Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why yes, I do knit socks.....

I have been knitting socks for many years. Once long ago I read a pattern and when I got to the turn the heel instructions I balked. "Oh no, I do not think I can do that" went through my head. One day I saw and article in Spin-Off by Celia Quinn on knitting boot socks. With the article and the Elizabeth Zimmerman book that Celia mentions I decided to take the plunge. I figured if I got stuck I could ask for help.One step at a time is good in many situations. Go forward until you are at the end or get stuck and either figure it out, or ask for help. I managed to knit a pair of socks following the instructions even when I thought things did not look right. It worked! I was then on the path to being a sock knitter. I even had a pair of hand spun dog hair and wool socks published in Spin-Off.  Now these many years later I always have at least one pair in progress so I have something to do while waiting in a doctor's office or at the auto repair shop, etc. I used double points for a very long time and finally tried two socks at a time on two circular needles and now also the magic loop on one circular. A few years ago I tried toe up and that is my preferred method. Three pair in progress in the picture are 3 ply hand spun BFL that I had blended with 20% nylon at the mill. I dyed the yarn in balls, sitting them first into one color and then turning the balls over into another color. This is a fun way to dye and I like the results.  From top left the socks are; Jojoland Melody, (magic loop)   Drops Fabel Superwash, (magic loop) and the other three are my hand spun. (double points)  The first pair was done with peacock and old rose, second is a mix of color to cover up the screaming orange from the first dip into the pot. The last is done in purple and forest green. However, there are only a few spots of green showing, it turned into a nice gray where the dye mixed. Not bad, but not what I was aiming for either. I will be playing more with this technique, but first I must get more sock yarn spun.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Dye results

We went from this>

To this>
Spot dyed dark gray Coopworth roving from Mocha Blue turned into a Navajo ply yarn. What fun!

and then today.........

 More of Sierra Silver dyed Myrtle Green. Straight from the dye pot, hung to drip.

This is also Sierra Silver. I think I am going to call this one Embers.  It was a combination of orange, peacock and magenta. Mixed and added to the dye pot. Then the soaked roving was added. The colors split and I like the effect.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another Great Retreat and improvisation

The past weekend was spent with wonderful friends at our annual retreat. There was lots of spinning and knitting and some really great food. The weather was very cool and we had wind and rain. Perfect for wearing wool socks and woolies. Although a bit cool and damp for spinning on the deck. So many laughs that my sides are still sore. My cheeks hurt too come to think of it. My daughter in law tried her hand at spinning using a crochet hook to get the feel of twisting. I did not have my twisty stick with me nor did Cheryl. So I improvised with a tip from an oak branch tip that I found on the deck while Cheryl made some hook sticks from a coat hanger. It is from plastic coated wire and about 8 inches long.
Kelley soon decided to try with a spinning wheel. She borrowed a Lendrum and got the hang of things pretty quickly. In a short while she  had a singles skein to take home. It is wonderful that my daughter in law wants to learn to spin. However, I may be creating a monster. She is a massage therapist and does massage during our retreat weekends. The gals may be upset with me if Kelley  would rather spin than do massages. Ha.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Played with dye again today

 I dyed Coopworth wool that was originally  pale to dark gray. First  Sierra Silver is now dyed plum.

 Next is Sierra again and this was a  pot of some mixed roses and a bit of magenta.

 Mocha Blue is a dark gray. This was done with dyes dropped in spots all over the damp roving and then steamed. I used peacock, teal and magenta dyes. The mix created some dark purple. All photos are of wet fibers, they will dry a bit lighter. This one was just playing around. I think it will make an interesting yarn.
 Garry Coopworth is pale gray and this was done in the pot after Sierra had been dyed. Exhausting the dye.
This is also Garry done in a lavender pot. I think this one is my favorite.

All dye pots have come out with variations in the roving. I like it that way. A solid color all the way through is nice, but a bit boring.