Saturday, December 05, 2009


Today - its the afterthought heel video I promised, there has been knitting, the tea cosy is coming along nicely, I've been sewing, Pops has a new skirt as do I (but no photos), and spinning.
But first a video tutorial Step One in creating an afterthought heel in a sock especially for AnneofBlueGables - although I suspect her sock is well past needing this. Afterthought heels are neat and tidy and usually created with short rows .. and super-knitters like Elizabeth Zimmerman would bravely snip a thread, pull a few stitches, needle up and insert the heel. More timid knitters like to use a foundation of waste yarn stitches as a placeholder, and knit this in when the sock is a few inches shy of the foot length. Waste yarn makes for fewer ends to weave in - a good thing in my book.

My tea cosy is on track - and should be all done by the tea-party next weekend. It has turned out, I think - its not done yet so I'm predicting, a little firm for my large red teapot and a little short for my tall white tea pot - so I plan to undo the 6 or so rows of decreases and re-work the first side a little longer. The black and white should look really good with the white teapot, but the red tea pot is the one we use the most. That has a mesh tea leave basket, removable, which allows us to lift the leaves out and prevents over-brewed stewed tea. I do have plans to knit a suitable cosy for that pot, seamless and double knitting with a little help from Suzanne. Funny but now I've come around to this tea pot idea, I'm all enthusiastic - no longer reluctant - odd how experiencing a success will change ones mind. My only remaining unknown here is what will I bring for the tea-time style shared lunch? I do have my tea at the Ritz book out and have lots of ideas .. but it needs to be something that will suit most (gluten free?), and that is achievable within work and weekend and knit night obligations.

Spinning, I've been spinning two different but similar yarns. I'm attempting lace weight - and I'm not quite there yet but my latest spinning is better than I expected it to be. I had sampled lace weight - but found I couldn't consistently spin the singles as fine as I had when I sampled them. As I spun I wondered what sort of mess I would end up with ... there seemed to be a great deal of variation. Predictably when plying one bobbin ran empty a good deal before the other. I broke of the singles and wound some from one bobbin to the other and plied the rest. After a warm soak and a dry its better than expected .... look! Yes the plies vary from thin to thicker - but overall the yarn seems fairly consistent. This was hand dyed merino combed top which I split in two lengthwise and spun using a fractual approach - and the resultant yarn is complex in colour to look at without any obvious repeats. I like this - like this a lot. I did end up with fine yarn - fingering, 100g with around 410m so that is probably a fair attempt at lace weight from a relative newbie. I've only been spinning a year - or is that two years? Not long enough to feel in control of it, and new enough to be pleased whenever the result is near what I wanted and knitable. The other yarn was to be spun as fine, and plied as a four ply .. and the plies are not as fine as I sampled - so who knows what weight I'll end up with. I know that four ply is not as thick as the four plies .. so it will be interesting to see the result. I'm just about to start the fourth bobbin. One other responsibility recently has been the organizing of the New Zealand Fibre Swap 3.0 on Ravelry and the post dates are next week ... so I'd like to have both wheels clear ready for whatever yummy goodness arrives in my mail box. I've been having fun recently finding, making, packaging up and sending off things to spinners and knitters local and further afield.

so .. next week is the last full week of work for me before Christmas, here is the the start of the summer holidays .. so the cubs and I stop work in a week and a half. Then there is a 5 or 6 week holiday (longer for the cubs) ... and I do admit that whilst there is a lot to sort and plan and file before I go on leave .. part of me is aware of the soon to be holiday and waiting for time of my own.

take care
na Stella


me said...

Beautiful yarn, beautiful cozy! Bravo!!!

bittenbyknittin said...

Timely video! I just started a pair of afterthought socks. Thanks!

Annieofbluegables said...

Thank you so much! I am working on my mojo socks. I really appreciate you taking time for me. You are so sweet. I LOVE your accent. Beautiful.

Knitting Linguist said...

The yarn is absolutely gorgeous! Has it really only been a year or two? Man, you are GOOD.

Holidays are coming up for us, too, and I'm hanging on by my fingernails. I'm wondering whether everyone will be receiving New Year's gifts from us this year; the shopping has yet to be done...

KathyR said...

Your tea cosy is coming along nicely! It should look very smart on the white pot when it is finished. Great video of the afterthought heel - a very useful technique to learn, and quite simple once you know how! I love the colours of your spinning. I had planned to try out the fractal method the last time I was spinning some dyed merino until I looked at the sliver. I found that it had been very randomly dyed, not striped as I had needed. Couldn't tell when it was plaited. Never mind - it was still pretty. (It wasn't the one I killed!) I'll try that another time I have suitable sliver even if I have to dye it myself as it does look fun!

Eleonora said...

Thanks for the video! I have been looking everywhere for a video about afterthought heels. Can't wait to see part two.
(New but adventurous sock knitter)

JoanneF said...

Ah, yes fibre swap! I was concentrating so much on the one I was sending, that I'd totally forgotten there was one coming to me too :D
Love the lace-weight spinning.