Skip to content
September 6, 2009 / Mary Ann

Hippie Rainbow Socks and Shades of Blue Socks


The yarn is Zauberball, purchased at The Stitching Bee in Chatham, NJ. The bright ones are for me, the more subdued ones are for daughter Debra. I did hers cuff down. I did mine toe up with a basketweave pattern from Charlene Schurch’s More Sensational Knitted Socks.

As soon as I finish the 2nd purple sock I’ll be going back to the hoodie I’m making for Colin. Oh well, there are the yellow socks I’m doing for a Ravelry group, a free Mystery pattern by Nancy Bush. The fashion industry has Donna Karan, Michael Kors, etc. Sock knitters have Nancy Bush, Cookie A., Wendy Johnson, Cat Bordhi…

More on the mystery sock at a later date.

September 5, 2009 / Mary Ann

A Sewing Post



I’ve been working on this bag for at least 3 weeks while working at the store. I used a Scrap Bags pattern, The little thing with the button on it is not actually part of the bag, it is the Wonder Wallet, a Lazy Girl Designs pattern, I think it looks good sitting there. This would be a great bag to embroider or quilt and/or use beads and other embellishments. Both patterns have excellent instructions. If only I actually followed patterns to the letter. People spend a lot of time writing patterns, why not follow them — at least the first time you make something. Good grief. I didn’t trim the batting from the seams before sewing things together which makes for extra bulk and in this kind of pattern, extra bulk is an issue. The front and back and sides get finished and then sewn together with gussets on the side (for non-sewers, a gusset is an extra piece of fabric inserted in this case at the side, so that the bag is not flat). Scrap Bags sells a board that you can cover and put in the bottom of the bag so it stands up.

I took a photo of the inside of the bag (which is all lined, with pockets) because I love the snap. I’d not used magnetic snaps before, they are so easy and make such a great closure.

The wallet was an easy pattern, took very little time to make it. If/when I make it again, I will NOT use sticky Velcro. I don’t trust it to stick without sewing it on. I ruined 3 sewing machine needles and 1 sewing needle. The glue sticks to the needle and makes it impossible to sew it on. But the wallet is adorable, didn’t get a photo of it opened up, it has several pockets, for change, credit cards, folded bills. This would make a great gift.

I LOVE these fabrics, The Aurora collection, by Anna Griffin. Below are more colors. I can’t decide if I like the blue and green better or the bright black, red, and yellow version. Maybe I’ll make myself a bag out of the bright.


August 30, 2009 / Mary Ann

Lavender Monkey Socks


Cookie A’s Monkey pattern –

I’m doing an all knit version, the original pattern is done with more purling. Either way you do these it’s a great pattern, a perfect first lace sock pattern. It happens to be the most popular sock pattern on Ravelry. I’m doing it on 2 size 1 circular needles (I’m boring, I pretty much do all my socks on size 1 needles, circular being the preferred ones at the moment). Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn purchased you know where. The color is prettier in person, a light purple with a gray to it. That may not be a great description, but there’s definitely less pink to them than the photo makes them seem.

I’ve no idea who will end up with these socks actually. They’re definitely on the small side. There is a version for a larger size that would fit me though.

August 2, 2009 / Mary Ann

Grilled Cheese



2:00 to 4:45 — watched Transformer movie with the guys. I might have closed my eyes once or twice. Many many battles. I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on the entire time. Maybe I need to get my ears checked, but if I want to get the full dialogue on a movie any more I need to watch the DVD at home with the hearing impaired subtitles. To me this type of movie is a lot of noise with a little dialogue thrown in which I don’t grasp well.

4:50 to 6:45 — watching Popeye cartoons with the guys. (I’m sorta watching, have seen these cartoons MANY times.)

6:01 to 6:10 — ate grilled cheese sandwiches with the guys. They each had 2. I had a “gourmet” grilled cheese — vegetable cream cheese with Swiss cheese.

6:45 to 8:45 — their folks will pick them up and the 4 of them will go to the same Transformer movie.

6:45 to my bed time — a quiet (too quiet due to no 10 year old boy voices) few hours of dishes, laundry, knitting, and hopefully another episode of Miss Marple on Public Television

What more could you ask from a Sunday afternoon and evening?

June 13, 2009 / Mary Ann

More Socks

I just got bright blue sock blockers from Knitpicks. Not for blocking socks, I can’t see the point of that, but for taking photos of socks. Crazy, I know. No, these socks are not a pair. They are both Opel sock yarn, superwash wool, with some cotton, can’t remember the percentage. They feel like socks you could wear on a cool summer evening and they’re in lighter colors than I seem to generally knit socks from.

The most exciting part of this post though is that the sock on the left is my first ever toe up sock!!! I’ve been trying to figure out how to accomplish this for a long time. Have studied and tried many patterns. Provisional cast ons, wrapping… good grief. I can do the first part of the technique called wrapping, but not the 2nd. Suzanne (leave it to a kid) sent me a link to the Turkish cast on. This requires using 2 circular needles, but is easy peasy. Eliminates needing to do the Kitchener stitch that you generally do to close the toe when you knit top down (though I’ve not had a lot of trouble with it). When you use circular needles you can try on the socks-in-progress. I haven’t perfected this sock technique yet, but will be using it a lot. This pair is going to be for Suzanne because the foot of the sock is quite long and Suzanne’s foot is quite long.

I’ve liked the idea of using 2 circular needles to make socks (and I think I’ve talked about this a bit on this blog), but always had trouble with gappy stitches between the needles, so I’ve been using 5 dpns. But I discovered that I could do the same thing I do with dpns, which is to knit off stitches from the next needle on to the previous needle and eliminate gaps. (Too complicated for me to figure out how to explain at the moment). BUT, I think I am figuring out that a) these gaps I’ve been hating may only be visible to me and b) maybe what I’ve read about about tightening up the 2nd stitch of a row works better than trying to tighten the first (when you tighten the 2nd you actually are tightening up the first) and c) maybe what I’ve read about gaps mysteriously disappearing eventually is actually true.

The sock on the right is my “can do this in my sleep” top down garter rib pattern. I can’t tell you who these are going to be for just yet, it’s a secret, sometimes the person reads my blog.

Funny thing about the yarn for the left side socks. A friend got this yarn to make a Baby Surprise Jacket and somewhat untactfully, I said that I didn’t care for the yarn for socks — the wide stripes, I just didn’t think it would look good on socks. Well, when I was looking for a lighter color yarn for socks, this was all I saw at Knots and Bolts. And I really quite like the effect.



June 9, 2009 / Mary Ann

Another Pair of Socks

Stefanie’s socks, in Trekking yarn (I think). Size 1 dpns, garter rib stitch


Cathy should recognize this yarn. Thank you, Cathy!

When I first started knitting socks with self-striping yarn I couldn’t figure out how in the world you could ever get the socks to match. And at first I didn’t care if the stripes would match or not. BUT, then I realized or probably read somewhere, that you simply start the cast on at the same place in the yarn. For example, looks like I must have started where a stripe of gray ended and the stripe of orange began. I’ve had really good luck with making the right sized socks for people. When you buy socks at the store it’s pretty much a one size fits all deal. When you knit them, you can knit them to custom fit. Back when I was a kid, you actually bought socks by size. I don’t think the socks exactly corresponded to shoe size though. I can’t remember when it started being a one size fits all world.

June 9, 2009 / Mary Ann

The owner of the Charlie Brown sweater

Darren Cash in his Charlie Brown sweater


Picture 002

Darren got his Charlie Brown sweater! He is my youngest grandchild. He will be a year in September. The 3rd photo is Wyatt, a co-worker’s son. I asked her to have Wyatt model the photo. As you can tell, he’s a bit smaller than Darren. And Wyatt is almost 2 months older than Darren.