Posts tagged ‘socks’

I got yarn recently to try out some toe up socks from Wendy’s new book. I wasn’t liking most of the colorways I found so I got plain natural Trekking Sport (which is, oddly enough, not sport weight) and some new colors of acid dyes. I mean, I can’t be seen wearing boring old commercial knitting yarn right? Anyway…

I made a really huge skein on the warping mill and painted it in sections while trying to not let the whole mess fall off the kitchen table:

partly dyed bundle of yarn

I must say it’s quite entertaining to get plastic wrap to perform on command and not stick to everything but the previously positioned section you were aiming for. But I got it all painted and wrapped in plastic and into the steamer. Out came exactly the yarn I was hoping for (much to my amazement!)

ball of yarn and swatch

The base color is blue with sections of purple and just enough red to leave a bit of bright color here and there. It took a lot of dye and much poking and prodding to get good solid colors but I’m very happy with the results. It’s a superwash wool, which I normally don’t like, but I also don’t like washing socks by hand. All reports are this yarn wears well so I may try this again.

I finished the socks, you can go look at them in the Gallery. They are a tad large and didn’t shrink at all after a machine wash and dry. The ball band doesn’t say superwash, so I actually wanted them to shrink just a bit. Somebody pointed out the washing instructions that I hadn’t noticed. Apparently “sock yarn” means “superwash” these days. I didn’t get the memo.

I’m still not thrilled with my short row heel, but at least the second one was better than the first. They pool nicely around my ankles, which is what I was after. I knew these wouldn’t be perfect, but they are fine for wearing around the house and give me someplace to start with the next pair. I have two more balls of this yarn in a different colorway, I intend to make properly shaped above the knee stockings out of them. Since one ball nearly makes a pair of basic knee socks by itself, two will be plenty even with a smaller needle. Before I do that, however, I’m going to wear these for a bit and see what I think of the yarn. It’s not Merino, I’m concerned it may be a bit itchy above the ankles.

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.

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