Monday, 21 July 2008

Midsummer Miscellany

I've just had one of those weekends where I've been left to my own devices to potter around house and garden doing a bit of this and a bit of that and my knitting and spinning progress rather reflects this... What I should be doing, I might add is to have a major declutter of the house but I've been easing myself in gradually with frequent fibre related 'incentive breaks'.

First up is the Coriolis sock - as you can see I have gone for the full spiral effect which is quite effective I think. I am really glad that I persevered with this project as I have learned an enormous amount and have produced my first toe up flap and gusset heel with the best wrap and turns that I have ever done. I think the secret of this book is to treat it like a huge buffet and only fill your plate with the things that you want.

I think it helps to be an experienced sock knitter and to be very clear about what fits my foot so that I could say things like ' How many stitches in the arch expansion? That's ridiculous, I only need 20.' or when faced with two pages of calculations to find the number of stitches to add to the 'arch wings' I could be bold and say 'Feh! I'll put in 3 each side.' You'll be pleased to know that the sock fits very well!
The last task is to learn the 'Sewn Bind Off' and then sock number one will be finished. I'm glad I made a note every time I winged it or sock two would be a sorry affair.

Being at home meant that I could do a little more wheel spinning. About a year ago I spun the yarn for my first ever hand spun socks in Crown Mountain Farm merino roving in their 'Wild Thing' colourway. I was very proud of them but knew that they were quite unevenly spun, the majority being so over spun that I don't think they will wear out - ever! I thought it was a good time, what with having a new wheel (Did I tell you I have a new wheel?) to see if I could assess my improvement as a spinner by using their roving for another pair of socks. I chose 'And the Beat Goes On.' and so far it is looking like this:

The roving comes in very generous 8oz hanks so I am only spinning up about two thirds of it which should be more than enough for a respectably long pair of socks. So far so good...

I've also been using the last skein of yarn that I spun up to add to my Flutter scarf. As you can see, the first side is done, complete with 'flutter'.

I now have to 'unzip' the crochet provisional cast on and knit on another side to match the first. I have always struggled with crochet cast ons, invariably picking the waste yarn from the loops stitch by laborious stitch. I tried the Lucy Neatby method this time and an quietly confident.

Do you think I will finally get it right? Stay tuned for the next update...

Despite having my wheel at hand, I am still drawn to spindle spinning, especially for finer, more delicate work. I also wanted to show you the latest addition to my spindle flock, a 20g Bosworth mini in Bloodwood from P & M Fibrecrafts. I wanted to be able to ply directly from both bobbins using the 'Under two Flowerpots' method which should be fun.

In case you were concerned that with all this flitting from project to project nothing is being finished I give you my Socks that Rock socks. I'm very pleased with them as the yarn didn't misbehave too badly. I also did an offset slip stitch on the heel which it shows up to good effect.
Finally, I am very excited to report that I won the Intermediate Sprint on the Tour de France KAL for my Le Germolene shawl. I felt a twinge of guilt as I had made very poor progress on it through the 'difficult second week', adding about three hard won rows to my total, bringing it up to 73. There's nothing like a bit of success as a motivator and now I am on target to break through the 100 rows barrier tonight.

I may even shave my legs. Does chocolate count as a performance enhancing drug?

10 comments:

Queen of the froggers said...

I do like the blue socks but all the technical stuff kind off went over my addled brain!! the flutter scarf is lovely. I can never undo my crochet cast ons and resort to scissors sometimes.

Sarah said...

So glad you won the sprint and that it has been a boost to your project knitting.

The Coriolis sock looks great but that book is a step too far for me at the moment, you'll find the sewn bind off a breeze compared to the rest of the sock!

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

well done on winning a sprint. I don't think chocolate is a banned substance, can you imagine the riots if it was ??

celadon2 said...

I just wanted to say I love your spinning and your spindles. As a brand new spinner, it's not easy, and yet your yarn looks so fabulous.

sussexyorkie said...

Spinning looks very professional, what else. As for Chocolate I suspect only the white variety may be illegal!!

K. said...

Chocolate has to be a LEGAL performance enhancer, because I'm gonna need something if I am to get my 3rd project started and finished during the Tour! I just dyed my yarn this morning. I'm kind of hoping it it will dry so I can wind and cast on tonight.

Mrs J said...

Well done on the Coriolis -I must take the leap of faith! Sewn cast off is great btw! I love your 'flutter' scarf.

LittleBerry said...

nice inspiring post :o)

Rosie said...

Congrats on the sprint victory! Love that yarn you're spining. Surely chocolate is a basic nutritional requirement (on a par with protein and vitamin C)?

kathryn said...

I love the Flutter scarf in your yarn. The colour is just right!

I've stopped using the crochet cast-on in favour of the figure of eight invisible cast-on described by Eunny Jang here - http://www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2006/03/majoring_in_lace_part_iv.html

You just make a figure of eight round your needle and waste yarn..it's incredibly simple.