Darn it

I managed to get a funny hole in my sock.  It’s on top of the toes (not a spot where I usually get a lot of wear), and closer examination revealed that it’s just one popped strand.  There’s no sign of wear (the fabric around it isn’t thin), so my guess is it just got caught on something (kitten claws are a distinct possibility) and snapped.  This is easy to fix…

I started by securing the freestanding stitch with one of my very favorite safety pins/stitch markers.  The strand that broke is directly above this stitch.  The safety pin keeps the dangling stitch from running down any farther and makes it easier to recreate the fabric around and over the hole.  Then I moved out a few rows below and to the side of the hole (when in doubt go bigger) and started duplicate stitching over the existing fabric.

When I g0t to the row with the pinned stitch, I kept on duplicate stitching, just following the path of the existing yarn like I had been all along.  That meant going right through the pin.  The pin helps make the new stitch the right size and keeps the damaged fabric stabilized while I’m working.

On the row where the broken stitch means there’s actually missing fabric, I used the outside edge of the pin as a guide.  I just wraped the yarn around it to make the missing stitch. This is the only spot where I was actually creating totally new fabric (instead of tracing the path of existing fabric).  It’s easy enough when you’re only dealing with one stitch, but if there were more, I’d use one pin per column of bad stitches (and it does get trickier if there are lots of missing stitches…though it can be done).

Once I was past the hole, I just did a few more rows to finish it off and called it good.  The pin stayed in the same place the whole time and made it much easier to line up the stitches where the underlying thread was gone (and kept the hole from getting bigger as I tugged on the surrounding fabric as I worked).

If this had been a hole caused by wear I would have used thicker yarn and made a bigger patch.  But since this is just a snapped strand, this should take care of stabilizing it and make the socks fine for many more wearings.  The whole thing took about fifteen minutes (and would have taken less if I’d not been taking pictures), which seems like a fine investment to keep using something that probably took twenty hours to make in the first place.

Burgeoning (plus giveaway)

One afternoon, a few days after our move, I took a little walk around the yard with my camera and knitting in hand.  I was looking for somewhere to show off these slippers.  And what do you know, we have a handy woodpile that does the job rather nicely.  The pattern is called Burgeoning, and I think it’s a lovely way to start things off in the new house!

There’s something really satisfying about how these work up.  You cast on at the back of the heel, work a few increases for the bottom of your foot, work a few decreases for the gusset, and then finish up at the toes.  They’re simple and clever and pretty, and the they come together amazingly quickly.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel hideously clever the whole time you’re knitting them.  You really can’t see where you cast on or where you finish up, so they look sort of like they created themselves out of the ether with no beginning and no end.  I mean I know how they work…you know how they work…there’s no actual trickery here.  But somehow they feel just the tiniest bit like a magic trick!

I made mine with Zealana’s Rimu DK.  This was my first time using a yarn with possum in it, and I sort of loved it.  The yarn has just a bit of a halo, and it gives the fabric a really nice look (if you zoom in on the pictures, you should be able to see it).  It’s very soft, very warm, and from what I read, it should be quite sturdy…all of which sounds great in a slipper.  I know possum can be a little bit controversial, but the Zealana folks have a lot of good information about it over here that makes me feel better about using it.

I’ve got two extra balls of the yarn I used (that was plenty to make a pair of slippers for my size 11 feet) to send off to someone who’d like to give it a try.  Just leave a comment here telling me the most interesting material you’ve ever knit with.  Possum?  Yak?  Bison?  Or maybe you like stainless steel or the space-age outlast or the nifty yarns made from milk or corn (yes really…I’m not making it up!)?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like to know what you guys have used.

And for everyone I can’t send yarn to, I’ve got a coupon for Burgeoning.  You can use the code HALO to get 10% off between now and Friday.  Just put Burgeoning in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code HALO.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, October 6, 2017 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them. Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.

Business as usual

We’re starting to feel settled in.  I know where almost everything is (though the basement still holds some mysteries) and we’re down to just a tiny handful of boxes lingering in corners.  All of which means it’s time to get back to work and do some knitting!  This was technically finished up just before we left Cleveland, but I’ve not shown it off, so I’m taking shameless liberties with the timeline and doing so now.

I really do like these more than I should…I mean yes, it’s just a facecloth.  It’s the complete opposite of fancy or complicated or flashy.  But it’s one of those tiny upgrades that’s just awfully nice to use.

Do you guys have any things like that?  Little improvements that make a totally disproportionate difference?  I feel like I have quite a few (good butter…fancy lip balm…linen sheets…wool blankets) and they really make a huge difference in your day to day life!


Aaaaand we’re in!  All tucked into the new house in Maine, mostly unpacked, and ready to get back to work.  You’ll start seeing me around more next week (next up, the pattern for those lovely green slippers everyone has asked about).  They’ll be the first pattern photographed in our shiny new back yard!

Thanks for sticking with me during the move (so. many. boxes), and I promise to show off lots of lovely Maine goodness over the next months as we get settled in!