Wednesday, December 28, 2016


There is something comforting about knitting socks.  As each stitch is knit I imagine the warmth this sock makes sitting near a warm fire in the cold of winter.   
I reviewed a book I had in my library called Socks from theToe Up by Wendy D. Johnson. This book is the primer to knitting socks in different ways. In the past, I have learned to knit socks from the cuff down with a traditional gusset and Kitchener stitch closure. I have struggled, as many do, with the Kitchener stitch. No matter how much I try, I still have not mastered this stitch and my toe closures have been somewhat bulky in trying to hide the holes that remained from my missteps. When all is said and done,  I frequently have left over yarn that is too little to do anything with.
My previous attempts at “toe up” have been disasters. The heels have always been a challenge. Wendy provides several different ways to do the heel. I was intrigued with her instruction of the gusset heel instruction that did not require any picking up of stitches. It only required simple m1 increases and ssk/k2tog decreases and I could do the magic loop method using one long circular needle for the whole sock.
The results were joyously surprising. The heel looked perfect and fit perfect. No holes. No odd or mismatched patterning in the yarn.  I was able to try on the sock before knitting the cuff to ensure the length was right and comfortable. The self-striping yarn came out very nice, as if it was designed that way.
 I am a very happy woman. Having had success in the first sock, I had no trouble knitting the 2nd and the same thrill felt as I looked at the results. I just could hardly put it down.  The Carlos and Arne Regia looked great in the sock. I was able to use most of the yarn on the skein, knitting the sock up to the mid-calf. I used the Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off to finish it. This provided a comfortable stretch. Video can be found at This, too, was a great success and does not bind. I cannot wait to wear them.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Getting Ready For Christmas

  I’ve been thinking more and more of returning to my knitting blog. Since retiring  from my Nursing job with the Head Start Program in July 2016, I find I have more time to pursue my knitting and other assorted interests.
In the summer, our household added a gentleman from my church who needed to rent a room.. After much prayer and contemplation, I felt God calling me to meet this need. It provided him with needed shelter and gave me a worthy Christian service to address some of his health needs with my expertise in nursing.   The companionship was a win-win situation for both of us and this arrangement has worked out well thus far.  It has also given me a subject to knit for.
  He is a  one legged amputee and as winter approached, the need for hard-to-find, well fitted socks presented itself.  As I was sorting through my UFOs (unfinished knitted objects), I ran across some Opal socks I had started for my Dad who had passed away 5 years ago. I feel a little sad that I never finished them for him, but now I have an opportunity to repurpose them.  Originally, I designed a sock that was not to be constrictive (for swollen ankles), with a 2 by 2  rib on 80 stitches.  I had only finished the ribbing for an ankle sock at the time. Since Mr. C was a taller man with a large foot, I decided to make a knee sock.  I adjusted the heel and gusset to fit his larger ( Size 16 shoe) and higher instep.  At the end of the ribbing I changed to a 2 by 3 rib for about 1 inch before starting the heel flap. This accommodated the higher instep without binding the foot at the ankle joint.  The sock was now renamed Chris’s sock.  How nice I only had to do one sock…..perfect to avoid 2nd sock syndrome.

Another UFO that has been languishing was the Celtic Throw I was making my son. The blanket is made with 2 strands of worsted weight yarn held together. The pattern is very beautiful  with a Celtic design, but as it grew, it became very difficult to manage with the weight of it.  This, however, will be exactly what my son likes.  It was planned to fit a twin bed but I decided to end it shorter and resulted in a square throw. I think it will still give good coverage on a bed or sofa.  Yet I am glad it is now finished and ready for Christmas giving.

Having Mr. C in my home has given me an opportunity to meet and get to know some of his friends.  One is a single dad with 2 preadolescent daughters, that hold an affection for Mr. C.  They are always concerned for him.  These beautiful charming girls has given me a chance to make some knitted items for them.  It seems they like Minions.   So I made a couple of Minions hats for them for Christmas. It was a fun project.


Christmas is always a time of remembering;  remembering your childhood Christmases, the traditions you had while you raised your children, the people who shared Christmases with you who are now gone. There are glimpses of melancholy and sadness that are fleeting. However,  I am trying to rejuvenate the Joy of Christmas and this year I had a little time on my hands. So I decorated…… and celebrated Advent with my new housefriend.  It is such a joy to bring the Spirit of Christmas to one who has no family and never had a real joyful Christmas in the past.  I hope yours is a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!