The first pair in my Socks for Others Club are done:
Not soon enough for Dad’s birthday (last Monday) but I’m very happy to finish them in time to give them to him before I leave.
Yarn: Heirloom Jigsaw, reinforcement thread
Pattern: plain toe-up with short row heel
I’ve selected the next parcel in the club. It’s a plain purple yarn, and I think it needs a stitch pattern or they’ll be pretty boring socks. Off to Ravelry for inspiration…
On Friday I joined the lovely s’n’b girls for a trip to the Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show. I got a lift up there and caught the train home, so it was a bit of a whirlwind visit for me. Before we even got to the show there was some yarn shopping in Kyneton, and some stash enhancement at the Bendigo Woollen Mills.
Once at the show we roamed around the Woolcraft sheds, occasionally succumbing to yarn fumes. In one particular shed I was so overwhelmed by the sock yarn goodness I didn’t see that the Ixchel shop was in the corner, and I’m rather disappointed I didn’t go over and get my first look at yak yarn.
But I was entranced by ms.gusset’s lusciously chubby hand dyed sock yarn.
And Ewe Give Me The Knits sock yarn.
And then I ran into these guys:
And then it was a choice between racing around the rest of the show or taking pictures. Shopping and fondling yarn won out. So here’s the haul:
From the mill: a test ball of the new Bendigo Luxury 10ply yarn, some Neon that was too pretty and cheap to leave behind, and some dpns.
Sock yarn: a ball by Touch Yarns from the shop in Kyneton, ms.gusset’s and EGMTK’s.
Buttery soft Llama yarn from Cranite Haven Llamas.
And weaving tools from Ron West (spinningwoodie on Ravelry). A stick shuttle, rag shuttle, threading hook and a shuttle design I think Ron may have come up with on his own.
By the time I got home I was utterly worn out, but happy to have made it to the show and to have had a lovely day in great company.
Look what arrived yesterday:
It arrived just before lunch, so I spent my ‘lunchtime’ assembling and trying it out.
I used the practise yarn, and tried out some increasing and decreasing. Then I frogged that, got back to work and considered what sort of project I could start at ‘afternoon tea’. It ought to be small and simple.
A washcloth fit the bill, so I dug up some Lion Brand Cotton. Being less flexible than the practise yarn, it was inclined to jump off the needles now and then, but that gave me a reason to work out how to rip out, pick up stitches, and generally troubleshoot problems.
When I had a square, I threaded some yarn through the top and bottom stitches and put it aside. Last night I crocheted around the edges.
The stitches are far from even, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a washcloth. But it’s also my first piece of machine knitting.
And you know what? This sure is a fast way to make washcloths!
I’m onto my third wine bottle cosy now. I felt very clever, adding more warp by tying it onto the old one and easing it through the heddles.
A problem with doubleweave tubes is it’s hard to get a nice even fold at the edges. Below is a pic of the first and second wine cosies. The first, on the left, has a very uneven, bumpy line where the edge of the warp was. The second is more even.
This is the reason the first is so bumpy. On some of the picks, the weft doesn’t have an end right at the edge to wrap around, so it can easily pull in. You can’t wrap the weft around the last warp end because it’s not actually a selvedge – you want the weave to continue around the tube without the weft doubling back on itself.
You can leave a little loop of yarn there to compensate, but it’s very easy to overcompensate.
What I wound up doing, which looks fiddly but quickly became a habit I barely noticed, was stick a finger inside the tube and tug on the weft (at an angle) before beating.
This made for a much smoother fold.
I’ve nearly finished the third wine cosy. There might be enough weft yarn left for another one, which will mean tying on another warp. But I could use the yarn to make handles, instead. Hmm. Decisions, decisions.
In the early days of knitting socks, I favoured the look of the short row heel. Unfortunately, most of the socks didn’t fit, because I have high arches. (This was before I realised I could add some gusset increases before the heel and decreases after it.) After forcing my feet into them for a while, I eventually gave up and stowed them away. They weren’t all that worn out, and perhaps I could reuse the yarn, or make them into something else.
Turns out, they make great wrist warmers. So every now and then (like when I’m trying to avoid casting on another big project) I dig out the socks and select a pair to recyle.
I love stripey socks, so I was really disappointed that these ones didn’t fit. I’d even stored the contrast yarn with them, ready for the transformation. It was just a matter of cutting off the feet, picking up stitches and adding some ribbing.
Not sure what I’ll do with the feet. Cosies for iPods or cameras?
But I love the wristwarmers. They’re perfect for keeping my fingers going stiff from cold in the mornings, without hampering typing.
Last week I made another Calorimetry.
It was really more as a test of the yarn than anything. I kinda lost my love for the pattern after my last attempt. But it’s a good swatch alternative. I want to find a non-wool yarn that is stretchy enough to make Tubey. Bamboozle is a mix of bamboo and elastic.
Though I used a smaller needle size it still came out a little big.
Unfortunately, it grew even more when I washed it. I’m not sure if I’ll frog this or not. But it served it’s purpose. I know the yarn won’t work for Tubey. It’s not elastic enough.
In the meantime, the first of Dad’s socks are past the heel. Though I know I’m the anomoly, with my very narrow feet, I can’t believe how big these are. They’re freakin’ huge! There’s not much chance I’ll have the pair done by the weekend. Good thing I bought Dad a birthday present!
Finished, blocked and photographed:
Pattern: Top-down Fitted Sweater from Yarn magazine issue 11.
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Allegro in ‘amethyst’
Alternations: I added two more increasing rounds to the yoke before dividing for the body and arms. I accidentally did five instead of four decrease rounds for the waist shaping, so I did the same number of increases. I also did six instead of seven repeats of the lace for the hem and sleeves. All I can say is, it was a pretty distracting week.
Summary: I love it. It fits perfectly. I love the simple geometric lace details. The yarn softens up beautifully after washing, too.
Once I’d finished knitting this, I was a little naughty and started a couple of small projects. Well, the first one had to be done because I need to judge the suitability of the yarn for the intended project in case I encountered it going cheap during my travels. The second is to give my hands a break from knitting Dad’s socks. The third… well, it’s kind of a recycling thing.
More on those soon!
A few weeks back I attempted to do some weaving utilising the second heddle kit on my Ashford Knitters Loom. I wound up cutting the warp off the loom and deciding to do the project – wine bottle cosies/carriers in double weave – on the table loom.
Well, gradually over the last week or so, I got the warp on the loom and started weaving:
And I discovered that double weave is a lot of fun. I’m weaving a tube. How cool is that?
Unfortunately the tube wound up considerably wider than a wine bottle, or even a fat champagne bottle, but that’s okay. I considered this first one a sampler. After a wash (during which lots of dye came out – but this is cheapo yarn) it shrank and I was able to estimate how many ends to remove to get the right sized tube.
And now I’m working on the second one.
As predicted, the knitting is crawling along. First, Amethyst:
Which is mainly stocking stitch. That first sleeve seems to have taken for-e-ver, despite the fact that it’s all I’ve been knitting. But I don’t get more than an hour or so of knitting per night now. Just the during the news, if I’m not eating dinner.
Second, Dad’s Socks:
Which I frogged back to the toe after taking this photo. The stitch pattern, while simple, made for a rather lumpy, thick fabric, and I know Dad won’t like that. So back to plain stocking stitch for these, too. It’ll be better for travel knitting, too.
(Oh, that’s right. They’re blue. I decided against grey. Blue is more his colour. And I have reinforcing thread in blue, but not grey.)
Yesterday I decided to wet the Ruffles Scarf and block it. You see, the ruffles were a bit lost in the general crumpled texture of the scarf, and I suspected that was because there were a lot of spin cycle creases in the fabric.
Turned out I was right. After blocking the ruffles were the main textural feature. It was also interesting to find that one of the handspun stripes had felted and shrunk a bit more than the other. I was able to even them out a little, too. Much better! I’ve added a photo to the last post to show the difference.
The beau just came upstairs with a parcel. I felt a half second of hope that my new toy had arrived at last. But no, I could see straight away that the parcel was too small.
It’s 18 days since I ordered it. The site says it ships after 7-10 days. I’m guessing that means it takes 7-10 days to get to the shop, plus local interstate delivery to here. Should I be worried? How long would you wait before you sent a query email?
Mind you, once it does get here the anxiety over whether it’s been lost or something will be replaced by wanting to play with it when I have to work. At least while it’s not here I can’t be tempted!