Maybe I lied a little

It would appear that my celebratory BOOM DONE, might have been a little premature yesterday. This morning I got up and sat at my desk, and promptly realized that there’s a whole stealth project for River City Yarns that I have to finish.  In a move that was totally classic for me, I guess I finished knitting that with my mind, and took it off the list. It’s not done, and I’m not showing it to you, so shall I amuse you with pictures of finished things?  Behold, the socks for Ken’s birthday*, all done, and charming I think.

samupsidedown2 2015-03-10

I started these socks thinking they’d be a good, simple knit, except for the part where I didn’t check the yardage on the yarn I chose. It’s Patons Kroy Socks Jacquards 4ply (colour is “Slate Jacquard”) and it’s got 152m per ball, and I had two balls, and darned if I didn’t think that would be enough.  It wasn’t.

When I ran short just a few rounds from the end of the toe, I had to get creative. I decided to to a black toe to contrast, and then on a whim I tossed in those few rounds of red.

toes 2015-03-10

Now I’m actually glad I ran out, because I like them even better with the snazzy toes than I would have if they were plain. I think they’re freaking adorable – I mean… manly. Manly and sophisticated.

socksalldone 2015-03-10

(Pattern is my plain vanilla socks from Knitting Rules)

Sam was good enough to reprise her role as the worlds top knitwear model this morning, and she wants you to know she takes it seriously.

samupsidedown 2015-03-10

She also wants you to know that her feet aren’t really that big. (I don’t think they’re big at all.)  She’s wearing other socks underneath.  (Smart girl. Spring might be on the horizon, but it’s still cold here.)


*Have I mentioned to you that Ken’s doing the Aids LifeCycle this year? It’s a much longer, harder ride than the rally, and he’s having a hard time. I keep saying encouraging things to him, but really – dude’s in a rough spot. He signed up to do it with some friends, bought the flights and started training, only to realize three things. First, this ride comes so early in the year that Toronto isn’t out of the grip of winter soon enough for him to train outside, and he’s been on the accursed indoor trainer all winter. It’s nasty. Second, fundraising for this one will be hard, although he has a modest goal… This on top of the Bike Rally later in the summer is a lot of work. Third (and I know there are other introverts out there who are just going to get the worst kind of cramp when they read this) the friends that he signed up to do it with cancelled. Our lovely Ken is going all the way to San Francisco to do this, and he’s going to do it alone.  Seven days on his bike, riding and sharing a tent (!!!) with strangers. I’m really proud of him for staying the course, even though it’s turned out to be a lot harder than he thought. Right now there’s really only one way I can help him, other than the socks, and that’s by spreading the word about the fundraising. If you’re so inclined, his pledge page is here.

118 thoughts on “Maybe I lied a little

  1. That was a totally brilliant move, the red stripe adds the perfect little twist to them and makes them special – and indeed freaking adorable. In a very manly way of course. ^_^

  2. Thanks so much for info on the yarn, and the new picture that shows the toe details so well.
    Already ordered the yarn.
    Now I need to nip over to Ken’s donation page to say happy birthday to a great guy.

  3. My brother has been doing that ride for a couple of years, I’ll send him this link and see if he and Ken can get in touch.

  4. Ken is my hero! I am the brand of introvert that would be crushed by this. A donation has been made, and, since the ride isn’t til the end of May, there’s plenty of time to find more in the budget. Also, it’s local for me, so I’ll be able to wave them off (from a very inconspicuous place a bit away from the crowd, of course ; )

    • I’m local to LA also–I wonder, can we get together a group of SoCal knitters to welcome Ken to the finish line?

      Also, happy birthday, Ken! Just when I think you can’t get any more amazing, you do something else to show just how awesome you are. I donated and will do so again after next payday. 🙂 Go, Ken, go!

  5. Fabulous socks. Fabulous knitwear model. Made a donation to Ken. How appropriate for the captcha that I get to touch The Man!

  6. Please remind us again later about Ken’s pledge page. I would like to help but the budget is tight right now but will be better in a few weeks.

  7. I really like the little smidge of red, it brings the sock to a whole new level of adorable, ahem, dashing.
    Thanks for telling us about Ken and his ride. I think the indoor winter training must be really challenging, and then going alone on top? Heroic.

  8. Go Ken Go! That AIDS ride is a killer. I know someone who did it for many years in a row, and I loved the colorful tutu’s she made for each day of the ride. Yes, a different one for each day. 😀

  9. Poor Ken! That stinks! (about the ride, I mean. The socks are lovely). If I weren’t already committed to a similar thing that same week I’d fly out and ride with him. But I’ll donate to his cause nonetheless.

  10. I got “click or touch the foot,” how perfect for a sock post. Love, love, love the mods to the socks. Manly yet just a wee bit snappy. Sending good thoughts to him for the ride, helluva commitment there.

  11. Y’all should go read Ken’s post about the ride in San Francisco! So wonderful of him to do this for the USA! And the socks are magnifico!

  12. How many times have I been on a wing and a prayer with my sweetheart’s big foot socks? I am so inspired by your solution, I am going to face future toes and the dwindling yarn with pleasure. Fabulous example of a make do that’s so much better! My ‘old’ solution was to buy enough yarn for two pairs knowing that the leftovers from my socks would eke out my honey’s pair. The trouble with that is he sometimes thinks my socks are his and tries to put them on… Thank you, Steph.

  13. Great socks! He’ll love them. Good to know that 2 balls of that yarn isn’t enough for a pair of men’s socks.

  14. I’ve had that same problem with Kroy socks before. Your solution is much lovelier than what I did, which was to go buy a third skein.

  15. Does your website track us? I got click or touch the Robot – which is perfect for a FIRST mentor/volunteer! (

    Donation made, email sent to my friend Steve – hopefully he and Ken can get together!

  16. Ken! KEN. That is amazing that he is sticking to his goal to do the ride despite the obstacles. Heading to the donation page now. Tell him thank you – he’s making the world a better place (as are you, with your tough rally last year and extra commitment this year). Thank you both.

  17. There is a lovely top I just saw on Ravelry called “Whispers” it might be just the fun thing to have on the needles to look forward to the warmer weather, it looks beautiful knitted up in a Merino and linen mix (also Madelinetosh) too.

  18. I donated, and contacted a cousin who lives in the Bay Area and works for a bike shop. He may be able to get Ken in contact with a bunch of cyclists. (The socks look great, too!)

  19. You knew thIis would happen,didn’t you? I just read your post and all the comments and there are at least a half-dozen people with friends or relatives they’ll put in touch with Ken so he’s not alone. Very sneaky, also lovelovelove the “fix” on the socks.

  20. That’s what I call knitting outside the box – contrast toes are always cool – in fact I do the afterthought heel, and contrast heels can be pretty cool too.

  21. The socks are lovely and very “manly”.

    I’ll be going over the Ken’s donation page as soon as I leave here. My daughter, who is a Trauma 1 ER nurse at San Francisco General will be with the medical team that goes with the riders. She’s been taking vacation time for the past 5 years doing this and absolutely loves it!

  22. please remind us again to donate, I am ded tired and want to donate but 0430 is coming way too soon tonight. Thanks and love the socks!

  23. I donated to Ken’s ride. Thank him for me to doing this. Also, I live nearby & my mom lives in SF – if he needs anything just let me know.

    Gorgeous socks!

  24. That bit of red makes those socks just a bit naughty and just enough to make them sing! Good solution as usual.

    What a guy, Ken! Way to stick with the commitment in spite of being deserted by your group. That stinks! Hope all the grueling work prepares him for the ride.

  25. The socks are fabulous-I’ve had the same issue with Patons as well when knitting socks for anyone with feet larger than a woman’s size 6. Donation made to the fantastic Mr Ken. With the power of knitters behind him, he will go to SF, wear some flowers in his hair, and make new friends.

  26. This will be my friend’s 11th year as either a rider or a roadie. He also trains riders for the AUDScycle. If Ken wants a riding buddy, I can put him in touch with my friend.

  27. Hey, do any other knitters in the San Francisco area think we should get out to support Ken? I think a welcome wagon is in order… I’m game if you’re game.

  28. I had this yarn problem years ago, and did the same sort of thing with a solid colour. Just like you I ended up loving the “mistake” socks more than the original. It’s made me nervous ever since with socks though. I often make them shorter in the leg than I’d like because I’m paranoid about running out, only to find I have tonnes of yarn left.

    Donated to Ken’s page, he really deserves it!
    I read Ken’s “fey” blog years ago, and he seems like a really rare bird in the nicest way.
    Good luck to you Ken!!

  29. Those socks are perfect with the fancy toes!…
    I have a tendency to make a mental checkmark on my mental list of things to do if I simply think about the item…
    And Ken will do great! (just think, he’ll experience spring before you will – tee hee!)

  30. I’ll most definitely be borrowing your brilliant, stripey solution to running short on sock yarn.

    And Ken *rocks*! This introvert blanches at the thought of sharing a tent with strangers for a week. Hang in there with the training!

  31. I appreciate that it is so easy to make a donation for this cause. I could only make a small donation but it adds up. Cheering Ken on from the Chicago area. Oh, yes… great socks!

  32. Hey all…
    Just a heads up to Canadian peeps regarding donating to Ken’s page. It’s really logical, but I didn’t consider this. The donation amount is in US dollars of course, so when you donate in canadian funds they add approximately 30%. Just so you all can make your calculations in advance. 🙂

  33. sort of like thinking all the dishes are done and then walking into the living room to find a stack beside your hubby’s chair.

    Oh, wait, that is my story.

    Great Socks. Love the red stripe on the toes.

  34. Ken is awesome. This makes me wish I could be there with a huge sign by the side of the road somewhere to cheer him on. 🙂 I’ll try to remember to donate later this week.

    Also, great socks – love the red stripes. Beautiful model, too. 🙂 (Also, your photography is great. I hope I can do that well someday soon.)

  35. Donation made….by the time I made mine, Ken was over 100%!! Knitters are fabulous people, and if I still lived in the Bay Area, I’d join the welcome wagon. Great idea. Also love the socks-the red totally makes them!

  36. lovely lovely socks for Ken, and I agree that the red stripes really make them!
    i’ll go donate to Ken now, and i’m sure that by the end of the week’s cycling the people he’s sharing a tent with won’t be strangers anymore, and his introverted nature won’t have stopped him from making fantastic new friends!

  37. Nice socks, though I generally like the legs a bit longer on mine. Which is why I prefer toe-ups.

    My husband is a runner, though he declines to plan for spring races – same weather issues.

    Bummer about Ken’s friends pulling out. We’re currently facing an issue with a friend of hubby’s who has recently moved to the other side of the nearest big city. He still wants to run with his buddies out here, but only on Saturday, though the rest of the group can do Saturday or Sunday. So they schedule a Saturday with him, then he doesn’t show, and we’re left having something we would have otherwise done on Saturday bypassed because of him. I hope they’ve finally convinced him that if he’s going to cancel he needs to do it earlier in the week so we can reschedule.

  38. I read the post script with a knot in my stomach, because I just knew you were going to say the friends cancelled. I was wishing I lived on the west coast so I could bring him beer or something. And then, I see all these fabulous west coast knitters who are offering more than a welcome wagon, but intros to actual participants. Steph, The Blog is really the best. I don’t know if Ken feels better yet, but I sure do.

    And I, too, love the sassy red in the toes.

  39. I made my husband those exact socks! Well, not with the cute black and red toes, but essentially the same. I have learned that whenever I buy Patons sock yarn to get three balls instead of just two. There is never enough in two. Happy birthday to Ken!!!

  40. When dealing with yarn ends on the foot or toe of a sock, what do you do with them so they don’t leave a lump that rubs? Love the red and black toe, but I’ve always been leery of changing colors there for fear they will be uncomfortable to wear. See you at Strungalong in June! Best, Terri M.

    • I’ve been wanting to know the same thing! I have a real desire to make striped socks but, I’m concerned about those painful lumps!

  41. well…nice work on the socks! I clicked over to Ken’s page and he has made his goal!! hooray!!
    and, I am thinking if Ken needs a little spot to pre/post race relax, we have a little shed in the back yard he could crash at for a bit if needed? we are in Fairfax CA, about an hour north in the quiet woods, near lots and LOTS of biking routes. feel free to contact me or have Ken do the same.

  42. I went to Ken’s donation page and he’s above his goal now, but I see that there are other members of his team who need a little help. Are they all still riding? Can we help them out too?

  43. Way to go Ken and Steph for cheering him on and rallying support, sounds like it will be a wonderful experience with many new friends made despite the first lot cancelling on him. Great socks too.

  44. Ken has gone over his goal but that does’t mean to stop donating
    Wow that’s so awesome
    now we need to find him another person to ride with….
    send out the knit signal….

  45. Some years back I did the Breast Cancer 3-Day by myself and was miserable and too shy to talk to anyone. I can’t even imagine doing this ride without a team. Ken is a very brave soul. Excuse me while I amble over to his pledge page :o).

  46. Great socks! Your plain vanilla sock from Kntting Rules has become my go to pattern…beating my standard toe up short row that I did for years. Thank you! 🙂

  47. Another SF person here who’s on board with Team Ken! Anyone organizing a Ken fangroup closer to? I’m in! Probably a nightmare for introverted Ken, but who wouldn’t want a bunch of strange women chanting your name?

  48. Love the socks. Happy Birthday to Ken. Also, I sent him a small donation for his San Fran.-L.A. ride. I hope I can send more later.

  49. I am very inspired by Ken and wish him a Happy Birthday. I live in California and the ride will be awesome. I hope that he finds kindred spirits out here.

  50. I live close to LA and will be waiting for Ken at the finish line (and I’m certain I’ll be joined by others.) I am completely in awe of his selfless decision to ride, and I hope he finds tons of new friends along the way.

  51. First, go Ken!! You can do this. Second, Sam you are beautiful. You have a smile that could light up a city. Steph, you have made some beautiful humans, inside and out.

  52. Nothing irritates me more than when you have friends talk you into participating in an athletic event…and then they bail! There are some legit reasons (injury, major family changes, etc.), but a lot of times it seems to be because cold or flu delays the training and they won’t be competitive. So, you leave your friend high and dry.

    Really love the socks. I think the new toe and the rows of red actually make a much better sock. Hmmm, have to go re-evaluate my sock yarns…

  53. I just checked Ken’s page. Not only is he significantly over his goal, he is the top fundraiser on his team. With the power of knitters behind him, how could he not be at the top!

    Yay for Ken. Yay for Knitters International. Yay for Steph. Yay for caring people everywhere.

    “Touch the eye,” Yes, I saw what you all did!

  54. If bike riders for AIDS causes are anything like knitters, Ken is going for a week with family. I’d show up at a knitting group without knowing anyone because I know I’d be made very welcome. I expect Ken will feel right a home quickly enough.

    BTW, right now Ken is 156% of goal!

  55. Ken, we are behind you after years of doing all the technical support for SPM. Just go to show the power of knitters and the faith they have it others.

    Enjoy those cool socks. The toes really make them rock. Great idea.


  56. Will make a donation once this post is finished. If not for Ken, The Blog might never have existed. Not to mention the donation of his time and sweat to support these causes, and the fact he sounds like an all round great person. The socks are fabulous, and they have given me a great idea for my own Kroy Jacquard sock yarn, so I can make them a little longer with a snazzy plain toe. The red rocks.

  57. I don’t have the ability to ride myself, but I will be at the finish line to welcome Ken at the end of his challenge.

    The socks are delightful! A hint of red really made them special. Great solution!

  58. Those socks look awesome with the dark toe. It makes it look like a stronger color palette, much better for a man than just the pattern. Your friends are lucky to have you knit for them.

  59. Happy Birthday Ken! You are awesome! You, too, Stephanie for the brilliant save on the socks. Makes them so much more dashing.

  60. Those red rows and black toes really make those socks, but you already know that.

    I like to make socks with contrasting (plain colour) rib, toes and short row heel. That way a 100g ball of patterned sock yarn can be stretched to make two pairs of socks and you get to use up those leftover scraps of plain colour sock yarn. Real value for money!

  61. I clicked on the link to donate and got a message that the server is down. Did the knitters break the interwebs again?!
    I hope it means that he reached his goal.
    Please tell Ken that though he might be riding by himself now, he’s not alone. He’s got a huge cheerleading squad behind him.
    And the socks? Brilliant solution there.

  62. Lovely socks, lovely sock model, and kind of a relief to know she has her own socks on underneath them! Seeing someone modeling socks (or any other skin- or hair-contact garment) destined for somebody else is always rather skeevy. Even if you’re sure their feet are clean… eww.

  63. First, those socks are great. I love them! Great idea.
    Second, I love that pattern, I am making three pairs from that pattern as we speak! I recommend it to everyone.
    Third, you have forgotten you are the YARN HARLOT! For pete’s sake, get on the horn and rally up some knitterly friends in SF who are doing or have a friend doing the marathon thingie to MEET KEN THERE AND MAKE HIM FEEL WELCOME! I live in SC, so I cannot help, BUT….you have resources girl, USE THEM!!!
    just sayin’

  64. The Kent version is much better-& he doesn’t seem to be a PVS kind of friend. Really. I don’t think you have any vanilla kind of friends.
    Wow! Just goes to show Kent has ALL kinds of commitment for this AIDS ride. This just means he will meet a better class of people that aren’t the wuss out on you type and make BETTER friends. Go Kent Go!!

  65. I think Sam’s modeling is far superior to those in most knitting magazines. I am often so annoyed that the models are rarely smiling and Sam usually does. If not, then she displays a beautiful introspective face that seems to say, “I am empowered in this garment. This cowl is a joyful thing.” In the magazines, instead of the models conveying a sense of happiness because they are wearing a beautiful knitted garment, they seem to be thinking, “Dear God, please don’t let me die in this sweater (scarf, hat, etc.).” Go Sam!

  66. What heel did you use with this striped Kroy yarn to keep the stripes going around the foot in sequence? I didn’t notice any break in the rounds.

  67. Go go Ken! This is an awesome ride, and he will have no trouble finding compadres for the journey. Our elementary school PE teacher does it every year, and various other moms have gone with her. If he wants a bit of moral support, a place to stay, we friendly SFers will pull him in and feed him up on sourdough bread and chocolate.

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