Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer of Socks = Travel Knitting

Couldn’t wait for Saturday travel day to cast on.

Charade Sock - 1
First Summer Sock

I went diving into the stash for something fun and summery for my first Summer of Socks project, and something that would be good mindless travel knitting. I came up with some Gypsyknits merino superwash sock yarn, the color is Party Fun.

Free sock pattern Charade, thanks again Krista for the link!

Charade Sock - 2
Here you can see the just started herringbone rib

Lantern Moon Sox Stix US0 needles, fingers crossed they’ll get through security.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Welcome to Summer!

On the way home from Pop’s on Monday it sure felt like it was Summer already. Here we are at the North end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel, on the way home to Charlottesville.

P & M at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
By the Bay

Rambouillet Skein One
Before we left to spend the weekend and Father’s Day with my FIL, I finished spinning the first half of Anne’s lovely Rambouillet roving. This is the first fiber in the the Wooly Wonka Exotic Fibers Club. I’ve posted about it before here.

Rambouillet Skein One

This is about 1.8oz, 145yds, 2-ply, 12wpi/DK weight. I’m planning to knit up the lacy rib cowl pattern that we received with the fiber. The Rambouillet is very soft and lofty. So, it should make a very warm neckwarmer either for me, or perhaps it will find its purpose in life as an xmas gift. There’s another 2oz left to spin and I may experiment with blending the Rambo with another fiber to see how that spins up.

Sock Pal Socks Done!
Voting so far is in favor of the socks being swap-worthy!

Sockapalooza 4 Socks
These are in fact the same dyelot!

Spinning Merino-Tencel
The Husband and Pop watched pretty much continuous coverage of the US Open Golf. I’m a golfer too, but that’s a LOT of golf. Fortunately I had a nice spot with a view of the TV and room to set up the wheel. I got the first half spun of what will be a 2-ply light fingering weight.

merino-tencel bobbin one
Merino/tencel first bobbin of singles

This is the Ashland Bay Trading Co. merino/tencel 70/30 roving I found at Rocktown Yarns when Krista and I visited. It’s a lovely deep blue-purple blended with the pale tencel. The sheen is nicer in person, and I think will show up more when the yarn is plied and can relax a bit. I’m still working on spinning a fine laceweight with the Louet Victoria and time will tell if it’s my experience level or the wheel’s limited top speed that’s keeping me from quite getting as fine a single as I want. I’m getting closer though.

Argosy Scarf
Thanks for asking Bitty, here's some progress on the Argosy Scarf with my handspun.

argosy progress 070620-2
Relaxing in the hostas

It’s creeping along. I frogged back and added an extra set of increases as it was just too skinny as written. I like the stripe-y yarn with the columnar pattern, and the sort of plaid they make. This is a low priority knit and will probably continue as TV or SnB knitting until it’s a length I like.

Summer of Socks

SoS starts today! I'm not planning to compete for most socks or anything, but I will post and discuss socks as we go. I've got the second Mad-Tini sock on the needles now, but will probably start a quickie pair of Charade's on the plane, since we're . . . .

Traveling Again
We’re going on an insane five day round-trip to Scotland. Graduation doesn’t plan itself around our business schedule. So, we leave Saturday afternoon and will be back Thursday night. My stepdaughter is graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Archaeology with honors! We’re very proud of her and no matter where the next adventure takes her, she’s the one we know will always figure out a way to make things happen.

It’s such a quick trip, and right now the weather forecast is pretty Scotland-ish, so we’re not making a lot of touristy sightseeing plans. We’re hoping to relax, stroll around a bit, see a few sights (the botanical garden is a must), maybe happen upon a yarn shop, avoid haggis, and hoist a pint of ale or wee dram of whisky at the pub. As the Husband and I are golfers, I’ve promised him a day trip to St Andrews, if it’s not pouring rain.

No blogging, and likely no internet access until I return. And I’ll let you know if I’m able to get the knitting needles through airport security!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Vote Early, Vote Often

Sockapalooza 4 Socks Done!
But, I need your help.

Sockapalooza 4 Socks Done!
Go ahead and click for big if you wish

Same color, same dyelot. Hunnhh?!?

Please comment and tell me if these have gone beyond fraternal twin socks to mix-up-at-the-hospital-switched-at-birth socks. I like 'em. I'd wear 'em. But this is my first swap and, well, what would you think if someone sent you this pair of socks?

Yarn: Interlacements Tiny Toes, color 402, lot 29006 (yes, both of them)

Needles: Two circs, Addi US1 for cuff and leg, US0 for heel and foot

Pattern: Adapted from Springgrass Socks to be knit top-down, with 64 stitches, adding twisted stitches at the sides, and eye-or-partridge flap heel.

Completed: June 18, 2007

Finished Size: Women's US8

Notes: To avoid the gauge issues that usually plague my socks I knit these in tandem on two sets of two circs. Yes, I have Lots of Needles too.

The pattern is pretty, and works up quickly. I would knit these again as toe-up for myself to get every bit of length in the leg. These have a nice long 9" leg, but I knew I was only knitting for a size 8 foot!

The Interlacements Tiny Toes appears to be our old friend Louet fingering weight for a base yarn. So, it's soft, tightly twisted, springy, and squooshy - my favorite kind of sock yarn to work with. The colors are deep, intense greens and are equally gorgeous, even if very different in the two skeins.

The polls are now open!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Eastern Shore

Off to visit my FIL for a few days. Back on Monday with some spinning and knitting.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Plying and Silk

Spinning Class, Part 2:
Yesterday was the second session of Barbara Gentry’s Beginning Spinning workshop at Stony Mountain Fibers.

Barbara has a very nice shop on her farm with knitting, spinning, and weaving supplies and equipment

Being such an overachiever, I had already spun my singles at home. So, while the others were spinning, I had time to learn and practice spinning from the fold – which finally makes sense after learning the long draw and using it to spin my singles. I may have bought some tussah silk to practice on.

silk top
Hand-dyed and undyed tussah silk

At the end of the class two of us tried out spinning a bit of silk cap which was quite a different experience, literally spinning as fine as thin sewing thread.

Anyway, we only had time for basic 2-ply, but Barbara explained several ways to set it up – with a center-pull ball, plying ball, or lazy kate.

Barbara demonstrating 2-plying

To help everyone see the twist, we plied our dyed with our undyed fiber. Sounds simple, but as a teaching tool, it can’t be beat.

corriedale skein
A face only its mother could love

Skeined, given a bath, and brought home to dry, I’ve got 74yds of 10wpi, aran/bulky 2-ply Corriedale. It’s lumpy and bumpy and uneven. But I’ve learned long draw and practiced it quite a bit with both hands, so this skein makes me happy anyway!

I would highly recommend this class for anyone interested in learning to spin, or just curious if they would like it. The next classes are in August and September. Class Schedule HERE.

See how much fun we’re having!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Hi All!

Sorry for the blog silence. Ever have a week where you are busy, busy, busy, and cannot figure out what has gotten done? Yeah, me too. Other than working Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday night at the LYS, here’s what I squeezed in.

Spinning Class:
Barbara Gentry at Stony Mountain Fibers has a great two-part beginning spinning class at her farm/shop. Though I’m pretty far ahead on the spinning, I had not done any fiber prep at all. In the first class we learned about fleece selection, washing, and carding. I can say with some confidence that I do not see a whole lot of hand carding in my future! Though I did buy some lovely Strauch fine cards to experiment with blending at home, I’ve gotta start looking for a good price on a drum carder if I want to keep prepping fiber myself.

strauch cotton hand cards
Strauch Hand Cards

We then moved on to a quick intro to drop spindle spinning, and at the end of class to the wheel. It was an action packed three hours! We were each sent home with several ounces of Corriedale fleece from a local farm in Nelson County to wash and card. This was a nice reasonably clean fleece (no pics, I got home, put it right in the washer and it was too dark for photos), but Wow, what a difference after washing. So fluffy! This fleece is a beautiful light silver grey and has a wonderful soft texture.

corriedale fleece washed
Corriedale fleece washed

We also carded some dyed fleece to spin and practice plying with the undyed. Since I’ve got a wheel, and had a day off yesterday, I’ve skipped ahead and spun up a bit of both. I learned a long backward draw and have been practicing that with both hands. I strained my good hand the other day, and figure if I can switch off to the other side occasionally, it might help keep me spinning more comfortably. So, the singles are a bit uneven as I experimented with drafting, tension, speed, and switching hands.

corriedale bobbins
Test spinning for class

The second class is this afternoon and I’ll try to remember to get the camera out of my bag this time!

I started a little lacy scarf with my handspun sock yarn, but it was just too busy and stripey. So, it was ripped without even the dignity of a photo first. I’ve started again with the Argosy scarf pattern from Knitty and I think it suits the yarn much better. I’ll give it a few more inches then decide.

argosy started
Still love the yarn, not sure about the pattern

Haven’t even touched my sock pal socks this week, but just have the feet and toes to do to finish both, and still have lots of time.

Remember, tomorrow, Saturday June 9th is World Wide Knit in Public Day. Anyone who’s near Charlottesville can join us at The Needle Lady 1-4pm for an informal Sit & Knit.