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

Month: February 2011

Gorgeous Spring Day

The Elkus Ranch spinning group met at, well, Elkus Ranch yesterday. No, it’s not obvious because we don’t always meet there. It takes an hour or more for everyone to get out there, especially on a sunny weekend, on twisty windy mountain road, before you hit beach traffic. Lots of eating, talking, and even a little bit of spinning. At lunch, the ranch manager came by to tell us about the 3 kids born the previous day. So, of course, we all took a walk down to the barn to see the babies.

From Elkus Ranch 201102

Super Bowl Sunday

It was a very full day. I took my dad out for a dim sum brunch for Lunar New Year. Then a quick stop at West Marine to pick up a part to fix the marine toilet on my boat. I decided, what the heck. I have 2 hours before the kick off. So I replaced the said part. It was a gorgeous day at the marina. I was tempted to just stop there and take a nap on the boat. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything with me — No Kindle. No knitting. No spinning. I felt naked.

So I went home to pack up the supplies necessary to keep me occupied at the Super Bowl Party at the club.

I may have over packed.

Projects packed:

  • Metro: I was half way down sleeve 1
  • Current sock in progress: toe up, just missing the cuff of one sock to complete the pair
  • A couple of Kuchulus and some fiber, just in case I got bored with knitting

What I actually worked on:

  • a couple of rounds on the sleeve before I deemed it too hot to have a full sweater in my lap
  • a few yards of spinning

I am almost finished with the Metro now. The sleeves are complete. The collar is knit and grafted together. I just need to attach it to the neckline and weave in the ends.

I’m quite happy with the yarn that I spun. I spun up all the singles first. I labeled all the bobbins in numerical order, divided them into thirds. I then plied 1 bobbin from each third in order. This resulted in a nearly homogenized yarn in terms of both yarn size and color.

A Tale of Two Socks

Can you tell what the difference is between the 2 pairs of socks above? Hint. It’s not the fact that one pair is handspun and the other is commercial sock yarn. The difference is 4 YEARS vs. 4 DAYS. Yes. The pair on the right took me over 4 years to finish. The one of the left was started on Friday night and was finished last night.

Let’s back up. The pair on the right is knit from Trekking XXL. I love this yarn. This is the 3rd pair or so I’ve knitted with Trekking. But this pair was always in my travel kit, along with 20-thousand other projects. And based on the picture in this post, it would appear that I’ve frogged it at least once, since they are anklets no more. I don’t know why or when I made this change, but it no longer looks like it used to.

But it’s more than just the fact that it was in my travel kit that it languished. I lost interest in it. The yarn looks like handspun. The yarn is 4 ply with each of the plies slowly changing in color at different cycles, hence a handspun from handpaint look. But the similarities end there. Whereas my handspun sock yarns are super squishy, bouncy and soft, this yarn feels like steel wool in comparison.

I used to love Trekking, but now I’m spoiled by my own handspun sock yarn. Like the one on the left. These were knit from some handpainted merino top I purchased from Bee Mice Elf (colorway Veranda). It was a leftover from Deb Menzworkshop. For some reason, I really really wanted some sock yarn with pure colors, so I chain plied these. The yarn is super bouncy and a joy to knit with.

I also have to admit that I was a captive audience to this pair of socks, since I was in a shuttle bus for most of the weekend. (Wine tasting weekend with my SCUBA diving group.) After finishing this pair, I pulled out the Trekking socks and finished that last couple of inches this afternoon.

Trekking Socks (right)

  • 2.0 mm needles
  • 72 sts around
  • 2×2 rib top and cuff
  • Elapsed time to completion – 4 years

Veranda Socks (left)

  • 2.25 mm needles
  • 56 sts around
  • 2×2 rib cuff
  • Elapsed time to completion – 4 days

I still have enough yardage in the handspun to make a pair of anklets *. Let’s hope that it won’t take 4 years to finish the anklets.

* One of the joys of having small feet…I can squeeze 1 pair of socks + 1 pair of anklets out of 3.6 oz of fiber.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén