Thursday, June 23, 2016

Handspun things

I think, as I normally do about two-thirds of the way through the month, that I've set myself a bit too much this month. I seem to spend a lot of time making lists and plotting how much time such-and-such will take to finish. Fortunately, it doesn't matter a whit if I do actually fail to finish a knitted thing by the end of the month; its just good to have goals and deadlines for the fun of trying to hit them.

My Hitch Hiker has stopped here, at thirty points, which is a little over half way (half-way being 28) and the stripes are looking pretty matched so far. Here's a dodgy photo of it, folded so you can see the begining (point) near the row on the needles.

I made a handspun hat for a quick class at the beginning of the month. It's a colorwork one called "Henny", and I used the "Trail Mix" spun back in Feb, the one with the purple separated out. Unfortunately I hit a dark green patch at the same time as the colorwork part, so it's not as visible as it should be, but I still like it.

I'll try it again with a better contrast, I think.

And I'm finally knitting up my "Horace the Cheese" yarn into socks. I cranked the handspun using the 54-stitch cylinder, finding it the right width, but running into a few problems. For one, the knitted fabric is a bit airy; the stitches are not tight enough, which is a problem because if you don't have dense fabric you'll wear holes in your socks in no time. But if I turned up the tightness, some of the yarn wouldn't go through, as it's a bit uneven in thickness. Problem 2: the tube ended up being 120cm long.

So I thought I'd attempt a solution to both problems by folding the end of the tube up inside. The foot, everything below the heel, is double thickness, and the toe will be added onto the fold. I've finished one sock now, knitting the live stitches to the beginning of the heel (on the bottom) and joining the live stitches to the top of the foot (on the inside). There's a bit of a bump, as I wasn't sure how to manage it while keeping the fabric stretchy, except to do my usually stretchy cast-off. But that lump will blend right in; the leg is so long that I'm going to wear it pushed down. I could pull them up near my knees, except that I failed to realize that 54 stitches, while great for my foot, was not the width of my calf.

I like the colors, though, and the way the grey (a different color of handspun Finn called Quiet Shade) matches the blue-grey parts in the tube.

I may be making socks for Jasmine, too. They're speckled with bright pink. I only have heels to go, but I'm hoping to make her a second pair for her birthday, and Byron a second pair, too. Then Zac will need a few pairs, I'm sure. He owns one sock that I made for Byron years ago, that's too small and has lost its mate, and he wears it a lot! :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Not sure how this one came about, except that when I was searching through the stash one day I found these two yarns, side by side, and decided they looked good together. I thought, before changing my CSM cylinders over, to make a loose-gauge 72-stitch tube with alternating stripes of each, and Kitchener the ends together into a long cowl.

On my CSM I cranked 30 rounds of each color before changing, and did 660 rounds in all. I didn’t think I’d get another repeat, so I stopped at 190g. I tried to block it a bit wider than longer, and it looks good wrapped twice around my neck, but could be wrapped 3 or 4. It’s about 200cm around.

The darker orange is Hedgehog Fibres "Sock" in Rusty Nail. I think it was a freebee (ie. one that Convent and Chapel sent me by mistake, instead of the BFL/nylon mix of "Twist" which I'd asked for, and they said I could keep the "Sock" free for my trouble). This is one of the few shades of orange I really seem to like. I have some Treppenviertel socks in the Twist they sent me. The lighter orange is Shire String in "Elinor Gardiner", one I bought just because it was dyed by a Ravelry friend, though I didn't know what to do with it.

Like this orange match up quite well. Then, I changed the CSM and made another orange thing, this one hand-dyed by me, and sent both orange things to Kelly for her birthday.

Hope it's not too orange for her :)

I haven't finished too many other things for  May. I started my Order of the Phoenix Mission, which is to make a completed 42-point HitchHiker (or as close as I can get with 600y of handspun). It's very addictive... mainly just plain knitting, but it's strangely compelling to do "just one more point". This is the yarn I spun earlier this year, dividing it up so that it will  hopefully have stripes of equal thickness, in spite of the longer and longer rows.

I also tried a new weaving technique called "Clasped weft" weaving. It's addictive, too. I used 3 colors of Hedgehog Fibres Sock for this one, too, a light purple/grey for the warp, with a purple and a pale pastels  pair for the weft. Afterwards I realized they were an alliterative trio called Ghost, Grape and Granny.

(Small things... Etc. Hehe.)

I finished off some greenish spinning, too, Polwarth and Silk, and now I'm back onto the NEWT stuff again. I've got lots of spinning to do for it this month, as I've neglected it a bit in May, but it's a reasonably easy-going sort of NEWT, as they go. :)

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