Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Obligatory Earthquake Post

All the cool kids are doing it.
There was an earthquake last night centered about 15 miles from us. I was standing in front of the fridge wrestling with a package of cheese. It seemed like I felt the floor I was standing on move side to side. I thought it was just me since I had felt really sleepy all day. Bryan finally pointed out to me that it was an earthquake, but we didn't feel anything else. For us, it just lasted for a couple of seconds and nothing even came close to falling over.
The news coverage was hilarious. Some jars fell off the shelf at an Albertson's. Both the reporter and the store employee kept referring to them as pickles, but they were clearly olives!!!
One tile fell off the ceiling at a Target, and apparently some alfredo sauce fell off the shelf at another grocery store.
I didn't think there were any injuries, but I just read that one person fell down and got hurt.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Free Sock Pattern: Rudy Got Sole

Revision 10/26/07 : Fixed cuff rib directions. (should be K3, P2. used to say K3, P3)

Hi everyone. I've finally finished photography and writing up for my first free pattern. The PDF version is on the sidebar, but I'm including the instructions in this post too. I'd love to get any feedback. Right now the pattern's written at a level assuming some knowledge of sock knitting, but I may add more info and links to basic technique tutorials, especially if requested. The Ravelry page is here.

Men’s Sock Pattern By Amy Klimt

Send your favorite rude boy off to work in these subtly checkered socks knit from the top down with a heel flap.

Finished Size: 9” foot circumference and 10 1/2” long (customizable) from heel to toe. To fit men’s US shoe size 10 1/2.
: Knit Picks Risata (42% cotton, 39% superwash merino, 13% polyamide, 6% elastic; 196 yd/50g): ash, 3 balls.
: Size 1.5 (2.50mm) or size necessary to obtain correct gauge: one 32" circular needle (for magic loop), or appropriate needles (dpns, 2 circs, etc.) for your favorite method.
: 17 sts and 25 rounds = 2” in stockinette stitch, 17 sts and 32 rows = 2” in garter check pattern.
: Tapestry needle, 3 small stitch markers.

Loosely CO 80 sts using long-tail cast on (or your preferred method for socks). Place marker and join without twisting to work in the round.

Work K3 P2 rib as follows for 1 1/2" (or desired length)
P1 *K3 P2* K3 P1 (repeat between * 15 times)

Work garter check pattern (from Barbara Walker’s 1st Treasury of Knitting Stitches) as follows:
Rds 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11: knit even

Rds 2, 4, 6: *k5, p5* 8 times
Rds 8, 10, 12: *p5, k5* 8 times

Garter check pattern charted in PDF version of pattern.

Repeat these 12 rounds until sock measures 6 1/4" from cast-on edge (about 6 repeats), ending with round 12. If you desire a longer leg, work more repeats.
Set aside the beginning-of-round marker for later.

Set Up Heel Flap
Heel is worked on 39 stitches.
Stitches will be rearranged to set up a centered pattern on the instep.
Set aside the beginning-of-round marker for later.
For clarity, instep needle is labeled #1 and heel needle is labeled #2 although they are opposite ends of the same circular needle.

Unknit 3 stitches from the last leg round (or if you’re peeking ahead, just stop working the leg 3 stitches before the end of round) and then shift those 3 stitches clockwise from heel flap needle (#2) to instep needle (#1). Shift 2 stitches clockwise from instep needle (#1) to heel flap needle (#2).

This will result in 39 heel flap stitches, beginning and ending with K2.
There should be 41 instep stitches, beginning and ending with K3, which will be left on the cable for later.
Turn to start working heel flap on WS row.

Work Heel Flap
Eye of partridge heel flap with 3 st garter edging- 4 row repeat
Rows 1,3 (WS): K3, P to end
Row 2 (RS): P3, *K1, S1*, K4 (Repeat between *)
Row 4 (RS): P3, *S1, K1*, K2 (Repeat between *)
Work these 4 rows 10 times = 40 heel flap rows (20 garter ridges)

Turn heel
Row 1 (WS): S1, P20, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 2 (RS): S1, K4, ssk, K1, turn
Row 3 (WS): S1, P5, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 4 (RS): S1, K6, ssk, K1, turn
Continue in this manner, working one additional stitch before decreasing on every row. (next rows will contain P7, K8, etc.)

The last two rows will be as follows: (note that there is no stitch worked before decreasing and turning)

WS: S1, P19, P2tog, turn
RS: S1, K19, ssk

21 heel st remain.

Work Gusset
Note: I use the method Charlene Schurch describes in Sensational Knitted Socks for picking up 2 extra stitches to avoid holes at the top of each gusset. There is a diagram in the online errata at

PU 20 sts from first side of gusset. PU 2 extra sts at top of gusset. PM before first instep stitch. Work instep in pattern. PM after last instep stitch. PU 2 extra stitches at top of gusset. PU 20 sts from remaining side of gusset.
K first 10 sts of heel, PM to indicate center of heel (new beginning of round).

Decreasing extra gusset stitches:
K to 2 sts before marker at beginning of instep, SSK, SM
Continue established garter check pattern on instep, SM, K2tog
K to end of round (marker at heel).

Begin regular gusset decreases:
Round 1
: K to 3 before marker, K2tog, K1, SM. Work instep in pattern. SM, K1, SSK, K to end of round.
Round 2
: K to marker, SM, work instep in pattern, SM, K to end of round.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 80 sts remain.

Continue working garter check pattern on instep and stockinette on bottom of foot until the measurement from heel to end of foot is 8 1/2" (or 2" shorter than total desired foot length), ending with row 6 or 12 of instep pattern.

Round 1
: K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1. SM, K1, ssk, K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1
SM, K1, ssk, K to end of round.
Round 2: K all sts.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 40 sts remain. Then repeat row 1 only until 20 sts remain.
K5, rearrange sts so 10
sts are on each of 2 needles (1 formerly instep st will be moved to the needle with the sole sts).

Cut yarn, leaving a 12” tail. Thread yarn on tapestry needle and graft using Kitchener stitch. Weave in ends. Dampen and lay flat to block, if desired.
Work second sock following same instructions.

© Amy Klimt, October 2007. This pattern is for personal and non-commercial use only.

Photos: Amy Klimt
Model: Bryan Klimt

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Finished BFL 3-Ply

Finished BFL 3-Ply, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Lizard Ridge Kureyon #95

Lizard Ridge Kureyon #95, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Amazing Cupcakes For Knitters!

Wow! Check out these cupcakes from the VeganYumYum blog! They're topped with marzipan yarn balls and WIPs. There's even a tutorial for making the decorations.
I'm definitely bookmarking this blog. Not only does the name make me laugh (my cat's name is Yum Yum), but all the recipes look awesome! The spectacular food photography doesn't hurt. If that's what vegans eat, I want to be vegan. :)
(Except that I love honey wayyy too much. And freshly whipped cream. And fish. Oh, well.)
We did eat veg tonight- yellow curry tofu with potatoes and carrots. Those little purple potatoes are the most awesome thing ever. And I did eat a vegan cookie at the movies the other night. The snack bar dude was like, "You know those are vegan, right?" as if I hadn't been standing there reading the packaging. I wonder if they had complaints or something. . .

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Finished Shirt

Finished Shirt, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Here's a better pic of the finished shirt. The stencil templates are from the Saffron Revolution blog at
I was going to send in the link to my shirt after I posted this photo, but somebody beat me to it!

Monday, October 08, 2007

T-Shirt Stenciling Tutorial

  • your image on normal paper
  • contact paper
  • scalpel or exacto knife
  • cutting surface
  • scotch tape
  • prewashed and dried t-shirt
  • scrap cardboard
  • fabric paint (like Tulip brand from craft store)
  • sponge brush (very cheap at craft stores)
Step 0: Print out your image. It's best if there aren't any islands. For example, you'll want to be careful with what fonts you use for text. Stencil fonts have a lovely DIY punk aesthetic for protest shirts, but I've also developed a freehand stencil-friendly text style I use for a daintier look. I'll be posting a pics of my t-shirt backlog shortly.
You'll also want to consider the amount of detail in the image and the number of shirts you'll want to make. This method creates stencils that are good for one use only. It allows a pretty good amount of detail and crispness, but it's limited by your cutting ability. It doesn't work so well for things like math equations that have a lot of thin straight lines (ask me how I know that). When I want to make more than one shirt, I use a embroidery hoop modpodge screenprint-like method. It takes a lot more time and you have to be handy with tiny paintbrushes. If you want to make a lot of shirts with a lot of detail, learn how to do real screenprinting with photo emulsion goo and let the light do the work for you.

Step 1: If you're still interested after that huge disclaimer, cut a length of contact paper larger than your image and smaller than your cutting surface. You can use anything you don't mind scratching up as your cutting surface. I use an old lap desk.

Step 2: Tape the contact paper down to your cutting surface. Make sure the sticky side of the contact paper is down. That means the plasticky side will be facing you and the paper backing will be facing down.

Step 3: Tape your printed out image to the contact paper. You can use the grid lines on the contact paper to help you position the image.

Step 4: Acquire cutting materials. I usually use a scalpel from an old college bio dissection kit. The tape is to ensure I don't cut myself when I try to grip the scalpel close to the blade. Yes, I learned that the hard way. Most people use an exacto knife, but I usually find myself going back to the scalpel for detail work.

Step 5: Start cutting out your stencil using the printed image as a guide. Cut through all 3 layers until you reach your cutting surface- your paper image, the plasticky sticky part of the contact paper, and the contact paper's paper backing. I remove the waste as I go to make sure I've made it through all the layers. If your image has islands (like the middle of an o), save those pieces to use later.

Step 6: Remove the leftover printer paper that used to contain your image. Look at your new stencil and make sure there aren't any major mistakes.

Step 7: Remove the stencil from the cutting surface and trim the excess. You want enough of a margin so that you don't get unwanted paint going over the edge onto your shirt, but you don't want so much extra material that the stencil becomes unwieldy. Get our your prewashed t-shirt and put cardboard inside so ink won't bleed through. Smooth the shirt out over the cardboard so it looks nice. Experiment with positioning of the stencil on your shirt (or tote bag, or whatever). I usually line up text in the general vicinity of the shirt's armpits so I end up with the text on the upper chest.

Step 8: Peel off the stencil's paper backing from the bottom of the stencil. Make sure it doesn't stick to itself. Press the stencil onto the prepared shirt. Try to get the positioning right on the first try. I usually start at one edge and smooth the stencil onto the shirt so there are no wrinkles or bubbles.

Step 9: Dab your fabric paint onto the shirt with a foam brush. I usually squirt some paint out onto scrap cardboard for easy access. Make sure you cover all exposed shirt areas. It's not hard as you'll be able to see where the shirt meets the stencil.

Step 10: Peel the stencil away from the shirt. I usually let the paint dry for a couple of hours, but I don't wait until it's totally dry because I'm impatient.

Step 11: Wait 24 hours before you touch, wear, or wash the shirt. I don't iron the shirt, but you may need to if you're using screenprinting ink or something other than fabric paint. Follow your package directions.

Step 12: You're done! Enjoy! Your shirt should last pretty much forever. I haven't had problems with fading or anything like that.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Beaded Heavy Mesh Scarf

Beaded Heavy Mesh Scarf, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Heavy Mesh Scarf

Heavy Mesh Scarf, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I finished the Colinette beaded scarf I made to match that dress with the koi. I didn't think I was going to add the silk ribbon fringe, but I realized I could buy it by the yard (only took 3). It was really fun to make. I forgot how great instant gratification projects are, especially when you get to use really nice yarn. This is a great use for single skeins of silk. Tao is supposedly only 126 yards per skein. I didn't quite use the whole skein because I ran out of beads, but after adding fringe my scarf was only a tad shorter than the store model. It's purely a fashion scarf, anyway. I'll be wearing it with a summer dress.

Lizard Ridge Strip

Lizard Ridge Strip, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Here's my Lizard Ridge progress so far.
I'm using the entire ball so my "squares" are more like rectangles. Plus I'm working the strips in one piece to reduce the amount of seaming. This is Noro Kureyon colorway 116 and 153. Colorway 116 (on top) is my favorite colors, but it was a huge pain to get it to look good in this pattern. About half the skein is solid or mostly black. It seems that most Noro skeins are one long changing color sequence, but 116 seemed to go from black to red to white and back again to red and black. It looked like a big mess the first time I worked up the strip. Then I ripped it all out, cut the yarn at the middle, and reversed the orientation of half the skein. The result was a lot better, but still lacking definition toward the end. The 3rd and last time, I balled up the skein into chunks of color and deliberately used contrasting portions. Yes, it was worth it. :)
Colorway 153 looked suitably contrast-y on the first try. Yay! I think I'm going to be poking and prodding the skeins as I shop for the rest of this project to see how well they'll work in the pattern.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Toots & The Maytals @ The Independent 10/02/07

Toots Hibbert In San Francisco, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

We went up to the city again last night to catch Toots & The Maytals at The Independent. It was awesome!! Toots Hibbert has been on the reggae scene since the 1960's, and is generally considered the originator of the term "reggay."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Burma: How You Can Help

Friday I drove up to the city to join in a demonstration at the Chinese consulate organized by the Burmese American Democratic Alliance and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (don't miss the amazing mural by Mona Caron). There's some video of local news coverage here. I urge you to find out more about the plight of Burma's people. If you are interested in taking action, here are some resources-

Youth Solidarity of Burma, organized by two young Burmese women in Thailand, accepts donations at
BADA accepts donations here.
Buddhist Peace Fellowship has info on donations, volunteering, membership here.
The petition is here.
And you can always write your congresspeople.

This is not just a Burmese issue, or a Buddhist issue. Anyone who values human rights, nonviolence, democracy, and/or freedom of speech should be completely appalled by the current situation.
For your crafty folks, there's a stencil template of marching monks on the Saffron Revolution Worldwide blog. The large size stencils are more or less intended for graffiti art, but I'll be making a t-shirt with the small stencil template.