A Long Way Home

How far is it from the Washington Coast to Toronto?

I started a Leyburn sock (my July self-imposed sock club draw) in the morning at breakfast in Port Ludlow.ย ย  (That’s BMFA lightweight in Blue Brick Wall.)

By the time we were out of Port Ludlow and across the Hood Canal Bridge I had this much.

It’s a ways to the Seattle/Tacoma airport…

I had a little while before my flight boarded.

A little while longer while I changed planes in Vancouver.

I was this far when it was sunset, and the plane was over Manitoba.

Just after midnight we landed in Toronto.

Almost ready to start the ribbing and finish the sock – even though I fell asleep for a while.ย  It’s a long way home. Measured in knitting, it might be a whole sock.

131 thoughts on “A Long Way Home

  1. Well you certainly made the most of your travelling time Stephanie! I’ve never tried a toe-up sock, but I have to say that yours looks really cool – and the pattern is gorgeous. Think I might give that one a try!!

  2. You absolutely slay me with your lightning-fast knitting. I couldn’t knit a sock that fast if they held a gun to my head. (It’s pretty.)

  3. I had never tried sock-knitting before reading your blog; now I am an addict. I have stuck stubbornly with top-down all this time though. Leyburn may be the pattern that forces me to try toe-up.

  4. I have always loved all of your leyburn socks! This one is no different =)

  5. Steph – I have to agree with most of your previous posters, YOU KNIT FAST! The sock looks great. Glad to know you are safe at home.

  6. A plain sock, you may have easily completed, and then again, maybe not. Something to be said for entertainment while knitting to keep you wanting to do one more round.
    (Lost the home phone? No, you hid it so they would have to clean to find it!)

  7. I have done the Leyburn sock twice now, except I turned them over and did them top down with a flap heel. Found it one of the faster patterns to knit. Not as nice a yarn as those though.

  8. I love the Leyburn pattern so much, but each time I’ve tried it, I have such a hard time getting the gusset/heel to work out without having a massive gap.
    And yet every time you post another pair, I want to knit them again and see if this time I can figure out what’s going on with the heel/gusset.

  9. I like my Leyburns. It’s definitely an engaging pattern, and one I’ll knit again. I love that you a) knit while flying, regardless of the goofy comments, and 2) measure your trip home in sock-knitting.

  10. YH – this made me laugh HARD. When you spoke in Salt Lake City a few years ago 2 friends and I decided to take a little road trip to see you. I decided to start a sock on the drive from Billings, Montana – SLC as a “gauge” of the distance. I proudly showed it to you and you were kind. I now realize that by your knitting speed you probably thought it was a 2 hour drive . . . instead of a 10 hour one! You’d have finished the whole sock and started #2 by the time I’d turned the heel!!!
    Pretty yarn, pretty pattern.

  11. Pretty yarn! and great sock progress. Tiny needles. I could see how a muggle on an airplane might be a teensie bit nervous. What a ninja could do with those! Although, I suppose, a ninja wouldn’t need needles to cause ninja mahem.

  12. I am sure you must already know this, but in the times before everyone could afford a watch, ferrymen of small boats in Ireland and England would time their trip based on the work of a steady sock knitter. I think that reference was in “No Idle Hands.”
    Hmmmm … for me, working steadily, on a train, I can cast on a top-down sock in New Orleans and have about half the foot done by Memphis, TN, excluding meal breaks and a nap. That’s about eight hours of knitting on a trip. In fact, if I work steadily at it, I know which town in Mississippi is due next based on my progress. If I cast on in Memphis, I’m ready to start the heel by Jackson, MS. So I’m about 3/4 your speed….?
    Maybe we’ve been to the oncologist in Memphis too much if I can time the train trip that way. But this time Dave had great news: all clear, no squamous cells on the PET scan, and no need to see the doctor again for six months. Happy news!

  13. You knit so fast! It takes me a whole month to do one pair–2 socks.
    The color is pretty and I really like the looks of the pattern.

  14. You sure are fast! July sock looks great!
    Sometimes I thought slipping all those stitches made my Leyburn quick and sometimes all that counting rows slowed me down. I’ll have to pick a more contrasting colourway.
    Short row heel? I do short row toes, too.

  15. Only once did I knit a sock more or less in a day — the other sock (#1) took a week….
    Pretty Pretty Socks you’ve got for your time!

  16. Those are gorgeous ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have yet to knit a pair of toe up socks though, always find it too intimidating and a bit of an inconvenience when I have lots of self striping yarns to choose from and your basic sock recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. That first picture……I thought “Lookie, Stephanie is knitting a teeny weenie bikini bottom…” You go, girl! >:-)

  18. Even if I knitted the whole way I never would have gotten that much sock done in a whole day. I’m a slow sock knitter. I can’t do a sock of the month club because socks usually take me 6 weeks.

  19. Having just driven the distance from NJ to Seattle, I can testify that it is a LONG way across this continent. Didn’t measure it by sock knitting, though (the driving interferes with such things). Very pretty sock.

  20. The part that always amazes me is that you stop to take a photo (well that and the guinness by the laptop – if I drank that I’d be asleep in minutes). When I travel and knit … hold that .. when I knit I become obsessive … hold that … I am obsessive when I knit and always forget to take the one second out to photograph – then I’m obsessive and forget to take a photo before I hand over …
    So, your knitting, your blogging (of course) and the fact that you remember to stop and take the photo blow me away.
    Well done cool woman .. WELL DONE!
    ps of course they lost the phone not you!

  21. How do you get out of driving? I’m always stuck driving and I ALWAYS bring my kntiting which sits in my purse patiently waiting until I get home! Love the socks!

  22. Is the gauge too tight? Are you sure about those bright colors? A short row heel….really? Is that really the pattern?
    Great sock!

  23. Nice sock. The stitch pattern nicely complements the colourway.
    You’re a fast knitter. In lightweight, it’d take me three or four days to get that far, safely ensconced in my living room.

  24. I measure my flights the same way. SFO -> Hong Kong = 1.5 socks. (14h) Hong Kong -> SFO = 0.5 socks, if I’m lucky, ’cause I usually try to sleep.
    Word of warning – funny things happen to lace when crossing the International Date Line. Patterns shift, stitch counts increase/decrease randomly and Nupps simply deteriorate.
    Sock are stronger. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. This is amazing. Excuse me while I stuff this single top-down sock I’ve been knitting since March under the sofa cushion.

  26. When my son was little, we used to measure trips in “Brady Bunch” units. The trip to my folks’ farm was equivalent to the time it took to watch 16 Brady Bunch reruns. This was before VCRs so it was a true half hour to watch a show and since this was also before DVD players, he had to remember how long it took to watch an episode.
    I like your knitting units way better. However, in my world, knitting goes much more slowly so kniting progress would not be nearly as extensive. Anyway, thanks for the chuckle and for jogging my memory.

  27. Holy guacamole batman you knit fast! When I grow up I wanna knit as fast as you do (or maybe I should work on my attention span).

  28. That is a wicked fast knit, isn’t it. I think the Leyburns are the fastest I have knit a pair of socks. Just over two days for a pair.
    Your first sock is just lovely!

  29. I’ll be taking the train across Canada in a few weeks from BC to Toronto. It’s going to take 4 days+2 in Saskatoon for kicks=6 days. If I really focus I might be able to knit as much as you in the time it takes me to cross. You blow me away.

  30. And that business guy had the nerve to ask if you had any concerns (about knitting the sock)! SHEESH! Doubt he AND his companions were half as productive as you in their travels.

  31. Last time you spoke in Portland, the woman next to me was knitting Leyburns in Tina’s Knitters Without Borders colorway- they were gorgeous.
    I’m actually faster than you, sometimes. I did a sock in half a day, once. [ Of course, it WAS a size Newborn. ;o) ]

  32. Leyburn sock – beautiful! Sounds like a great way to make the best of a day of traveling! Time to queue up that sock in rav!

  33. You aren’t sneaking in here with your crazy/clever “lever” knitting….are you? No, you’d have to be a contortionist.

  34. That is approximately how far it was to my summer destination in Sandy Lake, Manitoba by car from home. I was lucky to have Mr. Stress drive the whole way.

  35. Oh man! Even when obsessed, it takes me 2-3 weeks to knit a pair of socks. Time well spent, but still…Imagine if I could knock out a pair a week! That would be 2 to 3 times as many pairs of socks per year!

  36. You’re a much faster knitter than me. It took me all of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and some time in NY before I finished one sock. My husband was driving.

  37. Yowza! That’s fast. I might have made it through half of where you got. If I was lucky & had lots of delays.

  38. I have some socks you can finish on your next jaunt! How do you knit so fast?

  39. Beautiful yarn/sock pattern! And most of the other people travelling don’t have anything to show for their time – go girl.
    PS – And no one mentioned your ninja-star-like DPNs this go round? Yeah!

  40. Leburn is such a great pattern, I need to make another pair of socks. You should try the flutter-by pattern its similar but with 5×5 block slipped stitches.

  41. How CAN you knit so fast! I am so depressed right now I may give up knitting forever as it takes me weeks to get that far on a sock ๐Ÿ™

  42. Beautiful sock! Those look like bamboo or plain ol’ aluminum needles. Probably wise to leave the fancy Signatures at home, just in case the TSA gets cranky and decides to confiscate them. I would be heartbroken to lose those (if I had any).

  43. Dang, girl, you do knit fast! And those DPNs look too short for lever knitting. I only got half a foot done heading to the east coast of the US. But that does include ripping out and reknitting the previous KUI (knitting under the influence) that resulted in some serious mutation of my DNA cable.

  44. You might be fast, but that is still a glorious amount of knitting for a single trip. I think I would have gone bonkers without it.
    And people wonder why knitters often pack more than one project.

  45. Hey! I can do that…as long as we’re talking about “around the world in 80 days” sock-knitting time! Thanks, Steph….always an inspiration…

  46. . . . Cue Supertramp: “It’s a long way home, a sock way home. . .” Sing along now. . .
    (Yes, I am a child of the 80s. I remember all those 80s song lyrics and that’s why I can’t do math!)

  47. Hi – Having lived in Seattle for 21 years, I found your breakdown of the trip to the airport hilarious. You used all the landmarks that we use to use when we lived there.
    Secondly, the foot on the dash of the car picture. You don’t even want to see how many of that exact type picture I have saved in my laptop. It seems to be the natural place to model my socks.
    BTW: The sock is lovely.

  48. Love that colour and the pattern too. thank goodness for knitting when one is sitting and waiting. Happy landing.

  49. Hi Stephanie,
    Whoever gets that pair of socks will be very, very lucky! Three years ago, my sister gave me that same yarn and colorway and I made a luscious pair of socks. The color has faded a bit, but the socks continue to wear well and just get softer and fluffier!

  50. Unfreakingbelieveable -I must be the slowest knitter on the planet. You rock.

  51. So, was Mr. Concerned surprised at the progress?
    Fun to see beautiful socks..they make the time move by..

  52. Measuring distance/time with knitting. Wonderful idea. So, how far do I have to go to finish this sweater? hmmmmm….

  53. I happen to know that the drive from Port Ludlow to Hood Canal is very short – maybe 15 minutes tops and probably closer to 10. Lots of knitting in a short time. Now if they had opened the bridge to let a submarine through you would have finished the sock by Toronto.

  54. Hey! I’d have a sock done from the Washington Coast to Toronto too. IF I WERE ON A WAGON TRAIN! hahaha!

  55. It’s a good thing the incredible slowness of my knitting doesn’t bother me, or whenever you did a post like this I would run amok with sharp pointy objects. Fortunately, I can just tell you what a lovely sock that is.
    Why do you think flap heels are superior?

  56. If I were riding in a car from Port Ludlow to Toronto, there’s a small chance I might finish one sock by the time I got there. I’m in awe of your speed and concentration!

  57. Fast, fast. And pretty. Fastest ones in my life ever were for a 5-year-old who needed a pair of wool socks by morning to keep her feet warm hiking through snow drifts in Switzerland. Good thing they sold sock wool in small village grocery shops there.

  58. Those are lovely! This post reminded me of something though. I am turning to you because you are one of the three reasons I picked up knitting a couple of years ago and I’m pretty serious about it now. In two weeks I am flying to India via Paris. France, it seems, bans knitting needles on planes. (reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airline_security)
    Any thoughts or considerations for a nervous knitter who uses knitting as a way to calm down about stuff? Other advice of ways to not lose my cool on the nine hours from Paris to Bangalore? (Or actually in the eight hours preceding that too from the US to Paris, since I’d rather not lose my knitting and needles and stuff.)
    Thanks so kindly for any consideration.
    A nervous traveling knitter

  59. You do realise that some people would have to travel to the moon to complete that much of a sock in one go? (I’d probably have to go to the moon and back.)

  60. I just love that you visit Washington so much. I love my state. And since I liked Toronto heaps when I visited, it makes me glad you like visiting here!

  61. haha, the thing i noticed after the sock (I do love me a Leyburn) is how much SPACE the short-legged of the world have on an airplane… with a 35 inch inseam, my knees touch the seat in front of me on most flights! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  62. Speaking as a M-Loop knitter, no wonder you’re scaring everyone on the planes to death! Goodness, with all those pointy ends sticking out, I’d be a bit worried too if I didn’t know better. It also explains why I’ve never had a problem knitting on a plane, apparently you’re not really knitting if it doesn’t look scary!

  63. Wish I could knit that fast….wish I could knit in the car without getting carsick! One of these days I AM going to try socks but I fear I will probably end up only completing one!

  64. That certainly puts a time line on how long it takes you to knit a sock! (Even with a 3?4? hour time difference)
    I wrote up a lovely pattern for a sock. I was going to share it with people. The very next day you showed off your first Leyburns. I had used the same pattern in a toe up sock. I was only a year or so too late.

  65. Wow, looks like we’ll get to watch you warp the space-time continuum w/ the spinning deadline and another sock in <2 weeks. Oh, and a life. Stay healthy!

  66. I am so glad that someone else measures distance in knitting, not those silly kilometres or miles! Do you know that driving from the Bruce Peninsula to Victoria, BC and back is exactly one Lizard Ridge afghan? That of course allows for the possibility to do at least some of the driving. I am sure I could have thrown in a few pair of socks if I had had a chauffeur for the trip.

  67. I’ve watched the video online of you knitting — I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at your speed.
    The Leyburns are gorgeous. Do the cross yarn stitches ever catch on things? I’ve wondered about that ever since seeing the pattern.

  68. ok, so while I do NOT wonder if you have any concerns about “that” (hilarious, btw), I do wonder: are those metal needles? Because I highly prefer metal needles, but have never dared to try to take them on flights for fear they might get taken away from me…but it seems you might have flown with metal needles with no problems. Is that so? are they much more reasonable than I believe (that said, I’m American & often flying international to/from Europe).

  69. I love that we use measuring a sock for the length of the trip. I still wish I could have made it out to the retreat but I’m sure one day, someday, you’ll host a retreat that I can feasibly afford and get to. ๐Ÿ™‚
    All the silk looked like such fun and in reply to the gent who was concerned about your knitting, I love it.

  70. That is amazing. I wish I could knit that fast! I just recently switched from throwing to picking, but then I saw your video. You knit so fast it was nearly impossible to see the individual movements!

  71. I love seeing your socks! When you knit a sock toe-up do you bind off with a slightly larger needle, or the same size as the rest of the sock?

  72. Ugh – we are flying from Detroit to Alaska…7 hours, 4 time zones and 1 sock. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

  73. Because of reading your blog, I now take an in progress photo of my socks on the needles on my flights-(complete with my bottle of Heineken and Southwest peanuts in in the photo). I often wonder what the passengers around me think of my photographing my knitting in flight.
    I have on my Sock Summit Lacy Rib Socks project page, a progress photo on the flight showing the working on the heel, as well as my picture of you graciously holding the socks in progress at the Summit (while I was apologizing for using a circular needle instead of double-points)-LOL.
    On my next flight in July ’11 to Portland, I’m thinking of following the progress of whatever sock I’m working on-though the start to wherever I am as the trip progresses. I’m sure it’ll take at least the whole round trip for me to finish one, though. Admire your speed, dude.

  74. So pretty! I love the colorway and the pattern is super. Congratulations on being such a fast and accurate knitter.

  75. Beautiful sock from a talented knitter and thanks for sharing it on my birthday! Cheers!

  76. Agree with all the comments — it is inspiring to see your knitting progress on all your projects. I will be flying in September and wonder what needles you are using?

  77. Oh you sillies….Steph HAS to knit fast. Otherwise her house would explode from too much yarn. We should pity the poor girl, really, having to work so hard to stay ahead of her stash. >:-)

  78. I DEFINITELY need to take your how to knit faster class. You are amazing and the socks are beautiful, too.

  79. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airline_security re: can or cannot take needles. never trust wikipedia for a straight and or current answer to anything- as a fact checker and researcher it may be a place to start a info check but by no means someplace to be depended upon.go to the air line sites directly or the sirport sites for the real facts

  80. Am I the only one shocked you’re going toe-up? Aren’t you (very slightly) opposed to toe-up? Beautiful socks though!!!

  81. I love in-process pictures. Your sock is beautiful. Maybe you’ll start a new trend. When someone asks, how far is such and such from here, the response might be measured in sock increments instead of miles, kilometers or minutes.

  82. Thats a great way to measure time/distance. I’m going to try that myself as I drive out of Labrador for the first time this summer (new road! Hurrah!!) We’ll see if its a whole sock or not.

  83. Hmm, I see a new contest for knitters here. Competitive travel knitting, classes for sock, scarf and sweater (for the truly ambitious or truly insane). Winner gets to have their luggage arrive undamaged and ontime. Last place gets their luggage sent to another country *laughs*

  84. I’ve wanted to make Leyburn for awhile but am apprehensive of the toe-up style. Mintyfresh’s patterns are really awesome, though unfortunately she appears to have taken a long break from blogging.

  85. OMG Knitters without Borders has hit and passed 1,000,000 when did this happen and why wasn’t there some huge fanfare!!!!

  86. You knit so fast! I wish I could work that fast. I love that pattern.
    I haven’t quite gotten the hang of toe up socks yet. I can work a top down pair pretty well.
    And, congrats on Knitters without Borders!

  87. There you are with the Blue Moon yarn again! I just love it, and would never have found this wonderful company if it weren’t for your blog! You have been my inspiration!

  88. You are scaring me! I cannot believe how long it takes me to knit a sock. Clearly I need to practice more :~)
    Those are really fabulous, BTW!

  89. That is so inspiring – I’d be curious to know how many socks you had to do, to not be attached to the directions for the heel thing any more???
    Here it is mid-July and I still haven’t gotten around to my plan to really work at knitting socks. I want to do a bunch all at once, so I really get the hang of the toe-up and turning the heel (mitered).
    I really need some way to carve out enough time to focus, but I walk to work (thus no commuter time), and then deal with a teenager evenings and weekends.
    Maybe when he goes to camp next week?

  90. What Presbytera said. I was feeling like a slowpoke until I remembered that your feet are probably not ten inches long! (I also envy you having leg room on airplanes. But only a little. I have to get things off the top shelf in my kitchen a lot more often than I fly.)

  91. I am a new knitter & have just finished reading KNITTING RULES. I love the Cuff Down sock explanation in it. I was wondering…are you going to write a Toe Up explanation in your next book? That is a beautiful sock. I’m going to check out the pattern & see if a new knitter can handle it. Thanks!!

  92. Crikey, you knit so blazingly fast. Even considering the schlep from the peninsula to the airport. I am struggling with the toe up sock thing. I do OK until I hit the heel. Then I put the sock away for another day.

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