The Making of Decisions & The Making of Socks

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I’ve been contemplating the best way to post about this year’s Lake County Fair.  It’s already over a month behind me, and I don’t want to end up posting about it a year later like I did with last year’s post.  The challenge is that I generally like to post about the making of my projects, but many of the items I entered this year were made and entered before I could get any photos and post about them.  So do I post about the fair, and then write about how I made the projects later, or do I wait until I can post about each project’s creation individually, and then post about the fair?

You might have noticed from the conveyor line of posts in the last few weeks that I have mostly been trying to do the latter:  show you all of the projects I made (there’s a ton to catch up on, but we’re almost there) so that I can post about the fair and show you how I did. 

So the fair post (well, probably posts actually….I took lots of photos this year) is coming soon.  Some time well before August 2015 – I swear!

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Hand knits being unpacked all over my easy chair.

This past weekend was a three day weekend from work for me (due to Monday being Labor Day), so on Saturday morning I finally had a chance to go through my fair stuff to organize everything and get some photos. 

It is just my general personality to be a total stress-case, but lately I have noticed that I am beginning to enjoy my Saturday mornings a little bit.  Saturday morning is the perfect time, being right at the end of the previous work week, but still as far away as possible from the next one that my brain will allow me to let down my guard the teeniest bit so that I can feel something resembling a state of being relaxed.  It’s brief and it’s fleeting, but that almost makes it seem sweeter, and anyway, I’ll take what I can get.

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So Saturday morning I had my coffee, and my yarn, and my ribbons and my knits and I just went with it.  Half of the living room looked like the Arts building at the fair exploded. 

In a previous post, I mentioned that I won eight ribbons at the more recent Will County Fair.  Well this year at Lake County, I won four:

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Blue ribbons are hard to come by at the Lake County Fair, so I am always extra happy to win one.  The ribbons never have the year on them (why IS that?) so I generally write the year, and which project the ribbon was awarded to on the backs of them so that years (weeks?) from now, I can remember.

In other news, I continued work on the newest project to hit my needles:

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This Simple Skyp Socks pattern is one of the most popular free sock patterns on Ravelry at the moment, so I thought I should get in on the action.  The pattern is actually really cute and clever. 

I just love the colorway of this yarn I chose from Ellen’s 1/2 Pint Farm but holy cow, I didn’t notice how fine the weight of this yarn is until I started making my socks!  It is a really light fingering weight – almost approaching lace weight.  I ended up knitting my socks with size 0, bamboo, double points but have since switched over to my beloved Kollage Square double points in size 1 because I was having pain in my hands and fingers.  Bamboo needles in size 0 tend to bend, and the constant fiddling of them into position was taxing my hands.

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I’ve been enjoying this book by Betsy Lee McCarthy, and recently read through the section on all of the options available for approaching the knitting of socks:  use of double points, one circular needle, two circular needles, magic loop etc… 

I am an old school purist when it comes to knitting my socks:  I’m pretty sure I’ll always be a double point girl.  I found it interesting that in the book Betsy suggests knitting both socks at the same time on side-by-side DPNs in order to keep the socks identical and to avoid the “second sock syndrome”.  I have considered doing this before, but never committed to it.  I was inspired enough by Betsy’s argument that I actually decided to knit my Skyps on side by side DPNs.

At this point, I am all of the way through the cuff and leg on sock one, and I am now about 1/3 of the way through the cuff and leg on sock number two.  Then I’ll go back and do the heel of the first, and then the heel of the second sock.  Then gusset, then instep, foot and toe until both socks are complete.  It might be nice to actually finish both socks at roughly the same time.  It will definitely be a different feeling.  I guess I’ll see if it catches on with me.

~Happy knitting!

Now Selling on Etsy!

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As mentioned in the previous few posts, Kristenisms now also has an Etsy shop!  I was hoping to post an official announcement once I had the shop set up exactly how I want it to be, but alas, things are moving along SLOWLY, and I thought it best just to make it officially known now.

If you click on this badge, it will take you right to my shop:


My goal is to sell my knit and crocheted items (and some sewing) exclusively at the shop, but I have some vintage collectibles for sale there currently as well.  For anyone who has given setting up shop on Etsy a shot, you know that generating traffic and getting noticed is not an easy feat, and it seems, for now, that I get more visitors viewing the collectibles than anything else.  I’m hoping a few sales there will help gain my shop some credibility for shoppers who are nervous about buying from a brand new seller.  And then maybe my hand knits will start to sell.

I am having fun with the shop so far, and I haven’t had any trouble stocking it.  This past weekend, I made the cutest, felted wool bowls!  I’m in love with them!!!




I listed two today, and I have more that are still drying on blockers.  I plan to post about how I make them eventually.  Notice the awesome, vintage, metal, distressed button?  Embellishing the bowls has given me an excuse to dip into my vintage and antique button collection.  I have so many ideas!

So anyhow, wish me luck with my Etsy endeavors! 

I promise to post about last year’s county fair exploits soon!  I really mean it…  I did sort through the photos after my last post in preparation to write all about it.  Meanwhile, I need to get planning for this year’s fair entries.  I can’t believe it’s almost May!

~Happy knitting! 

Busyness, Blogs & a Bunny

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Due to life-related busyness, I took an inadvertent break from blogging.  Tonight was the first night in roughly a month that I sat down and knitted on any of my projects.  I nearly never go that long without knitting.  There has been a lot going on.

One fun recent development is that I adopted one of the laboratory rabbits who reached ‘retirement’ from the program at the college where I instruct.  She became a buddy of mine over the last year since I had to work with her in many of my classes.  She always gave me a chuckle due to the fact that she managed to intimidate most of our students since she is a rather bossy bun with a strong personality.


In the last two terms, all of the other retiring buns found homes, but not little ‘P’.  I guess being too big for your britches can have a down-side.

I always sort of knew I would end up with her, even though I have never owned a rabbit (and I have been trying hard to downsize the number of rescued animals currently in my care).  The universe sort of spoke on this one, and I have a new bun buddy who has been keeping me entertained in the evenings after work.

She is still a young rabbit, so she is having a great time enjoying freedom during ‘out of cage time’, and discovering all of the new and different toys that I manage to find for her. 

She adores fresh veggies – something she rarely got while part of the college program –  and she has discovered that she prefers meadow hay to timothy hay when given the choice.


I think this photo speaks for itself:

~Happy hopping!