Holiday Sock Season

It has been a busy two weeks here, settling in with each other, everyone helping to get the work done, often timed to the weather forecast.  As I write this it is 4:43 AM, it is -24 F. (actual temp) on the lakeside porch, and I’ve been listening to logs, boards and the woodrange “pop” from the bitter cold.

I’ve been busy working on Christmas orders for wool socks with what seemed like a very temperamental sock machine.  Getting a pair of socks made was a challenge, getting five pairs done for an order was beginning to seem impossible.  The sock machine kept dropping one of the three strands of yarn, always in the same area, always in the solid area (bottom of the foot where every slot has a needle).  I changed out needles, I oiled the CSM and still, it would lose one of the three strands of yarn.  I was beginning to make noises about selling them!

Giving my 1908 Gearhart Circular Sock Knitting Machine a "dental."
Giving my 1908 Gearhart Circular Sock Knitting Machine a “dental.”

Then I remembered another time this happened, and the only thing to do was remove all the needles, the spring, get out the pointy tool (it reminds me of a dentist’s pick), and give the machine a “dental.”  Oily fiber dust was removed, everything reassembled, and it has been working like a charm.  

I’ve finished one order for five pairs of socks, and have three other smaller orders to do today, I hope, so I can get them in the mail and delivered.

Wool sock nearly completed.
Wool sock nearly completed.

Below are close-ups of two more socks.  In  person the colors are brighter.

Detail of CSM wool sock, wonderful colors.
Detail of CSM wool sock, wonderful colors.
Detail of CSM wool sock, colors are a bit softer.
Detail of CSM wool sock, colors are a bit softer.

We did manage to do a little rearranging of looms in my studio, moving the Standard back to the lakeside window, and turning the drawloom 90 degrees.  Two Harrisville jack looms were moved to the basement for now.  The Toika Laila is still in the studio along with two spinning wheels and other equipment.  The sock machine was moved to the upstairs living room where it is warmer.

Photos of my little dye area haven’t been taken as yet, it’s too cold in the garage with these subzero temps, even with the garage getting a bit of heat from the furnace.

I am really looking forward to getting back to my looms, woven shibori, and indigo dyeing, but I don’t expect that will happen until after visiting my father over Christmas.

It has been an interesting couple weeks.  Char is often working in her new woodworking studio, and Sarah has begun making jewelry, bringing her original sketches to life.

The sounds of creative work fill the days.  We are busy making plans and have so much to look forward to in 2014!

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