Monday, September 28, 2009

The wheel and the hook

Warning: there are lots of photos to follow. Once again, I am woefully behind.

cmf swm hj swirls
Fiber: Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino, "Hey Jude"
Chain ply (Navajo ply) skein: 438 yards, 114 grams
3 ply skein: 406 yards, 110 grams

Would it be one of my spinning posts if I didn't have some Crown Mountain Farms yarn? Normally I spin CMF colorways as straight 3 ply, but this one had so much contrast that I chain plied the second skein. I like them both!

scf pol kat swirl2
Fiber: Southern Cross Fibre Polwarth, "Katoomba"
Chain ply (Navajo ply)
480 yards, 114 grams

This is the colorway that made me start stalking SCF shop updates. And for anyone who might not have had the pleasure, let me just say that those updates are mad, mad, mad. You try to figure out what you want beforehand (thanks to David's helpful preview photos), but in the end all you can do is throw things in your cart and hope something will still be there when you check out. Madness—but completely worth it. I have been lucky.

asu msb sal swirls
Fiber: All Spun Up 50% merino, 25% silk, 25% bamboo, Aug./Sept. SAL colorway
2 ply
1818 yards, 233 grams

This fiber was delicious, but spinning so much laceweight nearly did me in. I'm thinking of (eventually) knitting this into a Forest Path Stole (Ravelry link), but I'm open to other possibilities. Any suggestions?

itw m bf swirl macro2
Fiber: Into the Whirled merino, "Black Forest Cake"
3 ply
478 yards, 117 grams

Oh my, this spinning experience was total bliss. The wool prep was perfect...amazingly soft too. And those colors! To top it off, Cris's service is second-to-none. I can't recommend her store highly enough.

heritage circle squares
And finally, crochet! I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't crocheted anything in more than three years. My friend recently commissioned a baby blanket, though, so I took the opportunity to dust off my hooks. I'm improvising the design, but it's going well so far. ( I hope I didn't just jinx it.)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

All about socks

Somehow I never tire of knitting socks. There's just something about them that does it for me as a knitter. Second Sock Syndrome is purely theoretical for me—I know it exists, but I have never experienced it. And I'm utterly enchanted with my latest pair.

asu shur'tugal angle
Pattern: Shur'tugal by Alice Yu
Yarn: my own handspun
Needles: 1.75 mm (US size 00)

asu shur'tugal macro
This is a pattern I undoubtedly will knit again. It isn't completely mindless, but the stitch pattern is easy to memorize. The subtle striping of the handspun yarn doesn't quite do the pattern justice, but I love the overall textural quality of these socks. These socks are for the Professor, but I want a pair for myself too.

Anyway, socks—they have become so integrated into my daily routine that I sometimes forget to document them. One of the things I love about spinning my own sock yarn is that I feel perfectly justified in knitting a lot of plain stockinette socks. Even plainly knitted, socks made from handspun are killer.

fo lr ank socks done
I knit these ankle socks for the Professor while I was out of town last May (great airplane knitting!). He seemed genuinely surprisedand pleasedwhen I came home from my trip with a new pair of socks for him. By the way, he went away on two trips without me this summer, and did he bring home any new socks for me? He did not. But I digress.

Of course, I do knit socks for myself too.

cmf swm sbm socks done
I spun this yarn from Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino ( "Stand by Me"), and it is probably my favorite CMF colorway to date. The only thing about these socks that makes me unhappy is that it will be at least a month before the weather is cool enough for me to wear them.

Finally, I have a pair of socks that I did not even knit.

gold cable socks model
My friend Angele knit these beauties. It seems that I might have admired them a little too warmly, because she ended up giving them to me. I was gobsmacked. Look at all that cabling! And she gave them to me without a second thought! I am unworthy. Did I mention that the yarn has cashmere in it? Swoon.

Thank you again, Angele! For future reference: when I compliment your knitting, I do not expect you to bestow it upon me. I am profoundly appreciative of these socks, though.