Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: December 2006 Page 1 of 2

I’ve Been a Very Good Girl

Or at least, Santa thought so.

Gem II

It’s a Gilmore Looms Gem II.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit in through the door of the guest room.  (Santa was able to get it down the chimney but not through the guest room door, sigh.)  I’ll be re-arranging the living room in the coming days.

The Perfect Sock Yarn

This is a two-fer post — Black Bunny Hop and Dye-Spin-Knit-along. Not that I actually signed up for either, but there you go.

I think I have perfected the perfect handspun sock yarn. Before I go any further, I have to admit that I have never knit a pair of socks from my own handspun. Never. (Actually, I still haven’t yet, since I’ve only finished the first sock of the pair.) I’ve spun yarn from fibers that I’ve intended for socks, but for some reason, I never actually made socks from them. They never really seem “right,” but I didn’t know what “right” was either.

May I present to you…the perfect sock yarn…

Sock Yarn

The blue-green yarn is my handspun (aka the perfect sock yarn). The variegated yarn is Koigu.

Now, why is it perfect? Because it is soft, lofty, and squishy, just like Koigu. The fiber is blue-faced leicester from Black Bunny Fiber. I spun the singles using my variant of a long draw, so the yarn retained a lot of the loft. And I remembered what several of my past spinning instructors have told me … “underspin, overply.”

I never asked any of them exactly what that meant. In the comfort of my own home, and not having the experts nearby to explain to me, I decided that the “overply” part meant that your singles have set somewhat on the bobbin. Thus, the resulting plied yarn will appear a bit overspun while you are spinning it. Once wetted, the twist will relax back to a balanced yarn.

In the case of this particular yarn, I didn’t get a perfectly balanced yarn after I washed the finished yarn. When I hung it up to dry, there were still some kinks in the yarn. The skein didn’t twist back on itself, but there were kinks in the individual strands (sorry, I don’t take a picture of it while it was drying). Anyway, I didn’t weigh it down to block. I just left it to kink and dry, because I want to preserve the sproingy-ness of the yarn. (Note the high angle of twist in the ply, just like Koigu.)

The end result is what you see above. A puffy yarn that has really good structure and will wear well.

Sock(click image to see details)

The sock is knitted from the toe up on size 1 needles. It’s a really dense fabric because I don’t want this pair of socks to wear out too quickly. After all, I spun it!

Blocking Wires

are very good things.

Flower Basket Shawl - Blocking

Flower Basket Shawl. Cashmere/Wool.

I actually finished the shawl back in August, but finally blocked over the weekend. You can’t really tell that I was two rows short in the edging.

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