Archive for July, 2006

It’s too hot to do much of anything except wash wool, and even then I don’t want to have the hot water running too long. After some weeks of never quite managing to get the dishes cleared up enough to use the sink for scouring, I finally just did it. It’s so hot outside that the wool will be dry by this evening. It would be nice to do another batch, but with no air conditioning, I’ve already closed up the apartment for the day and I don’t want to do anything to make it warmer.

I’m well into the top of the sock. Yesterday I went to go knit at the library rather than sit around and melt at home. I may do it again today. I’m going to try to take advantage of the good fleece-drying weather while I can, but it means getting the scouring done early. We’ll see how well that goes.

I started this blog post yesterday, but it’s just been too damn hot. So instead I took advantage of free Caltrain and went for an air-conditioned train ride. In the process of going to San Jose and back, I got almost all the way through the heel on the sock. I still haven’t quite gotten this wrap and turn thing down, the knit end looks fine but the purl end is awful. It fits correctly, at least.

I did get the fair yarn done before I headed out, however. It takes no time at all to ply compared to spinning the singles. I skeined it off the bobbin, gave it another scour soak and then a vigorous wash. Last night I started a swatch, a teeny tiny hat. (Yes, there are pictures but the camera batteries are currently charging so I can’t get them to the computer.) I figured I should do something in the round, and when I get it back I can send it off for my mother’s doll collection. I delivered the yarn today to the designated fair-goer, who predicted it would take first place because it’s way better than hers. Eh, who knows. It’s not like I’m all that worried about it. I mostly did it because she asked, so her yarn wouldn’t feel lonely. There aren’t all that many spinning entries in the fair these days. Apparently the top prize is $15 and passes to the fair, all I had to do was send in the form and deliver the goods. She’s doing most of the work, drop-off and pick-up. It’s a yarn I was working on anyway and nothing particularly special.

Now I go back to spinning the single, and I think I’m just going to fill the bobbins again to make up for what I plied. I’ve got plenty of fiber and the yarn is something I would use for other things. I’m contemplating trying to overdye it to get a real black. This is considered black for a sheep, a very dark brown. But it’s not really a proper black. I just have to decide what to dye it with. Blue has been suggested, and if I’m going to do that then I’ll just wait until the next indigo party. It’s going to be a while on the rest of the yarn anyway.

I’m declaring the single finished for this sock yarn. I’ve got about 30g on the last bobbin and that is enough to give me a decent sized finished skein. I was trying to get some spinning done again this morning but the fiber is sticking to my fingers. One hazard of living in San Francisco, when it does get warm, nobody has air conditioning. Plying won’t be as much of a problem. If I can get that done tomorrow morning, I’ll have enough time to wash and do a swatch.

The sock-in-progress is coming along, although as usual I’m appalled at my inability to maintain a consistent gauge. It varies when my hands are cold, if it’s warm and sticky and at this point probably by phase of the moon. It’s not a problem when I’m doing firm fabric, only when I’m attempting to knit “normal” stuff. Like vaguely approximating the suggested gauge. It seems the end result will still be wearable and it might shrink a bit in washing. This was an experiment anyway, so I’m not distraught or anything. I never claimed I was a great knitter.

The sock yarn spinning is still ongoing, but in the meantime I started a sock with some of the yarn I bought. I’m doing a toe-up with a figure-eight cast-on, which went ok. Of the toe methods from Knitty, it’s the one that made the most sense for me. YMMV, I’m sure, as lots of people hate/are scared of the figure-eight cast-on. I have that feeling about waste yarn crochet chains. I liked the fabric knit on 2mm dpns, but I went up a size to get closer to the recommended gauge. I think it looks nice around 32/10cm (8/inch.) But the manufacturer recommends 28/10cm and at least 2.5mm needles, which is no way going to work for me. Knitting is like that. Hey, it’s not like I’m really following a pattern anyway. I’m using Wendy’s toe-up sock pattern as a guide. I’m only accidentally using the same number of stitches. Based on measuring my ankle I expected 72 stitches but started the foot after 68 because it appeared to be getting alarmingly large. I finally ripped back and went with 64 because I didn’t like how it looked.

The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit Fun&Stripes, the most normal sock yarn I could find in sufficient amounts at Carolina Homespun. (I also got two skeins of another color for some taller socks.) It’s mostly regular color changes with little blobs here and there. I looked around at sock yarns for a couple weeks, but wasn’t happy with what I saw. The fake Fair Isle stuff gets weird if you start changing the number of stitches and I really didn’t want all that anyway. I also wasn’t happy with the odd muted colors I saw several places. What is so wrong with basic solids? What I got was shades of blue, which I can live with. The other one is blue and green.

100g is supposed to do a pair of socks, so I’m doing toe-up to get as much as possible out of it. I intended to knit from both ends of the skein at the same time, but I’m beginning to wonder if it will work. I have to knit a little more to see if the stripe pattern comes out symmetrical. If it’s not, then I’ll just keep going until I use half the skein. This wouldn’t be an issue if I could find some plain normal yarn, but apparently I’m a stodgy old crank who isn’t keeping up with the latest styles. Feh.

The hats are back safely, so now I have my regular hat to wear again. And I went to Goodwill this morning and found not only a spindle case (wine bottle carrier) but a jar of Procion MX and a bag of soda ash. Somebody must have dumped excess tye-dye stuff, with as much as most people know about dyes it’s a wonder they even ended up bagged together. Can’t beat 99 cents.

I started back up on preparing fiber for the sock yarn. I have to find a new place to put the comb pad because the current location is killing my wrists. I need to be able to pull straight out but the shelf I have it clamped to is too tall. My arms don’t work that way, and trying to pull down is putting my hands in a weird position. I’m wondering if a low stool and the second shelf would be better. I still have some things to work out with this, but it’s coming along. I may even get enough finished by next week for the fair.

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