Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Quick Trip Out to the Desert......

Yesterday we decided to make a quick trip out to Lancaster for food and to use some of our gift cards. This trip just happens to take you to the California desert.  If you've never seen this area of California, it's really an amazing place.

The above picture is the desert side of the Tehachapi mountains, where we live.  You can see the hundreds of giant wind turbines that they've placed out here.  All the electricity generated heads to Los Angeles.

Even tho it looks far, we can be to the desert from our little mountain town in 20 minutes!

The formations that you will find are really quite spectacular to view.

If you love open spaces, this is the place to be.  A trip through the Arizona and California deserts is really a must, especially in the early spring.  You'll see gorgeous wild flowers and limitless views.

After our little road trip, I came home and cranked out 3 socks. Here's two more colors in the "Diversity" sock yarn from Plymouth Yarn Company.

This pair with the grays and pinks would make a fantastic Valentine's Day present.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I Hear a Rumble Coming Down Our Dirt Road....

With our recent snow here in the California mountains, it's been hard for our UPS driver to get up into our area.  Our roads don't get plowed, so he has to wait until they're manageable.  But, once I hear the rumble of his truck, I make a fast run out to our gate with great anticipation.

This is what he brought me today - sock yarn!  And this is no ordinary sock yarn either.  It's a new one from Plymouth Yarn Company called, "Diversity."  I LOVE it - I mean, I REALLY love it!  I hear from lots of people who just can't wear wool and finally there's something just for all of them.

It's a 93% acrylic/7% Polyester (elasthane) sock yarn, which means it has lots of s-t-r-e-t-c-h.  And the best part - Doris, our sock machine, loves it, too.

And when it's made up, this is what will thrill your heart.  Aren't these socks downright gorgeous?

I think that I will definitely have to order a ton of this for our little sock business.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Day to Stay Inside

It may be sunny and bright outside today, but it's been so cold.  We've had to rush out to the girls' chicken coop each morning to change out their frozen water.  Our overnight temps have been in the teens.  Fortunately, we also keep a waterer inside their hen house and that doesn't freeze, so they have water during the night.  Of course, I'm not sure that they drink water during the night!  I do know tho, that once darkness comes, they all march up their plank and call it a day!

The last two days have been terribly windy, so I've had to put the brake on our wind turbine.  Seems rather odd that we have to turn it off because it's too windy!  But, two years ago we had 80+ mph winds that broke the turbine and it had to be shipped off to Flagstaff, AZ and was gone for 3 long months!

So, I've decided to stay inside today and work on my Etsy shop.  I just listed these two wooden bobbins. They are becoming more and more collectible and are finally being appreciated for their craftsmanship.

Awhile back, I told you that I was making some decisions about our sock company.  Last night, I decided to keep our pattern shop going at Etsy, but opened up last night (on a trial basis) a new shop on  You can click on the link to it over on the rightside of this post.

I'm also waiting for the UPS man to deliver some sock yarn today.  We just got an order for 25 pair to crank out over Christmas!  I wonder if Santa's elves might be able to come over and help!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

And the New Pattern Goes To........

The lucky name drawn was: Teresa (Knittingdancer)!  Congratulations Teresa!  I hope that you enjoy knitting this fun pot holder.

I will be attaching this PDF pattern to an email and zipping right off to you.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Quick Valentine's Day Pattern

I really am working on "Cleo the Camel", but wanted to get this quick design out early for Valentine's Day.  It's our, "Felted I Love You Pot Holders."  Everyone knows the "sign" in American Sign Language for I Love You, and what a unique gift it will make for Valentine's Day.

The pattern requires 2 skeins of Cascade 220 worsted weight yarn for the main color and 1 skein for the lettering and motifs.  A size 8 needle is also required.  I always forget how difficult it is to photograph reds and magentas, so please excuse the photography!  This pattern is now listed in our Etsy shop for $1.99.

We can do a little giveaway for this pattern if you'd like.  How about leaving one comment on this post (contact info such as ravelry is a must!) and on Thursday, Dec. 20th, I'll randomly draw one lucky name to receive a downloadable copy of this design.

Good luck!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Knitting Idea for Friends.............

It's never too early to start next year's knitting projects.  And a fun idea might be to make lots of mittens during the upcoming year and then fill a basket with them.  Come December of next year, set the basket by your front door and when friends come to visit, allow them to choose one pair.  Just imagine the smile on their face when they go home!

Actually, any warm woolen would be fun to place in your basket - socks, hats and scarves, too!  If you make one project each month, you'll have 12 wonderful gifts to share with your friends.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Next Design is Underway...........

Our "Mrs. Crumpet and Tea" collection is about to add another character to the storyline.  Mrs. Crumpet is, of course, an avid knitter who also raises sheep and owns her own yarn shop.  One day she finds a small sheep in the woods and names him "Tea." 

Now then, Tea is also a unique character because he is no ordinary sheep.  Mrs. Crumpet soon discovers that Tea always has cold feet so she must keep him well supplied in argyle socks.  Can you imagine, a sheep that wears socks!

Both these characters are on our knitting bag patterns that you can find in our Etsy shop and soon you will meet the third player in our storyline - "Cleo the Camel."  This pattern too, will be a knitting bag and it may take me awhile to get it knitted with Christmas just around the corner.

But, believe me, you won't be disappointed!   

The main storyline involves a poem that Mrs. Crumpet finds in her attic, written by her grandmother.  Along with the poem is a very special gift that allows Mrs. Crumpet to do extraordinary feats.  And it all evolves around knitting.

Stay tuned....................

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just a Dusting...................

In the wee quiet hours of the morning.................

Once the sun was up we could see that our mountain only received a dusting of snow during the night.  Here on our property there were only flurries with nothing sticking to the ground.

I went out early to give the girls their hot oatmeal and raisins and to check on their water.  They were fine and gobbled up their breakfast.  Tonight it will get down to about 23 degrees and we'll make sure they're all tucked in nicely at bedtime!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Snow Coming....I Better Knit Faster

Our California mountains are expecting snow this evening with a chance of the pass closing.  With that kind of news, we always gear up for it.  Our big backup diesel generator is checked and the tank filled.......

We wrapped the girls' chicken coop on 3 sides to protect them from wind and blowing snow.......

We'll keep an eye on their water to make sure that it doesn't freeze and that they have plenty of food.  Their house is within the actual coop, so they are totally protected from any type of moisture or wind.

Lucy even posed for the camera this morning!  Isn't she gorgeous?

Yesterday I hit the store for a few last minute essentials and now I can hunker down and get back to my knitting.  I'm making my husband and son mittens for Christmas and will finish those up this week.  I never got to my next design, but will as quickly as possible so that we can have another giveaway, ok?

I'll keep you posted on the storm and if we actually get the 2 - 4 inches.  I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but that amount impacts our freeways and passes significantly. 

Stay warm and dry where you are!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Congratulations to Rose!

And the lucky name drawn was Rose (Rosebob on Ravelry).
Congratulations Rose!  Please email me at so that I can zip this pattern for our "Calf Wraps, a.k.a. boot cuffs" right off to you.  Hope this brought a smile to your day.

I've been trying to get creative with breakfast and have come upon a new favorite for my guys.  I sautee onions, garlic, mushrooms, fresh spinach and diced ham in olive oil and place that mixture over their eggs.  This morning's breakfast also included fresh blackberries, fresh oranges, sliced avocado and whole wheat pancakes with Greek yogurt.  YUMMO if I say so myself!

This week I hope to get another pattern up and then we'll have another giveaway.  I really think that I love these giveaways more than you!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

You Call Them What?

Calf Wraps!  I call them Calf Wraps, a.k.a. Boot Cuffs.  One of the newest fashion items to hit the needles are boot cuffs.  But, as I looked into designing a knitted pair, I realized that it's really your calfs that are getting wrapped up - hence, "Calf Wraps."

They are so superbly simple and one skein of Cascade 220 worsted weight yarn on size 5 double pointed needles will quickly make up a pair.  I just listed the pattern for $3.00 in our Etsy shop and I hope that you'll cross your fingers and toes that the pattern does well.

And yesterday I finished this lovely pair of hand cranked socks made with "Step" sock yarn.  They'll be listed in our other Etsy shop tomorrow.

Our middle grandson, Mitchell, wanted a pair of red mittens for Christmas.  So, I also finished those up yesterday.  But, don't tell him, ok?

And then I thought that you might enjoy seeing what our family room looks like this season.  Usually we put the tree in the front room, but decided that it would be nice by the fireplace this year.  Don't you just love the Christmas season?

Since we have a new design out, would you like to have a little giveaway?  How about if you leave a comment on this post and tell everyone what you're knitting for gifts this year.  On Saturday, Dec. 8th, I'll randomly draw one lucky name to win a downloadable PDF copy of our "Calf Wraps" pattern.  Please be sure to leave contact info for me, ok?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

And the Lucky Winner Is............

Congratulations to Marilyn (a.k.a. Merry) for winning a pair of our handcranked socks!

Marilyn, I don't have your mailing address, so please email me at and I'll get these right off to you.

I love reading all your comments and I'm so thrilled to have you as followers.  I'm contemplating some changes in my life for 2013 and once I've made all the decisions, I'll fill you all in.

In other news:  Tonight in our small mountain town of Tehachapi is our Christmas parade followed by our tree lighting ceremony.  Then we'll come home and put some wonderful Christmas music on and decorate our tree.  I'm so looking forward to this festive day and being able to give a pair of our socks away has made it even more fun!  Congratulations Merry!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another Pattern Ready for Take Off

How often do you find yourself finally getting that chance to sit down with your favorite book, only to find that you've lost your place AND you can't find your reading glasses?  Well, with our newest little pattern, both problems are now solved.  Not only can you save your place, but your glasses will be safely tucked away next to your book.  Why didn't I think of this sooner?  AND it's the perfect project to use up all that leftover sock yarn!

We're calling it our "Bookmark - Eyeglass Holder."  I think that pretty much sums up what it is!
It's now in our Etsy pattern shop and should be on Ravelry by day's end.

If you haven't yet entered for a chance to win a pair of our handcranked socks, please be sure to leave a comment on the previous post.  I'll be randomly drawing one lucky name on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Time for a Sock Giveaway.....

It's finally time to have our little sock giveaway.  If you'd like a chance to win this pair of women's size small - hand cranked socks, just leave a comment on this post.  Be sure to leave contact info and on Saturday, Dec. 1st, I'll randomly draw one lucky name. 

We just finished up a two day craft show and were pleased with the results.  Even the dogs sampled some of the wares!

We're already signed up for next year, so I'll start knitting right after the holidays.  From now until Christmas, I'll be making some mittens and hats for my family.  I also hope to start work on two new patterns for our second Etsy shop, "Patterns By Kathy."

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Should I Be Having This Much Fun?

Usually, getting ready for a big Christmas Craft Show can be very nerve racking.  But, for some reason I've come to terms with the hustle and bustle of all the prep work.  I decided to put on some great Christmas music and just knit away.

The socks at the top just came off the drying rack and blocked out beautifully.  The color is called "Prism" and it's Pagewood Farm's "Denali" sock yarn.

And in between making socks, I've decided to hand knit more mittens.  I had this great sparkly fiber and had some matching Cascade 220 - how perfect together!

Throughout this process I've come to the conclusion that knitting mittens is every bit as addictive as making socks!

Thanks goodness my inventory is rebuilding for next week's show.  My cut off day will be Tuesday because Wednesday is baking day for Thanksgiving.  The two days right after Thanksgiving will be the craft show, and THEN we'll have a little sock giveaway right here.

The month of December will be spent getting ready for Christmas and knitting strictly for my family.  My guys definitely need some new woolen mittens and our 2 new granddaughters have also asked for some.  4 year old Mary wants pink (her favorite color) and Dana who just started kindergarten wants blue.  How fun to finally get to knit for some little girls!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Scenes of Bear Valley & Pictures of Doris

The craft show on Saturday was great and now I'm cranking away for the BIG show that's right after Thanksgiving.

Bear Valley Springs is always a delightful place to visit and sell socks.

The colors are sure changing with quite a nip in the air.

One of our new customers was curious about Doris and how she makes socks.  Mabel, this is what the socks look like when they come off the machine.  At the top of the ribbing is waste yarn that will be removed and the 1 x 1 ribbing is already locked, so I just have to weave in the end.

Here you can see the toe with waste yarn and I'll close it with a kitchener stitch.

Doris is definitely a work horse and I've made hundreds of socks on her.  Here you can see the 72 needles that she holds.

With each turn of this crank wheel, it counts as one round.  It looks very much like the old ice cream maker cranks, but instead of getting ice cream, we get a sock!  Thanks Mable for being such a wonderful customer and I hope you've enjoyed seeing what Doris looks like.