Monday, August 31, 2015

The Endless Gusset

Is almost done! Well that is not quite true. But I have at least, passed the half way point. The sock just before the flap and gusset, started with s 74 stitches, 36 in back and 38 in front—so the flap was the 'standard' 36 rows—which makes for 36 stitches picked up for the gusset—Plus 1 extra stitch in the corner, (so there is no hole).

This resulted in 38 stitches picked up for the gussets—19 stitches on each side of the flap. A total if 112stitches per sock at the beginning of the gusset. Corresponding, I am working 38 decreases, spread out over 38 rounds –with 2 decreases ever other round to make the gusset. I still have some 16 stitches to decrease--(8 each side).

So I feel I have gotten a lot of work done this weekend... First the turning of the heel, followed by more than half of the gusset rows worked. The front half of the sock, (where the gusset is located) finally is beginning to feel normal length-- Even though it has 54 stitches—but it felt endless when I first started the decreases..

The gussets have been moved to the center—extending the bias panels. For the leg, to create the bias panels, there were increases along the side “seams” of the sock, and then decreases either side of the center front panel. Now, as I work the gussets, I just decrease every other round. This creates a lot of ease in the instep—and the long gusset is great for high insteps—which S-I-L has. So I know that these socks will be comfortable and well fitting. The stitch markers show how many stitches still to be worked for the gussets. When the marker reach the center front stocking knit panel, the gussets will be completed.

All in all, I love every part of this pattern—it is attractive and simple- I can't really complain about it.. Men's socks are just so much bigger, (and I have big feet!) that knitting a pair takes forever it seems.

Today, I will give my hands a rest (or rather just exercise different muscles) and work on the double knit potholder—already, ½ of a pattern set completed this AM.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Week--

So busy, that I found it hard to remember just what I did! Good stuff, bad stuff, busy stuff.
I am feeling old—The older generation, (my parents and their peers) is just about gone. My father remains, in body, but his mind is gone. He is fortunately, happy to sit and watch nature, and listen to music. He sometimes remembers he has children, and their names, but mostly he remembers Arias, oprahs and the stories behind them.

This week, he became the last of his generation alive. Getting together for a funeral of someone who is in their 90's, who had a good long, mostly healthy life—has an element of sadness, but it becomes a mini family reunion—with cousins coming from far and near, to share time together. Ginny was interred here in NY, where she lived all but the last six months of her life—with her husband and son. And we are all that closer to being the old generation.

It also makes for a long day—one that left me totally exhausted.

Another day involved taking possession of the car I hope soon to own—the car is from an almost contemporary friend—he was 12 years older. 2 other friends died in the past 3 months, and both of them were younger than me. When friends and contemporaries start dieing off, it really make you feel old—and vulnerable. (An acute attack of arthritis, leaving me limping doesn't help either)

The hold up with the car is the title—no title, no sale; no sale, no registering it in my name. So it is sitting in my garage, gathering dust...

I also took a bed from his apartment—it was bought late in his illness, and was never slept in. My old bed (just a mattress and frame) was (is) 20 + years old, so I really needed a new one. This bed has an adjustable base—No box spring, and the adjustable frame is high enough to fit those plastic  storage boxes underneath. My bed linens are stored in a storage box already—it will be nice to have them handy –I have a dust ruffle so the boxes will be hidden—and the bed will look dressy and not bare boned. I am thinking about a head board, too. And perhaps mounting some pin up lamps on the head board. I like to end my day reading or knitting in bed.. a nice lamp to do so, is almost a must.

But it will be a few days, (2 weeks or so) till I get the new bed set up. --since I really need a major reorganizing. I started out with out a real plan, when I moved in, and very little furniture. Thing were placed piece meal in my bedroom over the years, a set of drawers here, a cabinet below with a bookcase above there. No real order or organization.

Now its time to take everything out, and put back what I want, and throw out what doesn't work.
I have been having a bit of clean out for the past month—in other rooms—cleaning and more importantly, reorganizing and culling (Oh the stuff I have thrown out!) —this will just continue on a grander scale.

I saw the girls, this week too—Swimming classes are over, but we continue to go to the pool (one more visit is scheduled) Miss C started classes wary of being in the water, now she cries when its time to leave. She also started needing to be coxed into the pool—Yesterday, she was sliding off the pools edge into the water on her own—I still catch her—but she is growing more confident with each visit.

As for knitting—I've gotten a little done. I haven't finished the double knit potholder (swatch) but it is nearing completion—9 inches done, 3 more to go. That will make it 11x 12, before I wash it hot water and shrink it. It will still be a big potholder—but that's the way I like them—Oversized!

The sock legs eased past 8 inches and the heel flap is complete. (the markers are for the heel turning). The heel turning is a simple short row one (one I have never done, though) and then gussets—that are hidden in the biased bands of the leg stitch pattern. This will be a change for me—As a matter of habit, I tend to pick up all my gusset stitches on the sole side of the sock, and instep is left unchanged—but this sock requires all the gusset stitches on the instep—and it just sounds weird—and I suspect it will feel a bit weird, too.

I have my daughters old fitbit—and I almost never get in 10,000 steps a day—but this week I had 5 days in a row of 5,000, give or take a few hundred. Instead of the more usual 2 days,of 5000,   separated by a day or two) so—you know its been a busy one!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Not a Stitch

Worked on the Hugo socks. I took them to the living room to photograph, and they remain there, untouched since yesterday.

I did get a few more rows done on my double knit potholder (1)--It's a variation on a theme—interlocking diamonds. It reminds me of Easter—all sunny and yellow on one side and pinks and blues on the other. (Lily's Sugar and Creme in color ways Sunshine and Pretty Pastels) This is being made for no one in particular—just some fun pattern swatching.

I have been doing a row here, and row there, in between times.. and suddenly I have 5.5 inches and I am half way done!

I think I want to work on the bath mat next—though renovating (or perhaps, merely returning my bath room to its former state) is being postponed—yet another leak! Not a big one, but.. as Dr. Who has said—water is relentless. It always finds a way.

This, too, is an intermittent leak—and will result, I am sure, in an even bigger mess for my bathroom ceiling. I want something to feel good about—and setting up all the new stuff, Shower curtain, towels (even if not new, a new combination set), bath mat—ever thing all ready to put in place will feel like progress. Destruction is progress too, sometime.

You have to get rid of the old to make way for the new. Philosophically, destruction and creation are flip sides of the same coin—You destroy the skein to knit the object...and I am hell bent on destroying a bunch of skeins of cotton! Potholders use up not quite 2 skeins at once. Bath mats, knit with the yarn doubled, devour yarn!

One bit of destruction that is also planned is the inside of the bathroom cabinet. I suppose it is the “medicine” cabinet—but I never keep much medicine in it. Occasionally some common cold stuff, and antacids. Mostly its the extra refills for the electric tooth brush (and the tooth brush itself), a bit of make up (if you consider moisturizers and make up removers to be make up) and some hair care products. I want to clean it out, and fix up the inside.  Layers of clopped up paint,--will be chipped off and a new coat of paint put in its place.  It won't be new, but it will look better.

I have thought of replacing it.. but it is one of those job that is a lot bigger than it seems. They no longer make anything the same size (and yes, I have though of just swapping it out). Anything taller, and I need to call an electrician, since the light fixture is actually touching the top of the current cabinet, and would have to be moved. 

Anything that I find that is the same height, is narrower--(and consequently, smaller) I don't have one of the modern base cabinets, with a sink sunk into the Formica counter top—I have a wall hung sink. Changing that? Means replacing tiles, since there is a great big cast iron bracket that is mounted on the wall (to hang the sink from) So storage space (as in a medicine cabinet) is at a premium.

And I don't really want a base cabinet style unit. I do wish I had more counter space.. but...If I found a sink I really liked, and that would also fit into my postage stamp sized bathroom, who knowing what I would do!  One day—maybe. But not now.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Day 8

of the Hugo sock, and I have knit 8 inches. I am happy with the progress! Actually, I am a few rounds past 8 inches (but less than 8.25). I intend to do a few more rounds before I start the heel flap. 8 inches just doesn't look long enough.

Based on the previous socks, the foot will be 11.75 inches long, and I tend to like the leg to be equal to the foot in length—when they are folded in half, at the heel. So 8.5 inches of leg, Plus, 3 more inches in the heel flap, will make the heel turning just about mid point of the sock—and long enough for my liking.

Once again, the skeins seem to be shrinking down to nothing very fast—but I actually had 4 skeins to start –I've called this a drab color (and it is) but I rather like. So I don't have a worry in the world.

  I bought a pair of skeins, and then some months later, bought another pair (forgetting I had the first). I like and own many colorful pairs of socks.. but sometimes, I like a plain drab pair, too.

If I see this yarn again, I might end up with another 2 skeins, so I can have a pair in this color way. That won't be any time soon—I have resolved to make a dent in my sock yarn stash before buying any more sock yarn. (I justified my sock yarn purchases back in May, with the thought that the yarn could also be made into a scarf (Yeah, like I don't have enough of those either!)

At the same time, I have started with a double knit potholder 1—11 inches wide (it will shrink) and about 3 inches done. More potholders to come after this one, and a new bath mat, too. The potholders are fun little projects, but the bath mats are medium sized project. My first bath mat got put in a load of wash with some bleach—and it really weakened the fibers. At some point, it ended up being more frays and holes than knitting—so this new one will replace that one.

For the bath mat, I am thinking, cream (the wall color) and brown and taupe , and some pink—I have a shower curtain in reserve—that will replace my current shower curtain soon—that is light taupe with little pink roses. And I have lots of pink cotton, and a whole cone of cream. the current shower curtain is cream and tan and taupe and brown--a goemetric design that seems almost neutral.  

I have over the years, knit for breast cancer fund raisers—and pink is the dejur color of the day for them. I have pink towels too. For that matter, I have every color towel in creation.. but a set of cream and pink and taupe towels wouldn't be hard to put together—along with a matching shower curtain, and bath mat. A pretty set for when company comes.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Less Again

But more than expected. (but not enough to bother taking a photograph) 

The girls (my twin granddaughter)  are enrolled in a swim class—and yesterday was my day being there to help them. Its a small class, and only 4 sessions long, (yesterday was session 2). I had a brain fart—and was almost late—so I ended up taking a cab (not buses) so I go nothing knit on the way to my DD and pool, and going home, I knit a bit, but I was so tired, it was hard to keep from falling asleep, I was that tired.

The girls reaction to water is very different. Miss C doesn't like baths. Sitting in warm water getting washed is something she is not very happy about. So you can guess her reactions to a pool.

It wasn't panic or fear—partly my DD thinks because she didn't recognize the blue as water. And with steps, and walking into the water, (with clothes on) it didn't seem like a bath. But eventually she realized the similarity, and she wasn't all that happy.

Miss J on the other hand marched right in (a little fast for my liking! In effect pushing me down the steps to stay ahead of her!

We stayed in the water after the class was over.. and Miss C and I found a game she liked. One element of the class was teaching the girls how to climb out of the pool on their own. (A good skill!) and Miss C liked that. But what she ended up liking even more, was jumping back in. We spent an hour doing nothing but giving her a very little assistance climbing out, then sitting down on the pool edge and jumping in.

Up and out, and down and in, and Again. She went from reluctant to enter to the pool to having a bit of temper tantrum at the thought of leaving it!

I hope her newly learned enthusiasm last till next week. And that she be more receptive to doing other things. Blowing bubbles and putting her face under water, and learning to float on her back and all the other skills that are needed. But being happy about being in the water is a good start. 

So I knit a bit –a scant inch—going home, which is less again than previous days--but the socks are now a row or too past 6 inches!  More than I thought I would get done for the day.

On the second bus, a Russian woman stared a bit, before asking what I was doing. She was intrigued by my 2 socks at a time method. I invited her to sit next to me—and in a few stop she, got the concept of 2 socks on 2 needles and kept saying Amazing!! (I learned 2 on 2 pretty much the same way...)

I saw someone doing it, and sat down next to them and watch for a few rounds—and then I was off on my own. I had to figure out for my self how to start—and I figured out my own method that I have demo'd using 2 colors of yarn----(see it here) (i think it is a bit easier to see what is happening with 2 colors of yarn.  The video is on my Golden Apple face book page--Like it, while you are there!

I think my method  it is easier to do, and easier to get a nice edge --well it is for me.  Once I figured out  how to cast on,  I haven't looked back--all my socks are knit 2 at time, on 2 needles, with the beginning of a round on the side, not center back. (Of course I use a different method to cast on for toe up socks)

Queens is physically big, (110 square miles) and incredible diverse (the most diverse county in NY States, and the most diverse county (measure by languages spoken at home) in all the counties in all the states! My neighborhood isn't an enclave, but we do have a large percentage of Russians—some (perhaps mostly) Russian Jews (one whole town emigrated entirely!) and its not uncommon for me to see Russian lace shawls in the winter--lots of them.  But it is rare to see Russians knitting in public.

My encounters with my Russian neighbors have resulted in me learning a cast on method—and now me sharing a sock knitting method. Small cultural exchanges—in the world of knitting.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Diminishing Returns

I cast on, and started the S-I-L sock with great enthusiasm.
Day 1, 2.25 inches ribbing done.
Day 2, a solid 1.75 inches if the leg done, getting the pattern established, and visible.
Day 3, (yesterday) 1.25 inches done...

Do you see the pattern? I love knitting, but sometimes I get bored. There is hope though, I am now 5 + some inches along on a 8 inch leg—and soon there will be a changes! Most immediately, (3 rounds from now), the second decrease, and the stitch count goes down to 76!

Hardy enough to notice, but I will, just because. Then, not long after that, (just 3 inches away!) the heel flaps and then the interesting gussets! Before that, 2 more sets of decreases. The stitch count for the foot is 72 stitches—which is the same number of stitches I used in the pair of socks I knit S-I-L last year.

So I have things to look forward to, and my enthusiasm will return. And I am pleased as punch that I have passed the half way point on the leg!

I might need a to work some additional round, to make the increases work out evenly, though.

I am not using the suggested yarn—but stash yarn, and while my stitch gauge (the really important one in a sock!) is spot on, my row gauge is a bit tighter. I am supposed to be getting 50 row per 4 inches/10cm—but I am only getting 44 rows-- This really doesn't matter much—It's easy (boring, perhaps, but easy) to knit a few extra rounds to get the right length. I already did that to some degree, and have a deeper ribbed cuff than the pattern calls for. These sock do have some leg shaping, I don't have to worry much about them being too tall, or too tight at the cuff end.

I know from last year, when I knit S-I-L socks from the same yarn, on the same needles, (and got the same gauge) that the socks weren't too big—or too tight at the cuff. Yes, those socks were ribbed, and ribbing does wonders and make it easy to generate negative ease—but the bias panels, that continue right down into the toe, do the same thing. They don't generate as much negative ease as ribbing, but they do pull the knitting in.

They change the gauge in effect. When not stretched into the foam forms I used to photograph them, the socks tend to have the back (already 2 stitches smaller than the front) wrap to the front. The front fabric is tighter than the back—a good sign.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Bit of Progress

I am following the pattern. From the first repeat, I was unsure, and I continue to be, but I am following the pattern.  (Reminder, this is the HUGO sock by Stefanie Bold.) 

It's a simple one. First—the directions are needle neutral, (and presume you know how to knit in the round), and are slightly biased—in favor of magic loop/2 at at time, on 2 circ's. I love that! It will make the heel and keeping up the pattern (which morphs into the gusset) so much easier to do.

Secondly, it is slightly un-even. You start with more stitches in the back of the sock than in the front.

There is a small amount of shaping done, (8 decreases over 8 inches of the leg).  These give the sock some shape, and extra ease over the lower calf. The slightly larger back of leg to begin with makes this shaping easier. 

Those are the good things I have discovered so far. But the bias element? It is created by making increases   and decreases. M1R and M1L for the increases—and OK, I broke from the pattern here--and did my own version of a make 1--see how nice it looks? Can you see the M1 at all? Or just realize it must be there because the stocking knit is biased?  That is it.  the only change I have made. 

 But they are not the expected every other row—rather every 3rd row, (Make a “Pattern row”, work 2 rows plain) The Biased panels have a softer slope as a result. I think I would like a steeper one better.

With just a little more than 1 inch knit, it is almost impossible to really evaluate, (and the photo image does look good!) but I think I would like the socks better, with an ever other row a pattern row, better.

Still its nice to report more than an inch done—a lot more than an inch. (but I am still far short of 2 inches!) I have knit enough of the sock to see the pattern.--You'll note the markers have been removed--at this point I can see where to make the decreases, and don't need them.  that might change at some point (the heel gussets) but for now, I can manage with out them.  

Since I am making the large size, I started  with 80 stitches in a round--(a lot more than my usually 60!) so more than an inch over night is nice progress! I have made my first set of decreases—and now have a grand total of 78 stitches in each sock—Though I am never going to whittle theses socks done to my average number—big feet mean 72 stitches for the foot—which in the grand scheme of things, is still a lot more than my average.

It's a dull grey rainy day—So its a perfect day for doing laundry-- And I have plenty to do. Spring was cold, so I still haven't really completed putting away long sleeves shirts, and pulling out short sleeved ones—These loads of wash should finish up all getting all the winter stuff clean--(and relocated) but it won't be long till they are needed again.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

The King is Dead--

Long live the king. That is sort of how if feel about knitting projects. The Blue socks done.... Quick! Find some yarn and cast on, for socks again!

I decided to jump into making my S-I-L's birthday socks—and give myself lots of time to complete them (his birthday isn't till October).

First there was the yarn—I tend to buy yarn 2 skeins at a time--(and yes, I prefer 50g skeins over 100g ones) I have big feet, but I don't like my socks too tall, (never again do I want to wear knee socks!) and I find, with many yarns, I have 7 to 10g's left over from a 50g ball.. I have make striped socks out of 4 sets of left over bits--(and I will do this again, I am sure).

Some 50g skeins I do use all up, and sometimes (extremely rarely) if I use a cable or other pattern that requires extra stitches for ease, I have even run out.

But MOST of the time, (90% or more) 2 50g skeins (or 1 100g skein) is more than enough for a pair of sock—for me.

But this is not true for men's socks. My S-I-L has big feet. He isn't fat, but he is a big man. Broad shoulders—big hands.. big boned, big feet. . And to make socks for him (mid calf height/8 to 10 inches of leg) I need 3 skeins. I've have only knit him 1 pair of socks, and I did need 3 skeins, so mentally, (if not in reality) I want to start out making sure I will have enough yarn—and that means 3 skeins.

I don't have a big selection of yarn, with 3 skeins skeins in a colorway. If I limit my selection to solid, some what dark colors, the selection gets even smaller. And to be honest—I have a very limited amount of very light colors in my stash—so knitting him (or me!) a pair of lemon yellow socks is not an option! Yellow trimmed, or patterned (stranded color work patterning) YES, but yellow socks? No.

I think eventually, I will be able to make socks for him in jacquard yarns—something with stripes or stranded like designs, in blues (his favorite color) but I am breaking him in, and for now, dull, drab, solid colors are order of the day.

So with hundreds of skeins of sock yarns available to me, I was limited in my choices.

I had some Lion Brand Sock Ease—in a lovely Prussian blue(though they don't call it that!) , and in the root beer brown—but I wasn't certain a single 100g skein was enough. And then there is the yarn its self--

Sock yarn comes in a range of weights.. Best explained this way: some times 100g of sock yarn is almost 500 yards (480 or so yard), but other sock yarn? 100G is 350 or so yards. There is a range, from super fine (almost lace weight) to chunkier yarn—almost sports weight. When the yarn is spun finer, you get more yards for the same weight.

I LOVE the lace weight like Sock Ease. I slip down to a size 1 or even a size 0(zero) needle and still get soft, drapy socks. I love Sock Ease for color work socks, too. The super fine yarn knits up beautifully with out being too bulky-and my feet still fit in my shoes comfortable. With over 400 yards in 100g, it is a fine sock yarn

But, I am not interested in making over sized sock on super fine needles—Call me self centered, or selfish, or what ever, but... I want thicker yarn. Not worsted weight book socks, but on the heavier end of sock yarns.

So I was left with 3 choices:
1—4 ply Kroy—In color flax, a drab taupe color (330 yards per 100g)
2—4 ply Kroy –in a stripe of mixed greys and charcoal
3—buying new yarn.

I went with choice 1. I have a full 4 skeins of this yarn. I don't think I will need more than 3—but its nice to know I have plenty. Maybe next year it will be choice 2--(and as for choice 3, I have been vaguely on a yarn diet—but who knows, maybe in 2 or 3 years, I will be back to buying sock yarn!)
My original plan, a few months ago, was the stripe—I like stripes, simple ones and spiral ones--(naturally jogless), and I LOVE using up a few partial skeins, left over from other projects and getting “bonus socks”.

But I found a pretty pattern—a great easy, pattern.. Called Hugo, from Stefanie Bold (find her as stebo79 on Ravelry)  (her blog is in German, so I suggest you check out her Ravelry profile!)

The patten is, at once, simple and stylish. It's subtle--(and that often translates well into masculine) and works best in a solid color. (She shows a striped version, but I don't like it much).

The pattern is free, and it comes in 5 sizes—so it will fit most any one—skinny little ladies feet, or gun boat feet like mine, or men's, small or large!

So I am started. I have cast on, and started. I used a Open Closed Long Tail (aka the Estonian Long Tail)cast on, a cast on the is very suited, in my opinion, to 2 X 2 ribbing. I have just finished the 20 rounds of ribbing, put the markers in place and I am ready to get started on this new pair of socks.

At the same time, I am sorting through my cotton—I do want some new potholders, and a new bath mat, and....When I want a break from sock knitting, I want to have the cotton handy. 

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Toes—Closed Toes

The beaded blue socks are done—Finally! A week short of two months in progress. I did get a lot of other stuff done as I didn't work on these socks; pillow case embroidered, and lace added, 2 pairs of sneakers embroidered, (one pair with lots of fancy embroidery, one pair with just a touch) and other stuff done, too.

But, finally they are finished.

In many ways they are just generic socks. In a few ways, they are special.

1—The Cast On. Working flat, I used an Italian cast on, for a smooth rounded over invisible edge. I follow the cast on edge with 2 rounds of simple double knitting, to make a small tube. Then, as I joined into a round, I K2tog, and YO'ed. This created an small eyelet edge.  It was followed by 1 X 1 ribbing.

A small detail that takes the generic sock a step beyond.

2--After the 1 X 1 ribbing, some beaded decoration. No pattern, just a random number of bead, randomly placed. I used a random number generator, but a die would work, too.
To place each bead (all pre-strung) I slid the bead up to the right needle, and then pulled the bead through the stitch as I knit it. The bead sat on the right leg of stitch. In the next round, carefully working the stitch locked the bead in place.

3—I beaded every other round, and placed fewer beads each round—at first, about 1 bead every 3rd stitch, in the end one bead ever 6th stitch (on average)

After the beading, I continued in simple stocking knit.

The heel was worked in heel stitch, but with a 2 stitch selvage on each side of garter, not a chain stitch.  I like the look of the garter selvage, and it's just as easy to use to pick up stitches.

There are several different turnings—Mine started with knit to middle, +1, then 2tog, then wrap & turn. This is a somewhat pointy turning (but not quite as pointy as a handkerchief turn),

The gussets were generic, too, nothing special about decreasing every other row.

The toes are the flat (or French) style—once again, a simple basic, generic style.

I decreased from 60 stitches (to start) down to 16—or about 75% of the stitches. This too is pretty normal, then I grafted the toes closed- often end up with 8 stitches on top and bottom of the toe.

I did do one special thing on the toes. Many knitters complain that grafted toes often have “ears” --that the sides of the graft stick up, and have these little points--(mine don't) here is the secret—Make reverse decreases in the first 2 stitches of last row.

Normally, I knit 2, decrease (SSK), knit till 4 stitches are left, decrease,(K2tog) and knit 2 (on both top (instep) and bottom (sole) of the toe. --Since I work my socks 2 at a time on 2 circ's, this is exactly what I do on a single needle!--and I decrease every other round.

On the last round, I start with knit 2 tog, then knit all the stitches in the center, and end with SSK--

I have charted it—the X in the chart is any number (4 for me, most often, but sometimes 6, and sometimes as few as 2--
(NOTE: X=4, +2 stitches either side, plus the first and last stitches--a total of 8 stitches left to be grafted--
NOTE 2: the table grid didn't start with 30 stitches.)

The grey blocks are NO stitch. The G's represent the graft. The two reversed decreases on the “edge” of the toe eliminate the ears. Try it for your self!

No “Ear” toe decreases (work on instep and sole side of toe)
























Friday, August 07, 2015


Is an acronym for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.

That's a lot of yarn. A lot of serious knitters often end up with SABLE. I know I have.

First there is the yarn I have bought—Like the 10 skeins of turquoise worsted, (Paton Classic Merino Wool) for a oversized sweater jacket—That I still want to make one of these days. I have the pattern, I have the wool, I need the will. And there is plenty more wool just like those 10 skeins...There was a plan for every skein—some times I have forgot the plan, but...The yarn remains. Lots and lots of it.

Then there is the wool (and silk, and other luxury fibers) that I received from other knitters—who died with SABLE. There were several. I could (and did) easily pass over the synthetic yarns (well except for some pretty stuff for my granddaughter!) and went right for the silk, or silk and wool blends, or the alpaca, or angora—and a lot of this yarn has been planned for, too. The girls (as I often refer to my twin granddaughters), are too young now for fancy muffs—but when they are 4? Pretty muffs, lined with angora will be perfect. I have 8 skeins of the stuff—plenty for a pair of warm pretty muffs.

And finally there is the gift yarn. Non-knitters often buy pretty yarns—but in such small quantities, the gift can go unknit for years—waiting for the right project. Single skeins are inspirational—but they require small projects. I have something short of a million hats—how many more do I need?

How big is my SABLE? Well in my best year, I knit 14 pairs of socks. If I continued at this rate--(a really big IF there) I have enough yarn for a good 10 years worth of socks--(with out buying any more sock yarn—as if that will happen!)

At the more reasonable rate of 9 pairs of socks per year—that is 15 years worth of socks. I want to live that long, and longer... but if I do, I suspect there will be some new sock yarns added, so that the supply would never be completely depleted.

And then there is Yarn LUST. I have lusted over and for Kauni Effekt yarn since I first saw it.

Last week, I gave into my lust, and bought 150g--(a mere 600 yards or so.) The plan is for it to become, paired with a solid, a stranded color work yoke to a sweater.

I show the yarn here with the natural oatmeal colored Lion Brand 1878 yarn (about 1870 yards)--together 2400+ yards—enough for a sweater. But I have 1878 in black and white--(2 cones of each color)—so I have some options about what color to match with the Rainbow color way...I am thinking black would be best—but..who knows what I will think when I finally get around to knitting it.

Before I go to work on this yarn, I have some other projects lined up.. A sweater for my self is one item on my queue, but will it be this yarn? Or the alpaca? Or the turquoise wool sweater jacket? Or something else?

Meanwhile, my almost 5 inches knit on the foot beaded blue socks, have become, over night, almost 7 inches knit.

I will need at least 7 inches—actually more like 7.5 before I start the toe shaping.. These socks are pair 5—in 8 months.. so I will be pressed to complete 9 pairs for this year--(and will be below average) –that just makes my SABLE just a little bit bigger.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Down, Down, Down

I go, getting closer to the toe.

Visible progress made—Gusset finished and then some. About 4.75 inches of foot done now, which is easily half way. Another 2 inches or so working evenly, and then it will be time to start the toe shaping. Always the best part of a top down sock. You know you are hitting the home stretch, and every round is fewer and fewer stitches!

This current image, makes it clearer than ever, that even though these skeins were marked as being the same dye lot—they are very different in color. They were sold as “irregulars” (and the yarn cost less than 1/3 of the price of first quality)--and I don't really mind. I might if I had spent $10 a skein—but at $3— I will just chalk it up to “things happen”. While it is very noticeable in these close up, (and will be slightly noticeable when I wear them) it doesn't much matter.

Some people consider socks works of art, to me they are works of craft, practical and fun. I do like perfectly matching socks.. but I am not going to loose sleep over these slightly mis matched one.

Next up in the queue, 2 projects—some potholder, for me, and some for friends, and another pair of socks—for S-I-L—I need to start them now, and have them done (with time to spare!) for his birthday in October—and before the hunting season opens. (and I have no idea when that is—except vaguely sometime in the fall.)

He didn't manage to get a deer last year, so they wintered on store bought meat, but S-I-L hunt for meat, not trophy's. I know there are some who are against both (meat eating, and hunting) but that is not the case in our family. I am happy to knit my S-I-L nice warm wool socks to keep his feet warm as he provides for the family.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


(now almost finished) but close to it.

This pillow case, bought at Woolworth's, sometime before 1978, was embroidered back then. It's mate, just got embroidered last week. The lace? (for both pairs) also pre 1978. The lace is from a Woman's Day booklet (one you had to send a $1 and postage paid, self addressed envelope). I think I still have the booklet, (and if I find, I will post a picture of the cover.)

I am not much of a crocheter--(this lace is pretty good, though) It would have been better if I started (Or ended) the lace by working right into the cotton pillow case—but that is water long ago over the dam!

The pillow cases were sold with no directions (or suggestions) about colors—just stamped cotton for the adventurous to embroidered and finish any way they wanted.

I bought a half dozen or so pairs. I finished two, and gifted them to people, and another 2 finished and I kept for my self--(and used till they were thread bare!) One had a bit of crochet lace (a half inch wide or so) the other, machine made lace.

I have this pair now 99% completed--(I have to sew the lace to the edge)--and another pair, waiting for me to embroidered them and add lace.

Well, not now, not this year, maybe next summer when I once again hit the knitting doldrums.

These pillow cases have gone through a 35+ years and a half dozen moves, another 12 months won't make much of a difference.

I finished a small white posy on my black sneakers, too. This end embroidered for now.

My beaded blue socks have the gusset completed, and a few rows beyond—I'll continue to work on them, there will be plenty of time—DD and family are on a vacation trip, but come next week, there will be tiny tots swimming lessons—2 lessons a week, for 5 weeks. I have committed to go at least once a week, but I might go twice a week (just because I like to get into the water, and haven't much done that this summer.)

Monday, August 03, 2015

Almost Done

With a second pair of embroidered sneakers. Not new ones, but not that old either. (These were new in May, so they have been worn (and washed) but there is barely any wear on sole, even if the black has faded a bit. This time, just a little embroidery—A big open flower, with touches of silver on the silver white cotton. The second sneaker is about half done, and will be finished today—even thought there are lots of errands to do. First of the month (or really first business day of the new month) so its off to pay rent, (or more properly maintenance). The drug store is on my list too, and there are other chores.

In addition to not knitting by doing embroidery, I am going to be not knitting by sewing. One dress for me, and 2 for my granddaughters. There is some tidying needed in my sewing room, and fabric to cut, but for me, a simple shirt dress, and for the girls, a bit more complex dresses—they will be fully lined, and not quite identical—(different colors) but the same pattern and making 2 of the same is quick work.

Tomorrow I have to get over to DD and family's apartment and give the cat some fresh water, and food, and at the same time look for grommets. I might take the long way home and stop at Michael's if the Raindew doesn't have any.

In either case, I will bring my knitting, and make some progress on my JUNE sock. It more than half way done—just a few more rows of gusset, and it will be foot and then toe.   I should get the gusset done, and maybe even more than that.