Jan 25, 2004
January 25... too long since my last entry!

My friend Jo scolded me for not updating my web blog for a long time. I am shameful!

I have been getting in as much knitting as possible. With the deep freeze upon us here in SW PA, there isn't much else to do except for housework, and why would you do that when you can knit!

How cold is it?  It is  "cat radiator" cold. 
 Jeepers on heater  Zena on radiator

  Does this tell you what "radiator cold" is?

We have four cats and seven radiators, so there is not much problem to find a warm place here.  Except for Zena, on the right, who feels that she is Queen of Radiators, and should have whichever one SHE wants.  (Jeepers on left.)

That leaves three radiators, one for myself and one for my husband. Unfortunately, we are not agile enough to lay on them, and too old to get on the floor beside them, so we usually just cover up with an afghan...
  ... that is unless our favorite afghan is being used cats. Here are our other two cats.  This a Zeus and Gabriel.  You see, we had a "Xena Warrior Princess" thing going on for a while!  These where all stray cats! Okay, then where did the name "Jeepers" come from? Long story... maybe later!

Zeus and Gabby

 Joann's socks  Knitting?  OH, yeah. I finished my sisters birthday socks.  I will direct you to the web page I have put up for it.  If you click on that sock,  I have a close up of the heel and toe, plus the yarn I used, and my comments on the yarn.

I keep the pictures for this blog on my QueenKahuna site anyway, so I may as well send you there rather than repeat here.

But this is the entire sock. 

She loved the socks and said they fit her perfectly. Until now, she would just "borrow" my socks, and I would never see them again! She would say that they were just laying around... well, yeah...  like drying on the shower rod!
Well, I wear a size 8.5 shoe and she wears a size 7. Okay, there isn't much difference in the length, but enough. When she emailed me and told me she was wearing her socks today, and they fit her perfectly, I had to email her back and tell her that, of course, socks made "for her" would fit better than mine that she snitched!  lol...  I am "sock selfish" so you know she would never have kept socks that I absolutely loved.

Other than working on several other pairs of socks, I made two "gaiters" as a birthday gift for my brother-in-law.  A gaiter is a turtle-neck without the sweater, as he called them!  I made one from some acrylic camo yarn, and one from some lovely light brown ragg wool.  There is a pattern for one here, but I did not put the flared out bottom on mine. Although I might make one like this at some time.

When my daughter and her husband came to pick up the  grand girls, he saw the gaiters, and really liked them. So I guess I get to make more!  Actually the girls said they thought they would like them for skiing. You can pull them up over your nose when on the lifts and the wind cuts into your face like an ice knife, then put them under you chin later. You can triple it over and wear it as an earwarmer.  Very versatile.

So gaiter knitting it will be!  Actually I like those hoods with a slit for the eyes. I think Iwill try some of them also.  Oh, you know what I mean, a balaclava.  Could not find a link for you on the internet, sorry. Some directions, but no pictures. I just can't understand putting up a knitting pattern with no clue what the finished article is supposed to look like! Here is a great looking one for purchase, no pattern, but you could "wing it".
And another with color work.

Well, that is it for today. Hope you enjoyed my cats and socks.  I hope to have a pic of my "Fiesta Feet" socks up some day. I am still working on the garter stitch sideways cuffs. They seem to be taking forever, but I have to keep telling myself that when done, the cuffs will be DONE!  It does not help that I made the cuff twice as wide as the pattern called for! Well yes, I usually make "my own" version of any pattern.

Keep your mind open,
Keep your eyes open,
Do your own thinking...
...be your own knitter...


Posted at 06:20 pm by QueenKahuna
Comments (1)

Dec 22, 2003
few days before Christmas and I am frazzled!


I just put up the finished pictures of the "peasant heel".. but I put them down below with the beginnings of the heel. Thought it might be better there... so just scroll down and you will see it.

Well, I have been way too busy to get anything else up here.  Holiday shopping finally done today, wrapping paper bought at the dollar store (every penny saved in one place is more money for yarn!) and all I have to do is clean up the house a bit while hubby wraps things. 

I got the honor (?) of  "doing the family Christmas dinner" this year and I am scrambling to clear off all the horizontal surfaces so we can at least eat at the dinning room table!  I use it as my "shipping and receiving" warehouse!  lol..  Got lots of dust bunnies, many cob-webs... unfinished painting... seems like no one should not have that,   but life is life, and a busy life is worse!.  Maybe I can get some of the cats to crawl around under the sofa and catch them??  lol..    although I would love to sit and knit on the socks I cast-on last night... hmmmmmmmmm

I am finishing up a scarf for my sister... made the hat and worked on the scarf last night as I watched "Pirates of the Caribbean"... just loved it the first time at the theater, and it is just as fun as a rental. Had to rip it out once because it was too wide, started over and am happier with it. I have one "side" done, am doing good old garter stitch.  I am working on the knit2/purl 2 ribbing for around the neck, and will just have to knit the opposite side. I doubled the yarn ("Encore" in red/black heather) for the scarf.  The hat is just one strand. She wanted something to go with her black leather coat, and this yarn is a great color.

Have some stuffed cabbages to make tomorrow morning, my sister is making perogies.  Can you tell we are of Ukrainian decent? We are fortunate to have a real old fashioned "butcher shop" locally and I got a great ham today...fresh smoked... wonderful meats there. Everyone pitches in and brings something so the burden is not all on me.  The "non-cooking" sister brings pop and wine... life is good when you have a good family.

Will return after I get more done around here.... hope you are not frazzled too.


Posted at 07:45 pm by QueenKahuna
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Dec 14, 2003
Snow day! Good knitting day except...


Well, we had that snow storm they told us we would get... lots and lots of snow! 

I had some major printing to do, and sure enough I ran out of ink. I have two printers and had a lot of ink for one printer... but guess what?? Printer bit the dust. It is making a horrible grinding noise when the ink bed tries to dock itself.  If you can tell me what I did to it, I would appreciate it! 

So I ventured out with my 4 x 4 truck and found the main roads to be not as bad as the old back road I live on. Thought I would be the only person in Staples, but sure enough it was almost crowded!  So gI ot my ink and stopped at another store and got some ornaments for the Christmas tree. We were tired of the old ones and so far the tree just had the lights on it and looked kind of sad. 

I did get some knitting done today. I turned one heel on one of a pair of Koigu that I am knitting on 12" Addi circulars. But to be truthful, these are no longer 12", but more like 10" because... well, I mutilated them. I found it asking a lot for an  8" cuff to stretch to 12", and after everyone raved about these small circs and I could not use them, I figured I might try to cut them down.  I will NOT tell you that I pulled the cable out of one end (it was very hard to do) and cut the cable down... slapped some super glue on the cable and shoved it back in the needle... I can't tell you that I did that because if I do, and you try it and ruin your needles, I don't want you to come after me!

This is the Koigu sock made on the little mutilated 12" needle.
  The sock is on a foot form, which is hard to get the sock onto with a little circ holding the stitches, which also means that you can't try these socks on like you can when they are on two circular needles.

 koigu sock
  I use these needles when I am in a real hurry to get the socks knitted up and I am sure of my gauge and the sock size I need to make.

There is no stopping or turning, just knit around and around and around!  It gets a little tough on the heel but it works okay.

I put a plain stockinette stitch heel on this sock, which I usually do not do. I usually add slipstitch under the heel and on the back of the heel.  They look a little loose to me in the heel, but they will be okay.

Obviously, this is a toe-up sock with my faux combination short row heel and heel flap (looks like a traditional heel flap sock but no heel flap to knit, or gusset stitches to pick up.
 This is the sock with the tiny circ in it.

A problem at first was that I had to develop a new way to hold those needles. If you do not hold it just right, you hands will cramp up something awful.


koigu sock on needle

IThese are a Christmas gift so I have to get them done!  I have the heel to work on the other one and then the cuffs.

have found that Koigu has less yarn than most other sock yarns, so the cuffs are generaly a bit shorter than usual.

Well, I better get to knitting some more on these socks while I watch the James Bond movie on TV... Bond... James Bond... oh yeah...


Posted at 09:05 pm by QueenKahuna
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Dec 11, 2003
More on the peasant heel socks


peasant heel needed

Peasant (or replaceable) heel with needles in stitches on either side of the waste yarn.


peasant heel open


Peasant (or replaceable) heel with waste yarn cut out and on the foot, ready for the heel to be knitted in from the sock to the end of the heel.

  The great advantage over this heel verses a "short row heel" is that with the peasant heel, if you need more room over the instep, you just knit the heel deeper. 

In the "short row heel", in order to get more room in the instep, you have to go to the trouble of adding a gusset before the short row heel, and decreasing it out after the short row heel.   Is not the purpose of a "short row heel" so you do not have to knit a gusset?? Or you might have to add some add rows between the short-row-up and the short-row-down to get a better fit. More work!

pesant heel sock open 

  And the peasant heel is the only one that you can knit BOTH heels at the same time on two circular neeldes... jsut like you knit the rest of the sock.

And if it happens to wear out, you just cut it out and replace it!

...wonderful heel!

  peasant heel done

Here is the sock with the peasent or "replaceable" heel all done.

 It fits so great because you work the heel from the sock to the end of the heel.  So,  I was able to knit the sock heel to fit my foot heel perfectly. 

This is our new little guy, "Jeepers".  I was going for a walk up our road and heard this pathetic little "mew-mew"... I thought I was hearing things, and started to walk again, and sure enough I heard it again.

So I went in the weeds and gave a little call, and sure enough, he come running into my arms. He was so tiny and just started to purr his little heart out. He looked clean and not like he was starving, so I thought he had to belong to someone. I walked to the nearest neighbors house and put him in the yard, surely he must have just wondered away.... right? I thought he would say, "hey, I am home"! Not! He started to follow me back down the road. So here he is, safe and warm in our house and he has no intentions of going anywhere. I put up signs and checked the paper and did not find an owner. I tried to find him a good home but everyone already has multiple cats... so we kept him. He is my "sweetie boy", always right there where I am.

Why "Jeepers"?  Because I wanted a rag top jeep for my birthday... kind of a mid-life crisis thing... I did not get it... but I got another  "jeep" instead!

pesant heel close up  

 Okay... this is close-up of the heel.
You can see the decrease lines of the "6-point" decrease as it spirals to a point at the tip of the heel. I just put the yarn through the final six stitches and pulled it shut.  It would be just like the "4-point" decrease toe from "Crazy Toes & Heels" book, except use six decrease points instead of four.   I thought the little closing point might rub the back of the heel, but it is fine.

I did the same increase at the toes, but unfortunately, the increase lines do not look as defined as the "decreases", so the spiral does not show up as well on the toe as on the heel.  Actually, I do not knot that I like the "6 point" increase as well for the toe because it creates a "really round" tube, and your toes are *around* but they are more flat... know what I mean? So it bunches a bit on the top of my toes. It is wearable, but not quite as snug as I like a toe to be. 

 A heel is a round ball and the spiral decreases really fit nice and no kitchener... even if I did learn how to do it!  My directions for Kitchener stitch.
The way the sock is shaped after the heel is put in, gives it a great fit under the arch, as it pulls up against the bottom of the foot. I have seen "shaped arches" but I think this is just as well fitting with less effort.

I can't wait to make this heel in a self-patterning yarn and see the striped go around and around the heel instead of those "globs" of color you get on short-row heels.

Posted at 02:41 pm by QueenKahuna
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Dec 10, 2003
sock journals

Well… it warmed up today and the SNOW is melting… I say goodie to that!


What is new today?  Well, last night at one of my knit guild meetings, the program was on keeping a knitting journal.  I hope all of you keep some sort of a record your knitted articles, either brief or extended. Various ways to keep a journal were discussed and shown.  It will be a good record for you and fun for your grandchildren to look at when they come in and clean out your attic! Yes, my daughter threatens me all the time about having to come in and “get rid of all my junk”… junk??  Yeah, right, and just watch and see if they don’t make a ton of money on it all off E-bay!  Who are they kidding?


So if you want  put in my will for either #1, quilting stuff, or #2, knitting stuff, just let me know where they should send it… and if you would take care of my four cats, that would be great too.


Yes, a blog is a journal… so if you can keep a journal here, you can do it in a notebook.  My “sock” journal is my “giant foot” measuring guide from my book  Crazy Toes & Heels .  I mark up a foot for each sock and put in the yarn used, attach a swatch with the stitches per inch and rows per inch, etc.  I keep them all in a 3-ring binder.  So if I use that yarn again, or make socks for that person again, I can just look it up.  Works for me.  I really do not make too many other knitted items... scarves and hats for the grandgirls and friends, and hats for the troops.

I can  make sweaters and such, but I have AADD and it is really hard for me to keep my attention on anything that takes a long time to complete.  And mostly I start them and let them sit unfinished for ages and ages until it is out of style anyway! And  that is a shame because I love to knit cables and fair aisle too! And yes, I have done those on socks...

Yesterday at the guild meeting, I was able to work more on the cuffs of those off-white socks I posted earler in the week. We had a "sock knitter" table that was fun.  Three of  us trying to get Christmas gifts done!  I will try to get the cuffs done tonight and get the heel opened up so I can show you how that looks!

Have to leave for work... back later... have a great day!


Posted at 01:52 pm by QueenKahuna
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Dec 7, 2003
What else?? Socks...

 I was knitting a pair of socks in off white with blue specks, Trekking yarn, for my daughter, and these were the socks that I was going to do the EZ way of making a peasant heel, which is just cutting the yarn and making an opening, but when I looked at those tiny stitches I decided to save that for heavier weight socks and put in my waste yarn and lifelines!  Oh well...  good thoughts/bad idea!

I did a "six-point" toe increase on these socks, an experiment... so I think I will do a "six point" decrease on the peasant heels. You really can't see the spiral increase too well here, but it is there... honest!
blue/white trekking socks 

So I now have four pair of socks done past the heels on needles, so it looks like I am going to get them done for Christmas gifts. I have a sister that can't wear wool and wants socks, so I have to find something for her.  I did make her a pair for her birthday last year in Regia that she picked out, but she wears them with a silk liner.  I think it is all in her head! lol...  She says she wore a wool sweater once and she broke out in a full upper body rash.  But I have to wonder if  it was something else.  So now "she can't wear wool".   All the cotton yarns seem to be "very bright", which I love, but she will not.   I like to knit with thinner yarns, but I was actually thinking of trying the Mexican wave yarn or Encore for her.  Will keep you up-dated on that.  I wonder if I tell her they are not wool if she can wear them.. I tell you, it is all in her head!  And sock wool does not "itch" so it can't be that.

And I want to make my mother-in-law a pair of socks for Christmas too.
She watches me knit all the time and has never mentioned that she would like a pair, but she would not do that because of how she is... but I picked up some cashmere and merino blend that I many use for her. She is 82 and if they are thicker for in her shoes she can just wear them to bed!  She wears socks to bed all the time. 

Oh, and the 0000 needles I though I might like to knit mini socks with... well, it was a "moment of insanity" idea,  and I probably will not try them!  

I spent the evening organizing my spare bedroom by putting my yarn stash in plastic bins that I can stack up on top of each other.  Why do all that work when it looked so pretty thrown all over the bed... well... it is a "spare bedroom" and you never know, we might get company over the holidays!  Of course if they are coming to visit over New Years  they will be here alone... because *I* am going to the beach for New Year's Eve! Yes, I am... we went last year too, and it was the very best time we ever had on New Year's Eve. 

Have a great day... QK

Posted at 09:06 pm by QueenKahuna
Comments (1)

Dec 5, 2003
Snow day... and some stuff about replaceable sock heels


We had a good amount of snow this morning here in SW PA... and it is still coming down. Our first really big snowfall... really big!

A good weekend to sit and knit! Of course this is December already, and I don't have my snowman collection out yet... way behind!

My cats are going nutz in the house. They went out this morning for about 15 minutes, and then all four of them were sitting on the sun porch with their little noses pressed to the glass looking for someone to let them back in. Snow must really confuse them.  Then about 15 minutes later they will want back out. I think "they think" it will be all different them... but it is not!

School went on as usual though... no day off for me...

I am just finishing the I am up to the cuffs on my two yarn striped socks for my husband. He does not ask for much, but did ask for another pair of socks. I made him knee high heavy weight ones last year for in his hunting/ski boots, but he wants a thinner pair, but still long in the leg . I told him I would make him a "plain" pair next, and he said stripes the where okay! Yeah, a new one all right-ey. ( I live in a redneck town full of redneck men, so I hope he does not get teased too much!) Anyway, these are the socks I am putting the replaceable or peasant heel in, so will take some pics along the way to share with you. Wanted to enhance the replaceable heel on my web site with more pictures anyway. You can do some fun things with those heels.

Someone mentioned yesterday about not kitchenering the heels but using a spiral decrease for the heels... and yes, you could make them just like the "four point" decrease toes in CT&H's.... I believe page 81... and just chinch off the tips and NO kitchener! Just do NOT make a knot to secure the yarn. You will feel it at the back of you heel for the rest of your life! Weave in the ends like a Z, going *through* some of the stitches instead of over and under them all and you should be okay. I have a pair of socks that I actually did a six point "increase" toe, and plan on doing the six point "decrease" replaceable heel to match... more experiments...

I mentioned at knit night about trying the Elizabeth Zimmerman way of doing replaceable heels. That is, she does not put in waste yarn or safety lines, just decides where she wants the heel to be, and (hold your breathe!) just snips the yarn in the center of where the heel will be, and unravels the stitches she needs in both directions! Yes, I am going to try it, although I love having the heel area clearly marked! Why try it?? Why not? Besides, I think this might be a good way of making socks ahead of time for no one in particular. Just knit basically a "tube sock", and then when you decide who you want to give the socks to, you just put in the heel where you need it. That way the socks can be for anyone during the knitting process, and then the heel put in to fit the interned recipient... sounds like a plan to me! But you can be sure my first attempt will be with worsted weight yarn... not those little 9 stitches per inch jobs!

So as soon as I figure out how to link to pictures I will share all of this...

aloha... mab

Posted at 12:18 pm by QueenKahuna
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Dec 3, 2003
Welcome to my Knit Blog...


I have had so much fun reading knit blogs, that I decided to host one myself. I hope you enjoy my ramblings and seeing my knit works in progress. I will try to add new knit tips and techniques as I "discover" them, so check back soon...

I have written a SOCK knitting book. I worked for so long on that book that I thought it would never get done. My "fans" were about to give up on me, "is it done yet"... "is it done yet".... well... "no, but soon"... and soon and soon... and finally the day came and I felt kind of bad that it was done...kind of like when you put that last stitch in a quilt or bind off that sweater. It is like cutting the apron strings and having to let go!

I had some computer problems along the way, a digital camera that decided it had just about enough (could not be that I dropped it, egh?) A new computer meant learning all new software. I went from windows '98 to Windows XP, so almost all of my software had to be updated. Yeah, cha-ching, cha-ching! I was able to use some of my old stuff, and even the updated software preformed just about the same and did not have a huge learning curve... so why am I whinning? I dunno!

But happily I can relax and get back to making projects for ME and not just samples for the book. It was a long haul, and I loved all the techie parts of creating it, but you can feel like you are drowning after a while...

I did run into a few glitches with Microsoft Word.... yes, it is EVIL... it is an evil program... it changes things you do NOT want changed, and for heaven's sake, don't ever enter a misspelled work into the dictionary by mistake.... yes, if you have on auto-correct, guess what it does? Changes EVERY instance of the correct word to the incorrect word! Do you know how many times the word "stitch" is in a knitting book? Horror of horrors, it also changed every instance of "stockinette". (MS word gremlins are evil... and they come out in the middle of the night when you are safe and warm in your bed... and then they attack your files... changing them at will... with an evil laugh they turn off stuff, and put in wrong words when you HAD them correct in the first place.... .EVIL laugh... opppssssss sorry about that... )

Fortunately most of those books with the misspelled words went to guild members, where one of my friends (thankfully) pointed it out to me and I was able to replace them. If you have one mailed to you and I did not contact you... let me know!

About 1/2 hour with the microsoft support list and one kind soul helped me to get out the bad words and figure out how to set the whole file again to be spell checked (okay... do you KNOW that "somehow" you can turn of spell check in certain parts of your document only? Want to know how to do that in case you need it... I HAVE NO CLUE!!! But I did it! Is it easy to change it back?? Of course NOT!

And there you are, a horrible speller and dyslectic typer, and you are feeling so confident that MS word is holding you hand and showing you which stupid mistakes you made with those little squiggle lines ... and what a shock to learn you turned it off in one whole section of the book! And yes, we become dependant of computers and calculators... divide two fractions?? What?

So anyway, I hope that you will turn in regularly to my blog (which I found out is weblog) because I hope to post my works in progress (WIP's) and any tips and hints that I might discover along the way.

Oh, and if you want to look at my sock book, you can find it at

Aloha... mab

Posted at 10:30 am by QueenKahuna
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All socks made with "Crazy Toes & Heels" sock book


Socks on two circular needles
Toe -up, cuff-down
"mix and match" different heels and toes
fun, fun, fun....

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