Tag Archive | sock knitting

Bye, FlexiFlips

I’m making progress on my FlexiFlip sock, but I can’t call it that anymore. I made it a little over halfway through the foot before giving up. I really wanted to make it through the whole sock, to give the needles a fair shot. They felt super awkward at first, then I kind of got used to them, then once I got past the heel and into the gusset/foot, it got awkward again. Well, more uncomfortable than awkward. Maybe I was doing something weird, but knitting with them made my hands feel tight and cramped, and it hurt to knit very long. I found that I was dreading knitting them just because of the needles, and that’s never okay. One should not dread her knitting! So the sock has been transferred to my favorite bamboo DPNs and I am much happier with it. Anyone want a set of size 1 FlexiFlips??


We had a day-trip on Monday, with about four hours in the car, and I made good progress on my Textured Pullover, even if I did get super bored of knitting it. I was smart and wove in all the other ends as I finished each section, so finishing will be quick. I did make a wee error, but I think it’ll be fine. As I read the pattern again for the second sleeve, I realized there were supposed to be decrease rounds all through the sleeve that I completely missed. So my sleeves won’t taper. Oh well. I’m totally okay with that.


Since taking this photo, I’ve made it over halfway through the second sleeve and just need to find the motivation to power through the rest. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can! I just need a good movie marathon to distract me. How do you motivate yourself to finish a lingering WIP?

The best news of the week is that the girl is now all done with her auditions for college! Now we wait for two more result emails, and final talent scholarship offers (fingers crossed) and then it’ll be decision time. I think we’ll all be relieved when it’s all said and done and we can focus on moving forward.

Updates on…everything

I don’t have a FO to share today. I can share some progress on my sock, my FlexiFlip sock. It’s going well. I’m getting used to the needles and they’re not feeling as unwieldy as they did at first. They’re still not as fast as DPNs for me but I think I’ll get there pretty quick. I am loving this yarn. The colors are fun, and even though the color changes are different than I was expecting, I like it a lot. I mean, look how cool the heel turned out!


It’s smooth and slick, almost slippery, from the polyester, and maybe you’d think acrylic/poly sock yarn, what is she thinking? But no, seriously, it feels good, kind of cool (literally). It’s a nice switch from the wool/nylon yarn, though I’m sure that’ll always be my primary sock yarn blend. And it’ll make lovely spring/fall socks, I think. So yeah, these are zipping along.

My sweater, however, is not zipping along. I’ve got most of one sleeve done and I’m trying to work on it at night, but it’s boring and I keep having to adjust it as I go around the little sleeve and I’m ready for it to be done so I can wear it. We’re taking one more short road trip on Monday for the last music school audition, so I’ll take that and only that with me and force myself to work on it.

Edward went to the shop and spent a few days there getting a new front bumper and some new shields or something, and it went through my insurance so I only had to pay the deductible. We timed it out so that they could work on it while I was out of town with the girl last weekend, and then the husband and I carpooled on Monday, so I didn’t even have to pay for a rental car. So overall that whole experience was much better than I was expecting, and they did a fantastic job and even detailed him perfectly so that he looks almost brand-new and I love him.


Grace has adjusted wonderfully to her meds for Addison’s disease. I even gave her the injection myself last month! And we were able to lower her steroid dose so she’s not quite as thirsty and ravenous as she was at first. Her energy level is up and she’s very frisky and loves to play with Duncan again. She and Duncan are buddies; Jack kind of gets left out but also I think he feels threatened by Duncan at times. He’s usually pretty happy to hang out with his people while the other two go nuts.


Duncan hasn’t gone into any trouble lately (knock on wood) and keeping them in the kitchen when we’re gone seems to be working well. I don’t love it, but it’ll work until Duncan gets a little older and hopefully outgrows his destructive tendencies.


The girl has received acceptance letters from two of her four schools and I am delighted and super proud of her. We’re still waiting for a decision from one school and like I said, we have the last audition Monday, so we probably won’t have a final decision for another few weeks. We’re very lucky that she’s received automatic academic scholarship offers from all four schools, and a music scholarship from at least one, but even with those, and her college savings account, there’s still a lot of financial ground to make up. It’s scary, and it’s not even my college life! But we so want her to have a great experience, to have the education and flute professor and opportunities that she wants to have. I’m excited for everything that is ahead for her.

At the same time, though, we can’t just pay for it. It’s not feasible, and we can’t take on huge debt for it either. College is scary. If you have kids, start saving yesterday! But we’ll figure it out with a lot of little things. We’ll help a little. She’ll probably have to get a part-time job, a small student loan, and with luck, several of the private scholarships she’s applying for. I know it’ll work out, I really do. But I’m a mother, and a worrier, and those things together are rough when it’s time for college! Life is stressful in my house quite often these days, but there’s still a thread of excitement that comes out just when we need the encouragement.

Sorry this turned out so long; I didn’t mean to ramble. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for your patience!

Addi FlexiFlips: First Attempt

I was super excited to find the Addi FlexiFlips on my road trip. I love knitting socks, and I prefer to use three 5″ DPNs, with a fourth as a working needle. I’ve tried 9″ circs and the tips are just too tiny to be comfortable to hold. I haven’t tried magic loop yet because it looks fiddly and weird and I resist trying strange new things. So these seemed like a great combination of DPNs and circs. As soon as I finished my current sock WIP, I grabbed the FlexiFlips and some sock yarn, and cast on.

Or rather, I tried to cast on. I got the needles on the first needle just fine. Then I split them evenly onto two needles. But then I couldn’t figure out how to join them like I would on DPNs. I fiddled for a little while before turning to the experts on YouTube. I found lots of videos on how to knit with them, but they all showed socks with several rows already started. I couldn’t find any that showed how to cast on and join in the round with these particular needles. But I’m not a quitter, so I knit the first row, slid two completed stitches to the next needle, and joined in the round that way. It was awkward, but I think it worked.

Once I got going, I realized it was going to take a bit to get used to them and to figure out how I wanted the needle not in use to behave. It took several rounds before I decided I liked to bunch the stitches onto the cable portion and bend the back needle so it was kind of out of the way. After that I was off and running!

One of the interesting features of these needles is that that have different tips. On each needle, one tip is more pointy and one is more blunt. That’s very versatile for different preferences…except it means I have to pause and make sure I’ve got the pointy tip each time I switch needles.

So far, these make for slower knitting than my DPNs. I can’t tell for sure yet, but I think my gauge will be a bit looser than with my DPNs, and I’ve got to be more careful about laddering, though I think that’s more about the learning curve and getting comfortable with the needles than with the needle design itself. I do like the metal, and it makes me want some Signature DPNs even more. And I like how they fit neatly in a project bag with no worries of stitches falling off! All in all, I wanted to love them, but I don’t. However, I like them enough that I’ll keep going with them through at least one sock and see if I’m comfortable with them after that.


Have you tried the FlexiFlips yet? What did you think?

Road Trip, Part 3

Okay, post three of UNL road trip, are you ready? Thanks for following along! (You can read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up if you like.) The girl was very kind and allowed me to drag her to two yarn stores while in Lincoln, and she was very happy as long as I let her use my phone to take artsy yarn photos, some of which are in these posts.

After Yarn Charm, we made our way to The Yarn Shop. Like Yarn Charm, it was hard to find, located on the back side of a strip mall so you couldn’t see it well from the road. Nevertheless we persisted, and were greeted by a long stretch of sock yarn on the wall. That’s a good start! I saw Biscotte Yarns, Araucania, Ancient Arts Fiber, some Malabrigo, and more brands I wasn’t familiar with. But since I’d just spent a good chunk of change at the previous store, I didn’t grab as many skeins this time. I kept picking things up and putting them back, mostly because of the guilt.

Like that 2-skein set in the top right photo? It was gorgeous, but I couldn’t justify $64. And those tonals in the bottom photo? I really wanted one of each color, but I managed to resist the temptation. Still, I walked out with four more new skeins.

The top photo is Biscotte Bis-sock because um, hello, that yarn is to die for. Then I had to get the pretty purple Arucania Huasco worsted; love their yarns, love those shades. The colors in the Ella Rae Lace Merino Aran (bottom middle) called my name, and somehow the wonderfully named T-Shirt and Jeans sock yarn from Ancient Arts ended up in my pile too. That was it, I was done…until I spotted the Addi FlexiFlip needles on the counter.


Yep, I bought some. Can’t wait to try them! Have any of you tried them? What do you think?

One last fun thing: I found these socks in a little store downtown. I was tempted to buy both pairs they had, but in the end limited it to one. I love them so much.


So yeah, I think it’s safe to say I conquered the yarn stores in Lincoln. Or they conquered me? I think I’m glad we didn’t have time to go to any more. Between the book stores and the yarn stores, I’m not sure I can afford to help pay for college anymore!

Road Trip, Part 2

Today it’s time for the yarn part of my Nebraska road trip story. (You can read Part 1 here: books, donuts & more!) I was excited because there were FOUR yarn stores in Lincoln, though I wasn’t sure we’d have time to hit all of them. I was right, we only hit two, but I did plenty of damage at just those two.


We went to the most promising one first, called Yarn Charm. And we had to work for it! I put the store name into Apple maps and let Siri navigate, and when we turned into a remote industrial area I started to worry. There were lots of warehouses, one small strip mall of offices, and nothing that looked like a yarn store. Sure enough, when Siri announced, “The destination is on your left”, we were looking at a large expanse of open land. Um, what the heck, Siri? I found the address online, plugged into maps, and we drove 20 minutes back the way we came until we found the real Yarn Charm. And guys, I walked into Malabrigo heaven! And Madelintosh! And Blue Sky Fibers! And so much more to choose from!

I picked up yarns as I wandered, knowing I’d have to make some tough decisions in the end. It was hard, guys. Really hard. They did have a charming little table I could use to sort through my options.

I finally narrowed it down to the ones I couldn’t live without. The rainbow is Malabrigo worsted, the purple is Tosh DK, and the bottom is a stunning OOAK silk blend from Zen Gardens. It will be a special souvenir shawl, since it’s kind of UN-Lincoln colors.

Then I picked out two special souvenir skeins from local indie dyers, Indigo Boulevards and Lazy B Yarns. Both are sock yarns, and the dyer behind Indigo Boulevards was actually the one working the shop when we were there, so it was really fun to be able to buy her yarn.

Yarn Charm is where I got the fun “Knit Nebraska” t-shirt in the first photo. Had to get that, right?? This was a super fun yarn store, and if the girl ends up going to college in Lincoln, I’ll be sure to visit her a lot!

I do have more yarn to share (you can spot it in that first photo) but apparently this road trip is meant to be three blog posts, so I’ll share the rest of my yarn in the next post.

This is not ideal

Well, crap. Edward is injured and needs some help. This has been looming for a while; his first injury occurred a few years ago, and things have been building since then. Now, don’t fret too much: Edward is my car. But I am fretting. Most importantly, I love my car and I want Edward to serve me well for at least another couple of years. But also, there’s just never a good time to spend money on car repairs. I think it’s time, though. The biggest one is likely to be the original. Someone who was not me was driving Edward and going too fast when he hit a stretch of unpaved road and the car bottomed out on a manhole, damaging some important metal body work on the bottom. Clearly that wasn’t urgent, because I’ve been driving like that since then.

But that incident also damaged the belly pan, or whatever that protective plastic layer is called, and it came loose once when it didn’t get fastened securely after an oil change. I went back, they refastened it, I went on my way. Then a few weeks ago, I pulled too far forward in a parking space and that pan caught on the concrete stopper thing. When I backed out, the pan came loose, and though I drove immediately to a car place, it was too damaged to save. (In my defense: I didn’t pull forward that far. It was like when you pull forward super slowly until you gently bump the thing. So, I mean, clearly there were already problems, right? Right.) Anyway, I knew I needed to get it replaced, but I put it off. Like you do.

Okay, right. No problem. I parked more carefully after that. Then last night, I took the mother and the boy to dinner, pulled slowly into a parking spot, heard something weird so I put it in reverse and bad things started happening. Apparently there was a bolt/screw thing sticking up out of the concrete stopper thing (don’t you like all my technical jargon?) which caught on the edge of the front bumper, and when I reversed, it started pulling the bumper loose from the car. GREAT. JUST GREAT.

Guys, I swear, I am not a bad driver. I have never had things like this happen before, and just keep happening. Anyway, this feels like a storm of all these little things swirling together to make for a sad little car. I did get the bumper mostly back on, but of course it’s not great. So I’m pretty sure my day off today will include a trip to the body shop to get an estimate of time and cost to get Edward put back together again. Cross your fingers that it doesn’t break the bank. I was hoping to leave him there and steal the girl’s car, because she and the husband are out of town for a music school audition. (They’re in Colorado. I’m totally jealous.) But she took the one car key with her. Of course. So I’ll figure out a plan B and it’ll be fine. It’s fine. It’s all fine.

*deep breath*

After all that, let’s finish with something happy, shall we? Here’s my new sock, started last night. It’s going to be a plain vanilla sock to let the yarn take center stage.


The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres Sock in color Medusa. Love it!

More New Socks

You may remember that I am currently knitting all the socks, and I am making progress on most of them, so I thought I’d share since they’re all so fun. First up is my Madtosh Seaglass green. Love this color so much, but it’s really hard to photograph accurately. It’s even more vivid and gorgeous than these photos suggest. fullsizeoutput_efbThe pattern is called Marpleridge and it’s in Kate Atherley’s Custom Socks to Fit Your Feet. I think it’s especially cool that she gives directions for making it either toe-up or cuff-down! Both the heel turn and gussets are shorter than I’m used to, so I’m eager to see how these feel when I wear them all day. My only modification was a grafted toe.

This yarn is a slightly thicker fingering, so the socks are thick and squishy and I can’t wait to wear them. Unfortunately, I haven’t even started the second sock, so it’ll be a while still.

But here’s the funnest sock ever: Wonder Woman self-striping sock!! fullsizeoutput_ef7The yarn is from Artistic Yarns by Abi and I love it. Love how the stripes worked up, love the little thread of stellina, love that it’s just the tiniest bit crisp but still soft. These are more vanilla socks with a slip-stitch rib heel.

I’m already past the gusset on the second sock, so I’ll be wearing these before you know it. Maybe they’ll give me some superpowers!