Sunday, August 30, 2009
Here's a photo of the Society Socks booth at the Farmer's Market yesterday. The weather was perfect, just a little cooler, and the market was packed with students and parents bringing kids back to college. We had a little drizzle, but fortunately a friend lent me the great umbrella. Another friend brought me the nifty foot models for the socks - aren't they great? Business was good - I think people are looking ahead to wool sock weather. My yarn inventory is way down - need to dye more.
Posted by Mary Jo at 10:23 PM
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Here are the latest socks. The ones on the left are called Huckleberry Hikers, and are a cotton blend from Sockotta. They are 45% cotton, 40% Superwash wool, and 15% nylon. The yarn felt a little stiff when I was knitting them, but they are comfortably soft now that they have been washed. I really like the colors. The other pair is called Italian Autumn, and, believe it or not, they are 50% acrylic, 50% nylon - no wool at all! Great for those on your list who are sensitive to wool, as one of my sons is. The yarn is made by Berocco, is called Comfort yarn, and is very soft and pleasant to knit. It comes in several really nice color combinations.
Posted by Mary Jo at 8:58 PM
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Last weekend Joel and I went to Portland, Oregon to watch our son, Michael, graduate as a professional librarian. Coincidentally, Portland was hosting the first Sock Summit that very same weekend. Daughter-in-law Sarah, who is also a sock knitter, and I wandered through the vendor section, with the guys trailing behind, looking at thousands of skeins of yarn and many gadgets that would make our knitting life easier. We didn't buy much, but had a great time. As you can see, I got the T shirt. Son Ian also came down from Tacoma for the festivities. He and a friend rode their bikes in the annual Bridge Pedal, a bike ride over all 11 of the bridges over the Willamette River in Portland. the ride was 42 miles, and 17,000 cyclists participated. The graduation ceremony was great, all pomp and circumstance, and Michael got a special award for academic excellence and professional promise. Sarah is next; she will be graduating by the end of the year with a master's degree in English as a Second Language. We are very proud of them all.
Posted by Mary Jo at 9:17 PM
Monday, July 20, 2009
Here are some recently knitted socks of mine. The purple and chartreuse socks are knit from Knit Picks Essential Multi fingering yarn, 75% Superwash wool, 25% nylon. This yarn is a little heavier than most fingering yarn, but is easy to knit and makes a soft, sturdy sock. I think the pattern is pretty nice - I call it Psychedelic Zebra. This is a good yarn for beginners.
The red socks are from Regia's Color series, a really nice yarn to knit. Its twist is tight enough to knit very easily without splitting, and loose enough to make a soft, comfortable sock. They are also 75% Superwash wool, 25% nylon. I have knit this color combination before; it is a favorite. These are a birthday present for a friend.
The blue striped socks are a Noro sock yarn, 70% wool, 30% nylon. The yarn is harsh feeling to knit, and the yarn varies from big slubs to very thin sections, giving the socks a nubbly texture. Knitting with this yarn is quite a bit slower than my usual pace. Once the socks were washed, they softened up quite a bit, and the texture smoothed out. Note that the socks are fraternal twins, not identical. The Noro colors are really beautiful, with long pattern repeats. These socks are called Rocky Mountain Rainbow. I think the Noro yarns should be hand washed.
I hope you are all finding time (or making time) to knit this summer.
Posted by Mary Jo at 5:25 PM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
These photos were sent by Anne, a new sock knitter who had just finished her first sock. In her words, "I was really fearful of trying to knit socks. After returning to knitting after a 30-year absence, I felt as if I was relearning everything. Tackling the socks was my biggest challenge yet and "The Zen of Socks" DVD made it a fun and rewarding experience! I loved the way Mary Jo explained everything very slowly and clearly with close-up shots of what she was actually doing. I had the printed instructions next to me too, but it was watching Mary Jo work the pattern that made it easy to do. I did the dreaded "turning of the heel" and learned the Kitchener stitch for the toe. I now have a pair of cute socks that I made myself...with enough leftover yarn to make a matching pair for my new granddaughter!" Thanks, Anne, and congratulations on the cool socks. Best wishes for many more!
Posted by Mary Jo at 10:39 PM
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
I've just finished my first lot of yarn for the summer. You can see Miss T inspecting the most recent skeins. I've tried a technique that I am very excited about, using a variegated color and overdying with black. It has proved very popular. My business partner, Lida Saskova, says she does not have time to post our new products on the Society Socks website, so I have created a temporary website to get the yarn out for your inspection. Check it out at New Yarn. All yarn is 75% merino superwash wool and 25% nylon for a very soft, machine washable yarn that wears very well. You can purchase the yarn directly from me by e mailing email@example.com. Cost is $26/skein plus $2.95 shipping (and 6% sales tax if you live in Idaho). If you don't have our instructional DVD, The Zen of Socks, ($19.95) you can also order that directly from me via e mail, and I will send it with the yarn. I'm hoping that we can get everything back up on our regular website soon andPayPal will be available for purchases.
Posted by Mary Jo at 10:44 PM
Friday, March 20, 2009
Here is the latest batch of hand knit socks. None of them were from my own hand dyed yarn, but were still fun to knit. The red socks are for a repeat customer. They are knit of Brown Sheep's Wildefoote sock yarn, not my favorite because the yarn has a terrible habit of splitting so you have to watch every stitch. However, the yarn was in my stash, and the customer liked the color, so I went ahead. The socks turned out beautifully, and were very soft after washing. These socks, as well as the other socks, were knitted with 64 stitches on #1 bamboo needles. The green socks were from Berocco yarn, one of my favorite commercial yarns. The green socks were self- patterning yarn and turned out very well. Berroco is slightly heavier yarn and makes a very sturdy, long wearing sock. The turquoise striped socks are made from Berroco metallic yarn. It has a 2% polyester yarn spun in, which gives a metallic, sparkly effect. The result is very pleasing - these socks would be great to spark up your outfit when you are wearing jeans. My stock of hand dyed yarns is low right now. I'm waiting for better weather so I can dye outside. The snowbanks are receding so that is a good sign. There are still some beautiful yarns available. I'm particularly partial to the toffee-colored variegated skeins, and of course I like the variegated purple skein as well. Check them out on the website, and watch for new yarn. It is easy to knit, and makes wonderfully soft socks. Both the green patterned socks and the sparkly turquoise socks will be for sale on the Society Socks website soon - watch for them
Posted by Mary Jo at 8:54 PM
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Her name is Misty, or Miss T, I'm not sure which. She is a pre-owned cat. A friend of mine moved and could not keep the cat, so the cat came to live with us. She is used to a quiet household and being an only pet, and our busy household with a large noisy cage of birds and a big fish bowl are of great interest. Since her previous person is a knitter, she has good manners when she sits on my lap. However, she is not above making off with a ball of yarn that is just sitting quietly on the floor. She is a very pretty blue-cream dilution of a tortoiseshell coloration, and bright yellow eyes. She is now pretty accustomed to her new home, and is very affectionate. She can't really replace my dear little Gracie, but it's good to have her with us.
Posted by Mary Jo at 2:03 PM
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Here are a couple of pairs of recent socks. The red striped ones with the picot cuff are called celebration socks. They were delivered to their new owner at an Inaugural Ball on January 21. She's happy for all sorts of reasons. The orange striped socks are called autumn leaves and are for a friend. Both pairs are knit with my hand dyed yarn. I'm sure you can see the unusual Christmas ornaments on the tree. I sent the socks to my sister-in-law for Christmas, and she sent me the photo. She also recommended my things to her friend, who bought the DVD and some yarn! Thanks, Liz.
Posted by Mary Jo at 11:44 AM
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I saw this pattern on the newest Knitty online edition, and couldn't resist trying it. It's an anatomically correct heart, just the thing for your sweetie for Valentine's Day. I like to knit three- dimensional stuffed things like toys, and this looked like a good use for leftover sock yarn. In reality, I think it took more yarn than that, but you could perhaps combine a couple of leftovers in one heart. It was easy to make for a sock knitter, being knit in the round with DP needles, and is seamless. It took me a couple of evenings - I'll definitely make another one. If you are not familiar with Knitty, do have a look at www.knitty.com. It is loaded with creative, free patterns, and has lots of interesting articles.
Posted by Mary Jo at 9:49 PM
Friday, January 23, 2009
My dear old kitty friend Gracie passed away in her sleep on January 3. She was nearly 18 years old, a small cat with fine whiskers and a big purr. She had the typical strong willed calico personality and was the boss of the house. In her youth she used to visit nursing homes and move from lap to lap, purring and settling in as her admirers petted her and told stories about their own pets. She was variously known as Amazing Grace, Gracie, Gracie Poo, Poogie, or just Poo. She truly graced our home and had many friends. She kept her big purr to the end of her life. We miss you, Gracie.
Posted by Mary Jo at 7:57 PM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Martha bought our DVD, The Zen of Socks, and also some hand-dyed yarn, and this is the result - her first pair of socks, and they look perfect to me. She says they are a little too tight for her, so her lucky daughter gets them. She is already planning how to make a slightly bigger pair for herself. Way to go, Martha!
Posted by Mary Jo at 9:40 PM
Here are my socks for Christmas 2008. I didn't want to post them earlier because I didn't want to spoil any surprises - you never know who actually looks at these blogs, do you? The green stripey socks are for my daughter-in-law, Sarah. She is seen modeling them in Oaxaca, drinking coffee on the deck Christmas morning. They are made from a really great cotton blend from Online yarns, in their Summer color series. They are 45% cotton, 40% wool and 15% nylon, and very soft. note the picot edge on the cuff. The bright blue striped socks are for my sister-in-law Liz. She lives in snowy Wisconsin and appreciates a good warm sock. These are made with Berroco Sox yarn, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon. Berroco is made in Romania and has really wonderful color combinations. The yarn is a bit on the thicker side of fingering so makes a warm, long wearing sock. The blue lacy socks are for my sister-in-law Meg. She lives in Oklahoma so doesn't need super warm socks. These were made with a hand-dyed Lorna's Lace yarn, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon. The lace pattern knitted up surprisingly quickly, and the tight twist of the yarn made it a good choice for a lace pattern. Click on the image to enlarge the photo so you can see the lace pattern. The last pair, also blue, are for my friend Nancy. They are made with my hand-dyed yarn, still my favorite yarn to knit socks with. I'm very pleased with the heathery look of the finished socks. These socks are super soft. This yarn is available on the Society Socks website - check out the color combinations.
Posted by Mary Jo at 8:55 PM