Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Make do With What’s on Hand July 12, 2013

So, today I nearly finished my most recent monkeys, but I had left my sewing-up needle at home.  However, I really wanted to get the almost completed monkeys off the needles so I could cast on another pair.  What to do?

So, I thought about what I had around me.  I was at the ISU agricultural mechanics shop out at the 450 farm.  So, I procured a couple of little pieces of leftover  mig  welding wire, transferred the stitches onto them, and voila! Rough and ready stitch holders!

Make 1

The rest of the sock isn’t visible as this pair will be a future gift for someone who might actually read this.  Yes, I am working on the Christmas presents already! 🙂  If you want to see them, pictures are available on my Ravelry page.

However, I have started on another pair, this time for me, thus I can show them to you!

Make 2

And this is one day later!

And this is one day later!


I’m totally adoring that green, grey and teal together. Can’t wait to wear these!!!


Practically a Sock Knitting Factory June 24, 2013

Ok, so that might be overstating it a bit.  But I do feel like a MACHINE of knitting prowess! Here are the latest and greatest Monkeys!


This was some beautifully dyed yarn.  I know it’s hard to see it, but this yarn had reds, rusts, oranges, greens, browns and even a tiny bit of pink in the mix.  It’s Socks that Rock Lightweight, unknown colorway.  It was a lot of fun to knit.

However, I am going to be hoping off the Monkey train for a little bit.  I’m making some socks for a male friend of mine and I’m not sure that the Monkey is the way to go. Both for the yarn and the person. Here’s the yarn:

Joel 1

Yes, it is very rainbow-ishious. And yes, he chose it:-)

Today I caused a (very) minor traffic jam on campus. You see, I took some stale buns down to Lake LaVerne to feed the fish and geese and swans. Anyway, first came the fish, then the geese and finally, the swans.  However, the geese are afraid of the swans so ran into the street.  They are not afraid of cars however, and would simply honk back as drivers tried to get through!  Oops!


More socks! June 16, 2013

Yes, I finished blocking the latest pair of monkeys!  I hung the blocked socks outside to dry in the sunshine today.


And then I started another pair…


I promise, sooner or later I will in fact blog about something other than monkey socks!


Getting Serious June 15, 2013

I don’t talk on here a lot about beauty products and regimes mostly because I typically don’t have any.  That is until lately that is.  You see, I’ve decided it’s time to start getting serious about my skin.

Over this past winter, I started using a moisturizer on my face consistently every night after my shower.  I know, big whoop.  But for me, it kinda was.  I generally don’t use moisturizer regularly.  However, I’ve decided to up my game a little bit.  I am starting to use a proper facial cleanser for my face as well as moisturizer with sunblock in it in the mornings.  I’m scarcely outside anymore, but I know that doing this will help my skin in the long-run.  I’m thankful that I was never one of those women who tanned for a hobby.  Even in high school when my friends were all doing it, I was sitting in the shade reading.  Some of those women today look 10-15 years older than what they really are because (I think) of those golden brown tans that they worked on so diligently.  I’m not naming any products at this point because I’m not sure how I like some of them still.  I have really sensitive skin, but sometimes it takes a bit before reactions start.

There are a couple of other things I’m getting serious about other than just my skin care.  Obviously, I’ve been knitting socks a fair amount lately.  I just finished my second pair of Monkeys and am getting ready to cast-on my third.  Here are the just finished ones in their bath.

serious 2

There was 19 grams of yarn left, which seems to be about average for a pair of Monkey’s in Socks that Rock Lightweight for me.


I’m also getting serious about learning to sew more.  I now have two sewing machines (the Necchi and an IKEA one) and it seems pretty silly to have them and not use them.  I’ve found a few “easy for a beginner” patterns that I plan on trying out this weekend, I’ll let you know how it goes!



Because I love you all so… June 7, 2013

I just got an email this morning saying that they are doing the Socks that Rock Mill End mystery bags this weekend. This, much like the Wollmeise “We’re different” yarns, is a really great way to get some Socks that Rock to play with for a more affordable price. You don’t get to choose the colors but honestly this is kinda a good way to develop a stash that isn’t just in your colors (in my case, this usually means blues, greens and reds).  It makes them good to go to for presents:-)

If you want to be notified of sales and knitalongs and the like from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, they do a good (and not obnoxiously often) email list.  It’s the best way to find out about these things early.

Have fun!


Sock Blocked June 4, 2013

I finished the pink and grey monkeys shortly after I finished the last post.  My sock blockers have been getting a lot of work lately, a lot more than they are used to at least!


There wasn’t a huge amount of yarn left over, but it only take about 5 or 6 grams to make one of the smaller squares.


I enjoyed making that pattern so much, I’ve decided to make it again.  I’m even using the same yarn (base, like I would have that much pink of any yarn in my stash!). I think that these are going to be for me as I wear a lot of the colors in them often.


It was a grey and rainy day today, as it has been much of the spring. Hence the craptastical photos. So far, Ames hasn’t flooded in any substantial manner, though given the amounts of rain that we have received, this is almost a surprise.  I don’t live in an area prone to flooding though there are areas like that all around the city.  Hopefully, this won’t be a repeat of years past

(Don’t worry, the Wollmeise is all in plastic bags and on a top shelf, just in case! [because I knew that y’all were worried!])




Catching up March 3, 2010

So, I haven’t really blogged in a while and I have lots and lots to share with you.  So, here is your disclaimer: If you are at work or otherwise at a point and time that you cannot download fifty bajillion and a half photos…. wait to read this post, ok?

All right, got the “official” stuff out-of-the-way, now on to the fun stuff!

So, I left you hanging in Chicago didn’t I?  So I guess that would make a logical place to start!  The snow was quite deep by the end of the storm.  I have heard both 12″ and 14″ bandied about as the amount that fell so I will leave it at a heck of a lot of snow!

This is what it looked like a couple of sunny days after the fact…

I received a couple more packages while I was in Chicago, one was a package from my lovely in-laws and the other from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  I just realized that I forgot to take a photo of the Silk Thread II that I ordered for my Evenstar shawl before I balled it up (sigh) but I did take photos of most of the lovely presents from the in-laws!

The Sexy Red Namaste bag "Hermosa" that the in-laws gave me for my birthday!

I used that bag as a carry-on on the flight home.  It was a case of “perfect present, prefect timing” on that one!

The in-laws also realized just how many post-it’s a knitter goes through and sent me a bunch!  They also got me a subscription to Vogue Knitting as well as a card game to play with the hubby.  A throughly lovely birthday package I must say!

Now, since I didn’t take any photos of the Silk Thread II before I balled it I give you, urm, balls!  Now, you will note that these are in fact balls, not the cake-like “balls” that a yarn winder makes.  The reason for this is hand-hurtingly simple.  Pure silk is too slippery to stay in a nice cake, so one must wind it the old-fashioned way.  By hand, into a ball.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silk Thread II in Winter Solstice

I also got a skein of Socks that Rock from the Raven clan in Grawk (I liked the skein that I got for Tini at Rhinebeck that I had to get another for myself!)

LOVE the colors of this! They are soooo subtle yet really quite clear to see!

I did a couple of other things while I was in Chicago while waiting for my packages.  I went to a pub and watched the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics with a group of friends and friends of friends.  I went to another bead store called Bead in Hand and (hopefully) got enough beads for the Evenstar.  I visited Loopy Yarns and I would highly suggest to anyone visiting Chicago to go there!  It is easy to get to from the “L” and it had a FANTASTIC selection of yarns!  It was like a treasure trove of all the best brands and colors!  Plus, they have a fun electric ball winder (I could watch that thing all day!).

My trip home was uneventful except for the worst case of jet-lag that I have even encountered.  I was still off time zone a full three days later!  Being up at 4 am completely awake and ready to rock is an odd and disruptive thing to deal with!

On the 21st of February we met up with some friends of ours in London to go see the Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square and throughout London’s Chinatown.  It was incredibly crowded, so crowded that it was difficult to see the big screens that were showing what was going-on on the main stage, let alone the stage itself.  However, had one rather interesting experience there… I got handed a red balloon by a police officer in uniform!  The London Police were one of the main sponsors of the event and thus, there were cops handing out balloons!

I just loved this little girl with her bright coat and red balloon on her dad's back watching the show.

The streets of Chinatown were decked-out for the party!

A "dragon" going from shop to shop begging for...cabbage?

After getting some yummy Chinese food at a great restaurant just outside of Chinatown, we wandered over to get some gourmet ice cream at Fortnum and Mason which is a very, very, very nice department store that sort of specializes in food and food related products.  They have an ice cream parlor in it where we all got huge sundaes.

Literally, chocolate overload!

Afterwards we went to the Green and Red for a few drinks before the hubby and I headed home to some lonely pets.

This past weekend we drove up to Coventry to enjoy a mini ravelry day at the opening of Yarn Gathering, Jo Watson’s new yarn shop.  Jo is organizing the Knit Camp this summer that I am so very excited about and last Saturday was a way to meet some of the folks that are helping her put it together as well as a few of the tutors!  It was a very fun time and I would highly suggest that if anyone is in the Coventry area that you check out her store.  It has a really solid selection of yarns (and more coming in from what I’ve gathered) as well as one of the best book selections that I have seen in this country!

Everybody outside for the "opening"!

The ribbon cutting ceremony.

I go into a yarn shop and come out with... books.

There were lots of people there.

Jon from Easy Knits was there with his crew.

There were sandwiches and yummy cake to munch on next door in the social club.

I got a few things…

Some lovely yarn.

The 2 yarns on the right are from the Easy Knits booth up in the social club.  The Blue one is an alpaca/silk mix sock yarn while the red and yellow one is a BFL superwash sock yarn.  The blue/green yarn on the left is Malibrigo sock yarn which is a 100% superwash merino in the colorway Solis.  I also got some books:

"The Haapsalu Shawl"

"Whimsical Little Knits"

"A-B-C Surprise Jacket pattern"

and some dpns for making hats.  No pictures of those as they are, well, dpns for hats.  Use your imagination if you must!

Yesterday I made the swatch of the Evenstar shawl.  I’m tired of waiting for my yarn to come so that I can finish my Clapotis.  Here is the swatch:

Isn't it PRETTY!!!?!?!?

I’m both looking forward to and dreading starting the shawl as, well, that swatch took nearly 3 hours for me to knit.  Now, mind you, a goodly amount of that was looking-up stitches that I had no idea how to do on YouTube, but still, it wasn’t the easiest piece of knitting that I have ever done in my life.  Still, I want to do it and finish it in time to wear to Knitcamp (a shawl makes sooooo much sense in Scotland in the summer!).

Coming up I have some book reviews and cute photos of pets.  I know you can’t wait!