Friday, July 6, 2007

Travel Knitting, Home Again Spinning, and Friday Flowers


Well, my Sox Stix sailed through security with nary a glance in the US or UK. If asked whether you have anything sharp, say No. For me, they are much slower to knit with than my usual two Addi Circs. But considering the alternative of possibly NO knitting at all on a seven or eight hour flight, they were my sock knitting heroes.

I had a few moments here and there for knitting while in Edinburgh, in the hotel, waiting for graduation to be done, or on the train. But I made the most progress on the flight home which was in daytime hours and a comfortable seat. We were assertive in our requests for a seat upgrade and got Peter into an exit row with nothing in front of him for about eight feet, and me into Economy Plus with four inches to spare between my long legs and the seat in front of me.

Charade Sock One, at the heel gusset
Charade Sock One, at the heel gusset

Anyhoo, lots of knitting got done on the way home, ie most of the leg, the flap, and heel turn. Now that I’m back I’ve switched to my trusty circs to finish off the foot and have started the second sock on the Sox Stix for consistency of gauge (ha). To recap, these are the popular free sock pattern Charade, knit with Gypsyknits merino superwash sock yarn, the color is Party Fun. And I have to say, the color is lots of fun. These are very happy socks.

I got home Thursday night, and promptly went down to Mathews to check on the house and catch up on my sleep. I took advantage of the quiet time to spin the other half of the merino-tencel top and ply it. I’m still looking for a true laceweight, and need either more patience, a faster wheel, or more practice.

Here’s the resulting skein, a heavy fingering/sportweight, that will make a nice scarf or shawl.

Merino-Tencel skein

The merino-tencel blend has a soft silky hand and lofty feel, despite being worsted spun. The fiber has a lovely sheen and only the tiniest of halo before being knit up. I haven’t swatched the yarn yet, but have a couple of possible simple lace projects in mind for it.

Merino-Tencel closeup

Fiber: Ashland Bay Merino/Tencel 70/30, Blueberry, a deep blue-purple blended with pale silvery tencel
Purchased from: Rocktown Yarns, Harrisonburg
Spun with: Louet Victoria
Whorl / Tension: 12:1 / Low-medium tension
WPI/Gauge/TPI: 16wpi sportweight / 7tpi
Plies/Method: 2-ply / standard
Yardage/Finished Wt: ~ 400yds / 3.5oz
Started: 6/15/2007
Completed: 7/1/2007

The singles were spun with fairly high twist and then plied with lower twist. I had a devil of a time with the wheel while plying, as it kept sticking and binding up and having issues with the tension. I’m looking at different wheels as the Victoria is a great little wheel, but seems to be limited by its weight and top speed.

Friday Flowers:

I admire their determination