May 14, 2011

April Wrap-up

April Wrap-up - a little behind schedule, but

Yippee! I have finished objects!

The Opal Rainforest socks and the Lizard Toes Gluttony socks are done. The Opal socks were my first afterthought heel socks, and as such, they came out okay. My afterthought heel sock basic pattern needs refinement, though, and I'll work on that over the next couple of pair.

Gluttony socks (I just love that blue!):

Gluttony socks

The Opal socks:

Opal socks

Also finished is...drum roll please...The Shetland Pi Shawl for Mom. I haven't blocked it yet but otherwise it's done. Of course, now that I'm thinking about it, it's lovely but not very practical for her to use at the nursing home. I should have used machine wash and dryable yarn and probably a less lacy, warmer pattern. Guess that means I'll have to cast on another shawl. ;)

Shetland Pi shawl

Things I've learned/tried this month...Magic Loop and spinning from the lock:
I'm knitting the feet of the BBS (Big Black Socks) for SFS two at a time on Magic Loop. I work the socks one at a time when doing the heels, then switch to two at a time to keep the feet the same length. Can't wait to finish them so I can switch to the olive drab. It's such a relief to work with the OD after the black.

I tried spinning from the lock for the Yarnspinners Tales April SAL on some Merino cross fleece. This particular fleece has a lot of well defined locks, making flicking and spinning fun and easy to do. I'm using a little dog slicker as my flicker brush - cheap, works well enough, and I had it around the house anyway. I'm going to try it on the Border Leicester and maybe on the Jacob I washed. Which reminds me

I washed my first fleece - some pretty multicolored Jacob two ounce sample from The Spinning Loft sampler box. I soaked it overnight in cold water and then hot washed in Power Scour with two rinses. Got the lanolin and dirt out but not the VM, and there are a couple of sections with ALOT of VM.

My first attempt at making my own sock yarn is coming along. I'm blending Friesian and Border Leicester wools on my hand combs, eyeballing an approximate 70/30 F/BL ratio, and spinning worsted for a 3-ply heavy fingering wt yarn. I'm hoping the Border Leicester will give the yarn some strength without too much coarseness as well as some luster. My first skein doesn't have as much luster as I thought it would, but it's definitely got some shine. It's a nice looking yarn but i think more sport wt than fingering (it bloomed a little) I can work with that though. I need to swatch it for gauge.

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