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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Last Minute Socks


For the last few years I have made Mickael a pair of socks for Christmas.  His feet get cold around the house and he seems to enjoy wearing the handknit socks, so I've just been tucking a new pair into his stocking for the last four or five years.  Usually I get them knit early in the year so they're ready to go at Christmas, but this year I didn't.  I knit Caleb a pair of socks (and a blanket, and crocheted him a giant octopus), but somehow I didn't knit Mickael a pair of socks.  I realized I'd dropped the ball last week and panicked a bit.  Fortunately, I had some Mickael appropriate yarn in the stash (gray) and decided to knit him a pair of short socks, like the ones Caleb prefers, but in Mickael's size.  I have only knit Mickael regular, long socks before so this pair will give him options!  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

I cast on last Wednesday evening using some deep stash Dream in Color Smooshy in Gray Tabby and finished the second sock Sunday evening.  They're safely tucked into his stocking now, and the tradition continues!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 


Monday, December 14, 2020

Tying Up Loose Ends

As much as possible, I like to finish up as many projects as I can by the end of the year.  I've finished spinning the gradient yarns (so much fun!) and I've also finished a blanket!

This is the finished Mohave Turquoise:

Fellview Fibres Mohave Turquoise

this is the finished Antelope Canyon:

Fellview Fibres Antelope Canyon

and this is the finished Peacock Feathers:

Fellview Fibres Peacock Feathers

all three started as gradient batts from Fellview Fibres.

Sherlock blanket

I also finished my Sherlock blanket (Sherlock's Great Afghan Adventure).  I joined the blocks together with a crochet stitch that gave a raised ridge.  The blocks don't have much of an edging so there's no "breathing room" between them if they are sewn together invisibly.  I can't remember exactly what stitch I used because I played around with a couple of things and then kind of ended up winging it.  I did several rounds of single crochet around the whole thing as a border to stabilize the edge and just to finish it off neatly.  It's for Caleb.

This leaves me with my Fireworks handspun pullover and my Nuvem shawl to finish by year's end.  At this point, I think those are both possible, but we'll see!  It's still 2020...

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Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Spinning Gradients

 I have been getting a lot of spinning done around here!

Gradient spinning

First, I finished spinning all of the singles for my three gradient yarns.  From left to right are Peacock Feathers, Antelope Canyon, and Mohave Turquoise.  All are from Fellview Fibres.  Peacock Feathers and Antelope Canyon are both 100% Merino and have seven steps in the gradient.  Mohave Turquoise is a Merino and Tussah Silk blend (I can't find the percentages) and is a five step gradient.  I spun all three to approximately 40wpi using Scotch tension and a worsted draft on my Schacht Flatiron with a 10.4:1 ratio.  I also spun all of them so that I'd end up with the purples in each colorway, and discovered that the last purple in the Peacock Feathers is the same purple at the end of the Antelope Canyon, so these two colorways could be worked together.

Gradient spinning

Then, when all the singles were finished I started plying them.  I'm chain plying them so that I can keep the gradient intact.  I'm using the same pulley size that I used to spin the singles and the same wheel, but I've set it up with Irish tension for the plying (Irish tension tends to have a stronger draw in than Scotch tension.  Since the plied yarns are generally fluffier than their singles, I feel like it helps to get more on the bobbin.  Above is the Mohave Turquoise,

Fellview Fibres gradient

and yesterday I plied the Antelope Canyon.  I plan to ply the Peacock Feathers this afternoon.  To finish the yarns I will skein them all up (and get yardage amounts), and wash them.  I was aiming for fingering weight finished yarns and I think I got it (no, I didn't sample, why do you ask?), but I'll find out soon!


Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Finished Socks!

Knotted socks

I finished my Knotted Socks last night!  These were a a fun knit with lots of ribbing and an occasional cabled section to make things interesting.  They are also mirror images of each other, so there's a right and a left.

Knotted socks

I knit them in Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in the Magician colorway.  I kind of love this colorway and have a sweater quantity of it, but haven't picked a pattern for it.  Now that I've actually knitted with it, I can see how it will knit up and this should help me decide.

Knotted socks

I'm currently trying to finish all of my in-progress projects before the end of the year.  At this point I'm down to my pullover in the handspun Fireworks fiber (I've started the first sleeve) and my Nuvem (I'm in the third ball of yarn, out of five).  Plus I'm spinning the gradient I blogged last week (I'm past the midpoint in the singles).  

I can't believe it's already December, but I'm also very ready for this year to be over.  I know we're still going to be dealing with COVID-19 next year and the changes it's brought, but I'm hoping the general weirdness goes away.  Newton continues to amuse us around here.  The other morning I woke up to find that overnight he'd taken all my winter running accessories and scattered them around the house to make a game for me.  I found both pairs of gloves and both hats as well as my headphones pretty quickly but was still missing an ear warmer/headband thing.  Fortunately, when Caleb woke up, he gave me back my ear warmer.  Apparently, Newton stole a sock from him after Mickael and I had gone to bed and when he went downstairs to get it, he found my ear warmer.  He tucked them both in a drawer until morning.  None of the things he swiped were wool.  They were either technical workout fabric, or fleece.  The term cat burglar makes so much more sense now!

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