Tag Archives: socks

It’s Fair Time!

Ahhh…Summertime! Warm weather, gardening, swimming in the local pond, and, best of all, County Fair Time!

Here in the Midwest, we take our County Fairs seriously! It’s 7 days of Fair Fish, checking Grand Champion Socksout 4-H Projects, Hog Wrestling, Demo Derby, rides and games, and hearing local and some national  celebrity musicians play at the outdoor auditorium! In our county, practically everybody attends so you spend most nights visiting with neighbors, friends, and relatives! The Fair Queen is usually someone I know (except now it’s someone I know’s granddaughter!) so you chat with her and her court.

County Fairs usually have an Open Class competition in which you can enter your knitting, crochet, garden vegetables, cake decorating, photography, quilts, etc. I love the Fair so of course I enter! Our Fair iFair 3rd Places held around the first of July so the month of June is when I check out my past year’s projects to determine which ones to enter. Most years, I get a blue ribbon but one year I won Grand Champion! Hooray! I’ve pictured here some Fair winning entries.

Do you enter your County Fair Open Class Exhibits? Tell me how you did!

Fair 1st Place

The Mystery about Mystery KAL’s or CAL’s

I love mysteries….mystery books, mystery movies, even mystery food! I just enjoy watching or reading (or tasting) to see how it ends.

That’s why I love Mystery KAL’s. A Mystery KAL (or knit-a-long) is one in which a part of a pattern (clue) is released on a regular basis. It could be released weekly, every-other-day, or even monthly, depending upon the designer’s whim. You really do not know how the final product looks until you finish the last stitch.

There are all kinds of Mystery KALs as well as Mystery Crochet-alongs. You can usually find them in the afghans, bags, shawls, socks, and dishcloth threads on Ravelry. You can even join Mystery swaps.

If you would like to join a Mystery KAL or CAL, there are a few tips that I have learned:

  1. Plan to use more yarn than the design calls for. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  2. Some Mystery KAL or CAL patterns are free; others are for a small fee. Most designers, if they charge, often charge a bit less if you purchase the pattern before the KAL or CAL ends.
  3. Find a local buddy to follow the KAL with you. You and she/he can serve as inspiration and nearby help.
  4. Always knit/crochet a swatch before beginning the first clue to make sure that you have gauge.
  5. As each clue is revealed, wait a day or so until you begin knitting that part. While designers work very hard to to have error-free patterns, it does sometimes happen. You’ll save yourself a lot of frog-pond time if you wait.
  6. Check your KAL’s Ravelry thread often for pattern errors.
  7. If you get in trouble, go to the Ravelry thread and ask. You can email the designer, but most often someone else has had the same  problem and can help. Likewise, be willing to answer if someone else asks and you can help.
  8. Keep in mind there is a chance that you will not fit/like/need/want the final product once you have knitted it. It IS a MYSTERY knit-along after all. If that’s the case, either give it away or frog it and use the yarn for something else.
  9. Most Mystery KAL’s have two threads in their Ravelry group. One is for pictures to be posted by those who have completed the clues (a spoiler thread) and one is for no pictures (no spoilers) but just questions, comments, etc. You can choose to either peek or not to see how the product is coming along.

Have I helped you clarify the mystery in Mystery KALs?


My 2012 Knitting Resolutions

Please pardon me, dear readers, for not blogging much the last few months. I was quite busy with Christmas knitting (will post pictures soon) and, of course, the “job that pays for the yarn that keeps Cindy knitting and sane!”

So, without further ado, here are my very own 2012 Knitting Resolutions:

  1. Before June 1, learn a new technique – knitting with beads.
  2. In the Summer, participate in the 2012 Ravelympics games.
  3. Knit from my stash yarn one project a month.
  4. Knit one item from my WIP, current kit projects (not listed on my Ravelry project page), or hibernating projects every other month.
  5. Teach someone else to knit and continue to encourage all knitters, new and experienced!
  6. Knit a pair of socks every other month.
  7. Knit 4 items (once a quarter) for charity projects (i.e. newborn caps, prayer shawls, etc.).
  8. Take pictures and put my yarn stash on Ravelry to help me keep organized.

So there are my 2012 resolutions. While I belong to several groups of “12 in 2012,” I don’t think that I want to plan to knit 12 of anything for this year. If it happens anyway, it will be a lucky coincidence!

So, dear reader, do you have any knitting resolutions? Feel free to share with me. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress throughout the year, as well.


Monkeys and Tigers and Bears! Oh My!

As many of you know, I love, love, love to knit socks. Mostly I knit what’s known as the “plain, vanilla” socks. They are the kind that have no pattern, other than maybe a ribbing pattern, but they look wonderful in the terrific colorways that are now available in just about any price range.

But, once in a while, I get the urge to knit more “fancy-schmancy” socks! Like Cookie A’s Monkey Socks. That is one of the socks that is recommended for the June Year of Stash Socks group on Ravelry. The rule is that you must knit the socks from  your stash yarn. So I’ve found some Lorna’s Laces that was dyed for The Loopy Ewe a few years back for The Loopy’s Anniversary. I’ve cast on and knitted about 1/3 of the way already.

Now I know why people rave about this pattern! It’s a lot of fun! My only complaint is that I have to knit on US Size 0 needles, because normally 64 stitch socks are too large for my dainty, Cinderella feet (size 5’s!).

So, in honor of one of my favorite movies The Wizard of Oz, I checked Ravelry’s pattern database to find Tiger Socks and, of course, Bear Socks! I may have to do all three…Monkeys and Tigers and Bears! Oh my!

(A side note, I did not find any Lion socks…but there are lots of Lion Brand Yarns in which to knit or crochet the socks! LOL!)


From My Blog Hub Swap Partner

How I Adore Swaps.

I am so very glad that my swap partner loved the yarn I sent! Reposting from her blog. Check it out!

I’ve Become a Shawl Fanatic!

So, dear reader, I got on the ‘puter last night and wandered through my Ravelry Queue, where I received quite a shock! I have 13 different shawl/stoll patterns in the queue and only 6 sock patterns! For those who know me as the “Sockknitter” (in fact, that’s my moniker on a lot of sites), that’s a revelation!

When I checked out my WIPs, the projects revealed that I am slowly turning to the shawl side….I have at least 4 shawl patterns on the needles and only two socks.

Last Tuesday evening, I promised Judy S. in our Knit Night group that I would start on any shawl that she wanted to do from the book Victorian Lace Today so that we could work out the pattern together.

And I really, really want to start a Prayer Shawl Ministry!

Hmmmm….I may have to change my pseudonym to Shawlknitter…or maybe just Shawlstarter since I haven’t really finished many shawls lately!


Looking for Inspiration?

While trolling through FaceBook, someone posted a groups photo link from Flickr. I post photos in Flickr occassionally, but I had never tried to check out other photos. Wow! Inspiration heaven. Check out these ideas for my leftover sock yarn (from my last posting)! Leftover Sock Yarn Project Ideas

The Yarn Not Taken*

*With deepest apologies to Robert Frost 🙂

Two yarns emerged from the yarn shop bin,

One hand dyed, one-hundred-percent wool, a beautiful spin.

Its colors shone in the shop’s afternoon light.

The dyer’s skill, it seems, was just right.


I could knit it into a gorgeous shawl,

Add a beautiful pin and be the belle of the ball….

No, wait! Maybe make a lovely sweater,

Using a pattern to make the colors shine better and better!


Next to it, I spied a skein of sock yarn,

Kettle-dyed, its colorway reminded me of an old barn–

Reds and browns, even a hint of heather.

Ah! Socks that could be worn in any weather!


Washable wool and very soft to touch,

I checked the price– it was not too much!

I stood in the shop, both yarns in my hands,

Knowing that new yarn was not in my budget plans.


I thought: “The holidays are coming. I can make great gifts,”

“Or some charity knitting to give someone’s spirit a lift.”

I quickly calculated the cost of both treasures,

And added in my knitting time pleasure.


 Two yarns emerged so I made my decision,

From the heart and, perhaps, from some future vision.

Two yarns emerged from the shop in Vincennes…

And I? I took them BOTH and that has made all of the difference!

Why I Like to Knit Socks

There is something so satisfying about knitting socks. For me, I enjoy both the process (the knitting and in some cases, the frogging and reknitting) and the end result. So I thought I would name the top ten reasons why I like to knit socks. I may add more later, as I think of them. They are in random order.

  1. I like to see a finished product fairly quickly and socks are small enough that I can usually finish them within a week or so.
  2. I hate to sew and since socks have no sewing, just grafting, they are perfect.
  3. I also hate to block. Most socks don’t require blocking.
  4. Since I have a “beer budget” with “champagne tastes,” socks allow me to buy special yarn, like cashmere, with which I can knit a wearable object.
  5. My feet are almost always cold. Wool socks keep them nice and toasty warm. Washable wool means I don’t have to be careful about throwing them in the washer.
  6. Since my feet are small, my socks really don’t take much  time to do.
  7. When I first started knitting, I disliked purling. Once you get past the cuff, you don’t have much purling to do.
  8. Again, socks mean a small ball of yarn and smaller needles, so they make the perfect traveling knitting project. I keep a bag of socks-in-progress in my purse at all times and have been known to whip them out when I have some time to wait.
  9. There are SO many neat sock yarns out now that it is quite possible to just do a “plain vanilla” sock and come up with something that really looks fabulous.
  10. You can take the sock pattern and modify it to fit your feet, your preferences, or whatever to make a truly unique item. 

 Well, that’s my reasoning for liking to knit socks. What’s yours?

TTFN, Cindy