Mending Socks

An earlier version of this tutorial was previously published on Think Crafts!

Have a hole in your beautiful hand knit sock? Don’t panic, it can be fixed.

Difficulty Level
Medium

Materials
Yarn needle
Thread

Directions

You could use some of the original sock yarn to repair your hole if you saved some. I still had some leftover yarn but as you can see in the photo below my socks had really faded. I decided to go with white thread instead so the repair would be less noticeable.

The key to fixing holes is to catch them when they’re small. If a stitch breaks free it can unravel and can cause a large hole. In that case you’ll need to use a crochet hook to rework the stitch up the dropped rows. Since my hole was relatively small I could skip this step. To start, I knotted my thread on the inside of the sock.

Next I used my yarn needle to draw the thread through the stitch on the top and bottom of the hole nearest my needle.

I worked my way across the hole, weaving the needle through the disconnected stitches on the top and bottom to draw them back together with the thread.

Once all the way across I inspected the hole. It had closed up considerably but there was still a gap. I then worked the needle back across, this time from right to left. I followed the direction of the sock yarn so my thread would mimic a stitch, drawing the hole closed.

The stitches are back together! Time to knot off the thread.

Try on the sock to inspect the work.

These socks were knit with superwash yarn. However, after I repair a hole I always handwash the knitwear instead. A hole means the socks are starting to age and I want them to last as long as possible. Handwashing is much gentler than a washing machine.

One more repair pic:

Craft on!

Wicked Witch Gloves

My winter fingerless glove are officially done. I started these back when Josh and I were housesitting in Boston.

However, this particular yarn has been in my stash for years. I even brought it to Taiwan and back. Imagination is a Merino/alpaca mix and the colorway is called Wicked Witch. I remember laughing when I read the name and knowing I had to use this yarn for a special pattern.

Spatterdash is an advanced knitting pattern and just what I needed to refresh my knitting game. The yarn was a bit finicky to work with but is so gorgeous that the extra effort is worth it.

The fit and feel are great. When cooler weather returns I’ll be wearing these a lot.

This pattern calls for 28 buttons and it took awhile to sew them. But these metal little flowers are so lovely that the extra effort was worth it. I’m so happy with how pretty these turned out!

Name: Spatterdash
Pattern Source: Knitty
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination, Wicked Witch colorway
Needle Size: US 1/2.25 mm
Size: Medium

Kitty Cookie

Josh and I adopted a cat from the Humane’s Society just before quarantine kicked in. She’s 10 years old and is a sweetheart. We named her Ursula after one of our favorite sci fi authors.

Today I knit up this cute little doughnut from the book Knits for Kitties.

I mixed in some catnip in with the stuffing. Ursula prefers toys that can be dragged so I added a little braid.

This is an easy pattern and has a lot of potential for customization.

Name: Desilu’s Donut
Pattern Source: Knits for Kitties
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Batik, Waffle Cone colorway
Needle Size: US 7/4.5 mm
Size: One size

New Wristwarmers

My last pair of fingerless gloves are currently in Taiwan. They’ll get mailed back to me eventually but in the meantime I’ve started a new pattern with this lovely yarn. I have two skeins which are 25% alpaca. These wristwarmers will be extra toasty. The color blend is utterly delightful as is its name-“Wicked Witch.”

The pattern is Spatterdash from Knitty. It’s a bit of a diva pattern because requires upmost concentration. Every time I take it to a knitting circle I inevitably have to tink back a row because I messed up. But if I’m knitting by myself the pattern zips along mistake free.

Cherry blossoms are blooming in Portland now so it looks like I’ll get these done just in time for the warmer temperatures of spring. Hail Eris!

Big Eyed Fish

IMG20191116135002

I needed a new hat for our new life back in the States. This fish hat has been on my to make list for awhile. It gets compliments wherever I wear it!

IMG20191116110044

Josh brought me back most of the yarn from a trip to Norway. I’ve been keeping it in my stash for the perfect project. The fish lips make for perfect ear flaps.

IMG20191116110104 (2)

The color patterns were improvised. I wanted a more dramatic tail than the instructions called for so decreased more slowly to fan out the curves.

IMG20191112105115

Blocking this hat was fun. The eyes are made from a bath scrubbie and stash buttons.

IMG_20191121_001100

While in Boston we took a day trip to Salem. Pagans galore, cheesy witch tourism, great New Age stores and a Bewitched statue. It was a fun town and if life had played out differently I could see us living there.

Name: Big Eyed Fish
Pattern Source: Knitty
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted-Kiwi, Trysil Garn Iglo-Wine Red, Trysil Garn Natur Tykt Helårsgarn-Light Blue, Ístex Léttlopi-Heaven Blue, Ístex Léttlopi-Lapis Blue
Needle Size: US 7/4.5 mm
Size: Custom

Elf Booties

IMG20191028113559

I’ve wanted to make these booties for years. They’re a free Ravelry download and an enjoyable pattern.

IMG20191028113753

After felting I sewed non-slip suede bottoms to keep them extra warm. Now Josh and I have elf booties to keep our feet toasty this New England winter!

IMG20191028113809

One pair of booties took two wash cycles to felt while the other took three. Lamb’s Pride consistently felts well and Noro just felts up beautifully.

IMG_20190715_075746

Living abroad meant I had to downsize my needle collection so I didn’t have 6.5mm double pointed needles needed to make gauge. I decided to treat myself and bought these wooden metal tipped needles. They are a joy to work with.

Last month my friend Helen came to visit! She took us to an art and protest parade and we took her on a tour of Harvard. One huge perk of being Stateside again is seeing old friends.

IMG20191013154108 (2)

Name: Elf Booties
Pattern Source: Ravelry
Craft: Knitting, Felting
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, Lamb’s Pride Worsted
Needle Size: US 10.5/6.5 mm
Size: Custom

Birthday Knucks

IMG_20190902_132602

Josh and I have spent the summer and fall back in the States visiting friends and family. These Knucks were made for his sister’s birthday. They fit her great and now that the weather is cooler she wears them often.

IMG_20190902_132520

The yarn is from Josh’s wonderful gift of yarns he brought me back from Norway and Iceland. The pattern is Knucks from Knitty and may be the pattern I’ve knit most.

IMG_20190902_132455

Fingerless gloves make a great gift and don’t take too long to knit up.

IMG_20190824_185441

Name: Birthday Knucks
Pattern Source: Knucks
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Trysil Garn Labbetuss Raggegarn
Needle Size: US 4/3.5 mm
Size: Women

Lotus Flowers

IMG20191025123900

Now that we’re back in the States I have time to knit again. My long term lotus flowers project reached a milestone. I’ve completed knitting the petals and have 149. Next up will be finding a lotus leaf pattern. I may tweak an existing pattern, much like I did with the petals.

IMG20191025125145

Eventually I’ll sew these all together in various groupings and they’ll float on a blue knit afghan. But first I’m working through my knitting stash. The yarn I currently have traveled with me to and back from Taiwan! This lotus project was inspired by the beautiful lotus ponds I frequently saw there.

IMG20191012162227

One thing I missed while overseas was having a full sized oven. I’m back to gluten free baking. The above chocolate chip cherry biscottis were delicious.

Solstice Hat

Our Australian vacation took place in August which meant we’d experience winter temperatures. I decided Josh needed a new hat for the trip. Alas, Floyd didn’t get a new outfit but I’ll be sprucing him and Hazel up for our book release party next month. (Pre-order Formosa Moon here!)

My best friend Kelly and I designed the pattern back when we were living in Portland. She still knits versions of this hat without a written pattern while I follow my notes and tweak the pattern every time. We both make the hat long enough that the tail can be used as a scarf.

When Josh and I moved to Taiwan I brought my beloved Noro yarn with me as I couldn’t bear to part with it. Knitting with Noro is always a delight. This is the colorway’s natural variation.

The tassel is my favorite part of the hat. I like to make them long and chunky.

A work in progress shot to show the beautiful color pattern.

Name: Solstice Hat
Pattern Source: Me, Kelly
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Noro Kureyon-#233, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted-Kiwi
Needles: US 6-4.0 mm, US 7-4.5 mm
Size: Custom

Knitting, hiking, studying

94FF29F7-6866-4759-B784-80293F90A594

Grad school is great but  demands most of my time these days. Josh and I recently went to Maokong, one of our favorite spots to get out of the city and into nature.

62419BDA-4E5C-4978-B188-25D982D9D55B

This decoration is from a tea restaurant and takes me back to my favorite PSU class-History of the Dress.

My lotus project is slowly progressing. I laid all the petals out to inspire me to keep working. After this next skein is worked out I’ll make larger petals and one day get to switch to green yarn.

D9A0162F-3A97-4A44-BDC8-E13E97402B38

I squeezed some time and made it back to the Taiyuan Puppet Museum.

It’s so nice hanging with Kim and the puppets again! I’m helping her on making a new costume for demo purposes.

It was wonderful to take a day to focus on costume problems instead of international ones. A much needed break!

Maokong was beautiful as always and this time Josh and I joined our friend Olivia for a hike to a waterfall.

So beautiful and peaceful and only a short ride from Taipei.

On an unrelated note, I always take free tissues from people handing them out. Spare tissue is practical to carry but sometimes I get delightful surprises like this package:

These ladies feel my current mood under all this homework. Three more weeks of fall semester left!