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Random Footgear March 28, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in dyeing, knitting, knitting socks, Rockin' Sock Club 2007, socks, yarn.
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Warning, pics of the February Rockin’ Sock Club kit below! 

I seem to have a thing for knitting footwear.

Do my feet have an inherent need to be swathed in soft fluffiness? It seems so. Here are the varied, and often eye wounding, projects I have been working on of late. All in progress, all currently just a single, all intended for footsies.

Let us begin with the eyesore. OK, OK maybe that isn’t entirely fair. This skein of yarn began as a humble length of Knit Picks Bare Essentials. Then it went on a journey with me to Dagmar Klos’ Socks to Dye For class. And then it lingered in the cedar chest for a time before becoming this:

Isn’t that BRIGHT?!?!!? Ye gods. And I dyed it my own self.

I also have so far made one foot of the Fiber Trends felted clogs. In Manos Del Uruguay’s Neptune colorway. I inserted my iPod for size reference. Yeesh this thing is huge:

And finally of course the Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Rockin’ Sock Club February Kit. For those tracking the needle size craziness… I used size 2 circs for toe and heel, size 1 circs for the foot, and size 3 circs for the leg.

The um… pooling… has been fascinating (above color is truer to life):

Hooray for feet!

Blue Faced Leicester March 18, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in fo, handspun, Project Spectrum 2.0, spinning, spinning - FOs, spinning fo, stash enhancement, yarn.
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So I have of course heard experienced spinners talk about the glories of Blue Faced Leicester wool. So much so that the last time I was in the fiber store I decided to purchase just a little bit… to see for myself. When the owner discovered I had never spun it before she just handed me the three and a half ounces that I had brought up to the counter, saying that all spinners should know about these sheep.

My first delight came from the roving itself. Just a bundle of fluff… I wanted to wrap myself in it and snuggle.

 

But instead of snuggling I spun. I mean really… the fibers that would have wound up in my locs alone would not have been worth it.

I did my now standard three ply, which of course left me with two bobbins with singles remaining at the end. By the time the first bobbin ran out I was more than ready… because the yarn barely fit! You can’t really tell from this photo, but there is hardly any room between yarn and flyer at this point:

 

The result of course was worth it. The staple on this wool was almost double the merino I have been spinning, and the bloom in water was not to be believed. This yarn is so yummy (about 212 yards)! I also knew I wanted to make something white before the Project Spectrum 2.0 colors shifted in March. My housemate is threatening to purchase a sheep! Of course, I think she has been looking for any excuse for a while now.

 

Take Two of These… March 11, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in handspun, Project Spectrum 2.0, spinning, stash enhancement, yarn.
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I have begun the journey of spinning a glorious handpainted roving from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in their Rocktober colorway. I purchased this delightful ball of 50% merino 50% tencel fibers at The Fold several weeks ago. I have been admiring it, wondering what I might do with my first multicolor roving.

My drama unfolded like this. It is very simple for me to divide a roving into color repeats. Also to divide it into even numbers of length wise pieces. But I wanted a three ply yarn and as mentioned earlier, my navajo plying skills are nonexistent.

So I sat and thought about what to do with this roving which was just taunting me in its unspun form. I finally decided to take two of these (from the Rocktober colorway):

 

and one of these (some cobalt superwash merino / tencel blend that I had left over from making my first machine washable handspun):

to make a very satisfying blend. As you can see above the entire skin (all of about 54 yards of worsted weight yarn… only 1/5 of the total roving) has a much bluer cast now (the cobalt being the exact same shade of blue as found in the Rocktober colorway). It was fun to watch this ply. For about half way through the plying the two Rocktober singles actually matched, and I got even colors that were 2/3 from the multicolor roving and 1/3 cobalt blue. But somewhere in there my yarn thickness must have shifted because I started getting three color blends. I have no idea what to make out of this yarn once all ~270 yards are completed, but whatever it becomes will definitely be… interesting.

Puck Was More Mischievous March 9, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in fo, knitting, Knitting - FOs, knitting socks, Project Spectrum 2.0, socks.
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Well, I finally made the return trip and am looking forward to my first night in my own bed in a while. Oh the glory.

These travelin’ socks finally got finished on the plane from Boston, with the ends woven in 25 minutes before touchdown.

Sadly all my plans for converting airline personnel to sock knitting were for naught. For the first time in a long time most of the flight attendants ignored my knitting altogether. This may have been partly due to the fact that I was slacking off napping when the drink cart came by. I did get a few curious glances and one woman stopped to insist that I had clearly been knitting forever because my tension was much more even then hers.

Does even tension still count as a skill when you knit with enough tightness to squeeze new ripples into your yarn?

 Oh well. I am pleased with these. I am counting them as a Project 2.0 FO because there is some nice blue in this colorway. Again, this is “Puck’s Mischief” Socks that Rock from the lovely people at Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Please ignore the paleness of my legs… it is winter ya know.

“Tedious Work” March 4, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in knitting, knitting socks, Project Spectrum 2.0, socks.
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So I have had the pleasure of not travelling for work for almost two weeks now. And in that time, I have left my twin rib socks in progress waiting to become airborne once again before returning to them. They are my *travel knitting*. That said, I was very happy to cast on the toe of my second sock last night in preparation for this morning’s flight to Boston. I think I deserve a personal award for not immediately casting on the new goodies from the Rockin’ Sock Club that arrived on Friday. No SSS here! I did, of course, bring the needed materials with me in case I finish this sock before returning home.

After all that goodness imagine my amazement at a new twist on the conversation I inevitably have with flight attendants whilst creating socks a mile above ground. Always before anyone gives me something to drink, I get asked what I am working on. I don’t mind this phenomenon. I consider it an excellent opportunity to convert the muggles as our dear Yarn Harlot has named them.

This morning I was struck however, when a lovely flight attendant stopped by my seat and asked what I was making. “A sock,” I replied. She smiled at me and shared that she had noticed all the “tedious work” I had been doing and just had to ask what it was for.

Tedious!

Can you imagine? Now, I know that in yesteryear our sock making ancestors might well have found some of their hand-knitting tedious as it was done out of necessity. But today? It is quicker and much less expensive to buy machine made socks in the store. Frankly, I found the flight much more tedious than the knitting. Oh well. My evangelistic tendencies failed me this time.

Just wait ’til the return trip.

And Then There Was Yellow March 2, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in handspun, spinning, spinning - FOs, spinning fo, yarn.
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The best part about realizing that my green merino handspun had come out at fingering weight was the fact that I had already spun one of the singles for the yellow wool as well. I gave in to the inevitable and spun some more fingering weight yarn. They are almost identical in thickness, though the green was better plied… I was on the phone while plying this one.

Oops! Something about perching the phone between my ear and shoulder interrupted the tension on my three singles. Go figure.

Hopefully my friend has a wonderful pattern that calls for 150 yards or so of 3-ply sock weight yarn. Isn’t this a great yellow for a baby?