Friday, October 31, 2008
The very big show is making me ancy because it will be my first time at that show. Getting ready for first time venues is tortuous because I have no idea whatsoever what inventory I need to have on hand. So I always try to shoot high - better to have left overs than run out!
And this is at the time when the flock receives grain feeding twice a day to supplement waning fall pastures. (The pastures aren't actually waning very much in quantity yet, but the nutritional value is reduced in the fall.)
So sparks really ARE flying off the sock machine this week between morning and afternoon chores.
On the coffee table: too many Lorna's, Opal, & home grown Wool/Tencel socks wait to have their toes kitchenered closed while I watch TV at night. (Wednesday night choir practices throw me behind!)
Socks Knit so far this week (between Monday morning and Friday noon): 70.
Toes left to be kitchenered. Less than 70, but lots ;o(
I may soon be able to answer the lingering question - is it possible to wear a sock machine out....
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Patons Stretch Socks
41% Cotton 39% Wool 13% Nylon 7% Elastic
219 m/50 g
All three pair are sized Medium, knit on the Legare 400, 54 needle cylinder.
I used exactly the same tension settings as for a Lorna's binge I finished just before knitting the Patons. AND I used EXACTLY the same pattern.
You can see what a difference the elastic makes.
One other difference:
1 pair Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, size Medium = 70g
1 pair Patons Stretch Socks, same size and pattern = 54 g
With Halloween almost upon us, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to be visited by a haunted sock.
Maybe not so much haunted as CURSED. Maybe its the combination of halloween orange and the red/yellow fires of hell.
This sock put up one #!^$&^&&%!# of a fight.
The sock was actually knit without problems. And then I started to knit its mate. Somehow I dropped two stitches and they ran all the way down through my connecting scrap yarn and on through the short rows of the toe of this evil sock.
I'll be jiggered if I'd let this sock get the better of me. John the Maverick isn't the only underdog with some fight left in him ;o)
Go Team Go
Monday, October 27, 2008
This is also a good illustration of how the number of stitches per row can dramatically change the presentation of a self patterning yarn. (The leg is 72 needles mock ribbed down to 54, while the foot is all 72 needles.)
Here are a few more pair I of Bob Socks I knit:
Regia Color series, colour # 5033. (This series is several years old, and the yarn is pulled from my stash.)
Grossa Mielenweit Scala, colour # 6534, also added to my stash a few years ago.
It's interesting to me that the colour patterning in the second two pair of socks doesn't change as much as in the top pair when I switch from mock rib to stockinette.
The above 3 pair are all size M+, and all knit on the Verdun 47, 72 needle cylinder.
Since I was digging through the stash anyway, here is something else I pulled out. This time I knit 'regular' socks rather than the Low Pressure Bob Socks I'd been working on.
I knit these two pairs of socks from two 100 g balls that each started at the same point in the pattern.
The top pair is Size Medium+. I knit one sock from each ball, so that I would still be at a same point in pattern for the next pair.
The bottom pair is Size XL.
Both pair were knit on the Verdun 47, 72 needle cylinder. For the XL pair I loosened my tension 1/4 turn compared to the Medium +.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
A few years ago he lamented that he had been sentenced to a life of baggy black socks.
Together we experimented to develop a sock pattern that would put some colour back into his life.
Bob wears a 7.5 - 8 men's shoe size (my Medium +) but has very slender legs (not my Medium + size!).
Here's what we ended up with:
To set up, I'm using the Verdun 47, 72 needle cylinder in a mock rib setting with every 4th needle removed.
In the first photo I've knit two rows at a reduced tension. Notice that my leading tail of sock yarn is still inside the cylinder (vs knit into the second rows of knitting as I normally do).
stitches from Row 1 onto the stitches of Row 2. I started at 3 o'clock and had thus far worked my way counter clockwise to 12 o'clock.
Once the tail is knit in, I increase my tension to my 'Bob Setting' which is 1/4 turn looser than normal for sock yarn.
I knit 90 rows for the leg, still in the mock rib.
(Every 4th needle removed from 72 needles leaves 54 needles in work - so the leg is comparable to my size Medium knit on the 54 cylinder, but a little looser).
The mock rib leg, at Bob's tension setting, will hold the sock up.
pre-heel - I replace all the missing needles. Now, if I simply continued knitting I would have holes where the missing needles were replaced. To eliminate these holes I take the bar (purl) of the stitch preceding each empty needle and place it on that empty needle, before knitting further.
After that - I knit the heel, foot and toe as for a normal Medium + foot.
The top of the sock will roll a little. It's the trade off for no purls and no hem top. But the roll is confined to the top few rows - it doesn't roll down the leg - and there is no binding on the leg.
Now, a few years later, several other people are wearing 'Bob Socks' too.
The yarn in this pair of socks is Regia Galaxy colour #1580. 75% wool 25% nylon, 420m/100g.
Monday, October 20, 2008
variations I'm working with my Red and Gold 1 ply sock yarn (70% my wool, 30% nylon).
The top pair is Size Large and the bottom pair is Size XL. Both knit on the Verdun 47, 72 cylinder.
Probably (hopefully) one more day knitting these two colours and I should be done the 12 x 100 g skeins.
Qiviut Socks: 70% Qiviut 20% Wool 10% Nylon. This pair is Size Large, knit on the Verdun 47, 72 needle cylinder.
DS took the air conditioner out of this window a week ago, and I put the screen on the window the same day. So it seems the bat must have been there for a whole week.It was very cold last night, and the bat was in a stupor when I found him.
I put him (him for sure) on a mitt and set him on the freezer in the garage to try and warm him up.When I went back a few hours later he was gone off the mitt and I can see him up in the rafters.
Bats eat zillions and zillions of insects so I'm very glad to have them around. (Since I have zillions and zillions of insects bugs on the farm!)
One of the wonderful things about this show - the local grade 8 class and their teachers are on hand to help unload your vehicle on set up day, and they are there to load you back up when the show is over. This gets vendors in and out lickity split. I wish other shows did that too! Those of us whose knees, backs, and hips have bid adieu to their glory days really appreciate their help.
There are a few things, on the other hand, that I found troubling this year. There was a jewelry vendor beside me who didn't seem to have a lot of action on day one. On day two she had bright neon coloured signs all around her booth, "Everything 1/2 price!"
And just a little further down the line was a knitting vendor with a big sign, "All Proceeds from Knitting Donated to the United Way".
This kind of thing is absolutely verboten at most juried shows as it puts other vendors, who have paid for their space, at a distinct disadvantage and pressures them unfairly to drop their prices or give their money away.
I'm sure other jewelry vendors, trying to make a living, suffered as a result. (I might have suffered too had the charity knitting been any... well..., never mind . )
Really. It's one of the things that separates a Craft Show and a Rummage Sale.
Hopefully the organizers will tend to this detail that detracts from the quality of an otherwise excellent show.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
It doesn't knit at half the weight....more like 2/3 and I presume that to be due to the light twist.
I dyed 6 skeins each of this yarn in Prochem's washfast acid dye (primary) Red and in their Gold.
On its own, the Gold looks to my eye to have a wee tinge of green. (cheap gold?)but put against another colour I don't see it. (Maybe I'd see it against green.)
I'm doing a craft show - Fair November - in Guelph ON in November and the show is held at the University. Red and Gold are the university colours so I decided I'd make up some 'team colour socks' for the occasion.
The pair in the photo is size Large, knit on the Verdun 47, 72 needle cylinder.
Back to the Drawing Board
I dyed the skein alone in my 20 gallon pot. The strings I used to tie the skein were 16" long. Clearly not long enough! Adding water to this yarn is like releasing that spray insulation in a can - it expands to a zillion times its original size!
Worse, I had a little bit of felting happen with the unspun strands. My sheep - Columbia - are a LOW FELTING breed (which is why knit goods can go in the wash untreated).
But there is a difference between LOW Felting and NO Felting and the unspun will not want to be dyed in the pot.
To be fair to the yarn, the felting was minimal and I probably could have teased it apart if I possessed a little more patience.
So its back to the drawing board (since I'm not expecting an increase in patience any time soon) to figure out how to dye this yarn more effectively.
I do give a damn, and so I'm off to Tara tomorrow for the Tara Festival of Crafts which runs Friday and Saturday.
And the Weenie....
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
This is another of those fibres that is heavenly soft.
The colours are spectacular, unlike my photos of the colours. I can't reproduce the sheen of the silk, which is particularly sensational in this first scarf - the colours have a serious crown jewels thing going on!
I knit the scarves on the Legare 400 with the 100 needle cylinder, set at a 9:1 mock ribbing and with a tension loose enough to give me a wide scarf without going lacy on the stitches.
It took the full 600m of each generous skein to deliver a 60" scarf.
I haven't washed/blocked the scarves yet. I want first to figure out how to block them so they don't downsize.
The colours of the second scarf are quite close to Lorna's Laces Mixed Berries, and I have enough scraps in Shepherd Sport weight to make a fringe if it needs a length boost after washing.
But I have nothing remotely close to the colours of the first scarf, so I really need to block the beast carefully!
What the Difference....
between a Prick and a Weenie?
I'm not sure either, but when I wake up tomorrow morning, one of them will be my Prime Minister.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I wanted him to show you our Japanese Anemone. These are a great (and easy) plant I got in trade for some Peonies a few years ago. These are one of those shove-a-clump-in-the-ground-and-walk-away plants.
This particular spot gets the late afternoon sun, but is in shade most of the day, and get very little water being situated under the eaves.
What I really like about this plant - it spreads easily, but not insanely, and it blooms in the fall. The flowers will last until they are buried in the snow.
Not that I'm expecting snow anytime soon.
The colours are late this year. Usually they peak the week before Thanksgiving (Canadian). Yet here we are at Thanksgiving weekend and many species have yet to turn.
Not much to speak of - I've got a few scarves on the sock machine, waiting to come of and have their edges finished.
This weekend we are part of the Escarpment Studio Tour, so I've been fussing about mowing the lawn and generally trying to make the homestead look presentable.
The dye pot has been going pretty much all week though!
Here's today's batch:
I vat dyed this batch. I wanted as close to a solid colour as I can get, so I set the limit at 6 skeins.
I've very pleased with the colour and (I think) it is richer than it appears in the photo.
It was a strange dye experience - at first the yarn turned a pale mauve, and then a medium mauve, and then a dark mauve. Only after simmering for over an hour did the chocolate thing happen.
So.... I'm guessing this brown will go well with mauve!
Happy Thanksgiving to all.....
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Truth be told, I needed to wind some yarn on the ball winder to prepare for knitting as I had none at the ready.
In my 'To Be Wound' basket there was quite a load and I ended up spending more than a day emptying that basket.
Most of the yarn is my own wool from assorted recent dye batches, but I also decided to wind up some Hand Maiden Seacell, Qiviut, Kroy and DGB Confetti in preparation for the next knitting attack.
And speaking of the dye pot:
The yarn is sharing the dry rack with a batch of my own grey pure wool sport socks and blue wool/nylon duro-sport socks.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The three hats are all Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, colour Jeans.
The pattern used is exactly the same in each of the three hats - same number or rows 9:1 mock rib hem, and the same number of rows stockinette for the hat body.
The only difference is the tension setting, which I changed approximately 1/2 turn between hats.
It was interesting (well, to me at least) to see not only the change in size of the hats, but how the colours in the yarn changed their behaviour.
I like the colour patterning on the left most hat best.
This time, for the last hat on the right, I didn't do a mock rib hem, but a stockinette hem and body (all 100 needles in work) and with the tension wide open to see what is the biggest hat I can make with this weight of yarn. I also used 10 fewer rows in the body of the hat when I saw the gauge the was happening.
The size of that hat, in my humble estimation, would be a small/mid size ladies, or older juvenile.
I like the colour patterning in the middle hat best.
The weatherman blessed us with cool sunny weather, the latter being good for attendance, and the former being good for wool sales.
I was ably assisted in the booth by DD (and 7/9th of her baby) and by my two oldest GK's.
We set a new record of sales so returned to our homes happy, albeit exhausted!
It was nice to meet some of my blog readers from Canada and the US - thanks for dropping by!
Today I rest.
Tomorrow, I knit....
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I've had this cylinder for well over a year but only took it for a very short test drive once.
This week I'm getting to know it.
The cylinder is a new manufacture by Jaquie Grant, NZAK manufacturer from New Zealand. It is aluminum so very light weight compared to original cylinders.
I've got the cylinder set up in a 9:1 mock rib format, which is to say that every tenth needle is removed from the cylinder, leaving 90 in work.
For my initial play therapy, I decided to knit some scarves (simple straight tubes) and explore the tension settings with different weight of yarn.
My setting is 4/4 of a turn looser on the tension knob than my standard setting for 4 ply sock yarn on the 54 needle cylinder.
The first scarf is a grey heather 100% cashmere, 2/14 NM.
One ply is grey and the other is white/off white.
(I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how the NM system of yarn gauge works. But I think the first number is the number of plys and the second number is higher as the yarn is thinner.)
The scarf was knit 600 rows which was 60 inches long. After washing it is 54. I haven't figured out how to block these properly yet.
The scarf weights 98 grams.
My second scarf:
This scarf is aslo 100% cashmere, but this time 3/28 NM (which is finer than 2/14). The colour is Aubergine.
Also knit at 600 rows or 60 inches, it also settled to 54 inches unblocked after washing.
The Aubergine scarf weighs 73 grams.
This scarf is 65% superfine merino 35% angora. At 2/28M it is even finer than the Aubergine cashmere.
I intended to knit this one 600 rows as the other two, but (at the same tension setting) I checked midway and found I was getting 7 rows to the inch instead of 10, so I quit at 420 rows.
Like the other two scarves, it was 60 inches going into the washing machine and 54 inches unblocked on the dry rack.
The merino/angora scarf weighs 35 grams.
(How many times does 35 grams divide into 40 lbs?)
Finishing the Scarves
For my opening edge, I did a micro hem top. So, I knit three rows and then hung the stitches of row one onto the needles of row three.
For the closing edge I used the same hand stitch (name unknown to me) as for my arm warmers and fingerless gloves: running the finishing tail with a darning needle through the last stitch that was knit, and then ahead two, back one, all the way around and weave in the end. I sew from the wrong side of the work.
I may or may not add fringes to some or all of the scarves.
Or, more correctly, dw may or may not add fringes to some or all of the scarves.