Spilly v. FM3

Of all the collaborations that I currently have on my plate, this is one of my favourites: I was asked by Christiaan of FM3 to design and knit Buddha Machine socks and mittens for both him and his bandmate Zhang.

It's not every day that a very cool Chinese avant-electronic duo turns up commissioning handknits. As a Buddha Machine enthusiast myself, how could I refuse?Here's the first of the socks-in-progress posed with my Buddha Machine (it's a Chan Fang.) The mitts will follow shortly.

If you'd like to experience the lo-fi joy of the Buddha Machine for yourself, as they say, there's an app for that. It's well-worth the dollar price tag to have an infinite amount of music at one's fingertips.

New toys

Look what turned up in the mail not too long ago:That's a new Avi Wasserman spindle and one of his highly amusing (and attractive) tops. I had to have one -- I just couldn't resist. There really is something captivating about things that spin around and around.

(Happy) Endings

There's something incredibly satisfying about using things up.

Today I'll be polishing off my packet of Strawberry Ginger Peppercorn tea.
This coming from someone who hates endings of books, visits, movies. This from someone who cries every time she leaves New York City and Chicago.

In the case of fibre, using-up means working with what's left. This forces one to work within the parameters of what's left; to make the bits and pieces and remainders work. To make something beautiful from the little that's on hand.And the (strange?) thing is that Something Beautiful never fails to emerge. There's a life-lesson in here, somewhere.

So yes, I do believe in (happy) endings. Things need to end before things can start.

That sweet time of year

Today is Valentine's Day. Here's hoping that you have the chance to spend it either doing or with (or doing it with,) whoever or whatever you love, either actual or imaginary. Wow, that's a lot of variables. Still, Cupid shall provide. He has his ways.

I will be spending the day with my own sweet passer (whom I do love more than my eyes,)
...working on things that I love for some very lovely people indeed.

And should you find that you're feeling a bit under the weather, perhaps this may cure what ails you:

New Sock pattern -- Marmalade

If you've been admiring the striped socks that I've been writing about recently, you might be happy to learn that the pattern snuck out last night.
They're called Marmalade and they are written to fit the large, male feet in your life. Bright, fun, interesting -- but still masculine -- socks for men. Yes.

Grab them for your own by clicking that wee button up there, or get them here on Ravelry, or over here in my Etsy shop.

As written, the pattern gives directions to produce socks to fit any foot that is 9-10" in circumference (or a US men's' size 12 foot,) but by adjusting the gauge they can be easily sized down to fit an foot you like.

As an added bonus, these socks provide you with the perfect opportunity to out those odd bits of sock yarn you've been harbouring to wearable (and fashionable) use. You only need about 25g (or roughly 110 yards) of the Main Colour yarn (in my case, Red,) to turn out an entire pair of seemingly randomly-striped (but colour wise, properly anchored,) socks. This is odd-ball-of-sock-yarn heaven, folks!

If you want to talk exact yardage, please drop me a line. I'm off to get my work in order so I can show you What's Next.

The end(s) of a pair of socks

Thomas' socks took flight this morning. I managed to get a nice picture of them before their departure.That's one pair of men's size US 12 striped socks, perfect for the gentleman who desires a certain panache in his accessories. Like Thomas, for instance.

Do you know such a gentleman? Would you like to produce a pair of your very own? Well, Nice People, fret not -- the pattern is in the works.

Of course, if you do opt to make them be prepared to deal with these:It's worth it, I think.

On the sewing-in of ends

I finished knitting Thomas' socks long before my deadline of Friday at 10 am (aka "in the mail",) but they're still here with me. I'm sure you'll understand the reason why once you take a look at them (here, inside out,) and see what yet remains to be done:An inevitable result of bold and colourful (size Men's large) socks is their many, many bold and colourful ends. This should have been obvious -- I designed and made the things, after all -- and I knew full well what I getting myself into. As the finished product is a truly stunning pair of socks, I really don't mind. Besides, Thomas is worth the added effort.

It seems that my relationship with ends has been a topic of some discussion as of late. Well, consider this my Offical Position on the subject: I love ends. Maybe the rumours are true?!

Yes, I love ends. I find the act of sewing them in, one after the other, incredibly meditative and soothing. It's the finishing process that I don't always like, but I have a sturdy relationship with it nonetheless. Proper finishing is another chance to imbue the knitted garment with another level of handmadeness. It's like signing your name, in a way.

This is the way I see it: I finish those things that need to be finished, right up to the very end, with a cherry on top. If it's a prototype mitten (or sock) and only one is required, it's never going to be worn, and will only ever really see action at events like trunk shows I don't sew in the ends. If it's a pair of socks or mittens or whatever that is going to be worn (like Thomas' socks, for instance,) I sew them in.

Which is what I'm in the process of doing at present. And if the truth be known...I'm enjoying it.

And now you know. I always did suspect that I was a little odd.

Bacon. You heard me!

And now for something completely silly:Mittens...with BACON on.

Is it veggie bacon or bacon-bacon? It's up to you to decide.

I'll be inflicting the pattern upon all you Nice People very, very soon...