Stunning Socks

I’ve neglected my knitting blog for so long now. Working full time and being a graduate student seems to have sucked the life out of me. Since I’m in between programs at the moment, and taking some time off, my crafting is picking up. This post by Knitting Sarah gave me some inspiration to share my latest socks.

These are afterthought heel socks and the yarn is the Atom colorway from String Theory Colorworks. I did also use one of their heel/toe mini skeins in chartreuse. String Theory is one of my absolute favorite dyers and everyone who has seen these socks has tried to convince me to give them to them. Alas, as much as I love them myself, I am giving them to my mom this Christmas. If they weren’t slightly too small for me I would very likely keep them for myself. Darn my big feet!

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A Gradient Thing

I finished my gradient yarn I mentioned earlier, got it plied, and washed. I was able to maintain the color changes so well. While this is not the softest yarn (its Corriedale, so that’s to be expected) but the evenness of my spinning has improved so much, and the colors are so pretty, I can’t be too concerned about that.

Plied and resting

Plied and resting

 

Finished skein

Finished skein

 

At the Wheel

I am trying my hand at some gradient yarn spinning. I got this gorgeous fiber from Fiber Artemis on Etsy. I thought to split the roving and evenly down the middle as I could, then spin each one so that, hopefully, when I go to ply, the colors changes will be maintained. Since starting this, I have learned that I could have done a chain ply but… whatever.

This is, by far, my most even single I have spun yet. It’s still a long way from truly even but I’m pleased with my project. It is also the thinnest I have spun. The singles are still looking rather fuzzy but maybe that is the fiber? It’s a Romney, I believe, which I’ve read is a rougher, fuzzier wool.

I finished one bobbin last night and I have already started the second. I am really excited to see how this turns out so that I can figure out what to make with it.

photo 5 photo 4

Waste Yarn

I got the grand idea last night that I should weave on my loom. A lady from my knitting night suggested joining the Rigid Heddle group on Ravelry to get some weaving ideas. It worked. I really love all the Fauxberry (fake Burberry) scarves but I didn’t have the yarn I needed right then to make one (I had to order some black yarn in the weight I wanted). So I decided to go digging through my stash for something to create.

A side note to this story is that last year, I got rid of almost all of my “chain store” yarn (read: cheap). I decided that I’m such a slow knitter, I should enjoy every moment of the knitting process and be as happy as possible with my product. I was finding that I wasn’t happy with the look of how lower priced yarns were turning out and decided to become a full-blown yarn snob.

Now, that being said, a few skeins of chain store yarn hung around. I kept my Patons Silk Bamboo because it was a better quality that, say, the acrylic yarns. Plus I had three matching skeins and I figured I could come up with a use. I pulled it out, plus a little Rare Comfort Pure Mohair for texture and started warping the loom.

Because I am occasionally a dunderhead, I decided I remember exactly how to warp the loom. The fact that I’ve only woven 3 times and have used the instructions each time, didn’t factor in. The little detail that it’s been about 6 months since I touched the loom also had no affect on my confidence.

I was just stringing away and all was well. Once I had warped the entire thing and it was time to wind the yarn up, it finally hit me that something was wrong. When I started winding, the warp sticks were not wrapping around correctly. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to realize my error.

I had warped to the wrong side of the loom.

**Now, my disclaimer here is that I am not looking for advice on how I could’ve solved this problem. Since last night I have thought of several possible ways plus I’m sure the internet could have helped me. In the moment though, I decided I knew what to do.

Hours later…

Yes, hours.

For multiple hours I struggled with that damn loom.

I tried winding it one way and then another

I tried untying and retying the warp.

Nothing was working. I had no tension to speak of and things were just a mess.

Around 10 p.m. I sat there with the loom in my lap and looked at the absolute mess I had made. I knew that, somehow, this was fixable. It had to be. However, that would take an unknowable amount of time that didn’t actually include weaving.

So I sat and stared and thought… this is cheap yarn. Not as cheap a some, to be sure, but this is not by $20+ a skein hand-dyed yarn. It’s big box store yarn that I probably got with a coupon and have no sentimental attachment to.

With that thought, I picked up my scissors and cut.

I cut every bit of yarn off the loom and dumped it in the trash.

I don't think this is what they mean by "waste yarn"

I don’t think this is what they mean by “waste yarn”

Now, I’m trying to come up with reasons why I’m ok with this. Like the fact that the mohair yarn wanted to grab at itself when you moved the heddle up and down, so it was going to be a pain anyway. That’s what I’m telling myself, at least.

Some Much Needed Progress

After the frustration the other night of knitting the wrong repeat, I finally managed to tink back all four rows I had done incorrectly. Now, four rows doesn’t sound like that much, until you consider that those rows are each about 4 foot wide.

So once all the un-knitting was complete, I managed to move forward again and get a few repeats done.

I decided to lay out the big, purple, monster of a blanket to see how far along I really am. I was pleasantly surprised.

The length is about 24 inches now. I figure it will be roughly 60 inches long so I want to call this “almost half way”.

Sorry about the dark picture, I took this in my bedroom around midnight.

afghan

 

Wind All the Yarn

I kept wanting to start a new project tonight, in spite of the numerous WIPs I have. So I ended up wiNadine about 5 balls of yarn to potentially use. The first two got ruled out because the patterns required a garter tab and my head hurts too bad to pick up stitches. Another was nixed because it required picking up 90 stitches after about 3 rows. Finally I decided to work on my Comfy blanket, which needed 2 more s wound before I could continue. 

By the time it was all said and done, I barely even wanted to knit. I finally sat down to knit one repeat of the blanket and now that I am looking at it, I realize that I did the wrong repeat and will need to rip out 4 rows. 

I just need to give up and go to be.  

Doing the Unthinkable

So I am, after a year of avoiding them, knitting a sock. Nothing fancy, just a plain old stockinette sock. I am not big on wearing socks (I’m more of a barefoot girl) so I planned to give this sock (so ever produce its mate) to my mom. She’s a knitter and constantly cold so she seemed like the ideal person to appreciate a sock knit from handspun yarn.

Unfortunately, this sock is seeming… rather large. My mom is a skinny, short little thing and so her ankles and feet are fairly thin. This sock is big enough around, somehow, that it would be pretty saggy on her.

The good news is that I have big feet and ankles (I blame my sturdy, Czech ancestry) so they will fit me. Now that I’m on to knitting the foot I even slipped it on to test it and it really does fit me well. But that means I have to knit the foot long enough to accommodate my US size 10 foot. Not a huge issue, right?

Here’s my concern… sock number two. With how large sock one will be… I didn’t really consider the amount of yarn left over to create the second sock. It really might not be enough and, given the handspun nature, I can’t get any more.

I intend to weight sock one when it’s complete and then weight my remaining yarn to see how it will pan out. It may be fine. Maybe that ball of yarn is wound tighter than it looks and the smallish sized ball holds a deceptive amount of yarn. It’s totally possible. I’m tempted to weight the sock now but that would include the needles and not all of the required yarn so it wouldn’t be accurate.

I won’t lie, if this falls through… it might be what ruins me for knitting socks forever…