Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sock yarn club!

Yes - New Zealand has a sock yarn club, and I'm in it. This week my inaugural sock yarn parcel arrived in brown paper and tied up with string, I knit a little more on my twined mitten and made use of a sock technique for adding the thumb stitches, I've also been spinning, and I went opp shopping and found knitterly books to add to my library.

But first the sock club, Vintage Purls has been selling on line for a few months now, and I have quite a few of her products, knitpics needles and hand dyed sock yarn. My first sock club parcel arrived complete with yummy yarn, chocolate fish, knitpic needle, custom pattern, and even a little skein of thread for the provisional cast on. In real life the read is so warm and fireballish that the socks have to be toasty warm. Now I'm faced with even more of the dilemma of which of the yummy yarns in my stash to knit up into socks next. Not a bad position for a sock knitter to be in, really.

And still my twined mitten lingers, but it grows. This is my main knitting project, I aim to knit on no other till its done. Last night after the knitting photo shoot, I knit a little more, so now the top narrows with the first of the decrease rounds being knit. But this is where I was at mid afternoon Saturday.

When I got to the end of the thumb gusset, like any cuff up mitten, there was the need to park some of the stitches ready to become the thumb, and cast on a few more before knitting the rest of the hand section. I remembered Judy's magic cast on, and used it to cast on the extra stitches and it worked a treat. I now have live stitches ready to knit up to the thumb, rather than a cast on edge from which to pick up stitches for the thumb. The advantage in working them this way there will be no odd ridge inside the mitten, just seamless knitting. Using the magic cast on was easy with the twined knitting because I already had two strands of yarn in use, but methinks I will try it for underarms and other places where I need to cast on, then pick up and knit from the cast on. I will have to add an extra stitch at the corners, but that seems to be standard practice for picking up around shaped openings.

And while I limit myself to finishing my mitten, have been distracting myself by doing a bit more spinning than usual. I'm about 75% of the way thru spinning this Romney Lincoln blend. The first 200g was spun from dyed multi-colour locks which I combed, the second 200g I have carded and am spinning from the sliver. I am hoping the ply spun from the locks will have dramatic colour changes, and the ply from the carded sliver will be more muted. Together that should made for a coherently coloured yarn. The staples are really long 10-15cm, so spinning this is unlike anything else I've spun so far - an interesting learning curve and the fiber is so lustrous.

And finally - look what I scored in a local second hand book shop? Sally Melviles 3rd book on colour, and Blankets and Throws to Knit, by
Debbie Abrahams. Now neither was particularly high on my need to have list, but at the price they were listed, it seemed right they come home to join my knit library. There is a lot of inspiration in the blanket and throw book, and I since I've knit 3 or more baby blankets in the last year and a bit, well a source of blanket squares might not go amiss.

I should have a new how to video next post, backwards loop increases as knit in my BSJ. I'm finally catching up to all the u-tube requests for more techniques. I'm off to shop for dinner (home made burgers, with salad), and tidy the house ready for the week ahead.

Take care - Stella


sweetp said...

A friend is doing the sock club and bought her yarn to a knit night so we could all admire. Very pretty isn't it? Love your mitten

Knitting Linguist said...

The sock club yarn looks wonderful -- isn't it funny how it just seems like red yarn should be warmer? (I'll have to be sure I pack some red socks next week...) I am loving the yarn you're spinning, those colors are stunning, very misty heathered hills sorts of colors. And I can't wait to see the mitts in person!!

Shirley Goodwin said...

Oh no! It's dangerous to read your blog! A sock club - dare I? I knit socks very slowly, and have so many other projects on the go.

Erika said...

I may be totally obtuse, but I don't understand how Judy's magic cast-on works for casting on over a thumb gusset; it seems as though it creates a closed circle, and you want an open one. I'd love to see an explanation.

Angelika said...

Your spinning looks great. Sometimes I wonder if that might be another hobby for me to start, but then I remember that I have too much fun knitting up the yarn and leave the spinning to the pros. Nice score on the books.

Anonymous said...

Dear Stella

Nice to see another Stella - we won't get confused, your in Dunedin and I am in Auckland. Will join the next sock club when they take on new members.