Happy Soctober – Part II

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. ***

Specialty Custom Orders

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.

pumpkin and skull fingerless mittens

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.

halfway point of scarf and reversal of pattern
notice that the scarf pattern is now reversing

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….

A Knitting Graph Study Using the Same Chart for Two Different Dishcloths!

I’m an avid knitter and I’m an avid reader. I love books and all of the fiber arts, however when it comes to weaving and knitting I prefer to work from charts. I find that charts are easier to process. A good chart is worth a thousand words, especially for knitting and weaving (crocheting, too).

I love Interweave Press Piecework magazine. The Jan/Feb 2010 issue has an interesting chart called, Diamond Basketweave, in the article, A New Pattern Stitch from a Knitting Legend, by Barbara G. Walker. I pulled out two skeins of cotton yarn and got to work.

The chart is 32 stitches both ways. I cast on 52 stitches on size 5 straight needles and knit 5 rows of garter stitch and 5 rows of stockinette stitch. I slipped the first stitch of each row throughout the whole dishcloth. Row 11 began with a slipped stitch, knit 4, knit 6 (purl on wrong side), then worked the pattern, as charted, two times. I knit 5 rows (purl on wrong side) opposite of the top, and finished with with 5 rows of garter stitch before binding off.

I knit the second dishcloth with the same beginning and ending, with a twist: I turned the chart sideways and got a neater basketweave that shows up better on the wrong side.

The orange dishcloth was knit first. The motif shows best on the right side. The real one was knit with the graph sideways and shows best on the wrong side.

20190706_19014720190706_19020020190706_19020520190706_190219

Get busy creating!!!

Here’s the follow-up video about how I make my dryer balls!

Video

I know I promised to do a video of me making dryer balls, but when I get hella busy, I don’t do much blogging or video recording. I wrote a post which was pretty much a brief tutorial on how I make my dryer balls (https://mrsdsfiberodyssey.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/this-is-how-my-dryer-balls-are-made/). So, after several months of being super busy and finally moving into a nice studio space, I am now, finally making good on my promise.

My new studio space has made a huge difference for me in production!  The laminate flooring makes it super easy to clean up after and God knows I can be very messy at times. It has tons of natural light, which I crave and need in order to create beautiful woolly and fibery things.

When you’ve finished watching the vid, you can scroll down and take a peek at all the fibery things I’ve been creating!

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Bright colored dryer balls

Bright colored dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree for display

the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree for display

close-up of the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree

close-up of the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree

mystery wool yarn I finished spinning

mystery wool yarn I finished spinning

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck wamer

hooded neck wamer

Knitting toe socks!

I have a customer who really likes toe socks, otherwise known by the brand name, Injinji. I’ve been knitting them for him in every color he can think of. They do take a while to dye up the yarn and knit them, but it’s very peaceful work.

His first order was for 1 pair of orange crew length toe socks and 1 pair ankle length toe socks.

orangetoesock3 orangetoesock2 orangetoesock1

His second order was for the same, but in a bright turquoise blue.

ankle length toe socks crew length toe socks finished ankle length toe socks wet finishing 2 pairs of toe socks

Now, I’m knitting him 2 pairs in a blend of green apple/lime green color!

Dyeing yarn for socks Yarn ready to be wound into yarn cake Toe socks - crew length Finished toe socks - crew length

Happy knitting and get out your dyepots!!

TLD

 

Rainy Day

I have a love-hate relationship with rainy days. I know they’re necessary so that everything has water without us paying for it, but I dislike them when they’re cold and dreary. When they’re dreary, I need things to pull me out of any funk they can sometimes throw me into. When they’re dreary, I crave COLOR!! Lots of bright and bold COLORS!!

I started my work today by finishing these dryer balls in my natural colored wool offering.

Stormy gray dryer balls

While they’re pretty, they just weren’t pretty on a rainy day. These got me going on the dyepot with some wonderful Blue Faced Leicester roving and some Jacquard #735 Kelly Green. A most definite improvement and a needed staple for making dryer balls!

BFL in dyepot

More color improvement came with the blocking of my latest square I knit up, with some merino that I experimented on, from TinCanKnits pattern called Vivid. The colors are canary yellow and sienna. I think I should most definitely experiment some more! Right now, I’m knitting 3 squares of each color from my own hand spun, hand dyed yarn.

latest square The first 6 squares

To top off the adding of COLOR into today’s dreariness, I received a package from my good friend, Jeff Mueller (aka Computer Art Man). He sent this beautiful metal print because I mentioned something in a tweet to him (follow him @computerartman on twitter) about a week ago!

Bright Light Big City by Computer Art Man

Jeff is my favorite digital artist because his work is absolutely amazing!! I now own two pieces of his fabulous artwork. The other piece I own, I bought a few years ago and it’s a gorgeous canvas piece of Marlena Dietrich from a still scene from “Shanghai Express”!!

Now, get out there and DO something!

TLD