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

Month: December 2009 Page 1 of 3


Two pairs of anklets. The yarn is 3-ply handspun.  Both are spun from Crown Mountain Farm’s Superwash Merino Handpaint and knit on 2.5 mm needles.

The green should be familiar.  It was first used here as a 2 ply; and 3 ply sock yarn here, and again here.  As you can see, 8 oz go a long way on my small feet. 1 full pair of socks and 2+ anklets. (And yes, all the yarn, except for 2-3 yards, has been used up. Whew!)

After the current set of footlets, I still had about 25 g of yarn left, so I dug out the second color way, “The Beat Goes On”, spun 2 years ago, and patched together another pair of anklets.

They are siblings, but wow, can I tell the difference between the 2 yarns!  The WPI on both yarns is similar — about 14-16 WPI.  But the grist is a completely different story.  The green is lofty and a joy to knit with, but the multicolor one was super dense and the resulting fabric is stiff as a board. (The difference in weight between the 2 pairs is just under 5 grams.)

Unfortunately, they were both spun 2 years ago and I don’t remember the details.  But I think the difference might have been the way I spun the yarn. I may have spun with my variation of long draw for the green and inch wormed the multi. I have to say I really like the green much better. And the loftier yarn doesn’t seem to have made much difference in the wear since it’s close on to 2 years since that first pair of socks were knitted, they still look like new.

I may have to find a different project for remainder of “The Beat Goes On” 3-ply, since knitting on itty bitty needles with it was definitely not a pleasant experience.

Knitting Specs:

  • Yarn: 3-ply handspun from Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Wool
  • Needles: Knitpicks 2.5 mm needles (2 circs)
  • Cast on 12, using Turkish Cast-On
  • Increased to 56 sts
  • Short row heel (I experimented with 3 different short row techniques over the 2 pairs)
  • Cast off using Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off method.  I came across this recently and am absolutely enamoured with this method.  I can finally forego the darn needle and the sewn bind off!

I wonder if I have anymore superwash wool roving left in the house. I feel the urge to try spinning some more and see if I can perfect that 3-ply sock yarn.  Of course, now I also want to try a cabled yarn for socks.

New Loom

Hand carved beater bar! (click for bigger)

Ribbed Cap

Pattern? I loosely based it on Vogue Knitting’s Ribbed Cap, except I knitted it in the round instead of flat. 104 sts instead of 106, and the shaping had to change to accommodate the new stitch count and working in the round.

I made it 8″ long instead of 6″ before starting the crown, so I can have enough length to turn a cuff.  I have a big head and I’m not that fond of the beanie look. But because I have such a big head and so much hair, I barely have enough to turn. Sigh. 9″ or even 10″ would have been better.

Size 6 needles instead of the size 8 because I’m such a loose knitter.

Yarn? 2 oz of a 2 ply handspun rambouillet (purchased the roving at SOAR) instead of Noro.  Much softer on the ears. I like the soft lavender blue variegated color.  Very much like a well worn pair of jeans.

So, I guess it wasn’t really much like the original pattern.

A little about the yarn.  I arrived at SOAR with plenty of vests, scarves and shawls, but absolutely nothing to cover my head with. It rained. It snowed. It was frigid. As soon as the market opened, I went in search of something that could be spun up quickly and turned into head coverings. I bought 4oz of Rambouillet rovings (I can’t remember which vendor). How long could it take to spin a hundred yards of yarn for a quick hat?

I didn’t factor in all the distractions. Nor the fact that I decided to use a drop spindle (Forrester, also purchased at SOAR) instead of one of the 2 spinning wheels.  I didn’t finish spinning and plying the yarn until the week after SOAR.

It wasn’t until the weather turned arctic in California that my mind went back to the hat.  Of course, now that the hat is finished, the weather has turned a nice balmy 60F…

I have 2 oz left. I think there’s enough for a neck scarf or a pair of fingerless mitts to keep me warm while walking.

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