Why This Post Is About Making Socks

I can’t believe so much time has gone by since I’ve blogged. It’s with good reason, though. So much has been going on but I have managed to keep knitting socks through it all. I created a website called Sockamaniac like my blog, where I have filled it with lots and lots of sock information. It was very time-consuming gathering up all the resources for sock patterns, tutorials, dyeing yarn and so forth but now that I sit back and look at it I have to feel that it was well worth it and a job well was done.

I started three sock knitting groups on Yahoo too! One is called Second Sock Syndrome which pretty much speaks for itself. A lot of sock knitters use DPN’s and knit one sock at a time. We may get one sock finished but then are distracted by something else. Like that new yarn we just bought and have to try it out just to see how it looks, then we’ll go back and finish that second sock. Ya right. This list was created to help motivate us and get ideas on finishing that second sock.

Then there’s my Sockamaniac Sock-a-long. Here we knit the same sock pattern as a group project. The difference with this sock-a-long is that all our project patterns are designed by the members. And finally mySockamaniac Socknitters group. It’s a general sock knitting group with some off topic chat. We have a lot of fun besides sharing our sock knitting experiences and funnies. (more…)

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Great, new yarns

What can I say, I’m at it again. Couldn’t resist these great yarns. Just look at these colors and textures. Could you say no? Stashamentia strikes again! Let’s face it, when you finish a pair of socks, do you want to put your needles down, leave the warmth of your home and go to the store to buy more yarn?

Nah. Well at least that’s my excuse for buying more yarn. I got some Opal cotton this time. I’m curious how it works for socks.

My local yarn shop started carrying solid color fingering weight 100% wool baby yarn in this brand. I thought I’d use it for my own color designs as in argyle socks.

Self-patterning yarn is nice for quick projects but I like working with bobbins wrapped in different colors to create stripes, etc. much better. Gives a neater, cleaner look. I guess I have a new illness, matching compulsive disorder. LOL

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Funny Story about making socks part 2

Once upon a time (it was more like yesterday to be exact), there was this absolutely gorgeous redheaded beauty named Everett (Ya right! Her red hair was courtesy of Miss Clairol. Oh alright, I confess! It’s really Garnier’s Intense Auburn). She was petite, (you mean short, don’t you?) with a very shapely body (as in rotund). Men just couldn’t stop looking at her. ( They couldn’t look at anything else for she was blocking their view with her rotund figure.) After many years, she got tired of being yelled at by men as she walked by.

She thought it was because they were admiring her shapely figure and gorgeous red hair. Ya right! NOT! They were yelling at her to get out of their way. They were at Fenway Park trying to watch the Red Sox. She goes there quite often with her husband who’s an avid Red Sox fan.) She wanted to be admired because of her mind, not her body. I mean beauty after all isn’t everything. (This lady is delusional and needs to get a life!).

She decided to expand her horizons by learning something new (She thinks the horizon refers only to where the sun rises and sets.) so she went to her LYS to learn how to knit.(This I gotta see.) While she was there, she saw a group of women knitting socks happily while chatting away. This caught her interest, so she decided to try knitting socks.

She ran through that shop like a crazed person grabbing all colors of sock yarn from the bins, DPN’s and circulars from the hooks and sock books from the racks. (Man, you should have seen the ruts in the floor after she had been there.) Armed with her bags of knitting goodies, she quickly ran home (more like waddled because of her shapely figure,) eager to get started. After a while, the sound of clickity, clickity, clickity began to be heard from her favorite room.

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Funny story about bad socks

My dear husband, Please forgive me for my decision to take my life. I just couldn’t stand it anymore. The pressure was too great for me to handle. No one could endure what I’ve been through. It started 3 days ago when I decided to knit a pair of socks for myself with that brightly colored yarn that you had your eyes on (See that’s what she gets for being selfish and keeping that thread for her.)

I had the perfect pattern for it called Feather and Fan socks. So I started knitting away trying to get the first one finished by today figuring that I could have the pair finished by Sunday so that I could wear them to church with my new clear clogs made for showing off my hand knit socks (What church does she go to?)

When I finished picking up the stitches along the gussets, (Ya right! Like he knew what she was talking about.) I decided to try it on to see how it fit. I finally, after much struggling, got it over my heel, and up to my calf, to my horror, I saw how tight it was. I couldn’t understand it.

Everyone on the sock-along list that I belong to was complaining that their socks were coming out too lose. How could mine be so tight? So I traced my steps right from the beginning. The pattern called for 72 stitches; I had 72 stitches. It called for sock yarn; I used sock yarn, it called for size 1 needles, I used a size 1 circular.

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Knitting is addictive – my explanation

A recent quote from Knitty Coffeeshop says:
Analysis: Sock yarn has more addictive properties than crack. That’s the only explanation I can come up with.

Sockamaniac says: “No-o-o-o kidding! We knew that, didn’t we? One thing they forgot to mention is that spinning your own yarn is not only highly addictive but impossible to quit. In fact, to this day there is not one single spinner that has been able to overcome their addiction. And have you noticed that there are no quite spinning rehab places for spinners? Come on now, let’s tell it like it really is.”

Note what the Journal on Neurology reports regarding knitting:

Knitting is one of 13 activities shown to reduce the risk of developing dementia by as much as 38%.

Sockamaniac says:  “Oh yea? Well, what they don’t know is that there are different kinds of dementia, such as stashamentia! So yes, that urge to buy yarn that you really don’t need cause you haven’t finished all your other hundreds of projects, or buying more yarn only to find out that you already have 50 of the same balls at home, or throwing your teens out the night they graduate just so you could have their rooms to store more yarn, not to mention sending poor hubby’s Bose stereo system with the supersonic sub-woofers and TV to the repair when they didn’t even need it so you could use all those wonderful sections in the now empty entertainment unit for yet more yarn and unfinished projects.

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Yarn Reviews

I love to buy anything that has to do with sock knitting and spinning! Come on admit it; you do too! There are never enough yarn suppliers or different yarns for me. I always want more. One thing that does get confusing is knowing enough about a particular yarn and how it will work up for socks using a pattern that I chose. Should I buy this yarn or that yarn? What will it look like knitted up? How well will it wear? Does it hold it’s shaped? Will I need to reinforce the heels with another yarn? Round and round I go. Does that sound like you?

So I decided to start reviewing sock yarns and even potential yarns that could be used to knit socks to see how a certain brand of yarn works out on different patterns, the number of stitches, needles and so forth. After reading my reviews, you’ll know what to expect from these yarns and which yarn is the best one to buy for a particular sock pattern that you have in mind.

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A Love of Fiber

It Began With A Love of Fiber
I grew up in San Francisco – a real city girl. In college, I majored in Art and explored all types of media. I felt something special the day I walked into the weaving classroom. It was like I had found what was right for me as the vehicle for my creative expression. 50 years later I am still enthralled with what I do. I added spinning to my addiction in 1982. I take great pride in creating, and carefully crafting, one-of-a-kind quality knitted and woven treasures.

Eventually, my children were grown and on their own. Then my husband took early retirement from teaching at the university and we moved to the foothills in Northern California to a small community called Georgetown. And we actually had 5 acres of land! My “dream studio” was built – the wish I thought could not happen came true. I really would have a farm with animals.

What kind of fiber animals should I have? Some years before a friend had given me a Jacob sheep fleece from England. It was a joy to spin! 21 years ago it was difficult to find these elusive fleeces, or sheep, because there were very few Jacob flocks in the United States. My first Jacob, Ms. Prissy, came from Clinton, New Jersey by plane. Three other ewes came from Washington state, and this was the start of my flock. The lambs have a birth weight of 6 to 7 lbs. and look like stuffed toys that any child would cherish.

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Nancy’s Knit Knacks Electronic Row Counter

I’ve had a lot of experience with electronic gadgets, computers, digital cameras and so forth over the years so I pretty much can figure out how to use them on my own using the instructions only if necessary. I have to admit that I love the challenge of figuring out how to use a newly purchased gadget. So when I took the row counter out of the box, I was totally prepared to have to spend time trying to figure out how to use it even with the instructions. To my total surprise, I had this counter working for me in 5 minutes.

All I needed to know was which button was for what function, and before I knew it, I had all three count functions used to keep track of the three different socks that I was working on. I was disappointed, to say the least. This was too quick! I wanted to brag to my husband again about how smart I was for figuring out how to operate yet another electronic gadget all by myself. Well, Nancy’s Knit Knacks surely took away my glory when they designed this easy to use the electronic row counter. It’s too easy. That’s a big plus for this row counter. It may look like it will be difficult to learn how to use but not so.

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Knitting Tips

Here are some awesome knitting tips for beginners. Enjoy!

How to read a chart

Not ALL charts are alike. Reading a knitting chart is different than a cross stitch. It can be confusing but not when you follow my simple tutorial.

Self -Patterning Yarn – How will it look?

Want to know how a self-patterning yarn will look? Just wrap some yarn around a ruler and voila! It will give you an idea of how the pattern will progress but remember the sock pattern has more stitches which makes it much wider than the stripes pictured here and so the stripes in your sock pattern will be much narrower.

Roving Bag

While I’m spinning, I somehow either get caught in the roving or step on it without knowing and end up with a break. Being the inventor like my Dad was, I came up with this idea for holding my roving so that it wouldn’t be on the floor within reach of my Poms or my feet. What I did was purchase a plastic gift bag (not paper) then I got one of those hooks from 3M that sticks to a surface but releases when you pull the strip of sticky stuff down. Off it comes without leaving any residue or removing paint or wallpaper. I don’t want to ruin my beautiful wheels, so this is what I used. I stuck it to my wheel, attached the hook and hung my bag full of roving. Works great!

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