Ive never been a particularly hard-core sock wearer. I prefer to run around barefoot and rarely wear shoes, unless I’m going out to town or working on the property.
The socks that I do own seem to be very thin with plenty of holes (especially considering the amount of use they get). So I decided to make a pair of my own.
I did some research and found that a blend of down breed wool + mohair works really well together for socks, so I made up a few batts and came up with a blend that I think works really well. I’m using a gorgeous Dorset Down fleece that I bought from a lovely lady in Victoria mixed with 15% mohair and some local alpaca for some extra softness.
A few weeks ago I finished spinning up the yarn and knitted the socks. And I’m loving them. I’m actually wearing socks more than ever 🙂
If anyone is interested, I’m selling the fleeces and handcarded batts in my etsy store.
After my successful alpaca hand-warmer project, I think i’m confident enough to try something a bit bigger…well actually, quite a lot bigger. My next project is the Bergen Jacket by Drops Design. I think I have quite a few days/weeks of carding and spinning ahead of me 🙂
In other news, I have borrowed a drum carder off my local spinning and weaving club (with the aim of buying a secondhand carder soon). I have previously tried hand-carding (with less than perfect results), so the drum carder is a big improvement.
I still prefer using the dog brush to flick open the locks when spinning the one type of fiber, but when blending two fibers together like alpaca and wool, the drum carder is working really well.
I’m impatient so my batt is a little thin … but the idea of separating the batt into smaller strips and then pre-drafting them seems to be working very well. And by also spinning the wool a little thicker i’m not having so much of a problem with lumps in the wool.
I couldn’t wait to get started knitting, so I started plying (the bobbins weren’t even a third full) and ended up with a 3ply wool that had a weird name like double knitted or something…but either way it worked out at 11 wraps per inch.
The pattern didn’t really specify what yarn to use for the cardigan…so I went ahead and knitted up the sampler…and it worked perfectly!
So, I know what my next few evenings will be consisting of…as soon as the weather clears up and I can dry some wool.
Also, I’m very new to both knitting and spinning…so this was my first attempt at knitting in the round using 4 double pointed needles. Needless to say, the first hour or so of knitting them was … interesting … 🙂
As I was knitting the handwarmers I got a few rounds into the pattern and thought … hmm this pattern is a bit boring. It wasn’t until I turned them inside out that I could see the pattern starting to emerge. I felt a bit silly then.
I am really happy with how they’ve turned out. The women at the spinning club mentioned that pure alpaca doesn’t retain it’s shape well and should be blended with sheep… I had a go… it didn’t go so well…
I’ve always just prepared my fibre using a dog flicker brush. I had a go using handcarders to blend the wool and alpaca…but it seemed to have these knotty bits that made lumpy bits in the spun wool.
If anyone has tips id love to hear them…in the meantime, I’ll keep practising.
Recently, my aunt has gone on a sock knitting binge. Skeins and skeins of sock yarn, books and patterns everywhere and so many beautiful pairs of socks that I want to wear them all at the same time (but I might get a few odd looks walking down the street with 3 socks on each foot).
Confession time, ive never knitted a pair of socks before (I don’t wear shoes very often, so I didn’t see a point…) but the patterns are just so gorgeous that I think I’m going to have to give it a go.
The pink and purple yarn is alpaca from Peru and the teal is handpainted yarn from Wostershire England.
About 6 weeks ago I broke my ankle kitesurfing (see pretty picture)….
Which resulted in surgery and a leg cast..
Yesterday I got my final x-rays and *yay* my ankle is healing and the cast has now come off! So i’m into a walking boot and lots of physiotherapy.
On the upside, my forced month and a half of rest has resulted in more time for crafty pursuits . My latest project is a simple lace pattern scarf using a mohair/wool blend. It’s nothing fancy but it’s simple to knit in front of the tv and I love the colours.
P.S. Sorry for the poor lighting in the scarf photos – it’s almost bed time *yawn* 🙂