about the essentials of life...knitting, designing knitting, yarn for knitting...you get the idea...

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I'm a knitter, knitting pattern designer, and spinner. I also dye yarn with both acid and natural dyes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

First Socktoberfest Project

Last June, Scout, of Scout's Swag fame, taught a dyeing class at our LYS, and I was lucky enough to get in. She taught us how to dye our own sock yarn and, even better, our own self-striping sock yarn. It was the start of a whole new fiber obsession!

But, I never knitted up the yarn I dyed at that first class. Or any of the other yarns I've dyed since. It's not that I haven't wanted to - it just seemed that some deadline or other kept pushing other projects to the front of the line.

Now, however, I seem to have come down with the cold that never goes away. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if this is some new and intense allergy thing. I should be feeling better by now, I tell myself. And cough some more.

Not that this is important, it's just by way of explaining that I need to do mindless knitting right now. After all, I sewed a button on yesterday and it took me several tries (and I was a 4-H leader in clothing construction). The first time, I carefully hid my knot, pulled the needle up through the first hole in the button and went over the edge of the button and back through the fabric. Completely missing the second hole and rendering the button unfastenable. Mindless knitting.

My sock-knitting stash is in a basket beside my bed. After last summer's trip, my stash overfloweth. As in, over, in, and around said basket. I even considered getting a larger basket, had one in my hand, but my New England heritage took over - did I really, really need it? A second indulgence to enable the first indulgence? No, no new basket. I would eliminate those errant balls (they just would keep rolling under the bed) by actually knitting up some of those socks.

I know a lot of sock knitters have a stock sock pattern memorized. They know the number of stitches they cast on, how many rows of ribbing they work, their heel and toe formulae. Not me. I can't bear to make the same thing twice. Round and round in stockinette? Heaven forbid! Thus, every new sock yarn means figuring out how I want the ribbing (or lack of) to look, what stitch patterns to use, what heel is best, etc, etc, etc. Not mindless knitting.

But I had this self-dyed, self-striping yarn and I wanted to see how the striping actually worked. How many actual knitted rows did each stripe yield? How did the color changes look? How about the heels? Did they pool? What could I play with for my next hand-dyed self striping yarn?

I knew when I dyed this yarn that I would want to answer these questions and that I'd have to knit a plain Jane sock to do it. Another reason that, even though I loved the colors, this yarn was still sitting in (and tumbling off of) the basket.

Mindless knitting - take a look-

The colors are pretty accurate - the coral is a tiny bit less so, and the lighter blue is actually a smidge more teal, but it's close.

I'm lovin' it.

I'm really, really loving the way the stripes and the wraps when dyeing it worked out. Lots and lots of ideas for future dyeing are percolating.

Check out this heel - it's my favorite one yet.
Absolutely no holes and really simple.

I tried to complicate it, though. Honestly, I did. I just couldn't handle any more stockinette, so I planned a cute design and knitted it into the heel. All complicated twisted stitches and stuff. Then I showed it to The Man Of The House. "What's that sh...?", he asked, ever so delicately. Needless to say, out it came.
Some other yarn, some other time.

So far, so good on the first Socktober project. So what if it's still September. If Mother Nature can be early, so can I!

The first snow of the season - in September - at Canjilon Lake in northern New Mexico. Isn't it beautiful?


Blogger Scoutj said...

First of all, stop that! I am no one!

And second of all? Those ROCK!!! Really. They are awesome!

September 26, 2006 4:33 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

I love that yarn and that sock looks really cool.. I picked a very hard sock pattern for a beginner knitter and the tiniest needles I have ever used.. It may take me a year to make a sock!!

September 26, 2006 7:12 PM  

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