Monday, December 31, 2007

Strikk 2 m sammen, sticka ihop 2 rm, strik 2 m sm - do you know what these terms mean?
It is "knit 2 together" in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish. You will find a handy knitting terms translator on our website.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New hand painted yarns

Newly dyed yarns are ready! They should be on the website late today. Shop early for best selection. They go fast.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tiny sox

I have been using my leftover sock yarn to knit tiny socks as Christmas tree ornaments or package decorations. They also sell well at bazaars and craft shows. The pattern is quick and easy.

Cast on 20 st, leaving a long tail to crochet into a loop later. Divide 6,6,8 on three size 0 DP bamboo needles. Do K1, P1 ribbing for 4 rows, or just knit all stitches for a rolled cuff. When the cuff is 1.5 inches, divide for heel, 5, 5, 10 st on 3 needles. On the 10 stitches, knit a heel flap 10 rows long (5 long stitches). Turn heel as follows: on inside, slip 1 st, P4, P2 tog, P1. Turn. Sl 1, K2, K 2 tog, K1. Turn. Sl 1, P to last 2 st, P2 tog. Turn. Sl 1, K to last 2 st, K1 tog. Pick up and knit 6 st along heel flap. K across instep, combining the two needles with 5 st each onto one needle. Pick up and knit 6 st along the other side of the heel flap and K3 st from the heel needle. This will leave you in the middle of the heel on the bottom of the foot. Knit one row around. Decrease 1 stitch at the top of each heel needle every other row until there are 5 st left on each heel needle. Knit every row until the foot is the right length, usually 4-5 rows. Decrease for the toe, 4 st every other row, until 8 st are left. Finish the toe with the Kitchener stitch. The finished socks fit great on my cat Gracie, but she won't stand still long enough to let me take a photo.
Happy Holidays to all!

Thanksgiving and family

I was fortunate to have my whole family together at one of our favorite places, Oceanside, Oregon, for Thanksgiving. My son Mike took Knitty-like photos of his wife, Sarah, in her beautiful socks that she made from our hand-dyed yarn. He posed with Sarah's latest knitting project, socks from Trekking XXL yarn. Everyone had lots of time on the beach, and we shared a big Thanksgiving dinner cooked in our tiny but quite adequate motel kitchen. What a great time!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Knitting in Japan

I recently went on a professional trip to Japan and Korea. However, I wasn't goofing off. Here are a few photos of me knitting in exotic places. My husband and boss are in the temple photo. I didn't find much evidence of interest in knitting or yarn stores in either Japan or Korea.

New Socks

A new pair of socks to show you. The socks are for a woman who wanted purple, not purple striped, not purple patterned, not purple heather, but purple. I found this color in Brown Sheep's Wildfoote sock yarn. It is 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, and a little heavier than most sock yarns. I have not used Wildfoote recently due to pilling problems I had with it years ago, but the new yarn seems much better. I knit it on #1 bamboo needles and 64 stitches. Since it was a solid color, I decided to add a simple lace pattern to make the socks more interesting. After an inch or so of K2P2 ribbing, I used the following pattern: K2P2 for 3 rows. (Yarn over, K2 tog, P2), repeat to the end of the 4th round. Repeat these 4 rows for pattern. I continued the pattern down the instep. When I divided the stitches for the heel flap, I started and ended the instep with a purl stitch so the sock would be symmetric. The socks turned out well and were received with much enthusiasm.

Monday, November 26, 2007

More great socks from our own hand dyed yarn. Also- notice the beautiful pico edge.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New hand painted yarns

We have new hand painted yarns, and they are selling before we can get them on our website! As usual, we are in love with them, but we do intend to have them up by the end of the week, if possible. We talked ourselves into each getting to keep two skeins. Watch our website,, for the new selection. It 's certainly my favorite yarn to knit with now.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mango, a sock loving cat

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Mango, the cat who made a cameo appearance on our DVD, The Zen of Socks. Mango was a small cat with a big heart. He loved a party, and had a vivid fantasy life. He was 16 1/2 years old, and in failing health. He lived a good and happy life, and will be missed by all, except perhaps by Gracie, our other cat.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Very large stash

Last weekend was the first of the fall craft shows. My friend Nancy, who tends to be a little impulsive sometimes, came on a booth that was selling out the inventory of a yarn shop that had closed. Of course, she bought it all. The photo is a very small part of her new superstash. She plans to send a great deal of it to Mexico, where her daughter has a hacienda in the mountains. They will give the yarn to the women in the area to make things for themselves and their famiilies. I donated a large bundle of needles that had come to me over the years. I think it's actually a pretty cool project.

Photos taken on a rainy afternoon

Fall is here, a good time for knitting socks. I just finished two pairs. The purple and green ones are from our hand knitted yarn, and they are sooo soft. It is the nicest yarn I have knit with, and it makes it hard to go back to the rest of my yarn. However, I have this stash... The socks are knitted on #1 bamboo needles, 64 stitches, and are 75% merino superwash wool, 25% nylon fingering weight yarn.
The second pair of socks is for a friend's birthday. She is 95 and her feet are cold at night, so these are super thick bed socks. They are 100% merino superwash worsted weight hand dyed yarn from Cherry Tree Hill. I knit a strand of wooly nylon serger thread with the yarn. I cast on 44 stitches and used #5 bamboo needles. The socks are quite soft. Next time, I might use #6 needles so the socks are a little drapier. They are very pretty - Cherry Tree Hill has some wonderful color combinations.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Back from vacation

We just got back from a wonderful trip to Italy. I should have photos of me knitting on the steps of the cathedral, in the Sistine Chapel, at Cinque Terre, in the Coliseum, but I don't. I do have photos of the socks I made, however. They both are from Trekking XXL yarn knit on size 1 needles. The burgundy pair are for a person with MS whose feet are always cold, but she can't stand any pressure on her feet. We spend quite a lot of time making sure the socks would fit properly, and she is very pleased. The heather green socks are for my husband. Knitting while you travel always is a conversation starter.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New and much 'improved' Society Socks store.

We added new items to our Society Socks Store: besides The Zen of Socks DVD you will find hand knitted socks, hand dyed yarn, gift items. As Mary Jo commented in the previous post we have a hard time departing with the yarns we dyed. The colors are out of this world. I knitted one pair of socks and sold them even before they were done. People just love the soft yarn, the beautiful colors and the fact, that this is one and only pair.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another Dyeing Session

On our latest yarn dyeing session, we did 12 skeins of yarn. They all turned out so beautiful that we are having a hard time parting with them. However, we do intend to put them on the website for sale soon, so watch the website for new developments.

Sock yarns used on the DVD

I had a request to identify the yarns used in the various socks used to demonstrate various techniques on the DVD "The Zen of Socks". Here is the list. Refer to the DVD for images of the socks. Or, if you don't have the DVD, don't you think you ought to have it? Go to the website www.

Yarns used on the DVD “The Zen of Socks”

Yarn and Needles:

Purple and black yarn: Sockotta
Gray, black, blue and pink stripes: Opal
Red with color slubs: Regia
Purple, blue, white and black striped: Regia

Getting Started:

Easter colors - pink, purple, yellow: Trampoline
Orange, green, blue, white striped slouch sock: Opal
Blue and purple patterned crew sock: Regia

Heel: Red with color slubs: Regia
Pink and white with black specks: Opal
Orange, green, blue, white striped: Opal
Pink, gray, blue, white striped with gray heel: Main body is Opal, gray is Socka


Purple, white, green, brown stripes: Opal

Toe Shaping:

Orange, green, blue, white stripe: Opal
Pink and white: Opal

Enjoy your socks:

Red with yellow and blue slubs: Fortissima
Men’s socks in dark heather tones: Trekking XXL
Blue and green strip with blue and white stripe: Regia
Pink, blue and green heather: Cleckheaton 100% wool sport weight
Green tweedy socks: Ragg wool 100% cotton worsted weight

All of the yarns except the last two are fingering weight. Opal, Regia, Socka and Fortissima are all 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon. Trekking XXL is also 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon. Trekking makes beautiful heathered yarns with no particular pattern that are good for men’s socks. These are all good, reliable brands of yarns. Sockotta is 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon. It is nicer to knit than many other cotton blend yarns, and gets softer the more often it is laundered.
Trampoline is 70% wool, 23% nylon, and 7% Polyester. Cleckheaton is an Australian sport weight yarn, 100% wool. To use this yarn for a sock, cast on 48 stitches. Use a reinforcing yarn (Wooly nylon serging thread works well) in the heel and toe to keep them from wearing out too fast. Ragg wool is worsted weight, and to make socks from it, cast on 40 stitches. These socks go very fast. Use reinforcing thread in the heels and toes.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wisconsin Reunions

It has been a while since I have had time to make an entry. We went back to Wisconsin to family reunions and met about 160 of my husband's relatives. I was very pleased that my two sons and my daughter-in-law joined us there. My handsome son Ian (see previous blog entry) has recently purchased a Nikon D80 digital camera and is learning to take artsy shots. The one here combines two of my interests, knitting socks and drinking wine. I also spent time with my sister, who is still working on her first sock, but is doing very well. The photo is of her and my daughter-in-law, Sarah, working on a sock made from the hand-dyed yarn.

The sock pictured is a commission for a cotton blend sock. It is knit of Sockotta, a nice blend that is easy to knit and very soft when washed. There is also a photo of Gracie helping me with my photography.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Socks for Barb

This is my latest pair of socks. They were made for my sister Barb, who is working on her own first set of socks (see photo from Florida below) However, she claims she is too busy to knit in the summer. I made them as a hostess gift for her when I go stay with her later this month. The yarn is Regia 4 fadig mini Ringer Color, 75% superwash wool, 75% nylon, knit on size 1 needles. The yarn is a titch larger than standard fingering weight, tightly plied and spun so it is easy to knit. It was a little stiff to knit but the socks are nice and soft now that they have been washed. If I knit Barb socks instead of her learning to do them on her own, am I being an enabler?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tofutsies yarn

I just finished my first pair of socks from Tofutsies yarn. This yarn is 50% superwash wool, 25% soysilk fibers, 22.5 % cotton and 2.5% chitin. It is a soft ply with a lightly dyed yarn and a more intensly dyed yarn, resulting in a pleasing tweedlike look. The product is very soft, probably because the ply is very loose. However, this makes the yarn somewhat hard to knit with, the yarn being very easy to split. It is also not as elastic as a yarn with a higher wool content, meaning that the pick-up-and-knit stitches along the heel flap are not as tight as I would have liked. Overall, it is a beautiful sock and should wear very well. I made these socks with #1 needles. I hope their eventual owner likes them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Rafting on the Salmon River

We just returned from our annual rafting and kayaking trip on the Salmon River with friends and family. This year we went 60 miles on the river, camping two nights. Of course, my daughter-in-law and I brought our knitting. Sarah started knitting one of my hand dyed yarns while we were camped. She knits a beautifully even stitch on size 1 needles. The guy in the photo with her is my son, Ian. She loves the yarn, and says they are her favorite colors.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My first pair of socks with my hand painted yarn!

I just finished the first pair of socks with the yarn that I painted, and I like them very much. The yarn and the socks are very soft, due in large part to the soft plying of the yarn. It is slightly more prone to split as I knit, but not enough to be annoying. There was 462 yards on the skein, so I have enough for a pair of child's mittens or socks. The yarn is 75% Superwash wool, 25% nylon, fingering weight, knit on #1 DP bamboo needles.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Dyeing again

We had a second session of yarn dyeing last weekend. My DVD partner, Lida, joined Louise and me to be initiated in the deep secrets of hand painted yarn. It was very hot, but fortunately we had a large cherry tree to keep us in the shade. The yarns shown here are my own. I'm planning to have hand painted yarns available on our website,, soon. I also wound one of the skeins we did in our first session into a ball using the ball winder given to me by my thoughtful and generous mother-in-law, Florence. It is a real time saver. I have started to knit with the yarn. It is a real pleasure - very soft, very even ply. I sense a new addiction.

Friday, May 25, 2007

One skein - four socks

I made these four socks from one skein of Opal. Gave the baby socks away as a present to a friend who bought few of my other pairs. One day I will have time to add all our socks on the web site.
In the meantime enjoy our creations as posted here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pippi Socks

I just finished a pair of socks for my friend Lois. They were made with Regia 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon on size 1 needles. The leg part is longer than usual because Lois wanted it to go under her leg brace. I go to a lot of public hearings, city council meetings, planning and zoning commission meetings, and other public involvement events, and of course, I knit all through them. Lois says my socks are power socks because they have lots of liberal social activism knit into their very beings - a nice thought. I call them Pippi socks because they are very stripey and energetic.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dyeing yarn

Last weekend my friend Louise and I tried something new - creating our own hand painted sock yarn. We started with ready-to-dye fingering weight 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon yarn from Knitpicks and used Country Classic wool dyes. It was a lot of fun, and we learned a lot. Our first efforts were not too bad, and the next time we do it, we will have much more control over the process. We can't wait to try knitting our new yarn!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

fly fishing socks

These socks are knitted for a friend of mine who will be a fly fishing guide in Alaska this summer. Yarn is from a friend who raised the sheep, and did the whole process of creating the yarn herself. Yarn has no dye. I added wooly nylon from heel all the way to the toe. These socks are as natural and local as possible.
I hope he will enjoy them and I hope the socks will pass Alaska wilderness test.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I just finished a pair of socks from Regia Silk Color yarn, which is 20% silk, 55% superwash wool and 25% nylon. It is marginally more difficult to knit with, because it is not as elastic as the standard 75% wool yarn, but has a very soft hand. The socks are for my son Ian's girlfriend on the occasion of her graduation from University of Washington. Since I finished these, I started a pair on Opel yarn, 75% superwash wool. They seem very stiff and harsh compared with the Regia silk. I hope I haven't become addicted. What would I do with my Opel stash?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

DVD Signing at Book People

Our local independent book store hosted a DVD signing and sock fashion show to introduce our DVD, The Zen of Socks. We had a great time, and sold quite a few DVDs. We also sold sock kits that included yarn, needles and the DVD. People bought the kits, pulled up a chair, and started knitting! Note the brownies.

My sister Barb decided to buy our Zen of Socks DVD and take up knitting socks. She has knitted before, but is not a basically crafty person. She took her needles and yarn with her on a vacation to Florida. It has entailed several cross-country phone calls, but she has persevered. Last I heard, she was past the heel and heading fast toward the toe. I suspect I might get another call when she hits the kitchener stitch.