Saturday, June 28, 2014

Learning Experience (or Not)

The other day I was knitting away on my handspun socks.

They had a heel and I was working up the leg and enjoying the feel of knitting with handspun (as one does) and I noticed something. I noticed that the foot looked long. It looked too long really, I started to get a sinking feeling. I look at it, I held it up to my foot. I looked at it some more. I thought about the gauge I had checked and the math I had done to check on when to start the gusset increases. I decided to try it out. I pulled the needles out and pulled the sock on my foot. There was over an inch of sock flapping at my toes. Way too big.
I really don't know what happened. I measured gauge in a couple of places (partly because it's handspun and might be a little different here and there) I figured out how many increases I would need to do and how many rounds that would take. I added in a bit for the actual heel turn and away I went. I did actual math. They still didn't work.
To me, that's part of the trouble with toe-up socks. You don't know that it isn't right until the heel is actually done. At that point it's so demoralizing to have to rip back. I decided these needed a good, long time out. So then, this happened.

Yup, ripped out entirely. I'll reskein the yarn and wash it and then maybe I'll think about winding it and casting on again but maybe top-down this time. No sense getting all crazy again.
I also heard the other day that it's six months to Christmas. That caused me to do this (after ripping the handspun sock).

I'm not too sure who these will go to yet. I was thinking my stepdad but now I'm not sure. Is this too, uh, girlie? Time will tell. Please note: I obviously didn't learn from being frustrated with the other toe-up socks. These are toe-up too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Molly Ringworm Socks

This week has been busy and full but very good too. My darling cat came home so I've been enjoying lots of furry snuggles and knitting plain, simple things. As evidenced by these purse socks that got finished.

Normally Tuesdays are for spinning but all I've really been doing for spinning is getting in a little practice with my spindles before the Tour de Fleece starts and the progress is slow going on those.
So, back to the socks. I started them some time ago and while they're just plain socks, they didn't actually spend a whole lot of time in my purse, which is why it took me so long to finish them. The purse spot was being held by my Vesper Smoke on the Water socks for a long time and only when they were finally finished did these fall into place.
The yarn is an absolutely beautiful 80 Superwash Merino/10 Cashmere/10 Nylon blend from Ethereal Fibers in her Autocorrect series and it's called; Molly Ringworm. I love all the colors in it although I'm not too sure about the way the colors lined up with my stitch count but they're lovely, soft socks and I can't wait for it to be cold enough for me to actually need socks again. (Although, I don't want it to come too soon!)
I did a plain top-down sock with these and worked an eye of partridge heel and decided to change up the toe and did a round toe rather than a flat toe. I wanted to see how it would fit. Except for this brief modeling session, I haven't worn them though so time will tell if the round toe is a new favorite.

When these lovely socks were done I decided to opt for sanity and pull out a languishing UFO to finish rather than start something new. So I dug out some lovely handspun socks I had started a long time back and I've been working steadily away on them.

Look, this one has a heel now! This is 100% Merino from Gritty Knits but I spun it and plied it very tightly so I'm not too worried about wear. To give you an idea of this yarn, I'm knitting with US 1s (2.25 mm) and it's chain-plied yarn. It's very fine. They're a joy to knit (isn't it always a joy to knit with your handspun?) so I'm enjoying them immensely.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lack of Ideas

After a big spin, or even just a focused spin where I'm trying to get a specific weight of yarn, I like to have a little palate cleanse. I pick something I have no plans for in the immediate future and just spin it "quick and dirty" as I like to call it. It usually comes out to about a 2-ply sport weight and I have lots of fun taking the spinning pressure off.
Today's spinning I really debated though if I should chain-ply it or two-ply it and ultimately, since I didn't have any plans for it, I decided to two-ply it, thinking I would have more options then.

It sure looks nice lying on the mossy grass of my back yard doesn't it? It did come up to be about a sport weight and I have 300 yards there. A nice, round number. But let's look a little bit closer.

Do you see all the barberpole-ing of the light and dark? In some fiber I like that and even fractal spin (split the fiber in different ways) so the colors will barberpole but in this case, I was thinking that I may add it to the Mitered Crosses Blanket yarn and with the contrast I don't know that it will work. In that pattern I really need contrasting light yarn and dark yarn and I'm not sure this will fit the bill with all the light and dark contrast in the yarn itself.

It isn't bad though. I do like how it turned out. Bouncy and soft but sturdy. I just have no plans for it. So, give me a hint. After I wash it, what should I do with 300 yards of sport weight two-ply handspun? Any ideas?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Handspun Undyed

I'm sorry for the radio silence the last week and a half dear readers. I have had a pretty awful time. My dear cat Kiki ran away and I haven't found her. It's been over a week and my heart is broken with worry. That's not something I normally talk about here (you don't really need to know just how much of a crazy cat lady I really am) but I felt you deserved some kind of explanation.*
In between searching frantically, sobbing uncontrollably and calling people in a panic I would sit down and try to calm down by spinning. I've been spinning the 4 ounce ball of roving I got from Shepherd's Harvest this year from Riverwinds Farm. It's undyed cormo and it's amazing. About 3/4 of the way through it I realized I still had a ball of roving sitting here from the year before (or possibly before that. The wool fumes get to you, I can't remember exactly when it was from.) I decided to spin that too and ply them together. I did. It all came out to be a very nice light fingering weight yarn.

It's a two-ply and I really love it. I have no idea what it will be but it's so beautiful and plain and simple. It really makes my heart (at least a little bit) happy.
Although it hadn't yet had it's bath here, I did wash it now and it didn't plump too much so I'm a little bit disappointed with myself because I didn't even end up with 800 yards. With 8 ounces. I love it anyway and I look forward to knitting with it.

*My dear girl isn't fixed so at this point I'm hoping she is just overrun with little kitty hormones and will still come home. I have to believe that so I don't lose my ever-loving mind.