Sunday, September 30, 2007

Philosopher's House Socks

I told you this book is fun! This is the "philosopher's house sock", from New Pathways for Sock Knitters.
The sock is knit toe-up, with all the increases made in a cute little gusset on the top of the foot. Cascade 220 makes it a quick knit. I used size 3 needles, but I knit very loose. This might be the November sock-of-the-month. For a change, I have already started the second sock!

Friday, September 28, 2007


My friend Betty does a lot of stuff for lots of people. She mends, she irons, tends bar, sings at weddings, and of course, she knits. One of her specialities is catering for parties. When I marvel at all the things she gets accomplished in a short amount of time she responds in one of two ways.

One response is "Oh, a CHILD could do that!"

The other is "My elves helped me."

Betty call her friends Caryl and Jen her "elves" because the do some of the work involved with the food, but Betty is still in charge, like Santa.

Last night, Loose Ends Yarn Shop had a visit from some "elves"! I planned to stay after the Knit night crowd dispersed, and change the window from my "white" theme,,,, to something more autumnal. Changing the window is a lot of work, it takes hours ,and often Dave helps me, but last night I was prepared to do it by myself...... Little did I know that the elves would show up!

Betty, Fluoride and Caryl got wind that I was staying late, and jumped in with both feet! Fluoride is very handy on a ladder, and with a vacuum! Soon another elf named Mary stopped by and lickety-split, the window was done!

It's hard to tell from the photo, but there are three ladders in the window, a short one, a medium and a tall one.

Monday , October 1st, marks our third anniversary at the shop! The graduating height of the ladders are supposed to represent our growth.

Thanks to all my customers and the ELVES!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fun Socks

A few weeks ago , a new book came into my shop, New Pathways for Sock Knitters, by Cat Bordhi. Don't come in tomorrow to look at it, we are all sold out. I have more on order. I knew immediately that this book would be popular....... it takes a revolutionary look at knitting socks... or "sockitecture" as the author calls it.

I have been itching to try out a few of the techniques from the book,,, but I promised myself (and others) to finish some knitting, sewing, mending, cleaning.......first.

Well, while at the cabin Sunday, I finally made two "sample socks" from the book.

To the untrained eye, these socks may look the same. AHHHHH, but they are not. Not like knitting any other socks you may have made in the past. What fun!

This one is called is called the 'sky" sock, all the instep shaping is done in a triangle at the top of the foot.

All the increasing is done between markers "a" and 'b" . Top down.



One done, I launched into the next sample sock.
The "Coriolis" sock has a swirly bit of design and shaping across the top of the foot and up the leg.
This sock is knit from the toe up. I love it!

the arch stitches in socks don't need to go where we've always put them. With a little understanding, you can put those stitches anywhere within the arch area - for example, in an orderly column or placed randomly - with equally successful results. Bordhi outlines eight sock architectures based on this principle, with master patterns that can be customized for any foot, yarn type, or needle, in any size ranging from infant to large adult. More than twenty additional patterns round out the collection. This is just book one . . . I can only imagine what'll come next. --Clara Parkes, INTERWEAVE KNITS Magazine

I heartily agree with this review, and I can't wait to try another method of sock construction from this book!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Autumn colors

We spent a few days at the cabin


Friday, September 21, 2007

Santa Claus is coming to town

These boys will join the cowpoke and start their trip to the state of Washington on Monday.

A bit of my former occupation

For those of you who did not know me before I opened Loose Ends Yarn Shop, this is one of my former occupations... santamaker. I made Santa's for years, full time, before I went into retail. Today I am home, filling a special order that I promised many months ago. The customer has been very patient. To be honest, I don't think my hand/wrist is really in shape for santamaking yet.....but this cowpoke is finished. One down, two to go!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

October Sock finished

October's sock of the month is finished. It's the Jaywalker sock done in Cascade's Sassy Stripes. For an autumnal twist, I used off white Baby Ull for the toe, to simulate candy corn.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Random thoughts

Today was a fairly good day, in the grand scheme of things.... But tonight, I am tired and my back hurts, and I am feeling whiny and crabby. It seems lately there has been a lot of nasty stuff happening around me, and my perceived control over my little world is slipping away. (I know, none of us has any control over things, we just like to think we do.) I should just go to bed and sleep.

Instead, I am trying to re-focus on the positive, and what makes me happy. A major thing that makes me happy is spending time with my granddaughter Emili. Today being Monday, I picked Emili up from school, and she spent several hours at my house while her mother was working. Small things about Emili make me smile. I love the fact that she knows where all the stuff in my house is. She spends a lot of time here, and is very comfortable, as if it were her home. She knows where I keep the dish towels and the masking tape. She knows that the cats get their hairball medicine on Mondays that Grandpa waters the plants on Mondays. Her intimate knowledge of how our household is run gives me great pleasure. Makes me smile even when I am crabby.

I always felt safe and secure at my Nana's house and it's seems that Emili feels the same way here. That is definitely a good thing. I think I will sleep on that.

October Sock of the month

For those of you participating in the sock of the month group........Here is October's sock, partially complete... If you are not part of the group, it is open to all....... click here for more info.
The first six months that we held this class, we focused on the "Favorite Socks" book. Now we are exploring some of the popular internet patterns that are out there on the web.
This is the JAYWALKER sock, from Magknits, a free online knitting magazine.
It's an easy pattern that progresses quickly. I have an idea for the toe to make this sock especially autumnal...... any guesses?

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I have learned to tat! At least I think I did. See that tiny circle of knotted thread, to the right of the coin? That's tatting, believe it or not. The coin is a nickle. Kinda unimpressive, huh?

Growing up on the farm, we always had a "hired man."
For most of my childhood our hired man was Glenn, a somewhat developmentally disabled man who lived with us. I think he lived with us for almost twenty years. He had some physical disabilities and a difficult childhood, as I recall. My parents were good to him and he was like one of the family.

From time to time, Glenn's mother, Elsie, would come to visit him. She was also mentally challenged, and was not able to drive. My mom would drive to the residential facility where Elsie lived and bring her to the farm so she could spend the day with Glenn.
Elsie always brought her tatting along, and I was fascinated by the motions of her hands. I don't think she could read, but that woman could tat! I tried to learn from her, but never got the hang of it.
Until Friday. Sue (aka FIBER PRINCESS) taught a class on tatting at my shop. Sue is a wonderful, patient teacher and I think everyone in the class caught on.

Lynda always tells me that if a person practices a skill for 15 minutes a day, for 2 weeks, it will be with you for life. I intend to practice tatting until I can make something that can be seen without a magnifying glass!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Finished fichu

It's never really finished until it's blocked, but the knitting is complete. No time for blogging lately, I promise to catch up as soon as possible.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Vintage linens

Don't you just love vintage linens? Makes a house feel so cozy......
Starting next week, Loose Ends Yarn Shop will have a corner devoted to vintage tableclothes, pillowcases, runners, doilies even and occasionally potholder. All from the same estate, these linens are sure to sell quickly......

Never enough

I did some spinning last weekend. A photo of the roving, unknown fiber content. A shot of the yarn on the plying head of my Lendrum wheel

The skein before washing The skein after washing,,, looks like there is a lot of mohair in this fiber.
Only 56 grams spun,, I wanted to make socks. Even for the short socks that I prefer, 56 grams is not enough. Back to the wheel.....what delicious torture!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Goodman Chronicles

On Monday, Dave and I finished a project that I had started in OCTOBER 2006!

No, not a knitting project,
we completed



What a mighty feat!

Dave and I went to school back in the old days, before computers, cell phones, DVDs, Cd's, even microwaves. I think Dave might have even been in school before 8 tracks! I have provided a link for those of you too young to remember 8-tracks. Look it up.

Back in those days, KEYBOARDING class did not exist, it was called "TYPING". Girls took typing, boys rarely did, and if they did their sexual orientation was immediately in question,,,,,,,., come to think of it, I don't think it was called "sexual orientation" back then either....Dave did not take typing. I was too busy in the FFA to bother with typing. Hmmmm,, Maybe my sexual orientation was being questioned,too.?? Smarter than most, I was in the FFA because thats where the boys were!

Because of our inability to predict the importance of typing, Um -keyboarding--- in the New Millennium....... Dave and I just "hunt and peck" on the keyboard. It takes FOREVER!

Back to the Chronicles,,
for many years, we have kept a journal, diary,,,, a record of sorts of our time at our cabin in Goodman, Wisconsin.
We scribbled our notes on the annual calendars that always hang in the kitchen of the cabin.... things like ...the weather.. activities, and times of arrival... If we had guests, we encourage them to write a few words on the calendars.
These records were shoved in a drawer, and no one ever looked at them.......
Last fall I decided to get rid of the stacks of a calendars and enter all the info into the computer, print it, bind it, and call the results THE GOODMAN CHRONICLES., I plan to put it on the coffee table at the cabin for all to enjoy! Yes, we have a coffee table inside, but the toilet is outside. go figure.

Well, the stack of calendars rested on the table next to my desktop for almost a year. Getting very dusty...........
Monday, Dave and I took the laptop onto the deck, along with the dusty calendars. With a little help from Mr J. Bavet and Mr J. Daniels, we got the data entered! We took turns. One of us would decipher the sometimes cryptic details scrawled in the tiny boxes on the calendars while the other one typed.
It was great fun, reliving all the years at the cabin.... We recalled the many guests we had,,, and some really exciting events.... Like the time Clay accidentally set the outhouse on fire.... that was a goodie! One entry (in my sister's handwriting) said "disco dancing by firelight", I really don't remember that! "Great choir at church in Goodman' is written several times in my mother's script. We took note that Megan has brought at least 3 different "beaus" to the cabin, but not the current fellow,,, we also saw that Dave's friend Ronnie, who passed away last spring, had his last visit to Goodman in October of 2006.

The GOODMAN CHRONICLES has not printed yet.... but consider yourself invited to come north, sit by the coffee table and have a look at is a great read!

Monday, September 3, 2007


I washed my crocheted tablecloth/bedspread today. I crocheted this about ten years ago. It looks pretty on the wash a lace tent!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Eesti Trail Hiking socks

This the September Sock of the Month at Loose Ends Yarn Shop. It is the Eesti Trail hiking sock. Lynda knit the hard parts of this sock, I finished it by knitting the foot and toe.
It is knit using Lynda's own handspun shetland yarn,,,, very nice indeed! Check out her Etsy shop.

Dave has great legs, doesn't he?

I did finish the toe, but Dave didn't want to model again.
Trust me, it looks good.

Saturday in pictures

I went to work.

I knit on September's Sock of the Month.

I went home.

We dug potatoes from the muddy garden.

Onions, too.

I did some spinning.

Sock yarn, I think.