Getting Ready for the Crafting Months

I’m not quite ready to kick back and enjoy the wood stove yet, but I may be getting there. The wood pile is starting to look mighty nice and the cool evenings are definitely inviting. In a week or two, I imagine that we’ll need to start having evening fires and that’s when the crafting will begin. Of course, I participate in a number of crafts, but this winter I plan to focus on making some socks. Warm socks are a must have item during the cold winter months.

In Knitting for the Gentleman Farmer you see a pair of socks I made using my Knifty Knitter, but I’d like to do more. The socks I’ve made so far are more akin to slippers, than something you’d put on your feet before your shoes. So, I recently purchased Loom Knitting Socks: A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting Socks on a Loom with Over 50 Fun Projects (No-Needle Knits), which is a book designed for us who like to avoid needles because they’re a tad hard to handle. This book tells you quite a lot about making socks in just a few pages. For example, you discover how to size your socks properly so they don’t slide around on the wearer’s feet (as mine are prone to do).

The book uses looms of various sorts, one of which is the Knifty Knitter. I may end up getting a few other loom types, which wouldn’t bother me at all. It would be nice to create socks that I could wear anywhere with shoes and that simply isn’t possible using the Knifty Knitter. I’ll also have to get used to working with thinner yarn and possibly add a bit more light so I can actually see what I’m doing.

What I like best about this book is that the author takes time to demonstrate how you can create an amazing array of patterns using a loom. The Knifty Knitter instructions only show how to create a straight knit—nothing very fancy at all. I’ll be able to use the techniques I learn in this book to create nicer looking hats, blankets, and scarves as well (generally, I don’t make other items, even though I certainly could).

Unlike a lot of books on the market, this one provides realistic levels for each of the patterns. In addition, there is a nice mix of models (young, old, male, and female). It gets tiring to see books that feature all of the patterns being worn by a young woman. Seeing a guy wear some of the items is a nice change for me and will make me feel more comfortable giving those particular sock patterns to my male friends.

Now all I need is a full tea kettle and some of Rebecca’s amazing herbal teas. With the fire started, tea in hand, and some music playing, my Knifty Knitter (and other looms yet to be purchased) will see a lot of use this winter. I’ll provide updates on some of the other looms I try later in the winter.


Knitting for the Gentleman Farmer

The winters can get long here in the country; encouraging even the most determined person to eat to excess. From previous posts, you know that one of the things that I’ve accomplished is to lose a considerable amount of weight without dieting even one day. Part of my weight loss strategy is to find something to do that doesn’t involve excessive eating.

One of the crafts I’ve tried is knitting.  Unfortunately, I’ve found that knitting needles don’t work very well with larger hands (nor do crochet hooks it seems).  Fortunately, I’ve found a good substitute, the Knifty Knitter.  It’s a hoop or elongated loop with pegs sticking out of it.  I’ve found it very fast and easy to use.  There is an interesting history behind this device, but I’ll leave that for some other time.  I originally objected a four hoop set that can be used for a number of purposes such as hats.  However, with a little ingenuity, I’ve also been able to make slipper socks with it like these:


After a while, I also purchased several elongated looms.  I purchased the set, which works fine for garments such as scarves and blankets. In fact, just this weekend I finished this blanket for my wife:


The blanket is made from four panels that I created with the longest (22″) loom.  It uses the double knit pattern, so it looks like it was knit on both sides and is quite thick.  My wife says it’s quite warm.  Because the blanket uses a double thread throughout, it’ll also wear quite well.

I’ve also made a number of sets for people. The biggest set I’ve made so far is a hat, scarf, and blanket set for my niece and her baby.  The set turned out quite nice and I was pleased that she seems to like it so much.  Here’s the set:


Of course, this isn’t the only craft I’m involved with, but it’s the one that I can perform when I have just little bits of time here and there. Future posts will tell you about other sorts of crafts that I enjoy in an effort to keep the hands productively busy and the mouth free of food. Let me know about your crafts at