Socktoberfest Sock Knitting Challenge

The Socktoberfest Crocodylia  KAL has officially ended.  You can see my single sock at the link ..yes, I know.. only single so far but I have extenuating circumstances excuses.  These were my bus ride knitting project and as I was finishing up the first sock, daylight savings time changed and dark yarn, dark needles are not conducive knitting for the bus ride when the lighting on most buses is this weird bluish light that is not very bright — if you happen to get a seat on the side of the bus that is truly lit.  And I was busy on a sweater at home – but the sweater is nearly complete and the second sock has been cast on so I can work on it at home.

But check out these lovely socks that were completed by those who were up to the challenge and succeeded beautifully!

Karen Petersen

Karen Petersen

Shirley Soellner

Shirley Soellner

Priscilla Benson

Priscilla Benson

June Canders-Cloutier

June Canders-Cloutier





Thank you ladies for playing along with me (and surpassing me with completing your pair).  June said this was her first pair of knit socks ever – excellent!!

And now to the random number generator (I’ve numbered them 1 thru 4 in the order shown here) and the winner of a hank of Wollmeise sock yarn is:

CapturePriscilla is the lucky winner.  I believe she was also the first person to email me a photo of her lovely red socks which show off the stitch pattern so well.   Priscilla please email me with your mailing address.

Congratulations to all you ladies who now have a cozy pair of socks to wear.



Socktoberfest Approaches – CHALLENGE TIME!!

I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of September already!   October is just days away and that means some Socktoberfest knitting to be done.  I can’t remember the last time I touched a pair of socks I was knitting.  I have one pair that stays at the office in case I forget my bus knitting  – at least I’ll have knitting to grab for the bus ride home those days.   But I finally brought that pair of socks home so I could get it finished…. soon… but in the meantime – a Socktoberfest Challenge must be made!! 🙂

If you’re a long-time blog reader, you know there have been some crazy Socktoberfest challenges in the past (crazy but fun — some successful and some not so successful). Multiple pairs of socks finished, some unfinished, lovely sock yarns purchased for the challenges, lonely socks got mated up as I finally finished those second socks, more lovely yarn purchased for challenges.  And if you’ve never tried sock knitting, perhaps Socktoberfest is the time to give it a try!

For those of you who have just been anxiously waiting to see what sort of Socktoberfest Challenge I might be making this year (you know you have you crazy sock knitters you!) ….well here it is…. and no, it does not entail making (or attempting to make) some crazy number of socks in a month.  It does not involve having to buy specific yarn (but if you feel the need to tell your spouse that I said you absolutely positively had to buy new yarn for this challenge — well I would not deny it, just don’t let them see this blog post — I’m all for enabling). 🙂    All you have to do for this challenge is knit one pair of socks using one of my favorite sock patterns – and I’ve give you several to choose from.  I shall be using my  newly arrived Socks That Rock, Rainbow Reindeer colorway,  the hank on the far right in the photo below.


Here it is wound into a cake.   DSCN3830

If you want to join me in Socktoberfest knitting, and be entered into the random drawing to win your very own hank of Rainbow Reindeer, here’s what you need to do.

1) Knit a pair of adult size socks using one of my favorite sock patterns listed below.  These are my “go to” patterns and I love each of them for different reasons (the stitches, the textures, some of the heel touches that are a bit different, etc).

2) You can start on your socks as of today, 9/27/14.  The pair must be completed and a photograph emailed to me of them no later than noon CST on October 1, November 1, 2014, to be eligible for the drawing. I will post the photos to my blog.  (yes the October 1 date was obviously a typo – even I’m not crazy enough to plan to make a pair of socks in three days – or hmm…. maybe a challenge for next year!) 🙂

3) The socks must be basically knit according to the pattern with a very few exceptions:  (1) If you prefer making toe up socks and can figure out how to do that with the patterns I’ve chosen, that is fine to do.   (2)  If you need  fewer or more stitches to fit your foot, or a different needle size, than the pattern calls for,  those changes are fine.   But you cannot: (1) shorten the leg length to ankle socks and (2) if there is a stitch pattern across the top of the foot, you cannot do just stockinette stitch across the foot – the pattern stitch must continue per the pattern.

Here are my favorite patterns  in no particular order (and there’s no affiliation with any of the designers – some patterns you have to purchase, some are free downloads – they are simply my favorite patterns) and they are all available through Ravelry.  If you aren’t a member of Ravelry, you can sign up for a free account.  If you know the basics of sock knitting, I don’t believe you should find any of these difficult.  Remember I do lots of sock knitting on the bus and for that reason I generally choose patterns that have an easily memorizable pattern — I hate having to actually read lines of a pattern while bouncing along on a bus — and you know I don’t like making cables so there are none of those involved. 🙂   Links are below the photos.  If you follow the link and then click on the photos on the Ravelry page, you can see more close up images of the patterns.


Tesserae Sock by Anne Hanson


House Targaryen by Avalanche Designs


Ice Cube Socks by Debbie O’Neill


Nine-to-Five Socks by Nicole Hindes

basket weave

Basket Weave Rib Socks by Sarah Ronchetti


Porthos by Caoua Coffee


Gravel Grid by Jessica Baird


So, will you be joining the challenge?  Which of the patterns do you think you’ll use?  Have you made your yarn choice?? Details I want details! LOL   Now I have to decide which one of those patterns I will use!


On the Needles Friday – 8/30/13

Well of course Dreambird is on the needles but that’s linked up to Judy’s site for the Friday Dreambird report so here’s what I’m working on during my bus ride to and from work — Wingspan has been traveling with me.  I know I’ve said it before but I highly recommend this pattern – it’s so easy and so fun when it’s done.

wingsp  I’m just starting my fourth wedge.

Although I have many things on the needles – you know I’m always planning ahead, wondering what to start next, and occasionally what I want to finish next (though starting happens far more than finishing I think).

I was just thinking that August is all by finished — well one more day but that will be gone by all to soon.   Socktoberfest will soon be upon me.  🙂    The last pair of socks I finished was for Judy’s sock pooling challenge — that was in May.  I haven’t touched a sock in the last three months — which of course is mostly because Camp Loopy was in progress and I was getting bored with socks.  But Camp Loopy and Dreambird and the other projects I’ve made since May have gotten my over my sock slump and I’m ready to get back to some of those socks (and still continue on with oh a dozen or so other projects at the same time.) 🙂

Last year my wildly weird brain came up with the  Opal yarn Socktoberfest challenge.  Many pairs of socks with Opal yarn were made.   This year, hmmm maybe I should use up all the Opal yarn I haven’t used yet but bought at that great sale last year. LOL

Actually, I’ve come up with a new challenge for myself.  It’s always much more fun if I set some type of goal for myself to strive for.  I have decided that this year I shall celebrate Socktoberfest  from September through October.   Two months are better than one right?   My challenge will be to see how many pairs of already started socks I can finish during those two months.   I’m not going to say I’ll finish a certain number of them but I do hope to finish all of them that are for ME.  There are several pairs that for one reason or another  (like cables that make socks tighter, color stranding that make them smaller, etc) I know won’t fit me and  they’ll have to get tossed in the stack to give away, so I’m not as concerned about getting those finished right away.  I shall concentrate instead on me me me and the socks I’m making for myself. 🙂

Off the top of my head, I have no idea how many pairs are started for me that I need to finish, but starting September 1, I’ll be pulling out the first pair to work on and socks will be my bus riding project once again.  Hmmmmm…. any guesses as to how many pairs of socks for myself I’d find if I went looking in all the baskets, bins and other projects in progress holding places??   Or guesses as to how  many I’ll finish in two months?     I don’t know, but absolutely no new socks, not one single pair of new ones will be started during the months of September and October — socks in progress only will see the light of day!  🙂

Now — I need to go take a quick look through the latest yarns I’ve bought and see if there is anything in there I really want to make socks out of right away or if there’s a pattern I really want to try that I haven’t started yet– after all, if I start it today or tomorrow, it will be a sock in progress come September 1 right?? LOL

Belated On the Needles Report

I was just to lazy to get on the computer last night so here’s my On the Needles update.

First — thanks to all who joined in the Socktober Opal Challenge and hope you have at least one new pair of Opal socks to wear this winter!  It was fun to see all the different Opal yarns that were used and how they looked in the various patterns you chose.

As promised, there are two winners of a free ball of Opal yarn, one from the post on my blog where you needed to leave a comment and the other came from Judy’s post and you needed to link up a photo.  So…. drum roll please…..Judy D in WA and BethL in MD – you are the lucky winners.  I will be emailing you to get your mailing addresses.


   As for what’s on (or in this case off) the needles here, I have now completed my 18th pair of socks – 18 finishes this year so far!  These are the Gravel Grid sock pattern (find it on Ravelry) super easy pattern if you’re looking for one with a bit of texture rather than just plain vanill sock.  They are made with Three Irish Girls yarn (with a touch of cashmere – it feels sooooo good).

This is the pair where I made one toe too short so I ripped that back last night and they are now ready to be a Christmas gift.

Earlier this week I started on a plain vanilla sock in some self patterning yarn I had in the stash – Patons Kroy Socks Jacquards.  This is another yarn that I think is similar in wear and feel as Opal yarn — prior pairs I have made have been through the washer and dryer (tho I generally try to hang dry all socks but sometimes a pair slips through) and they just keep on going.  And if you’re looking for a hard working, inexpensive yarn, check your local craft shops. I’ve found this locally in chain stores like Michael’s.  What I don’t like about it – it’s put up in 50 gram/166 yard balls.  One ball is not enough to make one sock for me (remember I make large socks).  Hence the solid toe in the photo.  I used all but about 12″ of the ball of yarn and it got me just to where I need to decrease for the toe.  I managed to find some Jawoll at the quilt shop that was a good color to go with the sock so it all worked out.  The Jawoll yarn felt slightly thinner than the Patons but Jawoll always comes with a spool of reinforcing thread inside the yarn so did toes with those held together and it came out feeling the same weight.

    I’ve been eyeing up some new patterns on Ravelry and with all these self-patterning and self-striping yarns I’ve been using, I’m contemplating perhaps a solid color yarn but then there’s also the “single sock box” I’ve been ignoring.  Maybe I need to finish off the second sock for one of those pairs.

Design Wall Monday

  CTS blocks are still up on design wall 1  — waiting for those two missing house blocks before I can start on the sashing.  I also can’t start on the sashing yet because I ordered a new fabric to possibly use for it.  Something with a little more color than the navy tone on tone I originally bought.  The new stuff may be a bit too pastel but it’s hard to tell from just the online swatch.  But in any event it’s a lovely batik so will get used even if it doesn’t work for this project.

Design wall 2 still has the stained glass runner stuck on it tho it is now quilted and binding pinned for final hand stitching.  But heck I’ve been too busy knitting to do that hand stitching on the runner or the butterfly wallhanging that just needs the binding done.

Here’s how far I am on the first sock of my third party of Opal Socktoberfest challenge socks – down to the straight-away of the foot.  I like how the pattern on the leg broke up the stripes a bit and then the sole shows the stripes.  I just happened  to have some brown solid Opal that matched the stripey yarn perfect so decided I’d do the heel flap and toes in the brown.  I’m always so paranoid I’ll run out of yarn so nothing to worry about when mixing in the solid.

  And don’t miss out on the sale at EQ Boutique — they have extended it a day or two.  The code for the percentage off is in one of my blog posts from the weekend or on the Eq Boutique site.

Socktober progress

I don’t have a photo for you yet, but I will shortly.  I just need to  weave the toe of my first Socktoberfest sock!  And then start on the second one tonight.  I’ve given myself a vacation from work the next two days so there will be some knitting in the evenings as usual but I hope to actually make some good progress on a couple of projects in the sewing room.  It would be so nice to finally be able to have something to report on the stashbusting report one of these weeks. 🙂

The Opal yarn I’m using is one from their “bicolor” lines which gives it sort of a heathery look – one side of the strand has a darker color on it – and I really like how it looks.  I’m going to have to check out the stash of Opal to see if there are any more bicolors in there.

I did check friend Judy’s progress  – she’s using a cool circle sock pattern that I may try for one of my future pairs.  Hmmm… could I have my second sock finished by Friday for the On the Needles report …. likely not but a girl can dream.

Now off to knit and plan my strategy for tomorrow – which quilting project to work on first?

Opal Bonanza

  I gathered all the Opal yarns from the stash in anticipation of the start of the Opal Socktoberfest Challenge.  Click on the button in the left sidebard for the challenge if you haven’t checked it out yet.  It’s just for fun but there’s some free yarn involved – can’t get better than that.

So now to decide which one of those I want to use first.  It won’t be the couple of solid colors because I bought those to have around for heels and toes on other yarns if I think I may be running short on yarn.    But there’s plenty to choose from.  If I meet my own personal challenge number of four pairs of socks – that means one a week — that means some speedy knitting to be sure so we’ll see  if I can really make it.


And here’s the Houses in the Woods blocks for CTS that I have finished so far.  A couple more to make yet.


  There was a bit of an earthquake on the design wall that holds the CTS blocks.  It was the second design wall I put up when the other  one was full and I had the window open because it was such a lovely day and there was a bit of a cross breeze going through the apartment.  Right past the buildings — which were on the wall but of course are now on the floor – not all of them but there was definitely a building collapse going on!

On the needles & The Socktoberfest Sock Challenge

First – the socks that are just about ready to come off the needles so I can cast on the second one tonight —  I just need to kitchner stitch the toes and bury ends.

Notice it did some wacky pooling on the foot but I don’t care.

Have you read dear friend Judy’s blog post on our email exchange regarding the Socktoberfest Sock Challenge I issued?

You can read it here .  I’ve been laughing all afternoon about her comments in response to my email.  I’m not saying they aren’t true – but it’s so funny because after I meet someone in person, when I read their emails, I hear their voice in my head as I read them (hmmm….. that doesn’t sound quite sane does it, but you know what I mean) so I can hear her sweet southern accent so innocently trying to convince you that she ONLY bought yarn for my benefit to keep me happy.   🙂  And I do believe her first response was “you are bad”).

So here is what my email to her said — you’ll have to go to her blog to see her interpretation of a response to it but I’ve added my commentary below in red. LOL

Subject: I’ve been hatching a plan
I’ve had another insane brain storm – several different ideas melded together.  You know this is not going to be good (but it could be far worse).

See — I did admit it was insane – she knows me well enough that when she saw “I’ve been hatching a plan” she should have know to just walk away from the computer.  They never learn so I keep coming up with them. VBG  And honestly I could have come up with a much worse plan (yes, remember the part of the 12 in 2012 challenge about no yarn shopping…. I’m just sayin… things could be much worse).

1) Socktoberfest is approaching 

2) the birthstone for October is an Opal

3) Opal makes me think of Opal yarn  (actually I believe I thought about the Opal yarn first and then realized it is an October birthstone)

Items 2 and 3 do show my amazing ability to find an obscure item that I can some how  link to the need to buy yarn – I readily admit it.   I think it is a gift!! 😉

4) Opal yarn made me think of the recent flyer that Simply Socks still has a bunch on sale (I did briefly think of the stuff I bought on sale from them last time  and haven’t used yet but then quickly dismissed that from my mind)

(you can see where this is headed can’t you) 😉   

Again – she had to know where I was going with this – that it would involve the need to buy yarn (even though she could have used what’s in her stash) – I blatantly admit I had no intention of using what was in my stash for this.  Like her – I put yarn in the cart yesterday and talked myself out of it (and dang! one of them was no longer there today) but at the same time was forming this plan so I waited a whole day to spring it on her!

5) opal yarn on sale has now been purchased from Simply Socks today

well, obviously, did I mention it was on sale for a really good price?  Judy had been having trouble with her internet – she might have missed the sale flyer announcement so yes, it was a public service! (which we are now passing on to all of you )

6) see how many pairs of Opal yarn socks I can make during Socktoberfest.

Does the fact that I bought 7 mean I’ll make 7 pairs in October — not on your life.  But I think I will post a little challenge on the blog tonight and whoever makes at least one pair of Opal socks in October can be eligible for a drawing for one of the balls of Opal I bought.  Are you up for the challenge?

I don’t know how many pairs I’m going to get done but I’m going to give it a good shot!

 NOW ON REBUTTAL (yep – working in a law firm makes you talk that way sometimes):  Judy’s statement that Vince allegedly (another good legal word) believes the extra on the credit card is all my fault  for making her buy yarn — I believe I can prove reasonable doubt on that issue simply by doing this — if we compare Judy’s  stash before I met Judy to the yarn stash after I met Judy, I think you will find the better part of it was purchased before we had even met, hence a pattern of yarn buy has been readily established without any provocation from me — as Perry Mason would say, I rest my case your honor!  (Besides all I have to do is go visit Judy, ask Vince if I can spend the day shopping with him at oh say Home Depot, Walmart or some of this other favorite stores and I’ll be in his good graces!) ROFLOL

So if you’ve stuck with me this far the challenge is this:

Make as many pairs of socks as you can during Socktoberfest out of Opal brand yarn.  You cannot count socks already in progress or already finished or made of yarns other than Opal.  If you have Opal in your stash, you can use it; you don’t have to buy new (but heck there’s a sale — and neither Judy nor I are affiliated with Simply Socks other than as happy shoppers).  You can use any pattern you want.  This is a challenge to yourself – you are not trying to make more socks than me, I am not trying to make more socks than Judy — how many socks do you think you can make and then see if you really can.  You cannot start knitting until October 1, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. in whatever time zone you are in  and the end date is October 31, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. in your time zone. 

I’ll see if Judy will add a linky to her blog after Oct. 31 so we can post links to the photos of the  socks we’ve made (Mr. Linky won’t work on my blog).  We’ll work that all out later but there will be a random drawing  from among challenge participants who finish at least one pair to win some yarn — what kind – Opal of course  !

So how many pairs of socks do you think you will challenge yourself to  make?  I’m thinking I can finish 4 pair.  Time will tell! And bonus – if you are doing my 12 in 2012 challenge — these socks can count towards that total so it’s a win win!

What should really scare Judy is I’ve already got an idea for a sock challenge for 2013 next year (no it does not involve abstaining from buying yarn). 🙂