Monday, September 26, 2011

Sock ER -- New Toes

Today's pair of socks needs some surgery. You can already see a new brown toe on the end of one of these babies. It's partner isn't doing too well.

Look closely at the sock, evaluate its needs. This one has holes AND weak spots. A quick darning of a small hole isn't really an option. It needs a whole new toe & part of the foot reknit.

Find a spot a few rows (rounds) below the weak spots. You don't want to darn into weak yarn as it'll just cause more holes in the future. Snip ONE strand of yarn.

Work that yarn out of the sock stitch by stitch, leaving open loops in your wake. DO NOT FREAK OUT. This is (most likely) WOOL and won't go unraveling on you and leave you with a pile of yarn. The worst that may happen is a stitch may run down one or two stitches. You can deal with it. Really. :)

I find it's easier to unknit this round if I use a smaller knitting needle to help pull the yarn through the stitches.

Snip the yarn tail as you go. Having a shorter tail to pull through means less tugging on the stitches and you'll have less chance of stitches working down a row or more.

After making it around the tube, pat yourself on the back. You've done it! You now have a foot and a separated toe.

Put the loose stitch loops onto knitting needles and knit yourself a new foot and toe!

Scatter the yarn scraps around the yard or near trees where you know birds and squirrels have nests. The critters love wool scraps to make their nests warm and cozy!

I'm off to knit myself a new toe plus a little bit of the foot. I'll share a photo of how to deal with if a stitch has unknit a few rows down too. I didn't have any stitches unravel, but I'll force one to and take pics for you. Be back with toasty toes fresh from the Sock ER soon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn Glory

Autumn Glory handspun BFL wool yarn by TreasureGoddess

I dearly love the fall. It's my favorite time of the year. Football, cool evenings, WOOL SOCKS, wool EVERYTHING! It's time to pull out the stash of hand knit socks. I'm sure you all have your socks safely stored away, clean and pristine with no holes or weak spots as they've all been darned already, right? If so, you're WAY better than I am. I pulled my pile of socks out. Yes, pile. It was a big hairy pile of socks and only about half of them were cleaned, none of them darned, it was a big mess. I had a hard time pulling out an actual pair that was wearable.

SO these next couple of weeks before the cold sets in I'm going to work to get things ship shape for my tootsies and those of my family. They've all now been washed and are hanging dry. I'll share with you my sock issues and how I plan to deal with them. Maybe it'll help you out too. Maybe it'll inspire you to fix up your woolies. OR inspire you to KNIT some socks for yourself. There's nothing better than putting on a pair of wool socks. nothing!

The only issue I have holding me back from knitting more socks is I have the socks that never end on the needles. NEVER ENDING socks. The husband has decided that he, too, loves handknit wool socks. Wonderful! Except the husband also decided last year that he ONLY loves KNEE HIGH wool socks now. I'm not a fancy schmancy sock knitter. I'm a 3X1 rib sock knitter. It's comforting, easy and fits EVERYONE. No, I'm not doing calf shaping on his socks. I'm just knitting 3X1 rib (Knit 3, Purl 1) FOR freaking EVER! I've actually finished the toe on sock #1 and now have to steel myself to knit a dark grey blah tube yet again.

The only good thing is that my husband picked out bright orangish-red sockyarn for his feet! It's the light at the end of my woolie tunnel. To keep myself from going crazy, I'm rewarding myself by knitting a bit of (what else?) MOHAIR! :) Here's my start to Mohair Bias Loop designed by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. Everything's better with Mohair!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Bahama Knitting!

Well, we made it. I tell you, we couldn't have picked a more peaceful time for our vacation! We were on the very first flight after the hurricane passed through Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. The airport had power, a few grocery stores had intermittent power, the liquor store had a generator (YAY!) so we did just fine. Jeff's aunt & uncle and their boat all passed through the storm relatively unharmed. They were all a bit worn down, beat up but liveable. We added our survival food & water to the boat's storage, stocked up on some beer & rum and hit the waters. We still had a rainstorm each day, but they passed through pretty quickly.

Everyone was exhausted, so we went to a different small island each day and Jeff and I would snorkel a bit, explore a bit, look for shells and nap. Lots and lots of napping! There's nothing like sitting, knitting on a sailboat while floating in a harbour of teal blue waters. NOTHING! I'm so glad everything worked out for the best, and I have to selfishly say I'm very glad I didn't end up as shark bait either! It was also good that we had a boat to stay on as most of the resorts were closed down while we were there. I think the first shop we saw open was on the day we left.

I finished the short sleeves on my featherweight lace cardi, but never actually wore it as it never got too chilly at night. The rest of the time I knit on my 2nd silk citron out of crafty-in-a-good-way 100% silk. mmmmmmm Have I let you know I'm on a quest to find more of this yarn? If ANYONE knows of more of it, I'm desperate to get my hands on some!! I cant stop knitting citron's out of the stuff and have Christmas presents on my mind!

The sunsets out there were so beautiful, it just took my breath away.

Here's my version of a Bahama sunset, with mohair. Because everything's better with mohair!

I did do some snorkeling and only had one minor freakout. Jeff pointed out there wasn't as many fish out there since most of them had washed or swum to calmer, deeper waters. You'd think that would be a comforting thought, but then I thought about the fish that would be left would be VERY HUNGRY. :) I really belong ON the boat, not IN the water. The rough seas did leave amazing shells on some of the beaches. We came home with a small conch shell for each kid plus a couple for ourselves. The guy in the airport working the xray machine over the bags called me over on the way back to the US. I thought, "oh crap!" to myself. He just said, "Ma'am, did you leave ANY shells on the beach at all?" I said, "yes, all the ugly ones." On the way over, I was randomly selected at ALL THREE airports we passed through for special screening. I was patted down phsyically in KC, had the wand passed over me while I was pulled off to the side in Houston and then my hands were tested for explosives in Ft. Lauderdale. We knitters must look like danger or something.

Thanks again for good thoughts & prayers. I'm SO GLAD Jeff's family AND their boat (their entire livelihood and home) were all OK. We visited the wrecks of the sailboats that stayed in Marsh Harbour while there. It wasn't pretty. No deaths in the Bahamas through the storm, a true miracle!!

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