Jean Murdoch

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Westport, CT, United States

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Cookies...a tradition...

So it is one week before Christmas and the tradition continues!

Rum Truffles

Almond Crisps

Chocolate Espresso Crinkles

Of Course Sugar Cookies!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More Time Please

And so finally got caught up but then in a span of 2 days received 4 orders of projects in my Etsy Shop! Oh busy again knitting socks to try to make it for the Holiday gift giving. What I would do for more time or another pair of knitting hands to help out....I have to say the these Scrunch Socks are amazing but at least got an order for a pair of mitts which will give me a little variety in the knitting...can't complain. Busy fingers makes for very productive gift giving. Thank you, I won't complain anymore! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finally Getting Organized

And so the month of November has been quite a mess. After the hurricane that hit the east coast, I have been busy knitting ...yes the Scrunch Socks. I do believe that I could sell all that I knit...and I am now on my last order and maybe I can finally start projects that I have been wanting to do! I have to say it has been a really big seller...if only I could knit them faster!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Love Feedback

Always nice to get feedback and comments from customers. This one was especially rewarding as putting my designs on paper for knitters is always a much more difficult thing to do. Never know if the patterns are written well and that the final results are good.

"I just felt compelled to say Thank YOU for the Scrunch Cable sock - it  turned out so beautifully that I am on my second pair. I've made very few socks but when I saw a picture of the socks on my daughters pinterest page with her comment "mom, please, I love these" I just had to hunt down the pattern and make them for her. They will be a Christmas gift. I absolutely enjoyed working the pattern because it was SO easy to follow! I've never worked a chart and you made me feel so confident and the results showed that. I've never contacted a designer before but I just had to let you know how much I love these socks! Anyway, thank you again for the clear, concise, pattern and the fabulous results!" — te

This photo on Pinterest.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Criss Cross Mitts, Intarsia Knitting

I had wanted to do this combination of the Criss Cross Mitts and have posted them on Etsy. I also posted the view of the inside out to show how really nice the inside is...with no strands on the inside. This is perfect for two color combinations and love the look. May have to put this down on paper if I get enough requests.

Burgundy and Cork color for Criss Cross Mitts.
Shows inside out and right side to compare the look in Intarsia Knitting.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scrunch Socks Finish Project!!!!

Received a wonderful picture and note from a woman who knitted the Scrunch Socks. She bought the pattern from my Etsy Shop
I love how she increased the size to fit her foot and the finish product is perfect!

"i just finished the socks and heres a picture! it was a wonderful pattern to learn! they are looking fantastic but in order for them to fit i had to repeat the diamond pattern 6 times in total 3 on the leg and 3 on the foot and i wear size 9 so i don't know if you maybe have put it wrong on the pattern or not. just thought you should know. I made them in cotton and my mom is making them in wool :) 
these were the first socks i ever made so I'm happy they turned out so nicely" TB

TB knitted Scrunch Socks

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Scrunch socks again....

Still trying to finish up the criss cross mitts that I have been working on....then comes another order for those Scrunch Socks. I guess my biggest complaint is that they sell so well and that isn't a is just that I can't seem to get to the projects that I want to work on. Decided to finish up the Criss Cross Mitts and post them on Etsy before I start another pair of Scrunch Socks! Wowwwweeeee.

Friday, October 12, 2012

New Page On Facebook..."like" me!

Well I created a new page on Facebook and am in the process of figuring out how to get it more public. Hoping to get viewers to go there and just "LIKE" is interesting. Yesterday got note from woman in Australia..she got the Scrunch Socks and loves I only have one more custome sock to knit and then can finally get started on the criss cross mitts!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Cotton Cable Scrunch Sock

So this has been a very interesting journey from a year ago when I created this sock from a photo for a lady who wanted the sock, to today having knitted 20 pairs with 3 back logged and having put the pattern on paper to sell. I am dumbfounded that I started the selling price at 40.00 and currently a finished pair is 46.00 and custom is 50.00. I keep raising the price as I keep thinking that they won't sell so quickly and I can then have time to knit socks and mitts that I have been wanting to do. I actually have a pair of mitts (Criss Cross Cuffed) that I am half way through but keep having to stop because of another custom order of these my Biggest Seller...the Scrunch Socks! Just amazing and funny thing is I love to knit these and really have gotten to the point that I can knit them within 3-4 days...and that is only knitting in the evenings. But today because I have 3 back logged I will be knitting during the day to fullfill the orders! Wow.

Scrunch sock in ivory...a big seller.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Twisted Cable Mitts again!

So I guess I have been doing these mitts because they are fun and easy  to knit and they are a fast project. Really wanted to get more color into my shop in Etsy and had some of this great yellow color. The mitts came out really well and think I'll do another pair of mitts before I get to knitting some socks. I have one custom order but waiting for the yarn to arrive...think I'll do a criss cross mitt. I do want to get that design on paper!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cuffed Mitts

The Cuffed Cable Twist Mitts
And today posted a pair of the Cable Cuffed Mitts...this time in a beautiful Sapphire Blue. Really a wonderful pattern that seems to be very popular. I sometimes think that I could knit these alot more as they don't take that much time. I am currently doing a pair of yellow mitts. Got to get more in the Etsy shop so that I'll have alot for the winter months. Wow, do I hate the summers we have in the north east. Wish the summers were longer.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer Trip with Scrunch Socks Packed to Knit

Harbour Town Lighthouse and Marina
 Last week we went for a week trip to Hilton Head Island, SC. It was a wonderful week of just relaxing and golfing and hanging out. Haven't been on a trip for a few years and this was a real treat to have a real vacation. Of course I had to bring a project with me and because the Scrunch Cable Socks have been really a special sock that I have been knitting I thought I would knit another pair in white. I am almost done with the pair and will post it on Etsy very soon. Still not sure if the price I put on it is the most reasonable but it will have to be. Have sold quite a few of these socks and the pattern that I wrote down for it has been selling also. Could be that maybe this is the best sock I have done yet.
Knitting on the Plane....always keep those fingers working.

Cotton Scrunch Cable Sock

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Today I sent a pair of Scrunch Socks for a woman in Germany. She has purchased a pair before and this is her second pair. I hesitate to post the Scrunch Socks in Etsy as a custom sock for as soon as I post it, it is sold. Not that that isn't nice but I have been working on a pair of socks that I have yet to finish because of custom orders that have to be done. This one that I  am working on is the Criss Cross in Yellow and Black. Really a great looking sock and hope that I will be able to finish them.

It have been hazy, hot and humid here in Westport, CT. Not exactly the type of weather that you love to knit in but I do have AC and only wish I could retire to knitting around the clock. Maybe someday but for now it has been a great summer of knitting.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Double Cross side Cable socks

Double Cross Side Cable Socks
Well finally finished the final sock for the Double Cross Side Cable Socks! Have published in Ravelry and also Etsy. Really was a test for me as I had to knit 4 pairs of these to get the pattern right and along the way designed the heel and toe to compliment each other. I love the results and these gray socks were immediately sold on Etsy...and that was in a matter of 15 minutes after I had posted them. Really was the fastest I have ever sold a pair. Must have been the color and hopefully the pattern. Now I am starting on a pair of yellow socks and think might do a lacy pattern...but not sure. Just want a break from all these cable socks I have been doing. ...and I love cables.

Heel Detail

Toe Detail

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vermont Fiber Shop

Six Loose Ladies Fiber Shop Vermont

My husband and I took a trip to Ludlow Vermont and came across a quaint and overfilled fiber shop. "Six Loose Ladies" an intriguing  name and lucky it was open when we were up there as they have very limited hours. Run by volunteers with local artisans contributing lessons, fibers, and everything you might want to have. I had immersed myself into the shop but wasn't able to stay there for a long time as we were on a schedule. Next time I am up there I will definitely go again and treat myself to more stash or fiber. I love these kinds of shops...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Double Cable Socks again!

This is the second pair of the Double Cable Socks that I have knitted. The sole reason for knitting another pair was because I had gotten a few requests to put this pattern on paper. As with all of my sock patterns I literally knit a couple or more pairs to make sure that the results are what I want on paper. These turned out fairly well but need some detail work. My last pair had a different heel and thought that the diagonal flat heel might be a better conclusion and altered the stitch count as well as the needles used. The #1 needles were the 2.5mm needles versus the 2.75 before and although there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference I think I like the tighter knit and the cable pattern came out more dramatically. I have almost finished the pattern but need to knit one more pair before I put it up. Comments are always welcome.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just completed knitting a pair of the Braided Cable socks for a woman who wanted them some time ago. I love the pattern and hope that she will still want the socks. If not I will just post them on the Etsy site and will increase my sock stock in my shop. When I do custom I don't put any socks on my site and my site currently has less items than I want. I think it would be good if I had 20 pairs  of socks in the shop at all times but it has been difficult to get the time to knit. I think I should really make a consorted effort to knit more. My next project is the Clog Sock with the heart on the heel. I have noticed that it has gotten a lot of hits lately on the Etsy site and think it might be time to do another pair....hummmmmm I do have a beautiful tangerine color.....

Monday, June 11, 2012

Diagonal Hand Knitted Socks

And the sock came out really great and the color is beautiful. This was my 3rd try at this pattern for the sock. The difficulty was making sure the pattern met as it was worked around the leg. Kept getting a jump in the pattern but did figure it out. Not sure it is worthy of putting down on paper but was a challenge even as it looks so simple.

Detail diagonal pattern

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Diagonal Pattern Socks

Yesterday I started a new pair of socks. Need to post more on my Etsy shop...too many custom socks makes my shop look empty. Got some really nice sock yarn and thought I would try to incorporate this pattern. Actually fairly simple worked over 6 stitches. Started with 72 on #1 needles...very fine knitting. the pattern is basically 3k, 3p around for 2 rows then moving the pattern 1 stitch so that the third row is 1p, 3k, 2p and around for 2 rows. Continuing this pattern every 2 rows moving the pattern one stitch over. Interesting look and will see how it goes. I really love just knitting socks with different patterns.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Scrunch Socks Are in New Zealand!

Just finished this pair of Scrunch Socks in Ivory for a woman who lives in New Zealand. It is getting on to Winter there so she wanted to have some cozy socks to wear around the house to keep her feet warm.
I always love to knit and ship out to other countries. Hope that I get some feedback. I love to see how the socks are received and enjoyed! Love this sock in Ivory.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Projects to come.......

Whew....finally finished the last custom order sock! Now I can get to knitting those socks and mitts I have been thinking about and posting them. I love custom knitting but my shop on Etsy suffers with no new items being posted. Production is the key and I am getting closer to making the decision to knit more during the day. So at any rate the sock I am going to do is a pattern that has diagonal ribs. Diagonal worked over 6 stitches. Using a new yarn I got...Trekking XXL, beautiful feel and knitted on #1 the finer tighter results. Should be interesting and will show the results. The good news is I can now start knitting and designing new patterns! Hooray!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

That Scrunch Sock

I find it always exciting when I sell a pattern or a knitted item that I create. Today sold a custom scrunch sock (starting to knit it today) and the scrunch sock pattern to 2 knitters on Ravelry! I do love this sock and only wish that I could knit faster. The patterns were bought back to back in a span of 2 minutes. I kid you not. Then I start to worry that the pattern is not written correctly and quickly look at the pattern again. In this case I am knitting a pair of scrunch socks so if there is a flaw in the pattern I'll be able to catch it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hoping that May will bring more production in knitting...might add spinning to that. Somewhere in the 1960's - 70's I became interested in spinning and natural dying wool. I would go to a farm and purchase some fleece and then forage the parks and meadows and even the neighborhood that I lived in for various berries, root stocks and wild blooms. I can remember creating a book of my recipes with samples taped to the recipes. It was then that I purchased a spinning wheel and drop spindle and started to spin alittle. Got enough to actually do a sweater. Since then I pull out the wheel and do a little spinning but no longer forage or dye. My daughter surprised me with a wonderful visit with grandchildren in tow and since she lives on the north west coast and I live on the east coast it was a wonderful surprise...we don't get to see enough of each other. She brought with her a turkish spindle and it was truly a beautiful spindle. I did a little spinning with it and my husband took pictures of the spindle and said he would make one for me...and he did. It is a wonderfully crafted tool that I will use when I want that wonderful feel of fibers running through my fingers and the satisfied feeling of spinning your own yarn. Who knows...might be part of another pair of socks or mitts one day.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Gray Braided Cable and seed Stitch Sock
This has been a real busy month...had a daughter and two grandsons surprised me with a visit from Seattle (really blew me over) and caught a cold. Hadn't seen my daughter for a year so there was alot of catching up to do. Had orders for socks backed up but managed to now only have two orders to fill. Would be great to finish them so I can knit some socks that I have been thinking about for a while!

My daughter is a spinner...she came with her Turkish Spinner (drop spindle). That was really neat and think it might be something that I would like to try to do. My husband scanned the tool and thought he might be able to make one for me...that would be great as my daughter left me a couple of ozs. of fiber to spin and would like to do it. I found that it is a great portable way to spin on the go. And just got another order for the Twisted Cable Mitts in black!...guess I'll be knitting custom still for a while.

Parts for the Turkish Spinner

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Scrunch Cable Socks Pattern Finally!!!

Finally finished editing my Scrunch Cable Sock pattern. It has been one very challenging pattern and I think that it is now finished. I have posted it on Etsy and Ravelry as I had gotten alot of inquiries about if I was doing a pattern on these socks. Well it is done and anxiously awaiting whether the pattern will have any movement. Love sharing the designs and love selling them too.!

First page instruction

Graphs for the Cables.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fresh Air Knitting

So today I did get out and after a couple of walks around my house...I ventured out into the neighborhood and walked around a couple of blocks. Managed to do the knitting, actually working on a Scrunch Sock...lots of cables but I have mastered doing cables without a cable hook, so it was pretty good and didn't drop a stitch. It was sunny and a slight breeze blowing but how energized I now feel. This will become a routine every day, weather permitting!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Walking and Knitting

So today was a nice bright day and although it was chilly I thought I would try out knitting and walking. Sometimes I really sit too much because I am knitting all the time and exercise would be nice at the same time. So I tucked my ball of yarn in my sweater near my shoulder and just walked around the house at first and knitting. I am starting a new pair of Scrunch Socks and it was amazing how much knitting I did and walking not a real speed walk but a normal walk. I was out walking about 30 minutes and it was fun. Tomorrow I am going to go around the block and see if the traffic becomes a problem. I doubt it as I will be in a fairly quiet neighborhood. Let's see where this goes!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Criss Cross Mitts Custom Order

A couple of days ago I finished another pair of these Criss Cross Mitts. Navy and Tan combination for a woman on the West Coast. She has ordered another pair. I do think I can put this on paper except for the tricky part of the pattern where the gusset for the thumb and the pattern meet. I think on my next knit of these I'll really do a write up and figure out a way that would make it simple to do the pattern. As you know this is a pattern I used on my criss cross socks a while back and it is done in the intarsia method so many strands of yarns are flying. Let's hope I will post a pattern by end of month and see how that goes.
Intarsia method for the Criss Cross Pattern.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stash Socks Lorna Laces

And they are done. Actually was a fairly fast project but so much fun to do. For the record you need 19 lengths of yarn 6 -8 yards long, depending on the width of the stripes you want to knit and a contrasting color for the toe, heel and cuff. I would say probably another 80-85 yds would do it.

These were sent to my Nephew who loves hand knitted socks and I know will appreciate them.

Completed Stash Socks

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crazy Stash Socks

Yesterday I did some cleaning of my yarns and decided after separating and organizing the yarns that I would do another pair of those Stash Socks. Really interesting to see how much yarn I have accumulated. Not enough yarn to knit a project but enough when put together to make a pair of socks. What was a great discovery it was mainly the Lorna Laces sock yarns with some Knit pick stroll yarns.

These are knitted on US 2 with cuffs on US1. 72 stitches with a rib pattern of K4, P2 around.

This will be fun to do and I always feel sooooo good after I do up these projects using stash yarns that I am not wasting and the results are always so fun and different. We will see how this goes.

Hank is about 6 yards. And made sure I had at least 2 hanks per color.

My palette of color that I have for these socks. 
Knitting two socks at a time insures that they match!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Braided Cable w/Seed Socks

So it did take a while to write this one down on paper. Actually had to figure it out from a past sock I did. Someone ordered it and I had to knit it up. It isn't exactly like the first one I did. Cable Braid is done in 10 row pattern versus 8 row pattern that I did before. Interesting to see the difference. So on sale on Etsy
And on sale on Ravelry

Not sure what version I like better.
This is 8row pattern that was done originally.

This is 10 row pattern that was used on the pattern for sale.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Criss Cross Mitts Update Defines the Thumb Gusset

So recently I did another pair of the Criss Cross Mitts and as I knit these I am always trying to improve the pattern. I have now knitted the thumb gusset within the pattern and makes for a much more finished look of the criss cross. Really interesting...Very hard to put this on paper. Have tried but not easy to write down in an easy manner how to do intarsia knitting and creating the thumb gusset in the correct place with the pattern. One day.......
Criss Cross thumb with completed box.
Criss Cross with better definition.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scrunch Socks again!

These socks are really amazing...I have really surprised myself. Sold another pair today and really love that it is so well received. I wish I was more disciplined to sit down and just write up this pattern. It would really be a good pattern to sell but there are points in it that are difficult to put on paper. As it is now, I have notes and knit the socks based on the little notes and diagrams that I have written up. Maybe one day...but for now have to finish those mitts I am doing and then on to these. Busy.....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Criss Cross Mitts Update

Last week I received a really nice compliment on the criss cross mitts that I sold to a woman in Washington...she liked them so much that I received an order for 2 more pairs. Think this might be a candidate for a pattern. So I am off knitting as fast as I can with sticks and string! Yahoo!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Criss Cross Fingerless Mitts

Took the Criss Cross sock pattern and used it to knit up some cuffed fingerless mitts! Gave me a reason to try the pattern again and do a bit of intarsia knitting.

What fun this was and I love having cuffs on mitts. Ideal for any activity that requires you to use your fingers but still too chilly to keep those fingers exposed to the elements. 
Great for your everyday walks, jogging, or just to keep your hands and fingers warm. I liked the idea of exposing your fingers for those quick tasks and being able to cover the fingers just as fast to keep your fingers warm. 
And an added bonus…the thumb is also cuffed for you to keep your thumb toasty too. Don’t want to cuff them…just scrunch them…perfect look and fun. 
Great on the computer when the office gets a bit chilly.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lorna Laces...great customer service!!!!

The other day, actually for the last couple of weeks I had been noticing that a pair of socks I knitted for my husband were felting. Well not both sides but only one side. These were his favorite socks and I washed them as usual in cool water and laid them flat to dry. But this last weekend they had really gotten to the point that the felting was really obvious and he no longer could put them on his feet. 
I emailed Lorna Laces and they were really dumbfounded as well. I have used Shepard Sock Yarn for ever and this has never happen to me. I never put hand knitted anything into the dryer and always wash in cold or cool water.  The owner of Lorna Laces, Beth Casey contacted me and was very helpful. I will continue to use Lorna Laces as one of my favorite yarns and now one of my favorite companies to deal with!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fingerless Mitts and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! I finally decided that I should knit another pair of these mitts. I really love them as they are knitted on fingerling weight yarn and on #2 needles. Very warm and I think it is because of the tight knit...versus bulky. Clearly have to try these on the recycled cashmere I just got from a woman on Etsy. I have posted these on Etsy and think I will do another soon. They knit fast but before I do another pair I want to knit a pair of red scrunch socks with a heart on the heels for Valentines. Busy knitting but then it is part of my resolution of knitting more pairs of socks this year than I did last year! 
We will see how that goes.....Happy New Year!


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