Thursday Sock-a-long: A Finished Pair, Shire Socks, and WHALES!

It’s Thursday, so let’s talk socks, shall we?

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Thursday Sock-a-long: Afterthought Heels

Hi friends, and happy Thursday from Kapiti Coast! My Marigoldjen Socks are just a smidge (and by smidge, I mean one row of kitchener stitch) away from being done.  Over the weekend, I put afterthought heels in them and took some pictures of the process, which I thought I’d share with you.  This is by no mean a full tutorial, but it’ll give you some sense of how easy they are to work if you’re thinking about trying them out!

The last few pairs of socks I’ve knit, I’ve done afterthought heels.  I started doing them because I wanted to knit socks two at a time, and I thought it’d be easier to not have to worry about how to work two heels at the same time.  I think they’re great for a couple of reasons:

  • Versatility: you work them the same way regardless of whether your sock has been knit toe-up or top-down.
  • Portability: afterthought heels are great if you’re knitting your socks on the go, because you just knit a tube with a toe, and insert the heel after the fact!
  • Ease: there’s no picking up gusset stitches! (or turning of heels, or short rows, or, did I mention you don’t have to pick up gusset stitches!)  You just decrease stitches in the exact same way you do for the toe of a top-down sock.
  • Aesthetics: If you’re working in a self-striping or other self-patterning yarn, your heel won’t interrupt the yarn sequencing on the front of foot.
  • Wear: if you tend to wear holes in your heels, afterthought heels are suuuuper easy to replace.

Continue reading “Thursday Sock-a-long: Afterthought Heels”

Cake, cocktails, and other long weekend adventures

We’ve had a friend over from the UK for the last two weeks, and it’s been such a fun time!  It’s so nice to have longer visits with faraway friends.  It’s also given us a chance to cook, bake and mix some extra yummy things and do some sight seeing that we might have otherwise missed. Continue reading “Cake, cocktails, and other long weekend adventures”

Maryland Sheep and Wool!

I remember when I first heard about Maryland Sheep and Wool, almost ten years ago. I was studying abroad in London and joined a knitting group in the hopes of meeting locals — unbeknownst to me, the group was comprised almost entirely of American ex-pats!  They had all been in the UK for decades but tried to return to the US annually for Sheep and Wool.  When I moved to Maryland to start graduate school, I was so excited that I would be so close to the fabled festival!

This year was my fourth visit to MDS&W, and it did not disappoint.  Early Sunday morning, a carload of us (including a friend from the UK who planned her first trip to the US to coincide with the festival!) headed out to West Friendship.  We got there just after it opened and spent the whole morning and early afternoon exploring — I usually go around midday, and it was so nice to get there a bit earlier!  I always forgot just how crowded the festival can get.


Despite my repeated claims to my friends that I never buy much at MDS&W  (In past years, I’ve been so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of wool that I’ve often come away with very little, which is a testament to the size of the festival as I typically have no trouble buying yarn!), this year, I came away with a nice haul.  Some of my purchases were planned, like this Green Mountain Spinnery Cotton Comfort yarn for a Morning Mist top.  Three out of four of us got yarn for this project, and I got some for my mom as well — I was really missing her at the festival, especially as it was Mother’s Day!  In a last minute decision, I went for the colors in the pattern sample.  My mom went for a gorgeous, golden yellow called Yarrow.

I’d planned to get a more vibrant color, but couldn’t resist this gray!
The happiest yellow!

One thing I love about going to the festival year after year is getting to visit the same vendors — I’m especially appreciative that many stay in roughly the same spot each year!  After seeing the lovely ladies in the Green Mountain Spinnery booth, I made a beeline for Marigoldjen‘s tent, which usually sits near the back edge of the festival.  I picked up this gorgeous skein of her BFL superwash sock yarn in Lazy Days, along with a coordinating mini skein.  I’ll use some of the yarn for socks, but with 655 yards in the skein, I’ll have enough left over for another small project.

I can’t wait to cast on with these beauties!

After my visit to Marigoldjen, I stumbled into the Ross Farm tent, and I’m so glad I did.  They had an absolutely beautiful array of wool.  I got myself a lovely skein of sport to try out, maybe for a Newhaven hat.  I love that they are an operation breeding rare and heritage sheep breeds, just up the road for me.

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Henrietta 2.0

Because all the yarn can be a bit overwhelming, I came armed with a list of some projects out of different weights of yarn and the required yardage — I had planned to get sock yarn if any struck my fancy, and I had Newhaven on my list for any stray skeins of sport that I found.  But my last purchase was completely unplanned!  I stopped by Jill Draper Makes Stuff‘s booth, and she had a gorgeous sample Asagi knit up in her Esopus yarn.  I tried it on and loved the fit — and found out it only took two skeins.  So I impulse bought two in this lovely mustard colorway:

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I meant to take loads more pictures of the festival than I actually did, but snapped a few of some of the adorable lambs and sheep.  I love getting to see all the different breeds!

Isn’t she majestic?
A sleepy day old lamb, rejected by it’s mother.
The friendliest sheep!

With our friend over from the UK, it’s been a very fun (and busy!) week and a half of sight seeing in the mid-Atlantic. I’ve managed a bit of knitting while we’ve been on the road that I’m excited to share with you soon.  And I finished my May Cardigan just in time for the festival (more on that later this week).  Until then, below are a few of my favorite pictures of this past week’s adventures!

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Havre de Grace, Maryland
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The Orioles lost big when we went to see them last Wednesday, but I love knitting at baseball games!
We did a long yomp at Gettysburg Monday.


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View from the Pennsylvania Monument

And I’ll leave you with this gal!

We ended our walk by a field with some very inquisitive horses.

Happy Tuesday!