Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking Forward to 2011

I am not going to be as ambitious with sock knitting next year. Instead of trying to knit six pairs of socks a month (four pairs of adult socks and two pairs of baby socks) which is what I tried to do this year and then burned out at the end, I'll try instead to knit two pairs of adults socks and one pair of baby socks a month. If I can manage more, great, but knitting is supposed to fun, not a chore.

I am spending some time fondling my yarn and putting together "kits" of yarns and patterns in quart-sized ziploc bags so I'm better prepared. I'm also making lists. Oh, yes! I am a very prolific list maker. My friend Margaret, who is also a librarian, shared with me that she makes little boxes next to each item on her lists so that she can check each item off as it's completed. I've begun doing that too, but I have to admit I still scratch it off. That is so satisfying!

Baby Bunny Baby Socks

Needles: 2.0mm dpn
Yarn: Unknown; from stash
Pattern: My Favorite Sock Pattern (free)

I wanted to knit this pattern again in a solid yarn so I could more clearly see the pattern.

I apologize for the poor quality of the photograph. It's 3:30 pm and we're having another storm. It's hail and rain and sometimes snowflakes, but the snow isn't sticking to the ground. At least not yet. Still, it's gray and dark outside so I had to take this photo using a flash.

I'm Knitting as Fast as I Can!

I'm trying to finish up the samples I'm making for the classes I'll be teaching January through March. Unfortunately, there are no socks among them. The shop already has someone who's teaching a basic sock class. I'd love to teach a workshop on how to design socks, but the shop owner doesn't think that will fly. As I teach my classes, though, I'll talk to the students I have and see if I can drum up some interest.

I am also knitting socks! Yes, they are baby socks, but they are socks! I have one finished and I'm almost to the heel of the second. I will try to get them done by the end of the year and post a photo. I'll also update my blog sidebar. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Where are the Socks??!!

I've been distracted by other things and other knitting the past few weeks and my sock knitting has temporarily been put aside.

The breast-biopsy-with-pathology-reports-with-various-opinions problem has finally been resolved. There was never a question that the biopsy showed cancer, but rather that I had a something (atypia) which indicated that the biopsy, which is only a sample, had missed picking up cancer. The usual way of dealing with that is surgery--sometimes called an excisional biopsy and sometimes a lumpectomy. I didn't want to have surgery unnecessarily and researched this topic extensively. Some researchers insisted that it was always necessary to have surgery and others, more and more of them in papers published in 2010, said if the biopsy had removed all of the microcalcifications (which mine had) close follow up would be all right. I wasn't thrilled about having diagnostic mammograms every six months for two to three years either. Two things helped resolve the problem. The first and most important was yet another pathology opinion, this one from Dr. David L. Page, a breast pathologist at Vanderbilt, who is considered to be one of the world's expert on the subject. His report said there was no atypia and that "routine mammographic surveillance is appropriate". I also had a diagnostic mammogram and the radiologist report came back "Benign. Recommend routine mammographic follow up". So that's over. Yay for that!

Now to knitting. I taught a class at my local yarn shop --Fiber Nooks and Crannys-- earlier this month. It was on learning how to knit cables by knitting a cable hat. I had four students and it was a lot of fun. Now, of course, I want to teach more classes--one making lace and cable fingerless mitts, one making a lace cowl, one making a hat with lace and cables which look like hearts, and another on mittens with bobbles. I am busily making models for these and writing a description of the classes for the shop owner.

Add to that working two days a week at the library and going to the gym three times a week plus reading, quilting (not much, but a little), and just living my life and the upcoming holidays, plus my birthday and wedding anniversary, and my days are full.

Yes, I will go back to sock knitting. I just don't know quite when that'll be. My best guess is the end of December.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sweet Dreams (baby socks)

Needles: 2.0mm dpn
Yarn: Koigu KKPM 2235 (solid) and Koigu KKPM 102 (multi-color)
Pattern: Plain stockinette

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Socks for Afghanistan

Needles: 4.25 dpn
Yarn: Lambs Pride Worsted, 85% wool and 15% mohair. Colorway: M-75 Blue Heirloom
Pattern: My Basic Socks (free)

These socks were made for afghans for Afghans This pair knit up in less than two hours.

Leftover Sock Yarn

So, you may be wondering. Just what does one do with leftover sock yarn? Well, one answer is make baby socks and that's what I do. Yet I still have sock yarn left over. In fact, I have a LOT of sock yarn left over!

One idea is to make more socks, striping several different yarns and/or stitches and I like that idea. I'll begin, however, with making a pair of baby socks that way; it's on the schedule for this month. I have other ideas too and will work on these from now until the end of the year.

And all those tiny little snips of yarn? I save those in a glass jar. In the spring I'll put them out for the birds to use to decorate their nests.

Distracted a Bit

I've been distracted with knitting socks for afghans for Afghans.

They are knit, as requested, of worsted weight wool. I am using Lamb's Pride. Photos and pattern will be posted in the next few days.

This is from the e-mail they sent recently sent to me:

Another 300 pairs of our wool socks were distributed to girls at a school in Kabul. Our same Afghan hero -- who previously distributed our socks to a shelter for women and kids -- was terrific again in making this happen so quickly. We hope to get permission to post some of the photos on our website. In the meantime, we know you want to hear that the girls got their socks. We've got another set of 310 socks waiting in Kabul for distribution. We'll keep you posted as always.

We'll keep accepting socks for the next several weeks as we await confirmation of the next campaign, which is likely to include socks. We're not worried about having too many socks, and we will get them to Afghanistan.

Here are the guidelines for the socks campaign --

General guidelines and mail address are here --

And ... we will also welcome *wool mittens*. Sizes should be from 7 years through teens. Nothing smaller or bigger, please. We'll include these mittens with a socks shipment or save them for the next campaign. Mittens won't take up much space in our very limited storage/work space at AFSC.

Between now and October 18 is just the right amount of time to whip up a pair of socks or mittens and pop in an envelope to us. Be sure to please tie together.

** What's Ahead **

We've almost finalized plans for a new campaign for youth. We have started a new relationship with an experienced non-governmental organization that operates schools, serves internally displaced people, and provides other social services in Afghanistan. Their container transit is reliably orchestrated and financed by a US-based, long-established organization here. Their students are in need of our wool knitwear. We just have to conclude a few more details before being 100% certain, but feel confident enough to let you know where we are heading in the hopes that you will start planning. The age group is probably 7 - 16 years, and the kids will probably need sweaters, vests, hats, mittens, and, of course, socks.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn Leaves Socks

Needles: 2.0mm dpn
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns Fannie's Fingering, 80% merino, 20% nylon. Colorway: Chocolate from The Loopey Ewe
Pattern: My Favorite Sock Pattern (free)

I really like this pattern, but the variegated yarn made it hard to see. I'm using this pattern to make Baby Bunny baby socks using a soft, solid gray yarn.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Next Month

I have almost finished knitting the second Autumn Leaves sock, the last pair for September, and will post details and a photo tomorrow.

I've made a list of socks I want to knit in October or, as it's better known among sock knitters, Socktoberfest! This year is the sixth year. The Ravelry link is here. There's also a Flickr page here.

October is also Oregon Archives Month and as I spend the majority of my work time at the Oregon State University Archives (Go Beavs!), October will be a busy month for me.

Let October sock knitting begin!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bébé (baby socks)

Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 100% merino wool fingering weight from WoolCandy on Etsy in Candy Floss colorway
Rnd 1 and all odd rnds: K
Rnd 2, 4 and 6: *yo, k2tog*
Rnd 8, 10, and 12: *ssk, yo*

Blue Moon Socks

Needles: 2.0 mm dpn
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns Fannie's Fingering 80% merino, 20% nylon from Purl Soho. Colorway: Teal
Pattern: Reims from Sock Club: Join the Knitting Adventure by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott, page 56-57

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Little Green Apples Socks

Needles: 2.0mm dpn
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns Fannie's Fingering. Colorway: Avocado from Coveted Yarn
Pattern: Daydreamer from Sock Club by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More Stash Enhancement

Caramel, Golden Pear, and Harvest

Three more skeins of Fannie's Fingering from Farmhouse Yarns. I bought these mail order from Connecticut Yarn and Wool Company. The colors weren't quite what I expected. The Caramel has more red in it than brown and the Golden Pear is more green than gold. I still like them though.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Marigolds Socks

Needles: 2.0 mm dpn
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select from AlaskanNancy on Etsy Colorway: Marigolds
Pattern: Marigold Socks

Blue Jeans Baby (baby socks)

Needles: dpn 2.25mm
Yarn: Araucania 70% Superwash Merino, 15% Bamboo, and 15% Silk Colorway: Sky from The Loopy Ewe
Pattern: Eyelet Cable (multiple of 5)
Rnd 1: *sl1,k2,psso,p2*
Rnd 2: *k1,yo,k1,p2*
Rnd 3: *k3,p2*
Rnd 4: Repeat round 3

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stash Enhancement

Three skeins of Farmhouse Yarns Fannie's Fingering.
From left to right: Teal, Buttercream, Watermelon

And three more:

From left to right: Olive, Boysenberry, Wine Rose

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sock Book

Before buying a sock book, I first get it from the library to see if it has enough patterns I like to make it worthwhile buying. The latest book I'm waiting for is Around the World in Knitted Socks: 26 Inspired Designs by Stephanie van der Linden. I'll post a review once I get the book.

Monday, September 6, 2010

September Sock of the Month

Blackberry Hedge Socks
Needles: 2.0 mm dpn
Yarn: 51% Silk, 29% Superwash Merino, 20% Seacell Hand Maiden Swiss Mountain Sea Sock. Colorway: Blackberry from The Loopy Ewe
Pattern: Rib Fantastic socks from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol J. Sulcoski

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nothing But Blue Skies Socks

Needles: 2.75mm dpn
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted 100% merino wool from The Loopy Ewe Colorway: Gemstone
Pattern: Plain stockinette pattern using 48 stitches

This is the last of my socks for August. As you can see my sock knitting mojo is back! Yay for that!

I've taken off work for most of the summer as I've dealt with some serious health issues and I'm really looking forward to going back working at the both the university main ref desk and the Archives ref desk at the end of September. I probably will not complete as many socks next month as I did in August. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Falling Stars Socks

Needles: 2.0mm dpn
Yarn: Fingering weight 80% merino, 20% nylon 400 yards from Farmhouse Yarns purchased from Loopy Ewe. Colorway: Teal
Pattern: Blue Crush from The Joy of Sox by Linda Kopp, pp. 120-123.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another Update

When my youngest son was four, he became fascinated with earthworms. I learned more about earthworms than I ever wanted to know. Now I'm learning about breast cancer, pathology reports, medical jargon, and the medical and insurance systems and it too, is far more than I ever wanted to know.

I met with the breast surgeon yesterday. We agreed to first get confirmation that the biopsy adequately sampled the lesion. If it is we will get a third biopsy report, this one from Vanderbilt University Breast Center which my research identified as having the most experienced pathologists in diagnosing the marker the first biopsy report said I had and the second one said I didn't. If I have the marker there's a 20-30% chance I also have cancer and I'll agree to have a lumpectomy (partial mastectomy) to find out. If I don't, my medical records will be amended to show that I am not at high risk for invasive cancer. I should have the answer in a week or two. So again, I wait.

Monday, August 16, 2010

August Sock of the Month

Needles: 2.75mm dpn
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted 100% merino wool from The Loopy Ewe Colorway: Jonquil
Pattern: Merrily

I named this pair With Sprinkles thinking of an ice cream cone with sprinkles as a special summertime treat.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pink Lemonade Baby Socks

Needles: 2.25mm dpn
Yarn: From WoolCandy on Etsy
Pattern: Adaptation of Sensu from Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cool Cucumber Socks

Needles: 2.5mm dpn
Yarn: Sugar Baby Sock Yarn, 100% Superwash merino wool yarn from evermorestudios on Etsy. Colorway: Cucumber
Pattern: Kaiso from Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner

Orangeade Baby Socks

Needles: 2.25 dpn
Yarn: 100% Superwash Merino 2-ply from SeeJaneKnitYarns on Etsy. Colorway: Psychotic Pumpkin
Pattern: Modified pattern stitch from Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner Geisha pattern
Multiple of 6 stitches:
Rnds: 1-4, 6-8, and 10-12: *k1-tbl, p3, k1-tbl, p1*
Rnds 5, 9, and 13: *Skp, yo, p1, yo, k2tog, p1*

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pink Ribbons Socks and Update

Needles: 2.5mm dpn
Yarn: Koigu KPPM 2231
Pattern: Pink Ribbon

Note: Here's an update. After reading this article in the New York Times, Doubt About Pathology Opinions for Early Breast Cancer, I requested a second opinion pathology report, this one from a breast pathologist even though I was diagnosed, not with cancer, but with a non-malignant condition which is considered to be an increased risk of later breast cancer development. This diagnosis would require that I undergo an open surgical biopsy to make sure they hadn't missed cancer and would forever label me as high risk. The second pathology report stated that I did not have this condition. I now have an appointment with a breast surgeon for the 17th to determine what the next steps are.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

July Sock of the Month (Late)

Wheat Field
Needles: 2.5mm dpn
Yarn: 100% Superwash merino wool yarn, 475+ yards/100 grams/3.50 oz. Colorway: Antique Gold from evermorestudios on Etsy
Pattern: Simple Skyp, a free pattern available from Ravelry

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wheat Field Socks

I've almost finished this pair of socks, but didn't quite get them done in July. I am going on vacation for a few days and won't be able to post a photo until then. I am going to cheat, though, and call them my July Socks of the Month.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Green Tea Baby Socks

Yarn: 100% superwash Blue Faced Leiceser wool 100 grams from Black Trillium on Etsy.
Colorway: Froggy
Pattern Stitch: Ribbing is two rounds purl, three round stockinette repeated three times, then plain stockinette stitch

Cherry Ripe Baby Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 75/25 blend of superwash merino and nylon from Stricken Smitten on Etsy. Colorway is Vintage
Pattern Stitch:
Rnd 1: *yo, p3 tog, yo, p1,k1,p1*
Rnds 2-4: *k3, p1,k1,p1*

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Skitty the Pretty Kitty

This is Skitty who belongs to my son Owen and his wife Sarah. They are on a vacation in Canada and we are cat sitting him for the next few weeks. Skitty has the run of the house except for my quilt room where I also keep my yarn stash.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Scary Stuff

If you were very observant you may noticed that one of the sock patterns I listed for this month was Pink Ribbons. Yes, breast cancer is the second major health concern for me in less than two months. I went for a routine screening mammogram in mid-June which led to a diagnostic one followed by a recommendation that I have a core biopsy done on "a small cluster of tightly packed mildly pleomorphic calcifications" which was described as suspicious. Terrified much? Oh, yes. It was two weeks from the time I was told I'd need a biopsy until I heard the results. And the results was no cancer but a spot of atypical hyperplasia which could become cancer with a recommendation that the entire area be surgically removed. There's also a 2%-15% chance the final pathology report might show cancer. I'm not done.

In the past two weeks I've done a lot of research on biopsies, kinds of breast cancers, and about different treatments including surgeries, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. And I did a lot of serious thinking. I learned a lot; most of all, I learned about myself. Breast cancer means having to make serious decisions based on people's opinions, scientific literature, and balancing risks of some treatments with those of other treatments or no treatments at all. How much do I want to live, no matter what, and for how long? How important is my quality of life? How much of a risk taker am I?

So I am making these socks designed by Lisa Lloyd. The pattern is free. You can find it here. It seems that the server is a bit wonky, however, and the pattern comes and goes. If you want it and can't access it, please let me know and I'll forward it to you as a file. I am modifying the ribbon part of the pattern as described here.

And if you're a woman over 40 and you haven't gotten a mammogram in the past year, then get one. It could save your life.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stairway to Heaven Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 75% superwash merino/25% nylon, colorway Quicksilver from Unwind Yarn on Etsy
Pattern Stitch:
Rnd 1: P3, K1
Rnd 2: P1, Yo, P2tog, K1
Rnds 3,4,and 5: K

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wild Rosehip Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 75% Merino wool, 25% nylon yarn from WoolCandy on Etsy in Ice Cream colorway
Pattern Stitch:
Rnds 1 and 2: K3, P2
Rnd 3: Sl1, K2, PSSO, P2
Rnd 4: K1, YO, K1, P2

Ten Things

Frieda challenged some other knitting bloggers to list ten things others may not know about them. Here's my list:

1. I have long hair I wear in a braid.
2. My first language was French; I didn't learn English until I was five years old.
3. I love the scent of lemons.
4. I've raised milk goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and geese.
5. I've never had a manicure.
6. It doesn't take much to make me happy.
7. I was better at hop scotch than at jumping rope.
8. My favorite book when I was 12 was Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter.
9. I hate spiders.
10. I collect antique and unusual buttons.

Book Review: The Joy Of Sox

The Joy of Sox by Linda Kopp is fast becoming my favorite sock book. I haven't made one of the 30 patterns by 28 designers in it as yet but I know I will end up making many of them. Some are challenging; all are gorgeous. The book is hardcover with a spiral binding making it easy to knit with which is a definite plus. The photographs are lovely. Along with the patterns, there are lots of tips, all presented with a flirty innuendo. Some of the sock pattern names are A Roll in the Hay, Spring Fling and Last of the Red Hot Lovers. You get the idea. There are also a few treats such as the story of Crazy Aunt Purl's first time knitting socks and advice from Shannon Okey and Laura Bryant on how color repeats work when knitting socks.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I'm still struggling with my diabetes diagnosis as I try to finish at least one pair of socks this month. My blood sugars are much improved due to three different drugs, plus drastic diet changes, and walking five miles a day, but I am exhausted. Some of that is due to getting used to normal blood sugar levels, to the side effects of the drugs, and the increased exercise. I also have an unresolved thyroid problem which I hope will be straightened out soon; I'll know more about that when I have a blood test which is now scheduled for mid-July. And there is yet another serious health issue I'm dealing with as well; more about that at the end of the week.

In the meantime, what about sock knitting? I'm finishing the toe of the first Stairway to Heaven sock and I've started the heel of the second Wild Rosehips sock. Hopefully I will get at least one pair finished so that I can post a photo to the Sock A Month website. I've changed my list of June socks to just these two pairs and hope I have the chance to work on the socks I'd intended to do in June next month.

My son Owen and his wife Sarah are going on a month long vacation starting next Monday and John and I will be cat sitting Skitty the Pretty Kitty. Photos will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm Back!

First of all, just what WAS in that package for my beautiful daughter-in-law? Why a pair of socks, of course! I had hoped to take a photo of her in her socks at her birthday party, but as usual, I forgot my camera. Here is a photo of the socks taken when I knit them in May of 2009.
If you haven't already guessed, her favorite color is purple. I think she liked them.

And now for the rest of the story. The reason I've neglected this blog and, for that matter, knitting in general, is because I've been diagnosed with diabetes. Yeah, I know. Bummer. It's hell getting old, but it's better than the alternative. I've spent the last month seeing various doctors, taking different combinations and doses of oral meds, changing my diet, researching articles and websites, and walking five miles a day. This is a time consuming and very expensive disease. The good thing is that it's something I can control. The bad thing is that I do have to keep control over it and do it every single day. My blood sugar levels were very high and I am happy that I wasn't put on insulin first thing. That said, I also know that the oral meds won't work forever and eventually I will be on insulin. Just not yet. My blood sugar numbers are now close to normal, I'm losing weight, and I have much more energy. I also don't have any complications and I want to keep it that way.

On to knitting! I've finished one of the Wild Rose Hip socks and begun the second and I'm just about to start the heel of the first Stairway to Heaven sock, but I don't have any pairs finished for this month. These two patterns were listed for May but life got in the way. I will post photos as soon as I've completed a pair.

In the meantime I will continue to follow Elizabeth Zimmermann's advice:
Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Gift

This photo is of a birthday gift I've wrapped to give to my daughter-in-law, Sarah. I'm sure you can guess what my gift is but I'm not going to reveal it until I give it to her at the Memorial Day barbecue at her parents' house.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Old Fashioned Lilacs Socks

Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Koigu (#2235)
Pattern: Lilacs, a free pattern on Ravelry

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Apple Blossom Time Baby Socks

Needles: Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 100% merino wool fingering weight from WoolCandy on Etsy in Candy Floss colorway (leftover from Celebrate Spring socks)
Stitch Pattern:
Rnd 1: K2,P2
Rnd 2: K2tog,yo,P2

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Simply Sweet Baby Socks

Needles: Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Swiss Mountain Sea Sock (51% silk 29% superwash merino, 20% seacell. Colorway: Salt Spray from The Loopy Ewe
Pattern: A simple one:
Rnd 1: K3,P3
Rnd 2: K1, P1

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rosebuds Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Koigu; color #2233
Rnd 1: *K2, P1, YO, K2tog, P1*
Rnds 2 and 4: *K2, P1*
Rnd 3: K2, P1, K2tog, YO, P1*

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Fern Socks

Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 100% superwash merino from WoolCandy on Etsy. Colorway: Swamp Monster
Pattern: Free pattern available from The Loopy Ewe

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Raindrop Baby Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Wool: Leftover yarn from April Breeze socks. Araucania Yarn. Fingerweight. 70% Superwash Merino, 15% Bamboo, 15% Silk Colorway: Sky from The Loopy Ewe
Pattern: Eyelet cable (multiple of 5)
Rnd 1: P2 *Sl1 K2,PSSO,P2; repeat to last 3 stitches, Sl1, K2, PSSO
Rnd 2: P2, *K1, YO, K1, P2*; repeat to last 2 stitches, K1, YO, K1
Rnd 3: P2, *K3, P2*; repeat to last 3 stitches, K3
Rnd 4: repeat round 3

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fleur Baby Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Wool: Leftover from Crocus Socks knit in March; Fresh Fig Marzipan colorway from WoolCandy on Etsy
Pattern: Stitch pattern is baby cable rib

Monday, April 5, 2010

April Breeze Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Pattern:Summer Lovin a free pattern through Ravelry
Yarn: Araucania Yarn. Fingerweight. 70% Superwash Merino, 15% Bamboo, 15% Silk Colorway: Sky from The Loopy Ewe

Friday, April 2, 2010

Life is But a Dream Socks

Needles: Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Swiss Mountain Sea Sock (51% silk 29% superwash merino, 20% seacell. Colorway: Salt Spray from The Loopy Ewe
Pattern: Merrily by IrishgirleKnits

This yarn is spendy, but oh! so soft and wonderful to knit!

Friday, March 26, 2010

History Of Hand Knitting (Book Review)

I was fortunate to get a copy of A History of Hand Knitting by Richard Rutt (with a foreward by Meg Swanson) published by Interweave Press in 1987 through inter-library loan. There must not be too many copies of it available as mine came from an out of state library. This 248-page book was fascinating to read and includes many black and white photographs I've never seen before. It is an extensive history beginning with a chapter entitled Before 1500. Other chapters include Henry VIII to the Commonwealth, the Restoration to 1835, the Victorian age, the first World War and After, Some Local Traditions of the British Isles, the Americas, and Eastern Knitting. It also has an historical glossary, a bibliography, and an index.

Of course, it includes nothing about the knitting renaissance of the past decade or so and I was especially amused by this section on the end of hand-knitted stockings on page 161 which begins

Socks and stockings were the most frequently hand-knitted garments from the beginning of popular knitting until the 1950s. Today they hardly can be seen, and only the old can remember how to turn a heel without referring to a book. The cheapness of machine-knit stockings, especially when produced in low-wage regions such as East Asia, has finally banished the home-made stocking. Home-made stockings, partly because of knitters' habits, partly because men liked them, survived in dwindling numbers until about 1970. A few patterns only remain in print; and hosiery wool, through still spun, is not readily available. Stockings were always dull work. Today's knitter expects more pleasure from the craft.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I'm taking the rest of the month off from knitting socks. I'm going to plan my flower garden, watch the birds, do some minimal housework, and maybe fondle some yarn.

Murder Mystery Socks

Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Bought from La Joie de Fibres by Tricoterie on Etsy
Pattern: Plain stockinette

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Fern Socks

Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 100% superwash merino from WoolCandy on Etsy. Colorway: Swamp Monster
Pattern: Free pattern available from The Loopy Ewe

Rain, Rain Go Away Socks

Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Araucania Yarn. Fingerweight. 70% Superwash Merino, 15% Bamboo, 15% Silk Colorway: Thunderstorm from Loopy Ewe
Pattern: River Rapids. Free pattern from Ravelry.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Loopy Groupie!

Yes, I received my latest order from The Loopy Ewe and am now an official Loopy Groupie! Here's a photo of Loopy (who I've named Louie) with the goodies I bought.

And here he is with all the goodies I received as a new Groupie! No, no Louie! Chocolates are not good things for little sheep to eat! Those are mine!

Here he's checking out my Flickr account!

Little Louie then took a break, snuggling the yarns I plan to use to knit my April socks. Ohhhhh....they are so soft and beautiful. Enjoy, Louie! And welcome home!

Oh, Baby! Baby Socks

Needles: Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Leftover from adult-sized socks
Pattern: My own, based on a basic baby sock pattern