Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tehachapi Sock Company-Knitting off the Grid

I follow a lot of blogs. Many are sewing/quilting related. Some are frugal/simple living blogs. Some are crocheting and knitting blogs. There are some blogs out there that speak out to me on multiple levels and the blog that I’m going to showcase today is one of them. I don’t plan on turning this into a regular feature, however, if and when I find other blogs out there that speak to me the way that this one does, I’ll probably showcase them as well. :)
Today’s featured blog is Knitting off the Grid. The blog is about this woman Kathy who loves to knit and has an awesome sock making machine and Cheryl who handles the business. But Kathy doesn’t JUST post about her knitting and her socks. She and her family also live “off grid”. This means that they don’t get their electricity from the utility company. They use a large wind turbine to generate energy, and they use a back up diesel generator when they need to. This blog talks about doing laundry and hanging it out to dry.

Cranking out socks on Doris, and features an “Ask Mack” on Friday. 

Monthly they give away a gift. It has been socks, but this month it is yarn and needles, so the winner can make their own. She’s had several giveaways since I’ve followed her blog. They also have an etsy shop where you can purchase some of these socks that Kathy makes. There are socks, scarves, purses, pillows, coffee warmers (think leg warmers for your Starbucks cups), and several patterns.
Now onto the interview….

How long have you been knitting?
This will shock everyone!  50 years and still going strong!!!!  My
daughter Cheryl is a non-knitter but helps to handle the business end
of everything.

How long has Tehachapi Sock Company been in business?
Cheryl and I started our little sock business 6-7-08.  That's easy to remember!

I know that the decision to go "off grid" is a personal one and it is
more than just your business, but how has going "off grid" affected
your business?
I think living off the grid has helped the business in that people are
very curious what it's like.  It actually goes along with how we make
our socks the old fashioned way without electricity for our machine.

What's your favorite "tools of the trade"?
Naturally I have tons of knitting needles because I hand knit, but our
prize "tool" is our antique circular sock machine that we've named
"Doris."  When we purchased the machine from Canada, I just knew that
she'd be able to hum and sing once we got her up and running.  So, I
named her after Doris Day!  The machine is somewhere between 85 and
100 years old and is a Legare 400.  It's known as the "work horse" and
capable of making thousands of pairs of socks.

One question I'm always asked is: “How long does it take to make a pair
of socks.”  The answer:  approximately 3 hours start to finish.

What would you advise to someone who's never knit before?
Try it and see if you enjoy it.  Many years ago I owned and operated a
small yarn shop and always told new knitters that knitting isn't for
everyone.  And that's ok - that's what makes the world go round.  But,
with the help from a fellow knitter and lots of encouragement, anyone
can learn to knit.

So, go visit Kathy and Cheryl and check out their shopI'm sure you'll find something that you enjoy or will want. :) These are two ladies that are not only being very crafty, they're also doing it in a more sustainable way. :)

**Disclaimer** I'm not being compensated in any way by the ladies at Tehachapi Sock Company. I just really appreciate what they are doing for themselves and for the environment, and I think they put out a quality product.


  1. Welcome to the blog, Amy. That IS a bunch of socks. But aren't they pretty sitting on the line like that?

  2. Tracy first I want to thank you for joining my blog and commenting. It is nice to have friends. Yes I have seen this sock company. I wish I had one of those machines. I knit but not continually. I would rather quilt which I do.
    thanks again.