Adventures in Sock Knitting
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Posts Tagged ‘spinning’

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Socks and Shawls

The knitting around here has been mostly secret, but I did manage to finish up a couple of public things…

Greek Isles Handspun Socks
Started: 7/27/2011
Finished: 9/25/2011
Yarn: Handspun sock yarn in Greek Isles superwash merino roving (Pigeonroof Studios?)

Unfortunately one of my larger sock blockers is hiding. I’m sure it’s around here somewhere. I finished spinning the yarn during Tour de Fleece this year. The tag on the roving didn’t say where it was from, but some Googling has lead me to believe that it was Pigeonroof Studios. I must have bought it in person or got it as a gift, though.

The other project is a little shawlette:

Pattern: Traveling Woman
Yarn: Stitchjones Glam Sock in Marine
Started: 9/10/11
Finished: 10/1/11

As you can see it’s currently blocking. :) It’s a very easy pattern, and a pretty quick knit too!

In other knitting news, yesterday I went to my LYS in search of a crochet hook for beading. I have some pretty little ones that I’ve used before, but this time my size 10 crochet hook (it looks like size varies between companies, but between 1 and 1.3mm) was just not small enough. Unfortunately, that’s the smallest size they carry.

So after calling JoAnn’s (no, they didn’t have it either) I ordered sizes 13 and 14 online. (0.85mm and 0.75mm respectively). Hopefully these will be small enough. I honestly can’t imagine how much of a hook they can really have at that size!

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Hedera, Spinning, and the Road to the Summit!

I finished my first KAL with the 52 Pair Plunge group, Hederaesque:

Pattern: A modified version of Hedera
Yarn: Cavyshops Merino Fingering in Tea Party
Started: 7/1/11
Finished: 7/24/11

A pretty pathetic start, but my July knitting was seriously hampered by my participation in Tour de Fleece.

I finished a skein of BMFA in Little Bunny Foo Foo:

And started some lovely Cloudlover superwash BFL in Hoarfrost:

These past few weeks I’ve spun more than I had in the past year! (And there’s the knitting lull to show for it.)

In addition, I’ve been preparing for my trip to Sock Summit with a very important task… sock laundry.

Sock laundry

The bottom half of the drying rack is hidden behind a table and out of the picture. So yeah, I have a lot of handknit socks. Obviously I won’t be able to wear (or even bring!) them all to Sock Summit, but I figured it was as good a reason as any to take a picture of all my clean socks.

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Girasole and Spinning

A friend was out of town and I was taking care of her plants, so I took the opportunity to block Girasole in a cat-free location.

Girasole blocking

I’m happy with it, but I have no idea how I’m going to use it now that it’s done. I’m not really a shawl person… I wore my Milkweed to Madrona with a little pin as a scarf-like thing, but that isn’t really going to work with Girasole since it’s circular. But I’m still glad that I made it – it’s definitely the most genuine lace project that I’ve done so far.

After finishing Girasole I immediately embarked upon the 52 Pair Plunge and Tour de Fleece almost all at once. I’ve been knitting mostly on Hedera-esque:

And spinning quite a bit. First up is a 4oz superwash merino braid labeled only “Greek Isles”. I’m sure I bought it at a fiber festival – most likely Rhinebeck, but I have no idea where it’s from.

The skein on the left hadn’t been washed when the picture was taken, but now it’s fluffed up and looks a lot like the one on the right.

Then I moved on to some BMFA fiber (a Sheep to Shoe kit) in Little Bunny Foo Foo:

So far I’m really enjoying getting back to spinning!

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Green Socks #3

I did indeed finish three pairs of green socks in a row, and since the first two are secret for now, here is the third:


Yarn: Zauberball in Grashalm
Started: 3/5/10
Finished: 4/9/10

My sisters visited for my birthday this weekend, so although I didn’t get a lot of knitting done, I did have a lot of fun. One of my sisters wanted to try spinning, so I got her set up and she made a little skein of yarn after a lot of effort.


Meanwhile, my other sister baked the cupcakes.

Melanie Bakes!

And I cast on for this year’s birthday socks!


The yarn is Regia Mosaik Color – as you can see a bit in the picture, the yarn is dyed with extremely short color sections – about one stitch. It gives an interesting effect! Although this yarn is sort of crazy-bright, I was inexplicably drawn to it.

I was inspired by my 2007 birthday socks – I do like to wear plain stockinette socks, and I usually have a pair living in my bag for bus knitting, so I knew I needed to start one for my birthday. Maybe this will become a yearly tradition!

Listening to: My Gift of Silence ~ Blackfield



I didn’t know what I was going to call this post, but then I realized that a lot of it revolves around not-alpaca. You’ll see…

First, I knit this hat – which *used* to be the Alpaca Ski Cap – for the store. The yarn that was originally used was discontinued and so I knit it in some lovely Cashsoft Aran.


Another bonus of working in a yarn store is that you get to knit things you wouldn’t make for yourself, but still enjoy knitting.

And on the first Friday of each month, there is a spinning group that meets. The owner was kind enough to lend me her folding Lendrum since my Kromski Symphony isn’t very portable. I grabbed some fiber on the way out the door yesterday morning and got a bit of a surprise when I went to spin it. There were two little braids of fiber labeled “Alpaca” which I believe I got from a secret pal at some point. Well, I pulled it out and it certainly wasn’t like an alpaca I have used! It had a lot of guard hair and really didn’t feel like alpaca to me… not the soft squishy fiber most of us are used to. I don’t know if it’s just a different kind of alpaca or if it’s llama perhaps? In any case, it spun up quite nicely anyway. I was jokingly calling it “fake alpaca” all night.

The resulting yarn is not as even as I usually spin, but it was a new wheel for me and it’s a single treadle with scotch tension – much different than my large double treadle double drive wheel. All things considered it turned out well!


Here’s the mystery-alpaca plied and drying in my bathtub. There were two colors, a navy and a brighter blue, so I plied them together for a barberpole look. I like it!


You can see the barberpole effect in that picture, as well as the guard hairs. The yarn looks a bit fuzzy – like you’d expect from an angora yarn, but isn’t quite as soft.

I’ve been doing some other spinning lately, but this one at home. At Sock Camp my roommate Marisol bought one of the Sheep to Shoe kits, but wanted a worsted weight yarn. She’s just learning to spindle spin, but decided that since the fiber wouldn’t fit in her suitcase and she wasn’t sure how fast she could get it spun, that she’d leave it with me.


The colorway is “The Claw” and this part kind of matches my wheel! The color repeats are very long, so I haven’t hit the purple yet.

And last but not least, I got one of katkoe’s random mailing Wednesday surprises, and came home tonight to a little envelope with these:


Stitch markers with the names of my (usually) beloved cats in an envelope that appears to be made from plastic bags!

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Presenting… sock yarn!

My poor neglected blog! The last couple of week and a half have been filled with friends, way too much of a social life, and not too much knitting. Oh, yeah, and spinning.

I did complete my Tour de Fleece goal and finish spinning my birthday roving! I think in a little less than a month the birthday handspun can become my cross country road trip socks.

I made a true three ply for the first time – I plied most of the singles until the bobbin was as full as I could get it, then skeined that bunch and plied the smaller skein in the back. This is right after plying, I haven’t wet and blocked the yarn yet.

I think it turned out pretty well – it’s not as super-even as I would have liked but it was spun over multiple days and in a bit of a rush. And it really is pretty even, other than a few places where the roving was a bit sticky – strangely this mostly happened on the parts that were dyed dark blue. And as you can see the plying left a bit of a pool of yellow in one section. In any case, I’m sure the socks will be lovely.

Listening to: Creep ~ Radiohead, …and the Great Cold Death of the Earth ~ Agalloch


Tour de Fleece

Lately there hasn’t been all that much knitting going on, but there has been spinning! I decided to participate in the Tour de Fleece, even though I’m not watching the Tour de France. A goal of spinning a bit every day and finishing this 4oz bundle of fiber into sock yarn was just the motivation I needed! I’ve been turning this Spunky Eclectic superwash merino fiber that was a birthday gift from Cathy


Into this:


Singles that I’m going to 3-ply to make fingering/sport weight yarn for socks. I’m a little over halfway done spinning the singles. Now off for another 2 hour spinning session while watching The Other Boleyn Girl – just for the costumes. 😉


Knitting Pink

I arrived home on Wednesday to find some pink yarn in my mailbox.

The yarn was from MJ for me to test knit the socks she’s designing. Yep, she’s come to take away my niche and has started designing socks too. 😉

See, pink ribbing! Oh, come on, you didn’t really think I was going to show you anything secret did you? The California Socks in progress snuck into the picture too. They’re actually getting a bit of attention after every few rows of the pink socks to give my hands and brain a bit of a rest.

Then because I can never have enough sock WIPs… I cast on for the Sockamania Simply Cables socks in Socks That Rock Lightweight in Blue Brick Wall. I’ve had this yarn sitting on my shelf for a while now because I wasn’t totally convinced that I loved it. But then… I wound it into a ball:

Look at that blue beauty!

I also have a goal to spin more this month – I’m trying for at least 8 hours of spinning in March. So far I have 0 hours done and all these socks probably won’t help…

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I’ve been chummed!

Today I got an email from Alexis to tell me that I had been chummed. Or, rather, (Black)hearted had been chummed. In any case, it was a pleasant surprise and I notice that now one new person has started the socks on Ravelry. Not sure if that was a result of the chumming or not. (I do read the chum, but I was at work. And I generally work at work. Strange but true.)

I also have a hat to show you! The amazing handspun Claudia is done.

Pattern: Claudia by my fab friend MJ
Yarn: handspun from my Rhinebeck fleece
Started: 1/23/08
Finished: 2/17/08

I haven’t been able to get a modeled pic yet because I haven’t had any fellow knitters to con into taking pictures of me wearing Claudia. And I’m just not that good with a camera timer. Maybe soon.

In other exciting news, I don’t think it ever made it to the blog but I’m going to SPA this weekend. It was sort of an impromptu trip but I think it will be lots of fun. And I’m even bringing my wheel!

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Some progress

Last time I reported on all of the half done socks hanging around my house. What I didn’t tell you was that at the time that entry was written all except the Class Socks were on my desk. I like to keep half socks on my desk, that way when I get bored I can grab a different pair.

So since that post I’ve done a few rounds on the BFF socks. I also finished the heel flaps, turns, and picked up the gusset on the STR club socks, and the Secret Valentine Design socks are looking like this:

Yes, that is the bottom of the foot of a sock. But it’s the bottom of the foot of an almost done sock (which is connected to a second almost done sock)! I know you’re excited. 😉

Also the variation in the yarn is only that visible under very bright light like, say, a camera flash. In normal light it looks like subtly variegated blue-black.

And here’s the handspun I was talking about:

I’m not totally sure what the fiber was since Rachel gave it to me without any sort of label, but I think it was an angora blend. It was pretty difficult to spin because the fibers were sticking together like crazy so I first had to split the batt into very thin strands so I could draft it at all. Consequently the finished yarn is a bit more thick-and-thin than my usual, but I think it turned out well.

Listening to: Head Like A Hole ~ A.F.I., In My Waking Life ~ Saves the Day

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