Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lets see, 2 toes, 2 heels, must be a pair of finished socks!

Yes, finally, I finished the Cat Bordhi Bartholomew's Tantalizing socks, so today I've got he obligatory FO photo, I've introduce my new mindless-yet-interesting garter stitch project, a photo and info of that vintage Paua jewelery that high-jacked my camera SD card last post, and I made some yarn. Not quite the yarn I wanted to make, but its beautiful all the same.

First up socks, look, two toes, and two cuffs, so they must be a finished pair. These socks have been so close to being finished for ages, weeks, really. I just needed some quite time to focus on the linen stitch pattern, the linen stitch decreases then work the toe. Doing that only took a few hours, and I can't explain why I didn't get around to working these earlier, but now they are done. And these fit beautifully, the yarn is soft, the socks nicely fitted and the cushioned pad under the heel feels wonderfully squishy. I'm about to cast on a second pair, I am dithering about if I work the same sock with linen stitch, or something else ... I'll keep you posted. Stats, started 16th Jan 2008, finished 9th March 2008. Needle size 2.25mm needles, gauge 8spi (I think). Result - will knit again.

A new project, on my last Milton mill visit, I picked up some merino sport weight yarn, 950m/265g, labeled space dye trials. It was very economical and I thought perfect for baby gift knitting. Now there is one more baby due at work, and I thought for this one I would knit the welcome to the world gift. Did you know babies come in 3's, I didn't but have been told repeatedly they do come in 3's, where there is one, there will soon be 2 more. I wanted to knit a BSJ, but the mother to be warned me her babies were usually bonnie. Thats a local scottish based term for 'big', I knew using the yarn as is would result in a BSJ to fit in-utero if she did have a bonnie baby, so I swatched with the yarn doubled. The swatch looked good, until I cast on for the BSJ proper, and ended up with well over a meter of cast-on on my needles. Now no baby is that bonnie, except maybe a 3 year old, and that is to long to wait to use a baby gift. So - I changed tack, and moved on to a second classic EZ design. This time from the Opinionated Knitter, page 52, originally her Spring 1963 wool-gathering newsletter, a Knitted Garter Stitch blanket. This is a clever (as are all her designs) modular garter stitch blanket, knit in short rowed strips and sewn together. I figure the small amount of 'warm' pink in the yarn is completely overshadowed by the sunny yellow just in case it is a boy and she becomes pink-averse.

I was asked to post a photo and some info on the Paua jewelery I inherited. I was told "The bracelet was made by Mastercrafts Ltd, an Auckland company set up by a returned serviceman in 1945. The bracelet is pictured in a 1957 catalogue of the company, and sold for New Zealand 3 pounds, 5 shilling. Such jewelery generally sold in jewelery shops which is where Mr B could have purchased it." Mr B is Bears father. I've been wearing this rather a lot lately, so much so I had a safety chain added, and I hang the pendant on a heavy silver chain. I've not had it valued, because its not mine, its a family thing, and one day will be either Poppy's or Toby's turn to keep it safe.

And the sock yarn that was to be, but isn't. This is the latest off the spinning wheel, 90% Romney, 10% mohair, the fiber was hand dyed and blended in Christchurch by Julia. I thought the blend would be perfect for socks, and the singles were even and nicely twisted - I was so proud of myself, but they were not fine enough. I made 2 half bobbins of 2 ply yarn with lots of over-twist so they twisted back on themselves, then plied those two together to get a 4-ply cabled yarn. I love the colour, the even-ness, but not really the thickness. Thats only because I wanted sock yarn, but instead have 100g of 104m, not sock yarn. What I need to work out is what to make of 104m of what I think is worsted weight yarn, any ideas? I have contacted Julia to see if I can get more, and the answer is yes, but maybe not identical. I don't mind, the fibers had a lovely variation and hints of other colours (which didn't photograph anywhere as exiting as they are in real life), which I found amazingly beautiful.

So thats the update, I'm off to knit more on the Poppy-shrug (and watch trash tv). I'm about to start ribbing for the sleeve cuffs. I've not decided if its to be 2x2 rib or 1x1, or maybe 3x2 just to have a bit of fun. For a design lecturer sometimes the process is very organic isn't it? I'll let you know.



JustApril said...

The socks are faboo, great colors! =) Can't wait to see the progress on the EZ project. The jewelry is really pretty, it would be good to get an appraisal for insurance purposes, in case anything ever happened to it.

Tanya said...

Socks look great! Can't wait to see the baby blanket, it is such an interesting design.

Knitting Linguist said...

Thanks for posting the paua pictures -- those are absolutely gorgeous pieces! Family jewelry is so nice sometimes; I like the idea of having that connection to history with me.

It's a bummer that the yarn didn't turn out sock weight, but it is still absolutely gorgeous, and if you can get more, it's destined to be something lovely, I'm sure! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Stella,

My name's Mike King, and I came across your blog in my search for someone who might be able to help me get a woolly hat knitted for my friend's young son. I found the instructions for it at another knitting blog, here:

He is very into Star Wars so the hat seems perfect. However I don't knit, and with the Dunedin winter fast approaching, I doubt I can learn in time (or do a good job with what seems very technical).

Would you consider knitting one of these (for money, of course) or could you put me in touch with someone who might? I've tried a few knitting shops, but they were unable to help me.

I can be contacted at this address: Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.