A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Monday, May 30, 2005


I have decided to hold a contest through the month of June for my faithful readers. Those of you who are sock knitters will be particularly interested, and, by all means, encourage other sock knitters you know to participate. Anyone leaving a comment on my blog (and a way to recontact you if you win on June 30th) throughout the month of June will be entered in a drawing to win this really cool prize:

This pattern was written by the famous Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, author of Knitting in the Old WayPosted by Hello

Several years ago, at the height of my prolific sock knitting career, I ordered this "Birken-Socks" kit from Norsk Fjord Fiber. The hardy wool yarn, called HIFA sock yarn, is enough to complete a rose and grey striped pair of hiking socks. The pattern icludes directions for what she calls an "hourglass" heel, and is 2 by 2 ribbing, which makes for a stretchy, well-fitting sock.

These are the two colors of HIFA sock yarn in the kit; a very pretty color combo Posted by Hello

I was curious about Priscilla's pattern, which she claimed would be a better fit. However, knitting up the pattern produced a very tight fabric, which was very hard on my hands to knit up. I hated the tiny metal needles (size 0 or 2 mm, although most normal people, who don't knit as loosely as I do, would use one size up, size 1 or 2 1/4 mm, if you don't want to have to think about it), as I had always used bamboo ones to make socks, and kept poking myself with them. It became a battle, and eventually, I put the whole project away, never to be taken up again. Now, I don't mind admitting I am defeated, but another knitter will be able to become the victor.

This photo shows how far I got before throwing in the towel, but doesn't show the evil teeny needles, although the cuff will come on them. Posted by Hello

I am raffling off the whole kit, with instructions, as well as the ridiculously tiny needles. If I were to do it all over again, I would buy the same size in bamboo; they are much easier on the hands to use. Although, if I am going to be really honest with you, I have decided to master the Circular Sock Machine, or knit a looser weave sock for the next hand-knitted pair. Good luck.


1. Contest starts June 1, 2005.

2. Contest ends June 30, 2005.

3. To enter, post your request to be included as a comment on my blog or send me an email to birdsong_s@hotmail.com

Simple, isn't it!

I am really excited. I found this chair at our friends, Will and Jeannie's shop, The Attic, which opened two days ago in Downieville, as well as the plant stand to go with it. The blob/bag is sitting in it, and I was too, until a pesky mosquito chased me off. The french doors in the background open from our bedroom onto our fenced, inner yard, and this chair will spend the rest of the summer providing me a place to sit and knit in the shade and enjoy the view from our back porch... I feel like I am in heaven. Posted by Hello


Blogger Jenn said...

Great chair! We had the best porch when we lived in Grass Valley....I miss that porch so much!

Count me in on the contest!

11:31 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I luuuuuuuv the chair. It will provide many enjoyable hours of comfort during your coming summer.

Count me in on the contest. I luuuuuuuuv sock knitting. I will be doing more now that the dreaded scarf order is finished.


2:23 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Count me in for the contest too, those socks look way fun!

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Colette said...

I know that you are going to enjoy your time in that chair, knitting and enjoying the view. Time to get yourself a citronella candle to scare off the pesky mosquitos. I'll be back to post re the contest.

7:29 AM  
Blogger margene said...

The bag is so cool looking and must be fun to knit.
That chair is perfect. Such a nice romantic place to relax, enjoy a nice porch and knit or read.
(no need to count me in the contest;-)

8:27 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

I just love your chair and your knitting space!!! Such luxury...how is the lace shawl coming along? Oh - leave me out of the contest - I suspect I couldn't use those little needles either! Let someone else win!

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Megann said...

Your new chair and knitting area are heavenly. I can just imagine you sitting there... relaxed and smelling the clean air while knitting away. Enjoy it :) Oh, this is a long time from now...but in the spring my husband and I are going to Sonora (where he grew up)... how far away from there are you?

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I've never tried socks on anything smaller than bulky wool - those look intimidating! But a portable challenge - what could be better? Count me in, please!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Katt said...

I knit all the socks I do on a tiny 2.25mm double point set of needles. They take forever but come up great. I dont think I could handle smaller though at 2mm!! Yikes! lol They looked good though what you did.

The chair looks great. I have always liked those kind of chairs.


8:50 PM  
Blogger Stricken madchen said...

Love the sock pattern, so I'd love to join your contest. ;-)
The chair looks great. Hopefully the mosquitos will not be too bad this summer.

9:24 AM  
Blogger emy said...

Count me in for the contest. I love fine guage stuff and socks are the latest new items for me. :)

10:33 PM  
Blogger Kary said...

ME! Me! ME! Please enter me - Birdsong!! WhEEEE! Thanks for the contest!!

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life is a challenge!..so count me in for this knitting challenge..Retired & resting in my favorite chair, I am ready to do some serious knitting on those metal needles!


10:00 AM  

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