Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cucumber Falls Sock Pattern

The Cucumber Falls sock pattern is now available! Thanks to my awesome test knitters who will hopefully be sending me more photos soon.

The story of these socks begins with a set of sock batts that I got from a local fiber artist. When I’d spun the yarn, I wanted something special. I started searching through my stitch dictionaries, experimenting, and this was the result. The colors in the yarn reminded me of Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park here in Pennsylvania, so I named them Cucumber Falls Socks!

A note on gauge: Your gauge will depend on what size needle you’re using. My size large on size two needles was about 7-8 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch. A size medium on size one needles will likely end up around 9-10 stitches to the inch in stockinette.

Materials Needed-

100G fingering weight yarn. Solid or semi-solid colorways will work best.
US size 2 needles for large, US size 1 for medium. I used the magic loop method. This is a long pattern repeat, so will work best with Magic Loop or the two circular needles method, though you could use 5 DPNs if you wish.
Stitch Marker if desired for marking beginning of round
Row counter
Tapestry Needle for weaving in ends

Pattern costs $5.00 US.

(When you get to the paypal site, make sure you put a note in the box with your correct email address, and I will email you the pattern within 24 hours. If for any reason you don't get the pattern, email me (link in sidebar)with your payment information and I'll resend it.)


I hope you enjoy making them!

Monday, June 23, 2008

My I don't have to run day

Here it is another Monday and again I am woefully unprepared to post anything coherent or interesting to this blog.

Work proceeds as these things do. Bills pile up and no relief in sight. I sold off a goodly chunk of my yarn and fiber stash which gave me a small cushion but I keep getting slightly panicky. This too shall pass.

I did finish the Cucumber Falls socks. They're gorgeous. I'm awaiting the results from my test knitters before I put the pattern out there, but so far so good.

Here's the prototype.



You can see how swollen my left foot gets in that photo.


I must say I really like them.

The Daisy Sock prototypes have been mailed off to my younger daughter in Tennessee. They were a tad snug on my right foot so I knew there was no hope of getting them on my left at all. She'll like them.

The latest design is called Moderne, and I'm working it in Kraemer Sterling Silk and Silver, which is a gorgeous, gorgeous yarn.

The sock incorporates three motifs that I think have an art-deco look. So far so good, and will post pictures as soon as I have one finished.

I'll chime in with the thousands of other bloggers mourning the death of George Carlin. He was one of my all-time favorite smart-asses.

And in closing, while it is certainly possible to make ham salad in the blender, it's inadvisable to get overly ambitious with the size and quantity of your chunks of ham, because then you end up with a broken blender full of half-chopped ham salad.

Until next time.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just like the girl who married dear old dad

The past two weeks have been real turkeys.
(That's one of the fuzzy baby turkeys that live in the woods behind our house. Offspring of this monster, I have to assume.)

I've been remiss in posting of late. Most of it is coming to terms with going back to work, having less time and less energy in the time I've got.

Yesterday was Father's day, a day I regard with something less than enthusiasm. I am happy for all the people who had a terrific or even adequate father around when growing up. I am happy for all the people who even knew what their father looked like when they were growing up. I am sad for all the people who suffered abuse or abandonment at the hands of a parent as well. This weekend as every father's day weekend, I try to spend time with my mother and let her know that I appreciate that she was mother and father to me, and my girls do the same for me.

I've become fortunate later in life. My husband has become the closest thing to a father that my grown children have ever known. He loves them and they love him. We've become a "real family" (not that we weren't before), a traditional "mom and dad and two kids" which kinda makes me laugh because even in the best of times I couldn't imagine that happening to me.

On the healing front, things move on. Slowly. I stopped taking narcotic pain relievers as of Friday, which has had a profound and amazing impact on my mood. Not sure if it's a rebound effect or something but I'm a lot less depressed and a lot more involved in and aware of positive emotions without the narcotics. The pain is worse, though, which is a bummer, but the whole thing is making me re-evaluate how I want to use the pain pills from now on. I'm thinking Aleve or Tylenol unless it's REALLY REALLY bad and then only the narcotics before bed.

It's still slow going on the bending/mobility front. Hot weather is a horror for swelling. Last week, we had several days in the upper 80s and low 90s and my ankle/foot swelled beyond anything I'd seen it do before. Now that the temp is lower, it's much less swollen. I'm not sure if I'm bending better or not. I stopped PT as it was really pointless to go to therapy after work.

I found out last week that due to a clerical error, I will not be getting paid until August. Apparently I was overpaid while I was off on medical leave and nobody bothered to tell me I got several paychecks that I was not supposed to get. We're trying really hard not to panic. Bob is looking for other freelance writing and I sold off a lot of my yarn and fiber. It was heartbreaking. We're probably going to go through the books and DVDs and CDs and go to Half Price books and the Exchange with them. Once I recover from selling off the fibery goodness, that is.

My next post will be regarding knitting and fiber and all that goodness. I guess this one is more just a braindump. Much needed.

Here's an artistic cathead.

And a squishy puppy face for balance.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy.

Well, work happened last week. It was a challenge. I'm not sure how this is going to work out for me, honestly. I can sincerely hope it will get easier as time goes along.

I've got a million things to blog about, and can't seem to settle on one. Or even two. So as usual, I'll post pictures of yarn.


I didn't spin that, it's a dyeing attempt. Seems to look okay, we shall see how it knits up. The yarn is knitpicks bare in the merino/silk blend.

Speaking of silk, I am spinning some for the first time. Silk hankies, mixed colors, purely experimental. I have to very consciously not spin this too thin as it's very easy to make it so thin it vanishes. Then it's hell to find on the bobbin after. But fun. I will definitely be looking to spin more of this in the not too distant.


I'm also spinning up some cheviot roving into sock yarn.

Apparently cheviot is a type of fleece that resists felting. I will get four skeins (enough to make a pair from each skein) out of the pound of roving that I have. Will decide on a dye scheme later. It's not extremely soft, but it's not itchy or hard either. It feels kinda tough, and very springy. Durable. We shall see.

I'm working on another sock pattern.

This one is called Cucumber Falls Socks. The "sock knitters anonymous" group on Ravelry has a monthly challenge, and June's challenge was to design your own. I wanted to do something special for this yarn anyway, and it was a good opportunity. I imagine this pattern will be available once I'm done knitting the first pair, but not sure if it'll be free. Considering it took me a week of perusing stitch dictionaries, knitting swatches, doing math, figuring out how to convert flat into round and learning how to make charts, probably not. But it'll be cheap.

The dogs are barking, I'm suffering from caffeine deprivation, and I'm probably going to take a nap. If the dogs will stop barking. They drive me insane sometimes.