Tag Archive | sock

We’re gonna call it a test run

I have grandiose plans and ideas. And, like the first-born perfectionist that I am, I expect those plans and ideas to come to fruition without a hitch. The world is a disappointing place. And, to be honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever been good at anything the first time I tried it. When my girls get frustrated that their drawings or little projects don’t look like they pictured it in their heads, I have to remind them that it takes practice. So here is my public reminder to myself: These things take practice.

First, the sock! I’m almost proud of this sock. To start with, I’m proud of myself for actually finishing it. I’ve been working on it for nearly a year, screwed it up, had to restart from the beginning and just finished it a few days ago. The toe seam is a little ugly, but I figured, eh, that’ll be inside the shoe anyways. I tried it on and… well, remember how I told my son last week that just because you can get something on doesn’t mean that it fits? Yeah, that. I love it when I can redirect my words of wisdom to myself (No, I don’t). The problems: It’s a wee bit short in the foot and a tiny bit tight across the instep. The positive: Now I know what I need to fix for the next time. Konik has been asking me for months to make him a sock on my knitting loom. I don’t know why I didn’t start with him anyways. I could have finished a baby sock like, 6 months ago!


If it looks like a sock and quacks like a sock… wait, wrong adage.


I told you that toe seam was ugly. U-G-LEE

Next, a wrist warmer. Many moons ago, I made a pair of these for a craft swap and ever since then, I’ve longed for a pair of my own. Why didn’t I just make them? I don’t know. The mind of a crafter is a mysterious thing. Last week, I decided to remedy this. Grabbed some yarn from my stash and set to work on a pattern I found on the Lion Brand Yarn site. I didn’t feel like the width was going to be right, so I added a bit to the starting chain and went on crocheting. It turned out too loose. And because I am a PRO (you heard me) at weaving in ends, trying to undo this and start over would be a useless endeavor. Besides, I have lots more yarn where that came from.

Rana absconded with the actual wrist warmer. Even though she's skinny enough to hide behind a flag pole, she insists that it "fits" her. I searched her room, but couldn't find it. So you get to see the yarn it was birthed from.

Rana absconded with the actual wrist warmer. Even though she’s skinny enough to hide behind a flag pole, she insists that it “fits” her. I searched her room, but couldn’t find it. So you get to see the yarn it was birthed from.

So, once again, not everything is a resounding success. But instead of getting frustrated at less-than-perfect results, I’ll give each of these projects another shot. Here’s to another try!

The straight dope on TwoFrogs

Blogging has been rather erratic lately and I’m sorry about that. It’s not that I haven’t been doing things — I have. Just not interesting things. Does anyone want to read about how I hemmed eight pairs of kids’ pants? I thought not. It wasn’t even interesting to do, much less talk about.  I reconstructed a men’s XL flannel shirt into a nightshirt for myself. But that’s only marginally interesting. If I took before and after pictures (which I did not), you would be hard-pressed to find any discernible difference. All I did was bring in the sides and shorten the sleeves. Not interesting. And remember that sock I was knitting on my knitting board? I’ve been working diligently on it everyday. But if I were to take a picture of that, you’d wonder why it doesn’t look any different than it did the last time I showed you (Answer: I screwed it up the first time and had to start over). I did finish the front panel of a sweater on my large knitting board, but by itself it isn’t a very newsworthy item. Last night I began another picture afghan (Axl #2 — Christmas present for Rana), so once again, another long term project. I think that’s the problem here. Everything that could potentially be of interest is weeks away from being finished. So that’s where things stand, craft-wise.

And now for something completely different.

Tomorrow marks our one year anniversary in the cabin! 1 year, 39 mice, 2 bats, 1 frog, a plague of flies, and 1 flying squirrel later, we’re still here. From creatures in the ceiling to a wild turkey on the deck, we’ve experienced nature in new and exciting ways. Outside, the rain is coming down and inside we’ve got a fire going in the large stone fireplace. Chilly drafts come up between the plank flooring, but, between Axl and Mr. Gren, I stay plenty warm at night. Konik’s 3rd birthday is coming up on Thursday and I was thinking how life in the cabin will likely be among his first real memories. He has vague memories of his bedroom in our previous house, but probably thinks cabin life is completely normal, which I find amusing. We never thought we’d be here a year later. But thank goodness for our friends M & M who have so graciously let us stay here! I don’t know where we’d be, otherwise. It has been a tough year. Mr. Gren continues to search for a job that will support our family while continuing to work at the ol’ home improvement store. There’s just not much out there. There have been plenty of disappointments and we’re weary and life is far from ideal. But, we’re alive and there are bright spots along the way and if we didn’t have hope that someday things will get better we’d never make it.

I realize this is a rather somber post. So for your amusement, please accept this photo of our pet wild turkey.

She’s the last one left of the flock of five turkeys that used to amble down the highway and has decided that our little pocket near the river is a nice place to live. She eats out of our hands. She perches on top of our cars (I’m sure those claws are great for the paint). And, if we park near the cabin instead of up on the hill like we usually do, she gets upset and attacks the car.

Once, the neighbor’s dog got out and chased her. She surprised us all by flying up into a tree. She didn’t look comfortable  at all, but she was safe. After the dog was gone, we coaxed her back down with some nuts.

Sometimes cabin life isn’t so bad. And the scenery can’t be beat.

I’ll see what I can do about some smaller projects. Fun for me and fun for you! Thanks for reading.


Half a sock

I have reached the stage in my yarn stash where I don’t have enough of any one kind to crochet anything useful. Oh, true, I could make a couple of scarves in ugly shades of green (why did I buy that?) and probably about 500 cell phone/i-pod cozies from leftover baby yarn, but I have neither of the aforementioned devices so what’s the point? Ok, well, I do have the World’s Most Basic Cell Phone that I turn on once a week at most. It doesn’t need to be cozy; it already takes up too much room in my purse.

So, nothing to crochet = nothing for me to do in the evenings. And if I have nothing to do in the evenings, I spend inordinate amounts of time watching Guns n’ Roses videos on YouTube. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… Except that if I spend too much time on the computer, I start getting mouse hand and the circulation cuts off at the elbow. Time to suck it up and start working on my sock again.

Last year for my birthday, Mr. Gren and the kids got me a little sock loom (because I asked for it; I’m sure none of them had any idea such a thing existed beforehand). I then proceeded to ignore it for several months because lots of other projects came up. Y’know, little things like moving to a cabin, my son’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our wedding anniversary, Mr. Gren’s birthday… Before I knew it, it was spring. I finally got out the little sock loom and began work on my very first knit sock. I got through the ribbed cuff and began on the stockinette stitches for the leg. And kept going, and kept going, and it never seemed to amount to anything. Nothing burns me out on a project faster than no visible progress. I also found that, unlike with crochet, I cannot use my tiny knitting loom and watch TV at the same time, which is usually what we end up doing in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed (and gotten back up. And put back down. And need a drink. And another hug. And “I can’t sleep.” And, Holy Box Springs, Batman, just stay in your freakin’ bed already!). Progress was still minimal.

But then there came the week of my brother’s wedding. I can’t watch TV and knit, but I can still talk to people (as long as they don’t expect any eye contact). It was the perfect arrangement for sock knitting. My feeble efforts were finally beginning to resemble a sock! After we got back, I managed to complete a couple rounds each day — while waiting for my computer to boot up, waiting for my turn to get in the shower, during the commercials when we watched TV… I think I found a system!

Now I have reached the heel. I began the process the other night and I think I’m doing it right. If I’m not, I’ll cry because again, unlike crochet, I don’t know how to undo knitting without ruining the entire thing. I guess it’s all a learning experience. Maybe I’ll get faster on the next one and it won’t seem so tedious. For now, though, I will bask in the glory of my half a sock.

The Tortoise and the Tortoise

I am the tortoise (I am not the Walrus. I’ll cede that distinction to Lennon McCartney). Or maybe I should say, I am the human equivalent of a knitting tortoise. If tortoises could knit. Whether I can or not still remains to be seen.

I asked for this spiffy little sock knitting loom for my birthday. My birthday was in October. I finally pulled this thing out two weeks ago. It’s not that I didn’t care about it, but I had so much other stuff going on that I didn’t have time to teach myself how to use it.

Book sold separately. True story.

The first time I used it, all the yarn hopped off the pegs before I could do anything with it. After a few more attempts, I came up with a better method to keep the yarn from escaping. Progress. Then I proceeded to knit a few rows as instructed by my book. Since this was the cuff of a sock, it started with ribbing. Knit 2, purl 2 around. Fair enough. Except the purl stitches had the annoying habit of… jumping off the peg. I finally figured out a way to stop that, too. I knitted probably ten rows and realized that it was not ribbed. Half the time, I forgot whether I was on a knit stitch or a purl stitch, so my tiny little swatch was just a mess. Off it came.

After four years in a bin, this sock yarn sees the light of day.

Mr. Gren suggested that I somehow mark the pegs to remind me which ones were knit and which one were purl. I took some masking tape and put tiny pieces in front of each of the pairs of knit stitch pegs. That did the trick! Now I can knit mindlessly and even get interrupted and still know what’s going on when I come back. Definitely an improvement.

Part of me wants to cut out uniform little rectangles of masking tape. The other part of me says, “Shut up and knit, crazy person!”

I have now managed to knit something like 19 or 20 rows. It is sloooow going. Not nearly as fast and efficient as knitting on the regular loom for scarves and sweaters and such. Because I have to work with the “active” yarn as I go around, I need one hand to hold it up against the pegs. Then my other hand is holding the hook. So I end up in the awkward and uncomfortable position of having the loom propped up against my body, head and shoulders hunched over to see what I’m doing, and right hand stabbing down at the yarn. It hurts. I had to quit after two nights because it was killing my wrist and my neck being bent up like that. A couple of days later, I decided to try it at a table. That definitely works better. Except… my table is on the cold side of the cabin and I don’t particularly like being over there. The view out the window is nice, but being cold is one the worst things in life to me. So I end up with this choice: Warm agony or Cold “comfort.” I’ve been opting for warm and the loom has stayed on the table.

Looks like ribs (this is the inside of the sock).

That means that I’ve only got about an inch and a quarter worth of work to show. Sorry. I’ll try not to be such a wimp this week. Maybe I’ll even add a whole ‘nother inch.