Ewe can suck it

Thank you all for your well-wishes for my b’day 😀 I had a lovely evening, with a roast duck that turned out pretty much perfectly, great friends to share it with, nice champagne to help it swim, and baked cheesecake to keep it down.

The next day was rather laid back … except that one of my friends had given me some yarn I’d been coveting for ages: KnitPicks Chroma in the Regency colourway. I just love the colourway, and when I finally held it in my hands, I Oooooh’ed and Aaaaw’ed, I opened it’s bag and petted it, and I wanted to play with it right there and then.

The only thing standing between me and a new sock affair was … of course half a sock, hanging limply off the set of needles I needed. Well, only one thing a  knitter can do … put the nose to the grindstone, and get on with it.

So I quickly finished off the last half of a pair of socks made from “At Knit’s end” yarn, in the “Ewe can suck it” colourway – simple things with a 3-1 ribbing:

Ewe can suck it
Ewe can suck it

The only thing new (for me) about this sock was that I decided to try a Fleegle Heel. The ease of knitting is a huge win, as I never quite seem to get the math for a heel flap right. We’ll see how it wears … so far, it’s been good.

Fleegle Heel
Fleegle Heel

So, next up … yay! The new yarn:

Regency socks
Regency socks

Another fairly simple pair, with a mock cable rib pattern. I’m loving the yarn – it’s soft and squishy. A tad splitty, because it’s a single ply, but not too bad. And the colours are just my cup of tea, really.

Since I have two skeins, I’m already scheming what to do with the second one. A cowl maybe?

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The dilemma of pretty handmade socks

Cotton mix socks

It’s quiet on the crafty front here these days. I did finish the socks above, and apart from my ongoing heel issue, they’re fine.

After wearing them for the first time, it looks like the yarn stretches a bit, but that’s alright. I’m curious to see how they’ll behave in/after the washing machine.

Which brings me to a topic I’ve been kicking around my brain for a while.

While I am deeply in love with many handspun, handdyed, and otherwise just fantastic artisan yarns, I have noticed that none of them deal well with being machine washed.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t know that before I chucked them in. It says on all labels very clearly handwash, dry flat.

But my life really doesn’t play well with hand washing things. There is the time factor, as a FT working person it’s hard enough to fit in some general cleaning/laundry/house-holdey activities without sacrificing all your free time, and hand washing my socks just isn’t in there.

So I’m now looking for alternatives, and I’d love to hear about your favorite, machine-washable sock yarns!

 

 

Cotton socks, sort of

I probably mentioned before that I almost always have a pair of socks on the needles.

This week, it’s cotton socks – well, the yarn has ~40% of cotton, mixed with wool and nylon (for durability, I believe).

Cotton socks 1
Cotton socks 1

Continue reading “Cotton socks, sort of”

Ain’t no sunshine …

Okay, that’s a lie. The sun is still shining like mad.

I’m actually a bit weary of all the sunshine. (Did I just say that out loud? Damn.) Let me explain – I love the sun just as any normal minded person, but I also love to sleep. Sunshine outside makes it so much harder to sleep in the day, which is the only option if you have worked in the night.
Ah, well, I’ll get over it.

Wendy
Wendy

Last time, I mused about Wendy Happy, and how much I liked it, didn’t I? I’m sorry to say all has changed. I am no longer in love with Wendy. We broke up. She dumped me. Did I maybe dump her? Who knows … matter of fact, I had to rip the sock yet again, and I didn’t have it in me to start over for the 5th time with Wendy. There comes a time in any relationship where you have to take a long hard look, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. So back in the drawer she went.

Green and not-so-green
Green and not-so-green

Out came some obscure dark green (probably russian) yarn, and some other stuff without a band – I think it’s some sort of Regia sock yarn.
And again, I cast on … back to my 2.5mm needles, btw.

On the positive side, I have finished my spreadsheet, and got to test it with some new numbers (2.5mm == different gauge). It looks good, I’m pretty positive I can now just change the gauge or measurements and it’ll produce a wearable sock.

Slip stitch close up
Slip stitch close up

I might or might not decide to share it with the world – would you be interested in such a spreadsheet, say? Leave a comment to tell me!

Wendy Happy and the difference of half a millimetre

Last Sunday, while outside the sun was shining and people were piling up on the beach, I sat at home and pondered the “Formula Toe-Up Sock” pattern for the KAL in April.

I swatched (well, I measured some existing sock knitting), and did my math. I cast on. I ripped. Cast on again. Ripped again.

It was just one of these days. My initial plan was to make a sock using up some leftovers, with a chevron pattern, in 3 different yarns.
Unfortunately, as it turned out, the chevron pattern combined with working in the round and several strands translates to holes at the beginning of the round. So to the frog pond that project went.

Next up some lovely yarn from Zen Yarn Garden, one of her art walk colourways. Turns out that’s a bit bulkier than what I usually work with, and with the sun blazing and my living room heating up nicely … well, you guessed it. Frog pond.

So I decided that I’d just use some fairly unprepossessing yarn – this was, after all, just to try out if this formula really works, and to anticipate where people might run into issues understanding or following it. Which made me pick Wendy Happy.

This ball has been sitting in my stash for a good long while – last year, while knitting some other project, I became obsessed with bamboo  yarns for a short while. That’s when I purchased this ball. I don’t remember what made me pick this colour, tho – I don’t wear a lot of blue. Actually, I don’t have a single blue garment, apart from my beloved jeans. It probably was the only one available that day on ebay or some such.

Anyhoo, when I pulled it out for this project, I didn’t expect much.
I started knitting, with my 2.5 mm needles, and found the resulting fabric a wee bit too lose, and went down to 2mm needles.
At which point I realized I quite like the yarn. It’s super soft, very bouncy and the colour knits up in nice marled stripes.
It’s also very splitty, which I don’t like so much. Especially with the smaller needles, and after having ripped a bit of it, the first re-knit of the toes was a bit painful.
And I will never get over the huge difference it makes to go down half a mill in needles. I mean, half a millimeter. That’s barely visible, one would think. It certainly feels like changing from chopsticks to tiny wires, though … and it slows me down quite considerably.

Anyhow, now I’m sailing along nicely, and really looking forward to try the formula on my gusset and heel flap. I even made a little spreadsheet, where I (hopefully) only add a few key measurements, and my gauge, and it’ll automagically tell me all the other numbers I need for a perfectly snug fitting sock.