped in mushrooms in a kind of spring roll type wrapping. Yummmm! Dessert here was really a treat though - vanilla souffle with three different sauces - chocolate, rasberry and creme anglaise. So divine.

Every meal we ate was delicious - but these two meals stand out.

What else? We had our first stuck on the runway experience - you know - when they taxi out and it looks like you're going to take off then they stop the plane and tell you we'll be sitting here for the next two hours - make yourself comfortable? Yeah. Not too much panic from the anxious claustrophobic girl. The good thing was I had already taken my pre-board Xanax so I was nicely juiced when they made the announcement. I knit along happily on my RHSS and finished it - I was about to kitchener the toe when I couldn't find my cuticle scissors - I always travel with them. The round tips have been allowed by the TSA for years and years. Anyway, since the plane was a free for all I went up and asked the flight attendants if they had a scissors. Not allowed. But one of them told me she saw a woman knitting a blanket back in coach - let's go ask her. So I walked to the back of the plane with the flight attendant - but she didn't have scissors. We talked for a bit about my sock and then I made my way back to the front. Fun times on an airplane.

By the way - in case you're flying any time soon - customs has completely RELAXED the requirements for knitting needles and such. I used to have a whole system for getting my needles and such through customs - but this time they barely batted and eye and even told me I didn't have to take my scissors out (I used to put them in the cell phone bin because otherwise they'd rip apart my stuff.) I traveled with addi turbo circulars - from US 1s to US 6s exclusively and had no problems what so ever.

I'll be making the official announcement tomorrow, but I'm closing down the jaywalker knit along after the giveaway on the 14th. I decided yesterday and as hard as this decision is for me, oh my god what a weight off my shoulders. This thing has taken over my life and that's not fun. Basically I'll be shutting down sign-ups tomorrow, because, well, if you haven't had an update by then, you're not eligible to win anyway. It's been an amazing ride, but I kind of want my blog back.

I wanted to add a word cloud which I saw over at Karma's but I'm having server issues all over the place. When things get back up I'll add it.
Here it is!

Have a great day!

Posted by Cara at 10:04 AM | Comments (41)

January 13, 2006

Jaywalker Nine!

Honeys, we've reached the Tipping Point.

It's 5:13 PM EST on Thursday and we've got over 250 people signed up for this KAL. The way things are going, I would wager that by the time I hit publish on this post tomorrow morning ten more people will have signed up. I think I can safely say that this knitalong has reached the proportions of Clapotis, Rogue, Birch - whatever came before that I don't know. It's INSANE. I never, ever, in my wildest dreams thought it would come to this. NEVER. I have to say, honestly, it's making me a little bit uncomfortable. I was reading over at Stephannie's today and she had a very compelling post. I'm quoting it with her permission:

"There's an interesting tension in the knitting world.... It's about whether to join a trend on the blogs.

Do you knit the Jaywalker socks or not? If you really like them and have sock needles free and the right yarn, are you a mindless trend follower or are you just knitting what you like, recognizing that lots of other knitters like it too? How does something become a big knitting trend anyway--the next Birch or Clapotis or Jaywalker or Rogue?

In the end it shouldn't really matter to anyone else what you knit or what you do with your knits. We all come to this craft with differing sets of motivations and desires and that's what makes it fun. Yesterday at Lettuce Knit (yes, I finally attended a Stitch'n'Bitch and had a great time) there was a woman knitting a beautiful Jade Starmore steeked stole, two of us making jaywalker socks, some blankets, a baby sweater and a nifty-box in progress. Some swore they would never make Jaywalker socks now that they are the thing, others were thinking about it despite the teasing of their friends.

Really in the big world out there, we are not a trendsetting sub-culture that will be on the cover of People magazine, we won't get to the front of the line at the "right" bars because we knit. And we like it that way. We're used to be on the outside of what the media deems as popular culture. So who cares if a bunch of us knits the same thing?"

Steph's post came a very interesting time for me - what with my inbox filling up every five seconds with people wanting to get in on the KAL. I, myself, follow along the lines of I knit what I knit when I want to knit it and am not one to follow trends - in knitting or in my life in general. In fact, I'm often one of those people that WON'T go along with the crowd - sort of following Groucho's maxim: I wouldn't want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member. Along those lines, this is my reply to Stephannie:

This is such a tough question for me! I'm generally one who really likes to go along with my own thing - only knitting things I really want to knit.

I have knit Clapotis - and I enjoyed it. It was the perfect gift for a friend and I got to use glorious silk yarn and over all I was very pleased with it. That said, I haven't knit any of the other knits you listed. Except of course The Jaywalker.

Ah the jaywalker. As I said before, I knit what I want to knit. How did I find the sock? Well, I had come home from Rhinebeck with a lot of STR, lol, and was looking for the perfect pattern. I really don't like the whole feather and fan sock thing - at all - and I'm not a real chevron fan either - although an argument could be made that the Jaywalker is a chevron. There was something about the clean lines and stripey goodness and I cast on. I never swatched. I never deliberated about size. I just cast on and started to knit and I LOVED the way the yarn looked. And of course, I love the STR. I mean how could you not love that yarn? But anyway, back to jaywalkers. I was EXTREMELY lucky in that the pattern fit right off the bat, if not a tad tight over the heel, and I managed to make a pair without running out of yarn and it really was one of those fated yarn things where the pattern and the yarn and the wearer all kind of had a kismet relationship.

So I tried to see if I could duplicate that lightning strike again. And I did. And I did. And believe it or not I cast on for sock #14 last night. I've got six pairs of finished jaywalkers with no end in sight.

Did I mean to start some kind of crazy knitblog fad? ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact it's starting to drive me a bit crazy all those jaywalkers out there. Believe it or not, I feel COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY responsible when someone has fit trouble or runs out of STR or basically hates the sock.

The only reason I keep knitting them is because I love how they look and I love how they feel on my feet. I love the yarn. In fact I have all this other non-STR sock yarn that would be perfect for jaywalkers and I can't do it. It's like they have to be STR, for ME, or nothing else. And I've seen some great jaywalkers out there with other yarns, yarns I have in stash, but I guess my goal is to work my way through the small(er) skeins of STR in the stash - stuff I know how to make a pair of fantastic socks with.

Each pair I cast on is my new favorite pair. I completely understand the idea of I'll never make them because everyone else is making them and honestly, I've done that in my life. Not wanted to do something because everyone else is doing it. At this point I'm like THANK YOU! That's one less update I have to worry about. ;-) Although it also makes me a little bit sad because, you know, I do think it's a great pattern.

In the end, what's so AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL about knitting is that there's stuff like this out there! You can knit what everyone else is knitting, or you can't or you can make up something on your own or be inspired by something else or knit dishclothes all day long and be EXTRAORDINARILY HAPPY! How LUCKY are we to have found such an amazingly diverse outlet for our creativity!

Thanks for your post and I'm sorry to take up so much space - I probably should've saved this for my own blog. But it's something I've been thinking a lot about - feeling guilty I guess - and wanted to get my feelings off my chest.

So, that's how I feel. I appreciate all those people out there that say Clapotis, Schmapotis. Rogue, Schmogue. Birch, Schmirch. And of course, Jaywalker, Schmaywalker. If I had come along right now, with all those Jaywalkers out there and jaywalker jaywalker jaywalker I would think twice about it too. I honestly would. Which is kind of a shame because I know what a great pattern it is FOR ME and how nice MY YARN looks knit up with it and how comfortable it feels on MY FEET. And I have no problem knitting it over and over again. BUT I understand that there are people that knit something once and have to move on. There are no WRONGS in knitting. NONE WHATSOVER. We need to knit what we need to knit when we need to knit it. And for those who don't want to jaywalk, I've made you your own button:

Dudes! I'm all inclusive! No one should be left out! Which brings me to my next problem. I can't keep up with you people. When it was a small group of say 100 people, I could write up all my superfantastic updates and trust me when I tell you I had a lot of fun doing it! It's great fun to go and visit all your blogs week after week - especially the ones I don't normally read. But now, now I can't. It takes hours to go through all the blogs and honestly, the updates you send me end up getting lost in the shuffle with all the sign-up comments and I'm not as organized as I'd like to be, so what I'm going to do is list everyone who has an update with a link to their blog post, and if you're a non-blogger I will still post your pictures and where you're at in the progress. I'm sorry. My only other alternative is to close the KAL and I just feel like I can't do that. We've got over a month to go in the KAL - or at least until the winners are announced, and I just know the updates are going to get bigger and bigger and I need to do other things. Sometimes at least. I hope you all understand. I just hate disappointing people! HATE IT!

That said, MY OWN SOCK updates will go on forever. Yes, I've finished another pair of jaywalkers. Introducing: TWO POP ROCKS!

Remember this song, Two of Hearts? 80's Madonna like, artist is Stacey Q? I always thought it sounded like Two Pop Tarts. (Apparently I'm not alone either.) So the whole time I'm knitting these socks I've got that song playing in my head. Made for interesting knitting that's for sure. Suddenly I'd burst out with Two Pop Tarts and G would start laughing at me. Craziness. These jaywalkers are making me CRAZY!

I tried to do the whole sexy shoe thing like Anna, but I don't really have many sexy shoes. I'm a Merrell girl. But I did find the shoes I wore for my wedding, which happened to be dyed in almost the exact pink of the POP ROCK Jaywalker. Here's the artsy fartsy shit I came up with:

Um, my calves aren't that big. I mean they're not skinny or anything they're nice and shapely and the one in the picture above just looks weird.

Oh and in case you were all wondering, I immediately cast on for another pair. Yeah. I can HEAR you all groaning.

I swear to God - this is my favorite Jaywalker YET! I SWEAR! And before you all jump all over me about the yarn, this is Socks That Rock, BUT it's a Rare Gem which means there is NO OTHER YARN LIKE IT IN THE WORLD. Rare Gems are skeins that don't quite make it to the color they're supposed to be, so they become like blank canvases for Tina and she does whatever her genius deems necessary at that moment. They are truly rare gems. Sorry y'all. This one's mine. ;-)

Which leads me to my last point before I start with YOUR updates. Kris, my better than the best better pal, said something really profound on her finished jaywalker post, she said:

"what is wrong with me? i never want to do a pattern twice. there's something strange with this pattern - just look at cara; she's up to double digits soon - it is just so brilliant in combination with self-striping or variegated yarn that you can't help yourself, you need to try it one more time to see if it's as gorgeous in another yarn."

Couldn't have said it better myself! BRING ON THE JAYWALKERS!
(Updates in the extended entry!)


= Everything's going A OK! Making progress!

= ^&$#$%@ this ^&$^$#%$#%@ SOCK!


Carmelle A little bit of this and a little bit of this
Chelle - she had to rip it good!

Ellie (Oh and big hugs Ellie!)
Kristie - A little of this and now hopefully a lot of this She had to rip the first attempt and then start over, but things seem good to go now.

Maritza (again!)
Morgan (again)
Nancy She's rolling right along - I'm guessing a finished pair next week!


All you finished sock knitters, go over and add your totals to Amie's blog - she's hoping to count up 2006 socks knit in 2006!

If I missed you in the updates, I sincerely apologize. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Posted by Cara at 09:27 AM | Comments (83)

January 05, 2006

But I don't want to!

As soon as I saw Anna's sexy tabby socks, I immediately knew what my next sock would be. In keeping with my pattern of finishing a sock and moving on to a new colorway before coming back to the second sock (which works great by the way!), I cast on in STR Pop Rocks. I hope you can tell how freaking adorable the picot edge is on the jaywalker - the pattern pulls it in so nicely so that it ruffles out all on its own! I just completely ripped off Anna: three knit rows, yo k2tog row, three knit rows, join. I did one knit row before starting repeats. That's fifteen repeats in the picture and I'm only going to do 20 before I start the heel flap. When I weighed this skein (I weigh all my smaller STR skeins before I knit them) it was a tad light, so I figure I'm not going to take any chances. Plus I think the picot edging will look better with a shorter sock. Now to find me some come hither heels for the final photoshoot! Thanks Anna for a great modification!

Posted by Cara at 08:38 AM | Comments (34)

January 04, 2006

I can stop anytime I want

Really. I can.

Posted by Cara at 09:04 AM | Comments (40)