HANDMADE/HOMEMADE

I am a member of Ravelry, a knit and crochet community of over 4 million members worldwide.  One can keep track of their projects, find patterns, join a community forum of like minded folks.

I am seeing a lot of posts about handmade/homemade items given as gifts being unappreciated by others.

Folks, listen up.

First of all, that hand crocheted or hand knitted item took hours to make.  Evidently, the person who made it thought you were deserving of their time and skills.

Second, this is SKILLED labor.  Try getting your car repaired without paying for the labor.  You will be laughed out of there pretty darn quick.  And this person felt you were deserving of this skilled labor at no charge.

Third, it is NOT cheap.  It seems a lot of folks think others make gifts because it is cheaper than buying them.  That is so NOT the case.  The yarn for that hand crocheted or hand knitted item cost more than the same, mass produced item found in a local boutique.

Fourth, the item your received is unique.  Most likely it is one of a kind and you won’t see a kazillion others like it.

So the next time you receive a handmade/homemade crocheted or knitted gift,  ohhhhh and ahhhhh a lot!  And treat the gift as a priceless artifact and  I guarantee you will remain on the crochet/knit worthy list for a long time.

DDmh cmd a SS11a Devons mits 003a FP5a msd10a CTS5a

Designing a New Sock

I am currently designing a new sock for men. I wanted something that was somewhat generic, but that men would wear. I talked with my youngest son. He said it’s all about color, not fancy stitches. So I came up with a plaid sock.

First of all, I worked it out on graph paper. I played around with it until I got it like I wanted. Then I began to implement it.

Now I am no stranger to stranded (colorwork or fairisle) knitting. I know it takes longer to knit and it also tends to draw up the width more so than just knitting with a single yarn. BUT, OMG! This sock is labor intensive. I do like the results, but I don’t think I will be making this again. If I do I will only, repeat, ONLY do the plaid section on the top or cuff of the sock and only for a short distance.

Figuring out on paper where to change colors is so much different than the actual knitting of said colors. As I said, it is labor intensive. And I still have to write it up as a pattern and place said pattern in my store for sale.

After all this work, I certainly hope the pattern sells well.

MPS2a

Oh BTW, I call it Mens Plaid PIA Sox.

Wearing Socks in Florida

I’m a knitter, a sock knitter primarily. I just love to knit them and wear them. And, yes, I live in Florida. I wear socks year around.

Why? you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. First, it does get extremely hot and humid here. That includes the sand at the beach. That sand can blister your feet in seconds. Then you can give up walking for awhile. The sun can blister the tops of your feet while the sand takes care of the bottoms.

Second, this is the South. Air conditioning is used everywhere. I don’t mean just cool comfort from the heat outside. I mean freezing temperatures, walk-in freezer type temperatures in stores, theaters, homes, businesses, schools, etc. That cool blast feels pretty good the first few minutes you are inside, then you begin to get cold and that includes your feet.

Third, I make my socks with a wool blend sock yarn. Wool pulls moisture away from the skin so you don’t have that yukky, sticky, wet squishy feeling while wearing your socks.

So, I’ll continue to wear my socks year round…in Florida.

FysD

RRS16a

BS2a

Berries in a Basket Socks Free Knitting Pattern

Berries in a Basket Socks

This is an easy pattern to do. Assumption is made that you already know how to knit socks. If not, check previous entries on my blog for more information on knitting socks. There are also numerous how-to videos on Youtube, including grafting the toe using the Kitchner stitch.

Materials:
2 50/60 gram skeins of fingering/sock yarn (I used Deborah Norville’s Serenity sock yarn colorway Chili color #DN104-07)
Set of 5 US#3 double points (it is critical that you use 5 needles so that the pattern will be easy to follow)
Yarn needle for grafting the toe.

Pattern:

Berries:
1. P2 K2 around
2. P2 K2 around
3. K2 P2 around
4. K2 P2 around
Repeat 1-4 above 4 more times (total of 5 times)

Basket:
1. Knit 1 round even
2. K2 P6 around
3. Repeat row 2
4. Repeat row 2
5. Knit 1 round even
6. P4 K2 P6 K2 P2 around
7. Repeat row 6
8. Repeat row 6
Repeat rows 1-8 again.

FYI: Both patterns above work on a multiple of 4.
Gauge: 7 stitches to the inch and about 10 rows to the inch

Cast on 64 stitches using your favorite cast on method and divide evenly over 4 needles (16 stitches on each needle).
Join and K2 P2 around for a total of 10 rounds.

Do Berry pattern.

Then do Basket pattern.

The leg can be increased in length by repeating either of the patterns above or both.

From here to completion of the sock use your preferred method for the heel flap, turning the heel, gusset stitches, foot and toe.

Repeat for second sock.

BS2a

BS26a

I love the colorway of this yarn, but photographing it was a PIA!

4 More Working Days

….and then I am officially retired. I can hardly wait.

I’ve been working since I was 16 years old. During my high school years I did summer jobs and holiday jobs. When I graduated from high school I went to work full time at the home office of Holiday Inns in Memphis as a receptionist. I advanced to a secretarial position in the Treasury Department of Holiday Inns, typing spreadsheets and balance sheets, etc.

I got married while I was there. Still married to the same guy, BTW. We lived in an apartment to begin with, then moved to some property with a trailer.

When my dad died, my mom decided to move to Florida. Hubby and I were going through a rough patch at the time. So we decided to move with her. Start new, start fresh. It wasn’t long after we moved, that mom got sick. She was finally diagnosed with terminal cancer. We lived with her until she died, less than 6 months from the time she was diagnosed.

After she died, I went back to school for nursing. I had been impressed by the care she had received at the hospital. I didn’t work during this time, although you could call going to nursing school work. It wasn’t easy. I passed my boards and went to work at a local hospital.

I’ve worked at 2 hospitals, a doctor’s office and a nursing home during this time. Now I’m almost 62, next month I’ll be 62. I’m tired, tired of working, tired of having to make a living, tired of working at the whim and command of others. It’s time to do things I want to do, when I want to do them. Go to bed when I want and get up when I want.

Oh don’t worry, I’ll have enough to keep me busy. I have enough yarn and fabric and books to last 3 lifetimes. And I can pinch pennies with the best of them. I’ll save for little trips to far away places…well maybe not so far, but still a trip nonetheless. I also plan to do some yearly volunteer work at our local Fair. That’s only 1 week a year. I think I can handle that.

So what plans have you got for retirement?

UPDATE:

Yesterday was my first day of retirement after working all nite. So I slept off and on all day. Today is my second day of retirement and I have things to do regarding 401K’s.

bg32

Minions!

I was browsing through Ravelry’s pattern base and came across a pattern for a knitted minion. There were several for crocheted ones too. Anyway my youngest son saw it and wanted one.

Yesterday, I went through my stash and gathered my yellow wool yarn and denim blue wool yarn. Then I located my fiberfill, some buttons and glue. Then I pulled up the pattern and began knitting the little guy. It took very little yarn and only a few hours to complete.

I began thinking…not usually a good idea for me. But, wouldn’t it be great if we all had minions to do our housecleaning, grocery shopping, yard work etc. Now where is that Minions, Inc. so I can get me a few minions. I would certainly have more time to craft.

Dave the minion

Basic Footies Pattern

If you can knit socks, you can knit these basic, easy footies.

Materials:

1 set of 5 US 3 double pointed needles
1 50 gram skein of sock yarn solid color (I used Bernat Sox Sock yarn)
1 50 gram skein of sock yarn self striping (again Bernat Sox Sock yarn)
Tapestry or yarn needle for grafting the toe
Gauge: 7 stitches to the inch, 9 rows to the inch

Terms:

C/O – cast on
K – knit
P – purl
Sl – slip
PSSO – pass slipped stitch over
DP – double pointed
CC – contrast color (solid)
MC – main color (stripes)
tog – together
PU – pick up

Cuff:

Using size 3 DP needles C/O 60 stitches with CC and divide evenly over 4 needles (15 stitches). Join and begin K1, P1 rib around. Repeat for a total of 7 rounds.

Heel Flap:

Join MC, and S1, K1 across the next two needles …onto one needle so that you are working back and forth on one needle while doing the heel flap. Turn

S1, P across the needle.

Repeat these two rows until you have completed a total of 30 rows.

Turn the Heel:

Set up row: K 20 stitches. S1, K1, PSSO. Turn

a. S1, P10 stitches, P2tog. Turn
b. S1, K10 stitches, S1, K1 PSSO. Turn

Repeat a and b above until all stitches have been worked.

K across the 12 stitches

Gussett:

PU 15 stitches along the side and knit. You will have 15 + 12 stitches on one needle. This will be reduced in just a moment.

K across the next two needles.

PU 15 stitches along the next side and knit. AND knit 6 stitches from your first needle. You now have 21 stitches on needles 1 & 4 and 15 stitches on needles 2 & 3. Your starting/ending will now begin in the middle of the heel.

Reduce the Gussett Stitches:

Round 1:

K up to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1
K the stitches on the next two needles
K1, S1, K1, PSSO, K remainder of stitches

Round 2:

K even (no decreases)

Repeat the above 2 rounds until you have decreased the number of stitches down to 15 on needles 1 & 4.

Foot:

K even until the foot of the sock measures about 6 inches from the PU stitches.

Toe Decreases:

Needle 1. K up to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1
Needle 2. K1, S1, K1, PSSO. K to end of needle
Needle 3. repeat needle 1
Needle 4. repeat needle 2

K one round even

Repeat above until you have 6 stitches left on each needle. Slip these stitches to 2 needles (12 stitches on each), making sure that your decrease stitches are on the ends of each needle. You will have to knit across one needle to get your yarn in position to graft the toe.

Using the kitchener stitch, graft the toe stitches. Work in all loose ends with your tapestry/yarn needle.

Repeat for other footie.