Posts Tagged sock knitting

A Feverish Weekend Blog – Atchoo!

I’ve got a cold and feeling very sorry for myself.  I haven’t had many colds at all since moving to France and this is my first one for 5 years so I am making the most of it.  I am managing some incredibly loud sneezing fits, going through boxes of tissues as if I had been watching ‘The Notebook’ (again),  professing not to be able to taste anything so may as well not bother to cook (but ‘perhaps could just eat something if you’re doing it anyway’), ensuring everybody notices that the slightest exertion is making me short of breath,  appear to be covered in an attractive red rash which always happens if I’m a bit poorly and generally wafting about the place no use to man nor beast.

I’m doing as little as possible.  I think these two have the right idea although nobody would want to be that close to me at the moment so I might have to drape myself decoratively somewhere solo.

Curled Up Cats

Did you have a pull-along dog when you were a child?  I did – I think – and if I didn’t, I should have – and I’ve always fancied buying a vintage one for nostalgia’s sake.  Hard to see one that isn’t ripped, isn’t a donkey and isn’t an absolute fortune though so, when I saw Northfield Primitives’ Shop on Etsy I just had to go for one of her gorgeous dogs.  Handcrafted in Yorkshire, Sarah makes her animals on her old Singer treadle machine.This one (my one!) is made with hand-coloured mohair,  has a rusty bell and vintage meccano wheels, I am in love.

Hand Made Vintage Style Pull-Along Dog

Something else I bought on Etsy recently was this little pincushion ring from Lifepieces.  I have bought gazillions of her gorgeous pincushions for myself and as gifts and they are beautifully made – so much so, I can hardly bear to stick pins in them but, when I saw this one, I had to have it.  Look! That little owl is a pin – can you bear it?

pincushionring (2)

 Is it practical?  I’m not sure.  Is it gorgeous? Well, obviously.  Redressing the balance after my rant about re-sellers on Etsy recently – these sorts of shops remind me how it is still possible to find beautiful, hand made items from skilled artisans on the site when you really look.

Anyway, having no energy to do my usual housework chores (!) I have forged ahead with my new addiction.

Two at a time socks

I know it looks like I’m knitting a pair of sunglasses or a bikini top for a two year old but I am, in fact, knitting a pair – yes, you heard right – a pair of socks.  At one time.  On one long circular needle.  From the toes up. And…… drumroll…… I appear to be matching the stripes at the same time.  A bit ambitious for only my second pair of socks I know – considering the first were in nice chunky wool too and very fast to knit – but I know that I will be prone to ‘Second Sock Syndrome’,  a medical condition discovered by scientists studying the lifestyles and habits of sock knitters whereby, in layman’s terms, you finish one sock and then can’t be arsed to do the second one.  Not wanting to suffer from this – especially on top of a cold – I decided to go down the toe up, two at one time route and, with the help of the  internet and some incredibly helpful people who selflessly write out  reams of instructions and take loads of close up photos (or video themselves) for no apparent personal gain, I am on my way.

Honourable mentions for such tutorials go out to Knit Purl Hunter for ‘Judy’s Magic Cast On’ here 

                                                                                                       Liat Gat for Magic Loop Knitting here

                                                                                                       and Heidi Bears for knitting two socks at one time on one circular needle here

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Between Socks

I have more time now of an evening since the powers that be in telly land decided to move their satellites a little further away so that we can’t get terrestrial U.K. T.V.  here in my bit of France  unless we do techy things with laptops, VPNs and HDMI cables or replace our modest satellite dishes with humungous ones which we aren’t allowed to put on the roof and must install in the garden, having first applied for planning permission.   Yeah, right!   I know I could watch French T.V. but, when I get that desperate, I’ll probably be watching in a home somewhere being looked after by kindly nurses with no access to the remote control.

Anyway, I have paused between socks to finish my mustard coloured, Miette cardi that I started when Mum was here at Christmas.

SunflowerMietteCardigan (2)

I like the way mustard goes with navy – I’m not sure what other colours it goes with though.

SunflowerMietteCardigan (3)

A fun knit though maybe not quite as easy as some other, cleverer, knitters would have you believe  –  or so my Mum maintains as her effort lies abandoned in her knitting bag.

SunflowerMietteCardigan (4)

I got the mannequin to model the one with the buttons closed as her chest is more manageable than mine.  The cropped style, in my opinion, adds many inches and, unless you desire this effect, best wear it open as I plan to do.  However, the style was designed to wear with a sort of fifties style, waisted cotton dress and, should I ever feel frisky enough to put one of those on, I will do up those buttons and see what happens.

Should you be interested (or you can’t get the telly either) you can see my project notes on my Ravelry page here.

I am finding my new exposed stone wall very useful both for posing in front of and for taking product photos for my Etsy shops.  It was perhaps a little drastic to destroy half a room and employ a builder for 3 weeks but I think it was worth it.

I have started another knitting project so a new pair of socks will have to wait but, as a new addict, I have to tell you that I have invested in two balls of proper sock yarn and a little pouch full of different sized circular needle tips along with different sized cables from HiyaHiya (love that brand name) as I have started and will continue using the Magic Loop method and will not be tempted by DPNs.

Talking of the telly – I did manage to get The Great British Sewing Bee last night (after juggling with cables, etc.) and I was pleased to see they don’t seem to have changed the format too much as it is a welcome relief from other ‘reality’ shows with people being foul to each other and the endless, artificial ‘suspense’  for the announcement of the person going home each week.   It is genteel, kind, calm and informative – like the G.B. Bake Off – and, if I got a bit of a smug feeling when I knew how to make a handmade button loop and some of the contestants didn’t, well I didn’t gloat as it’s not that kind of a programme.


Liberty dress

…….just saying

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A Sock Selfie

Well, it seems life wasn’t too short to turn a heel and, not wishing to let a trend pass me by, I have taken a selfie of my finished sock.  Yes, I am lying on the bed with my foot up in the air – don’t you?

The First Sock

So, I’m hooked – what next for the new sock knitter?

I could try this –

sock monkey

or this

shari-lewis-+-lamb-chop-hi-mom-1-hr-puppet-classic-tv-d444(Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop)

or, what about this amazing art installation from Malaysian artist and architect Hong Yi, known as Red

sock artist Hong Yi

bringing a whole new meaning to hanging your socks out to dry

Artist Hong Yi

This is Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s portrait made of socks and pins and hung off bamboo sticks  ( see here for more on this)

Or, as I am fortunate enough to have two feet, perhaps I should just concentrate on knitting the other sock.

Speaking of ‘selfies’, why is it such a sudden phenomenon?  Hasn’t anybody who has ever had access to a vaguely modern camera stuck it in front of their own face and taken a (generally) hugely unflattering photograph of themselves.  Or was that just me?


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Talking to a Sock

‘Never say never’ should be my motto as, despite saying on numerous occasions that ‘life is too short to turn a heel’, I have decided to give it a go and knit a pair of socks.  (I still truly believe that I will never stuff a mushroom though).

I have plans to knit quite chunky ones for wearing to yoga class, putting on with wellies and for general slobbing about the place.  I was inspired by one of my blogging friends, Lucie, who has successfully knitted a pair despite being fairly new to knitting.

I am not going to go mad, as I usually do when taking up something new, and buy special sock yarn etc. but I have bought a book , ordered a short circular needle – both recommended by Lucie – and  have dug out some worsted/aran weight yarn from my stash.  If it goes well, I will be perusing online stockists of sock making paraphernalia like a demon.

This is as far as I’ve got so, as you can see, there is no cause for great excitement quite yet – if indeed there is ever any cause to be greatly excited by a sock

FirstSockAs I am not yet in possession of ‘specialist’ equipment I am using  the magic loop method using one long circular needle.  I taught myself  this method, using Youtube videos (hooray for the internet),  to knit the sleeves of my ‘top down’ cardigan which I am nearly finished.

The title is referring to a saying often employed by Mr. Tialys  when he is trying to get a point through to one of the Madamoiselles  and, as they glaze over,  he says it’s ‘like talking to a sock’.  I know what he means now and, when I get to the more complicated sections like heel and toe, I might well be swearing at a sock.

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