Category Archives: Socks

On The Road

Day 2 of the great adventure dawned a lot cooler than we’ve become used to.  Living in Kelowna has that effect on people.  A quick breakfast and we were on our way, spending 9 hrs on the road to Regina.  We (and 4 other cars) managed to avoid hiting a bear cub as it crossed the highway outside of Canmore, but the 2 purple martins that suddenly swerved towards us weren’t nearly as fortunate. I’ve never seen birds do that before.  The sound was horrific.

People often comment about the flatness of the prairies and how boring they are to drive through, but the clouds made the trip fascinating for me.  It looked as if someone had carefully placed them in position, then let them go with the breeze. Almost Dali-esque.


The highpoint of the day was stopping for gas in Swift Current. We made it on fumes, hearing the low gas warning bell just before we could see the station.  BB was a little leery of the fellow approaching him as he got out of the truck, until he realized the station was full-serve. Been awhile since we’ve seen that. To top it off, there was free popcorn with every fill-up.  Great day!


Road knitting was a swatch for a sock. Still thinking over a pattern.

We ended the day in Regina, tired and hungry and looking forward to next days trek.





Effecting Change – Part 2

I recently celebrated a birthday but the changes that came with it are greater than those that simply come with age.  Two weeks ago, we sold our house. We weren’t ready for the move and it took it’s toll on us. Selling up and starting over was the only feasible plan. To add to the changes,  BB and I are separating and as I write this, I’m halfway towards my new life.  It’s not the life I would have chosen, at least not on my own, but it’s the life I’m going to have, so I’m dealing with it. I’m moving back to the town where I was born and raised and where the majority of my family still lives. It’s extremely hard but I know it’s not impossible. I hope it’s not impossible.

We packed the truck up on Wednesday and pulled out of Kelowna Thursday morning. BB is driving my moving van and towing my car behind; I’m riding shotgun, as usual (you don’t just walk away from each other after all this time, you pull away gently – but with all your stuff).

We made a quick stop in Banff where we had a private memorial service for our Skyler. It was very difficult being on the golf course, surrounded by memories.  When Skyler died, we were 3 days from moving to Kelowna and there was no time for me to grieve the places we’d shared – even if I was capable. I got to do that yesterday to some extent but it became obvious to me that the process is far from over.  We laid his memory to rest in one of his favourite spots, the ‘beach’ off the golf course where the Bow and Spray Rivers meet.


We spent the night in Canmore and it was lovely to see the Three Sisters again. And to know that the bunnies are still running rampant.

Day 1 knitting involved sock repair.  The sole of the foot had blown out and a simple darning wasn’t going to work. Reknitting up to the toe was quicker than I imagined.


Next stop: Regina, SK

Tuesday in K-Town

I’ve been living in Kelowna, BC for just over a year now and have been working so hard that I seldom have any time to enjoy my surroundings.  You know how it is: work, housework, errands, sleep, repeat.  Even knitting time has fallen by the wayside over the past few months.  I’m hoping to change that.  Now that Spring has sprung (and it truly has sprung here in the Okanagan), I’m going to try to take a little time for myself for sightseeing (and knitting – while I sightsee, of course) or just hanging out around town and away from the house.


Rhapsody, Waterfront Park Plaza

It’s 14º out as I write this, but it was about 6º cooler when I hit the waterfront earlier this afternoon and it certainly felt cooler.   I tried to catch up on some knitting while I was there, but after 10 minutes, I couldn’t feel my fingers.



It’s a favourite pair of store-bought socks with a very badly sewn toe section. I love them but they’ve been too uncomfortable to wear.  Out with the old toes and in with some new hand-knitted ones.

Wee hyacinths are in bloom near the Delta hotel,


and the tulips are budding.


Mallards are everywhere.

I’m looking forward to more sunny days (warmer ones!) and sharing more of my locale. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Knit. Frog. Knit. Dragon.

I finally had a chance to glance through the winter issue of knitty last week and fell in love with a sock pattern. When I mentioned needing to knit socks the other day, ‘Here Be Dragons‘ is what I had in mind. I cast on Sunday night with much anticipation. The pattern is toe-up, which I haven’t worked in a while, and there are lacy bits in the instep and leg. So exciting!


(Here Be Dragons by Rachel Gent, in Raventwist Tyr, Galway Warrior)

That was before this cold took over and stuffed up my brain. You see, there are charts (5) and actual instructions to read and, well, I can’t. I keep frogging every 4th round and reknitting. BB complimented my progess on this pattern, with which I am so enamoured, and my response was, “Whatever”. Yep, definitely sick.

January Challenge

A friend recently told me about a knitting challenge sponsored by the Canadian War Museum.

“The Canadian Red Cross estimates that 750,000 volunteers knit 50 million articles during the Second World War.

So here is the Canadian War Museum’s Canada-wide challenge to you: send or bring them your hand-knit socks, hats, mitts, scarves and other items until January 31. The museum will tally the items and announce how it compares. The museum may not match the wartime output, but it can try!

At the end of the project, IODE Canada, a national women’s charitable organization that supported wartime knitting (among many other things!), will distribute the donated knit goods to organizations that need them.”

(See the CWM Facebook page here.)

I love both a knitting challenge and the opportunity to knit for charity, so combining them appeals to me.  Using some worsted weight yarn in my stash meant this pair of socks only took 3 days to knit.


(A Good Plain Sock in Patons Classic Wool, Forest & Canadiana, Chocolate

Since that went so quickly, I decided I have time for one more project before the mailing deadline.  These fingerless gloves are practically knitting themselves and I’m thrilled to have a fitting project for this yarn, which came to me from Norway in a swap a few years ago. I love the way it’s knitting up and it’s very warm.


(Last Minute Mitts in Schachenmayr SMC Juvel, #461 Dk Green)

I know time is tight, but if you’re interested in joining the challenge, please send your item(s) to:

Sandra O’Quinn / Awesome Yarn
c/o Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, ON K1A 0M8

Remember they need to arrive in Ottawa by January 31/16. Happy Knitting!



I finally finished my do-over socks.  I shouldn’t say ‘finally’; all in all, the pair took only 20 hours of knitting once I’d restarted them.  There were a lot of do-over rounds on these socks for some reason but that didn’t seem … Continue reading


This is the first 3″ of my latest sock.  It’s also the second time this first 3″ has been knit.  You see, I’ve worked with this yarn a number of times.  Paton’s Kroy is a good, sturdy sock yarn with … Continue reading

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It’s been a miserable day. Rain, pouring rain that keeps changing to big, white splatty snowflakes that are now actually staying on the ground. I feel bad for the golfers out here today playing in a tournament. If they’re from away, at least they’ll have some good stories to tell about their end-of-May tourney in the snow. As I write, the snowfall is getting heavier.

2013-05-23 15.23.24

I’ve decided to give in to the weather.  If it wants to play at winter, I’ll play along, starting with a bubbling pot of hearty beef stew and a bottle of cab sauvignon.  Take that, Mother Nature.

I’m heading out on a quick road trip tomorrow and don’t have any knitting in progress that will travel well.  It’s probably no surprise that I’ve settled on starting a pair of socks.  I’ve offered to knit up a pair as a donation to Twist of Fate, which I heard about through a friend whose cousin is involved.   Wooly socks to warm cold feet while hunting can only be a good thing.  I’ll be using Cascade 220 in black and grey for Sarah Franklin’s Four Winds pattern.  I’ve made them once and love them – a quick knit with lots of interest and eye appeal.  Here’s the pair I made.


I’m expecting another rainy day tomorrow and my destination, at the end of the day, will keep things ducky.  Maybe there’ll be some knitting in front of the fire at Vines Lounge at some point.  Here’s hoping.

It’s All a Mystery to Me

September 11, 2001

The TV was on downstairs but I was upstairs dusting and fussing.  I was pretty sure 9 am had passed but I couldn’t hear the bleeping and yelling that let me know Breakfast Television was over and Maury had started.  That’s normally when I stopped whatever I was doing and quickly changed the channel.  Really hate all that bleeping.  The quiet coming from downstairs was what prompted me to take a look.   The TV screen showed what appeared to be a plane crashing into a building.  Seemed an unusual time of day for CityTV to be airing a movie.  Then Gord Martineau was talking about New York and a plane crash and no one, at that point, really knew what was going on.  It still took some moments to recognize that whatever was happening was real.  Was happening in those moments.  Was bad.  Very, very bad.  In the hours and days to come, we found out how truly bad, how truly awful, and how truly frightening.  I finally understood the root of the word “terrorist”.

Like many of you, I was glued to CNN for days – too many days.  I finally broke for Oprah.  Even she said we needed to take a break from the watching; we knew it wasn’t doing us any good.  There was little or no real effect, at the time, for me or my family or my neighbours, but it was horrifying, and perhaps more accurately, stunning, all the same.  And what was telling, for me, was the silence in the sky.  At the time, we lived in a flight path to/from Pearson International Airport.  And by mid-afternoon there were no more planes.  I hadn’t really noticed the sounds and sights of airplanes for some time, but I certainly noticed when they were missing.  When, much later in time, I heard the first plane fly overhead, it was like taking a breath.  I felt like I’d been holding my breath the whole time, and waiting.  It was a release.  And a relief.  I well remember that time.  I’ve never really understood it, but I remember it.

Where were you?  What do you remember?  I’d love to hear.


I’m working on a couple of things simultaneously.  Okay, I’m working on a LOT of things simultaneously, but only 2 of them involve knitting. The first is a test knit for Qianer Huang of HiyaHiya.  I’m now halfway through the second HiyaHiya Wave Lace Sock but, as it’s a mystery knit, here’s all I’m going to show you. I love the cabled heel!

You may remember that the Boo Knits shawl I started earlier this Spring just about killed me.  I loved the pattern (Fragile Heart) and loved the yarn, but the knitting was making me senseless (see here if you need reminding).  I did finally finish it and loved it all the more for being done – all lacy, and beady, and light, and yet shockingly warm.

Here’s a (bit) better view of the lace and beads.  My thanks to Melodie for modelling.

In all truth, Chia Goo lace needles saved my sanity, enough so, that I’ve started another Boo Knits shawl (it really wasn’t the fault of the pattern; the needles I was using were the ones to blame).  Out of Darkness is a mystery KAL and to preserve my sanity even further, I’ve opted out of lace weight and am using fingering weight yarn instead. There are beads in the new shawl as well, though I’ve changed their layout.  I couldn’t get enough beads to do the whole thing up properly so I’m left to use them judiciously.  I still foresee a Calgary-wide hunt for more at Michael’s, but let’s hope I can make do.

Building for the Future

While I was at work on Sunday, a robin started building her nest in the eaves over our back deck.  I could see a shadow in flight across the blinds yesterday morning while I was at my desk.  It had been moving back and forth for a while before I checked it out.  By that time, she had started gathering moss for lining.  She works fast.

I don’t know if this is one of the robins I watched build their nest a couple of weeks ago.  It was during the weekend, when things can be a bit quiet around here; they didn’t know they were building on top of a bell box.  On Monday morning when the shop phone started ringing, so did the bell box.  The robins seem to have abandoned that nest.  Good call.  It can be bad enough to have the kids chirping and bleating at you all day for food; add in a constantly ringing phone and there goes the rest of your sanity.

This location is only marginally better than the other. Every time I open the back door, she’s off.  I hope she doesn’t abandon the nest.  It’d be a treat to watch nestlings for awhile.

I’m about to start building something too.  One of these yarns will be the toes of a pair of travelling socks.

Once I finish knitting my toes, I’ll send them off to the next person in my group who will choose some yarn of her own and a stitch pattern (or not) and knit an inch or two onto my socks.  She’ll send  them off to the next person, and so on, and so on ….. until I get back a complete pair of socks.  In the meantime, I’ll be adding on to the socks sent to me from the other group members.  How cool is that?  The pattern for these toe-up socks comes from Wendy Gaal for Knitters Brewing Co.  Check out her blog here.

In case you’re wondering, the shawl is still in the works.  I can refer to it as “the shawl” because it’s the only one I’m working on right now.  It could be the only one I work on for awhile.  I know I’ll love it when it’s ready to sit across my shoulders, but it may be some time before lace weight nestles on my needles again.  I’ve been able to knit on it a little every night and am still hopeful I’ll be done at week’s end.  I do have to start these toes though.