love hate


This is not a post about tulips, but it’s never wrong to start with a picture of tulips, regardless of the subject matter.

I straightened and organized my sock drawer. And then I straightened and organized my sock yarn drawer. And then KnitPicks had a sale on sock yarn, so I bought even more sock yarn (the sale is still going on for a couple more weeks, I think). I do like always having a sock on the needles, because first of all, they are so portable, and I can just keep them in my purse. Second of all, I love handknit socks. Third of all, sock knitting is (generally) therapy for me when I’m stressed. And fourth of all, many of my socks are starting to look pretty shabby.  I can and will repair them as much as possible, but sometimes there is a point of no return. I’m also on the lookout for the ultimate sock yarn, so all my sock knitting is also in the name of science.

I started a pair of toe-up socks recently, using Knit Picks Stroll (Tonal, in Thunderhead). The only other time I’ve knit socks from the toe was, weirdly enough, for the first socks I ever knit. I used Wendy’s Toe-up sock pattern and I think a sport weight yarn (this was pre-Ravelry). And then I never knit one again. I don’t remember it being terribly difficult, and it was a heavier yarn and a plain sock with a ribbed leg, so I don’t think it took all that long. I think I just found patterns I liked that were cuff-down and I was comfortable knitting that way.

grace sock

I was looking for a sock pattern to knit a couple weeks ago, and came across this pretty pair. I love the lace and didn’t let the fact that the pattern started at the toe deter me at all. By the time I got to the heel, I realized that I really don’t enjoy knitting from the toe up. I vowed to press on, though, because these socks, they are so pretty! So I slogged through the heel and started up the leg. I tried them on and they were a little long in the foot, and the heel flap seemed a little tall. But still, I kept going, because I am not a quitter! Then I sat down last night to do just a little more, because it seems like every quarter-inch of these suckers takes an hour. I pulled on the cord to pick up my knitting and ooops! I had pulled the needle right out of half the sock.

I thought I could be stoic and brave

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, and get all those k2tog and yo stitches back on the needle. I’ve certainly done it before. After a few minutes, though, in perhaps a tiny fit of hatred and frustration, I pulled the other half off its needle and ripped it out completely.

It was such a relief. I immediately cast on and knit a cuff, and I’m going to try to just knit the same lace from the top. It may not work, but I’m going to give it a couple inches, and if not, I’ll do some other lace-y cuff-down pattern, and I will enjoy every bit of it. Am I alone in my love of cuff-down sock knitting?

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autumn to-do list

Now it really is starting to feel like autumn up here in the mountains, and the cottonwoods have the barest tinge of yellow. Something about the change of seasons makes me want to get some things done. I made a list, and I’ve already started working on it:

  • Wash and re-block hand knits.
    I pulled out a couple scarves, and they’re not dirty, just a bit crumpled from being shoved in a drawer all summer. A good blocking will do them all some good.
  • Take a crochet class.
    I went on Saturday for a class, and it was so helpful! I’ve done a little crochet on my own, but was never sure if I was doing it right. I especially never felt very comfortable juggling the hook and the yarn. In my class I learned a good way to hold them both, and I can single and double crochet quite well now. I even found a pattern for a ripple blanket and started on the first stripe. I actually had tried to do a similar pattern years ago, but I was never happy with the way it looked. I thought it would be a great project to use up leftover bits of worsted weight yarns. I’ll be working on it for a long time, but it will be a nice break to do a stripe here and there. 


  • Make roast goose.
    So, I’ll be brief on this one. We had two mean geese. They were noisy and unpleasant and I found someone who was willing to “process” them for me. And now they are in the freezer. I’m still working myself up to it, but I found a good tutorial for when I am ready.
  • Get some more chickens.
    My girls aren’t laying much, and two of the six hens are now six years old, so it’s time for some fresh young hens. I’ll let my old ladies enjoy the rest of their days in our yard, though. They don’t try to nip at me when I feed them.
  • Finish website re-design/cleanup.
    I want to keep things clean and simple around here. I’ll probably do  a little here and there on this one, but I’m still not in a mood to spend my evenings in front of the computer.
  • Learn to use Lightroom

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    , and organize my photos.
    I’ve started doing this too. In fact, I’ve even switched to shooting in RAW. I’m not totally sure what that even means, but I’m doing it! 

  • Bake a cake (flourless, of course).
    Done, and it was good, but I’m still searching for a really good grain-free cake recipe. I used this recipe, and it was dense and moist, which I expected. It was just a little too sweet for me (which might have been the pears I used, they were very ripe and sweet), and a little heavy. But it was so fun to bake again. I won’t be making it a regular habit, just a now and then treat.  


  • Make a scarf from a piece of Liberty fabric I’ve been hoarding.
    This should take about ten minutes, I’ve got a yard, so I think I’ll just cut it in half and sew it end-to-end for length. 
  • Make a sweater for Pulley
    He doesn’t have fur like the other dogs, I think he’s going to need some warm clothes for the winter. 
  • Start making soup.
    I need to find some new soup recipes. Do you have any good ones? 
  • Knit the perfect cabled sweater.
    I want something cozy and slouchy. This might be just the thing. I have to decide what kind of yarn to use. 
  • Buy a lot of pumpkins and decorate the porch.
    I’ve got two so far, but I’m going to need some more.

Bonus items:

The Autumn pin board.
I also just needed to share the fact that you can follow an astronaut on pinterest.

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dogs in hats


I promise this isn’t going to become a pugs-in-clothes blog, but now and then I am going to be compelled to make things for Pulley to wear. I particularly have a thing for dogs in hats

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, as evidenced by several pins on my ‘best friends’ board (which I recommend that you peruse when you are stressed or sad, it is my cure when I’m having a bad day), also there is this board, which is not mine, but will also cheer you right up.

Back to Pulley. There is a certain sci-fi show which had a tragically short run, but if you are a knitter and watched the show, you will remember a very distinctive hat. Apparently, there are now licensing issues, so I won’t mention the name of the show or the character that wore this most excellent article of clothing. I will just let this photo of Pulley speak for itself.

pulley in a shiny hat


He wears it with such dignity. The pattern formula was courtesy of Stacy from Boondock Studios.

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I’ve been having a quiet winter, but there has been some making going on.


I want to play with color more when knitting. Although I’ve been organizing my yarn stash the last few days, and I need to finish a couple sweaters and then make a few more (for which I have yarn waiting in the wings), so maybe that will be a project for next winter. Still, aranami is a fun color experiment.


This was a gift for my sister-in-law. Despite all the pink-ness around here, I do love cool colors.

aranami2This was so much fun to knit. I will probably eventually make another for myself.


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three pair

I was totally not kidding about this. It seems that sock knitting is my go-to stress reliever. I really did knit three pairs (well, two and a half pair). But I feel much better now, and my sock drawer is on it's way to being awesome. My feet are going to be so warm next winter. Note: I didn't shave my legs for this photo shoot, so I would advise against viewing the large versions of these photos.

I started with a Phloem sock (Ravelry link). I can't say anything bad about the pattern and I love the design, but the giant chart was not my favorite thing. So I knit one and then took a break before doing the second. That second sock didn't have to wait long, however, since I really did like the design. It is even prettier in solid colors, but I was using what I had and I've had this Yarn Chef yarn kicking around for a long time. I love the colors and I've been wanting to use it forever. It was a pleasure to knit.

image from
This was my mid-Phloem break: another pair of Waving Lace socks.

image from

I love everything about this pattern: the scalloped cuff, the easy to memorize lace pattern, the slip-stitch heel, and the wedge toe. They knit up so fast and the end result is so pretty.

With all this sock knitting going on, I started to feel a little guilty about some long-abandoned projects, so I dug this plain vanilla sock out of the drawer and got started on it's mate. I don't usually develop severe SSS (second-sock syndrome), but something happened with this one. It was so long ago, I don't remember why I never started the second sock, but I think I might have put it away in a fit of frustration. I know I knit that first sock when I was fairly new to sock knitting, and I wasn't following any particular pattern. Something must have happened, however, because that toe is all weird and funky (the sock on the right). And then I ran out of yarn, so the second toe is also (obviously) weird and funky. I just used a different stripey yarn to finish. It's not like I haven't done that before. It's not like I will be wearing them with sandels, so no one else is likely to see my weird sock toes.

image from

I also didn't write down what I did on the first pair, so the second is full of educated guesses. They match well enough, and I am just counting on the busy yarn to disguise most of the differences. I learned some important sock lessons, though, and added another pair of warm, wool socks to my drawer, so it's all good.

For a few weeks there I really did little more than knit socks, but I snapped out of my funk eventually and worked on some other fun projects. I'll tell you all about them in the coming weeks. I also really do want to continue the Sewing Class posts. I'm so sorry to leave you all hanging. I don't think there were tons of people following along, but I know there were a few, and to those I sincerely apologize! I haven't forgotten and we will get those skirts made, even if it takes the whole summer!

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all i want to do right now

image from
I'm a little stressed out right now. Writing a resume and job hunting. So all I can really do otherwise is knit. On the plus side, my goal of having a whole drawer full of hand knit socks is closer to becoming reality. I will be back to regular posting soon. After another pair or two of socks is finished, for sure. Maybe three.  


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