If there were badges

 I have warped the time space continuum.  I know that all of you who have tried to do this and failed are beyond jealous at this moment – all the little balls of yarn are wound.  (Thanks for the kind offers to wind them for me, but it’s my job, and I can handle it.)  The secret turned out to be putting on an audiobook and getting an assembly line running, and I did it in shifts.  Wind 40 balls, answer email, pack something, go for a walk, wind 40 balls, make a cup of tea, organize my notes, wind 40 balls, wonder why I didn’t start sooner, regret my own ability to procrastinate and consider becoming the sort of person who never does this to herself… wind 40 balls… actually, now that I think of it, towards the end I got pretty good at regretting, considering and winding all at the same time.  My many, many tiny balls are all sorted and organized, and ready to be taken to Madrona. (Thanks for the suggestion of shipping guys… but the big border in between here and there means that shipping my teaching stuff would cost just slightly less than my next dental appointment, and I get bags for free on the airline.  It’s far more financially responsible to take it with me, as awkward as it sounds.)

I also got my bag for Cabarete packed, and made a valiant start on the stuff for Seattle.  There’s something that’s just crazy about making a decision today about what I’m going to be wearing in two weeks, but I’m starting to wrap my head around it.  Also yesterday, I made a piddling bit of progress on Joe’s socks.

Yarn: STR Lightweight: Pining 4 Ewe, Pattern: Old Joe, I’m knitting the large. Jammed on the closest teenaged foot for clarity.

Joe’s Christmas socks are always last.  There’s something about great, big, conservatively coloured socks that I always put off, and then, considering  that there’s way more feminine than masculine sock patterns out there (especially the way Joe defines them) and the next thing you know it’s late December and I’m getting all sweaty about finishing his, and a lot of years, I don’t make it.  Joe’s always been awesome about this, happy to have socks arrive no matter when they come, but I thought that this year I would make a special effort to get it together early.  (I’ve actually vowed to get a lot of Christmas knitting together early, we’ll see how it goes.)  In any case, I am absolutely determined to bash out a pair of socks for him, first, before anyone else, and that meant bashing out a pattern. This Christmas my Joe thought that the socks I made for his dad (Old Joe) were "fancy".   An idea was born and  Voila, Old Joe.  A sock pattern that I think has everything going for it.  It’s elegant, sinple, easy to memorize, comes in small, medium and large, is unisex and cozy.  Perfect for a bunch of people on my list, and hopefully yours.

I think it looks best in solids or nearly solids, but I’m sure one of you will experiment.  It’s $6, it has nice big charts, and I hope it gets one of you out of a Christmas bind too. (I’m telling you, I think January is the time to start thinking about a Christmas bind.)

With that, off I go.  I still have no decision about the knitting for the trip – beyond the socks for Joe – and truthfully, I kinda hope they’re done before I get there.  A lot of you made a wonderful case for lace, and I was pretty sure that’s where I was going, until Claudia suggested another Color Affection, and I felt a little something give way.  Turns out that may not have totally worn off yet.  We shall see.

83 thoughts on “If there were badges

  1. I want to see picture of 300 balls of yarn. I know it would make me happy. Thanks for the sock pattern. It’s a winner!

  2. I’m totally making these for may Dad for Christmas. And I’m totally starting my Christmas knitting in February!

  3. Have a great trip. You deserve a week+ in the sun. As for suggestions, I’ve been coveting Dreambird and would love to see what you would make of it. I’m sure any of your daughters would be happy to get it.

  4. I want to see a picture of the 300 balls of yarn too.
    And no new Color Addictions until after one quarter of your Christmas knitting is done. Or at least Joe’s socks.

  5. I was totally thinking another Colour Affliction (Addiction) would make an excellent project. That could even be a Christmas gift for someone! :)

  6. The two men in my life would think those socks the epitome of perfection (they clearly have the same views as Joe concerning the acceptability of colour and pattern), so I’m buying. Now, if only I had a LYS that would carry such beautiful sock yarn!

  7. Have a safe and Wonderful trip!! And bring back some of that fabulous and warm weather for us ‘Northern Folk’…

  8. I love these socks! I think they’ll be perfect for my dad (who enjoys socks in neutrals only) AND my husband (who is a good sport and would wear purple socks if I made them for him). :)

  9. I am so with you on starting Christmas knitting in January. I am just coming off of the high that is giving knitted gifts to happy recipients, so am eager to churn out more for them. By July they can all go to hell as I knit around and around for myself, but right now it’s all about the gift box. I have 5 pairs of socks done for gift giving 2013! Have a great trip, and safe travels.

  10. I like these socks and have downloaded the pattern. Can someone tell me, where the ‘circumference’ is listed, what that is the circumference of? Around the ball of the foot? At the ankle? The calf? Thanks!

  11. Clearly the Fates are smiling on you…. I will hope that they are also kind when you return and have to leave again on the 13th. I have to confess that that sort of stress (anticipating the train wreck that might occur if anything beyond my control went wrong in such a tight schedule) would be enough to cast a pall over my entire vacation – but you are CLEARLY made of sterner stuff! Enjoy the DR!

  12. I knit giraffe cozies, er, kilt hose for a man with big feet, big calves, and long legs.
    Love makes you do crazy things.

  13. Yup, we are twins separated at birth . . . my mom said I was the Little Red Hen: “I’ll do it myself, said the Little Red Hen. And she did.”
    Have a wonderful vacation!

  14. Extended forecast for Tacoma is predicting snow flurry’s for the day you arrive, but I think I would pack for rain and overheated hotels. If we actually have snow, it will probably be nothing compared to what you experience in Toronto.
    Good luck in your travels.

  15. Thanks for writing up the Old Joe pattern. I was going to make it up by taking a magnifying glass to your photos, but this is so much easier. Have a wonderful trip!

  16. Dear Steph,
    I am a horrible procrastinator. I put things off until it is a mad dash panic to get it done and I feel badly that it may not be my best quality because I didn’t have more time, and vow to change. Somehow the next time around I develop amnesia and tell myself the same story “there’s plenty of time, I can do this later” and I believe myself. Recently someone suggested I turn the story around and instead of telling myself I can do it later, I ask myself “Can I do this now?” I am surprised by how often the answer is “yes”. I am beginning to see how much better things work when I don’t procrastinate and I’m developing a positive reinforcement loop. Maybe this tip can help you too. Have a wonderful vacation, looking forward to your pictures and stories when you get back.

  17. I have to say, I started thinking about Christmas 2013 before Christmas 2012 was even over. I had my first gift for 2013 knitted and finished before 2013 hit. It’s the biggest sanity saver for me – that, and my gift spreadsheet (going strong since 1996!). Especially since once the milder weather hits, I have less knitting time because of yard work (and no real desire to sit in 90 degree weather with wool anywhere near me).
    Love the Old Joe sock pattern!

  18. I already put Old Joe in my Rav queue this morning. I keep seeing flowers in that motif and I want to try it with a BMFA colorway, “fairgrounds,” that my Mom bought last year at Madrona. I know the “flowers” won’t stand out much, but I think she’ll be okay with that.

  19. The only issue with Color Affection is that you have to have THREE balls of yarn, instead of just ONE!!!
    Of course, that being said, I had to visit the Color Affection at a certain booth at VKL every day of Marketplace because it was knit in unbelievably soft, smooshy yarn. Fortunately, as my defenses started to crumble, I realized that I had transposed the price of said yarn…and that nearly doubled the cost. Not that I am not worth it…but for that much money, I want a sweater!

  20. I agree with your comments about thinking about the December bind in January. So what I’m doing is finishing all the knitting I didn’t get done this Xmas, and putting it in the drawer for next Christmas. Maybe I’ll be ahead for once.
    Love ‘Old Joe’ and am purchasing now. I’m finishing up my first pair of men’s socks using Designedly, Kristi’s “Gentleman’s Socks” pattern, and then later this year I’ll take on yours.

  21. Way to go, Stephanie! I’m terribly happy it wasn’t me coping with the stressful time warp.

  22. IDEA! (I can’t find the lightbulb emoticon.)
    Shop for the Color Affection at Madrona (as your souvenier)…and you can deal with the three balls of yarn after you have jettisoned the teacher supplies.

  23. Thinking about what has to be done is worse than actually doing it. Glad you got the balls rolled and have a wonderful time in the DR.
    If you ever do a presentation in the Hamilton, ON, area I hope to meet you.

  24. You never fail to amaze, Steph! Have a wonderful trip(s)!
    As for “Old Joe”…wish the pattern was around when I was knitting for “Old Lisle”, a favourite cousin of mine who at his full height stood 6’5″. Needless to say he had very long arms, legs and feet. I knit him more than one pair of relatively plain man-coloured socks, plus a cardigan (finished what his wif started) that was nothing short of a horse blanket. However, he’s gone now…and I miss knitting him even those plain socks.

  25. So you warped the time-space continuum and weft all your troubles behind? :D (Sorry, just couldn’t resist a weaving pun.)
    Love the “Old Joe” pattern – added it to the queue for future knitting.

  26. I just knitted my second Color Affection. This one was for my mom. She loved mine, except she wanted it “bigger”. Good grief, as if those long garter rows weren’t long enough already! I think I’ve got that out of my system for now, but it is a great Vacation Knit.

  27. I’m almost done with my first Christmas 2013 present! Considering I haven’t made her March 2013 birthday present, that might seem to be out of order. But the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL had me take something out of my stash (red alpaca) and think of a dear friend and how much she loves roses and the holidays. Very festive. So with Clue 4 done for both fingerless gloves, I’m on a roll.
    Old Joes will be on my list at some point. I have a special someone I will be knitting socks for when the time is right.

  28. Somewhere in the world someone has just spent hours and hours doing something terribly mundane that should take 10 minutes as a way to correct the balance. Maybe that’s where knitting black holes come from? Caused by a surfeit of terribly organised people the world over! Congratulations on the time warp and have a wonderful holiday!

  29. I have only knit one pair of socks previously and swore I would not knit any more after my four year old grandson, Luke, said ( after a few minutes of contemplation), “Nana, did you know they sell socks at Target ?”. I bought the pattern for Old Joe’s socks though because it was a diversion from the work I should be doing now. I will just hide my sock knitting from Luke.

  30. Thank you so much for the pattern; I’ve been looking forward to it since the first glimpse of the sock! I was so excited that I went and bought it before I even finished reading the post.

  31. Thanks for the pattern! I have it printed out and ready to go, it will be perfect for my Dad for Christmas and yes, I am starting it now ;)

  32. Here’s a Friday funny for you:
    Local Police hunting the ‘knitting needle nutter’, who has stabbed six people in the village in the last 48 hours, believe the attacker could be following some kind of pattern. :-)

  33. Aw, go for the Color Affection. I’m on number five and have yarn for number six. May stop after that (or not).

  34. Thank you for making it clear that your are NOT knitting a faux cactus!
    And I think you still owe Hank some of his favorite baked goods — just for not letting him have all that fun winding 300 tiny balls of yarn!

  35. I’ve had next year’s Christmas knitting on the needles since before Christmas that just passed.

  36. Hmmm…might be a great time to knock out a few pair o sox for Joe in advance..then you laugh…laugh …laugh giddily as you cross an item off your Christmas 2013 spreadsheet! Joe will be shocked amazed and caught totally off guard..what’s this? A package for me? He says..it feels suspiciously like yarn…very funny Steph…wrapping the yarn for my late delivery Christmas socks…Whaa?? Really? Sox pre New Years? So special!!
    The real trick will be remembering that you knit them and where you hid them between now and Christmas…

  37. Mwah!
    Pattern is paid for, downloaded, tucked in Ravelry and my desktop file.
    Can’t wait to get started on them.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  38. I made a color affection and let me tell you I need like FIVE more of these shawls! One for every occasion because this one gets a crap ton of wear!

  39. I’m just got back from 2 weeks in Thailand with my daughter. 2 weeks of tropical sunshine, snorkling and eating Thai food! And knitting when my fingers weren’t too sweaty! I did a second Daybreak in tosh sock and crazy zauberball. I think if I was to knit in a tropical place again I’d bring a linen mix along, something like Revive. Knitting wool was pretty sticky some of the time. Have a GREAT vacation!

  40. Pack for the cold weather. By the time you’ve spent a week in or near the tropics, you will have lost your winter acclimation.
    Also, my personal opinion is that the comments at 8:38 and 9:22 are spam: political spam done in a subtle, brainwashing-seed manner, and probably not even relevant to a Canadian.

  41. I knew you want to do those things yourself and after panicking for a little while you would get things organised. Only Joe’s Christmas socks late? Or is it this husband of yours is the lucky one, getting to wear his Christmas present almost a year before Christmas?

  42. Love love the socks. They’re going on my list (and I’m going to specially dye yarn for them.)
    I start on Christmas gifts in Feb. That’s the big month for buying yarn for me. Last year I ran out of steam on the sweaters, but made 25 gaiters/cowls/scarves. This year I’m going to finish the two sweaters I have 1/2 done and maybe start doing socks. I had 5 requests especially for socks this year (and I think everyone is scarved/hatted/mittened out).
    Have fun in the Caribbean!

  43. Audiobooks are wonderful things. I want to start listening to them again but it’s harder to tell what my daughter is getting into then when we listen to music. At 16 1/2 months she gets into everything, yes I know it will only get worse.
    Enjoy your trip, and take tons of pictures to share later.

  44. Dear Laura: I believe the circumference is around the foot in the middle, although you might have to narrow it a little in the middle if you have slim feet and wide toes–or widen it when you get to the toes part. Just a few increases or decreases depending on what you foot looks like. My foot is narrow from heel to toes then gets wider. Most patterns make this area all one size. Because the yarn stretches to fit the wide part if your sock yarn is springy, which it usually is..but you can make corrections here and there if you want.

  45. Those socks would probably work pretty well for my husband whose feet are what I call rectilinear solids (like, well, all feet) and are almost cubical. Big wide feet, and that makes for a long haul in sock land.

  46. So do you brace Ravelry before doing something like this? Or does Casey watch the hard drive start to shimmy across the floor and sigh “Steph’s posted a pattern…”

  47. I knit my first (and so far only, although I have yarn already for the next one!) Color Affection when I went to Maui for my nephew’s wedding. It was perfect for that long plane ride from the east coast to Hawaii.
    And thanks for the Old Joe pattern, I downloaded it this morning and can’t wait to start swatching and casting on. I’ve been using the Harlot’s basic pattern from Knitting Rules (with a little help from a knitty.com posting about creating a custom fit for socks) for 5 or 6 socks now and was just feeling like I needed to get a little more adventurous. Perfect timing.

  48. I might be a bit biased because I mod Joji’s group, but I can be objective and in that objectiveness I say you should totally knit an Echoes of Color (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/echoes-of-color). It has colour, it has shortrows, it’s quite mindless but has things to keep the knitting interesting nevertheless at all time, and the ways to adapt it are endless! Just watch the finished projects and you’ll see :D

  49. I got Surprise Yarn in the mail this week (yarn I bought and then it came surface and I forgot it was coming til it arrived) – and it’s Canadian sock yarn! And one of the colourways is semi solid (“Grinch” by Biscotte et Cie). A match made in heaven, I think :-)
    No sooner posted than purchased. I hope you make a small fortune XOX

  50. Have a wonderful time! Please take the time to look around you and actually be present in your world. You’ll feel refreshed.

  51. Beauty is in simplicity! This one’s definitely going in my queue… I think my boyfriend would really like them. Thank you.
    Have a good time on vacation!

  52. Your guilt post has kept me thinking. Rest easy, good soul. You can play your role in humanity’s vast economic engine as consumer for a few days as you spread the wealth in the Dominican Republic and on the planes, on airports, on taxis, eating food prepared by someone else. You’re supporting all that industry. Sometime ago when my daughter went to school with really rich kids and I saw a lot of consumption and waste close up, I learned to tell myself that this, too, has its role. We need people willing to throw money away on the next new thing to finance product and technological development and to pay all those salaries, even in China. We also need people to care for each other in times of need, because the system doesn’t do a good job of that without humanitarian intervention. But do remember, consumers are needed too!

  53. I have a question about the Old Joe socks, because I saw your caution about trying to knit size XL. Do I remember that your Joe has good-sized feet? If that’s the case, does your size large fit him? One of my sons wears XL store-bought socks …
    Good luck with your trip and your incredible schedule.

  54. I bought the pattern before I even finished reading your post about it. These are completely perfect socks! Casting on immediately. :)

  55. I think you should knit Joe’s Christmas socks for this year on your trip. Wouldn’t it feel good to have that out of the way early?

  56. This is a nice Drops pattern for socks that would do for a man or a woman. Interest, almost geometric, at the top and easy as you go down. Sports weight. Getting ready to start it for a friend who has decided that New Hampshire would be a good place to hang out year round and is going to have to change her flip-flop life.
    115-34 Socks with cables and rib in ”Alpaca” on Rav.

  57. NEED this pattern! Buying shortly! Interesting and stylish man sock that both the knitter and their man can agree on. Also, I was just reading the comments to your post on guilt. It is all very wonderful. You shared something painful and almost embarassing, we’re told that successful people shouldn’t feel this way in our Western culture – supposedly. Everyone in the comments responded with equal honesty and understanding. It was so good to read. I always feel likeI’ve found my people among knitters, and reading the things they think deeply about this topic confirms that.
    When are you gonna print this thing out and write about it and make it a proper book for us knitters to show the public at large to explain our love? By “this thing” I mean the blog. You books are grand, and I love them, but there’s such a different quality to your blog writing that makes me laugh harder, abd also consider more complex topics harder. There’s a lovely swift ugency to it.
    So much has happened here, I consider your history a little bit my own, just because you have told me and all the rest of us earnest knitters about it so openly, so relateably, so kindly. Couldn’t that be a marvelous book? It would be a big old tome, maybe a huge coffee table book with paper like you wouldn’t believe, all glossy and heavy.
    I’m a bit caught up in this idea! I can’t help thinking that if I would love this, then maybe other knitters would too. I almost feel confident that you’ve either already thought about this,or another knitter has pitched it before me. Oh! Hot damn! The book could have all your patterns in it, naturally, including the stories behind each. You’ve surely thought of this! There’s so many opportunities for quiet consideration with the needles in your hand.

  58. Thank you soooooo much for making Joe’s sock available.They will now be Amy’s socks, in a sassy gorgeous color.You are a doll for sharing.
    God bless you.

  59. we really need to let Casey (at Ravelry) know that an “agree” and “disagree” button would fill a void – at a pinch “Love” you would help

  60. Oh, Stephanie, I am so much in awe of people who can hand knit things that end up looking like knitted things, rather than Hand Knitted things. Especially socks, which can look so… Hokey. None of yours do. Instead they look like perfectly desirable, and wearable-to-the-office socks.

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