Saturday, May 09, 2009

Done ... all done,

and washed, and blocking on not quite long enough sock blockers. Last night I was 3 rows away from the end of the corrugated rib, and had only 4 more rounds before and casting off .. but that didn't get to happen until this morning (Mothers day), so the socks were finally cast off after obligatory Mothers day festivities. So today, my first knee high socks done, a fiber swap parcel arrived (and one was sent), ... charts, I share the charts for the sock top, and explain how I make charts. Finally, a neat gift (yes I'm spoilt this week with gifts all round - the cubs gave me blocking pins and chocolate for mothers day - I've got them well trained), and finally the next sock pattern and yarn all lined up ready to knit ...

A few months ago I put my hand up to organize the 2nd New Zealand Ravelry Fiber Swap. Sign ups were thru Ravelry .. and the requirement was to send fiber and goodies to a secret swap partner. The theme for the swop this time was ' A match made in heaven', so I said caramel and cream. Kate (aka Knitapotamus) was my swop partner .. and she sent me wonderful things. Two bumps of Pitt Island fiber, and info to explain Pitt Island sheep. The fiber is dark, and fine and soft and crimpy - I can't wait and this will be the next on the wheel. There was also chocolate and key ring sock + blocker ... and a hand knit wash cloth (NZ with a map even!), and pattern holders and two kinds of chocolate. Its always hard when some one asks my favorite colour -- cause I switch around, usually its blues and greys .. but I love caramel and cream and tan and dark greys just as much. I love my swap stuff (Thanks Heather!).

The swap was a bit of a round-robin (is that the term?), in that Kate sent to me ... but I sent to some one else .. who sent to some one else ... and eventually the circle of swaps closes with all spinners being sent to and sending. So I was lucky enough to draw the name Heather (aka Dianthusgirl), who loved raspberries and boysenberry's .. so I sent these raspberry and boysenberry things ... dyed combed perendale fiber, touch yarns, soap, bag(s), beads .. sheep post it notes, nail file.

And the finished socks, here! Knee high and still damp, still blocking ... I'll post again with a photo of them in use (being worn). I'm reallly happy with these

I tried to chart what I did, I started with the chart from Nancy Bush's Estonian Socks in Folk socks ... so the first 9 rounds are from that chart ... then after that it was borrowed from a section of a chart in Ann Feiltelson's book The Art of Fair Isle Knitting. Borrowed and adapted, with different colours and some elements modified. I knit the chart on 2.5mm needles and the sock on 2.25mm. I finished at the top with a row of K1blue K1brown, then 6 rounds of corrugated ribbing in blue and brown. The last round was purled brown, before casting off in brown. I dyed the colours in these socks way back in August 2008 using dried Lichen from Hands in Chch, each batch is a different colour as the lichen exhausts and different dyes are released. I liked using the Lichen - as you don't need mordants, and the shades are subtle. The blue was from the indigo vat at work. I'm pleasantly surprised at how nicely they all work together ...but perhaps that is the secret of Lichen and natural dyes.

The chart was clearer before I added the brown background. To make the chart I made knitters graph paper here, and set the lines to black. Black seems easier for photoshop to 'see' when I use the magic selection tool. Then I imported the page into Adobe Photoshop Elements and used the magic selection tool and fill command to flood each selected square with colour. Holding down shift lets me select multiple non-adjacent squares. The undo button is useful as well. I guess any photo imaging program that has select and fill commands would work.

So next up is Bayerische, in this beautiful green ... I've got two skeins from Vintage Purls to make knee highs. Notice the glass bottle with the yarn? The one with Stella written on it? I was gifted this during the week from a work friend -- who found it in his basement. Its from Stella Preserves .. as well as having Stella in bold script embossed into the glass, it bears the inscription "This bottle always remains the property of Stella Preserves Ltd, Dunedin". I some times wonder if I should spread my wings a little and try another place ... but Dunedin feels like home ... and perhaps I'm meant to be here.
take care
na Stella


Knitting Linguist said...

That jar certainly does seem like a sign, doesn't it? And beautiful to boot. The socks are wonderful! I can't wait to see the modelling shots -- you're inspiring me to think about knitting my own knee-highs (maybe that would be good travel knitting? they certainly would take a while). Happy mother's day!

JustApril said...

The socks are awesome and vintage glass is always cool. Looks like lots of great goodies too. Yaay for you =)