Monday, December 15, 2014

yipes stripes

Actual Knitting Content!
This is the story of my most recent knitting project, finished the night before work recommenced on the porch. 

High on the thrilling success of my first knitalong adventure, I joined a Random Rummage CraftaLong set up by the lovely podcaster Chrissy at Stitched Together. This began with a "rummage" through existing stash, then choosing a project to suit the randomly-selected yarn.

My stash includes several weights and fibers - cotton, alpaca, cashmere, wool - but mostly in small quantities, so the project might have been anything from a dishcloth to a scarf. But my "rummage" (using a stash list and a random number generator) turned up a skein of dark brown merino in fingering-weight. So the obvious project was:
More Socks!

Piper helped a lot with these socks. She enjoys knitting,
and will often stand next to my chair with her head on my knee:

"It's Quality Control! Someone has to count those stitches!"

The dark brown yarn turned out to be really difficult on my aging eyes. Being an experienced knitter and all, I knew there were stitches somewhere below my needles, but I certainly could not distinguish between them. All my tricks - light-colored needles, a bright light, embiggening glasses - helped only to a limited extent. So as relief for my eyes, I began adding stripes of other colors, using yarn left over from previous socks.
You may even recognize some of these colors:

Does it look odd to see yarn in a coffeepot?
Here comes a Knitting Tip!

One can buy truly lovely ceramic or wooden(!) "yarn bowls" to keep a working ball of yarn from rolling away, but I've always taken the low-budget route. First I used a deep mixing bowl, then I tried a teapot. Then I came upon the best idea yet: a clear coffeepot with a flip-up lid and a big, easy-to-grip handle. I've picked these up at tag sales for a dollar or two each. They keep the yarn clean, and the convenient handle is very helpful for a person who knits in several locations, indoors and outdoors.

This beautiful Cinnamon Queen hen (sadly no longer with us, but she had a long and very happy life) used to hop up on my lawn chair whenever she saw me knitting outdoors, and watch the ball of yarn bob around in a bowl as I worked.
Very intent, she was!
"It's Quality Control!
That dog knows nothing about gauge!"

Did you know that a curious hen can suddenly reach into a yarn bowl and pluck your whole ball of yarn out and toss it onto the ground? It's true. With a glass coffeepot, a hen can enjoy the entertainment value of watching the ball jerkily unroll as the knitting progresses, and that's it.

These socks turned into a lot of fun.
I just made it up as I went along,
trying new things, ripping back, then trying something else.

All the ripping back was made painless by the use of lifelines.
I never could have gotten those brown stitches back on the needles without the dental floss lifelines!

When the power went out at Thanksgiving,
I did the heelflaps by candlelight.

 I think these socks will be a lot of fun to wear.

Here's a link to the ravelry project page,
in case anyone is interested in the yarny details.


Well, the Monday sun will soon be up,
and the Gable Resolution will be undertaken again.
Thank you all for your very interesting and helpful comments!
Much appreciated!
Stay tuned  :)


  1. Need to get my order in - please keep my name at the top if the list... :)

    1. Hahaha! Dani, you asked a while back (and I keep forgetting, sorry!) - the neckwarmer dimensions, laid flat and unstretched, are about 7x23 inches. And wouldn't it be nice made with alpaca?

    2. That was my thought exactly :) Thanks for the measurements...

  2. I really enjoyed seeing actual knitting content! The socks really are great. I'm too lazy to use up yarn like that, I just use self striping yarn and then use my scraps for the sock yarn blanket squares.

    1. Thank you so much, but "lazy"? Hohoho! I've seen a few of your projects! :)
      I am in awe of anyone who knits blankets and shawls. Well, anyone who finishes knitting them, that is ;)

  3. Those are fabulous! I have several pairs of socks knitted for me by my sister and by some kind friends who know about my cold, cold feet. I've had them all for 5 years or more, and they're still in good shape. Here's to the knitters! Long may you knit (and purl). Your coffee pot trick is really quite clever. I'm posting a link to this post on Facebook so my knitting friends can see this idea :)

    1. Thanks! So nice to see a comment from you, Sue - I know how busy you are these days!
      I hope the coffeepot idea is helpful to some of your knitting friends. Funny thing: I don't drink coffee, but now I own 4 coffeepots! ;)

  4. Darling Piper, I want to kiss her on the nose!

  5. Well looks like your furry and feathered friends knew their stuff with the quality control! The socks look great! They look so soft and cozy. I like the coffee pot idea. I started collecting various bowls etc for the bouncing ball of yarn, and now have far too many ... at least they were all thrift store buys :) Wendy x

  6. Amazing Socks!!! I love striped socks so much, and yours are gorgeous!

  7. I love the socks! And Piper looks like she needs a kiss. :)

  8. Hello! Those socks are the nicest I've seen! Absolutely gorgeous! Have a lovely Christmas, lucy xxx

    1. Gosh, thank you Lucy! High praise from an expert sock-knitter :) A very happy Christmas to all the Lockets!


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