Category Archives: CSM socks

A Winter Break

Winter wreaths always give a “Welcome Home,” both on the entry door (above) and garage doors (below).

Lately, I’ve been taking a winter break from my weaving studio. After having cranked socks right up to a couple days before Christmas, a daughter and friend visiting, kids on school break and their friends here occasionally, I needed some time off. No, I didn’t go anywhere, just quiet winter days spent at home.

Then normal life came back, it was time to deal with school financial aid meeting at the high school, FAFSA forms, taxes, food pantry board meeting, community dinner meetings and the dinner two nights ago. Let’s not forget, I’m supposed to be getting ready for a move, working my way through 40 years of stuff, only keeping what I want in my next home/studio.

I did get a pair of socks made for a gentleman who emailed me, and I’ve heard he is very pleased with them. Others who ordered socks for Christmas have also been happy with them, which is good for the cranker to hear!

At this point, I am more than ready to get back to my work in the studio, and have a long list of projects to do. Getting more done in the studio means more blog entries. I’m back working on the rug warp and looking forward to having them down on my floors. I’m quite sure the dog and the cats will appreciate that, too, as there are pine plank floors throughout the house which can be cool in winter.

Artistree needs/wants all new work by May, plus there are two, possibly three art shows I’m definitely planning to do. Warps are being planned. Cones of 8/2 and 20/2 cotton are waiting on the shelves; cottolin and cones of cotton/linen blend are always on hand. There are dozens of tubes of rug warp waiting to be woven into rugs, bags, and table runners.

The woodburner is warming the studio, music is on, the Ott light is in place, it’s time to weave!

A New Year of Fibers!

Isn’t it wonderful when you find people to talk fibers with? I’ve been corres-ponding with Michael, a WI weaver/knitter, with a recent interest in sock machines. I told him of the Midwest Crankers as well as a group that meets in Madison, he went to one of their crank-in Saturdays and decided he would like to save up for a sock machine. Michael asked if I would make a pair of socks, and before I could get them made, he had ordered a NZAK, and is now waiting for it to arrive.

Meanwhile I sent along two pairs of custom-made socks, the first in beige/gray/hunter green,…

…the second in three shades of gray. I’m told they fit! It’s all been a fun way to begin a New Year of fibers at Shuttle Works Studio.

There are more socks needing to be made, weaving to be done, and warps to be made. I’m working on another sock order, I would like to have a rug done for Monday’s weaving guild meeting, and the gallery needs all new socks (only 4 pairs left) and weaving. Plus, I have a number of “single” socks here, where I got carried away with cranking and cranked more rows than were needed for the size I was making. Now, just need to count rows/determine size, and make mates for them. Same yarn, same tension, so they should turn out the same size. I also have my drum carder and wool back and would love to do a little felting, too. Did I mention I’m knitting a scarf? Now, to see how much I can get done in the next few days!

Wool Socks & First Snow

I’m busy working on socks orders, seven orders to do yet for a total of seventeen pairs of socks, plus Artistree Gallery, and the on-line shop. Whew!

Jewel tones had been requested for one order, shown here. I noticed these three colors sitting together on a loom bench and thought “why not?” They worked up very well though at the time I wondered what possessed me. Take chances!

I’d put “The View” on one morning and what struck me was the stage set, blue, green, and white or silver. SOCKS popped into my head, so I sat down and made them up. Inspiration comes from all kinds of places!

During the fall art tour, a friend was here and requested socks. Being busy with several people I suggested she go to the shelves and pull out three colors. She did, and I made them up. Not being entirely certain she would like them. I made up a second pair, substituting a lighter gray for the dark gray she had chosen. This is the lighter pair. She really liked both and had a hard time deciding. In the end she took the darker pair for winter wear. I didn’t get a photo so will need to make them up again.

I need to work on sock names again as I’ve been coming up with more new color combinations. When you have over a hundred names on your list, you tend to start running out of ideas!

I woke up to our first snow this morning, it was snowing and blowing! I went out later and snapped a couple photos including snow on the pumpkins. By afternoon the sun was out, the snow had melted, but it is still quite windy tonight. We usually don’t have snow until near the end of October, so I’m hopeful we’ll still have a week or two of our normal fall weather before it gets cold and stays cold. Because of the wind, though, I did start a fire in the woodburner this AM, our first this fall, and oh, how that wood heat warms you through.

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.