Thursday, November 8, 2007

Off the Wheel

I love spinning, but I especially love the handspun yarn that comes off the wheel in the end. As a new spinner, I get so excited to see what will happen after the actual spinning, plying, and blocking is all done. So far, I have not been disappointed...

This yarn was spun from louet's 100% wool pencil roving. The colorway is irises. This skein in the photos is 150 yards of light worsted weight yarn (about 9 wpi) and weighs 6.1 oz. I spun the singles on two bobbins with an Ashford Traveller spinning wheel, and plied them using the jumbo flyer attachment for the wheel. I also spun the remaining 1.9 oz. onto one bobbin, and plyed it from a center pull ball. This gave me 45 more yards for a total of about 195 yards. It was nice to finish all of the roving and end up with no waste. I have not decided on a project for the yarn yet, but I am extremely happy with the results so far.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One Sock Down

Last week I finished my first jeweled step sock from "New Pathways in Sock Knitting" by Cat Bordhi, and I immediately cast on sock number two. I can't wait to wear them and see how the pair looks together. Here are some pictures of the first sock...

I love the little jewel steps, but I was especially happy to see how the colors on the heel turned out. I need a pair of clogs to show off the little blue "eye" on the back of the heel. One of my favorite things about knitting socks is finding out how colors will pool.
I have just started the arch expansion for sock number two, and I have had no problems with the pattern or the techniques described in the book. I am a very slow knitter, but these are knitting up quite fast. Most of the sock is knit in stockinette stitch, and the best thing about Cat's new patterns is that there are no stitches to pick up. It just doesn't feel right to make a sock without a gusset, but the sock fits great and is very comfortable.

I'd Rather Be Knitting...

I put off starting a knitting blog for so long, but after joining ravelry I decided that there would never be a better time or a better excuse for me start a blog. Finding projects on ravelry and checking out the journal entries linked to each project has given me so much knitting inspiration, and I hope that someone will find one of my projects on ravelry and be able to get more information about it here. That is the "purpose" of this blog anyway... to help inspire other knitters and to have more participation in the online knitting community. I'm not sure that anyone is actually reading this blog, but I've been a knitting blog lurker for so long that it does not really bother me to feel as though I am writing to myself.
Now that I finally have a blog, I feel guilty that it has been so long since my last post... I knew that this would happen, because I would much rather be knitting or spinning than writing about knitting and spinning on my blog. Nonetheless, I will do my best to keep on writing and posting pictures here!

On Saturday, October 13th I attended the Southern Indiana FiberArts Festival in Corydon, Indiana. It was a small festival, but there was plenty of fiber goodness to find. I don't have any pictures of my fiber purchases yet, but I have some pictures of the cute animals that were there (sheep, goats, and angora bunnies) and a very long table covered with fresh wool.

I will stop here for now, but I promise to post more about all that I've been knitting and spinning very soon!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Handspun Heaven

I was in such a hurry to start knitting some of my handspun that I have no pics of the singles or of the few hours that the yarn was actually in a skein.
Using my ashford traveller spinning wheel, I filled two small bobbins with 100% wool northern lights pencil roving in the picasso colorway. I then plied the two singles on my jumbo flyer. Each single took me about a week to spin, and it took about 3 days to ply it all. The yarn weighs a little over 4 oz, and I ended up with about 355 yds of beautiful sock yarn.
I was amazed at the way the colors blended and changed as I spun up the singles, and it was so much fun to see what colors would end up together after plying... and now I get to see the colors change again as the yarn is knit.
This is the first project that I have started using my own handspun, and knitting these socks makes me unbelievably happy! I chose a the jeweled steps pattern from Cat Bordhi's "New Pathways in Sock Knitting." I just finished the whirlpool toe, and I am very close to reaching the arch expansion section. When these socks are finished, they will be my first completed toe-up socks. The whirlpool toe was new to me, and I really like how it turned out. The colors make me more ready than ever for fall weather and the changing leaves.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Pathways

Cat Bordhi's recently published book "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" ROCKS!!
It has been so much fun reading this book and making the little practice socks. After fininshing the two little ones, I am now ready to make a full size pair of socks using either sky or coriolis architecture. As soon as I finish plying the handspun that I'm working on, I will be eager to cast on! Now I need to decide on a pattern...
So far, I have found the patterns and techniques described in this book to be very well written and illustrated. I had no problems understanding the new techniques that I encountered. The LLinc and LRinc increases were easy to learn, and they turned out very nice and neat. Working a conceal wrap was also new to me, but this technique is also very well explained and easy to figure out. I will highly recommend this book to anyone who knits socks and likes to try new things.

Little Sky Sock - first learning sock
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay 100% wool worsted weight
Needles: Size 5 dpns
The sock architecture turned out great, but this little sock is knit so tightly that it may be bulletproof! It will make a nice christmas ornament this year.

Little Coriolis - second learning sock
Yarn: Lorna's Laces 100% superwash wool worsted weight
Needles: size 7 dpns
Using size 7 needles made a huge difference, and this sock turned out just wonderful. The yarn is unbelievably soft, and it is just so darn cute! I plan to start the second sock today.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I guess that I will start this blog with a FO...
I just finished my first pair of socks that will be sent to afghans for Afghans. The children living in Afghanistan need 100% wool double worsted weight socks to go to school. They also need hats, sweaters, blankets, mittens, etc. The website has all of the information you need to get started knitting for this wonderful charity organization (including patterns).
For the socks I just finished, Sam suggested that I cast on 32 stitches with size 9 needles. Using two strands of worsted weight wool and the magic loop method, I just kept on knitting from there. I tend to be a slow knitter, but these socks knit up unbelievably fast!! I cast on the second sock last Sunday, and it was finished by Friday night.
This is my first completed charity knitting project. Luckily, my LYS has a weekly meeting for charity knitting that I am finally able to fit into my schedule. This gives me a wonderful excuse to spend a few hours a week knitting with friends for a good cause. I will cast on my second pair of charity socks today... they are so much fun!