Today I got two amazing packages in the mail.

The first was a package of goodies from Kathleen in Japan. She contacted me via Ravelry to tell me how much she enjoys the podcast and asked if I wanted anything from Japan. Because I am always up for something new and exciting I said I would love to try Japanese sock yarn. She said it would be underwhelming, but it is certainly amusing!

First off all, Cattleya is a very interesting name. It’s 50% wool and 50% nylon and looks like it will be a nice hard-wearing yarn, if not luxurious. Besides, what other chance would I have to knit with genuine Japanese sock yarn?

She also sent an assortment of other Japanese goodies:

The magenta wool at the top, which I’m planning to share with Cathy, is from Iceland where she lived before (what a world traveler!) and she also included a pattern book, a pretty little ceramic mouse cell phone charm since it’s the year of the mouse. I would fear to put anything that beautiful and ceramic on my phone, so I’ll probably hang it somewhere in my room. And some Japanese bath stuff. She sent me a Japanese coin with a hole in the middle too! (There is no way she could have known my obsession with coins with holes in them, but I am beyond thrilled.)

AND (I know, it’s too much) she sent some edible goodies to share with the rest of the FiberCult!

A *huge* thank you to you, Kathleen.

Now, the second package waiting for me was a prize I won as part of Sockin’ It to Maggie

I got some delicious chocolate, some beautiful stitch markers, and a skein of very pretty Fearless Fibers yarn. The yardage on it is really good so I’m thinking I should save it for some nice tall socks.

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Ok, on to non-mail topics… I watched The Illusionist tonight while knitting on the Madder Rib socks and I loved it.

Also I got a Ravelry question about the method I use to knit my socks.

I almost always knit my socks two at once using the magic loop method. There is a really good tutorial on casting on (one of the tricky parts) on Sockbug here. The only thing to watch out for is patterns where the beginning of the round changes or there are non-paired increases and decreases that cause a decrease over the join. These aren’t impossible to knit using the 2-at-once-ML method, but IMO they’re more of a pain than it’s worth.

I did a tutorial a while back on how to turn the heel which is here. Now get knitting and don’t look back!

Listening to: Green Man ~ Type O Negative, What You Are ~ Audioslave