Monday, 14 March 2011

Every journey starts with one step

Having drifted through another blogging hiatus it would be easy to carry on procrastinating, paralysed by the amount of things that I could tell you about and the expectation that I should be offering some spectacular piece of woolly news to entice you back into reading my ramblings again. Or I could just go on about a piece of spinning and knitting that has made me really happy recently and just take it from there.

I have spun and knit a handful of pairs of socks in my time. The first pair make an appearance in their almost finished state in my avatar. I was so consumed with delight at having actually spun yarn for my own socks that I turned a blind eye to the fact that they were overspun to the point of the fabric resembling kevlar but I love them and coincidentally was wearing them only yesterday. I doubt that they will ever wear out.

The other pairs have been sock shaped and acceptable but I felt I was on a bit of a plateau. Then, last summer I took a spinning for socks class with Judith McKenzie McCuin and discovered that what I really needed to be doing was making three ply sock yarn and it has taken me until now and the acquisition of a tensioned Lazy Kate to settle down and have a go.

The fibre that I chose was a grey merino, overdyed with purple and pink in a colourway called Sutton's Tarn by the Thylacine. I adore coloured fleece overdyed or blended with coloured fibre as it seems to give the shades a real depth and complexity. The spinning was quite a time consuming exercise but the resulting yarn well rewarded my efforts.

I decided not to mess around and just knit a plain toe up sock to let the yarn speak for itself and it was an absolute joy to knit with. The three plies made the yarn strong but it was much softer and plumper than any of the two plies that I have produced up to now. As you can see the fabric on 2mm needles was firm and even.

Can anything possibly interrupt this orgy of self congratulation I hear you ask? Nothing, apart from the fact that I was so busy making sure my singles were fine and not to overspun and that my plying was smooth and even that I completely neglected to think about colour distribution so all the purple yarn has migrated to one sock making it look like a have a severely bruised foot!

I still love these socks for their softness and evenness and the leap forward in my spinning skills that they represent. I just need to think a little more about the colours next time!