Sunday, October 29, 2006


East is a novel of adventure and fantasy inspired by East of the Sun and West of the Moon. It's been on my to read list for quite a while because I loved the beautiful cover of the book.

I know you are not supposed to judge a book by the cover but I was not disappointed. If crocheting wasn't my passion lately I would have read this in just a few days. When I did get the time to read, it was a page turner.

The story is told through the eyes of all the characters. My favorite was the heroine Rose. She is a strong young woman with a good head on her shoulders. The best part of the book is the happy ending. I like happy endings. Now I am off to learn more about East of the Sun and West of the Moon.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Solar System

Solar System

Sorry to inform everyone but I now own the a Solar System and it only cost me 50 cents to boot! I account the good deal because the Solar System isn't worth much since the Pluto fiasco. If you didn't already know there is debate whether Pluto is a planet. Apparently he or she is now considered a "dwarf planet." I think that is just to apease the people and not hurt Pluto's feelings. The kids seemed genuinely sorry for Pluto when I told them about the fiasco.

They had lots of-fun putting it together. I enjoyed it as much as they did as I have always wanted a Solar System to control to explore.

Solar System

The Look

This is what happens to my face when my husband thinks he is funny.

Annoyed at first.
5 great iPhotos

He continues to take pictures of me
then I give him THE LOOK.
5 great iPhotos

He must have said something else so I tried not
to laugh but my face looks a bit tortured.
5 great iPhotos

Okay, okay, I give up!
What ever it was, it was funny.
5 great iPhotos

In Honor of Halloween

I wrote this last year on my Confessions' blog and It's appropriate now.

I want be happy and I know I will be but it IS awful cold, wet, and dreary outside right now.

In honor of Halloween my son wrote a song. I'm kind of torn about the song he wrote. It's very dark but I also value his creativity, the joy he had singing it, and seeing his pride in his work. I added his picture to remind myself that he is a very sweet loving boy who is processing life,death, what he's heard about heaven and hell, and having some fun with the dark side of Halloween.

Bloody skull and bloody eyeballs
Death, death
Death, death, death
The after life

The grave, the grave

The after life

Die, die, today

Bloody gravestone, in the grave
Death, death
Death, death, death
The after life

Zombies, skeletons, ghosts
And much, much more

The after life, the after life

Heaven, hell
Each kid sorted out

Happy Halloween

So Now what?

What do I do about the old blogs?

Do I merge all the posts from both of them to this one? Do I just start over from scratch?

This indecision's bugging me. na, na, na, na...

Ah, heck. I'll move some post over for now.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's New

Here it is the new blog.

I was feeling a bit divided having two different blogs. My fiber passion, my life and unschooling the kids would overlap and I felt like I had a split personality. Do I share about the kids fiber things on Confessions of a Mother Who Reads too Much or on Fiber Star? Do I share about the cool crochet math connection on Confessions or on Fiber Star?

I hope to heal my split personality by confessing all my fiber craziness, the books I read when I stop crocheting, and all the crazy, cool things my kids do here on the new Fiber Star.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

more socks

I think I am addicted to socks. I want to learn to knit too just so I can make even more socks.

Yesterday, I finished my 4th pair of crocheted socks and I am fairly pleased with how they turned out. I still have some kinks to work out to make the perfect pair.

I used the toe-up sock tutorial here on crochetville. I'll take you through the steps and share my insights so you will able to make the perfect pair of socks for your feet.

Step One - Foot measurements:

I added a few xtra measurements because the socks I have made in the past were tighter as I got to the arch and knew I was would need to vary the stitches needed for proper fit.

Ball of foot: 9 inches
Arch: 10 inches
Ankle: 91/2 inches
Length of foot: 10 inches

Step Two- Gauge Swatch
I didn't worry about row gauge so much as my stitch gauge. I used Knit Picks Essentials in purple and a purple D hook- 3.25mm (it is not mandatory to use the same color hook as your socks but I found it appropriate if not a bit confusing at times)

I did a pretty slack approach, I only crocheted for an inch in length(rows) and 4 inches wide. I plan to do a bigger swatch piece next time and do it in the round as well to get a more accurate gauge.

My gauge was:

6+ stitches/inch

Then I took the 6sts-1st=5sts

5sts x 9inches = 45sts - added one to make it 46sts for my purposes.

Step Three- Crocheting the Toe and Foot

I used sc and sc back loop only for the foot.

I chained 9 then followed the instructions for the most part to complete to reach the 46st required. The tutorial suggested a 3 stitch increase in one stitch I did one sc increase on each side. I am not sure if this is a problem or not. It did take me 14 rows to get to the 46 sts required before I worked even. Other toe-up patterns I have done did 2sc increases on each side for a total of 4 increases each row.

1- Purple Toe Up Socks

When I reached the 46 sts I marked the sides of the foot and centered 20sts on what I considered the top of the sock. I worked sc around, when I reached the 20sts area I crocheted in the back loop only.

2a - Purple Toe-Up Socks

I like how it looks but I am not sure if I will do this again using sc. I did want to add some pattern to my sock. I might try this again with extended sc. I want expand my pattern repretiore especially for socks.

Step Three - Arch - (I added this to ensure proper fit)

Using my measurements it suggested I should increase to 50sts. I increased to 52sts and still think I needed more. I started increases at 30rows(of back loop pattern-44rows total) which was about 4 or more inches of sock.

I worked 2 increases (one on each side), worked even, increase, even , increase etc. The end result is still a bit tight around my arch, even though I did more stitches than my gauge suggested. I think there are several factors adding to the tightness. I needed to start increases sooner. The stitch pattern I was using, sc back loop only, is not very stretchy.

I continued the pattern rows until I reached the recommended 3in from the length of your foot. I think I needed to go a bit longer maybe as much as 2.5 inches from the end of my foot.

WIP: Toe-Up Socks

Step 4 - Short rowed heel:

I can't be much help here. I found the short rowed heel a bit tricky. I added stitches which ended up being a helpful thing! I could not figure out how to do the short rowed heel to get the same number of stitches I started with. When I finished my heel I ended up with 64sts. I decreased those stitches to 58sts.

WIP: Toe-Up Socks

WIP: Toe-Up Socks

Step 5 - Leg:

My plan was to continue with the sc back loop pattern up the leg but it was painfully slow going so I gave up and worked alternating rows of sc and extended sc. I really like how that looks and plan to use it for the foot and leg part in future socks. As I worked up the leg of the sock I decreases to 54sts total. I worked the decreases in the sc rows. I started those after I had worked 2inches or so of the leg pattern.

After I worked 4plus inches of the leg pattern I slip stitched to join then ch2 and dc around. Then did 3 rows of front post dc all around. I did a ch2 for the beginning of each round instead of a ch3. I joined to the ch2 slip stitching around.

Wove in my ends and put my socks on!

2 great iPhotos

I love how they look and feel when they get on but they are a bit tight to get over my heel. I seem to have that problem with toe-up socks and I don't have it with the top-down sock I just made.

I may end up being a top-down sock maker after all to ensure I can get my foot in my sock easily. I have not given up hope yet. I may need to crochet longer before I start the heel and use a stretchier stitch pattern throughout. I think that yarn choice might be a factor as well. Knit Picks Essential has less stretch than Patons Kroy. I don't want to give up on Knit Picks yet because I love the solid colors and the reasonable price tag. I only needed 2 skiens to make my bit higher that ankle length socks. Yeah! They are sooo soft too.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Could someone please explain to me...

why "we" or anyone thinks that adversity is a good thing? Granted bad things happen to good people and we grow and learn form those things. BUT Why do we connect adversity with something we might want to learn?

I would really like to learn how to spin wool and lots of other fibers on a spinning wheel but it was really challenging for me. I will learn how to do it on my own dang terms. I will do it through the tears and probably a little cussing too.

"Kids, leave the room mamma's going to spin!"

I won't be living through adversity. I will be challenging myself. Adversity to me are things you can't control, like your cat dies.

I refuse to believe that life needs to be a struggle. Sure some days it "feels" that way but I'd rather live my life in joy and exploration. I'd rather tackle things not to "live through it" but because it's worth doing even if I am the only person who thinks so!

So, I guess tonight I am back and I am cranky. LOL

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A belated blog thanks to my Autumn Secret Pal

Secret Pal Swap
Originally uploaded by sammimag.
I received a lovely package from my Secret Pal on Crochetville.

She sent me chocolate and licorice - Yum!
Paton's Kroy sock yarn and a sock pattern book. I'm new to making socks so this is perfect!

Cotton yarn for making dishcloths and a sweet little teddy that was a hint where she lives.

If you've been keeping track, I have already made a pair of socks from the book.

Thanks Pal :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sock Yarn Reviews

My views are from the standpoint of someone who makes a crocheted socks. My socks are only a few months old so I can't attest to wear a tear. I'm pretty hard on my socks so I think all of my socks are doing well so far.

Patons Kroy:

Patons Kroy is a superwash/nylon blend. It's a soft yarn that feels very comfortable as a crocheted sock. Not sure about wear a tear so far. As I have not washed them. I found the yarn difficult to work with. It splits easily and if I had to go down to hook size smaller than an E-3.50-3.25 mm. I'd quit! The sock I made is stretchy too. I needed just over 2 skeins to make the socks I made here. I'm disappointed there are few solid colors available in this yarn.

I have washed them once and they came out fine with no noticeable piling and they "shrunk back to size" a bit as they had stretched out some after being worn.

Sockotta by Plymouth:

I like my Sockotta yarn socks. The yarn is spun well so the yarn does not split. Yet after making the other socks I wonder if the tightness in my afterthought heel has some to do that it is a cotton/wool/nylon blend. The cotton does not lend itself to stretch much and since crochet is less stretchy than knit that may be a problem. I still want to make one more pair of socks with this yarn using a short rowed heel and see how the yarn performs.

I like how these feel on my feet. One skein can make a pair of med-large ankle size socks. I'd need a few grams from another skein to make taller socks. You can see the socks I made with this yarn here and here.

I enjoy the colors available yet again there are few solid colors available in this sock yarn and seem to be hard to come by online or at my LYS.

Knit Pick Essential Solids:

Review to come soon when I make pair of socks! I love the colors that are available. If you haven't figure it out. I want some solid colors socks! I have green and purple. The purple is on my hook right now.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Easy Does It Socks

Thanks to my Autumn Secret Pal I got Crocheted Socks! and some Patons Kroy yarn. So I made these socks.

Easy Does It
All done and the feel great.

I had to do lots of adjusting to the pattern to make them fit me which has me wondering about pattern sizing. I like socks that fit on the snug side. All the finished sizes for this book are the same size as my foot so that would make a pretty big sock in the end don't you think?

Anyway by the time I was done with the sock I was using stitch count for a small sock rather than a large sock. I will probably adjust the pattern around the leg for the next pair of socks I make.

I still think the book is useful for ideas and a starting point. Just try on your socks as you go! Even better do a few socks using the free toe-patterns on line to give you a sense of the gauge you need to get your a socks on and off easily then making these socks will easier.

Top Down Socks
Here I am wearing another pair of socks I made. It was cold in the house! I have just finished the cuff of the sock and started on the leg.

Easy Does It
The leg is almost done and I am ready to do the heal flap and heel turn.

Easy Does It
They look good in my shoes too.