Permission to Make a Mistake

dscf9947*I loved the mom memories you all shared yesterday.   Thanks. 

Here is the first sock of the first pair of 2017.

Pin Stripes free Ravelry pattern. (Inspired by Dee’s Pin Stripe Sock start)

Top down construction.

Knitted in Lost City Knits (Oklahoma) Summer Sunset Colorway on size 1 double points.

Toe: Kitchener ‘d .  (Big big thanks to Deb of Caffeine Girl for the Techknitting link ) I was finally able to kitchener without tears.  You use knitting needles to knit and purl off the stitches .  I’m thrilled.  I felt like I learned something yesterday.

I’ll cast on the second sock tonight.  Looking forward to it.

My toe up sock is on hold.  I did the toe part well, but I’m all wonky at the heel and gusset.  No hurry.  Someone will be able to explain it to me in the future.   I’m ready to enjoy the second Summer Sunset Top down sock knitting later today.

A nice thought: String Theory Yarn shop is a place I’ve never visited.  I am on their email list however.  I donated to their charity knits this year.  She posted today, that who better to knit for than ourselves?  She also said, that many many customers say with a FO,  “but it has a mistake in it” .
Of course it does, she says.  She owns the shop and she makes mistakes, and she goes on.   She says she just doesn’t point them out.

How honest.  How freeing for me.  I thought it was just me.  With the mistake thing. It felt great to read her permission to make a mistake paragraph.  Not that I’m looking to make any knit mistakes, but they happen.  Stuff happens.

And when it happens, I’m really glad to have you all to lean on.




More Monday Questions and Answers

dscf9902Here we go. I’m up for another Monday Q and A, but I seriously don’t think I can do another whole year of coming up with interesting questions!  Would you email me one interesting question, and I’ll make a list of YOUR questions next week on Monday?  

#1. Do you use a mannequin, prop or person for modeling your knits?

dscf9906#2. Do you know anyone who has gone through the ice?

#3. Do you wear reading glasses, bifocals, contacts?

dscf9944#4 Have you tried a new skill yet in 2017?

#5. Name a favorite President of the USA.

#6. When was the last time you were lost? (parking lots count)

#7. What yarn type is most prevalent in your stash?

#8. Since we are in an ice storm, name something you like over ice.

#9. What time did you fall asleep last night?

#10. Share a winter memory of your MOther….


My Answers:

  1. I use people props.  Al knit that hat. It’s gorgeous.  She wore it to Chicago and promptly told me its now mine.  It doesn’t fit her head.  Fits mine!
  2. I wear bifocals, with a line. thank you very much.  I’m proud of my line.  I know exactly where to look because of that wonderful line.
  3. That’s me on the ice yesterday on lake Geneva.  Personally, I know of one person’s dog that went through the ice, and survived.  Connie let her dog out and he ran onto the pond  ice in her townhouse subdivision.  She was so traumatized she had to call in sick that night.  We were just glad SHE didnt have a heart attack and the dog was pulled out by rescuers.
  4. I have tried a new skill!  That’s my toe up on the second try.  I’m hoping to master the heel today, because I’m stuck inside with the ice storm.  The heel part looks much more difficult and full of math, than the toe was.  Wish me luck.
  5. A favorite President: well Lincoln.  Such a leader.  Such a human being of dignity.  Such a difficult life his wife lead.  I also love the Carters even though Jimmy was not a very successful President.  He has lived an admirable life as a citizen extraordinaire, I think.
  6. Last time I was lost: ha! Last week.  .  I got lost going to the new vet just down the road a piece.  How I missed the building I don’t know. I was all turned around.  and Siri wasn’t helping fast enough.  I was directing Fireman who was driving and I directed us right past it without even knowing it.
  7. Easy one: SOCK YARN
  8. I love Diet Coke over ice. I also like Skim milk over ice.  (Dont judge!!! hahah)
  9. I dont’know the exact time, but after the Packers won their game and we watched the weather about a hundred times, we went to bed. I fell asleep quickly. My guess: 10:45
  10. A winter memory of my mom: My mom would put on her WHITE and I mean White winter down coat, and go out to the porch to have a cigarette a few times a day in the winter.  My mom kept that coat white for years.  She was so good at keeping things lovely.  My father refused to let her smoke in the house after his bypass surgery.  So my mom would bundle up and have her cigarette. (4 times a day, just a few puffs)   Her little moment of calm.  She tried so hard to quit smoking.  It drove her nuts that she couldn’t stop.  She didnt want people to know she smoked.  She was ashamed. I told her to go ahead and have the darn cigarette.  It was a JOY in her life. If she met someone at a party who needed to go out and have a cigarette, she was right there with them , instantly bonded.    She has since forgotten that she smoked.

Socks and Sock Yarns : Opinions


I feel like I hit the Motherlode of sock yarns yesterday.  Under the guise of going to see LALA Land in Kenosha, (delightful movie)  I wondered aloud, if we had time to stop at Fiddlehead Yarns in Kenosha.

Their sock yarns are diverse and many of them are new to me.  So enjoy the eye candy.  I won’t show the one skein (yes One, wasn’t I Good?) I did purchase.  I Now have 7 sock yarns in my stash.  That’s right.  

I went to my old blog and my Ravelry project page, which is not nearly a complete list of my knits, and compiled a partial list of sock yarns that I have worked.  

Mountain Colors Sock yarns have colorways that just seduce me.  I do recall however, that the Sock yarn I bought years ago at the Village KnitWit in Glenview (now closed) had no nylon in it.  It was a bit hard to work it.   If there is one thing I know, I must have some nylon in my socks.  Im at the point where anything I may have in stash that has no nylon is not really sock yarn to me.  It will be a ribbed hat or a shawl but not socks.  So I don’t count them as sock stash. 

  • unnamed-3I have heard Irish Girlie Knits sock yarns are harbored in many a stash.  Someday I’ll purchase IGK and I now know where to find it locally.   Since Al gave me a beautiful skein of Wandering Wool’s Ausable Sock (merino-cashmere-nylon) in Azalea I passed on the IGK pinks.  (for now) unnamed-4
  • I fell for some Vesper with Nylon yarn.  I did not choose either of the above skeins.  It does feel a bit stiff, but a store clerk said it softens with washing……
  • unnamed-2I’m pretty sure this is Hedgehog fibers sock yarn.  Isn’t that purple glorious? I will be trying that too on a future shopping date. . 

Here is my not quite up to date, list of sock yarns I’ve worked with over the years.

Mainly I need a yarn to have some nylon and I need it not to be splitty.  I won’t tolerate knots either.  I have had issues with washable yarn felting over the years. Knitpicks to be exact.  I machine wash socks routinely and lay them out to dry.  I hesitate to buy their sock yarns again.

I currently have a dozen pairs of socks that I wear all winter long. Some of them are over 5 years old.   Several of the pairs are knitted in Lorna’s Laces. (shepard sport)  LL washes well and their colorways are lovely (even with pooling).  I wish I had knit them on smaller needles however.

Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet.  Loved it.  Needed 2 skeins for a pair.  Played yarn chicken and lost. Had to do shortie socks (anklets) and use a different toe yarn.  None the less I’d buy it again.  It is a lesser expensive sock yarn. (10 dollars per skein)

Regia: since 1949.  They know a thing or two about wear and tear.  Regia yarns wash and wear very well.  I don’t think they are the softest yarns out there, but they are hard wearing as the label says. It is also a lesser expensive sock yarn.

Socks that Rock.  I was part of the rage.  Their names and colorways in the early years just blew me away. However, ,they were bulky and I like my socks about 6-8 st /inch.

So they came up with Dream in Color Smooshy.  I used GO GO Grassy to knit up a great pair of socks last year.  Good spring to the yarn and more my gauge.

Rowan 4ply Soft knitted into a gorgeous pair of give away sock exchange socks back in 2005.  I used green, purple and blue and striped them myself.  They were exquisite. I haven’t done that again, because I’m now a sock knitting snob.  I like my socks to be one continuous strand of yarn.  I admire all of your heels and cuffs in complimentary colors but I’m afraid my joins will unjoin with wear.

Schoppel Woolle Ambiente.  Another thicker gauge yarn. I made baby socks with them.  Won’t repeat.

Frolicking Feet knitted into a gorgeous sunflower colored pair of socks.  They wear well, the gauge was good.  What’s not to like?

Cherry Tree Hill was not a yarn available to me, so I found some from a web sale. All that was available at the time was their Broad Band colorways.  The yarn was nice, the blocks of color way too weird.  I ended up with two socks that looked completely complimentary but in big goofy blocks of colors.  As in, a pair of socks containing 4 colors in 4 separate blocks.  This yarn might make a great shawl with the long long repeats of color.  Can’t fault them, it is called Broad Band for a reason.

Mirasol’s Peruvian Shade 700 were knitted into socks for Fireman. They promptly felted and are now mine.  Enough said.  I won’t buy that brand again.

Koigu: yes it can be used for socks and it washes very well.  Pricey.

Berroco Sox still come in great self-patterning colorways.  Berroco knows what they are doing.  I have a skein in my stash awaiting the knit up.  I have knitted with them before.

Ty-Dy Socks. I currently have two different colorways in my statsh.   Dee mentioned she had some odd pooling with hers recently.  Now, I’m a bit nervous.  I have two skeins in my stash of 7.  Remember I only  have 7 in my stash.

Rowan fine art is also in my stash.  It is merino, mohair, poly and silk.  It feels divine. I scored a thirty dollar skein for 30% off during a sale.  Although it feels divine, I’m going to rib the entire sock I make with it, as it feels like it won’t want to stand up.

Finally I have a skein of Cascade Heritage Paints, merino and nylon.  The colorway is very dark.   I will definitely have to jazz it up with a pattern.

Uncle Bill’s socks were Online Supersock with Aloe Vera and I loved the colorway. He did too.    I’d purchase that again.  The aloe vera was not really detectable to my hands, but I recall the yarn feeling pleasant.

That’s a partial summary.

I have changed my sock life to include double points in 0, 1, 2’s .  I love the way the yarns knit up on 0’s.  It can be tough to find the needles in 8 inch. But I did yesterday!  I found Knitters Pride in Karbonz in 8 inch.  Wahoo.

Normally I knit on wooden double points.  I can knit socks on circs, but I find the adjusting fiddly.  I like to knit side by side socks on double points for perfection in matching.

I still fight with Kitchener.  I sometimes turn the sock inside out and do a three needle bind off. Sometimes I do a round toe and I pull the final stitches through like a hat top.

I am also going to TRY a toe up sock this weekend.  Wish me luck.

Any thoughts on your sock yarns?  What have you loved?  Any yarns that haven’t met your standards?  I’d love to know!

Sock yarns…. They make me so happy.



For the Birds and Socks

dscf9881We all have our favorites, and Fireman loves the goldfinches.   They require a special seed around here if you want to attract them to your yard.  This is their winter color hue.  They actually become bright yellow/gold in summer and the change is noticeable. 

dscf9876Some of you love the cardinals.  I’ve said it before, (oops trying not to bore you!) but they are a really brilliant red up here in Wisconsin.   Maybe it is just that the landscape is so much less crowded and dense.  The woods make a great backdrop for these splashes of color in the form of birds.   

Can I just tell you how hard it is to get their photos?  They move so fast.  They sit still for very short periods of time.  If it weren’t for my zoom lens, (ah,  Fuji finepix S refurbished I love thee) I wouldn’t get these close ups. 

dscf9889Finally this Friday the 13th, I give you my only sock book.   I think I have only worked ONE of the patterns in this book .   There are no charts.  

I think I bought this when sock knitting was very new to me.  I am going to try a different toe shaping technique on my current pair in progress.  She offers 5 toe shapings: a round toe, a French toe, a Pointed toe, a Star of four points toe, a flat toe and a wide toe.  

The wide toe instructions say to end with a three needle bind off.   The flat toe is the only one that mentions the dreaded Kitchener stitch.  So Here’s to a new toe.  Time for an old sock knitter to learn a new trick. 

Happy Friday the 13th !  May you encounter the best of luck and have a great day.  We are off to see Lala Land and ahem, stop at a knit store in the area of the theatre.  I need to feel some Spun Right Round sock yarn , some Vesper and some Kismet before I indulge in a January pick me up purchase.  


Allison’s Islas Cruces Cowl



Allison has been knitting the Islas Cruces Cowl in Malabrigo Rios.  I love her crosses.  They really pop against the white Yarn.  I’ll have to remind her to use a color catcher when she washes it.  Verdict: She is quite bored with it and ready to be done.   

Santa brought her the Purl Soho Embroidery starter kit and she is motivated to learn.  Oklahoma is expecting an ice storm this weekend and she can stay in and play with strings in a new way.  

We had an ice storm yesterday so we had to cut our visit to our old neighborhood short yesterday.  This meant missing a visit with Mom.  Mom would be the FIRST to say to get out of that weather and get home.  She was the quintessential worrier.  The ultimate mom.   

This is the time of year I catch up on Movies and some books.  We watched Sully the other day.  What a great movie.  Not for the flying faint of heart.  I nearly needed a xanax just watching it.  What a great person they depict in Sully.  A humble hero.  

I also read and skimmed through COCKTAIL HOUR UNDER THE TREE OF FORGETFULNESS, by Alexandra Fuller.   It is a family story that is written with wit.  I do not know Africa well or Scotland, so I think that those who do would enjoy the book more than I.  

Have you seen a good movie?  Read a good book?  Blog pals are full of good recommendations, I think.  Share the love!

Flannel and Pin Stripes

dscf9874Fireman makes crepes. Firefighter Joe taught him how years ago.  Don’t you love a man in the kitchen cooking?  I do.
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Mix in blender
Let stand for 30 min

Pour a thin crepe.  Fill it and fold the sides over.  We like to fill with :Ham, swiss, onion, broccoli and mushrooms.  Mmmmm.

dscf9875Love the Dee inspired Pin Stripes socks.  Yarn: sock yarn from Al , gifted me last summer.  Love the colors.  Love the slipped stitches.  Thanks Dee.  Let the Sock year begin. 



My First Hat Finish of 2017

dscf9872My first hat is finished for 2017.  It will be a part of the Womens’ March on The National Mall of 1/21.  It will be donated and given to warm a marcher and  to show solidarity for womens’rights.  I know some of you expressed that you don’t like the name of the pattern.  I appreciate your honesty .   I do.  I wanted to be a small part of the March.  My friend Anne is going and she will choose/find a recipient for my knit hat. 

I used leftover Zara for the ribbing.  I found some Shi Bui sockyarn  in nearly the same color for the stockinette portion.  So I doubled the yarn and the gauge matched up to the zara weight. (almost. ) It was really really close.  Hey, it worked.  By the way, the red is really more fuschia in real life.  I dont’ know why reds misbehave so in photos.  Way to go Kathy b, using up leftover stash! 

I had a surprise when I awoke this morning.  I had a silicone ear plug stuck to my hair.  My first try at earplugs: epic fail.  Im trying to grow out my hair, not chop it into pieces.  I don’t really  NEED the earplugs.  I’ve just been awakened this week by the neighbor’s dog Harley misbehaving.   It is just such perfect sleep in weather….cold, windy, snowy, slush…January! Harley’s waking me up. 

Harley does not usually cause a ruckus.  I think he’s just stir crazy.  He’s wearing the cone  of shame to, I notice with binoculars….I’m one of those country neighbors!

Thank you Fireman for carefully combing the silicone out of my hair while you had your coffee this morning.   We didnt’ have to cut it!  If we did I’ may have had to keep that new hat….and I would much rather it be donated to a Marcher!