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Regularly scheduled programming

June 5, 2006
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So, wasn’t it great to see Sam’s biannual entry last week? Maybe with all the nice comments folks left, she will be more easily persuaded to do it again before fall. Bwaha.

Anyway here’s Prudence again with some ordinary knitting. What have we accomplished in the past 2 weeks? Well, two pairs of socks got finished.

These are Emmy’s neon-rainbow socks. I hope they still fit her come autumn, I tried to make them a little bigger than seemed necessary. I do have plenty more yarn in case they are too short when she finally goes to wear them, and because she has little square toes the toe shaping is a lot less than I do for my own socks.

I also finished my Dublin Bay socks (you can get your pattern on Ryan’s site).

I made a modification to the pattern, running 2×2 ribbing down the back of the leg between the lace panels, to snug up the fit a little. I got this idea from sock genius Nancy Bush who does it in a pattern of hers I’ve made before, something from Knitting on the Road but I forget which one.
The yarn is ‘Treadsoft’ superwash merino from the eBay seller ‘lotusblossom’. I made socks with her non-superwash ‘Twinkletoes’ yarn before, but this is MUCH nicer – has a nice hand and will wash more easily and not felt with wear. It took me awhile to get reconciled to the way the colors knit up, but now that it’s done I like the overall effect.

I am ready to mail off my Dulaan project knitting. My plan for this year was to send one more item than I sent last year.

The pink and white one is made from a hank of what I think is handspun in pink that I fished out of a circulating stash box, plus some white spindle-spun corriedale from my very early days learning how to spindle. I’m happy to be sending off this truly hand-made thing, and I wish I knew whose pink handspun that was…

You can find out about Dulaan from Ryan’s site, too.

I started the Eleonora socks this weekend. After I saw them on Vanessa’s blog I had to run and get the pattern, they are so lovely. I had some of Lisa’s Merino Sock! in St Valentine red and I thought it would be perfect, since the pattern was based on some red socks.

I think a project like this exposes all the flaws in my knitting, but I’m going to persevere anyway. No matter how much I try to pay attention to where the leading edge of each stitch is and so forth, I just CANNOT get patterns worked out in knit and purl to show up. I don’t know what my problem is but I’m consistent with it! I think I will lengthen the legs on these a little – there is enough width at the top to come up onto the fat part of my calf, and I have plenty of yardage in the yarn, so I will probably work more repeats of the 4-row leg pattern. This yarn is SO soft and cushy.

I fell victim to another Shetland fleece, too. I got a nice sample from a shepherd who said she was discounting her fleeces this year due to there being too much vegetable matter in them (she was laid up recovering from surgery so her husband fed her sheep and he flung the hay too freely). The staple is nice and long (about 5 inches) and has a soft but not limp feel to it.

This is the sheep herself, photographed last fall so she’s wearing the fleece I ended up getting.

When I laid it out, there was more hay in the fleece than I expected from the sample, and the tips didn’t really wash out as well as I’d hoped, but the quality of the overall fleece is higher than the mess I got into last summer, so I think I will have a better final product from all the outdoor combing I’m going to have to do!

I’ll leave you with some interesting textile photos to pore over. I got hold of some handwoven Albanian blankets that belonged to my grandmother and date from the 1930s or earlier. They are very heavy and quite coarse, and woven mostly with singles I believe, but the colors and patterns are fabulous. I tried washing them because they had a heavy musty smell, but the first one bled so heavily that I quit and just did vinegar/hot water soaks – who knows what they used for dye. They are hung over a fence that is about 3 feet high, to give you some idea of size. I wish I had some idea who made them and when.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie permalink
    June 5, 2006 9:42 am

    Isn’t it great to have a little sheepy face to go with the fleece? The blankets are amazing. Your ancestors must be basking in a warm happy glow to see their work appreciated once again. Imagine the hours that went into creating each one.

  2. Sam permalink
    June 5, 2006 11:45 am

    Oh, welcome back! O.k., I love Miss Em’s socks – what yarn is that? The Dublin Bay are gorgeous, and I like the ribbing trick at the back – will have to try that. There are going to be some happily warm little heads, thanks to you, and thanks for reminding me that I need to get my box sent off! Your Shetland looks like he could be a cousin to my Amos – am looking forward to seeing that spun up. And I really can’t wait to see the Eleonora socks. You know how special I think those blankets are. My goodness, but you’ve posted a feast for the eyes today!

  3. June 5, 2006 11:53 am

    I can see the pattern just fine in your red socks!

  4. June 5, 2006 4:35 pm

    I love Miss Em’s socks! What yarn did you use? Who can resist a fleece when you have a picture of that sweet sheepy face? Love it!

  5. June 5, 2006 7:16 pm

    Emmy’s socks are Regia sock yarn….the basic stuff, whatever that’s called.

  6. June 6, 2006 5:31 am

    I like the socks. I’m not sure what patterning mistake you are referencing…
    That is SO funny about why the VM is increased in the fleece. Factoring in ALL the costs of ill health can boggle the imagination.

  7. June 7, 2006 11:06 pm

    I adore the colours in those blankets. You are so lucky to have them. Cherish them.

  8. July 4, 2006 1:59 pm

    Hi…I was just searching around the web for some info on spinning Shetland woolen and found this entry, which helped me a LOT so thank you 🙂 I was actually gravitating toward a forward draw and really loosening up my tension so it was good to read that I’m on the right track. I added a link to this entry in my blog,
    http://yarnoratale.blogspot.com/
    and I was just amazed when I saw your spun and plied tussah silk…WOW! I’m going to add you to my link list (when I figure it all out…I’m a new blogger)
    Thanks again for sharing this information, it will help me with my Tour de Fleece challenge project.
    Regards,
    Leah
    Yarn or a Tale
    Michigan

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