March 24, 2013

2013 FO's: February

Off My Needles/Hooks:

I finished the Riverbed socks for Mom using Cat Bhordi's Master Riverbed sock pattern from her first New Pathways book. I worked on these a lot when Mom was in the hospital and my concentration was perhaps not all it should be. Regardless, this pattern needs major tweaking to properly fit, and because of that I'm not likely to make another pair right away. Too much effort; I think I'll stick to Cat's sweet tomato heels for now.  

 As I said, I was originally making these for Mom, but she died right after I finished the second sock.  They probably would've been too big for her anyway as they are large on me especially around the heel. One sock is worse (bigger) than the other.  I mushed the excess fabric around to the underside of the socks in this picture, but if you look closely you can still see bagging on the heel/gusset area especially on my right foot.  Used approximately 86grams/282 yds of Knit Picks Felici sport wt Self-Striping yarn. Started Jan 14 and finished Feb 14.      

Riverbed socks   


Odds and Ends - Only one this month: knit a quick little bookmark in Hufflepuff colors for a Quidditch match


Off My Spindles/Wheel:

The Knit Girllls Expand Your Horizons Jan/Feb SAL (spin-a-long) was Southdown. I tried spinning Babydoll Suthdown during the SpinDoctor Wool Breeds Challenge several years ago but found it difficult to spin. I didn't like it then, and I'm not very fond of spinning it now.

Southdown is the original Down breed so there is a bit of Southdown in all the current Down breeds. It is a British based breed varying in size from toy to medium/large sheep. Staple length ranges from 1.5 to 4 inches but averages around 2-3 inches.  Micron count is 23-29 for white and 27-31 for black/colored fleece. Babydoll Southdown is one of the smaller types and usually raised as pets/fleece sheep. ("The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook" by Carol Ekarius & Deborah Robson)  Babydoll wool is springy and squishy to touch; very interesting hand. 

I started spinning this on spindles (for portability), first doing a short forward draw, then switching to supported longdraw, but eventually switched to Jack, my e-spinner. In this instance I found longdraw easier on Jack (not always the case for me) than on my spindle, especially if I was spinning from the untouched portion of the Babydoll roving. Predrafting or any fussing or prepping of the roving at all made it much harder to draft. Lessons learned: don't predraft or prep the fiber, and spin woolen or semi-woolen.

Babydoll Southdown is not one of my favorite fibers to spin, but I wouldn't rule it out completely. It has interesting character and I like the finished yarn. Out of 40grams of roving I finished with approximately 109 yds of 2ply yarn (218 yds singles). Spinning started on Jan 5th and plying finished on Feb 6th. Picture was taken before yarn received it's twist-setting bath, and you can clearly see difference between the worsted and woolen spun sections.

Babydoll Southdown

Itty Bitty Bits for February are just three small samples (top to bottom):

A) “Nordic Sky”, Cobblestone Creek Farm, sw merino/nylon, blue, 32yds 2ply, 64yds Singles, spindle spun & plied, S/F Jan 29-Feb 3, 7 grams
  B) “Raw Turquoise”, WoolieBullie, merino, green/gold, 23yds 3ply, 69yds Singles, Spindle spun & chain plied, S/F Feb 5, 7gr
  C) unlabeled, pinks/greens/white, wool & sparkle, 24yds 3ply, 72yds Singles, Spindle spun & chain plied, S/F Feb 7-9, 10gr.

  Feb Itty Bitty Bits

Brought To Me By: Crafting accomplished with the following audio/video accompaniment:    
  Audiobooks:  Emma by Jane Austen; Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore;              
  DVDs etc: Iron Man; The King's Speech; Midsomer Murders; Nero Wolf;              
  Pod/VideoCasts:  Round The Twist; The Knit Girllls; Yarnspinners Tales; Knitting Pipeline;                

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