Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lots of stuff!

I didn't post last weekend because I had a busy weekend at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. I have no idea why I didn't post the previous weekend. So, to make up for all that, I have a lot to talk about today. It is a real mish-mash of stuff.

First of all, aren't these cute? They are popcorn cobs from my CSA Farm. Apparently I can pop them right on the cob. I haven't tried that yet. It will be a treat for the week.
A couple of weeks ago, I had an open house at my place for some of the local knitters I've met through our local yarn store. It gave me the opportunity to photograph these two Faroese shawls that are similar to the one I made from sock yarn. It is a great way to use up those single skeins of sock yarn and because the st count varies with each row, you don't get splotches of color.
Here's a photo of our happy crowd! We were so happy to sit and chat and eat lots of goodies. Everyone brought goodies so we had more than we could consume.
Another photo of all of us. So many bags of knitterly things...
Now, on to my activities on the fiber front...
I've made good progress on the silk featherweight cardi. The body is done and I'm on the first sleeve.
I also got a haul of red mink/cashmere yarn from Great Northern Yarns. I wore the shawl I made from it to the Sheep and Wool Festival. It kept me warm and lots of people fondled me (in a very fiber-y way). My hands were kept warm by the fingerless mitts I made from the leftovers. One of the knitters at Camp had a jacket made out of this yarn and she inspired me to make one for myself.
In contrast to that lovely yarn, here's my very first spindle spun skein! It is a mix of different fibres but it was spun and plied on my Bosworth spindle. I took a class at the Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time. I plied the yarn in the class and finished it this morning. It isn't much but I'm proud of it.

Now on my acquisitions from the Sheep and Wool Festival. I had a ball most of the day helping out at Jennie the Potter's booth. It was a very exciting day and it helped me keep my purchases to a minimum. I really need to make a dent in what I already have rather than adding to my stash.
I bought a niddy noddy to make skeins from my handspun. It is a pretty basic one.
I bought a Golding Tsunami spindle made of purple heart. There is a better picture further down on the Golding page. It is a lightweight spindle, to complement my mid-weight Bosworth. I want to try spinning some laceweight.
Lastly, I bought 3 oz of Icelandic lamb roving from Frelsi Farm. The black yarn in my spindlespun skein above is Icelandic roving and I loved spinning it. The lamb is very soft but supposed to be easy to spin. So I thought I'd try it on the spindle.

The class really re-ignited my interest in spindling and so I am now going to do some more with it. It probably will mean even less knitting. I'm not sure how to fit everything I want to do into my life!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tutorial: hand-warmers

This is the second in the series of what to do with your hand-knit socks after they have worn-out soles. Here is a lovely sock in a mohair/wool yarn that I loved to wear. It was soft and warm and cuddly. Unfortunately, it developed a number of worn out spots on the heel. This sock was knit toe-up so the method I used in the cup holder won't work. You can't unravel a knit backwards. It will only unravel from the bind-off to the cast-on and not vice versa.
So I snipped a st and unraveled a row right where the heel began.
I then used a contrast colored yarn and picked up sts right below the cut edge. In this case, I think I did it two rows below so it wouldn't unravel any further. I then knit a hem that would cover the cut edge, did a turning round and knit the inside of the hem. I stitched the live sts down on the inside to completely cover the cut edge.
These socks had a rather long cuff and also some shaping at the ankle. That makes them rather long hand-warmers. A shorter cuff will yield wrist-warmers.

You can also knit on a thumb gusset and hand and convert them into fingerless mitts. In that case, I would do a blanket st or overcast st on the cut edge and tack it down to the newly knitted fabric. Embroidery floss is good for this as it is soft and you can match the cut edge color very closely. You may need to use only 3 or 4 strands of floss.