Getting the Sock Machine up and running

Last weekend, I noticed that some of my socks have been wearing out.  It’s been about a year since I’ve made socks and my feet can destroy shoes pretty quickly, so it wasn’t a surprise to start seeing holes in my socks.  I wanted to play with new toys, but I decided to get the sock machine up and running instead.

It took a few tries to remember how to make a sock, which was frustrating, but I eventually remembered all the steps and started pumping out new socks.

I started with some cheap yarn because all the steps were still stored in my head somewhere and I wasn’t 100% sure I was remembering the pattern for my foot correctly.  For a while I sat there staring at the machine and thinking how much easier it would be if I would’ve just written it down somewhere.  Even after making these socks, I still haven’t written it down.   You know what would be smart?  Putting a basic pattern here while I’m thinking about it, so I remember the row counts next time I bring the machine out.


Basic Men’s Ankle Sock – Size 12/13

72 needles
~100g/400m wool fingering yarn

Knit 50 rows
Hang Hem to form cuff
Knit 25 rows for leg
Work Heel
Knit 65 rows for foot (or length necessary for foot)
Work Toe


I visited the local yarn shop on Saturday to get excited about making socks again and found some really beautiful yarns.   The picture doesn’t do it justice.  In real life, it’s pretty dark and has touches of color throughout.   It’s surprisingly difficult to find yarn appropriate for a men’s sock and requires quite a bit of hunting and scavenging.  Most yarns are too bright and too colorful and it’s hard to find more muted colorways that are still interesting enough without being a boring solid color.

Now that I know what I’m doing again, it’s time to produce another truck load of socks.  Get ready for another avalanche of sock posts.   Lucky you. 😉

Basic Ombre Knitted Hat

Ombre slouchy knitted hat

One of my local yarn shops is going out of business so I have been stocking up on some of those expensive specialty yarns I might not normally buy.  Some of the yarns I was looking at were $70 a skein!   This ombre yarn was probably half that price normally and with the going-out-of-business sale prices, I figured I could splurge to make a basic ombre knitted hat.

basic ombre knitted hat

One thing I noticed, after my first few hats, was that they were pretty loose on my head.  I’ve never really knit clothes that needed to have any specific dimensions, so I had pretty much just assumed I would get the right size if I used the right needles and the correct weight of yarn. None of this really matters when you knit a blanket or a scarf as long as you’re consistent.

I pulled out the same basic pattern from the Craftsy Cloudborn Basic Hat Kit I did a few days ago and started by checking my gauge and knitting some sample swatches (I know, I should’ve done this the first time).   It took me a few tries to get it right, but it turned out I needed needles 2 sizes larger and I have to knit much more tightly.  And because I was knitting tighter, I crammed a lot more rows into this project and it took a lot longer than the previous hats I made.    So I’ve been knitting every night to get this done because I decided I wasn’t going to open any of my recently arrived packages of goodies until I finished this project.    I’ll probably wait on those packages until this weekend when I really have time to get into them.  Until then I’ll cram in some new projects with all the fun yarn I bought.

Pom-Pom Makers

yarn pom pom

pom pom maker set

Apparently, I’ve taken up late-night shopping on my phone.  All of a sudden plenty of amazon and craft company boxes started showing up.  I didn’t realize how many buy buttons I clicked in the past few weeks but everything I ordered seemed to show up all at once!   At least I will have plenty of things to write about.   The first item I opened up was this set of pom-pom makers.

Now there are plenty of pom-pom makers out there, but this was the one marked as amazon’s choice, which means it’s inexpensive and has good ratings.  Most of them look the same and they’re all made of cheap plastic, so why pay for a name brand when you can pay half price for the same thing, amirite?

I bought this because I’ve been knitting beanie hats like a mad man the past week and some of those hats are going to need a pom-pom dangling from the top.  The directions are simple, just fold out the little arms and wrap each pair of arms in yarn and push the arms back in.


To be honest, I hated this part.  Wrapping the arms was easy, but tedious.  Then, something amazing happened.   I started cutting the yarn down the center guide and the pom-pom started popping open in the most satisfying way.

cutting yarn to make a pom pom
It was so satisfying that now everything in the house will need a pom-pom.  Good thing I’ve been saving all my scrap yarn from the million socks I’ve made!

After cutting each side, tie a piece of yarn around the center, pop open the arms again and the whole thing will fall apart to review your almost-perfect pom-pom.

yarn pom pom

Pretty good for my first try.  A few little snips here and there and it’ll be a perfect little ball for my hat.

Cloudborn Basic Hat

Cloudborn Basic Hat Started

Cloudborn Basic Hat Started

Craftsy.com had one of their big sale last week and I ordered a few beanie kits.   I’ve never knitted hats, or knitted in the round really, so I thought I’d take advantage of a sale and give it a shot!   The first kit I ordered was the Cloudborn Basic Hat kit in red.

As the product name suggested, it’s a pretty basic slouchy hat.  A few rows of ribbing, a bunch of knits and then reducing it until it’s time to close up the top.

Cloudborn Basic Hat Finished

It was really hot this weekend in Seattle, so I pretty much locked myself up in my air conditioned room and knocked this hat out pretty quickly while listening to some documentaries.

I’m pretty happy with it being my first hat.   I sat down last night and started the next hat, which uses a chunky yarn, so I’m almost done with that as well.  Once I get a few of these under my belt I’ll probably break out the fingering yarn and knit some finer stitched hats.  I have lots of fingering weight yarn from all my sock stuff so I should probably figure out how to use some of that up!

I’ve got a golden thimble

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golden thimble

Baby Lock and Brother are coming out with their latest release of their high-end sewing machines and because of this, I’ve got a golden thimble in the mail to woo me into giving them more money for the latest machine.  Ya know, because apparently I’m a baller in their eyes.

I like being on the list of people they want to schmooze to buy a new product.    The problem I have is with the approach they’re taking with the new release.  They want me to slap down $1000 down payment for the right to a discount when it eventually comes out.  Which, I guess is not uncommon these days especially when you’re talking the amount of money these things go for.   You put money down for the right to buy the latest Tesla car and you put money down for the right to buy a flagship Baby Lock machine too.   If you’re not a sewer, you probably wouldn’t know that.   Oh right, back to the problem… They don’t tell you anything about the machine.   Just that it is coming and it has features.

It 👏 Has 👏 Features. 👏

No word on what those features would be but for $18,000 it better have some life-changing features.  I’m not looking for a new machine, but if I was, I’d need a lot more information than that before I’d pony up some money.  And for $18,000 I better be able to throw some fabric into the sewing room and return to find whole new outfits sewn and waiting for me to try on.

I tried googling the new machine but they are keeping it pretty hush-hush.  Not even any rumors on it.   Even the sales people didn’t have anything on it.   I kind of feel sorry for them.  It can’t be easy selling a mystery product at that price point.