A science geek and knitter talks about random stuff.

Any Interest?

Posted by knitpicking on 1 July 2007

I’ve been thinking about writing up how I did the toes in my flip-flop socks. Is anyone interested?  If so, leave me a comment.  If I get enough feedback, I’ll post the pattern.


Posted in Flip-flop socks, Knitting, Socks | 2 Comments »


Posted by knitpicking on 30 June 2007

Taking advantage of the smug feeling of finally finishing the flip-flop socks, I decided to try the Jaywalker pattern next. It seems that everybody who knits socks has tried this pattern, and a lot of them love it so much that they make them again and again. So I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was all about.
Jaywalker Socks

I now see the charm of this pattern. First, it’s a really simple pattern – only two rows, and very easy to memorize. So no having to fiddle with charts if you’re knitting on the go. Second, it works with just about any type of sock yarn, but seems to make hand-dyed and self-striping yarns shine. Third, it seems to work up very quickly. I don’t know if it’s a quality of the pattern itself or a result of the fact that it continues to hold my interest (and therefore gets a lot of knitting time).

Who knows, this might be the first pair of socks that takes me less than a month to complete.

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Posted by knitpicking on 27 June 2007

There’s really nothing I can say about Ann Coulter that hasn’t already been said. We should do well to remember that her aim is not to further public discourse; her aim is to sell books. And she’ll descend to the depths of the sewers to do it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who are very willing to oblige her.

*I didn’t come up with it – Keith Olbermann did.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »


Posted by knitpicking on 24 June 2007

Despite their best efforts to stymie me, I have finished the socks:

Split-toe socks

They are flip-flop socks, whose pattern was made up as I went along. Overall, I am pleased with the results, given how much trouble they have been.

 UPDATE: I’ve been thinking about posting the pattern for the toes.  Any interest?  Leave a comment.

Posted in Flip-flop socks, Knitting, Socks | 2 Comments »

The Threat of Knitting

Posted by knitpicking on 13 June 2007

I know that knitting is not a very common pastime, so I have come to expect a bit of reaction from people when I’m knitting in public. The response generally falls into two categories:

  1. Excited interest. The people who exhibit this behavior are invariably knitters themselves.
  2. Polite curiosity. The people in this category generally look like a combination of amused and befuddled, like they’re inwardly saying, “Wow, people still knit?” or “What is she doing with those sticks and string?” They usually smile and go on about their business.

I have now encountered a third reaction: thoroughly frightened.

I was sitting in the waiting room at my orthodontist’s office, knitting peacefully on my sock while I waited my turn. Across the room was a mother and her daughter, who appeared to be about 6 or 7. (I found out later that they were waiting for their older daughter/sister to get done with her adjustment). The mom took a look at what I was doing, then looked at me with an expression akin to one you might have if you found yourself face-to-face with Freddy Krueger. The fear then morphed into a sort of disgusted look, as if knitting was a deviant act that should only be done in the privacy of one’s home between consenting needles and yarn. She then (and this is the part that stunned me) grabbed up her kid and moved to the farthest point in the room from me.

I’ve had some time to mull this incident over, and I still can’t make any sense of it. What is so threatening about knitting? Did she think her child would be scarred for life from exposure to knitting? That she might find out too soon how baby sweaters are made?

One thing I did find amusing was that the daughter was singing along to the song “This Is Why I’m Hot”, which was playing on the radio. Not exactly wholesome, even when heavily edited. So knitting is terrible but songs about clubbing and promiscuous sex are perfectly fine?

(Oh, and in case you’re curious, apparently Mims is hot because he’s fly, and “you ain’t ’cause you not.”) Nice.

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Posted in Knitting, Knitting Rants | Leave a Comment »

Dear Sock

Posted by knitpicking on 4 June 2007

I want to love you. I really do.

I remember when I saw the yarn that was to become you. It was last Christmas, and I was home visiting my parents. My mother, knowing my love of yarn, took me to a lovely yarn shop. It was the first time I had ever seen Lorna’s Laces sock yarn in real life, and I fell in love instantly.

Sunday night, as I cast you on , I had high hopes that this was going to be the best pair of socks in the history of ever. I had done all of the calculations to ensure that you would fit perfectly. We were destined to live a happy life together.

And then things went wrong. I’ll admit that it is partly my fault. Due to my phenotypic uniqueness, I have to make concessions that others need not worry about. My short stature and weirdly athletic legs mean that if I knit the leg with the same number of stitches all the way down, I get sags at the ankles. But I was not afraid, because I had read Knitting Rules! All I needed to do was decrease a few stitches as I approached the ankle.

So I decreased 4 stitches. I was getting 8 stitches per inch, and about a half an inch was all I needed to take up the slack. I then merrily proceeded along with you, turning the heel and racing along the foot. I even stopped to take a picture of you:

I even posed you with the book, in hopes that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s sock-knitting mojo might rub off on you.

Then I tried you on. A simple decrease of 4 stitches had made you too tight for my ankles, despite the fact that my ankles are a full 2 inches smaller than where the cuff falls. Why? I don’t understand. I’m a scientist, and I can’t wrap my head around why 4 stitches made you too tight.

As you no doubt know, you have been ripped back significantly since the above picture was taken. I’m going to try again, because I have invested so much time in you and can see your great potential. I ask only that you try to work with me to become the fabulous sock that I know you can be.


Posted in Knitting, Knitting Rants, Socks | Leave a Comment »