Thursday, December 3, 2009

Socks: JIT

Jit you ask? Shorthand for "Just in Time" which is basically a warehouse management tool. Having the right parts on hand at the right time so neither cash or room is spent languishing in storage. And that's a bare bones explanation for what can be a very complicated industrial flow chart! But we're talking socks here, specifically gift socks.
I started these back, oh, maybe in May and is typical, finished sock one while I was on my annual New England holiday. I even started sock two there. Then it was home and the siren song of looms and horses and long summer days. Sock two lay at the bottom of a basket, never having a snowballs chance of being the August birthday gift. Finally, come the end of October, as my Dad was proudly showing me he was STILL wearing the socks I knit him two years ago plus the pair I knit my Mother which he swiped. It was a big hint and within minutes of their leaving the house sock two again saw the light of day. Needless to say I am a very slow knitter. I try at night to knit but it either lulls me to sleep or I make mistakes. I get up awfully early and by 8:00 pm I may be up but I can't cope with anything harder than an hour of TV or good book.
So, without further ado, Papa socks!

The pattern is Cauchy ( named after a French mathematician, appropriate for an engineer ...) from Cookie A's book Sock Innovation. It used less than one Zauberball
for a sock sized to fit a men's size 9 foot. I knit these on size 2 needles. It is wonderful yarn and I have another ball or two in different colors. I love the long repeats and way the change in colors isn't harsh or abrupt.

It's not the only thing running on the JIT principal. The prayer flags were all just about woven yesterday. I have to finish up the final one one ( 15 minutes give or take) on the loom today and then hemming, braiding and bell attachment. I used one of the Finnish bird's eye patterns from M. Davidson's book and I like it best of all the little patterns I've added to the different batches of flags I've done. Time to remember to record the info in the loom notebook!

They will go down to the store tomorrow, tagged with their prayers and ready to spread their good thoughts for a few lucky pets and their families.

Holiday shopping is complete on my end. Nothing to do but get things wrapped and ready to ship, pat myself on the back for a few inspired gifts and drink eggnog. I love eggnog. Spiked of course.

On farm news, Morgan was out on Tuesday to trim the boys. Their hoof growth has slowed down to the point where I can go 8 weeks between trims instead of our usual 6.
I did finally get up to the back of the property to look for bear tracks and found them. They had deteriorated a lot by the time I made it, but still very large and easy to find.
The bear tracked down a bit on our property heading for the house then cut up into the woods and onto other lands and places. No sign of a return trip.
The fox was spied early Monday morning making a beeline across the driveway.
Everyone has been enjoying the settled clear weather. It's cold in the mornings though and going lower every night. This morning it's 18 degrees F and I need to go out and
feed, count stars and like the Owl and the Pussycat, maybe dance by the light of the moon! Throwing out hay to 5 hungry horses could be considered a dance. :-)


  1. Since I am first and foremost a knitter I will have to say that those socks are beautiful and i will now have to put Zauberball on my Christmas list!

    Good for you finishing up the holiday business so early that you get to enjoy your spiked eggnog.

  2. Yay for finished socks & prayer flags!!

    The socks are quite spectacular. I'm sure your dad will love them!!

    We're having a sunny, very warm (over 65) day here. Still no snow. I'm OK with that. Bet it will change soon!


  3. beautiful socks! Lucky recipient. On the sock machine front - not knitting yet, but it did do a couple of stiches. Lots of tweeking to do I guess. Evelyn

  4. Did you get the Zauberball from Websters? Just wondering if it's available locally - it's wonderful yarn.

    I know JIT! Surprised? I have a husband that's an expert in it - he's changed over several manufacturing facilities to lean the process of doing another one right now. I guess I do pay attention to what he's saying sometimes......

  5. That really is a nice color gradation for those socks! Makes me wish I was a knitter (almost).

    My daughter knits and so I will direct her to your page to take a look at those, with a not so subtle hint. :)

    There's be frost on the pumpkins here if we had any left. But it sure is nice to see the sun after weeks of rain. No, make that 'monsoon rain!'

  6. The socks are beauties! I have read a lot about prayerflags in american blogs, but I still don't quite get what they are used for. I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet, and it will take quite a time before I get round to doing it.

  7. You've mentioned prayer flags in different posts. What is a prayer flag and what do you do with one?

  8. Sharon & Charlotte, I think the best info written on prayer flags is here.

    Thank you all for the sock compliments. I know my Dad will enjoy them.

    Evelyn, great news on getting at least a couple of stitches out of the Auto knitter.

    Susan, knitting is certainly a little more portable than weaving and has it's benefits. Speed is not one of them, at least for me. Although having someone knit for you has huge benefits! Glad the flood waters have left and the sun is shining.

    Cindie, JIT is a wonderful concept and I know for a fact that you know many many things. :-)

    Sue, I think you guys are having a banner fall with the warm weather. Maybe you will end up with a warm less snowy winter. It does happen much to the chagrin of the ski areas.