Monday, September 24, 2012

Spinning Again

I'll be teaching at SOAR (SpinOff Autumn Retreat) next month--Spinning for Knitting a sweater, Socks at any Gauge, and Sweater Design Basics--and I started to get nervous that I haven't sat at my wheel for several months.
To get reacquainted with my wheel, I decided to spin up the Enchanted Knoll Polwarth/silk top that I bought at SOAR last year. It's a gorgeous combination of browns, burgundy, blue, and purple called "haunted." I bought it with the intention of spinning three-ply yarn for a pair of socks.

It took a while for me to figure out how much tension to put on the break band and to get into a rhythm, but once I did, the fleece seemed to spin itself! I forgot how much I enjoy spinning. I divided the fleece into thirds and spun each third onto a separate bobbin.

I hope to ply the singles tonight.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pussy Willow Stockings -- Done!

I completed Cat Bordhi's Pussy Willow Stockings this week. It looks like the temperatures are beginning to drop so I might get to wear them soon.

The next (and final) pair of socks in Sock Knitting Master Class are the Toe-Up Travelers, which I designed and which I still have.
Here they are a little closer up.

I was going to ask you dear readers if I had to reknit these to officially say I've knitted my way through the book. But I was worried that you might vote that I did need to knit again. I need to move on to other things, so I made the executive decision that once was enough. 
Here's my "ring of socks," representing more heels, toes, cast-ons, bind-offs, directions of knitting, and knitting techniques than I can count:
I need a bigger sock drawer!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pussy Willow Stockings -- Making Progress

I labored this weekend on Cat Bordhi's Pussy Willow Stockings from page 160 of Sock Knitting Master Class. The socks begin with a most interesting toe, then the gusset increases are worked in a five-row pattern that includes two rows to form a three-stitch eyelet followed by three rows that are worked even. This causes a three-stitch increase every five rows in a diagonal pattern across the instep.

After the heel (which includes a firm heel flap that's worked by slipping stitches through the back loop), the eyelet pattern changes direction and decreases are added to keep the stitch count constant.
The hardest part for me was keeping track of the three rows worked even between the eyelet increases along the foot. I put a removable marker in a stitch just below the needle on the second eyelet row, then worked even until there were three rows between the marker and the needle.
This pattern is so much fun that I even made great progress on the mate, which has the eyelets travel in the opposite direction (it's difficult to get a good image while the stitches are on needles).
My only changes to the pattern have been to use double-pointed needles instead of two circular needles and to work a few rows of k3, p1 ribbing instead of allowing the sock to roll at the top of the leg. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Birthday Winner

Thank you all for the warm birthday wishes. I had a marvelous day knitting followed by dinner out and a movie with my husband (I highly recommend Hope Springs).
The random-number generator chose #90, which is Barbara who commented at 1:19 pm:

Barbara said...
Top-Down Sweaters is at the top of my current wish list.
Barbara, email me your mailing address and I'll put the book in the mail.