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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

More Proof that you should pick up those needles!!

Seems that whenever I get my rear in gear and update my blog after being dormant for way too long, I come across a new article and want to share it...after I already published my blog entry.
So here it is (if I already published it, I call a time out due to Fibro fog. It's a great excuse).

I know it helps me, if for no other reason than the fact that while I'm knitting, I'm sitting and resting and still getting something accomplished.LOL

My basic sock pattern

I decided to share my basic sock pattern. I have it downloadable on Ravelry, but I figure that people who don't want to go through the trouble of downloading something can just bookmark it here if they want.
Basic Cuff Down Sock Pattern

Knitted with worsted weight yarn
These were made with Red Heart yarn. I prefer to use a short row heel for my socks. The needle I use is a set of size 5 double points.
Cast on 40 (36, 48) stitches for a woman’s size. I’ll put child and man’s sizes in parentheses. I usually like to cast all the stitches onto one needle, then I separate the stitches so that I have one needle (needle #1) with 10 (8,12) stitches, needle 2 with 20 (16, 24) stitches, and needle 3 with 10 (8,12) stitches. Make sure not to twist the needles so that all the stitches are aligned.
I do a knit 2/purl 2 ribbing for 2 inches, working in a circle from one needle to another. Then I switch to a stockinet stitch (all stitches are knit) without breaking the yarn. Work in a stockinet stitch until your work reaches, from the very top to the needle, to measure 6 (5,7) inches. (I just use a standard ruler to measure my work with).
Starting between needles 1 and 3, and leaving needle 2 alone, knit to the end until you have only one stitch left on needle 1. Pulling your yarn to the front to start, wrap the yarn around the base of the stitch that is on the end and turn your work so you are looking at the purl side. Keep the yarn to the front of the work after you wrap it.
Row 1: purl across both needles until there is only one stitch left. Wrap the yarn around that last stitch and turn your work. Pull the yarn to the back of the work.
Leave the wrapped stitch on the needle throughout the work. You should now have 9 (7,11) regular stitches and one wrapped stitch on your needles.
Row2: knit across both needles until you get to the 2nd stitch from the end. Wrap your yarn around the 2nd stitch just like you did for the 1st. Turn your work.
Row3: Purl to the 2nd stitch from the end. Wrap it like the other stitch on the needle and turn. You now should have 8 (6,10) regular stitches on your needles and 2 wrapped stitches on each needle.
You keep going back and forth between the knit side and the purl side until you only have 4(3,6) unwrapped stitches on each needle. Now you are ready to finish the wrapped stitches and the heel.
Knit across the 4 (3,6) stitches on the needle. When you get to the wrapped stitch, use your needle to pick up the wrap yarn and slide it onto the needle in your left hand so that it is next to the next stitch. Then work both strands of yarn at the same time and knit them together. Turn your work.
Now purl across those stitches and then purl across the 4 (3,6) unwrapped stitches on the other needle. When you get to the 1st wrapped stitch on the needle, pick up and purl both the wrap strand and the stitch on the needle together. Turn your work.
Knit across including the stitch that you knitted two together on the last row. Work the next wrapped stitch the same way, pick up the wrap and slide it onto the needle next to the stitch and knit the two strands together. Turn
Continue knitting and purling across in this fashion and working the wrapped stitches.

When you get all of the wrapped stitches worked you will knit to the end of needle 1 and then pick up a stitch between needle 1 and needle 2 so that you won’t have a hole there. Knit across needle 2 like normal. Then pick up a stitch between needle 2 and needle 3 before knitting all of the remaining stitches on needle 3. You should now have 11(9,13) stitches on needle 1, 20 (18,24)stitches on needle 2, and 11(9,13) stitches on needle 3.
On the next round knit to the end of needle 1 and knit the last two stitches together. Knit all the stitches on needle 2 like normal. Knit 2 stitches together on needle three, then knit the rest of the stitches like normal.
Knit across all needles like normal. You should have 10 (8,12) on needle 1 now, 20 (18,24) on needle 2, and 10 (8,12) on needle 3. Continue knitting straight across all needles until your foot portion of the sock measures 7 inches from the edge of the heel to the needle. (I lay my work flat on my table and use a ruler to measure the foot)
When your foot portion measures 7 (6,8) inches, knit across needle one so that you are at the side of the foot.
Row 1: knit one. Knit two together, then knit across the needle until you have only three stitches left on needle 2. Slip the next stitch from the needle to the working needle without knitting it (slipped stitch). Then knit the next stitch. Slide the slipped stitch over the stitch you just knitted and off the tip of the needle. Knit the last stitch on needle 2 normally. On needle 3, knit 1, knit 2 together, then knit across the rest of the stitches. On needle 1, knit until there are only 3 stitches left on the needle and then slip a stitch, knit the next stitch, then slip the slip stitch over the knitted stitch. Knit the last stitch on the needle. You should now have 9 (7,11) stitches on needles 1 and 3 and 18 (16, 22) stitches on needle 2.
Row 2: knit across all three needles normally
Row 3: On needle 2, knit one, knit 2 together, then knit until 3 stitches from the end. Slip a stitch, knit a stitch, pass the slipped stitch over the knitted one, knit the last stitch. This stitch is called a PSSO (pass slipped stitch over) and is a type of decrease stitch. On needle 3, knit one stitch, knit 2 stitches together, knit the rest of the stitches normally. On needle 1, knit the stitches normally until you get to the last 3 stitches. PSSO. Then knit the last stitch.
Continue with the toe rotating between one row of decreases and one row of regular knitting. When you work the last row of decreases, you should have 4 (3,6) stitches on needle 1, 8 (6,12) stitches on needle 2, and 4 stitches on needle 3. Slide the stitches from needle 3 to needle 1 so that you now have two needles that have 8 (6,12)stitches on each. Leaving a long tail, cut the yarn.
You finish the sock with the kitchner stitch. Place the tail of yarn on a yarn needle. Hold your sock up on the two needles with the needles side by side.
Insert the yarn needle into the left side of the front stitch (stitches on needle 1). Angle your needle to the right so that you only pick up the front post of the stitch (knit wise). Pull the yarn through the stitch and slide the stitch off the knitting needle. On the next stitch on the front needle, put the yarn needle through purl wise and leave that stitch on the knitting needle, but pull your yarn needle and tail all the way through.
Now work the first stitch on the back needle (needle 2). Pull your tail to the back and on the first stitch pull it through purl wise (from back to front). Slide the stitch off the knitting needle and then insert the yarn needle into the next stitch on needle 2 knit wise and leave that stitch on the needle.
Working the front needle again, insert your needle knit wise, then slide that stitch off the knitting needle and insert the yarn needle into the next stitch on the same knitting needle purl wise and leave that stitch on the needle.
Work the next stitch on the back needle. First pull you yarn through purl wise, slide off the stitch, then pull the yarn through the next stitch knit wise.
Continue in that fashion, working off each stitch until you have done all the stitches. Pull your yarn to the inside of the work.
Turn your sock inside out and work in all the loose ends.

I'm Amazed!!!

The last few days have been wonderful! After all this time that I've struggled to get something going for my craft business, it looks like its finally going to go somewhere! Let me start from the beginning...
In the beginning of December, Chelle and I met with our friend Angel to discuss the possibility of starting a business together and decided that our best choice would be to combine our interests to do a business that would sell crafts as well as thrift store items. 

Then the Holidays hit and we were too busy to think about doing anything but get gifts made. While I was up to my ears with gift making, my friend Debbie asked me if I could make her some more socks (I made her some a while back and she really liked them). I made a couple pairs and posted them before Christmas, but really didn't get the chance to do much until after Christmas was over.  Here are the socks I made for her

I posted each pair on facebook as I finished them. After the first couple, people on the knitting groups I'm on mentioned that they would like the pattern. I started off just telling them that I didn't have a pattern and was doing them from memory, but they kept insisting, so I eventually decided, "Hey, maybe I should write down my pattern and try to sell it..." (this is where I did a mental facepalm). So I wrote up the first pattern and was amazed that people were actually interested.Haha!

Then I got the bright idea that if I put my basic sock pattern up, it might draw people to my Ravelry page so I put that one up for free.

I decided that I would post that one to all the knitting groups I'm on on facebook and was shocked to find that the downloads for it was in the hundreds!

I quickly finished up today by putting the other variations up for sale

I also was surprised to have people asking me to knit them socks and to make my fingerless glove pattern available. 
So now I have to decide how much work I can take in and be able to do with my pain issues. Not only that, but I need to come up with prices that are fair to customers, but not unfair to me. And, finally, I need to decide how much I can do and still be able to keep my goals for making socks for the Veterans like I planned. 

I'm really glad it's taking off like this. It's good to be able to make your creative venue into your daily job.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

More Stuff about the Health Benefits of Crafts

I happened to come across the following news article from CNN and thought I would share it.
It's about anxiety and PTS and how crafting can help. I figure a lot of us chronic pain sufferers might also have these types of diagnoses as well.

I've been on a doily kick for the past couple days.
I haven't done much work with thread lately other than flower buttons, but I really started missing it. While crocheting with thread and small needles is harder on my hands, it's also more engaging and distracting. I really have to concentrate on what I'm doing and not so much on pain. While I sometimes can't do that, when I can, I like to make doilies and lace that take a little more work. There is usually more variation in stitches and some of the patterns are pretty difficult to follow.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Coping with Hand pain

So today's blog post is about coping with pain, particularly hand pain. I've been dealing with this quite a bit lately. It doesn't help that the holidays are almost upon us and I'm rushing to get gifts done. When I should be taking a break every so often, I find myself pushing to get done and trying to ignore the burn in my thumb.

So....I started researching ways to cope and, pf course, the first thing I keep finding is to take frequent breaks to let your hands rest.

Here are a couple articles on coping techniques for your hands:
From Lion Brand Yarns, a nice article giving several suggestions to help, along with a link to buy some gloves that help with support for arthritis.

This article from gives some great suggestions also.

A couple pics of things I'm working on right now:

Yes... I have way too many WIP's going on. I decided that I really love working with thread after doing a pile of button flowers and so started the doily yesterday. The afghan is my "to big to take anywhere" project. I also have one sock of a pair done and need to finish those up as well. The socks are for John because he was claiming cold feet again. LOL The flowers are being made for my friend, Latoya, for her to make bows with, the blanket is for my couch (yes, occasionally I make things for me.LOL) and the dish cloth is a gift that is still in the process of being a set.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Buttons and Flowers

I'm super busy right now, getting ready for the Holidays and trying to get my gift knitting and crocheting done. While I enjoy planning and preparing gifts, it can get stressful and painful for me. I'm working on these little flowers that use buttons, but after making a few, started having sharp pains at the base of my right thumb. I'm sure that using small thread and hooks has a lot to do with it, but I absolutely love doing things with thread instead of yarn. The detail and lace appeal to me. I'm trying to get relief by switching up to yarn projects when I can.
I've been considering trying marijuana as a form of pain relief. I've read some things that make me think that its safer than using gabepentin for the fibro and neourpathy pain problems I'm having. I definitely need to find something to help so I won't have to stop my needlecrafts. I need the needlecrafts in order to keep sane.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Another article about the benefits from knitting and crocheting

I keep finding more and more about the therapeutic benefits of doing knitting and crocheting. As I search for ways to help with anxiety and relief from the stress of dealing with a chronic pain illness, I find that I already have it in my knitting. 

I recently moved back into a shared household with my daughter and son and I'm finding the stress over finances to be overwhelming at times. Add to that the stress of trying to use the VA as my primary medical provider and you have a recipe for anxiety. Enough so that I attempted to get into the VA for a mental health appointment (a whole story behind that attempt with a VA that is overcrowded and likes to double book appointments and my daughter's truck that likes to have issues with overheating at inconvenient times). As a result, I've been doing more reading on self help and on ways to meditate and keep down stress.