Sextuplet of Socks

I think I’m done with knitting socks. There are seven pairs, and while they’re knit in a worst-ish weight yarn, it is still 14 socks. But the magical experiment of hand-dyeing the yarn kept me interested enough:

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Izzie offered to do her usual inspection.

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I think I passed.

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Now I’m onto knitting the Mythos cardigan in the latest Knitty. There’s a beautiful oversize one that I’m drooling over on Laura Nelkin’s blog and hoping that mine will resemble it somewhat. Given that I’m reworking all the math to go with a different gauge using a single strand of gorgeous handpainted laceweight from Pagewood Farm, this will be interesting, to say the least. The calculator and I will be friends before this is over!

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A Miracle

I came home from my work trip yesterday, and this is what greeted my eyes.
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I wasn’t sure that I was seeing correctly,

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the view was so amazing.

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I mean, how many housesitters decide to clean your apartment? Yowza. And use the super-fancy amazing vaccuum cleaner that gets up all the cat hair from the years I’ve lived there. Thank you, Nancy!

I’ve come home to a calm place, and it is good. I’ve soaked my socks and they are drying.
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And I started a bit of dyeing too for the next socks.
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Well-Heeled, Fleegle Style

I had seen the heel for a while, and was intrigued.  One book, which shall remain nameless, has a version of it, but only for a particular stitch count (grrr).  Then I finally saw a basic toe-up pattern on Ravelry, and links to the blog.  Here’s the first sock with a Fleegle Heel:

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If you want to try it, I suggest going to this blog page by Fleegle – it’s pretty complete in terms of the directions.

I do like this heel – it’s easy, and there are really no gaps to fix later.  And it fits my foot well!

The blog is likely to be quiet for a while – some work travel starts today – hope everyone can stay as cool as possible.

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The Wannabe

I signed up for the Tour de Fleece event on Ravelry with very good intentions.  I thought that this would be a good experience for me to get back into a regular spinning mode.  But I started out too late.  I bought my fiber at the very last minute from Crown Mountain Farms, just when they were having computer problems.  So the fiber got here late, in spite of Klaus sending along my order in parts.

So the first day, I spun a little yak-silk from A Verb for Keeping Warm.  I’m not thrilled about my ability to spin this stuff yet.  The next day, I spun at the Marin County Fair with my expert spinner friend Judy.  The best possible moment came with a older elementary school girl who recognized the spindle spinning from The Little House on the Prairie.  She was with her cool aunt who’d brought her to the Fair from San Francisco, so I showed her the cheap and very useful Schacht spindle, and where to get one in the city.  I may have evangelized.

But since then, I’ve been sporadic.  I’m a wannabe Tour de Fleecer this year.  But I am experimenting with some new-to-me wools.  I got some undyed Polwarth – it’s just gorgeous to spin, and hard to see how you could do something wrong with it:

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So white, so shiny!

and I got some pencil roving in a beautiful Tequila Sunrise colorway that has also spun up beautifully into a lace-weight yarn:

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How will I choose which to use first?  I may go with the Corriedale, simply because it is dyed already.

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And a question came up at the Spin demonstration that I could not answer:  How did Snow White prick herself on her spindle?  Do we know what kind of spindle it was?  Inquiring minds want to know the answer!

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FO: ER Sock

I took my dye experiment yarn and began a basic pair of socks. I didn’t think I’d get them done so quickly, but yesterday my Mom and I spent time in the local ER (she’s ok, other than some pain). The socks did well:

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And I’m also done with and have blocked the pieces to the Poplar and Elm, and have a finishing job ahead of me. Life is going to be busy the next few weeks, so the finishing may wait ’til August:

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FO: Milkweed Shawlette

I’ve been eyeing the Milkweed shawl for quite a while, and when I was spinning up my lovely Pigeonroof Studios handspun, I realized that the sport0weight yarn would be quite lovely in this pattern. The outcome is quite lovely. Even before the blocking, it had great bones:

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and afterwards, I was truly happy with it.

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Originally, this was going to me for me, but then I found someone even better to own it. Can’t wait for that person’s reaction!

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Idiocyncrasies

I went to the Marin Co Fair yesterday, and checked out the textiles category quickly.  My top line results of my entries:

1 blue ribbon – 1st – socks

2 red ribbons – 2nd –  handspun targhee and handspun-Ishbel

3 pink ribbons – 4th – shell sweater, something blue cardigan, and kiri shawl

I don’t really enter to get a particular ribbon, although if someone wants to give me a special award with a gift certificate to the LYS, I’m not gonna object.  But I do expect the results to make sense to me as a knitter.  Some of the results did.  For example, Gunda made this amazing shawl out of her spindle-spun yarn – trust me, it’s fabulous:

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so I didn’t mind at all that my own handspun shawl took 2nd to hers.  In fact, I predicted this on Ravelry.  And LaDonna’s amazing scarf/hat set won first place too.  Chiaki is a great designer, and I hope she gets more attention – she’s got a couple of flattering vest patterns.

But there are simply some bizarre choices.  For example, my first place came in the sock category:

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Frankly, not so deserving of a first place – it’s a simple lace pattern that takes advantage of self-striping yarn.  There were more deserving socks, trust me.  And my Something Blue project got fourth in the original design category.  The first place was lovely and of unusual construction – bravo!  The second place was a pair of socks that one could make by plugging in a new stitch pattern to a book by a famous sock designer.  Sorry, that’s not design to me.

The women’s sweater category continues to baffle me.  I had no skin in the game, so I can be impartial.  The winning sweater, while of detailed construction, is basically a clown-clothes sweater.  I’m sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true.  I know few people who would be caught dead in it. Another award winner had odd colors that just didn’t work.  These were placed over sweaters with detailed cables and of colors that adults would actually wear.  I guess being tasteful is simply not a requirement, but maybe being important in the local knitter’s guild counts for something to the judge of the event.  I don’t know, I’m just baffled.

Very little handspun was entered this year – Marie of Llama Llama and Judy both took the year off, and I think only 3-4 skeins were submitted, which meant I got a 2nd place for my handspun.  Spinners, we need you!

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A Dye Experiment

A couple of years ago, I was given a lot of white yarn, angora, mohair, and wool, because I knit for Afghans for Afghans. I really just put it in my closet, vowing to dye it. I finally pulled out some of the yarn and started in. I began by using this worsted wool that was made in Norway and sent to California. It has a charming label:

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I did some kettle dyeing. The aqua/blue is a combination of commercial acid dyes and leftover easter egg dyes.

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The aqua/green/brown is a combination of three acid dyes: aqua, emerald, and brown. It came out pretty well.

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I’m calling this yarn my Poor Man’s Dream in Color. Certainly not in the same league in terms of my dye skills, but it has that subtle color thing going on. This yarn is destined for socks, for Afghans of Afghans, of course!

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And I’m off to the Marin County Fair to see how I did. I’ve heard I got some ribbons!

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