Thursday, April 26, 2007

April is Almost Over

April is going to be over soon. I don't think I'm going to get my Socktopia socks finished in time. It's my own fault, since I didn't start them until April 17th.

Here's what I've got so far.

My April STR Club shipment arrived today. When it didn't arrive yesterday, I caved and looked at the spoiler pictures that were showing up in blogland. It is gorgeous and I love it! It will be making an appearance on my needles very soon.

This is a new yarn....Silkie Socks That Rock (81% Merino, 19% Silk). The color is called Walking on the Wild Tide.

Gina asked in the comments about the Eye of Partridge heel flap. Here's how I do mine. Like a traditional heel flap, I work on half the total number of stitches. It is a 4-row repeat. Row 1: Slip 1 (as if to purl), Knit 1, Repeat across and turn. Rows 2 and 4: Slip 1 (as if to purl), Purl across and turn. Row 3: Slip 1 (as if to purl), Knit 2, (Slip 1, Knit 1, repeat to last stitch), Knit 1 and turn. Repeat these rows until heel flap is to your desired length (ending with a purl row). Then turn the heel like you would for a traditional heel flap. Once you have a few rows done, you can see that your slipped stitches are bigger than the rest, so if you lose your place and can't remember if you are supposed to do a Row 1 or a Row 3, you can knit the big stitches and slip the small ones.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Watermelon Tourmaline Socks

Watermelon Tourmaline Socks
Originally uploaded by shannanstitches.

My sock drawer is overflowing with socks these days.

Pattern - my usual top down with Eye of Partridge heel flap and kitchenered toes
Stitch Pattern - Stansfield #11 from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn - Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Watermelon Tourmaline
Needles & Gauge - Size 2 DPNs, 7 st/in

This my 10th pair completed this year. And my 30th pair since I started knitting socks!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pumpkin Singles and Brown Yarn

My first small skein of 2-ply handspun.

This is the Corriedale roving I purchased when I got my wheel. I was anxious to try plying after I had 2 bobbins with singles on them (neither bobbin was very full). I don't think it's too bad for my first try. I plied up the rest of the brown Corriedale singles over the weekend.

I started spinning some of the Correidale roving I purchased from The Sanguine Gryphon on Sunday evening. My singles are getting better in the consistency department, but I'm still getting a lot of overspinning. Guess I'll just have to keep practicing.

I'm really getting excited for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in a few weeks. Last year, was my first year attending and at the time I was only knitting socks. I was overwhelmed by all the colors and fibers and people. This year, I don't expect to buy much sock yarn (my stash is overflowing in that department as it is), but I do expect to fondle and buy lots of roving. Hopefully, this crazy weather we have been having will straighten itself out and we'll get a nice weekend!

Monday, April 16, 2007

What I've Been Up To - Part 2 - Spinning

I had some questions in my previous post about spinning. I am a brand new spinner. I took a beginner's class in August 2006 at Cloverhill Yarn Shop. My purpose for taking the class was to give spinning a try. Since I don't know anyone personally who spins, I figured this was my only way to try it out. I discovered in the class that spinning is a lot harder than it looks, but it was something I wanted to pursue. I also got to try out a few different types of wheels. So, I started saving my money to buy a wheel. I had my heart set on a wheel that is a little more expensive than others out there, so I knew it would take some time. In February, I placed my order and the wait begain. I got very lucky and my wheel arrived just before my long 4-day weekend at Easter.

I spent several hours over that long weekend getting acquainted with my wheel (knitting during the day and spinning in the evening). I purchased 2 - 4 oz bundles of roving when I picked up my wheel. They are both a Corriedale Cross, one in brown and the other in white. I decided to start with the brown. My first bobbin of singles was lumpy and bumpy. My second bobbin was much more consistent (although a little overspun in some places). I had taken pictures of both bobbins before I plyed them together, but the pictures didn't turn out (and stupid me didn't check to see if they came out before I started plying). Plying went ok (I think). I finally pulled the yarn off the bobbin this past weekend and washed it. I really need to get a niddy noddy because winding the yarn around my arm, makes for a very small skein. (I'll try to get a pic of the yarn when the light is better.)

And, naturally, now that I have a wheel, I've been consumed with purchasing fiber. The only good thing about that is that I'm not buying more sock yarn. I made my first fiber purchase a few days before I was notified that my wheel had arrived. I joined the Funky Carolina Fiber Club. It was totally an impulse buy because I had told myself I wasn't going to buy any fiber until I had my wheel. But I'm so glad that I signed up. The April roving arrived Easter weekend and I love it!

Merino in April Showers colorway

Over the course of the long weekend, I made several purchases. Some more Corriedale roving in solid colors from The Sanguine Gryphon and some Merino from pippikneesocks.

Corriedale in red and pumpkin

Merino in Hester colorway

Then I got the notice about the Hello Yarn Fiber Club. I was tempted but thought, I'm already in one Fiber Club and Sheep & Wool is only a month away, I don't need this. So, I turned my back on the computer and went on to other things, but less than 24 hours later, I was back at the computer, creating an account and securing my spot in the club.

That's all for now. Hopefully, I will be back sooner (rather than later) with another update.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What I've Been Up To - Part 1 - Knitting

It's been a while since my last post. I always have good intentions to blog more, but then I never seem to get around to doing it. And then when I do finally get around to blogging, I end up with too much to blog about in one post. So, I'm going to split up my long post into two; one for knitting and one for spinning.

I finished my February Rockin' Sock Club socks last night.

Pattern - Eleanor, a Socktopia Exclusive Pattern
Yarn - Socks That Rock, mediumweight, Monsoon
Needles & Gauge - Size 2 DPNs, 7 st/in

I'm still working on my Watermelon Tourmaline (also in Socks That Rock, mediumweight) socks. I'm going to try and not cast on another pair for a few days, so these get my undivided attention.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Sock Progress and Something New

Here are some pics of my current socks in progress.

Monsoon has been getting the most action because it's been on the needles a little longer.

Watermelon Tourmaline is growing as fast as it can.

Both yarns are Socks That Rock in mediumweight.

And now for something new! After months of saving my money, 5 and 1/2 weeks of waiting after placing my order, and battling the Baltimore Beltway at rush hour I picked up this...

It is a Schacht Matchless Single Treadle and it works like a dream. I'm anticipating less sock knitting and lots of spinning practice in my future.