Tag Archives: socks

Reading and Knitting

The second book in the Aaron Falk series came available, so I dropped everything and read it. It was quite different from the first one, so that promises these books will not become boilerplate plots. My review if you want to know more:


Also, I have mentioned knitting frequently. ‘Twas gift socks that have now arrived at their destination so I can show them.

This time I made the big pair first. Made the second pair go quite quickly. The yarn is hand dyed dk weight from Hazel Knits. I love the colors and texture for warm winter socks when knitted with #2 needles.



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Sock Time

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was active in knitting for Mittens for Akkol.  During that time someone was destashing (with the understanding that yarn would be used for Akkol) and I bought some, cheap. But before I started knitting it up, my attention shifted more and more to quilting.

I’d think about it now and again, but the time wouldn’t be right. And then the time was right–knitting being a sedentary project. So out came the yarn.

1 sock yan

And alas, the left over yarn is the only photo you will see.  When I finished the first pair I decided not to take a photo till they were all finished; then when they were all finished the deadline to mail was too close to stop and photograph! So you will have to use your imagination.

Those in the mail, six weeks till Christmas, and the knitting bug still active, I set out to make two pair of socks for Christmas presents. These did get their picture taken.

1 socks

I suppose I should block them, but it seems to me that feet do a good job of that.

The local shops that have a large collection of sock yarn have closed, so to get a color I liked I decided to experiment with dk weight. It makes a thicker, stiffer sock; we’ll see what laundering does for it. I’ll get to test-wear it too as there was a lot left over.

1 mixed sock

Almost, but not quite, enough for a brown (portobello) pair. But the toe will be in the shoe, so blue (coveralls) will work. (Love the names and colors by Hazel Knits!)

By the time I finish the second sock, I will have overdosed on knitting and be ready for a return to quilting. I remember a T-shirt with the slogan, “If I quilt real fast is it aerobic exercise?”–inquiring minds want to know.


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Socks, well A Sock

Seems the first half of the blog name is almost misleading because I’ve been  ‘kwilting’ so much more than knitting. But I do still knit. Most of my knitting is done when I gather with others to knit, twice most weeks.

Coffee bean sockOne finished. Now to cast on the second before the next knit group.

The pattern is Pick-a-Pattern Worsted Weight Socks (that I adapted for fingering yarn) from the book Dear All The Mamas, available through Ravelry. It is a basic sock pattern with four variations for the decorative stitch. I chose the coffee bean stitch.

I missed gifting them in time for this winter–but they will be finished by next winter.

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A knitting focused weekend

Yep, I finished the pair that was demanding attention last week!  They turned out to be 6 3/4 inch instead of 7 1/2.  I noticed my gauge changed significantly between the flat swatch and knitting in the round and modified the plan accordingly.


Socks made alternating two left-over yarns

Do you see the variation in the feet?  The yarn ball had a knot, and not only had the company skipped colors in the self striping pattern, they also reversed the direction.  Oh well, I don’t think it is too obvious and it is inside most shoes.

This weekend I have been knitting for the sock drive for Mittens for Akkol (a Yahoo group and also a Ravelry group). As I understand the goal, it is for a pair of socks for each child in the two orphanages they knit for, Akkol and Urupinka, and the total comes to around 500 pair.  We have till December, but they get off to a good start with a virtual slumber party/knitting weekend. The emails have been most creative and bring back memories of Girl Scout Camps in days gone by.

My goal WAS a pair of large sized thin socks.  It has been modified to one sock of the pair!  Who knew how much more knitting was involved in size 12 than the 10 1/2 I am used to making for me!

Here is progress so far.


Almost ready to knit the foot part.

I did think to buy three skeins of this yarn to be sure to have enough for the large size; then I realized if I bought 2 more I could make two pair and maybe have less left over yarn to use up. So I called the store and they are holding two for me.

Are you a knitter? Search for the group on either Yahoo or Ravelry and see what we are up to. Maybe you could join the project!

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Fading Charms quilt–and other projects–in medias res

I have the center of my Fading Charms quilt together, and am about to audition it for background fabric.  I have modified the Fading Charms  quilt to become a crib sized quilt made from pieces approximately 1 1/4 inches approximately square.

Quilt center made with small scrappy squares

Quilt Center

For three years I got boxes of samples of fabric available from Keepsake in NH. I always felt they should be used for something.  Plan A had been to use them as leaders and enders and make four-patch blocks that could become cornerstones when sashing a scrappy quilt. But then I saw the Fading Charm tutorial and decided to make it without having to cut.  Because the pieces are not exact, I threw out what few perfectionist tendencies I still have.  Nor did I count how many pieces I have. If there are not enough, I’ll figure something out then. I might even cut some.

Hindsight. It would have been better to make a smaller center and a six-deep border, then the four…

I am debating between sunshine yellow and lime green “the new neutral” for the background. Dark looks good, but this is for a child; white looks good, but this could end up being washed in a river–it will go to Sunshine (see link to the side).

And I am deep into sock making.  I have to keep several pair going in various stages so that one is always ready to take to knitting group meetings.  The bottleneck is turning the heel. I like to do that step when I am not also trying to carry on a conversation.

Gray-yellow multi swatch

Gray-yellow multi swatch

The gray-yellow yarn is mystery yarn–no label. I’ll have to test whether it is wool or not. The gold-green-lavender  for the toe-up sock is made from corn.

toe-up sock start--yarn is made from corn

Toe-up sock start

One sock pair finished

Toe-up sock finished

This finished toe-up black-brown pair took three tries. I did a swatch, followed directions, and realized they were turning out way too big. So I started over, but I didn’t shrink them enough, and had to start over yet again. Getting my money’s worth out of my yarn again. It feels good to have them finished; plus they are cotton, and the season is right.

Socks from a combination of yarns

Socks from left over yarns

This pair of socks has been demanding my attention. Last started, and probably next finished.  I finally got a yarn scale so that I could estimate how much yarn I have left over, and I have these three that go together rather well. The red to the left is back up in case I run out of the other two, but I don’t think I will.

Self patterning yarns make one want to do one more color, one more, one more…and since it is so long since I had used this ball of bright yarn, it is as if it were the first time. Plus there is the question of how it will look in combination to push me on. I plan to do the heel in the dark blue multi, then do the second sock  up to the same point, and then evaluate how much yarn is left and plan from there.

Then there is my “thinking” project for home and alone: a scarf in reversible Fair Isle center with seed stitch sides. It is made with nice alpaca yarn. Soft, soft, soft.

Scarf, side A

Side A

Scarf, side B

Side B

I think it is good that I have an infinite tolerance for unfinished projects.

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Socks finished

Just in time, I have two pair of socks finished for Mittens for Akkol

Brown socks and brown-pink multi socks

"thin" socks

They are plain, but they will be warm, and warm is necessary because where they are going has 9 months of winter and 40 below temperatures.  The brown ones are a color by request, all wool with some reinforcing nylon at toe and heel; the multicolored ones are a 75% wool 25% synthetic blend, an extra pair in case there are new grads from when we got the list.

The group, Mittens for Akkol , creates for two orphanages in Kazakhstan. At this time of year, the sixteen-year-olds “graduate”; i. e., they are considered old enough to be on their own.  The group provides hat, scarf, mittens, sweater, thick socks and thin socks for each “grad.” Thin socks (socks made from one or two strands of regular sock yarn, to be worn with shoes) did not seem to be a favorite item among the knitters, so I volunteered for two pair–not to be a martyr, but because I like to make socks and enjoy knitting for the sake of knitting.  Since I enjoy the process, it doesn’t matter much whether I am making one item or several.

Besides a cheer that they are completed in time to mail a day early, I am cheering that I finally did the Kitchener stitch correctly.  (Note to non-knitters: it creates an invisible join when done correctly.)The only time I had gotten it right was the first time in class when I learned it. Ever after, it looked like a seam. I didn’t worry too much because it is at the toe, in the shoe, but still…I took a review class and, yes, I was doing the stitches correctly. But it was still coming out a seam.

Someone in the online group pointed to this YouTube video where I finally saw my error.  Although I had the sequence correct, I wasn’t keeping the yarn to the right of the needles. So now, when I get the tension correct, it will be truly invisible.

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Charity project week

I have been knitting charity socks, taking my good old time.  One pair is adult size, made the traditional way. And the other is for size 3-6 months made to practice a new method, Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

baby socks, 3.75 inchesI took a class on the toe up sock and am combining instructions from the class with instructions in the book.  One of the main features is the moveable gusset.In the pair pictured, it is on the top.   I am working on a second pair where the gusset is on the sole.

I am experimenting with her size charts–can make any size with any size yarn.

In addition to a chance to practice and have the sock be useful, I am  using up ends that are left over after making a pair for myself.  By making toe -up I can just stop when I run out.

The shop owner has just called the charity projects in. Someone is traveling and can deliver them.  There are several destinations: orphanages in countries where it is very cold and local Christmas collections.

In addition to socks, I worked on a quilt top for my quilt  guild.  They handed out packets of fabric that had been donated and gave size limits.  They will be finished by the women who meet during the work day and given to the women’s shelter. Tonight was the night to bring them in.  There were eleven finished. Some people got quite fancy. Mine was very ordinary.

My kit contained the four-patch blocks already assembled and the two colors of fabric.
40-x 50I guess I was lucky ; other people didn’t seem to have gotten as much fabric. It is a good thing as I’d not have had colors to coordinate with these.

Another guild has done a similar thing, so I have another packet of fabric…haven’t started on that one yet.  And I don’t know where that one will end up.  Maybe this weekend…

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Thoughts on designing

Needing summer socks, I went shopping for cotton yarn.  But seeing bamboo blends, decided to try one.  This is Babyboo Knit One Crochet Too.

It called for number 5 needles, so since I usually use two sizes smaller for socks I used 3s.  Usually I get one sock out of 50 grams, but I had to buy a third to do the last 1 1/2-2 inches of the toe.

The moral of that story is learn to do toe up. And I am signed up for a class in just that starting May 18.

Do I dare say I designed them? Seems overstated for finding a lace ribbing stitch in Barbara Walker’s Encyclopedia of stitches, and adjusting it to fit around my ankle.  When do you say designed, Vs. improvised, Vs. adapted?

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