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A Study of Wool & Cotton Stretch Yarn

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For this study, I made 5 socks. The rainbow stripe socks have lycra. The green socks do not.

The sock pattern for all socks is: 20 rows, hang hem. 2 rows. +5 decrease -4 increase heel. 65 rows. Toe. 60 cylinder. I used the same tension as I do for the Aktiv wool sock yarn. Yarn content is: 39% wool, 41% cotton, 13% nylon, 7% polyester.

None of the socks are blocked as I steam block and I did not want the steam to affect the size of the sock.

My foot is a size 8 1/2 wide or size 39 in Birkenstock. Both of the washed and dryed socks fit and feel good on my foot. The one with lycra (rainbow stripe) will hold its shape better while wearing all day.

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Cotton Socks?? Yes, please.

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I am and have been in search of the perfect cotton sock made on the circular knitting machine ever since 2010 when I first learned about circular knitting machines. Back then, I didn’t understand that cotton has ZERO stretch, nor did I understand why I couldn’t use it to make a sock. {I also did not understand the properties of wool and what makes it the original performance fabric} It took me a while, but I found some cotton yarn that was suitable for the machine and I made my socks. Having been warned that there was no stretch, I made them with ribbed feet (I was going to give them the stretch of the ribbing). So, off I went one morning with my brand new cotton socks made on the machine. I had to get them off of my feet by 9am!! They were sopping wet and getting bigger by the second….ok, maybe I am exaggerating, but I really did take them off and throw them in the trash. Fast forward to last year when a friend came to learn on her sock machine and brought me some cotton sock yarn from Regia (the fruity colorways). I have to tell you, I like that yarn. So, I found some CoBaSi cotton sock yarn and bought it. Upon arrival, I knit up a pair of socks, washed them and am wearing them as I type.

Now, let me say that I live in southeast Missouri. Our winters are not cold like they are up north, not even as cold as a winter in St. Louis. So, I feel like if I can find a cooler sock, then I will have a longer sock season. My other problem is that I can no longer wear commercially made socks, so I need a sock that I can wear inside a tennis shoe for the gym and for summer events where I need to wear an enclosed shoe. There’s also a lot of us in the southern states and we need cute SEAMELESS socks too!!

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Colorway Funtastic
Cotton Socks?? Yes, please. 9
Colorway the Pansies


50g = 220yds

55%cotton 16% bamboo 8% silk


I made the funtastic pair on the 60 cylinder. Unwashed it was 8.5″. I washed and laid flat to dry it was 8″ I used lycra, but I should not have because of doing the test. The Pansies sock was made on the 54 cylinder.

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pre wash
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post wash

I have these two colorways in stock on csmsupplies now. I have more colorways on the way.

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A Story of Static


Static electricity that is….So yesterday I get a facebook message from a lady that has bought a boatload of yarn from me. She is a repeat customer so I know that she likes the yarn and doesn’t have a problem using it (she buys multiple cones of the same color!). I don’t know her personally, like if I saw her at a restaurant I wouldn’t know her from Jacklyn Smith. But I know her from facebook and sock knitting, and I feel like she’s my friend.

She has a problem with one cone that she purchased from me, she politely described the problem which was that she’s made seven pairs of socks in the past two days using the yarn she purchased from me, but the whiskey is dropping stitches. Not the others, just the whiskey. I assume she is talking about ribbing. (You remember not to assume anything, right?) I see these problems as a puzzle that must be solved. I know she is a successful sock maker. it’s winter…Dry heat, even dryer air. Static electricity. I mention static and she agrees. She ask about spraying it with Static Guard. Somehow it came out that it was cylinder stitches. What? Dropping random cylinder stitches? Now this problem, I’ve never heard of…so I ask for a video….

Really? What in the world could that be, when this is not a problem for other yarns. So I get this big idea for her to put the cone in the bathroom with her while she takes her shower. She says that a good plan because she likes hot showers.

Witness the result

wow. is that incredible? I had to share for several reasons…1. I think that’s amazing and 2. So i don’t forget how to fix this problem when it arises again!!

Happy Cranking!


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All About Lycra

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YouTube player
Our friend Jackie Lee put a fantastic video together with information about Cobweb lycra.

I use lycra in all of my socks. Our friend Roz only uses it for the foot. There’s one lady that only uses it at the cuff. Just like everything else on or about the circular sock knitting machine, there are many ways to go about it. As always, I suggest you give a couple of ways a try and see which one works best for you.

Here is an overview of what we learn in the above video:
Cobweb lycra consists of two strands of very fine lycra, one straight, one kinky. It is knit together with the yarn to make the sock/garmet stretchier so that it molds to the foot. It also helps the sock/garmet to retain its shape from washing to washing.

The lycra should meet the yarn after the yarn brake so as not to get it tangled in the wire or brake system for any given machine.

After the garment is complete, wash or steam. The moisture will cause the kinky strand to straighten and pull the fabric in, it will appear thicker and stretchier than the unwashed item.

You can add extra tension to the lycra to make the knitted item pull in even snugger (is that even a word?).

White, Black and Taupe lycra are available at CSM Supplies. Colored lycra is available in Jackie’s ETSY shop, Search Sockcrankershop (all one word) on ETSY.

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Mittens for Ornaments (decorative mittens, for a garland or such)

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Mittens for Ornaments (decorative mittens, for a garland or such) 14

I had a request for a mitten that’s the size of the tiny sock…not the earring size sock, the 18″ doll size sock! So, I sat down at the machine with some needles in and was doing my darnedest to make a tiny mitten when Sue told me what I needed to be doing. In short, we (read Sue) came up with this. it’s fun, fast and a great project…Get the pattern here!

Start by cranking out a tube with a hung hem. You can use any cylinder you like for this project. Cast on then change to project yarn and crank 10 rows. Hang a hem. Crank 55-60 more rows and remove project from machine. Remove waste yarn then TURN THE KNITTING INSIDE OUT (ask me why that’s in all caps!! haha).

You will need to print the pattern page and make sure that you printed it actual size. You’ll know this because you can measure the mitten to make sure the printed one you have is 4″ tall. Cut out the mitten shape. Line up the bottom of the knit tube (the end with the hung hem) with the pattern. Take this to the sewing machine and sew around the pattern. Trim out the mitten shape leaving 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn the mitten right side out. And there you have a mitten!

Mittens for Ornaments (decorative mittens, for a garland or such) 15Mittens for Ornaments (decorative mittens, for a garland or such) 16Mittens for Ornaments (decorative mittens, for a garland or such) 17Mittens for Ornaments (decorative mittens, for a garland or such) 18Mittens for Ornaments (decorative mittens, for a garland or such) 19

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Pumpkin Socks

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So, here’s a beginner friendly pattern for a pair of pumpkin socks~made with moss green and orange yarn. It’s a version of a tuck stitch where you don’t remove needles in the cylinder. My sample pictures were made on a 60 cylinder, so if you are going to make them on a different cylinder, you will need to adjust your marked needles….

Let me describe what I did. There is a companion video on Socktv, but you must be a subscriber to watch older Socktv videos. I think with these pictures and this description of what I did, you will be able to be making pumpkin socks too….

First off, I got a bottle of fingernail polish and put a dot of it on every 5th needle. (because 5 divides into 60, but let’s say you are doing it on a 72 cylinder, you would need to mark every 6th needle. Or on a 64 you would mark every 8th needle…this is the drawback of a 64 cylinder, it doesn’t divide by much) . Don’t make this harder than it really is. (a common problem amongst pattern readers). Start at needle number 1 and count to 6. put a small dot of polish on needle number 6. the next needle would be number one again and put a dot on number 6. Do this all the way around the cylinder and let the polish dry.

Cast onto machine with waste yarn. Change to green project yarn, crank 10 rows, do a picot row, then crank 10 rows. Hang the hem. After the hem is hung, and a row is cranked, stop at 6 o’clock (again, don’t split hairs in pattern reading here. Just get yourself a hung hem and get to 6 o’clock. Remember how you did it so you can do it the same on the second sock.

Begin raising needles over at the first needle marked, raise the marked needles on the back half of the machine (the side that’s furthest away from you), Crank to midnight and raise the rest of the needles. Crank a total of three rows with these needles raised. Stop at 6 o’clock. Lower the back half of the needles and carefully crank to midnight. Lower the rest of the needles and crank to 6 pm. Raise the back half of the needles and crank to midnight. Raise the front half of the needles and crank to midnight, raise the front half of the needles. Crank three rows stopping at 6pm. Repeat the process for your predetermined leg of the sock.

When you come to the place where you would begin preheel operations, only work the pattern on the back half of the needles. Continue for your predetermined number of heel rows.

Crank the heel.

Continue with the pattern down the top of the foot (leaving the bottom of the foot as a stockenette stitch so it’s more comfortable to walk upon).

When you reach the place where you want the toe, do a russian join and change back to green yarn. If the sock needs two more rows to be the perfect length, it is ok to do them in green. Be sure there is at least one row of stockinette stitch all the way around the sock and crank the toe.

Now, here’s a shorty sock (the one I made on Socktv) that I made as a footie. I think it’s pretty darn cute, but that green toe sure makes my toes look pointy!!

Also, to show the pattern more clearly, you may want to turn the sock inside out. It’s all up to you….you decide!!

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Miss Jenny’s Famous Sock School

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Miss Jenny Deters started on this sock machine thing back in the 1990’s, she’s forgotten more than I will ever remember about sock machines. Her sock school is challenging and fun and I am really lucky to be along for the ride with her (Just kidding, we are both alpha so we have to take turns being sock school boss). So, I am going to describe to you what you learn at sock school. Miss Jenny has a curriculum and she is going to make darn sure you get your monies worth. If you are interested in attending sock school, here’s some of what you can expect.

BEGINNER SOCK SCHOOL In the beginning class you will start with making sure you are ergonomically correct and finish with a sampler and a pair of socks that fit. Ergonomics, Hung hem, changing colors Russian join, mock rib needle removal and insertion, tension, wrapped heels, wrapped toes, matching socks, proper size and fit and how to achieve socks that fit, Kitchener from the right side of the fabric, mistake repair, toe up socks, children’s socks, the use of lycra and discussion on sock yarns of various sizes.

ADVANCED SOCK SCHOOL In the advanced class, you make a sampler with all sorts of fancy stitches and a pair of ribbed socks. It starts with ergonomics and ends with socks ribbed down the foot. Here are some of the skills you will learn in advanced sock school. Socks that fit, tension, lace, cables, fair isle, duplicate stitch, flat fabric, beading, Kitchener from the right side, matching yarns, ribbing, wrapped heels and toes, thumb gussets, half pitch and more.

When you attend sock school with MIss Jenny and myself, you will learn so much that you are exhausted at the end of each day. Class runs from 8am to 4pm and with Miss Jenny at the helm, this means you are set up, in your seat and ready to go at 8am. Typically, lunch is served with a discussion of sock related learning. Students provide their own waste yarn, machine and necessary equipment. Miss Jenny will make sure you get more than your monies worth in learning. I am the helper and I get to teach certain topics as well. Since there are two teachers, we can handle up to 8 students per session. In order to enroll in Sock School, you will need to email Jenny Deters at

Our next Sock School will be held at the Deters’ homestead in Boonville, Indiana, near Evansville. Dates listed above!

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Scary Times

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March 31, 2020

I’ve been sick. Last Wednesday I woke in the night with a fever. I called the Covid-19 hotline in Cape and was given questions. I answered all questions and did not qualify for testing. the good part is, I did not qualify for testing. The bad part is I will never know.

I try to live my life honestly and openly before God, my husband, my children and you. I know a lot of you are worried about me so I will tell you what happened as best as I can remember. The prayers, texts and kind thoughts have kept me going when I couldn’t face facebook. Well, plus I constantly listen to 99.1 Joy FM in St. Louis mostly because I know the lady that’s been doing mornings and she just calms me and I am still sad that she moved from Cape and left our radio station here. She used to do mornings here and we listened on the way to school, but then there she would be dropping her kids off right when I was dropping mine off. I made a game out of it. I wanted to hear her voice on the radio and see her at the same time. I pretty much thought it was magic. She would read the daily devotion in Jesus Calling for Kids. It spoke to me (still does) every single day. One day I finally asked. Truth was, she prerecorded the first two hours of her show the afternoon before so she could get her kids off to school every day. Now, when the new girl reads Jesus Calling every day, I still miss that voice…and smile because I knew her secret. (sorry, I digress)

So, the big question about being sick right now is pretty obvious. Covid-19?

Honestly, I don’t think so. But you know how it is at night when there’s no one around but the evil one to scare you. I spent two solid nights not sleeping a wink. This did not help my recovery. At first fever I called the hotline and did not qualify for testing. (we had been sheltering in place for 9 days, I had not come into contact with anyone who had the virus, taken all recommended precautions. The head doctor at southeast said that it would be very unlikely (it was still too early in our town). I didn’t want to go to the doctor to get anything checked out. 

We received a letter from our insurance company saying that they were offering visits with MDs via video chat so I called the number and waited 6 hours to talk with a doctor who determined that I most likely had the flu She asked me the same questions as the hotline nurse asked. She prescribed tamiflu and Tesson perles for cough.

My friend is a nurse practitioner and the day before I got a fever I mailed her masks. Well, the next day I had to tell her that I got a fever and to sanitize the masks when she got them. She did and she kept checking on me every few days. I would get better but get scared at night then fever would return. I drank tons and tons of water and peed and peed (could this be the reason for the need for toilet paper?). Jeff would show up at the door and set food down for me. My fever would go up and down. I alternated sitting up and laying down and pacing a circle in my bedroom. When I felt well enough, I asked Jeff to open the front door and I left for my little craft castle. It has a longer pacing path. Through the whole sickness, my fever did not go over 102. I could eat and smell and taste and felt hunger. (Our large animal vet always says, “If they’re eating and $^i3, they’re not dying” so I took that as encouragement! I got delivery of eggs, bananas, oranges, suppers, and three glorious Doctor Peppers.

The last time my fever rose, I got on my knees and layed my burden down. That night I slept and had pleasant dreams. I woke to fever but I still felt better. On her daily check I asked my friend to call me in a script for an antibiotic thinking that it could have been a sinus infection that moved into bronchitis. Which given my sinuses and spring and the time we’d been outdoors and the fact that we were sheltering in place since the president told us to and sanitizing everything in site makes a whole lot more sense than the other. I started the antibiotic yesterday and have been fever free since yesterday evening for sure. I haven’t taken Tylenol or ibuprofen since Sunday. The triage nurse says I have to be fever free for 3 days in order to return to my family. I feel incredibly guilty. I want to be taking care of them. But my friend Sue says I am doing the very best thing I can do for them.

Right now, I just have a cough. But when I get any kind of sick, I get powerful coughs. I don’t want to video chat because of the coughs, but I am looking forward to the CSKMS sponsoring Zoom events for us to be able to get to visit. Tonight I did a Zoom meeting with our Grandma day crew. It was so good to see them. We are planning another one tomorrow and hopefully by then Gma will get to do it too!

In this, I am so blessed and haven’t missed a chance at giving thanks to God. Right down to when I finally got to see my Church service on Sunday, the first words I heard our wonderful pastor said were “do you have anxiety right now?” God is with me, as He is with you my friends.

So all in all, yes, I’m feeling much better! I hope this finds you in good health and counting your blessings as well.

happy cranking my friends. or mask making. whatever we can do to help in this time is much needed and appreciated.


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Toe Up Short Socks

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I don’t normally do toe up socks…now, I’m talking about toe up socks that you don’t have to Kitchener closed. I always laugh when people talk about doing toe up socks (typically, they’ve tried the Kitchener and given up or come from a hand knitting background where they only Kitchener every once in a while and don’t find it easy). The rub is that the socks have to be bound off of the machine somehow and I think when I tried my first toe up (way before I ever thought about ribbing) coinsided with the discovery that you can’t do a reverse hung hem. You’re left with live stitches! Once I got that part figured out, I gave up and went back to cuff down.

I made these socks at where we filmed a two part series on them. Part one was a total disaster! If there could have been a problem, there was. In the end, when it came time to hang the toe, I gave up and scrapped the project. I had the tension too tight and it was a struggle to hang the stitches for the toe and when you film live tv, there’s no take backs. That episode is a good one to watch if you feel like you’re the only one out there struggling with their machine. Let me just tell you, you’re not alone. Promise. I’ve been doing this sock knitting gig for 10 years now and there are days when things just don’t go my way! And that’s ok, I always think of how long it would take me to actually knit a sock…probably at least a year and a half since I only knit two things: washcloths and the Sand Bank Cabled Hat Pattern! Plus, everytime I make a mistake, I learn something. Sometimes I have to make the mistakes more than once to make sure that I’ve learned it well!! Ha!

Anyway, to make a toe that is long enough so you can hang the stitches across to the other side you’ll have to add in extra rows. In this pattern we add 6 rows on the decrease and 6 rows on the increase. Easy enough, right? Sure! To make the extra row, you just wrap the yarn behind the first standing needle and knit the row. And we already know that if you do it on the left side, you have to do it on the right side, so that’s a piece of cake! Don’t make it harder than it actually is! That would defeat the purpose!

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So, when you knit the first row of project yarn, take careful note of the bars in between stitches. Those are the ones you will end up hanging. so that you don’t have to sew the toe closed with the Kitchener stitch. Now, note that we have to make a long enough toe to get those exact bars to be able to hang on the other side. The next thing to consider would be to determine if the waste yarn is dramatically different than the project yarn. That way you will be able to see the bars when you’re hanging them. You can see on the picture that some of the bars are already trying to hide, so make sure you are hanging the right ones!

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If the hung stitches create a piece of fabric so tight you could bounce a quarter off of it, it might be too tight! And if you’ve made a soft weight, this is the time to use it. I will caution you that once the soft weight gets close to the floor, it’s tricky to get it up out of the tube without lifting stitches off of the needles too! So once the foot gets long enough to put the buckle on, it would be prudent to do so, especially if you are a fan of the sock snake.

Once the toe is complete you’re pretty much on the home stretch. You can manage a heel after you make the foot (but remember that you’ve added extra rows on the toe, so the foot is going to need to be 5-10 rows shorter. I like to make mine a little too big and let them shrink in the first wash. I also like to make them with lycra…but that was another post a ways back.

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The next task that might throw you for a loop is stopping the project yarn on the last needle of the row and starting waste yarn on the first needle of the next row. This yarn change creates a hole in the fabric. Don’t panic! It should be there! You can barely see it forming in the above picture, but it’s there and that’s right.

Now, the pattern shows a picture of cutting a V leg on the waste yarn to remove the waste yarn from the toe. Cut about 6 little V legs all the way around the sock, then find tails to pull and the toe will separate from the waste. Be careful here, if you have any waste yarn fibers knitted with the project yarn you might have to make some careful snips. If you pull to hard you’re going to make your stitches uneven. Don’t worry if you do, they will sort themselves out in that first wash.

And then it will be time to do the back stitch bind off. The pattern explains how to do it and don’t get all wrapped up in semantics. If the first one doesn’t look that great, the next one will be better. This is a great time to learn how to do the bsbo because the sock is going to roll at the top and no one will ever notice if you flubbed on a stitch or two…just make sure that you don’t skip a stitch or you’ll have a live stitch just ready to run like grandma’s pantyhose!

So what I am saying is get those socks made and send me a picture so I can add it to this post!!

Happy Cranking!


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Let’s Talk about Boobs.

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So, just about any place you find a group of knitters, you always find a group that’s knitting for a cause. Do you think it started in WW1 when the troops needed socks? I don’t know, but it sounds good. So, a long time ago I read an article in a magazine about a lady near Springfield, Missouri that was making Knitted Knockers and making them available to women who needed them. I did a little research and found this pattern. At the time, it was the only pattern…now there are several organizations, patterns and countless knitting groups who create these wonderfully useful boobs! www, seems to be the largest one.

Back to my quest…It looked to me like something that could be made on the circular knitting machine. So I gave it a try. I came up with a semblance of one on the machine. Basically, I made a toe up toe then knit a few rows then made another toe, that I Kitchenered closed. It was a pretty good likeness. I showed them to some people and greatly offended a dear friend who thought I was joking about the whole boob thing. I felt terrible. I shelved the project because I didn’t even know if it would work like it should. Several years later, we got to talking about it at a crank in. There was a woman there who admitted to wearing a prostethic breast! I summoned my courage and asked her to try one (I had to sit down and make it on the spot). She happliy installed it and wore it for the whole day! She reported that it was very comfortable, did the job and that it was much cooler than her silicone one. I was thrilled…thinking that finally, my pattern would take off. It didn’t.

So, last year our friend Mike Yeomans lost his wife Nancy to metastatic breast cancer. She lived a wonderful life and boldly discussed her disease with anyone who cared to. Mike made gazillions of Chemo Caps on the Bumblebee and gave them to the place where Nancy got her chemo. He reported that his caps were the first ones snatched up by the bald patients, as his hats were made from merino/bamboo and approved by Nancy’s sensitive head. After so many chemo caps, one gets tired of the same old thing. So Mike mentioned to Sue and Sue told him that I had a breast pattern. He asked me about it at the November crank in and I told him what to do. He looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language because he doesn’t do toe ups. So…I revamped my pattern and sent it to him. He told Sue what to do to make one and she gave it a whirl, making some changes. And ta-da! Here’s the pattern!!

You can download it for free~you can give it a try~you can maybe make someone’s day when it’s just not very cheery for that person~the sky is the limit here! Go out and do something for someone else and see how your life is blessed.

as always, happy knitting my friends!