Call for assistance


As some of you may know, back in 1999 I posted one of the first patterns for toe-up socks on the web (at I had the intention of learning more, and becoming a designer.

Life got in the way, as it tends to do, and that goal got put on the back bench for a while.

I am now in the process of designing my second sock pattern. The way I work is to write out the pattern while making the first sock, knit the second from the written directions, then ask someone to test knit a pair. In return, they get a great pair of socks (I cannot pay for the knitting yet, but I will cover cost of yarn used), and a free pattern.

This pair will be fairly easy — Cuff down, hardest stitch in the pattern is slip stitch, short row heel with flap, symmetrically decreased toe, and kitchener stitch closing.

I should have the knitting for this pattern done by the 30th, so if anyone is interested in test knitting a pair of socks during the first week or two of October, please leave a comment, with a photo of some socks you have made before, below!

Thanks for your help (in advance), and thanks for supporting me in achieving a long-held goal.

Update: I have one test knitter, and could still use one more. I have also finished the first sock, and am about to try to knit the second from my written instructions.


Spring Forward Socks 2

For this month’s Year of Stash Socks Challenge, I opted for the Spring Forward Socks, in Keegan Lane Yarns BIG FOOTIES Toasty Sock Yarn (Colorway- The Heat of the Day). I found the toe-up adaptation less than stellar, so I used the original Linda Welch pattern from Knitty.

I also ran across Cat Bordhi’s new Sweet Tomato Heel just as I was about to start the heel, so I gave it a try, to see what all the buzz was about. I have to admit that while it needs almost no memorization – just making sure you have the same number of pairs on each side of the three wedges — I probably will continue to opt for a regular heel going forward. For one thing, this heel uses a full 2/3 of the sock stitches, which meant I only had two pattern repeats on the instep (and this was a pretty enough pattern I would have liked a third). I also think the three center bits (one for each wedge) is a bit much. The big selling point is that you don’t have to wrap stitches. Wrapping stitches has never been an issue for me, and you still have to knit off the stitch and a slipped stitch, so I don’t really see that much of a difference. That said, the heel fits, so I’m not miserable about having tried it.

I found a WIP yesterday while moving some stuff around — the Harika Socks I started back when I was still working as a school aide. (The pic is dated from 2009). I’m thinking of trying to get the other sock of the set done next, but who knows what will happen.

Writing, Knitting, and Crocheting

Over the last few days, one of the article boards I write on has had a spate of assignments regarding knitting and crocheting.  I’ve been grabbing as many of these articles as I’m allowed to claim.

I’m finding I enjoy writing about techniques.  I’ve written articles so far on how to block an Ishbel shawl (for those not on Ravelry, here is a link to Ysolda’s Ishbel pattern, with  a lovely picture of the finished product), how to knit a folded picot edge, and how to do hyperbolic crochet (no links for the last two yet).

It’s not something I’ve ever thought about doing before, but I’m thinking that as long as I enjoy it, and as long as the site is looking for such articles, it’s a great way to hone my skills!

<em>YOSS 20111 Update:</em>  I have now finished the heel on the Spring Forward Socks.  34 rows to beginning the toe decreases; and then 20 rows to completion.  I had to rip out the second Sweet Tomato Heel yesterday, after getting two-thirds of the way through it.  The problem was not the heel, this time, but was that I had not set up the heel well enough to make the four “complete” rounds in it work with the way the pattern lined up.

Anyway, that’s about it for tonight.


Spring Forward Socks 1

As part of my participation in the Year of Stash Socks 2011 Challenge, I am making a pair of Spring Forward Socks, but I have modified them slightly.

The modification I did was to try Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel, which is a short row heel without wraps.

It’s an interesting heel — made in three segments, with two full rounds between each segment.  I’m not sure I like the look of it yet, but that may just be that I prefer things I already know to new ones.  It seems to fit nicely, but I won’t have certainty on that until the sock is finished.

I do love the undulating lace on this pattern, though!

The yarn is by an independent dyer, Keegan Lane Yarns.  The yarn is Toasty Sock BIG FOOTIES (75% wool, 25% nylon), and the colorway is “The Heat of the Day.”  And the lighting in my room does not do this justice at all.  It’s a beautiful sunny yellow/orange/roes/coral, and shows off the pattern fabulously.

I’m looking forward to getting this sock done tonight, and starting the second one either late tonight or early tomorrow.

I have been making an effort to turn out two projects (at least) each month for this challenge (a personal challenge to myself).  I have decided that I will try to come up with a sock on my own for my second project,  We’ll see if it happens.

Welcome to my world

Welcome to A Skein of Yarn (or Ten).

A bit about me:

I’m about to turn 59, and I’ve been knitting and crocheting since I was five years old.  (Mom taught me to knit; Dad taught me to crochet).  I’m also a freelance writer.

I have one of the earliest to-up sock patterns on the web, Deb’s Almost-Easy Toe-Up Socks; the current version (with a pic) is on Ravelry and at Naughty Knitterz.  The original was on Socknitters, posted in 1999.

Over the last year, I’ve been participating in the 2011 Year of Stash Socks challenge.  It’s been a lot of fun, and I have been working my way through my stash at a very pleasing rate.  Been posting pics of my projects for the challenge there and on my Ravelry page.

Doing the challenge has reminded me that one of the things on my bucket list is to become a knitting designer.  Another is to write about knitting and crocheting.  Hence, this blog.

So, welcome once again, pull up a chair, grab a mug or glass of your favorite beverage, and your yarn and needles, and join me for the ride.

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