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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Spinning, Old and New

Raspberry yarn

I got all of my Raspberry yarn washed and it's almost completely dry now.  I've been moving it around the house some to keep a certain curious kitten out of it, and right now it's laying on the ironing board in the (closed) sewing room with the ceiling fan going.  I've been flipping the skeins every few hours to keep the air circulation going through the yarn, but they're just about dry now.  The yarn finished at about 14 WPI, which puts it at the light end of DK weight according to my WPI guide.  I figure finding a pattern shouldn't be too much trouble for it!

Mohave Turquoise fiber

Once the Raspberry yarn was on its way to being finished, I cleaned and oiled the wheel and started another spinning project.  This is Merino and Tussah (100 grams worth) of Mohave Turquoise batts from Fellview Fibres.  I'm spinning this for a fingering weight, chain plied yarn.  The shorter staple length and slippery fiber content make for a very different spinning feel than the mixed wools and mohair of the Raspberry batts!

Mohave Turquoise

Here's the first bit of singles so far.  This is my first time spinning fiber from Fellview Fibres, but it won't be the last.  The prep is lovely and it was so well wrapped that even though the shipping box clearly had stories to tell (thank you USPS), the fiber inside was perfect and dry.  Also, gradients!

Have a great weekend!  I'll be back next week with The Sharon Show - it's blocking right now!!!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Raspberry Spinning, Finished!

Raspberry yarn

I have finished plying the Raspberry yarn!  I started spinning the singles in May and started plying in August.  Considering that we got Newton in June (who is definitely not yet spinning trained, but we're working on it), and moved Caleb into his dorm in August (and have since evacuated him twice for storms - yes, he's home again right now), I think I did pretty well!

I started with 717 grams of fiber.  I don't know the exact fiber content, but it seemed to be a mix of fine and medium wools with some kid mohair carded in as well.  I ended up with 2,272 yards of a 3-ply yarn and 50 yards of chain plied yarn, for a total of 2,322 yards of yarn.  Right now it looks about sportweight, but it hasn't been washed yet and there might be some floof-age after washing.  I might have more of a DK weight yarn when all is said and done.

Today's big adventure will be to wash it.  I'll probably do it in two batches because there's kind of a lot of it.  (That's Fifi underneath it all that you can't see.)  It's raining here today (it's actually Tropical Storm Beta that's causing the rain here - in North Texas), so drying it will take some time, but the rains are supposed to move on this afternoon, so that should help.  I'll get a close up shot after it's all washed and finished.  I can't wait to get the yarn all finished and knit up a swatch! 

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Socks

Rose City Rollers

I have a finished pair of socks!  They're just short, little socks, but they're socks.  They were also more involved than they should have been, through no fault of the pattern.  Sit back and let me tell you a story!

For years I've been making the Footie Socks for sleep socks.  They are just enough sock to keep my feet warm when the temperatures drop but not so much that my feet get hot.  Unfortunately, some of the socks relax a bit too much when I wash them (drying doesn't seem to snap them back) and they tend to fall off my feet under the covers.  When I saw the Rose City Rollers sock pattern, I thought those might work better.  They come up higher on the top of the foot and even have a little cuff around the ankle.  I think this might help the socks stay on, even if the yarns relax a bit.

So I went to my basket of possibilities (the basket I put leftover yarn skeins that are partially used, but still have 50% or more of their yardage) and grabbed some Hue Loco MCN/Vintage Sock in Dodecahedron, leftover from a pullover I made a couple of years ago.  I tossed the sock project in the car when we took Caleb to school, but once I got started I stopped looking at the pattern.  The pattern calls for a traditional heel flap but I did a Fish Lips Kiss heel (short rows) instead.  In a typical 100% wool or wool/nylon blend sock yarn I think it would have worked out just fine.  Unfortunately, this particular yarn (80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) doesn't have as much elasiticity as my usual sock yarns.  With my high arches (and insteps) and the lack of a gusset at the heel turn, they were really snug across the instep.  

I went ahead and finished the first sock though and as I knitted towards the toe, I started to figure out there was something going on.  95% of all the socks I've knit for myself have 64 rounds between the heel turn and the toe decreases.  This works out whether the socks have a traditional heel flap or a short row heel.  Occasionally I get a pair that needs only 60 rounds and a couple have needed 68 rounds, but the vast majority have 64 rounds in that section.  These socks?  78 rounds!

At this point I realized that the problem might have to do with the yarn.  I've only knit two other pairs of Merino/Cashmere blend socks and this was the first time I used this particular yarn base for socks, so I don't know if they all have a little less bounce or if it's this specific base, so I decided the best thing to do would be to start over and re-knit the sock.  This time through I did the traditional heel flap as the pattern calls for and the instep fits better.  It still took 78 rounds to get to the toe decrease, but I have a pair of really soft and beautiful socks that fit now.  I'd like to knit another pair using a more traditional sock yarn, and I haven't slept in these yet, but I know now to keep an eye on these luxury blends because they're different from traditional sock yarns.


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Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Sharon Show, Clue 4

OK, you guys know how this works.  If you're avoiding spoilers of The Sharon Show MKAL, you want to skip today's blog post.  I'm going to show you Clue 4.


Turn away now.


Last chance!


The Sharon Show, Clue 4

Ok, so here is Clue 4 in all its glory!


This is such a fun project and I can't believe I've been able to keep up.  I kind of figured I would fall behind at the first with it starting right around the time we were moving Caleb into college (and then evacuating him for the hurricane, and then taking him back afterwards), but I've been able to stay caught up and I've even woven in my ends before I started the next clue (mostly- there was once I had to weave in ends for two clues at once, but it was only that one time).  Also, I'm going to be paying more attention to the slipped stitch patterns in my stitch dictionaries.  There have been a bunch in this project and some of them are really fun to knit!

The Sharon Show, Clue 4

Also, in case you were curious how I was able to hold the shawl still while I photographed the single clue section, I had help holding it down at the other end.  Little Newton is learning how to cat so quickly!

The Sharon Show, Clue 4

And here's the whole thing through Clue 4.  (Newton was not chewing on my needle, he was just politely sniffing it.)

Have a great weekend and stay safe!

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Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Spinning

Raspberry yarn

 I am still plying my Raspberry yarn.  Since I like to put my Lazy Kate (the thing that holds the bobbins of singles) as far away from the wheel as possible when plying (this allows twist to even out over the length of singles before it's plied), plying is not really a cat appropriate activity.  I'm currently set up in the sewing room to ply so I can shut the door on it and keep Newton out, and I do have a spot for Logan in there, but it doesn't feel like the kind of thing I can start and stop when I only have a few minutes.  So the plying is taking just about forever!  I know I'll get there eventually and I'm finally to the point where I've emptied enough bobbins that I don't have to wind them off on the Niddy Noddy every time I fill one with plied yarn, so I'm seeing progress, but it feels very, very slow.

Newton and Babette


In other news, I gave Newton a new catnip toy and the catnip is SUPER strong.  After playing with it, he slept for six hours and then started dragging my Babette blanket around the house.  He brought it into the bedroom and then tossed the corners in the air and rearranged it and basically acted like a crazy man.  I realized after the second day of this that I had touched the Babette after getting out his new catnip toy.  Once the Babette was washed, he's ignored it.  Also, those color catcher sheets totally work!

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Thursday, September 03, 2020

The Sharon Show, Clue 3

 Ok, you know the drill by now.  I'm going to show you my shawl through Clue 3 (Clue 5 is released tomorrow), but if you don't want to see the mystery you need to turn back now.  


I don't want to spoil anyone's fun if they're trying to keep things secret!


Last chance!



The Sharon Show- Clue3

 

The third clue begins with the large red section.  As you can see, it's been checked by Quality Control already.

I hope you all have a great weekend and stay safe!


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Thursday, August 27, 2020

The Sharon Show, Clue 2

If you're avoiding spoilers on The Sharon Show, you probably want to turn away now.  I'm going to show the second clue today (Clue Four comes out tomorrow.)  

 

I finished knitting Clue Three last night and I plan to weave in ends and photograph it today, but I won't show it here on the blog until next week just to keep the spoilers to a minimum.

 

This is your last warning if you don't want to see it!

 

 

The Sharon Show, clues 1-2

Ta Da!  Clue Two begins above the gray eyelet section, with the narrow stripes.  This was a fun section to knit and I really love the Thorn Stitch section (just above the narrow stripes, in gray and red).

Have a great weekend!  It looks like Hurricane Laura stayed east of Galveston and we'll probably have to wait until sometime this afternoon to hear from the university, but I think Caleb will be able to go back to campus later this weekend. 


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