Keeper of the Flocks



I have very distinct memories of learning about Greek Mythology when I was in the sixth grade. The memory that stands out the most is that of my uncle complaining that prayer wasn’t allowed in schools, and yet, we were being taught about idols. I have a family with very deep religious views.

KotF alt 1

That’s not what this post is about. Those of you familiar with Greek mythology know about Hermes, or his Roman counterpart, Mercury. Hermes was the messenger of the gods, and wore sandals that had wings. If one spends any time looking at Greek statuary, one will also note that he didn’t wear much else, but I digress.

KotF alt 3

These socks (see I really am getting to these socks) reminded me of Hermes’ sandals when I was looking at the photographs. That little bit of lace work that travels around the leg looks a bit like it could be a wing if one looks at them from the correct angle. So, in my eternal struggle to name sock patterns, I named this one after Hermes, or rather one of his epithets.

KotF alt 4

You see, Greek gods liked their titles. Hermes certainly had his share. His list includes: Keeper of the Flocks, Ram Bearer, Of the Market Place, Of Crafts, Of Wiles, Three-Headed, Of the Games, Champion, Interpreter, and Translator. Imagine being introduced to him. Hi, I’d like you to meet Hermes, Keeper of the Flocks, Ram Bearer, etc., etc., etc.

KotF alt 2

The pattern itself started with an offer of yarn support from the lovely folks over at Little Gidding Farm. That led to a very lovely skein containing a blend of alpaca, wool, and nylon showing up at my house. The color is delightful, and I couldn’t wait to do something with this.

This pattern is the result. It’s a little bit of lace combined with a little bit of twisted stitch cables. I may be expanding into lace, but I’ll never forget my love of the twisted stitch. The pattern is worked cuff down, and includes the usual heel flap and gusset. Three sizes are available. One can always swap the heel for some other technique if that’s preferable. I won’t hold it against you if you do.

The pattern is currently available on ravelry, and I will be rolling out to other places this weekend. Since I’m having a particularly wonderful week, I’d like to offer you dear readers a little discount. (On that note, if you were subscribed to my newsletter as of around 4:30 yesterday, skip this part & check your inbox). If you wander over to ravelry, add Keeper of the Flocks to your cart, and enter the code HERMES, you’ll receive a 10% discount. The discount is only valid until midnight Sunday 2/14/2016 Eastern.

I hope you like the pattern.

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Feeling Better


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Shawl, Swatch, Things



First, I’d like to thank all of you who extended well wishes in light of my back pain. I am happy to say that I am doing much, much better. The pain has subsided. I have a dull ache when I sit upright for several hours, but the ache alleviates after laying flat for a short time. I am also happy to say that I have weaned myself off of the happy pills. While the altered state they induced made life interesting, it is nice to be able to see straight again and generally remain conscious.

The shawl is progressing slowly. I was correct in that I had 10 sections completed. I now have 11 sections completed, and man, these rows are getting long. It doesn’t appear that anything went haywire when I worked on this in my drug addled state. The stitch counts are correct, so I count that as a win.

That said, my attention span for working yet another section is starting to wane. In fact, the prospect of working the edging is a bit daunting. I think this is a lot of tiny stitches now. Once those stitches get picked up, it’s just going to be overwhelming.


This, of course, means that I may have swatched something. Clearly, this will be a sock. There is a little bit of lace (I do have lace on the brain). There is a bunch of textured stitching happening.

There is more to this swatch that I’m not telling you right now. Things happened last week – glorious, wonderful, and completely unexpected things. Things that caused me to ask a friend to read my emails to make sure I wasn’t just delusional because of the drugs. I would tell you more, but I’m still in a state of euphoric shock over these things. Once I’m certain that this isn’t just a dream, I’ll share more.

In the meantime, the swatch needs perfecting, and the shawl will have to take a rest.

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Blizzard Aftermath


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Sweater Follow Up, Newsletter, KAL, and Shawl


Today’s blog post comes to you in four generally unrelated parts.

sweaterPart 1 – Sweater Follow Up

First of all, thank you everyone who left such complementary comments about my sweater. I’m thrilled with how this turned out. So many of you have left such kind and gracious comments about it. The sweater is warm, and wonderful, and kept me warm while I was digging out my driveway this past weekend.

There were a couple of questions left in the comments section on the sweater reveal. I would normally have replied to the questions there, but I’ve been dealing with the ramifications of the blizzard all week (think – digging, pain medication, more digging, more pain medication). I thought I’d answer those questions here.

Is there a pattern for this sweater? (or something along those lines)

The short answer to this question is, no, there is not a pattern available for this sweater. At least, not right now. I get asked this question whenever I finish a sweater, which is very flattering since most of the sweaters I make are original creations. That said, I have never published a sweater design mainly because of the time it takes to pull one together. It’s one thing to do all the math and figure out what makes sense for something that fits me. It’s an entirely different animal to do the math and figure out the directions to support several sizes (I’m not naive enough to think that everyone is the exact same size as me). Then there is the testing issue. I’m not sure the current group of wonderful, magical testers are up for testing a sweater pattern. They might be, but I might find myself in a situation where I would have to recruit some additional testers, and again all of this takes time. Time, or rather the lack of it, is my biggest enemy when it comes to publishing patterns.

I’m not saying that there will never be a pattern for this sweater (or any of the other original sweaters that I’ve created). One day, I will find myself with more time on my hands, and that time will be spent learning how to properly grade sweaters. That said, if enough people asked nicely, I might look into publishing a pattern sooner. I’m not sure what number constitutes enough, so if you’d like to see a pattern for this, you can leave a comment.

Is there any shaping in the sweater body? Or is that strictly a female issue?

I did not include any shaping in the sweater body. That said, I did want to respond to the second question. Sweater shaping is not strictly a female issue. Men are not all shaped the same either. Our lumps and bumps appear in different places, but not all men are tubes. I can get away with wearing a sweater or vest shaped like a tube; although, if I were being a perfectionist, I would have shaped the back of the sweater by decreasing from the chest to the waste (like the classic Adonis) and shaped the front of the sweater by slightly increasing from the chest to the waste (because I’m not an Adonis, I’m a pear in the front).

Part 2 – Newsletter

I’ve started a Newsletter. I know a lot of knitting related newsletters are out there, and honestly, for a long time, I didn’t really see the point of having one. However, I’ve recently had an eye-opening revelation. A newsletter is a great way for me to say thank you to the various people who have been kind, and supportive, and generous, and generally awesome. My goal for the newsletter is to use it for special announcements. I will not clutter anyone’s inbox with daily updates, but I will send the occasional update when there might be a new sock pattern or an exclusive discount that’s only for the people who sign up.

If you have subscribed to the blog to receive email updates, you are not subscribed to the newsletter. I didn’t want to run afoul of any anti-spamming regulations, which vary throughout the world. So if you want to receive the newsletter, there is a widget over on the right hand side of the blog. All you have to do is enter your email address and hit subscribe. Actually, that’s not entirely true. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription, and then you’re done.

The first newsletter will probably be sent out in the next couple of weeks, and it’ll be a good one, but only for those who sign up.

Part 3 – KAL

On February 1st, I will be resuming the KALs in my ravelry group. Those of you who are members of the group know that the KAL went on hiatus this month. There were some behind the scenes things that meant that it made sense to take a month off. All that is water under the bridge now, and I’m ready to go forth and KAL again.

My KALs are actually pretty low-key. It lasts for 3 months, so it doesn’t feel like a race to the finish. This way everyone actually gets to enjoy the knitting. To be honest, all you have to do is finish a pair of socks between Feb 1 – April 30 to be eligible for a prize. You could have started the socks last year and put them in hibernation for all I care.

I’ve dubbed this KAL the Blizzard Jonas Isn’t the Boss of Me KAL because I will not let this snow storm win (even though it is really trying).

shawlPart 4 – Shawl Update

Speaking of blizzards and trying to make sure they aren’t the boss of me, I have made progress on the shawl. Despite spending way too much time shoveling and taking pain medication, I’ve completed seven repeats (or is it sections) of the shawl. The lifelines have saved me twice, and I did manage to pick up a dropped stitch and repair it without ripping back to the lifeline. I was particularly proud of that accomplishment.

There are a lot more than the 3 stitches that I started with when I cast on, and each section is just getting larger and larger. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about that. The whole thing just looks like a lumpy mess, but I’ve been told that’s typical of shawls, so I supposed I just have to wait to finish so I can block and see what it actually looks like.

I will say that even though this is a straightforward pattern, all kinds of crazy ideas are starting to leap into my head now that I’m getting the hang of this lace business. Who knows, maybe I’ll branch out.

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