Monday, 24 October 2011

GSoY: Autopilot Socks

Last week was a relaxing pre-half-term chill-out with adventures to Birmingham and Glasgow. Presenting them in reverse order, I'm going to start with the end of Glasgow. And the final class I attended as part of Glasgow School of Yarn, the first birthday celebrations of The Yarn Cake - Scotland's only dedicated knitting cafe.

Glasgow School of Yarn was a two-day event including a selection of exciting classes/workshops. I attended three of the classes/workshops including....

'Autopilot Socks with Amy Singer'

This interested me mostly because I know Amy is allergic to wool and as someone not entirely skilled in making socks to fit people who aren't ever-present to try them on, I knit socks mostly for me and for the lovely Hobnob who is also allergic to wool.

The thing with non-wool socks is that they tend to fall down and/or fit less well in some areas than others. Wool is a very forgiving fabric which is happy to stretch over wider areas of the leg whilst still clinging reasonably closely to skinny ankles. Cotton is rather less forgiving and bamboo perhaps even less still. As beautiful as some of my non-wool socks have been I wondered if I could somehow improve that fit a bit - my hope was that this class might help.

And here's my output at the end of the class:

One baby sock (project online on Ravelry). The yarn is Kollage Luscious in colourway Berry Crush and the rest will become a pair of socks for me (Hobnob likes his socks colourful, but maybe not quite this colourful). I think I'll even give the recipe a try (although I might add a bit of interest to them somewhere, even if it's just a ribbed leg).

What I like:
  • The reminder that Judy's magic cast on comes out better for me than a turkish cast on.
  • Toe-up means I can try on as I go
  • Japanese short rows - these really are great
  • The extra stitch heel->gusset did a great job of preventing holes
Less sure about:
  • The extra stitch gusset->heel seemed to just make holes - I eventually closed the gap with a lot of faffing and more extra stitches
I'm interested to see how the gusset construction works for improving fit. Partly, I think that just taking the time to think about making it fit will probably help though. (And yes, I'll also knit a pair for Hobnob, just not in this yarn!)


PS - I really liked Amy, she seemed very laid-back and her teaching style seemed to really work. The class was held inside The Yarn Cake itself - sadly it was closed, maybe I'll visit again one day :)

Friday, 14 October 2011

FO: Crystalline Socks

In an ever-intense battle to free up the needles, here's another pair of SOCKDOWN socks, this pair the first of a new year (where said 'year' starts in September):

And the 'artsy' shot:

The way the colour works with this pattern makes me think of an oily puddle with all its little swirls of colour. Not an instant favourite but definitely not terrible.

Pattern: Crystalline Socks by Cailyn Meyer.
Yarn: Filcolana Arwetta Classic in colourway 509.
Mods: None.
Project: online on Ravelry.

Being a well-behaved me (for now), this is stashdown yarn - bought in Copenhagen last year - very soft, but variegated which means I have to be pushed to actually knit with it (I love variegated yarns in the skein but then they often don't work so well for the patterns I want to knit - I swear I'm learning something from this, the stash demands it).

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

In the Spinning Pool

Last week was Freshers Week (or Intro Week if you like to use its posh, non-exclusive name): during this Week annually it seems that, on a University campus, anything goes.

For this reason, I brought my spinning wheel onto campus.

Despite the fact that I do really enjoy spinning (and I really like how productive spinning on the wheel feels), I could probably use my fingers to count how many times I've really sat down and spun since I bought the wheel last year. This is in no way a positive admission - it's pretty depressingly terrible. The primary excuse is to do with the quantity of time I actually spend in my house awake and not cooking, cleaning or tidying - it's a small amount, but perhaps not as small as I think.

Solution: spin somewhere that isn't at home.

And here's the result:

Almost three bobbins of bluey-green merino. I love the way the colour has worked out - the yarn itself will be heavier than originally intended and its closer to overspun than underspun (this is highly unusual for me but I just couldn't get this merino to slip though my fingers the way I was expecting).

Not too shabby at all - fingers crossed I'll finish it off and ply it later in the week.


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