"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


Ramblings Before I Go

 I'm heading for Mexico early tomorrow morning with hubby, his brother, and wife so I thought I'd do a quick post.

I have figured out what I'm taking for knitting. The Vespergyle mittens. 

I'm still working on the first mitten. It's very slow progress, which I realized while knitting on it last night that it's probably because my hands haven't completely healed from the drapery hemming incident yet. In the morning when I first get up all the tendons of both hands are sore and stiff. This has affected my knitting considerably. I find myself dropping stitches quite a lot, which is not normal. Fortunately, I'm finding them quickly before disaster happens and fixing them. Easy fixes actually. By the way, this is a fun knit.

I had a very nice Christmas and New Years celebration. I got a new Samsung Tablet for Christmas. Also the usual chocolates (yum!). My daughter Sarah and her husband gave me a device that is water proof and you put your phone in it so you can take underwater pictures. It will come in handy when we go snorkeling. She also gave me a high tech beach towel that soaks up lots of water and dries extra fast. I debate the drying, but perhaps I didn't have it in the right environment. I pre-washed it, as instructed on the label. It says to dry in the dryer on low, so I did but I put a couple other items in with it. After two cycles in the dryer, it still wasn't anywhere near dry. I think the moisture from the other items was preventing it from drying. Instead, it was soaking up the water from them, so I hung it up in the bathroom and it dried very quickly.

My daughter Ruth gave me a set of Star Trek glasses. They are awesome! I told her the red one will probably get broken first. Ha Ha. I have no plans to break any of them.

On Christmas day we went to my best friends house for food and fun, as usual. We had so much fun playing cards, and the food was outstanding. My BFF is a very good cook. We spent part of New Years Eve at Dan and Sue's house. We had Papa Murphy's pizza. Some of the other in-laws came too, and we had a nice visit. Went home around 10 cuz we got tired. I ended up staying up past midnight anyway, knitting and watching DVD's.

I got some bad news this weekend. The coffee shop, Calypso's, where my Thursday knitting group has been meeting weekly for 10 years, has changed ownership and the new owner has made it clear on her Facebook page that Democrats and Liberals (a group most of us fit in) will not be welcome. She is also bragging about having participated in the January 6, 2021 insurrection. I am completely gobsmacked! 

I avoid talking about politics on this blog because it's none of anyone's damn business but I do have to ask since when does a business bar people with different political leanings from their establishment? This country has gone completely bonkers, and I blame Trump for that. But, I would not bar someone just because they have different political leanings. Insurrection though? A whole nuther ball game. Nope, nope, nope! Anyway, the shop is closed for the next couple of weeks for remodeling, and the name has been changed. We will find a new place to meet when I get back from Mexico. I'm not giving an insurrectionist my money. I might give a call to the FBI instead.

Weather info-we have snow. Lots of it. This is my poor barbecue grill.

I hadn't realized just how much until I went out Saturday to refill my bird feeders and it was up above me knees. It's also been bitterly cold. Yesterday was the first time it got above 20F degrees in several days. I am so looking forward to the trip. I will finally thaw out.

I'm still coughing. Hoping maybe some tropical sun will chase it away? I am so tired of it. Sigh.

So, behave yourself until I get back.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Winter Solstice

 Happy Solstice day!

This is my favorite day of the year. For me, it means the daylight is returning, and life is coming back. It's a remembrance that winter isn't forever and there will be spring. The colors of life are on their way. So, happy Solstice day to you and yours.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Kitty Cat Socks

 As soon as I was done with the Herringbone socks, I cast on the Kitty socks. By now, my brain was adjusting to the Gabapentin so it went much quicker.

Kitty Cat Socks for Sarah

PatternKittycats / Kissimirrit by Lumi Karmitsa

Size: Ladies Medium

Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot
Content: 60% washable wool/25% Mohair/15% Nylon, fingering weight
Colors: Peppergrass

Yarn: Valley Yarns Charlemont
Content: 60% Merino wool/20% Bombyx/20% Nylon, fingering weight
Colors: Natural

Yarn: Unknown brand
Content: 100 % Acrylic, somewhere between fingering and lace.
Colors: Medium Teal

Needles: Circular size 1, 2, and 3

Started: November 30, 2021
Finished: December 16, 2021

I found it interesting that I had to use a larger needle for the cat and fairisle. Fairisle knits tighter than stockinet stitch, and the designer took that into consideration. I used size 1 for the cuff ribbing because I wanted it to be a bit tighter.

Close up of cat. I am kind of surprised that the cats are on the side of the socks instead of on the front and back which is the usual way to do it.

Foot pattern. The diamond pattern was super easy. 

I did a sole gusset instead of the complicated gusset in the pattern. So much easier.

I also re-enforced the cuff, heel, and toes with a strand of acrylic knitting machine yarn.

The pattern for this sock is in a book. The link above will take you to it.

Christmas knitting is officially over. I'm taking a week off to let my sore hands recover.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Herringbone Socks

 At last! Time to blog. I have been working on socks almost every day since my last post. I can't believe how long it took to make them. I am so relieved to have everything done and on its way to my daughters house. I took the box to the post office today. It will get there before Christmas. 

I finished Franks socks first. 

Franks Herringbone Socks

Pattern: Didn't actually use one but the pattern Herringbone From Kiel by Stephanie Van Der Linden is very similar.

Size: Mens Medium

Yarn: Mayflower 1 Class Socks from Hobbii Yarns
Content: 75% Washable Wool/25% Nylon, fingering weight
Color: Black

Yarn: Popcycle by HiKoo® by Skacel
Content: 50% Rayon from Bamboo/50% Polyester, fingering weight
Color: 3001 Joy

Needles: Circular size 1, 2, and 3

Started: October 25, 2021
Finished: November 28, 2021

Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would take me several weeks to knit these socks. The Gabapentin I've been taking has been interfering with my brain. I have had days when I couldn't knit correctly if my life depended on it! It's been rather frustrating. Anyway, here's a close up of the stitch pattern. Oh my gosh, I love knitting Herringbone! It's fun! I used the Herringbone chart from a pattern called Red Herring by Cookie A. I don't care for her sock design, but the chart came in mighty handy.

As I said in my last post, these socks taught me something new. Sole gussets. The tiny triangle at the bottom left of the heel flap in the below picture is what I'm talking about.

Here's what it looks like on the bottom of the sock.

That tiny little triangle with the checkered pattern. So easy to do compared to the traditional gusset. Great if you want to continue a colorwork pattern all around the foot too because you don't have to figure out how to adjust the stitch pattern to fit with gusset decreases on the sides. I want to say "Where have you been all my life?" That's how much I love this gusset.

There is a tutorial available on Ravelry that teaches how to do sole gussets. I think I paid a buck 42 for it. Very reasonable price for something so magnificent.

I want to thank Becky Van Ryzin Piette for posting the picture of her socks in the Facebook group for Fairisle knitters and being so kind in answering my questions. Seeing that picture was the inspiration to get this project done.

We had fairly moderate weather for the month of November. A couple snow storms that melted soon afterward. Had quite a bit of rain, instead of snow, and some days when it was warm enough to not wear a coat. December, however, is different. We have about 5 inches of snow on the ground now, and it's been much colder. It was only 5F degrees when I got up this morning. Winter is getting serious.

I stopped coughing for 2 1/2 weeks in the middle of November. The Gabapentin started to work. It was so awesome! I felt so good, and then it started up again. Not as bad as before, but still annoying.

People keep asking me what I want for Christmas. The answer is for my cough to go away once and forever. (And a Prius. I want a Prius so bad. It doesn't have to be new. I'd take a used one.)

Live long and prosper. \\//


Sole Gusset

 I learned something new in knitting. New for me, anyway. I don't know how long this has been around. Haven't tried to find out. I just know I came across it and am thrilled because I don't learn something new very often in the craft of knitting. Here's the story.

I am in a Facebook group for Fairisle knitters.  A few weeks ago one of the members, Becky Van Ryzin Piette, posted a picture of some socks she'd finished.

Aren't they absolutely gorgeous? I saw these and had to knit them for my son-in-law for Christmas. She told us what pattern she used, which is on Ravelry:  Herringbone Kiel by Stephanie Van Der Linden

It is a for-pay pattern, and I wasn't interested in buying it because I'm perfectly capable of knitting socks without a pattern. I just needed a herringbone chart, which I found by way of Google. I bought some yarn. I decided on yellow and black (the ones above are yellow and dark grey with dark purple cuff, heel, and toe.). This week, with the chart I found, I got busy and got all the way to the heel being done and was about to start the gusset.

For some reason I looked up Becky's picture of her socks again and that's when I saw it. Her gusset looked different, in a way I've never seen before. The gusset doesn't start at the same place it usually does.

The blue arrows are where a gusset normally starts. The red arrows are where they started on Becky's socks.

This intrigued me. I spent a few hours trying to figure out what she'd done on my own. I just about wore out the yarn knitting, then unknitting, then repeating. I had most of it figured out, but I couldn't quite get it.

I went on Ravelry to see if she had an account there and the socks might be posted in her notebook. Lo and behold, she does. She'd put lots of notes in the project page too (HURRAY!!!), and this is where I learned she'd done something called a Sole gusset. The gusset is made on the sole. She mentioned the author of the instructions on how to do this kind of gusset, and with a little googling, I found them available for purchase on Ravelry, of all places, for the mere price of about $1.45 (in US dollars). I bought them of course.

Last night I started knitting it correctly. I've only got a couple rows done at the moment, so not big enough for a picture yet, but here's one from the tutorial, so you know where I'm going with this. The turned heel is at the top. The gusset is that nice little triangle of stripes. 

I like this better than what is normally done. The fairisle pattern goes all the way down the side of the foot, rather than what happens with the regular Dutch gusset in fairisle socks, which is to use a different very simple stitch pattern for the whole sole.

If you might be interested in trying this kind of gusset you can purchase the instructions on Ravelry here:                                    Sole Gusset by Jaana Talvitie.

Many thanks to Becky Van Ryzin Piette for allowing me to use her beautiful sock picture, and for making those socks to come along and inspire me. 

Live long and prosper. \\//