I'm an accomplished fiber artist and mixed media artist who creates beautiful three dimensional pieces called, Trees of Diversity®. My work has been shown at Angel Orensanz Gallery in New York, Altered Aesthetics Gallery in Minneapolis, Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, Hazelwood House in Allouez, WI, and Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. I'm also a loved wife, a loved mom, and a loved Nana! I'm always finding creative ways to add more to the knowledge of what I do and to teach others who want to learn.
Today was one of those damp dreary days without color. It’s on these days that I create my own colors and blends. I wanted to dye fiber,but I also wanted to be working in my studio. I love how these turned out and can’t wait to spin them into yarn!!
What are you making/ creating??
For those who don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter, here’s a photo of my beautiful dog.
I like educating people about how many pairs of socks they should own. Sometimes we have one pair we love so much that we wear them out in a very short amount of time. The fact is you should have at least 10 pairs of socks, for every season, regardless of your preferred fiber. Natural fiber socks are best but there are a lot of people who are allergic to them and need to wear synthetic fibers such as acrylic.
Some people don’t know the difference between wool and acrylic or cotton and acrylic. Some believe the socks they’re wearing are acrylic when they’re actually WOOL. Some think they’re allergic to wool and have never worn wool in their lives. Some are allergic to cotton and linen but can wear every synthetic fiber made. Regardless of fiber allergies or preferences, handknit socks are best.
Whichever type of socks you prefer, the ones you wear the most will eventually wear out! The most common place for handknit socks to wear out is the heel, followed by the ball of the foot. The most common place for mass manufactured socks to wear out is at the toe, followed by the heel. Either way, if you’re trying to save money or just love that pair of socks so much that you can’t bear to part with them, you can always repair them and should repair them.
The two main methods of repairing holey, worn out socks are: Darning, duplicate stitching, and reknitting. I will partially cover darning and reknitting. Darning involves stitching an anchor box around the hole and then weaving from the anchor stitches, over and under, and back and forth, until the hole is filled in and sturdy. I prefer to herringbone weave 2 over and 2 under; and then cross back over to make it all sturdy.
A reknitted heel involves picking up the stitches at the top of the hole and the bottom of the hole, and knitting a heel patch (toe patch, or patch for the ball of the foot) while picking up the old stitches at the sides of the hole, and then using the Kitchener Stitch to graft it all together so it looks nice and neat.
Sometimes, you need to pick up stitches in the middle so you can graft (kitchener stitch) them to the reknit portion during the repair. See the photo below.
Other times, you get very lucky to be able to just grab a few inches of yarn and just sew or weave the hole closed. This works best on holes smaller than a half inch.
There are many different ways to repair your favorite socks. It’s your choice. Do some research. I’ve shared the ones I’m currently working on because I was asked to do so.
*** NOTE: I rarely ever have any of the yarn left over from anything I’ve knit because I tend to use the leftovers in other things after about two years. ***
I love knitting danged near anything, but socks are at the top of the list because they’re easy and a quick knit (unless they’re a men’s size 13-1/2 EEE). Socks are a very convenient way to use up leftover yarn and create some very colorful socks that go with anything.
I knit most of my socks, as well as the socks I list for sale, from my handspun wool yarn that I’ve dyed. A lot of the multicolored and striped socks are knit from leftovers from both my handspun yarn, and wool yarn I’ve bought, for client projects, from Indie dyers like Atomic Fiber Co.
I knit acrylic socks and cotton socks for customers who are sensitive to wool or have wool allergies. The two pairs of color block blue socks below are knit from the same skein of Lion Brand, mandala OMBRE acrylic yarn. These yarn cakes are 344yds of softness that feels like chenille and can produce 2 pair of medium sized socks, or a small/medium hat and a pair of small/medium mittens from one skein, when knit using size 4,5, or 6 knitting needles.
I knit both pairs of socks in the photo on the right, with yarn that I spun. Do you see it in the yarn stash, in the photo on the left?
These two pair of socks will be added to my Etsy shop today!
I hear people telling me they wish they could do a lot of different things, from sewing to woodworking. I believe that if you have the spare time and the impetus to do something, stop talking about it and just do it or try it! It can be ANYTHING!!
*** Notice: I have not received any incentives, perks, or freebies from Atomic Fiber Co. or Lion Brand Yarn Co. This blog post was whipped up on a whim. I will suggest you find my Etsy shop and buy some SOCKS!!! Happy Soctober!
I enjoy creating my own sock designs and do so quite often. I recently learned how to knit what some people call proper gusseted socks. I’m told they fit a lot better than short-row heeled socks.
Here’s the thing about that: If you have small feet and/or small heels, the short-row heels fit much, much better than gusset heeled socks. Gusset heeled socks were the standard for eons and went the way of the dodo for awhile because of the invention of hand-crank sock knitting machines and automatic sock knitting machines. Gusset heeled socks have come hugely back in vogue because there are many people who want socks that fit the whole foot, including and especially the heel.
After all, no one wants a pair of socks that are so tight over their heel that you can see through the knit fabric!
Once in a while, I accept requests for custom created work that requires matching previous work. This isn’t work I normally do because it’s more time consuming than smaller custom requests and a lot of times when more yarn has to be purchased, it can be difficult to match the original colors.
An ordinary custom request is when a customer requests a pair of socks, a hat, mittens, etc. that’s knit to size and color preferences, but gives me the freedom of design options. I knit these colorwork Halloween fingerless mittens and sold them in my Etsy shop.
The customer that purchased these mittens asked me to create a four foot long scarf to match them. The following photos are the progress of this scarf!
You’ll notice in the next two photos that I opted to knit the pattern I created in reverse, instead of placing the first half of the scarf onto waste yarn to be grafted onto the other half when it’s all finished. I’ve never liked that kind of scarf construction as it’s not as they make it look and quite frankly, I stink at grafting.
The following slideshow is of the seaming process. I knit a thin wool backing for this scarf to keep it wide and showy. I used sewing clips instead of pins because they’re absolutely wonderful for holding knit pieces, squishy cloth, and slippery cloth, etc. for hand sewing.
It’s been steam pressed and is ready to ship! I’ve officially finished my customer’s OOAK scarf!!! Here are the photos of the scarf on the dressmaking form.
Get busy and make something!! Do it just because….