crafting, knitting

Fish Lips Kisses

Among one of the most difficult knitting tasks I have attempted to undertake is the heel. I dabble with different heels from time to time but I still tend to gravitate toward the familiar, simple or tried and true patterns. That is why the afterthought heel has always been my go-to heel for the majority of my knitting years. Yet there was always a problem I dealt with using the afterthought heel – the same problem I ran into knitting socks cuff down…. the Kitchener stitch. I have tried sewn Kitchener stitch and knit Kitchener stitch, I have even attempted to go at it with a tiny steel crochet hook! Nothing gets the results I want!

Let us travel back a couple of years to December 2015. I had knit 22 complete pairs of socks that year, with pair 23 on the needles at the end of December. I was a sock knitting machine with a desperate need to find a new, easy heel that fit well and did not require me to carry around a pattern that I needed to constantly refer back to. I was introduced to the FLK heel, otherwise known as the Fish Lips Kiss heel (by Patty Joy aka the Sox Therapist) by a follower on Instagram but could not follow the instructions properly. The pattern is not difficult, I just did not understand the directions so I gave up on it.

Fast forward through a few failed attempts since that time – to last week. I decided to try it again and I figured it out successfully on the first try… WITHOUT a life line! (A life line is a strand of thinner yarn or thread you use to keep the row in tact that you started your heel at – or any other tricky technique- so you do not lose stitches when you have to rip it out – or unravel said stitches) Here is a video example of how to use a life line when knitting lace, a notoriously tricky technique to master.

I must share this completed heel and sock with you now because I am so thrilled and proud of overcoming this struggle over the past few years.

First completed FLK heel
Side view of completed heel
Opposite side of heel
Completed sock with FLK heel





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Overdue Update

Hello readers!

It has been quite the gap between posts, with June 2016 being my last update. Before I update you with all of the happenings since that time, I must extend my appreciation to those who have continued to visit my blog (I love looking at the site statistics)

I went through a move from Wyoming to Tennessee, a divorce, a marriage and some inner reflection and self improvement. Please, do not worry about the divorce, it was a long time in the making and I was already through the stages mentally that a divorce can put us through.

I met my current husband through a mutual friend who I served in the Army with years ago. Her brother served with is friends with my husband. Through some online conversations, video chats and phone calls – we both fell for each other hard. I relocated to Tennessee (where he was living at the time) in the early summer of 2017 and this is where we still are – setting down our roots. I do miss Wyoming (it’s beauty, weather and people) but I am coming to peace with that loss.

Wyoming Sunset

Tennessee/Kentucky Sunset

In the late fall of 2017, we were married at my husband’s church. A couple of days later I was also baptized with my daughter into the church. (My son decided to be baptized a month before us, which was great because I felt he was able to make that decision without feeling like he was pressured to do it because mom was.) We are now members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – more commonly known as Mormons – though we do not necessarily call ourselves that anymore. (That explanation can be written in a separate post all it’s own.)

November 13, 2017

February of last year, I decided to inquire if I still possessed educational benefits from my military service. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I received an envelope that informed me that I had enough time left to earn my associate’s degree with complete coverage from what I paid into the fund! I contacted a few colleges as well as the educational adviser on the local military base before coming to the decision to attend online college courses through Kaplan University – which was acquired by Purdue University and became Purdue University Global.

I am currently finishing my last week of the current term and I have maintained a 4.0 GPA from day one. I am scheduled to graduate in 13 months with a degree in Information Technology – Networking concentration. While it has been a challenge to maintain all of the aspects of my life now that it is much busier than when I lived in Wyoming, it is a testimony to myself what I am capable of under pressure.

Life doesn’t get in the way, the challenges that life throws up at us in what we perceive as inopportune times are just chances for us to grow and become stronger. Try not to look at those moments as a curse but rather a blessing for personal growth. I can do it, you can do it – we can all do it!


November 2018

P.S. Here is a photo of our family this past holiday season during a casual photo-shoot opportunity at one of our church’s meetinghouses.

crafting, knitting, Uncategorized

June already?!

Where has the year been going?  I swear it was just January, and now it’s already the 4th of June and summer break is underway!

My daughter’s recovery from her tonsil and adenoid removal surgery went well, aside from some severe pain a few days post op (we got her what she needed to be comfortable) everything else went perfect. She’s sleeping better and hasn’t been sick since *knock on wood*

February – May were pretty uneventful – just the normal routine. (I know, so boring!)

I have been busy with that little mitered square blanket, and I even took the task of changing the blanket from being a zigzagged edge to a straight edge in the middle of the project. It seems crazy, but it’s working out pretty well. I’m making a piece, which is quite large, to sew into the bottom of the blanket to even it out. I’ll post photos of the progress, but for now, it just looks like another blanket has been started.


It is making good progress, isn’t it?

I’ve finally finished two pairs of socks this year – I had a few pairs that were ruined by the cat (long story short, she used them to potty on)


I have been bitten by the spinning bug as well…. sort of! I made my own little drop spindle (thank you to Nancy’s blog here) for the super easy tutorial – and I ordered some roving this week from Knit Picks (some Stroll roving! — as well as some Bare Hare fingering because…. BUNNIES! I must make bunny yarn socks!)  I’ll also share that process on here.

Another blog that I love to follow is Chaos in the Country because her blog covers many topics of interest to me (knitting, cooking, parents, life in Alaska, etc) One day, I want to move to Alaska. I know that may sound crazy, but I’ve wanted that life for more years than I can count. It WILL happen… one day. Until that happens, I’ll live through interesting posts from others’ blogs.

Oh, and not to forget…
Planning (yup, with a paper planner and more stickers than I’d like to admit) is my less known obsession/hobby – and I’ve been using paper planners since around 1995, but I fell out of using them about 10 years ago because I couldn’t find one that I liked – in walked Erin Condren– I haven’t looked back since. It is great quality, colorful, fun, and sturdy. I love that you can choose from three layouts (vertical, horizontal and hourly) as well as the new option of a colorful or neutral inner page scheme…. plus endless cover and accessory options. It really has become an addiction! I did choose the vertical with the colorful layout with a platinum coil. If you are in the market for a paper planner, I would highly suggest using a Life Planner – they are my favorite and so beautiful (did I mention they are made to order as well?!)  There are too many features to show on this entry but I will share my planner in a separate post when it comes in the mail and compare it to the last version. If you click on the link above, you just need to sign up and you will be sent a code to save $10 off of your first purchase – even if you don’t purchase a planner, but something else on the site. It’s worth a look around for other items too (notebooks, pens, acrylic containers or trays, stationary, etc and it’s nearly all customizable!) Below you see the current cover I’m using (unfortunately it is no longer offered) where I added all my favorite memories from Doctor Who.


Now that school is out for summer (and the kids are starting summer school) I have much more time to post, as I’ll be writing drafts on my phone as well 🙂  I miss blogging and the connection with my followers from my old blog. If you wish to follow my IG – it is miss_nay_plans




Mitered Square Blanket

Knitting a blanket?! I swore I’d never attempt this feat because, well, I’m lazy when it comes to knitting. I rather NOT have many ends to darn and I want a quick project to finish for that wonderful feeling of instant gratification.

Yet, I find myself becoming more obsessed with this project. Allowing myself time to commit to a few other projects and working on this one between was difficult but now it’s working out pretty well (honestly, it’s only because I’m scheduling it in my planner – yes, I’m one of those people)

I don’t have many photos to share so far, but I have over 60 squares completed and attached! Here is what I last photographed (there are currently more squares though) I won’t pull this out again until Friday because I have other projects scheduled each day these week.

Here is a close up as I worked on it:

I’ve agreed to take part in a little yarn swap designed particularly for these types of blankets: Mini Skein Swap. I’m only going to this with individuals instead of the more organized/large group swaps. I’ve done a crocheted square swap in the past (a few years ago) and I was disappointed to see some women who didn’t send anything out and didn’t answer emails but they would still update their social media accounts and list on Etsy.

I do plan on sharing the gorgeous swaps I receive because you never know if there is an undiscovered yarn that other people haven’t heard of or seen before. I am also interested in the yarn other people use. I plan on sending a variety of my scraps as well.

I will be posting later this week (Friday) photos of all of my current projects. I felt a quick update was necessary since I didn’t get to post in over a week (my daughter had her tonsils and adenoids removed, so I’ve been busy taking care of her)




End of Year Knitting Recap… and a little more

I’d planned on posting this last week but I became ill (I’m right as rain now), then my daughter had some reactions to her antibiotics (she’s great now) and then the start of this week was full of errands and appointments.

I either had food poisoning or some IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) – which is in my family; mother, her twin, their brother and father. I still don’t know which it was, but I’m better now and did make some dietary changes to help myself.

Dear daughter has been on antibiotics for a few week to clear up a sinus infection she was suffering from, but they were so strong she needed to take probiotics as well to keep her body healthy. She went in for a CT scan yesterday and her sinuses are all clear (yay)! She’s already been scheduled for surgery to get her tonsils and adenoids removed (she has OSA: obstructive sleep apnea) so that should help her.
And now, into the meat of this blog post: 2015 knitting recap!
For the particulars, you can click on THIS to see my Ravelry Project list and see everything I’ve worked on in 2015 (well and other years too)

Below you see a little slideshow of the socks I knit this year (some don’t have photos of the sock complete and one pair is completely missing from the list – I forgot to photo the socks)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’ve decided that in 2016 that I will not only knit socks, but I’ll start a mitered square blanket made from sock scraps.

This is about all I have to say for tonight, I’ve got dinner cooking and we are going to all watch a movie for New Years Eve. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe new year.

Here’s to 2016!



2016 #yearofsockschallenge

Good evening readers!
As promised, I have gathered my list of 2016 #yearofsockschallenge patterns that I plan on knitting this coming year. Again, I’m going to try to only to knit 12 pair in 2016 (let’s be honest, I have no control! But it’s a nice idea.)

Let’s fast forward a couple of weeks to January and jump right into the first socks.

January 2016:
Nine-to-Five Socks by Nicole Hindes

These will be made with Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer in Jay.

February 2016:
Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder

These will be made with Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer in Fiji.

March 2016:
Anastasia Socks by MintyFresh

These will be made with Knit Picks Sock Landscape in Tropical Sunrise. (sadly, not available anymore, I bought this wool from someone’s Ravelry stash) In the photo below, it’s the two hanks on the left.

April 2016:
Smocks of Love by Meaghan Schmaltz

These will be made with Knit Picks Stroll Heathers in Rainforest Heather.

May 2016:
Bandwagon Socks by Phreadde Davis

These will be made with Garnstudio DROPS Fabel in Lila (or Purple for the US site, just scroll down to Uni Color)

June 2016:
Elementary Watson Socks by Sherry Menton

These will be made with Knit Picks Stroll Heathers in Forest Heather.

July 2016:
Hearty-Stripy Socks by Polly McElDowney

These will be made with Knit Picks Felici in Rainbow and Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer in Chrome.


August 2016:
Little Minx by Karen Scott

These will be made with Knit Picks Stroll Brights in Vibrant Violet.

September 2016:
Nutkin by Beth LaPensee

These will be made with Garnstudio DROPS Fabel in Mustard (just scroll down to Uni Color)

October 2016:
Zigzagular Socks by Susie White

These will be made with Knit Picks Felici in Spooky. (sorry, this is another discontinued color – another purchase from someone’s Ravelry stash)

November 2016:
November Socks by Birgitte Zeuner

These will be made with Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Reindeer Heather.

December 2016:
Paraphernalia by Taina Anttila

These will be made with Knit Picks Stroll Heathers in Duchess Heather.

And a bonus pair once I finish knitting some socks that use Knit Picks Stroll – I’ll use those left overs to knit these:

Dither by General Hogbuffer

I think that this list of socks will help me improve my knitting skills. There are a few easy patterns I’ve mixed in because I don’t want to burn myself out with difficult socks.

Are there socks that you are looking forward to making soon? Do you want to challenge yourself to a yearly sock challenge?




Sock-inspirations! Sockspirations? Sockspo? It all says the same thing: sock knitting/knitters that inspire.

I’m one of those knitters that thinks I’m just an okay knitter. I am told that I am great, but I just think I’m good. I see these knitters on Ravelry and Instagram that make my heart flutter with excitement that I might be that great of a knitter one day as well. Granted I’ve only been knitting a few years…. 5 or so. I dabbled with loom knitting (it wasn’t for me and seems like more work than actual knitting) I’m an ex-hooker/crocheter because I only crochet blankets (I’ve tried knitting blankets but I don’t have the patience) though I’ve been wanting to knit a sock yarn scrap blanket but who am I kidding.

I want to knit sweaters one day, with the confidence and speed I knit a pair of socks. And one day I will, but socks are so darn portable and the fact that it is quicker gratification from finishing something you can wear, in a few days, makes me stay with socks.

Someone I follow on Instagram is one of my favorite sock knitters (her pictures are great!)  SarahHepworth!

I aspire to knit just as many beautiful and colorful socks resulting in a drawer just as gorgeous! I spy some of my favorite sock wool too! Good old Knit Picks Felici!

I have been scheduling in my planner when I need to have socks finished by and when I start a new pair. It’s helped me stay on track this year and exceed my plan of 12 socks in 12 months for my #yearofsockchallenge. This year I’ve started and finished 21 pairs of socks with two more to complete. One of those being my daughter’s Christmas gift and the other being some more for myself.

I’m only aiming for 12 pair next year, though I’m sure I’ll go over that. I have chosen some harder patterns so I can challenge my knitting abilities and develop some better skills. I hope to knit a few sweaters in 2016. For my children and myself. I have had a few in my queue for a while because I couldn’t find a wool I liked (in the past I’ve used acrylic, but now I want to use a nice super wash wool) and now I’ve used some wools I’ve never used in the past, I’m spoiled and don’t like to work with scratchy ones. I just have to save my pennies for those purchases.

Here are some photos of socks I’ve knit this year:

Based on Hermione’s Everyday Sock pattern found on Ravelry…. I adapted the pattern for this sock because it was 60 stitches around.

I knit these as directed in the pattern, didnt care for the fit since they are slightly loose so I will knit these differently in the future. This is still one of my favorite easy patterns.

These socks turned out great! The fit is PERFECT, and they are so warm… but they were a pain in the backside! 5 weeks and enough frogging to fill a pond. All in all, worth the effort (just this once!)

Stay tuned for my future posts: End of Year Knitting Recap; 2016 #yearofsockschallenge; and Online wool sellers I support/recommend.
Who inspires your knitting? What do you hope to accomplish in your craft?! If you have anything you’d like me to blog about, feel free to message or leave a comment.



Socks O’Plenty

Socks socks socks…. everywhere I look I see socks! I just finished my latest pair of hand knit socks in two days (yes two socks in two days) using a tweaked version of an old favorite pattern. I love the detail of ‘Hermione’s Everyday Socks‘ by Erica Lueder. Easy enough to memorize that I can knit while I watch my favorite show, but enough interest to make me continue without getting bored – that’s a good sock pattern for me. I did change a few things: I made them toe up with a short row heel and two at a time (TAAT) because I HATE when I get finished with one sock, very excited and happy; only to realize I have to do it’s twin… ugh! If I can knit a pattern TAAT, even if it gets a bit finicky, you better bet your yarn stash I’ll try it.IMG_0139Speaking of yarn stashes, I just added to mine this week – with a nice little shipment from Knit Picks. *drool* I love their sock wool so much. They produce my favorite mass produced sock wool!


Some of this will be sent to my friend overseas (she and I do yarn and sweets swaps at least once a year) and the rest will be socks for me (that always sound so selfish) I just need to get a pretty grey for the rainbow (for contrasting heels and toes)

What is your favorite sock wool?



Fall ‘N’ Socks

There’s something comforting about fall maybe it’s the yellows, the oranges and the reds. I know some people don’t like fall because leaves are falling and it’s like they’re dying. I look at them as though they are flowers. They’re green when everything else is colorful but then when everything starts to turn brown around them, the leaves turn these vivid colors that stand out more than flowers do in spring and summer.

Across the pond
I sat on the bank of our town pond, facing west and knitted a hat for my son as I enjoyed the view of the changing leaves and the sounds of my cousin fishing.

Fall in the Black Hills

I love fall and I love winter but that could be because I love the cold and snow. I grew up in the west coast where we had no seasons compared to other parts of the country. Now that I live in the Black Hills, I absolutely love seasons, especially the cold ones. And now I have more reason to knit all year round to prepare for the next cold weather season. We are currently at the beginning of our cold weather with some snow here and there, but nothing like what we are supposed to get Thanksgiving (4″-8″).

This is hours away from us, but my favorite ever view is the Tetons!

At the top
Beginning of November at the top of the mountain we have right outside of town

Wait! It’s the Monday prior! Can you believe it is only a few days before Thanksgiving? Where did the year go? I guess this year has gone by very fast for me because I had my head down as I’ve been knitting socks like a sock knitting junkie. I’ve been obsessed as I have been looking for new sock yarn, sock patterns, different types of sock needles than I normally use.

I’m still amazed by myself that my first experience sock knitting took me months to finish a sock. Yes, A sock not one pair, one sock of basic stockinette stitch and it was an orphan. I ended up throwing the sock away, the rest of the yarn and didn’t try to knit socks again for a few months. I didn’t even photograph that first sock (only the toe as I started working on it) because I was so embarrassed by it (I had done the toe increase so wrong and it was increased on the top of the foot but not the bottom, so you can imagine how silly it looked).

Time hop always reminding me of how much I screwed up

But I was determined to knit socks because I’ve always been attracted to the look of a hand knitted sock. Even if the colors are bright they still look comfy and inviting…. almost rustic (in a good way). To me, rustic is not an insult but it is a compliment. It communicates something is comforting and relaxing instead of being hurried and stressful.

I know there are some who do not appreciate the time, love and effort put into a hand knit sock. Some people think they are below personal standards. To those people: I feel sorry for you, I truly do.

Like these comfy, warm socks. How can you say no to these?

Granted there are some socks that are scratchy because the wool is produced and manufactured in a certain way. And there are other wools that are some of the softest, and most comfortable you’ll ever feel.

Just think of it like a coffee shop sometimes you get a bad coffee but does that mean you stop drinking coffee altogether? No. You just go find another coffeeshop or maybe you try a different type of coffee or even add some sugar or flavored cream to salvage it. Same goes for knitted socks, just try a different wool or maybe even washing them a couple times to soften them up. Hand washing and air drying are socks best friends, even super wash wool seems to wear better when given that extra love and attention.

Hanging socks to dry during this past summer

My goal when I started knitting socks was to replace every pair of store bought white cotton socks I owned. Now I’m just trying to knit every single pair of socks I can since I’ve already accomplished my first goal.

29 pair of hand knit socks


I have knitted so many pair of socks that I can’t keep track of how many (I haven’t loaded them all on my Ravelry either, so that is no help).

What are your favorite sock patterns and sock wool?

I am still in love with Knit Picks Felici (at the time of this post, it was still available) as well as their Stroll (in Tweed, Hand painted, Tonal, Glimmer, Brights, or normal).

I look forward to feedback, so if you have questions just comment and I’ll get back to you.




Do you dream in wool?

What do you daydream about?  (Keep it clean people!)   I am pretty simple when it comes to my fantasies: yarn, colored pencils, planners, self folding clothes and a magical self cleaning kitchen. Two of these things I’ll never see in my lifetime, but it doesn’t hurt to have high hopes, does it?

Lately I have been knitting up a storm of socks and a sprinkling of hats for the approaching months of frigid weather we are to expect. What is cozier than a pair of super wash woolen hand knit socks as you snuggle on the couch with you favorite furry friend and enjoying some hot tea or coffee? Nothing that I can think of, but that could be because I am currently in said situation. My two children have arguments over which one of them will get the newest pair of tube socks I make (those the pinks, purples and sparkly yarns can decide that pretty quickly!) I am currently knitting up a pretty pair of rainbow themed socks with some wool that was gifted by Steph. *thanks again Steph!*

Latest progress of daughter’s socks (between coloring and planning)

I guess you can tell I am also into this adult coloring craze from the above photo. I’ve always been a coloring fan, and these adult coloring books are so much more detailed than the ones we grew up with as kids. I am a huge fan of colored pencils instead of pens/markers because you can layer and shade without damaging the paper or bleeding through. I’m using my current love of a pencil brand: Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils. They are oil based pencils that keep their point much longer than other brands I’ve used and don’t break either. They are worth the investment if you are serious about coloring.

Speaking of investments, we should discuss one of my favorite purchases this year: my planner. It may sound weird because it’s a coiled pile of paper, but I love my planner so much. In January I had been looking through the planner community on Instagram, wondering what planner to get when it hit me: Erin Condren Life Planner had what I wanted. I had read great reviews, seen many photos and videos of how others were using them, and got a coupon code to save some money on my purchase so I couldn’t go wrong. I use it all of the time and highly suggest buying one. The company just released a new layout this week as well, so you should check it out if you are interested in a planner for 2016. Click on that link and you’ll save $10 on your first order – and who doesn’t like to save money?! They even have notebooks and customizable covers that are so beautiful! See?

Look! We are back to my first fantasy: yarn! The most perfect self striping sock yarn from Knit Picks named Felici. The company keeps it at a limited availability so it is one of those survival of the quickest clicker type situations when it is released online as all the crazy Felici fans attempt to snag their favorite colors before someone else gets them – including this Felici fanatic!

Aside from the mythical self folding laundry and self cleaning kitchen, there isn’t much that I can say that I dream about. Happy colors in all sorts of crafty supplies is what it comes down to.

Keep an eye out for my next post:
I’ll try to gather the photos of all the socks I’ve been making this year. Prepare yourself for a colorful assortment wooly goodness. I am also working on a pattern and would love to get some testers to knit it up before I release it.

I look forward to feedback, so if you have questions just comment and I’ll get back to you.