Tag Archives: socks

New toys

Even though I am trying to de-clutter I have been tempted by a few things lately, and given in on two occasions.

My first purchase was a small set of wood carving tools, I’ve never tried wood carving of any sort, or have any idea if the tools I have bought are any good, but I like the idea of it so I will be trying something with them.

My other purchase is slightly larger, a Victorian cast iron sock knitting machine. I collected it last night. I still don’t feel any where near my goal of making my own socks from our own sheep’s wool, I still have some way to go with my spinning and I haven’t yet knitted anything, just played around with different stitches and ideas (which I need to do to learn). I can’t remember where I first saw or hear about sock knitting machines but they captured my imagination from the start.

 My is an original Victorian single-rib machine that was re-stored by a lady who worked in a museum and had a passion for them, she had eight of her own and employed a team to make Kashmir socks for Harrods. It has a homemade stand, original weights and tools.

When I first found out about sock knitting machines I was told/read that they were first produced during WW1 has there was a shortage of socks for the forces and no more were made after the war but since reading more about them I’m not sure how true this is but I liked the story.

Now I just have to clear away some of my clutter to made a work space for it

Home made clothes

I was meant to be starting a soft furnishings and clothes making course tonight, but it’s been cancelled due the college not being able to find a replacement tutor for it.

I’m really disappointed, I would really like to be able to make my own clothes and learn to use a/my sawing machine to do so. But I guess it’s just not meant to be, hopefully I will remember to use the time to carry on knitting, but I’m not sure how well that will go. I’ve already decided to spend this weeks ‘time’ filling in some forms and getting them sent off. Very important but I’m not going to be able to wear it when I’ve finished.

I haven’t done any knitting for a couple of weeks now and last time I did any I made a mistake on my practice sock and undid it all. I didn’t really pick the best wool for it though, it was just some green ‘stuff’ that I already had and liked the look of but I don’t think it was really designed for socks and it was taking a very long time to build up into anything, and when I dropped a stitch and it disappeared down into the row before and, partly because of the type of wool, I wasn’t able to pick it back out again to carry on. Hoo hum. I think I will have a go at starting a ‘real’ sock next, with my proper sock wool and the right sized needles and the free pattern that came with the wool. It will be the first time I try to follow a pattern. Fingers crossed it’s not as scary as it looks!

Well, winter is finally here

Outside it is snowing, huge flacks but it’s been raining all afternoon so the ground is, touch wood, to wet for it to settle.

October has flown by; I’ve spent most of it working. I work right though from the 13th until the 22nd, two days off and now I’m back at work. Officially I’m on holiday, but only from one job this week. Next week though…

Everything is mostly indoors now, on the 12th I almost completely cleared up the vegetable garden. Planted out the kale and spring cabbage plants, pulled up all the nettles, potted up all the strawberry plants. The garden looks bare now, the purple sprouting plants are coming back well have being completely massacred by caterpillars. The sprouts are coming back as well, but the ‘sprouts’ aren’t forming as sprouts but leafy bubs. I thought that some of the red cabbages had survived the caterpillars but the remaining cabbages are rotting away at the stream and falling over.

We also mated Keris, Kniteshade is such a good boy. He could easily flatten any and all of us if he wanted to but he just does as he’s asked. Mother has taken him out for a few walks with the other goats and he’s been really good then as well.

Indoors I’ve been pickling lots of quail eggs, they are all indoors for the winter now and still laying at least one egg a day each. Working on pegloom-carrier-bag mats for the next LETS meeting.

Tonight mother took me out to buy my 21 birthday present, I didn’t know what I wanted when it was my birthday. I now have two drop spindles and a big bag of ‘rolls’ to play with. A while ago I was thinking about self-sufficiently and clothes, it’s just not practical to try to make all of your own clothes while working, tending to animals, processing food, etc. there just isn’t enough hours in the day but something on a small scale is doable. So I’m learning to make socks, right from spinning the wool to knitting them. That’s my plan any way, and that’s what I’m working on re-learning to knit and now spin.