Friday, May 29, 2009
I like the variable patterning of the black, going from dashes to lines.
Fortissima Socka Cotton Colour is 45% Cotton, 42% Superwash Wool and 13% Nylon. And this example is colourway # 6503.
The socks are size Large, knit on the 72 needle cylinder.
I've got some Large acrylic blockers that are wider than my antique wire blockers. I thought it would be good to use the wider blocking with the cotton content.
I've knit with earlier versions of this yarn before, and had a pair (with a boo boo) for myself. I found they shrunk a little over time and I always made sure to put them on the blockers to keep them wide enough for my manlegs.
And here are another few pairs of Schaefer Anne. Both of these are size Medium + and are knit on the 72 needle cylinder.
frogged the work as I didn't like the colour pooling.
BTW, the Anne series of sock yarns do not have colour numbers. Each are individually painted, though I presume a small batch is painted similarly with each lot as I've received pairs from Schaefer that are quite close.
I've noticed that different skeins have different numbers of colours, and different proportions of colour banding. I think I've noticed that the skeins which perform to my liking on the 54 needle cylinder have 7 or 8 colour bands that are approximately equal in size.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I've had to switch out the white background I normal shoot my photos on, as this yarn really washed out in the pics, no doubt the white component of the yarn being the culprit.
This blue background actually worked well and this is one of the few photos I didn't have to fiddle with to get a good representation (on my screen).
I'm very pleased with the colour patterning. (Anne is one hand paint that usually gives me best patterning on the size Large 72 stitch sock, while almost all other hand paints perform best on the 54 IMHO).
So since that skein worked out well in the Medium, I decided to take a crack at another.
I don't mind pooling when it works in spirals or even in patches. But I HATE it when it makes sloppy vertical columns. Hate it, I say!
Dare I go for three?
I forgot to photo the skein before I knit it this time. And on this last pair I probably should have gone back to my white backdrop...the colour representation isn't way off on my screen, though what looks orange is actually more of a bronze and there is some kind of grainy effect goin' on that isn't real.
After three colourways my luck ran out ;o( I tried two more and both started to pool vertically. I stopped and frogged both of them by the time I got halfway down the first leg. These skeins will, I'm sure, do their thing for me on the 72 cylinder.
Schaefer Anne is 60% Superwash Merino, 25% Mohair, 15% Nylon. At $28/skein (last time I looked) its a litte rich (but seems like a bargoon after Mori). The yardage is very generous at 560 in the 4 oz skeins.
The tag says, 'Hand or Machine Wash'. I've got a pair that must be two years old and they are still holding up, though I do find mohair blends will pill/felt/scuz more easily than most of my socks. I always wash them inside out in a small load with the washing machine set on handwash, warm/warm, and I block them on stretchers.
DW tossed a pair in the 'regular wash' once - they shrunk quite a bit, but worse, they really fulled and so didn't have enough stretch left in them to rehabilitate.
Anne is a luxurious yarn, but it needs to be pampered a little!
Monday, May 25, 2009
After reading so many blogs about Koigu lately, I decided it was time to go see what all the fuss was about.
While there I had a boo at Koigu Mori....Koigu's latest. I bought two 50 g skeins so I could see how it performs on the sock machine.
Mori is 50% Merino and 50% Mulberry Silk; 185 y (169 m)/ 50g; Recommended Hand Wash, Dry Flat, 3mm needles - 28 st/10 cm
I loved the look and the feel of the yarn but I was a little nervous about the elasticity (or lack of) with such a high % silk. Other silk blends I've tried, with a much lower silk content, can be quite stiff to crank.
(Remember the needles on a sock machine have to be able to pull the yarn down into the cylinder to create a stitch, so a certain amount of elasticity is required.)
The verdict.... wunderbar!
On the first sock, I loosened my tension 1/4 turn from normal 4 ply setting - both to accommodate a little less stretch in the silk, and that the yardage is a little heavier. This knit very easily and I wondered if it would knit as well at my normal tension.
So I knit the second sock at my normal tension, and it also knit very well. On this sock I had 9 stitches to the inch, while on the first sock I had 8 stitches to the inch.
For a size Medium, either would do, so I decided to go with the second setting because I like how the colours patterned better. I frogged the first sock and re-knit it to the same tension as the second sock.
The yarn isn't cheap, retailing at $25/50 grams. But, what can I say.
I know.... I can say, "It's cheaper than Qivut!"
And for those of you who are stuck near the top of this post snickering at the notion that I left a yarn shop with two skeins of yarn, fear not.
I did manage to snag a little KPPM to play with too.
Friday, May 22, 2009
When I was getting near the end of what I had wound into balls, I decided to mix and match a little.
pre-dyed in pale yellow, then 1/3 of skein length hand painted), and with my original full value version for the hem tops, heels, and toes.
pre-dyed pale yellow) and Lite B. Reversing main colour/second colour on the two socks.
I'm pleased with how these socks came out and I'm intrigued how the different values and combinations of the same group of colours can have such broad range of outcomes.
It looks, to me, almost like a Spring/Summer/Fall series.
I took (fairly) meticulous notes/drawings about my painting so hopefully I can replicate this series using the same colours or different groups of colours.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
You can see my yellow scrap yarn at the end (toe) of the sock, but you can also see some pink scrap yarn in the middle of the sock - which is where I thought I was finished knitting the first time around!
This wasn't a huge deal to fix... I simply (well, ok, not really simply) rehung the half sock on the needles and carried on knitting.
I had to be sure to line up the orientation of the work on the cylinder so that my first stitch began where the last stitch left off. And then I had to carefully lay the tails in on the second round to snug up the connection (and avoid hand weaving the ends in later.)
So that work was pretty straight forward.
This was less so....
ok, it was cursed quite a bit) it is actually an Over the Knee Sock.
I knit this one to match up to my original prototype sock.
But I was looking at the wrong
I didn't see this until I washed the pair and put them on blockers.
So this wasn't as easy a fix.
But, you see the pink yarn (about 40 rows before the pre-heel).
This is the wrong side of the work showing. I ran a scrap of yarn right around the row the immediately preceeded the pre-heel. (My pre-heel has mock ribbing in it, and the rest of the leg doesn't, so it was a good spot to get a few references with when running the pink yarn through.)
Next, I had to un-kitchener the toe.
(Like, who among us can find the time to un-kitchener a toe!)
Then I unravelled the sock all the way back to the pink yarn - which prevented me from unravelling too far.
From there on it was basically the same as the first remedial sock above, though rehanging the stitches was more difficult as the offending stitches tightened them selves right up against the pink yarn while I fussed about with my large man fingers.
All's well that ends well and I'm very pleased that I was able accomplish the work.
Even if it did take 10 times longer than frogging the two pieces and starting over.
I hate frogging.
On the farm...
We planted 410 spruce seedlings on the weekend.
GK3 and GK4 were Grandpa Soxophone Player's big helpers. (Not to mention DD and SIL!)
Friday, May 15, 2009
Forgoing my all to common tendencies of shopping with a fork lift, I came home with a few small bags of goodies that I bought
Amongst the treats that day, two skeins of Jitterbug by Colinette.
My facility with photos for online posting often underwhelms me.
But I am particularly disappointed with these two pictures which do no justice at all to the deep rich colours in this delicious yarn.
To be honest I was afraid to wash them for the colours are so deep I was sure there would be bleeding, runoff, and septic contamination.
Yet, the water was quite clear.
The Top photo is of colourway Jewel, which aptly describes the colours, if not the photo!
And the bottom photo is colourway Mardi Gras. Those tepid looking reds are actually deep and sensuous blood and ruby reds!
Jitterbug is 100% Easy Care Merino (I presume that means Superwash) and there are 291m/110g.
That's a fair bit heavier than your Opal/Regia yarns, and while knitting the first skein I was getting very nervous about being short for the second sock.
But I wasn't short...I had a few grams left. These socks are size Medium (54 stitch). So there definitely wouldn't have been enough for a size Large from one one skein, and probably not even a M+.
Being 100% wool, I added Wooly Nylon while knitting the heels and toes.
It's an expensive yarn but I would definitely knit it again. Although next time I would get at least two skeins in a colourway. Or a skid.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The yarn is Fancy Free by Diamond Yarns, in colour #102...yummy carmels, rich earth tones and burnt orange.
It is 70% Fine Merino, 20% Alpaca, 10% Nylon. 206m/50g
The pair in the photo is size Medium, knit on the Legare 400, 54 needle cylinder.
This is a delicious yarn that behaves very well on the sock machine. I did catch one snag where I split the plies but I caught this before knitting the next row and fixed the stitch easily.
The exotic yarns often feed through the machine so easily that the temptation is to crank too fast...and that's when you can snag a bit of halo in a half stitch...so best to take it easy.
I love this yarn. It it the last of 4 bags I got to try out and I will certainly be looking for more!
On the Farm
The fence post popped out of the ground, courtesy of frost heaving and spring flooding. The hole has meantime filled itself in. There are 50 or more cows on the other side of the fence so it needs to be repaired fairly soon.
I can't dig a hole in the water and it is too far from terra firma to reach/push down with the bucket on the tractor.
Jesse and I found lots of these little ground flowers today. I've never seen them before.
The leaves unfurl like Jack In The Pulpits.
There are tons of them in the back lane, which is heavily shaded by the canopy of fence row Maples. The dead leaves in the photo are ~ 2 - 3" maple leaves (for scale).
Friday, May 8, 2009
In the earlier version I painted Slate Blue, Spearmint, and Plum in one quarter sections on a pale Sky Blue yarn pre-dyed base.
In this variation I've used the same colours, but left fully one half of each skein in Sky Blue and then divided the remaining half amongst the three paint colours.
earlier version gave more implied stripes, while this version is more zig zags. But the zig zag pattern replicated very well in 8 socks.
I had enough left over to use as accents for the hem top, heels and toes of a size Medium + pair. I knit this pair on the 72 needle cylinder and used my own variegated Sky Blue from stash as the main colour.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
On this batch, I pre-dyed the skeins in pale Lemon Drop first, then over painted Apricot and Key Lime. I painted roughly in thirds, but note that the Lemon Drop and Key Lime are actually about double the length of the Apricot as they 'take the corners' of the skein.
This is a pair of size Medium socks, knit on the 54 needle cylinder of the Legare 400.
Even though the Lemon Drop makes up a significant portion of the skein, it serves mainly to underline the Key Lime and the Apricot.
But here is a different version of the same colours:
Sun Baked Lite B
In this variation I've left fully two thirds of the length of the skein in the under dyed Lemon Drop, and painted the other third in equal parts of Key Lime and Apricot, with the Key Lime occupying the corner.
In this size Medium pair the Lemon Drop makes is presence known, but even though it occupies fully 2/3 of the skein, it really presents as almost a balance with the Key Lime and Apricot.
The Lemon Drop in both examples is of a lower (paler) value than the Key Lime and Apricot. I expect the yellow would behave differently if it were of the same value as the other colours...more like in the original Sun Baked Earth series.
This new treat arrived from New Zealand:
Its a new manufacture NZAK Yarn Topper for one of my sock machines. This topper will allow me to keep 6 balls of yarn threaded simultaneously. This will (should) make much easier work of striped sock work.
I have an antique version of this topper that came with my Verdun 47, but the new manufacture version has a big plus.
The yarn feed tabs are actually slotted in the new topper, so you can pop the yarn right in, whilst in the old version there are holes through which the yarn must be thread(ed?). Hopefully this will mean no more licking and twirling yarn ends, and shave a little time and bother off the work.
This is The Falls Inn, in Walters Falls, Ontario, a small village about 5 minutes from the farm. The Inn was built a few years ago but still looks 'fresh'. When the foundation plantings mature a little I'm sure this photo will improve.
And these are the falls from which Walters Falls takes its name. They roar over the precipice right outside the dining room windows (and balcony). A beautiful spot.
The chef is excellent and constructs an exciting 100 mile menu. His venison is to die for! His foie gras unbeatable.
And the desserts.
Oh my, the desserts.
I'm not sure if they are 100 mile or not, but I can tell you I would walk 100 miles to eat them!
Friday, May 1, 2009
NZAK. I gather from their web site that this size is now discontinued. It's a great cylinder! I can knit, at a looser tension than what I used above, sock toppers that will fit a size Large thigh, or a pair of knee socks that will nicely fit XL calfs (calves?)!
The yarn is my own 75/25 Wool/Nylon fingering weight sock yarn, vat dyed in Jet Black and Rhodemine (a red, but at a lower value produces a hot pink). It takes the better part of two 100g skeins for this pair.
Kelly the Betch was the inspriation for this pair. ;o)
And on the tamer side....
Knitting with Noro reminds me a little of Taming of the Shrew... a lot of patience and persistence is required to knit this yarn without a lot of cursing.
But I am finding three little secrets to success:
-I set tension 1/4 turn looser than 'other' fingering weight yarns.
- I do EVERYTHING at half speed....winding the ball, cranking, breathing.
- I keep my eye on the yarn (usually I keep my eye on the needles) - it will jump out of the yarn carrier, or off the yarn mast, or twirl around a little screw that holds the leg on my machine stand, yadda, yadda,yadda. At a slow cranking speed you can catch these little diversions before the sock goes off the rails!