Monday, 31 August 2009

Socks!

The last couple of weeks have been good for socks. I stuck to one of my 2009 Knitalutions and have learned how to knit them! Having said that, I haven't finished my first whole pair yet - the second sock is struggling with Second Sock Syndrome and will take a while before it's finished.

Anyway.

I had these 2 skeins of Zitron that had been custom-dyed for me to use for some Endpaper Mitts.

Zitron Trekking Sock Yarn - Custom Dye

The mitts were frogged as the colours just didn't work, so I put the yarn to one side for socks for when the time came. And despite having a load of WIPs that I need to finish sooner rather than later, I cast on last Wednesday night with the lemon Zitron. I thought these would make good socks for my Mum as I know she likes the colour and I already had a pattern in mind - Express Lane.

I finished the toe in one sitting on Wednesday night and by the time I got to work on Thursday morning had 2 pattern repeats complete:

Express Lane WIP

By the time I got home, I had 5 repeats done:

Express Lane WIP

Because I'm Magic Looping these, I'm having some issues with a bit of laddering either end, but blocking should fix this as it's nothing major. I'm also not too happy with the stitch definition - looks too loose to me and just generally a bit crappish. Next time I knit with this yarn, I may go down a needle size to 2.25mm from 2.5mm as it's a very lightweight yarn. My gauge was coming in at 8.25 stitches to an inch, rather than the 9 inches called for in the pattern. This is not necessarily a bad thing as my Mum and I both have huge feet, so these needed to be bigger than the pattern anyway.

Didn't take long to get the point where I needed to turn the heel, the doing of which was much easier than I thought. There's no pictures after this one, since I couldn't take any I liked that didn't make my cankles look horrendous. Seriously, I suffer from major cankle-age. Not a good look. I need to buy some sock blockers as a priority as there's noooo way I can use my feet for modelling:

Express Lane WIP

So first sock was soon finished - used calf shaping on every pattern repeat on the back of the leg and finished off with EZ's sewn bind off. Despite trying to leave this loose, it's still a bit tighter than I would have wanted, but it's ok.

Trev is quite enamoured with my sock making so I suggested that I could buy him some nice yarn and he could have some as an anniversary present (it's our 7th in a month). So we went to Socktopus on Friday and came home with 2 lots for him. He was only meant to pick out one lot, but he couldn't make his mind up.

We ended up buying my first Koigu (it won't be the last!):

Koigu KPPPM

Koigu KPPPM

2 fairly non-matching skeins, despite being from the same dyelot. Weird. His was a surprising choice here, as I didn't think he was a big fan of orange and this has got pink in it too! But he'll be wearing them at home, so it's no big deal. Just strange.

The second choice was some Superwash Cherry Tree Hill in much more predictable colours:

Cherry Tree Hill

Cherry Tree Hill

I've only promised him one pair for our anniversary. Both if I can manage it, but definitely only 1. He's also getting some hats and gloves as part of general knitting, which I may try and get done by then too, so he can have a little winter warmer box, but we'll see how we go.

I did get myself something small while at the shop - a little WPI counter as I'm tired of using a ruler and guesstimating the thickness of my handspun:

KaratStix WPI Counter

I also had the second shipment of my Ixchel Fibre Club arrive - 160g of super angorino tops:

Ixchel Fibre Club #2 - Shipment 2

I'm still waiting for a YarnYard Fibre Club shipment (postal strike seems to have sucked this up) and for the latest Spunky Eclectic Club to arrive, along with the yarn that I bought from New Lanark for the aforementioned hats and gloves. Fingers crossed there'll be some Koigu for ME in the near future, but I need to deal with an issue that cropped up on Saturday - some buttwipe scamming my bank account - leaving me without money and access to whatever is left while they send me out a new card. With today being a bank holiday in the UK, it's unlikely that I'll get a new card for at least a week which is super frustrating :( Boo hoo! Scumbags. Some people just have no decency. So WHEN I get my money back, it's going to be spent on luciousness to make me feel better.

But I was cheered up by an email I got Saturday night telling me that my Moosie is about to be started. I was in the November herd, but I must have been bumped up as it's going to be started in September hopefully for mid-October shipping. Yay!

All the while I've been writing this, I've been able to see the second sock out of the corner of my eye. Back to knitting, I think...

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Moooore fibre!

I completely forgot that I had more fibre come that I forgot to blog about :)

I have completely stalled on the knitting front. I'm desperate to cast on for some new projects or try and finish off some UFOs, but until I get Otto the Bear done I don't feel like I can. I've finished one arm, so he just needs a second arm and a face!

As mentioned in my other post, I swapped the July Spunky fibre club with a fellow Raveller for the June club. Here it is and it's gorgeous:

Spunky Eclectic - Selfish

Spunky Eclectic - Selfish

Because I got a little bit of extra money at work, I also treated myself to a new braid of fibre and some yarn I've had my eye on for a while.

From the lovely Limegreenjelly, I bought some yarn which I intend to chain-ply and make some super sexy stripy socks from. It's 100g of BFL:

Limegreenjelly - Chasing Rainbows

The yarn is from Spindlefrog - I had this particular one favourited in my Etsy for ages and was very worried someone else would snag it. So when I saw it was still available I had to have it. It's sock yarn - 100% merino. I think I will probably make socks with it, but maybe a small shawl or cowl or something. But probably socks. Not that I've gotten on to sock knitting yet! Need to pull my finger out.

Spindlefrog Merino Sock Yarn

Spindlefrog Merino Sock Yarn

Speaking of sock yarn, I've started to spin up the Time of the Month fibre:

Spunky Eclectic - Time of the Month

I'm spinning it up on one of my spindles at the moment. Trying to spin it to be a bit more lofty - sort of long draw, if at all possible. Although I need to get out of the habit of drafting above my head and start to draft lengthways. Although that's hard with a great big tail of fibre hanging down.

I also gave my first spinning lesson the other day. I had a friend come over from Germany who wanted to learn to spin. So I gave her a lesson and some fibre and a spindle. She picked it up annoying quickly, I have to say :) Very jealous of her first yarn compared to mine. No pics - but maybe she will share some if she wants!

I'm now going to go and do some spinning. Or maybe knit a swatch with some sock yarn so I can work out gauge for the toe-up worksheet from Knitty for my first pair :)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Catching Up

I'm due a blog post or two :)

I still haven't gone through my photos of Vienna and uploaded them yet, or blogged about our trip to Burghley. But unfortunately I've had other things to tackle! I've only just gone back to work this week after 2 weeks off work with Swine Flu! I'll spare you the unpleasant details but I fell sick when visiting my sister and the new baby 2 weeks ago. I spent a week with the flu, but unfortunately the Tamiflu I took caused some nasty side effects and I spent last week off work too.

Unfortunately it didn't give me any extra knitting or spinning time as I couldn't sit or be up for long enough to do anything. It's only now that I feel well enough to actually do stuff!

With getting paid last Friday and starting to feel a bit better, I treated myself to some new bits, which I'll show at the weekend after I can take pictures of them. But I've bought some new yarn (when did I last buy yarn?!?), some new fibre and then done a trade for some Spunky Club fibre.

I also had the arrival of a new toy I've been waiting for, for a while:

Latest Bosworth Package!

A package from the Bosworths! It's my Pink Ivory Mini with an Ebony shaft that I've been waiting on for a little while and a copy of the new book, Productive Spindling. Plus a tub of Wood Beams for good measure. Here's some more piccies:

Bosworth Mini Pink Ivory

Bosworth Mini Pink Ivory

Bosworth Mini Pink Ivory

Bosworth Mini Pink Ivory

Bosworth Mini Pink Ivory

I adore this spindle. Not done much spinning on it yet, except for sampling, but it's gorgeous. Beautiful wood grain and it's just a dream to use. It weighs 27gms/0.96oz, which is perfect for sock weight singles - just what I wanted it for.

I've started to spin up the Time of the Month fibre that I bought into socks and once I've got the hang of it I'll use this to start to spin up some sock yarn for myself.

I also had my first proper shipment of Spunky Eclectic Club Fibre arrive - a beautiful merino/bamboo blend called Beach Day.

Spunky Eclectic - Beach Day

It's a 60/40 mix and there's 3oz of it. Unfortunately I'm not a huge fan of the colours, so I've already swapped it for the June fibre - which I'll show in a later post once I've taken piccies. I'm just not a big green fan - some people seemed to have more blue in theirs, but since I can't think of what to do with it, I shouldn't just spin it for the sake of it. Plus I love the June fibre more - was gutted to miss out on it :)

So just a quick update for now - I'll take some more pics at the weekend of the new arrivals - so far 2 x fibre and 1 x yarn. I need to get my knitting mojo back as it will be winter before I know it and I haven't finished my hoody yet... Shocking!

Back at the weekend :)