Stocking knitting

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 | At the office, blocking, Design, Holiday, knitting, macgyver, socks | No Comments

While we are on the topic of what I did this Christmas…another good reason to pace myself is actually knitting jobs. They come around every once in awhile, and usually around the holidays.

This year I had a paid knitting job that was interesting and fun. A friend at work wanted a stocking in time for son’s first Christmas. The catch was to try to match it to her and her husbands existing stockings…which were machine knit, flat.

No problem.


It made good Saturday Morning diner knitting.

I charted out the pattern and adjusted it to knit in the round from the toe up. The only thing that really had me stumped was the cuff, which was ribbed in stockinette. I found out later, thanks to Courtney, that this is something that is achieved in machine knitting with weights. I decided to try and recreate it by slipping stitches in stockinette and blocking it out with straws. It gave it an interesting texture and I liked it more than if I would have stuck with standard 1×1 ribbing.


Blocking, with straws.


Wow, time sure does fly at the holidays!

Thanksgiving was small this year. Just me and my husband and our kids. I invited my friend Ashley over because her husband was out of town for work and I don’t think people should be alone during the holidays.

Luckily, my husband loves me a lot and knew I was way too busy to get any actual holiday planning done, so he ordered Thanksgiving dinner this year!


Thumbs up!

Dinner was a success!

After dinner and dessert, Ashley brought out some of her knitting that needed a little TLC. Not too long ago she had a (gasp!)…moth problem, but she also had a shawl that had a burn. Of course, about the time I was going to Google “darning”, the internet took a dump. I had to wing it.


Trying something without my internet safety net.


I think I did a pretty good job.


Darning a Celestarium.

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Stitches West 2014: Adventures in Fleece

It was a few years ago when I had convinced myself that I wanted to adopt a fleece. I had gone through this whole phase of wanting to go from sheep to garment. This involved me bringing home a dirty fleece once. A really dirty fleece. So dirty that I gunked up my kids’ bathtub and then my husband instating a Renfroe household rule banning me from bringing dirty fleece into the house.


Bella on the scale.

But I can explain…


Walking the floor with two bags of fleece.

The household rule banning my possession of dirty fleece is common knowledge amongst my knitting group. But Courtney is a smart girl, and adept at getting around the rules. So months ago she told me she had an idea.


Courtney and David with Bella and Lucky.

Courtney did her homework and came up with the perfect plan for us to wash a fleece in the hotel bathroom. She knew exactly how to sell it to me… my husband couldn’t possibly get upset with me if I brought home clean fleece.


The bag of Bella fleece.

So David, Courtney and I went to Judy’s Novelty Wool booth and we split 2 fleeces, three ways. Now, Bella was already cleaned, so no problem there. She was greasier than David liked, but I don’t mind my fleeces slightly buttery. That lanolin is good for my skin. So half of the work was done and Bella was tossed aside. Lucky, however, was our dirty one. The three of us put down a shower curtain on the floor, dumped the fleece out, and started to sort pieces into “dirty” and “less dirty”.


Starting to sort the fleece.


Proud parents!


I actually took this picture by accident when trying to take some video.

We stuffed the fleece into lingerie bags to soak in the tub.


Lingerie bags are ready!


Soak #1 with plain water…


Check out that water! Here is where I let Courtney know she is making me nervous holding her phone over the tub.

We soaked the fleece for twenty minutes in plain hot water. Then we soaked in hot soapy water. Of course there were multiple soaks, but I passed out on one of the hotel beds sometime before 1 a.m. I hear that Court and David were up until 4 a.m. They let me sleep because I had to drive us home from Santa Clara and they knew I needed the rest. Of course, this means I don’t have any photographic evidence of David breaking one of the salad spinners that they used to dry the fleece when they were done. Sorry, I’m no journalist.


Courtney and Dawn.

Now, this isn’t the end of the story (or process). While I have Bella here at home, Lucky is still at Courtney’s house. Lucky was dry enough to bring home in the van, but she still needs some work. I am hoping to get together with Courtney sometime soon so we can finish work on her and get her ready to spin!

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Super Secret Socks

Friday, January 10th, 2014 | blah blah blah, FO's, Holiday, Miscellaneous, socks | No Comments

This morning, as I was getting ready to sit down to breakfast, I walked behind my son to give him a hug as he was filling out his reading chart for school.

Me: So, you’re wearing your special shirt, huh?
T: Yup.
Me: Does it give you super powers?
T: (Nods)
Me: Ya know…I have secret socks that give me super powers.
T: Really?
Me: Yup. Every time I wear them I get super secret super powers. I made them myself. Do you want to see them?
T: Uh huh.
Me: (Whips off my boot and sticks my foot up on the table in front of him.)
T: Do the people you work with know?
Me: Nope. They can’t see them because I’m wearing boots.
T: Yeah! Super secret powers! (High Fives me)

It was seriously cute.

My Christmas Balls Socks… Why didn’t I think to wear them at Christmastime? Oh wait, maybe because it was, like, 80 degrees out.

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Wednesday afternoon yarn run…


This is what multitasking looks like.

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Halloween is coming…

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 | blah blah blah, crochet, knitting, sewing, socks | 1 Comment

I hate secret projects.

I hate them because I feel that my lack of sharing makes you think I am not doing anything with all this free time I have on my hands.

Soon (hopefully), all will be revealed.

In the meantime…unedited…

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This makes me happy…

Monday, January 23rd, 2012 | At the office, blah blah blah, socks | No Comments

I live in Southern California. I can’t say there are many occasions for me to wear my wool hand knits. I rely on the winter rainy season for an excuse…



It’s rainy and cold here today. A perfect day to wear my docs. And if you look real close, you might see my hand knit wool socks. Warm toes = happy Stacy.


What I did on Christmas Vacation…Part 3

Friday, January 6th, 2012 | At the office, Holiday, socks | No Comments

Okay, by now Christmas was officially over and I needed to still finish the left over items that I hadn’t gotten done pre-holiday. Luckily for me, my family understands that knitters operate on a different timeline. I had promised my kids some fingerless mitts…and I still had those socks to finish!

It was a dead week at work. No one was in (except for me and a couple of others). The people that did show up ended up leaving early most days.

My folks were in town and using my car, which meant if I was at work, I was *staying* at work. There was no leaving early for me. Good thing I had projects with me.

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Working and *working...

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Yup! I did finally finish them! Now my husband has knitted socks to replace the pair that he wore holes in. I am taking those apart for scrap yarn for the insanity blanket.

It’s all about the recycling!


What I did on Christmas Vacation…

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 | blah blah blah, Holiday, socks | No Comments

So I know I have been gone for a little while. So sorry! I was attending to various life things that always seem to get in the way of my blogging. I was working hard behind the scenes to ditch godaddy’s SOPA lovin’ butts and get to a new company ( I was also feeling the pressure to get my Christmas knitting done. I really piled on myself this year without really realizing it until it was too late.

Of course, I did think to myself that I would write about my friend’s projects so I wouldn’t have to write about my own. I spent so much time insulating myself from the rest of the world to get my stuff done, that I didn’t end up seeing very much of my friends.

I was freaking out a few nights before Christmas Eve and decided to bite the bullet and walk up to the local Starbucks to get some Christmas gift knitting done. I was trying so hard to get a pair of socks done for my husband without him knowing…but that was near impossible and I ended up having to tell him about it. I figured the time away from home might help me get more done. I met Mallory up there and we did some crafting…

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Mallory working on gifts.

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I made some progress on those socks, but I hadn’t gotten them completed.

It was an interesting night. One woman came and sat with us to ask Mal questions about what it was she was doing…then a local homeless woman showed up with her crochet project and sat with us. Before we knew it, we went from a group of 2 to a group of 4. The homeless woman chatted us up about what we were doing and showed us the tiny blanket she was making for a friend’s pet rat. I wanted to take pictures, but she was really tired and dozed off at the table.


My knitting “Oops”

Sunday, March 27th, 2011 | FO's, Mishaps, socks, start to finish, UGH!, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ok, so you folks that follow me know that, not only was I working to get that coat done, but I was also working on a pair on insane striped stockings. I have to admit, I didn’t have enough time to finish them before my trip. I was in full-on coat mode and wasn’t sure I would get it finished…so that was my top priority.

I also was afraid to try and take my knitting on the plane. After a phone call to Virgin Atlantic, I wasn’t willing to risk taking almost-done stockings through security only to have my needles ripped out of them, or worse, have them confiscated and have to try to send them home to myself. Forget that nonsense!

I did, however, decide to pack them in my luggage. I was glad to see they were safe and sound when we got to the hotel.

So on a couple of the nights we were in London, I would pull them out and work on them. I was staying up very late watching television and was having a really hard time sleeping. Sure enough, I got them done!

But the story doesn’t end there…

I decided they would look super cute with my dress. I put them on bright and early…I wore them on the tube, at the train station, on the train to France, to Sacre Coeur, and then to the dinky hotel we decided to stay at. Once we got to the hotel and started to put down our things, I just happened to glance down at them to see I HAD SLIPPED A STITCH.

Ugh. Luckily, that stitch had only run a little bit (maybe 4 stitches down). That is when I took them off and tucked them ever so carefully into my overnight bag. How sad. I didn’t get a single picture wearing them.

I didn’t wear them again on my trip. I wanted to try and get them home safely and then concentrate on repairing them. I rolled them up, stuck them in a plastic bag and tucked it away in my suitcase.

I went to knitting for the first time in weeks and while Kate and I hung out in a Starbucks, I gently picked up my stitches and did a bang-up repair job.


Can you tell where the repair is?


All done!

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