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Stuck in a small town place, in the middle of a huge wilderness. Knitting projects and help.


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My first real attempts at knitting socks. Socks are quite useful, especially if you live in a very cold winter climate and have to walk around in it. Sock are also dynamic in colors and themes these days. They can be sturdy boot socks or slippers for around the house, they can be delicate , lacy, dressy affairs, or they can be striped in various ways and other designs including the Nordic and Fair Isle color work or something from the Baltic states ( gorgeous work) , or they can be plain old vanilla type socks just for every day.

 

I have been exploring yarns for sock knitting ( much of it is useful in several other categories of knitting as well)

. There are various fibers and even with an allergy to one, one may still find other yarns that will work. Or if the texture is uncomfortable to knit with or wear. There is a huge variety and many good websites , if there are not any LYS stores.

 

 

A well knit, well cared for pair of knit socks will last up to 10 years for most women.

 

 

Many of them are blends with wool or alpaca or merino wool as a base fiber.

 

 

 

What I am figuring out, if you can knit a few different sock patterns, you can knit just about anything if you have the stuff to do a project.

 

 

I have been studying patterns, getting tips from knitting and sock knitting groups on FB and some of those are getting quite International. It is amazing to see all the variety in projects. I also follow the Starz Outlander and Outlander groups ( Diana Gabaldons book series ) There are knitting groups connected to them as well. Hence my name change to Sassenach.

 

Ok, well after a few trials and errors I actually have a good sock going, knee high. I goofed on size of needles for the cuff but its bearable so I did continue. The leg is done and when I first just used some simply soft acrylic yarn, I had gotten past the heel and gusset to the foot before I quit. Its too tight and is like putting on body armor because I used too small of dpns for the yarn size. I just frogged all that and rolled it up to rest on the skein because my knee high socks are a nice simple wool blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon for elasticity ( some) and strength of fiber, from Patons Kroy Sock Yarns. I have the confidence I can construct the heel and finish the knee sock and do the other one. This week has been a bit disjointed on time and peace of mind, but I find the knitting relaxes me as long as I am not trying too hard at it physically.

 

I will be expanding on stitch patterns for socks as I knit a few more and am gauging what I need for a couple afghans. One I am just going to dig into my stash for and practice stitches on , because it is a sampler and you can make it however big you want.

 

I found some nice classic patterns for tops and cardigans and long car coats and cardigans and many others.

 

I want to make my cat a round ten stitch blanket made up of scraps of the sock yarn. I would like to do a rectangular one for myself. These are future but maybe not that far in the future.

 

There are lots of little things I can knit up too with some of the yarn stash. Shopping bags, messenger bags, pouches with shoulder straps for bug out gear clothing layers.... needle sewing kit, lots of small bags for the little pack gear you get , if done in good wool and felted , they are pretty water proof for a long time. They could be color coded too. Or labelled by stitching in words in the fabric you are knitting up.

 

I am learning enough that soon I will be able to design my own stuff I would think. This is a good level of skill to get to. It would be important if we have an end to our every day current existence and it helps me be more stylin' if not , especially on my budget. Also warmer, lol.

 

There is also spring and summer wear and cotton yarns to use.

 

One can even knit up their own wool plaid blankets if they like, for those of us with Scottish/Irish Clan associations. They are also great camo if done in hunting color themes, and no gps locators like on newer army surplus clothing items..... ( yep) . Blanket roll secured on person while bugging out ( not bright colors like many sleeping bags) and no sheen to it, can be quite adequate and useful, even damp.

That is another goal.

 

One can make dishcloths to practice new stitches in thick , light colored enough yarn from cotton yarn to see what they are really doing before they work it into clothing that may well become an heirloom item.

 

There are a variety of dpn needles and circulars in various sizes and qualities. Everyone determines for themselves what they find useful and prefer.

Some are excellent and not that expensive if you collect over time. Some will snap or pull apart...... interchangeable circular sets seem notorious for that.

 

For small projects that require knitting in the round like socks and most hats, dpns are just fine. One can even bring them when they fly. Most of the time all the knitting stuff is allowed. Most of the time from what I can see, it remains entirely with the owner. So its not likely to get stolen.

 

 

I have collected several free downloaded patterns and a few I copy and pasted. I can find links and such for others if they want. Just pm me and ask about stuff. One can also search online, just type in free knitting patterns for mittens, or sweaters, etc.... fingerless gloves, ten stitch blanket. things like that...... you would be amazed at what you can find.

 

These can only be used for your personal use or that of a gift, not for mass production or sale..... which I think is fair and I wouldn't have the energy to do that. But it is very helpful. I also am slowly building up a shelf full of books. My kindle died I think. So I am making sure over time I have enough books on knitting to help out.

 

I also often rewrite the patterns even from books into a composition note book as it fits in a bag easily and is sturdy enough. I can often understand it better if I write it down myself.

I can include notes of my own , a swatch or piece of the yarn if I like and name and such of the yarn. It helps as a reference later.

 

 

So, I wanted to start this thread on knitting. Anyone is welcome to join in, ask questions and I will see if I can get an answer if I don't know it, or help you with something. It is also an act of faith to knit something and brings me peace of mind as long as I am doing things right. I am getting better at that too.

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That is great Ambergris! Scarves are a great way to start learning about knitting. When you go to block it, when you are done, knitting, do not use an iron method to block it, just wash it gently according to wash instructions and you can pin it down on a table to a towel or some foam board works well, nice and squared up and just let it dry.

Also be careful of Flourmania sock yarn right now. Just found out there is a problem with the pink bleeding once knitted. The dye is not set properly, yarn is made by regia or sold by them. Lady who runs the sock knitting group on FB is dealing with the company over it. It would be a certain lot number, and usually it is spectacular for really bright neon sock knitting. ( Teens like them) . They usually are top notch with their products, so hopefully their social part of dealing with customers is appropriate.

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Had not heard that yet, thanks for telling me. I am working on finishing the gusset now. It is a lot easier with sock yarn, lol. Looks pretty good.

I even had the lightbulb finally go off for the sequence of stitches and what it actually does for the heel turn , then the gusset, I have remembered almost every row , how to do it. Guess my focus is finally getting better. I couldn't even fathom it , and then still felt shaky about it. The gusset is actually easy if you don't feel like you are manhandling the yarn and needles to get it done. I also stuck those stitch keepers on the ends of the dpns and switch out the two ends as I go around. Much more comfortable holding it all and the way I use my right hand at one point.

 

 

That is pretty cool. One has a clock in a sock and they didn't even know it!

My dad was a fine antique clock repairman ( a master , indeed.) Maybe I can make him some socks with color work depicting a nice clock or three or four. Some day. He would probably love that.

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When of my fondest memories as a child is of my "old" next door neighbor teaching me to knit. I made socks and mittens with 4 needles..turning heels and making gussets etc. I really want to get back to my crafts but my grands don't appreciate it at all. I did make DH a nice brownish blended shades scarf last year and it looks great.

 

By the way the old lady who taught me still lives in that house and turns 101 next month. She is still sharp as a tack and still knits!.

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Compared to the knit stuff at the gas station, anything handmade like that would go like hotcakes here, Momo. I will be working on some mitts soon too. In fact that could be a great project for the canyon colors yarn. I will see. I love all the many scarf patterns I see online too. Some of them can be just amazing.

 

I think your neighbor is probably still sharp as a tack at her age because of the knitting. It definitely challenges the mind and creativity.

 

 

I just rolled all this yarn up this evening.

The Patons Kroy Sock Yarn FX is interesting and may knit up sort of tweedy. I am not sure, it will self stripe I guess but that depends on size of socks or project and what pattern you use. I am definitely going to do a swatch of it and see what it will do , maybe a few different ones.

 

I received my skeins of yarn I ordered. They are so nice and pretty colors or sedate blends that will knit up very nicely. My cat, Miss Macy loves to rub up against the sock yarn. I think she is declaring she wants a bed made of it and fortunately one can do a ten stitch pattern with scrap yarn so I am saving all my bits of sock yarn left over for a round or rectangular one. ( I want one too, though! )

I think she would adore it. It is actually pretty soft for just wool and nylon blend. ( Patons Kroy Sock Yarn)

 

 

I also got the 1 skein of amazing yarn from Lion Brand. Aurora color. I should have ordered a second but misread the materials list that day I looked at the kerchief. I will get more next month. It is luscious for not expensive yarn. It is a wool and acrylic blend and feels quite soft and I love the way the young lady's pattern knitted up to the item, the scarf. It is casual , dressy type of yarn knit up. Tie around neck with corners or under the chin or nicely around the head and knot type of scarf. One can expand length and create a lovely shawl with more yarn this way too.

 

I have a lot of cardboard to break down tonight. :lol:

Edited by sassenach
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The lady who's teaching me is making a scarf of two strands of thick, soft yard twisted together, and her needles are thicker than my thumbs. She goes so fast with that setup! I was thinking of making a shawl that way, with two coordinating colors of yarn.

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It is easy using big needles for fast scarves . Many do use pretty large needles. I have a lovely book that does lacy shawls and scarves using fingering , lace weight yarn ( size 1 or 2 , many of the patterns).

 

You end up using average size needles to knit those. Some are so glamorous. Some are a bit more earthy but still ethereal looking and would get lots of compliments. I want to make one with red, gold and white in it for my dear friend Astri. She would wear it well, as she knows about style. but it will require some really lovely wool and silk yarn that has glitter/ beads or gold thread in it and thats about 50$ per skein. But I would love to do it for her once I learn how. She is definitely someone who would savor that. ( Art yarns on amazon.com yarns )

 

I also knows she likes the pretty bed socks I have in one Pattern she really liked,in my sock books and I do have the yarn for that. I am working up to lace knitting soon though. I will make the bed socks for her soon. I need her to measure her feet for me, lol.

 

 

 

Then there are shawls and wraps and the little bolero type things in it too, and some use up to sz 4 yarns or dk weights and they all only use 2 skeins.

I like many of the scarves or wraps and shawls done with a lacy leaf design. ( In the scarf, wrap book) .

The book is " one + one Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs " by Iris Schreier , amazon sells it, its a nice flat square paper back.

 

( I have been collecting these books I do have for over three years. I get one once in a while. It has been adding up.)

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Why oh why did I look in here. Now I am starting to get the knitting fever. I CANNOT make any more afghans or DH might have me committed. Maybe I should make myself a cool looking scarf for those windy cold days.

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ok, here is another simple explanation of how to do a hat, because there are tons of hat patterns out there, but this helps you design one without a pattern and to fit exactly around your head. You then figure out stitch patterns, which are always done in a certain number of stitches and divide it into the whole number of stitches you cast on.

 

Use a tape measure to measure around the head the cap is for.

 

 

Also, one can make flat work and sew up the seam to the back and make hats, drawing in one edge to make a knit cap. Use a mattress stitch to join seams, then use yarn tail to weave into the top edge, draw it in, use a yarn needle to draw it inside and weave it in on the inside ( turn inside out and secure) so it won't show. You can add pom poms or tassels as you like. I also like the Icord fringe idea too. Or flowers can be knit or crocheted as embellishments, odd buttons, embroidered stuff. Make sure it is age appropriate so something doesn't come off and go in a small childs mouth and cause choking.

 

Here are wiki instructions.

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Knit-an-Easy-Hat?utm_source=wikiHow&utm_medium=widget&utm_campaign=related_test

 

 

It will help you estimate how many yards or skeins that have so much yardage , as well.

 

If you go up or down in yarn sizes, like worsted to sock yarn, go down in needle sizes

If you up from worsted to chunky or super chunky or roving, go up in needle sizes.

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I did receive my other yarn order. It was the bamboo and wool blend. It is very slender, thin, but has some stretch from the wool and nice blend of tan, camel, light brown, a bit of white, and dark brown. Two skeins.

I also found that I already did have some 36 inch circulars already other than the one I had order, sz 8, that got run over by someone spinning their wheels. tire mark evident on packaging and the needle was broken, but they sent it on to me anyway. sigh.

I think I can glue it with thin application of gorilla glue. I just haven't had the time or remembered when I had a moment. Been busy!

Especially today.

 

I think I may make a scarf or triangular shawl with it, it is so fine I am afraid it would be too challenging on the sock needles just yet for my skill level. It would be great as a lacy knit up. IF I can use a pattern that is easy enough or an eyelet type I found that is just a few rows of eyelets ,one between more solid bands of solid knitting. That might actually be pretty warm despite how light it would be.

 

Sound good? They sort of replace why I wear sweatshirts, and are certainly more graceful, lol. I am running out of sweatshirts these days and need something for in the house as it gets cooler. Easy to do, and that would be from the pattern I read and understood earlier for a bit today.

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This is credit to a nice Finnish Lady who made these socks recently for her daughter. This is currently much in vogue there in Finland as they get into winter time.

It is done with worsted weight wool yarn. They do incredible conventionally done colorwork patterns common to Nordic folks as well, but this is a more recent type of fashion. I have seen one other pair that was absolutely gorgeous, very classy and was a landscape , probably right outside their home depicting what they could view from their home's door on snowy afternoon that looked out over the landscape.

 

These are very nice. They learn to knit in school at age 5 by the way so they have many years knitting experience and are wonderful in their designs, both classic and contemporary and are very pleasant people.

 

post-63323-0-05131400-1413129769_thumb.jpg Anelma Kervinen posted pic online. ( credit to her)

Edited by sassenach
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In the case of these winter type wool socks up to or over the knee for the deep north winters, it is entirely up to the knitter to design them for themselves even though there are a few patterns being sold on websites regarding knitting. Once one learns to knit socks and has a good sense of color use , one can do this by sections, if you see how each band is depicted with a white outline of stitches , you can design your own color work on graph paper and use colored pencils.

For cuff down socks, read chart from lower right corner, to the left for RS beginning.

This knitting is also called stranded knitting.

Yes, eventually I would like to design my own pair.

 

They use up to 10 different colors of yarn.

 

There are patterns for free on some websites for knitting or crocheting the flowers as part of the sock design.

 

100 % Wool Worsted and dpns according to the gauge you should have normally. Probably size 5 and 4 dpns , as an example of typical worsted wool sock knitting.

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Wow....those are 'loud' and complicated. It would be nice if there was a new fad of knitting socks here. Then I could probably find someone local to teach me in person. :lol:

 

 

MtRider ....we used to have a knitting smilie...

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Actually you should see the American colors and styles, lol, these days for contemporary socks.... this is very subdued compared to them!

These are a true work of functional art, or some I have seen . Obviously a bit whimsical with the added flowers. But anyone with a bit playful spirit might enjoy them.

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ok, I googled for this, which is a selection of pictures of typical socks many are knitting with 'American' styles...... but there are many others. It often is a certain self striping yarn used, as the yarn is dyed a certain way, mostly hand dyed, which can yield spectacular results...... there are even yarns made by one person , that when you use a simple stockinette 'vanilla' sock pattern, it is a Christmas sock of a certain type. ( think it knits up into a santa picture).....

but here is an example of what people are doing across America

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=pictures+of+colorway+socks&client=firefox-a&hs=R0i&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=fflb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=n7M6VJ6wOveJsQSeuYKwCw&ved=0CDYQ7Ak&biw=1349&bih=617

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Oh sheeeesh! That's quite a variety! Usually I wear sox like....plain black, navy, brown, grey, tan....possibly 'heather' or 'oatmeal' versions of those colors.

 

 

But this is rather pretty: [shoot, it won't like me post a pic from there. The sock is purple phasing into light blue....yellow...rose....aqua...and the colors begin again.

 

 

 

Some day....I'm gonna do this!

 

 

.....Iffen my horse would quit getting sick, iffen the goats quit putting me on a Marathon run to keep 'em off the road; iffen I don't have a dozen other emergencies that keep getting in the way.

 

 

Anyone want some free goats?

 

 

MtRider ....no time to knit and wearing sox with no heels left..... Time to buy new socks again. :rolleyes:

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Yea you can buy yarn that automatically does that, now.

 

Makes it easy to use a simple stockinette so its fast knitting and you get it done in a reasonable amount of time . Which is what I am doing. Depending on the lights and darks , some patterns go better with certain yarn patterning than others, but that comes with experience when you try a few different patterns.

 

I have seen a lot of pictures though. In fact what looked like primary colors I got that self stripe in some wide or narrow bands, actually turned out darker fall or winter tones when it knit together instead of what you would think when you look at the skein itself before you do anything with it, so it just takes some experimenting, but yes there are some really cool sock yarns out there. Even ones with silk but those cost a lot more.

 

 

Or for boot socks, you use bigger double pointed needles and two colors of 100 percent wool yarn., which is worsted or size 4 Cuff, heel and toe, the second color, the sock part and leg , the main color, so two colors of yarn per sock. Or DK wool blend yarn for boot socks.

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ok, was nearly to the toe yesterday evening, early, so I continued, thinking I had read the toe instructions in the book correctly. Well.... I had read row 1 correctly. I knew there was a row 2 instruction..... I read it, I really did....... but my mind combined it with the labrynth of numbers altogether. Oops. All row 2 was was to knit the row... I didn't. I realized my mistake after seeing the toe decreasing was making it foreshortened over much... the only thing one can do in this case is frog it.

Pull it out and resettle the dpn needles, which can be a messy task that is time consuming.

Started over on toe after READING INSTRUCTIONS ....... again, carefully. It is going ok now. I will be able to finish that sock and start it's mate. It's not perfect but it is sufficient . I did find trying it on helpful to make sure I had really 'measured' where to start the next stage as I went along.

Note, people freak out a lot about what is called the kitchener stitch. Maybe they are trying to learn it by watching a youtube, and some of those knitters on youtube are faster than the eye or a tensed up person can follow with their brain. I recommend a print out or a book of diagrams for the kitchener stitch and use a yarn needle with the tail ( 18 inches long left over). It is not that hard to understand how it works then. It alleviated the mystery of it to me when I found it in my basic stitch paper back and in Ann Budd sock books. Or try to find a blog on vanilla style sock or basic sock knitting that has it and copy that to doc for yourself to refer to with some written comments to help explain it.

 

There are other ways to do heels and toes , but this is a standard sock method done for generations and once you get the gist of it, it goes pretty quickly as long as you have the right needles for gauge and the size of the yarn that may be anything from 00- 5 for sizes 1 to 4 yarns.

 

I found using the stitch protectors on the ends of my dpns prevented painful pokes and kept the stitches safe most of the time and it was simple to change them as I came to the next dpn.

 

There are also many cuffs one can do, including an Icord cuff instead of a ribbed cuff.

 

I look forward to starting the other sock as well. I think these will be my first pair of house socks as I am already getting cold feet as the Fall temps are here.

 

I will just be washing in cool water with gentle soap and squeezing out and drying them flat although I believe this Paton's yarn is machine washable, but never put in a hot dryer.

They can be hung up too after squeezing out water, but they would dry nicely, laid flat. Never wring out wool stuff, it can cause it to stretch in all the wrong places.

 

 

Superwash sock yarns are a little easier for more automatic, put dryer on air or very low heat I think is what some folks say but that may be a looser fitting sock.

 

 

When I am done with the pair, I will post a picture.

 

I may start another project like the kerchief or shawl too, as it can just be a project you pick up and do a few rows on over time. Socks are used more often I think, here, anyway, so that definitely will be done with consistent time , hopefully each day or evening for a time. It should go pretty quickly compared to the Ominous first sock.

 

 

I will include rewritten instructions with plenty of space , as this helps my brain assimilate info , in my notebook about the toe section.... lol.

 

Also , if the sock is not perfect but is sound enough, when done knitting, you can go in ( put sock inside out ) and reinforce the spots that show through. Typically this is the first stitch area of the gusset . I had dark black yarn right there and it was difficult to see even in decent lamp light, and ....yep, it needs some reinforcement to close the gap. I dropped a stitch and goofed as I tried to correct it on the beginning of the toe when I had to frog and then pick up all the stitches. I will fix that , and have to weave in the ends at the heel section where I started a new skein of yarn. That actually can be used to strengthen and cushion the heel as there is enough.

 

On the next sock I will use the smaller dpns for the cuff this time as the first one I forgot and used the larger dpns of the two sizes I used overall, and it should snug it up better ( this is what we are encouraged to do, and it slipped my mind at the time I actually got started on this sock, oops. It's ok, but it would be better to use the smaller size dpn in my case. ( This step is variable depending on whole circumference of individual's leg, by the way. Someone with really big calves or lower leg may want to use the larger size if they simply don't increase total number of stitches cast on. I recommend casting on more stitches, because when you wear it, it fits appropriately, and doesn't stress it by stretching , and it looks far better, if you have large legs.) The socks will then last a lot longer.

 

That may mean you do more repeats if you doing a pattern so the number of increased stitches has to conform to the pattern's number of stitches , but with plain stockinette stitch, a 'vanilla' sock or plain boot sock leg stitch, it doesn't matter and you can add as many stitches as you need anyway.

 

As a matter of fact, I used a generic pattern this time and it was more cast on than the usual that Ann Budd recommends in her books, but it worked well and it made it so the sock is comfortable and not stretched like I see so many end up with in their pictures they post. It did affect the self striping slightly, but if you are not super picky, does it matter? The point is to make a good worthwhile and sturdy , long lasting sock as far as I am concerned.

 

All these are tips and observations I have made over the past couple of months and it has helped figure out some of the small details that make a difference. Any questions are welcome , doesn't matter if it seems dumb.

 

I botched several first attempts before trying to use to big a yarn that was acrylic based with too small dpns..... and it frustrated me. Sock yarn, even inexpensive stuff compared to fancy types is so much smoother to use and has stretch to it, some give, compared to acrylic. It does matter.

 

For my knee socks I am using about 1 and a half skeins of 50 gm. or 1.75 oz, 166 yds, size 1 Paton's Kroy Sock Yarn , per sock, so three skeins.

Crew socks would take 1 skein per foot for adult womens medium , so 2 skeins.

 

Every size yarn uses different yardage.

 

Sock Ease yarn is twice the size, hence one skein will do two pair of adult medium womens socks .

 

( Examples) .

 

Patterns like cables will use more yarn up as it is denser knitting over all, so I bought 4 skeins of this yarn to begin with because I was not sure what I would do. I should have enough to do a pair of wrist warmers if I want, though.

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I was able to do the toe, it is not perfect but it worked,lol. Turned things inside out and tried to catch the gap at the top of the gusset stitches as I sort of knit in bad lighting and the yarn was black right there. Wove in other threads. They fit. They feel good, so onto mate for that sock, matching the stripes this time. I cast on pretty decently this time. It gets easier with practice, and knitted it onto the three needles sz 2, and went to sz 3 for the leg .

 

I think I found just the pattern for some arm warmer wristlets for that bamboo yarn, it should be light but warm to wear and be a nice pattern. Those will go on smaller sock needles so I may start those by end of week. It is supposed to be snowing by next week so days will be chillier . Time to dress in more layers again! I may whip out some of the wool free cotton based yarn into some quick ankle socks or short socks too. Iam low on socks again.

 

I can probably do the wristlets fast and that amazing yarn kerchief should knit up quickly. Or in time to order another skein to complete it come next month.

 

 

Also doing chores as the news just continues all its shock factor . well at least gas is cheaper for now. Markets are volatile for a number of reasons.... isis..... so,

knowing can do some basic knitting and produce a useful colorful item with some design feels kind of grounding.

 

So been checking the latest here, checking on knitting groups, doing chores, and knitting and playing with my kitty. She approves of my knitting. lol.

 

 

I need some sleep. ( been watching alaskan gold mining on the Klondike region on Discovery but Im about done with tht for the evening. )

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