Tuesday, May 10, 2016


So, I'm going to England. On Friday. The thirteenth. To say I'm excited would be a massive understatement. I'm going to see a good friend who I haven't seen in two year.  I'm going to breathe in that English air that I haven't experienced since before Eldest was born which is a lot too long for me to be able to cope with. The United Kingdom is like my heart's home in many ways and nine years since I last visited is far too long.

We booked me a seat sale ticket to London Gatwick for my birthday present in November (2015) and my Mother's Day present this year is the associated expenses from the trip. Yes, I am spoiled rotten and I know it.

Here's my dilemma: what craft and how many do I bring with me? Am I alone here? What other crafters out there plan their craft project(s) in advance of clothes, underclothes and toiletries besides me? I can't be the only one!?!

So last week I decided that many crafters swear by sock knitting as the most portable of crafts. I'm working on a cross stitch right now that has also some input in whether or not it is coming too but the disadvantage of cross stitch is the sheer concentration it takes. Meaning that it's great to have on an airplane with not much to do for several hours (and I will have those on the way back. I plan on sleeping on the night flight on the way over) but I will also have train travel and train travel, my friends, means looking out the window and enjoying the rapidly passing English countryside which is almost impossible from the view behind my reading glasses, cross stitch chart and hoop.

Back to socks. Anyone who had been reading my blogging journey since I began with Fibreholic oh so many years ago will know or might remember that socks are not my friends. I have knit two pairs. One pair is too short for me in the foot (though I still insist on wearing them and hate them when I do) and one has holes where I picked up stitches and those little marks of imperfection make me crazy so I don't wear that particular pair very often. Not that either of those experiences have prevented me from purchasing sock yarn in the hopes that, one day, I would master the elusive title of 'Sock Knitter'. Heck, the Koigu yarn that I wound up to start my most recent socks were $12.99 per skein. Clearly I had more money than sense at one point. Mind you, it is nice yarn...

 I am so lucky in that my mother knits both DH and I (and the whole family for that matter) the most delicious socks. They are the ones I use all winter long and any other time I'm cold (they're on my feet now as I type in a chilly basement). I take horrible care of them - washed and dried in the washer and dryer!!! - and they never, ever let me down. I'm lucky that I've had to have only a couple of pairs ever darned on the bottoms and I have at least fifteen pairs in all.

But I still want to master socks. And I want to master them before Friday. Nothing like a deadline to get your motivated I say! I enrolled in a free knitting class by Lucy Neatby on Craftsy (you can check it out under 'Knit-Along 2016' - free!) and, despite the fact that I'm using a different pattern, I've gleaned so much from that class already. Years ago I'd invested in Lucy's Sock Techniques 1 DVD and have been devouring that one too in hopes that I can solve my ladders between my needles problem.

So I've turned the heel and started on the foot of sock number one, pair three. I'm learning a lot and want to have one sock completed before I leave on Friday so that I know what I'm doing when I'm on that train ride (Gatwick to Oxford where A and I are going to meet up and paint the town red. Squee!) and subsequent holiday. I called Mudder and she kindly transcribed the sock pattern in her head to the written word because that's the sock pattern I love to wear on my feet and I want to learn how to do it myself.

Here's how the sock is shaping up thus far (I might be my own worst critic):

  1. I used the wrong cast on and the top of the sock is too tight around my leg.
  2. I still have holes where I picked up stitches after turning the heel. But Lucy taught me how to fix those so they don't stress me out anymore.
  3. I worked like a dog to try and not have 'ladders' between my needles (ladders in knitting are a vertical row that is looser than the surrounding stitches creating a gap/ladder like effect = undesirable) so have them for about the first two inches of stocking stitch on the top of the sock. I then tried Lucy's method of circulating the stitches and now have horizontal ridges running down the rest of the sock until I got to the heel flap. Crap. Just, crap.
  4. I think I might have solved my ladder problem after all. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
  5. It is highly likely that I will be unravelling this sock and re-knitting it if I can get sock number two to work out better. If not, you'll hear me stamping up and down and screaming on sock number two and having a grand ol' bonfire in the back yard.
I'll keep you posted. 


  1. You go, girl! I love knitting socks! And have a wonderful time in the UK. I am hoping for a photo or two.

    1. My training sock is a bust, sadly. But I've just wound up some delicious Malabrigo to start anew for the trip. I learned a lot on that fifth sock though and still have it to unravel once I get one more sock knit. I think the other yarn is destined to be something else. Not quite elastic enough for my taste.