Socktober

The month is Socktober as many of we knitters know it, a time where big projects get put aside and sock knitting gets the focus, and so I too am running with the herd this year! Nothing very sentimental, poetic, metaphorical, or research-laden here, just another pair of whimsical socks rattling with a dull roar through the rounds, and with a wonderfully Autumnal colorway “copper”. I am working the chart A of Walking With Emma socks, with a mini one-over-one squiggly cable, further exploring the alternating cable crossing. Hmm, maybe though I have reached a limit, finding that perhaps 1/1 crossing is a bit too wee to even notice, but fun and playful if one happens to . . .

Oh! And I managed to finish a pair, finally the second sock to the original first sock posted last July! As I write this, these socks are in the post, in a birthday parcel to my youngest niece at university, she’s going to really love them I hope !

Pattern: Walking With Emma, with chart D rib.

Yarn: Berocco Ultra Wool Fine, in Ocean.

Project details on Ravelry here.

sock knitting

I managed to finish my nieces’ Autumn Thing 2021 ahead of schedule! Needing only to sew on buttons and labels, before I meet them next week, and then I’ll be finished with their knitted things really early this year. Soon I’ll be able to settle into a calm work storm toward what is an upcoming new design, while I dream of cool rainy weather ahead. Intermittent knitting of socks is necessary I have discovered, to take a mental break from the bigger looming projects, and I find myself collecting balls of Kroy sock yarn, and excitedly squirreling them away like acorns in branches, on the hutch in my loft room. Presently the sky is cast orange from fires in distant counties, but if I bear down and work hard on the knitting, I can distract myself, getting through the remaining smoky weeks, hoisting up the sock works-in-progress on my blockers & posting. For now I’m rattling through these green socks for Mr B, and then will mail them off to their new home perhaps (if I time it right) stopping at Oakville Post on my way to St Helena to photograph my beautiful nieces at the castle, before they sail away to school.

squiggly

Taking a break from all-consuming things, to find some joy in knitting a quick pair of Walking With Emma socks for a friend. These socks will have two fine merino yarns held-together, for speed of knitting and plushness for wearing, but this time I am experimenting with a bit of a fun variation of the cable, and that is to alternate the direction of the cable twist ~~ 1/2 LC & 1/2 RC ~~ the result creates a snaking line up the cable column, and is quite whimsical, and … squiggly ! I love doing this so much to cables now, I have even added the option to the pattern and updated it, and in a few days hopefully I’ll have this finished pair of socks to sample for the pattern. These socks are giving me a lot of entertainment, and I’ll look forward to posting more details next time, when I will show off the finished pair.

two years . . .

Two years ago I had just submitted my Walking With Emma sock pattern. It actually seems longer to me now, that very difficult time of my life waiting and waiting for the construction to finish on our rebuilt house, and eager to get my post wildfire life going again. I worked hard to distract myself on the sock pattern collection, as well as laboring to make a new place to walk, and together those elements symbolized so much to me at a time when everything seemed in such disarray, it was completely therapeutic! Now, two years later, I am revisiting those sock prototypes, and chose the ocean blue one, a chart D ribbed variation from the one-sock stack, about to cast on for the second sock so that I can not only enjoy a finished pair, but so that I’ll have some small thing to knit while walking along the territory ahead, since I must now be out every day with Juno, taking those steps again, and again, away from sadness and towards gladness!

Oh, and maybe a little explanation about all the boxes? Recently I found this collection of eight beautiful handmade nesting Shaker boxes, which I’ve wanted a set for ages, and aren’t they gorgeous! Outside of just keeping crafty things in them, I hope to use in future as photo props. I don’t have a desk this time around, instead I’ve gathered for my work space (the loft) a drop leaf table, two beat up dressers stacked one on top of the other, and an old hutch I found, and I now have homes for every imaginable craft related bit or bob I should ever want to keep, and must say that however pleased I am with the lovely groupings of vintage sewing boxes, Longaberger baskets, and Shaker boxes, I am admittedly exhausted searching in thrift shops and on Ebay, and am satisfied to say there is not a thing in the world I am in need of, being thoroughly, well and fully, done setting up shop! Kind of an old-timey space . . .

Outside of the sock thing, and another stack of prototypes for a new design, I am oh so busy being a puppy mom again, for that single most element of my life is the best, and find that caring for another being is the surest way to happiness.

A sock novelty.

The socks mentioned in my last post are at last finished, and just in time for Jeff’s birthday, although that is purely by accident. 

I am seriously pleased with the plush fabric made from holding two fine merino soft sock yarns together, and using my usual 2.5mm needles. Its like the two yarns balance each other and fill all the stitch together so that it is nearly like thick chamois.  I really love the aesthetic of of these socks, and all basic simple knits.

Getting to know Jeff through the years, a man of an extraordinary and somewhat intimidating physical work ethic, (not hard to guess is only three generations from Amish roots), and yet he can not stand scratchy itchy wool, nay, but as said before, this merino chamois is something I am sure will stand the test. And these are very much mens boot socks, even too big for the large sized sock blockers, and they did not take forever because of the two yarns held together.

Jeff’s first impressions on me, the Amish ” plain & simple ” aesthetic, was at first a novelty, but over the years has seeped and settled into me, and become a quiet smile of contentment, void of the superfluous.  If this could be expressed in socks , it would be in this very pair, only enough ribbing to hold the socks on through the boot tongue, to get the work done of staying on the leg and no unnecessary immodest fancy work beyond that.

What I am saying technically, is the rib/cables are worked through until the gusset is finished decreasing, then continue to knit the rest of the sock in stockinette. I have not paused for a minute, as soon as Jeff’s socks were laid out to dry, I cast on another!

♥  ♥  ♥

Pattern: Walking With Emma (above shown in chart D) 

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll, colors Granite and Midnight Heather

Project details on Ravelry Walking with Emma & Her Dad.

foot steps and paw prints . . .

jenjoycedesign© 2-at-a-time-socks 2 Walking With Emma socks, for Emma’s dad.   Two very fine soft merino sock yarns held together to get a great tweeded affect, a lovely marled rugged strong-but-so-soft boot sock. Yarn weight when held two-together falls within the dk weight range, so that I can knit not only faster, but  one (or two) sizes smaller , and these socks are racing along to the finish. This sample I’ve decided to show the option for rib patterning just through the gusset decreases, rather nifty as the patterning would disappear into the boot, but as this fabric tends to be very thick, I felt the foot section should be plain knitting only. Do you see what I’m talking about?

These Walking With Emma socks were cast on a year ago, in a knit-along with some pals on Ravelry to celebrate the life of Emma, and well,  time has just gotten away from me! All year long I was not making progress with very fine Knit Picks Stroll yarn, having started the 80st size, but then I stalled because I thought too big and they would take forever and a day to knit, so I started over again with the 70st size thinking maybe that would work . . .  but still not much knitting got done.   So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to change things up (rip out all that) and cast on the 60st size with two yarns held together for double thickness boot sock savvy!  In a week or so, I’ll come back and post the finished pair of Emma’s Dad’s socks and they’ll be washed and blocked nicely.

♥  ♥  ♥

Emma has been gone a whole year,  :tears:   and it hasn’t gotten any easier.   Not really.  A  dog’s life puts a frame around a time span in a human’s life it seems,  wherein the dog was central.  Emma framed almost a fifteen year period of my life;  over hill and dale, through some hard times,  but mostly in and around cherished times, walking the wild and magical places together, every day.  Knitting this sock pattern makes me think of her, and the way she helped me design them   in her own way,  two springs ago now,  so no wonder these socks are now continually on my needles!

out of autumn . . .

jenjoycedesign© birthday socks 5 (2)

I am not doing holiday knitting this year. . .

jenjoycedesign© birthday socks
but these are for a birthday coming up next week, my oldest niece will be 21!
I will give these lovely pair of  Walking With Emma socks  to her when I give both nieces  their sweaters  some time before the year is over,  when we will meet at the castle for a spontaneous photo shoot.

(( I can’t imagine being with them and not smothering them in hugs! ))

jenjoycedesign© birthday socks 4

So close to the winter solstice,  I go stepping out of autumn, walking with tender foot steps so I am careful not to wake nature from its much needed wintery slumber.  Waiting,  waiting,  waiting . . .  and staying creatively immersed and thoughtful while we get through another shelter-in-place for the remainder of the year.
Everybody, please stay home and stay well!
xx

good-bye summer

jenjoycedesign© socks 2

Fresh off the needles ,  a very simple boot sock .

jenjoycedesign© socks 3

For my (almost) new walking boots . . .

jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 5

Walking along my trails, going a little further up the ridge now,  making my way around, over and under  so many falling blackened trees, carrying the weight of that time almost three years ago, wishing to outgrow the sadness that lingers in the landscape,  however robust and magical is the resilience of nature!    Goodbye summer.

jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 7

jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 6

jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 10

Tomorrow is the Autumnal equinox, and finally I will be walking into Autumn, a season which seems to be more forgiving of endings,  fresh and open for verdant return of moss, of life renewed from rain.  And on my bare feet I’ll be wearing the comfort of the season, new verdant green mossy boot socks, plush and double thick, two yarns held together merino socks that I cast on at the June Solstice, and knit slowly & purposefully all summer long, while oppressed by sweltering heat and choking smoke.  Soon the air will clear and crisp and be again glorious!

(Click 1st image below and see slideshow my walk from the afternoon. )

jenjoycedesignc2a9-socks-1

Pattern: Walking With Emma socks

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll, charcoal and bamboo, held together throughout.

Project Details:  Solstice Socks  

Foot steps, and paw steps.

jenjoycedesign© striped socks 1Wow, January is nearly over. So much is going on, with Spring really just around the corner! I have SO much I want to do, I’m feeling a little naturally overwhelmed, so I’m forcing myself to rein in too much excitement, and keep it to a dull roar.

jenjoycedesign© striped socks 2

Finished a pair of socks, in unexpectedly fun self-striping sock yarn I found at Michael’s Crafts, not believing it could be so beautiful of a colorway.  I’m really attracted to the ochre stripe, that deep mustard, next to the grey.  I think I’m ready for something mustard yellow & grey colorwork, which is a stellar color combo and yet perhaps already a bit tired in the fashionable trends, but I was never one to care about trends.

Pattern: Another pair in Walking With Emma, modified with rib chart A and stockinette leg.

Yarn: Kroy Sock Yarn in color 55102

♥    ♥    ♥

And speaking of Walking with Emma, she’s three months away from 15, indeed a very old girl.  She naps a lot of the day in her car cave, which is her very own hermitage & safe place of contemplation, complete with electric heating pad, and she tolerates being out of it only for short intervals.   With the help of a good harness, together we have four good paws and so she comes in for the morning , and again mid-afternoon, sometimes evening for a snack if she’s barking for something. Here she is just now finished with her home-cooked dinner.  Each day she’s still here is a good day, um, even if she is not squarely on her bed!

jenjoycedesign© Emma Jan 28, 2020

Fourteen and a half.

DSC_0173We’ve been hunkered down through a week long power out and biting our nails while Kincade Fire raged in Sonoma County very close by, and my friends from around the world have been worried about us from hearing about it on the news. California is once again the crazy Wild West,  its been a rough last week in October, but November is at long last here.  Oh, and today is Emma’s half birthday.

As a little celebration of Emma’s fourteenth half  birthday, I am having a little two-for-one pattern spree for Walking With Emma  (a collection of eight sock patterns) over on Ravelry , and for details on that, please check it out on my forum post here.

In any case, we’re busy hanging doors, tiling, and in general making our house more of a home every weekend.  I suppose soon I ought to post some house project photos, but here is one ~~  the laundry line is up!

laundry line up, and Emma.JPG

Footsteps

jenjoycedesign© Walking With Emma socks 1

I am revisiting  footsteps  ~  a journey of finished samples from my own sock patterns ~  this one being my favorite and most recent sock pattern, “Walking With Emma”, and which I submitted  two months ago today.

jenjoycedesign© Walking With Emma socks 3

In recent days it has been refreshingly cool, a sort of “eye in storm” of typical scorching heat of August,  so knitting up the second sock from the original stack of  ten-at-a-time  was quite pleasurable, and the perfect thing to be doing it seems, while the house rebuilding crawls through the summer months.

jenjoycedesign© Walking With Emma socks 4

socks slung over four-post bed frame, not yet set up in Loft.

Anyway, this was really fun self-striping Kroy yarn that I picked up at the local Michaels store, and I’m pretty sure this very pair is my favorite of the ten.  Must finish up more of these to keep my spirits up ~~ so watch this space! 

♣    ♣    ♣

Pattern: Walking With Emma in the 2-stitch cable variation.

Yarn: Kroy Socks

Details: on Ravelry HERE. 

jenjoycedesign© Walking With Emma socks 6

Ten at a time . . . gussets.

jenjoycedesign© ten gussets 2
Ten at a time gussets have been knit.

Here is the pile of ten unique socks,  ready to knit the foot sections next . . .
jenjoycedesign© ten gussets
The gusset of a sock is a really the most fun part in my opinion, where all the chaos of the heel flap, turn, and picking up selvedge stitches is finished, and it brings the stitch count back to original, ready for a straight run to the toe.

jenjoycedesign© ten gussets 3.JPG

And it could not be more apropos that there are ten days left to May, including today, and to finish my ten socks and submit forthcoming sock pattern extravaganza by June 1st is my goal.  I am committed to this sock knitting “May”nia, and won’t be able to do much of anything else but knit these little dears and polish up the pattern.  I’ll be making my last ten-at-a-time post when I am ready for the toes, in the last days of May ~~ see you then!