Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Everything in Cans Cans!

First of all, thanks for all of the wonderful comments on Cobblestone and the Shetland singles. (Also for that novel-length spam comment, which was so impressive that I've kept the notification email.)

Melissa asked what I'd do to tighten up the yoke. If I'd decided I'd wanted to do that, I suppose I might have tried going down a needle size and/or decreasing a bit more. I'd probably also work a few more garter ridges. I suspect it would be a trial and error process, perhaps with almost as much error as trial.

Bex was curious about the weight of my spindle, and how I'm spinning such fine singles on a spindle that looks so heavy. The spindle may look heavier in the photos than it really is. It's an Ashford spindle that weighs 1 oz, which (in my limited spinning knowledge), is about on the cusp of how heavy I'd want something to be for spinning singles that fine. Truthfully, I have been thinking about getting a lighter spindle. Each of the colors of Shetland were between about 20 grams and 1 oz (about 28 grams), and with each one I noticed that I got very frustrated at the end, with lots of spindle dropping. I thought it might be fatigue or boredom, but thinking about it, I suspect that it was just the spindle getting too heavy to reasonably spin singles that thin.

Of course, the real technological solution I aspire to one day owning is a spinning wheel. Even if I got a lighter spindle, I suspect that I still wouldn't feel comfortable spinning more than an ounce or so of singles this thin at a time. That's a frustratingly small amount, and while I enjoy the process, it can get discouraging to find that I've spent an entire weekend afternoon spinning, only to make it through a fraction of an ounce. So, ya know, if you know of 74 people who want to buy hat patterns, send them my way! That should cover what I haven't already saved for the wheel I want. Or, stepping back into reality, if anyone has recommendations for good light (.5 - .75 oz.) spindles, do share! I don't really want to pay for fancy finishes or materials. As pretty as fancy spindles are, I mostly want to acquire a well made, well balanced tool that will make those last 5 - 10 grams of each ounce more pleasant to spin.

Back to spinning soon. First, Happy Anniversary!

Anniversary Socks

Anniversary Socks

These are the Anniversary Socks, designed by Nancy Bush, found in the book Favorite Socks. I knit them with Lisa Souza Merino Sock in the color Sage. They were a delight to knit, and are a treat to wear. I did have some issues with the pattern, though. First of all, I truly don't understand why there is not a chart included in the book. The way the lace is written out is difficult to follow, and I was able to hand draw a chart in mere minutes with a pencil and graph paper. If you knit these, do yourself a favor and do the same. My other beef was with the heel turning instructions, which I'm fairly sure are wrong. When I followed them exactly, I ended up with something that was off center. I actually ended up ripping back the whole heel flap, because the eye of partridge flap was too horizontally compact. I re-knit with the more usual heel flap slip stitch pattern, did the turn without the book's instructions, and was much happier with the results.

I now have the Happy Anniversary Song stuck in my head, and thanks to Google, know that it originates with The Flintstone. (Or perhaps they just popularized it?) I've had it in my head since yesterday, and at first was convinced that it had to be something I got from The Simpsons. Sorry, Fred and Wilma. Forgive me?

Of course, that cheesy song strung along a bunch of other cheesy songs, all of which are bouncing around off the inside of my skull like pinballs. The worst offender? The Shoprite Can Can song. (Though it's too bad that version of the commercial doesn't have the dancing cans. Now that's classic.) All of the worst music of my childhood is fighting for squatter rights in my brain! Help! (Who knew socks were so powerful.)

Back to fiber, here is some new spinning:


Redwood Singles

This is BFL from Spunky Eclectic in the colorway Redwood. I'm a bit concerned that it's pinker in sections than I'd like, because the intended recipient does not like pink. (It's hard to tell from the photos because I was headed into a darker section.) I do think the singles are spinning up a bit darker than the top, so perhaps the plied yarn will be darker than the singles. Either way, it's absolutely gorgeous, and if it doesn't work for my friend, I will be delighted to use it for something for myself.

That's it for now. I think the new issue of The Anticraft is coming out soon, so the big secret project reveal may be just around the corner. Whee!

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Blogger erasmus (aka jiva) said...

LOVE the pink. stunning stuff.

10/30/2007 7:42 AM  
Blogger Melissa Van Oort said...

Thanks for the yoke advice, I also suspect it would be some part trial and error, but I'm glad for your heads up on the outcome of the garter yoke.

10/30/2007 7:48 AM  
Blogger YawnOver said...

Beautiful photos! Love the pink. The heel you chose for those socks looks perfect. Oh, and thanks for getting the Anniversary song stuck in my head - my brother and I (inspired by the Flintstones) used to sing it endlessly in the car. "Oh....."

10/30/2007 8:59 AM  
Blogger Lindy said...

Your spinning - its so even and perfect! I'm truly, truly jealous!

10/30/2007 10:29 AM  
Blogger LaurieM said...

Beautiful socks, beautiful spinning, and did you notice that the colors compliment each other?

Have you heard of Ted the Knitterguy? He's also a fabulous spinner and he might have some advice for you on spindles.

10/30/2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger wiscjennyann said...

Amazing, beautiful spinning!

10/30/2007 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The green really showcases the lace pattern- very beautiful!

10/31/2007 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is some seriously gorgeous pink yarn. Alas, I don't think plying will make it darker. Spinning usually does a shade shift, but can't completely alter colors. Whoever said "there's no pink in this roving" was smoking crack that day.

If you want, I could mail you some of a red merino blend I have from my stash.


10/31/2007 11:50 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Beautiful socks and beautiful spinning!!

10/31/2007 11:59 PM  
Blogger alana said...

Love the socks. Gotta love a Nancy Bush sock pattern.

I remember that episode of the Flintstones! Worrying.

11/01/2007 4:43 AM  
Blogger Erssie said...

Congrats on the lace project in The Anticraft.

Did you design the main web lace as well as the writing? Are you comfortable with designing lace from scratch i.e. not a stitch library in sight?

11/01/2007 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up on some of the problems with the Anniversary Socks pattern. That's probably the next sock pattern I'll be knitting. I noticed (and thought it was odd) that it didn't have a chart. You'd think that publishers like Interweave would have specific pattern standards for their designers (such as always including charts), but there seems to be huge variety.

11/02/2007 10:17 PM  

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