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Archive for June 10th, 2008

Chippy – Yippie!

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008


Woohoo, I’m finished with the Chippy Socks for Kids pattern!!! I am shipping patterns as of today.

I started this project in late 2006, and it got sidetracked for over a year. I’m delighted to have dusted it off and given it life.

Big thanks to Rae and Diana, Eunice and Mary, who were essential to getting the pattern back out into the queue, tested, and illustrated well. I can not really work alone and do an adequate job. Having a team of this caliber means that my translation hiccups (like saying “Knit” when “Purl” was the right word) get caught. Working with you folks has made this a joy.

How I design, is I “sketch” on the needles. I cast on and I knit. If it looks wrong, I rip it out and try again. When I have something I like, I go back and count stitches and rows, and I figure out what I did. Those notes become a pattern. It is just the way I think.

chippymaryweb.jpgThe only pattern I ever wrote down as I knit it, was my Fast Florida Footies. I knit them in one day and knew I was going to give them to my Mom the next day. I had no time to look at them and count stitches!

But it is a bit painful for me to write things down, rip out, cross out text, knit again, make notes, rip, cross out, and so forth. Ugh.

Therefore I must have at least one more item knit, from my written translation of the first knitted item. Without the “test knit,” I am just sure to have a hiccup or two in there.

I’ve been very lucky to always have folks who wanted to help. I’ve had really good testers over the years… several folks I met through this blog have helped me more than once, and perhaps they will help out again. This time I had local people who piped up and asked to help before I even asked.

The socks at the top of this post were knit in size 0/infant by Diana with Cascade Fixation cotton/elastic yarn. It is very different from other yarns. I think it’s really a good one for tiny socks which can fall (or be pulled) off tiny feet, especially when they are small enough to not bother with shoes. That elastic/lycra component makes a difference in how they work while worn.


The second photo in this entry was knit by Mary in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. These are the largest size in the pattern, Child Large (shoe 10-11). This yarn is just lovely stuff, washable and springy and soft. It has enough microfiber in it to strengthen the merino wool and cashmere in the mix, and to make it a little shiny. I made a pair for Brian out of this yarn a few months ago.

The third set of socks were knit by the enthusiastic Eunice, whose 6-yr-old was chomping at the bit to get her own set after Mom finished the test knitting. I am guessing that set is already on the needles!

Eunice knit her sockies with Debbie Bliss Rialto, a machine-washable 100% Merino wool yarn. It’s really squishy and soft, not at all like the wool of my childhood. It also comes in a lot of great colors (there is also a Rialto Aran, but this is regular Rialto which is a DK/thinner weight).

And all this knitting happened while Eunice had a High School graduate in the house. Thanks for taking the time out of graduation week to knit for me, Eunice!

chippy170x170.jpgIt is ironic that the only Chippy Socks I actually knit myself were the first set of six: knit in a yarn now not available at any of the shops where I teach.

Luckily for my 4-yr-old friend Isabel, that happened while she was still small enough to wear those socks. She has been happily wearing them to the babysitter’s house these last few weeks, in between heat waves.

Home, Sweet Classes

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Rae and I got home just before dark on Monday night. We had a good time on our ride home, though we did hit a mean thunderstorm just south of the Michigan-Ohio border. It did not last long, but we saw a lot of lightning bolts which went horizontally in front of us, really unusual and impressive.

We hit another smaller storm not far from Ann Arbor, which did not really slow us down much. Considering that others from the show we just attended were flying, which can be strongly impacted by storms of this sort, we really were lucky to have a 4.5 hour drive rather than a delayed flight.


I start Tuesday with a full roster of local classes. Some are waiting to see if they might happen, others are happily already doing well. After five days out of town, I’m delighted to be back and ready to get going with my students. Maybe some local folks would like to join me?

(For the record, my calendar/class web page is woefully out of date. I aim to make it caught up within a week but meanwhile this will get you through the next 7 days of offerings.)

  • Tuesday 6-8pm, First-Time Toe-Up Socks (first of 3 weekly sessions, same time each week). Rae’s Yarn boutique, East Side of Lansing not far from Frandor.
  • Wednesdays starting June 11 through Labor day, 2:45-4:30, Summer KidzKnit with Ms. Lynn at Rae’s. Buy a punch card for 4 sessions for $20, and use one punch per visit through the summer, no need to attend each week if you are out of town. Ages 7-17, no pre-requisite, write me or call Rae’s 517-336-YARN for more details. (No refunds on unused punches, but you can sell yours to another kid.)
  • Thursday 4:45-5:45 Knitting Study Hall at Rae’s. Adult knitting, learn from scratch or get pattern-reading help, walk through certain parts of a project, on a number of subjects. Again, come on weeks when you can make it, OK if you are out of town one week.
  • Thursday night 6-8pm, Chippy Socks for Kids at Rae’s (week 1 of 3 in a row). Fuchippylindaweb.jpgn, multicolored socks for infant through child sizes (see photo at right). Knit 2 to 6 socks, designed to “go” together but not match, though matching is OK as well.
  • Friday June 13 & 20, 3-5pm, ZigBagZ mini (either Bottle or Sport versions) at Threadbear. take a few afternoons off and knit this big hit, a bag to hold your water bottle through the upcoming summer.
  • Saturday., June 14, Noon-2pm, one session. Darn that Sock! at Yarn Garden in Charlotte. Fix those socks you took the time to handknit. Keep them many more years!
  • Saturdays, 3:30-5:30 pm, Double-Striped Socks at Little Red Schoolhouse. First of 3 weeks. A great way to use this fun new slowly-self-striping yarn. (See photo, top left.) No swatching, easy toe.

I hope some of you join me. Life is fun when I have active classes going, no matter what they are and no matter where I am teaching.