August 22, 2005


In Friday's entry, I wrote, "I keep meaning to get to the toe of my sister's sock . . . " and that kept percolating in my mind. So Saturday evening, it was like par-tay around here, as I started and finished the toe. The great thing about knitting toes on a cuff-down sock like this, is that you are decreasing and decreasing, so knitting those rounds faster and faster. Yes, it was a wild and crazy Saturday night around here, a toe-finishing frenzy. By 11:30 PM I had the requisite number of stitches remaining, and was ready to close the toe.

Now, usually I do the cheater's method of closing toes, by putting the stitches on holders, turning the sock inside out, putting the stitches back on two needles, and knitting a three-needle bind-off. It's been a loooong time since I've Kitchenered anything. But, it was late at night, and I was on a roll. I thought, Let's Kitchener this. I followed the directions in Betsy's sock book, and I gotta say, her directions are completely easy to follow, complete with the two set-up steps that you must do before you can begin the actual Kitchenering. So I Kitchenered along, and when I'd worked all the stitches and gotten them off the needles, I remembered why it was I switched over to the inside-out, three-needle bind-off method:

Little ears.

On the right-hand side, the corner was a little prominent -- not so bad. But on the stitches at the left side, the last to be Kitchenered? The corner stood up like a little ear.

I know someone posted a remedy for this on the Socknitters list, once. But darned if I could remember how to cure it, at 11:45 at night. And I was too tired to go to the computer and search through archives to try to find it. (Dear Reader, if you have a tip for avoiding Little Ear Syndrome, please post it in the comments!) I thought, My sister loves me, but -- she probably will think little ears on her socks are too weird.

Kitchener stitch isn't all that easy to tink, but I managed. Then I put the stitches on holders, turned the sock inside out, and closed the toe with a three-needle bind-off.


As it was getting closer and closer to midnight, I heard this thump! and whack! against the bedroom door. I set down the sock for a minute, to investigate. It was Stormy, thinking she'd bagged some big game:


I didn't have my contacts in or glasses on, as I prefer to do detail work like Kitchenering with the naked eye. So at first, I thought the spider was real. Then I noticed she'd bitten off a couple of its legs, and it wasn't moving. It was one of our gag spiders (we have several) -- dragged out from wherever she'd found it.

New arrival at Two Swans on Saturday:


Book 2 from Simply Shetland. This book is so new, I haven't had a chance to put many of the photos of the projects on the site -- but if you click on the link, you'll see the Gerda Fair Isle sweater, and the Marguerite Beaded Shawl.

I'm a huge fan of linen stitch, and am delighted to see that one of the designs in this book, the Sonoma Mountain Wrap, uses it, in various shades of Jamieson's DK, to create a southwestern-y feeling striped wrap. (The book calls it "woven stitch," but it's one and the same with linen stitch.)

Posted by Karen at August 22, 2005 11:15 AM

The trick I've heard for avoiding "ears" is to slip the first and last stitch on each needle over it's neighbor. Or to k2tog on the first and last stitch on each needle.

Posted by: Jessica at August 22, 2005 02:42 PM

Sock looks great. :)

Is your kitty wearing those toenail things? How does your vet feel about them? I've heard they can cause infections and discomfort of the nail sheath... We've had good luck trimming our girl's nails and trained her, with treats, just to scratch on her scratching post - er, scratching TREE (it's huge!) ;)

Posted by: Stasia at August 22, 2005 04:31 PM

I have one of those gag spider rings that you find around Halloween time. I stuck it on one of the spokes of my spinning wheel. I thought it was funny (a different kind of spinner on a spinning wheel, haha!), but it manages to frighten me (OMG a HUGE spider on my wheel -- oh, wait...) at least once a week.

Posted by: Janice in GA at August 22, 2005 08:19 PM

I do the first thing Jessica said, slip the edge stitch over it's neighbor, no more ears :-)

Posted by: vanessa at August 22, 2005 08:21 PM

Thanks for the pointers on the little ears problem! Will remember to try that, next time -- and the tips will be handy, right here on my blog, no searching through archives.

Stormy wears SoftPaws, and I buy them from the vet's office. So I guess it's safe to say that the vet approves. (Actually, at the vet's office they have three tuxedo cats that are the office cats, and all three wear SoftPaws.) Stormy hasn't had any problems with them, and she's been wearing them for a year. You can also purchase them, or read more about them, at Stormy also has a cardboard scratching post -- when I was told about these, I thought they were really dumb. But she looooves it! (As do Cappy and Nippy, whenever they sneak in the house and have a crack at it.)

Janice, your spider story cracks me up!!!

Posted by: Karen at August 24, 2005 03:49 PM