Friday, July 30, 2010

500 pairs of socks heading to Afghanistan!

This week we sent off 150 socks to a women's network of advocates and activists. The third set of 350 pairs is headed to shelter/safe houses for women and children. Through our email list, we'll tell you more precisely how the socks are distributed when that happens. We have to leave some of this to the judgement of our reliable colleagues in Kabul who identify the need and orchestrate the logistics under the particular conditions at the time.

We're packing up the socks as they arrive at our AFSC Collection Center in San Francisco. We're happy to include yours! Thank you for rallying.

From left to right in the photos, say hello to our devoted Basement packers Annette, Judith, and Emily. I am guessing that we may be the only place in the US now where we can wear wool socks in summertime and be comfortable. We wear long pants, too. Stay cool, friends.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

one more pair

Just mailed this pair:

It was cloudy when I took this picture and I couldn't get the color right; the main color should be a much richer brown -- very sheepy. These will keep someone very warm!! And this Maine wool lasts forever, which is an added bonus. Not to mention that making big fat socks on 40 stitches practically counts as instant gratification in sock terms. These should fit a woman's foot somewhere around a US size 8 or 8.5.

I'm just finishing the toe on sock#1 of another, slightly larger pair. I have a soccer mom weekend ahead of me, with long intervals between games, so I just might finish sock #2 in time. I can't wait to see what everyone else has managed to knit during what's been, at least here, a really hot stretch of summer.


P.S. Ann would love it if people would sign their real names to their posts. . .

Monday, July 26, 2010

false sense of security

I have one pair of socks ready to go and was waiting until I finished just one more pair to send them, hoping to send two pairs rather than one. I suddenly realized, though, that July ends on Saturday. So I asked Ann about the deadline, and she tells me that although there's no specific end date yet, it "won't be much longer." So I will send the finished pair, to make sure they get into one of those boxes, and then try extra hard to knit 1.5 largish socks this week.

In other words -- don't wait to ship!!

Picture tomorrow before they go in the mail (I'm over here on the East side of the U.S., and the post office is about to close).


To the Post Office

Here are four pairs of socks that will soon begin their journey!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Knee Socks

One pair of knee socks are on their way! They are made of 100% merino wool, sport weight. I used needles one size smaller than called for so they are very dense and warm. The pattern is from Morehouse Farm. Very easy, top down, short row heel. I guess we're lucky the current campaign is for socks and not blankets - it's in the 90's even here in Vermont!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bon voyage to 100 Socks!

Yesterday, Annette helped me with the final packing on these 100 pairs of socks for women. These cheerful socks are on their way to Kabul. Hoping the socks bring good cheer and warmth to the women in the winter. Once we know the socks have been received, we'll tell you more about the women's group. We hope to send a second batch of socks to another women's group and also batches to two schools. We'll see how the month proceeds -- how many socks come in and how much we can send out during the window of opportunity. Thank you to all the sock-knitters! You all are very skilled and generous. Superb quality.

For those who don't knit socks, thanks for understanding. We hope to have future campaigns for other types of garments, both knit and crochet, as in the past. Depends on dependable shipping arrangements and distribution, as you know. Very difficult in a war-torn country. We'll keep you posted.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Apples and Oranges - two kids socks on the way

This pair of pairs went in the mail today. I called them apples and oranges because I was knitting one of each pair (2/time toe up) to sample Melissa Morgan-Oakes technique in her new book Toe UP 2-at-a-Time socks. They are Lion Wool, and will fit a 7-8 year old. I liked her heel technique -- its a gusset and short rows knitted in the round, not a flap. Fooled you, didn't it? I'll probably still use the Fleegle heel much of time, because I do that without a pattern, but will use this one for durability, when the pattern is handy for me to follow.

I'll next cast on an adult women size, I'm inspired by Elizabeth's idea of combining two sock yarns and am poking around for an interesting combination.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Three pairs

We've recently returned from a vacation that involved hundreds of miles of driving. Because the person in the passenger seat must knit, and my husband isn't very good at that, he did all the driving. In addition to some other things, I started and finished these three pairs of socks for A4A:

The pairs on the right are made out of Bartlett Maine wool, following the pattern I published in excruciating detail right here on this blog earlier this year, during snow season. I wove the ends in this week, sitting on my front porch, when it was 102 degrees (metric folks, that's 39 degrees), a far cry from the blizzard that was raging while I posted photos for the class. These are thick, sturdy socks that will last a long time.

My favorites from this batch, though, are the pair on the left. Those are made from 2 strands of sock yarn worked together. I chose Kroy, in two different but related colorways. Kroy is a little thicker than most of the sock yarn I use (166 yards, or about 152 meters, per 50 g) and it made a lovely, cushy, flexible but thick fabric. The color is more accurate in the picture above, but the following picture shows you how a + b = c. If you want to do this, you'll need more than 50 g of each color for an adult sock, but you'll only use about 75 g of each.

I'm looking for more sock yarns to pair together, but while I search, I've started another pair in Bartlett -- this time in a deep rich red, the oatmeal color that's the stripe in the lighter blue pair, and brown. And these pairs go in the mail today.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

More socks

These kids socks are ready to be mailed.  The one on the left is alpaca and wool KnitPicks Imagination sock yarn and the one on the right is Patons Classic worsted.  Both are just simple pattern.