Category Archives: CSM socks

Seasonal Socks

A few days ago I took my camera with on a walk to try to capture some fall color. I only need to look around me for inspiration in combining colors for autumn socks.

I ‘ve been thoroughly enjoying sitting in the afternoon sun cranking autumn socks. Five pairs were washed two nights ago and have been drying on a wood rack in my laundry room. Today they were lightly steamed, given time to dry again, then taken outdoors for photos.

Between my master list of Sock Names & Color Combinations and the photos, I can make any pair up again if someone likes a particular color combination but I don’t have their size.

“Copper Leaves,” (above) remind me of the various rusy shades of oak leaves in fall and winter. This year there are some that are more red than usual, and I noticed a lot of acorns on the ground today.

Twenty plus years ago, on our way north for a long autumn weekend of fishing and hiking (before we moved up here), we would stop at a particular farm stand on Highway 22. They had so many varieties of squash. These socks, “Harvest Time” (above) remind me of all those colors of squash, and stopping to take a few home, along with a pumpkin or two, honey, and apples.

“Autumn Warmth” is a great pair of socks for autumn days when there is a chilly nip in the air (above).

The area cranberry harvest is about to get underway, and soon there will be huge bins of fresh cranberries in the local grocery stores. This is the perfect time of year to crank “Cranberry Harvest” socks!

A few days ago I took my camera with on a walk to try to capture some fall color. Walking back to the house I noticed the last nice Phlox still standing in the garden. My mother had phlox growing in a garden when I was young, and the fragrance from them the other day took me back about 50 years. Amazing!

Living in the northwoods of WI, winter never seems to be far from your thoughts. We enjoy spring, summer, and fall, but at the same time we’re preparing for the coming winter. At our home, we are working on winter wood, and now about to begin washing the exterior logs before applying stain/preservative. There is only so much time left before the snow flies.

Very soon, I’ll start working on winter seasonal socks, “Christmas at the Cabin,” “Holly & Ivy,” “Ice Storm,” and many others. Artistree gallery needs wool socks for the winter months. At the same time, though, I’m craving time at my looms. Just a couple more days of feverish sock-cranking and I’ll be able to weave again!

Autumn Socks

Autumn in the Northwoods of WI can be glorious, and the change from summer to autumn has begun. Maples are turning yellow, orange, and red, and those colors next to a stand of evergreens is stunning. In a few days I’ll be out trying to capture it with a camera.

Meanwhile, I’m having a wonderful time cranking socks in autumn colors. There is a palette of fine sock yarn colors on my shelves to fit any time of year, but right now my focus is on colors I see around me in nature, hunter green, balsam, chocolate, ginger, evergreen, mimosa, papaya, redland, eggshell, combinations of these and other colors that will blend well together in autumn tones.

In the Sept. 5th post, there were pics of a sock in progress on the sock machine, and a mid-closeup of the socks just off the machine, in a new color combination. The same pair is shown above, toes closed, scrap yarn off the hem and toes, handwashed, air-dried, and lightly steamed, now known as “Signs of Autumn.”

This pair, “Weekend at the Cabin,” has rich, dark colors, and is a favorite.

If you saw or look back at the Sept. 5th post there is a photo of fall mums with cones of yarns. This third pair is another new color combination, “Autumn Peak,” made from the yarns shown in that photo. Bright colors that not only match the colors of those mums, but in two weeks or less will match the maple leaves that are turning colors now.

As a long-time lover of shades of blue, I could not resist ordering cones of the variegated blues shown above, along with a couple large cones of solid indigo blue. 8/2 cotton mill ends that were on sale at WEBS, they will become practical, functional towels for kitchens. These arrived in the mail today, and I’m looking forward to weaving with them.

Autumn Is In the Air

After splitting more wood today, until arms, elbows, and hands were sore from setting rather large diameter sections of cut wood onto the splitter, and it was getting a bit hot under the early afternoon sun, it was time to go inside where it was cooler. Time to crank more socks.

I tried what I think is a new color combination and think it’s rather nice. Two pairs were made with these colors, Medium and Large. Another pair in darker fall colors were also made and are in my “closing bag,” where I keep socks needing toes closed, needles, and scissors.

The sun is setting in the west, and there is still some nice light, a good time to choose a couple more sock color combinations to crank this evening. The colors of these mums are perfection, and I have yarns to match. Autumn is in the air!

And while there is still some natural light by the front of the drawloom, I’m going to thread more of the 15 dent drawloom reed. The warp is 64 epi so the reed is being sleyed 4 threads per dent, and every fourth dent has five threads. After more of the reed is sleyed, it’s back to the sock machine, and later on I’ll be closing toes. Pics of the finished socks should be up in two or three days.

Sock Season

I am gearing up for the fall and winter Wool Sock Season! I had a request to make three pairs of neutral and/or pastel socks, and they are shown in the three photos below.

“Lake Placid,” wool socks.

“Morning Fog” wool socks.

“Sparkling Lake” wool socks.

On Sept. 25th, 1-4 PM, Artistree Gallery, in Land O’Lakes, WI, will have an Open House with several artists demonstrating what they do. I’ll be there to demo sockmaking on the 1908 Gearhart Sock Machine.

On Sat., Sept. 26th, 9 AM to 4 PM, the Art Gypsies will have their annual “Art In a New Yard” art show/sale at Fir Tree Cottage in Land O’Lakes, WI.

On Oct. 2-4, 10 AM to 5 PM daily, the Fall Northwoods Art Tour takes place. Visitors are able to go on a self-guided tour of artists studios and galleries in a three county area.

Needless to say, I am really gearing up for making a lot of pairs of socks. More will be shown here at they are made, including “Up North,” “Cranberry Harvest,” “Copper Leaves,” Colorama,” “Christmas at the Cabin,” and many, many more.

In between splitting and stacking winter wood (son Noah is doing the cutting), I’m trying to get back to my looms. There is a lot to be done both in and out of Shuttle Works Studio.

That In-Between Stage

It’s been a busy couple days here, between family and work, yet everything is in that in-between stage where you’re busy working and yet nothing seems to be finished.

Strips of sheet in a nice soft sage green, previously cut, are being sewn, cream with hunter green ticking stripes, solid hunter green, and a nice milk chocolate brown coming up next. Solids of teal, cream, and cranberry will be next. These are all for my first foray into rag rug weaving. Dozens and dozens more sheets are waiting to be prepped. So far I’ve been using a rotary cutter, but have an electric cutter on loan to me by rag rug weaver Joe (RUGSBYJOE) that I need to try out.

I’ve been cranking socks, with more to come yet today. These are berry, green, and jade, nice bright cheerful colors. I’ll be making a pair of these for myself! More toes are waiting to be closed, two pairs of socks were washed and hung to dry, others were “steamed” to finish them, and all still need to be tagged.

The last towel from the natural/unbleached warp was steamed and pressed, hung to dry and will be machine hemmed when I’m done here.

The push is really on now, both galleries needing weaving and socks, and with several deadlines coming up fast, I need to keep producing. I’ll spare you the photo of cones of 10/2 and 20/2 cotton waiting to be made into warps. Three looms are waiting to be warped, not counting one upstairs and an upright (floor) frame loom, for tapestry, downstairs.

I’m thinking a few short rewards will be in order, sitting on the neighbor’s pier with my feet in the lake would be one, IF there is enough of a breeze to keep the mosquitos off. He has a log anchored a short way from the pier that turtles like to sun themselves on.

Sunday I’ll be working at the new Artistree gallery, in Land O’Lakes, WI, and will have socks with me needing toes closed. It never ends! Don’tcha just LOVE it!

Rustic Twill Towel & More Socks

This is the latest towel, woven straight twill treadling 1-10, with a nubby linen/cotton blend weft which gave a very nice rustic, slightly tweedy look to this one. I’m nearing the end of my warp, enough left for one or two more towels or one runner, which is good because I am more than ready for a change.

Over the years I’ve purchased two or three antique towel drying racks, in anticipation of someday having open studio days and knowing I would need a way to display handwoven towels. This morning, we hung up one of the antique racks as I wanted to see the towels all hanging together.

The antique drying racks are also useful for displaying skeins of handspun yarns as well as various handwovens. I have another rack with longer “arms,” so am now looking around for a safe place to hang it where people won’t walk into it and poke themselves.

Last night after hemming and pressing the towel, I steamed six more pairs of CSM socks (they had already been handwashed and had dried on a wood rack near the woodstove) for The Studio Gallery, with many more to come. I believe these are new color combinations (I need to check my records), and will need to come up with new names for them.

I know the group at The Studio Gallery would like some new, colorful woven (batik fabric) table runners, like the one above, “Tigers in the Garden” (now in my mother’s home), so I will likely warp up the countermarche loom for those next, as I have a lot of fabric strips cut, sewn, pressed, ready to weave.

I’m overdue for getting back to work on the drawloom, but the push is on right now for getting more weaving and socks done for The Studio Gallery, for open studio days here, as well as for the new gallery opening in mid-June. Once I’m a bit more caught up,…

We had a few little snowshowers yesterday in the northwoods, and the woodrange in the kitchen was burning all day. We’re usually done with woodheat by the end of April so this is unusual even for here. We had some wood left as a start on the coming winter’s wood supply, and hope we won’t need to use too much more. I expect we’ll be firing up the woodstove again later this evening to warm the house up for overnight colder temps.

Wildlife sightings yesterday included an eagle, a couple deer, and late in the evening, a fox crossing the road. I’m not sure, but I believe the phoebe bird has once again built her nest on the topmost log on the east side of the house. Now, if we can just keep the squirrels out of it! The mob of chickadees, goldfinches, housefinches, nuthatches, and woodpeckers are eating us out of house and home. Two chipmunks (one of the large variety, one of the small), often work their way into the garage and consider the 50 lb. bag of sunflower seeds as their own private stash. Yesterday, we managed to thwart their way in. I really must get those seeds into a metal garbage can!

More Towels ~ Variations on a Theme

These are the latest two twill towels off the loom. The blue border towel turned out very nicely, I feel, with a much wider border and smaller solid twill center. I was getting low on that particular tube of natural cottolin (same as warp) and needed to stretch it so it wouldn’t run out before the towel was done. Now I’ll simply switch to natural in another brand of cottolin.

The red border towel is the one I wrote about the other day when red dye bled into the adjoining white/natural. After two washes in hot water and Retayne, then one wash in hot water and Synthrapol, you would have to look very closely to find any red except where it IS supposed to be. Nevertheless, I will be adding the dye magnet sheets, recommended by four weavers, to my laundry room supplies.

There appears to be enough warp left for another one or two towels so it’s time to seriously start deciding on the stripe layout for the next warp and do the math. I’ll be at the warping mill before too long.

This is one of the latest pairs of sock machine (CSM) socks made, and also turned out nicely. The violet color is one I didn’t have before, and combined it with eggshell and moss for a nice “Springy” pair of socks.

Latest Socks

About four days ago or so there was a pic of four pairs of socks, straight from the sock machine, shown laying on a loom bench. Here they are finished, toes closed, handwashed, air-dried on a wood drying rack, then lightly steamed, ready to be tagged. Left to right: “Bear in the Berries,” “Citrus,” and “Mallard.” These are all size Large (Women’s 8 1/2 to 9).

The fourth pair, “Foggy Morning” (grays) were on my feet this AM for the interview/taping. Late last year I’d made the same pair for myself and before I could wear them they were purchased by someone. So this AM, I slipped this newly made pair on for some comfortable treadling at the loom.

I took the rest of the day off today, so back to “work” tomorrow!

Sleying Drawcord Reed #1

Sleying of the drawcord warp reed has begun. The 12 dent reed is being sleyed in groups of eight threads, alternating two colors, with an empty dent in-between colors to make finding and pulling individual cords easier. Graph paper (or computer generated designs) will be color coded.

This reed sits overhead on a single unit drawloom with the cords sleyed through it. The cords are pulled individually according to the design being woven. Each cord controls a unit or group of threads on the pattern heddles on the pattern harness. The reed, as shown above, is positioned for threading, it is not in its final position here.

This view is from the back of the loom which has a long extension on it. My loom bench is sitting just inside the front of the loom, and I’m sitting facing the fireplace for threading the reed. Is this the traditional Swedish method? No. I’m trying to be a bit creative, inventive with the processes, trying to work out methods that will work and that I can do alone, as much as possible. A warping trapeze is in the not too distant future.

These two pairs of socks are for weaver Nastche Milan. Though she lives in CA, I’m hoping she will enjoy the socks on cool spring, fall, and winter nights.

Wool Socks for Summer?

This morning was four hours or so of cranking socks, making two pairs and the mate to another that was knit last night. They are wool and wool/nylon blend two-ply yarns, using three strands, one each of three colors. I am now building up a supply of socks to place at one or two galleries, as well as open studio days, the art tour, and one or two art shows.

Those along with another pair knit yesterday gives me four pairs waiting to have the toes closed. I’m on my way upstairs now to work on them. While removing the scrap yarn from the top of one sock, I found a loop/knot, so I do need to knit a replacement in the morning.

While cranking socks last night, I left the outdoor light on so I could watch the mix of snow and rain that was coming down. This morning I woke to a winter wonderland and the snow has continued all day. The area weatherman, this morning, was predicting another 6-10″ by tomorrow morning. This is likely our last big snow of the season and the northwoods needs it badly as it has been so dry here. So, while knitting socks or out driving, I’ve been enjoying the beauty around me.