Weird Wool Wednesday: “What are you doing!?”

This was bellowed out by my husband on Sunday, just as I was about to learn to do my first afterthought heel ever. “What are you doing?!
He scared me!
(In Dutch we say: “I frightened myself a little hat!”. This mental image is my gift to you today.)

From the corner of his eye he saw me taking some scissors to knitwear and he shouted out in disbelief.

It’s just an afterthought heel, dear.

My first afterthought heel ever was an adventure:

An adventure made bigger because the ball of yarn was still being used for the leg. I had the luminescence idea of turning the balls inside out in order to work from the other end of the yarn:


Easy peasy.
I did get quite a tangle but soon the yarns will be cut and the ends kitchenered in.


Now just turn the balls the right side out again.
Hm. 50% succes rate:

Still well enough to knit with and not long after this heel I finished the Dropping Madness Socks!

Now I needed to take the official pictures. One from the top, one from the side, one with the measuring tape beside it:






My turn to bellow: “What are you doing?!”

These loved ones I live with…. I may think they spend their days sleeping and snoozing but they do keep tabs on my knitting!

The socks are very comfortable. The afterthought heel makes the gradient in the stripes progress nicely AND is designed to have a striped heel. That’s some good designing right there:

Now if you’ll excuse me? I have a feeling my hairy room mate is in for a little play time.

Finished: Noro Legwarmers

Each is about 79 cm long. They weigh 130 grams together so that suggests 540 m or 600 yards for the both of them. Knitted on needles 3 mm.

I changed colours every two rows.
At the ribbing at the top I changed every three rows because, with the purling visible at the right side, there’s no solid row of one colour if you change every second row. Looks very heathered otherwise.

I only got to take the one picture and then:

Pip is very present. You see the papers and boxes on the floor, we’re playing in and around them all the time. Lillepoes too!
The three of us watch how “a suspicious creature” (a knitting needle) creeps along the edges of a box. Sometimes a cat pounces. More often I’m sitting there like a fool, moving needles but no yarn.
Yes, I’m pretty much the cat entertainment section at our house now.

To be honest, it takes a toll on me. I have difficulty remaining relaxed and at ease which is so important for my health recovery. My shoulders are tensing up all the time. I worry about Lillepoes. I forget to take my pills.

Whenever I go to the kitchen counter, for my pills or to make a cup of tea, Pip zooms after me like a knitter after Qiviut.
Ack, such whining for food! How much does a kitten eat anyway!? I’m sure he’s about to burst but he keeps insisting there’s room for more.

I spend much time giving Lillepoes one-on-one attention. She needs it, since she doesn’t speak “cat” very well and she hasn’t put Pip in his place. Who is now walking all over her, trying to engage her in play. (This may be a deal-breaker. The rest of this week we’ll see if they both can thrive in the same house. I’m correcting Pip for her when we play, the three of us. I do this in a cat-like manner and hope that Pip associates it with her. Yesterday went ok. But this morning it was kadooph, kadooph, kadooph! all up and down the stairs again. I’m not sure Lillepoes doesn’t mind. She ìs very happy when I tend to her though. And she dóes invite me to play more than before Pip was here. We’ll see. A lot rides on these first few days.)

We had a quiet half hour yesterday evening. She’s wearing her winter coat already. I swear she was watching TV!

Spun half of it.

I spun half of one of my favourite rovings, that I’ve been treasuring for years:

BFL handdyed by Passe-Partout.

I unfolded the roving and tore half of it into small strips which I plied onto itself. This gave vibrant colours to a 2ply yarn:

54 grams, 137 meters

It’s lovely yarn. But it doesn’t show the many colour variations that are in the roving. The purple, the white and blue, the splashes of maroon, they’re all missing. This yarn is mainly green and chestnut brown. A great autumn yarn!

I’m going to leave the rest of the roving unspun and combine it with the yarn. I’m probably going to felt it and then embellish it with the handspun yarn.
Perhaps a cushion cover or an iPad cosy. Or wrist warmers or leg warmers. A teapot cosy?

So many possibilities now that I’ll have characteristics of both fabrics: the warmth and colours of felting and the stretchiness of knitting.
Both can be worked into 3D shapes which broadens the possibilities only more.

A hat and matching neck thing? I may need to wait until Autumn is in full swing to know what this is going to be.

pictures of Skew socks

Here are some pictures of the Comfort Skew socks this morning:


They’ve been worn one day, both in shoes and without shoes on the couch. The yarn already looks a bit ratty. Not too wild about the quality of this H&W Comfort Sock yarn, I fear. I’m used to sock brands like Regia and Opal and Drops Fabel and this yarn might be just a bit different. Not less..
We’ll see how they hold up. This may be just some initial shedding of fibres that were not caught too tightly in the plying.
I’ll cut away the fuzz before they become serious pilling and see how the yarn behaves with future use. Because I’m going to wear this socks often, I love the colour.

I’ve realized that I like my socks to be in muted colours, overall. Although bright colours are fun to knit with, I have little use for bright coloured socks. I’m glad to announce that I have some relaxed colours sockyarn in my stash.
And an appetite for more Skews.

Here are the pictures of the Snake Skews that I finished and have also worn already:

Hjertegarn is a new sock yarn to me. It seems to hold well, comparable to Regia etc.
I did have some issues getting command of the pattern. The left sock is too long in the foot. The right sock lost the plot where the bands split at my inner ankle.
They are good socks nevertheless and I love the colour.
I didn’t get the 6 st wide bands to line up properly at the back. Still beautiful.

All this talk about muted colours and I now have to confess that I started a new Skew which will feature some bright orange stripes. It’s the Lammy sock yarn from Sokike Sock, which seems to hold up just as well as any Regia, combined with a solid grey sockyarn by Scheepjes. I’m looking forward how the Scheepjes will wear, it’s my first time knitting with it. It’s a well known brand in the Netherlands, people generally like it. But on Ravelry some Americans have complained about its sturdyness.
So I’ll find out.


Lammy Skew: 2 rows of Lammy, 2 rows of Scheepjes.
As much as I detest stripes in pullovers and shawls, I love them on socks, especially when the pattern plays with them. And this pattern does!
So that’s one not-so-muted Skew on the needles.

Luckily I have two balls of more laid back colours to knit a muted Skew with.
One is another new brand to me, BBB filati Super Trekking. In light greys with greyed green. It’s a lofty, squishy yarn.

My awful picture of colourway 583:

Rakuten has a better one:

This ball fell into my purse when I purchased the ball of solid grey earlier this week.
(it did pass the till when it fell, I did pay for it. But not as much as Rakuten charges!)
As I love socks with contrasting toes, heels and cuffs or in this case: stripes to emphesize the pattern, I only need one nice 50 grams ball of sock yarn and then a little bit of solid yarn to compliment it with. It works for my regular socks:

It works for Skews. I tried a muted solid blue with the BBB yarn. But I could soon see the blue was pushing the muted colours to the background instead of lifting them up.

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This is now frogged. A light grey may be better.
Contemplating colours is fun though. Because adding a solid makes a yarn and a sock so differently. You’ve got to think about contrast and value and overall effect.

The other ball of more muted coloured sockyarn is the Meilenweit SPicy I showed earlier. It’s a 100 gram ball… that is so much yarn! Two pairs of socks.

Which is why: Spicy Skews!

Two rows of Lana Grossa Meilenweit Spicy yarn, colour 8202, with every third row a semisolid darkish greenblue sockyarn of unknown heritage, handdyed by a friend of mine and used in the Karma Knus Deken blanket.

This yarn is rather loosely plied. It will be interesting to see how it holds up in socks. I’m making the mental note that I better wash these by hand. Not in the machine like regular Opal or Regia or Drops Fabel.
The Lana Grossa feels like the Regia quality.

I wanted to make the pattern more visible with stripes. I’m not sure it’s working yet. The Meilenweit can knit up in various way, as shown by my internet picture sleuthing.
More of a gradient than stripes.
That’s me sorted then. Still knitting Skews. Still proofreading the pattern I made for it. Of course it’s not as finished as I thought it was. So it may well be another week (or two) before I can share it.

In the mean time I’m also spinning. And today I’m picking up Sprig pullover again.
But first I’ll play around with sock colours some more, looking to pick another match for another pair of Skews. For a future project. I swear.

Finished: fourth pair of Skews!

Some evening pictures:


I’ll retake these tomorrow.
Later this week I hope to write out the pattern in a blogpost because I’ve modified it now to perfection, even if I do say so myself. And I get a say since I am wearing perfectly fitting Skews at the moment!

They’re modified for my high instep, my slender ankles and my weirdly broad foot/toe.

I knitted the band that runs around the back as long as it needed for me to fit, this was 12 rows more than the pattern stated. I kitchenered over 8 stitched instead of the 12 the pattern proposes.
But then I added another 2 x 6 stitches because I prefer a broader band to hug the backside of the heel.
It was a bit fiddly to get them to meet properly. But I managed and am proud of this:

The dark blue grey line is the piece of yarn that kitchenered the two pieces together.

It started out like this: a big slap of fabric. This is the sole of the sock with the left marker marking the 6 st wide band and the right marker where the heel decreases should be. On the left is also the “mini gusset” which later becomes the other half of the leg stitches and ought to be 36 stitches by then.
On the left, where the round starts, is the 2 st band that travels up the leg. The needle points to where the original beginning of the round was, where you to follow the original pattern.

It’s supposed to fold back on itself at the heelmarker which is at the outer most left side of this picture:

It’s hard to explain when you’re not knitting the pattern. If you are knitting it it all makes sense once you stop trying to wrap your brain around things and just follow the pattern. I still don’t understand the pattern fully. I understand about half of it and played around with the numbers to get to my own version. Which I’ll post later on or, if you read a bit of Dutch too, you can already have a look at my raw notes for the Right Sock on my project page.

I very much like nice details so I paid attention to what kind of increases/decreases went where when the bands split. Just so the bands would be well defined: a 2 stitch band travelling up the leg and the 6 st band travelling along the back of my heel:

At the left some heel decreases are visible. This is the point where the gap was just closed. I’m about to start kitchenering. There are 96 stitches at this moment. But before there were 104!
A normal sock has 64 stitches or perhaps 84 when you’re knitting very tight or have a big foot. The Skewed fabric demands more stitches because it stretches so differently.

Yes, I’m very happy with them. The fit is great!

I wonder if with this last pair my Skew itch is now taken care of. This is the third pair finished in the past two weeks! I’ve got enough socks to wear this Summer, surely?
I’ve figured out my own pattern, that’s an accomplishment.
And I’m back at the cabin and in this environment and this great weather spinning and Spring Brioche Shawl and Sprig and Deco Cardi are very inviting.

But I may have to knit one more pair…. just to be sure my pattern really works. To really establish this new habit. And I did buy one more green striping sock yarn that I’d like to enhance with a solid so I get really hard defined stripes… they would show of the pattern so well!

Lana Grossa Meilenweit Spicy yarn, colour 8202.

And I also have a wonderful handdyed skein that’s been singing to me for a long time now. I think it would be a delight to knit with and yield small stripes that look extremely good in a Skew sock:

Wol met Verve, a great indy yarn dyer.

Well, I’ll sleep on it. And dream of my wonderful Skews. All six of them.

Finished: Wintertrui 2014!

It’s finished! It’s comfy! It’s handspun!  (Hmm? you think I buttoned my cardigan wrong? So did I. But I didn’t.)

How smart of us, that’s you and me dear reader, to figure there would not be enough blue wool for the whole cardigan. That we decided to use white wool for the back panel. And to see how far we’d get on for the sleeves but have the white wool standing by. The sleeves are long and cosy and we are champions in estimating meterage!

This is what’s left of the blue yarn.
Champions I say!

Champions who probably will wear their cardigan unbuttoned in 2015.

Now, while it’s still light outside, I’ll have a look at Peabody Sweater. Will I finish two garments on the last day of 2014? Update next year also known as tomorrow.

Monday’s yarn party

I had a lovely yarn party over at Woolstudio The Green Shaep.

Tineke was thrilled with the Color Craving shawl!
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This made me very happy. She wore it all afternoon. It sits so well on the shoulders.
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There was cake.
Apple cake and yarn cakes. I got to play with her yarn winder. For hours I played! I wound a lot of skeins from rarewools.com that came in the post the other day. I made towers:
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The wool winder is that Estonian one I wrote about earlier. See posts tagged ‘cake’.

Oops!
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