365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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Day 293/365: First Day of the Week Again

Today was a very long day at work and then at 6 PM I had my scheduled one hour of cross training, and then I had to make and eat dinner, and now at 8:45 PM, I am finally able to sit down and rest before my 9 PM bedtime.  I’m always happy to have Monday off but, boy, when Tuesday rolls around, it sure is tough to get through the first ten-hour day of my work week.

In the meantime, here’s my progress on the second Cabin Fever sock.



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Day 292/365: The Felted Bowl, Revisited

Remember my failed felted bowl project?  I thought I’d give it another go.

I had to do some laundry, including a load of sheets and socks and towels that would need hot soapy water.  It occurred to me that I could throw the bowl into the mix and, with a little luck, it would felt a little more.  I tossed it in with the rest of the wash and hoped for the best.

After the laundry came out of the dryer, I was pleased to find that this venture worked.  My previously failed felted bowl shrank into a sturdy little felted bowl, strong enough to hold a few of my quartz crystal palmstones.


I think I’ll be experimenting with different colors and combinations of yarns for further felted wool projects.

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Day 291/365: Simple Little Pocket Bag

The other day, one of my co-workers asked me if I could sew a small bag for her.  She showed me a piece of paper that she’d cut and folded in half.  “Like this, like a little pocket,” she said.


I took the paper home and today I made the little bag for her.  It actually took me two tries; the first one came out a lot smaller and I forgot to fold the hem under twice.  On my second try, I made sure to add an inch when I cut the fabric, along with a couple other changes.  The finished pocket turned out a lot better than I expected.  Hopefully, my co-worker will think so, too.


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Day 290/365: 9 Miles

Sean and I are signed up for the 2015 Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey Bay.  It’s four weeks away, and today’s training plan involved running 9 miles.  Some people train for marathons and half marathons because they want to set personal records in their running times.  I run because I like to eat.  According to my Garmin watch, today’s 9-mile run burned up 946 calories.

We went out to eat afterwards, and I’m pretty sure my meal replaced a huge portion of those calories.



Day 287/365: My Basic Toe-Up Sock Pattern

A fellow blogger asked about my sock pattern, so here it is.

First of all, I use a long circular needle (approximately 32.5″ from tip to tip) and the Magic Loop Method to knit in the round.  It also helps to have a cardboard template of the sock recipient’s foot.


To begin, I use Judy’s Magic Cast-On and cast on 10, 12, or 14 stitches on each needle, depending on the thickness of the yarn and the size of the sock I want to make.  I wear a US size 8.5 shoe, so I usually cast 12 stitches on each needle for my own foot.  Next, I knit across the stitches on each needle once.

Round 2:  Needle 1: K1, M1, knit until the last 2 stitches, M1, K1.  Needle 2: K1, M1, knit until the last 2 stitches, M1, K1.

Round 3:  Knit across both needles without increasing.


Repeat Round 2 and 3 until you have a total of 24, 28, 32, or 36 stitches on each needle, depending on how wide you want the sock to be and keeping in mind how much the yarn will stretch.  If the sock is for my mom’s kid-size feet, I stop at 24 stitches on each needle.  If the sock is for me, I might stop at 24 or 28.  Again, it really depends on how wide I want the sock to be.

Once I’ve determined that I’ve got enough stitches, I stop increasing and start knitting in the round to work the foot of the sock.


You can have the recipient try it on for size.

Or you can use your cardboard template.


Now that I use the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, I just keep knitting until I get to the point where I want to start the heel.  (You can find the pattern by searching for it online.)


I follow the directions, finish the heel, and then start knitting the cuff.


Usually, I’ll knit 2, purl 2, and repeat for ribbing.  I prefer my socks to be crew length, so I just keep knitting until I think it’s time to bind off.

4.7.2015 (2)

And that’s it!  Hopefully I’ve explained it fairly clearly.  Let me know if I need to clarify anything.


P.S.  Amazingly, all these photos are from different pairs of socks that I knit this year.  I guess I need to go update my completed projects page.


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Day 285/365: The Cabin Fever Sock, Revisited

Remember back in July when I was knitting the Cabin Fever sock?  (By the way– wow, when you click on that link and see the photo, you’ll also see what the deck boards looked like before our painter refinished them.)

That was when I was still using the gusset heel pattern.  Now that I have seen the beauty of the short row heel, I decided this sock needed a do-over.

I ripped out the old heel and put in the Fish Lips Kiss Heel.

cabin fever sock

I messed up a little on a few of the twin stitches and you could probably spot where, but at this point I don’t care.  What matters is that the sock fits my foot perfectly, the yarn is a beautiful colorway, and the merino wool feels really good on my foot.


Now if only this heatwave would end and October would start feeling like fall…