Handspun Sock Obsession
It started before Christmas, when a couple of skeins of handspun yarn I got as a gift caught my eye and I started a pair of socks to show the yarn off as simply as possible. The result was so beautiful that when I finished the first pair, I immediately cast on for another. I’m still going strong, with the pair above in the works and singles on the wheel (to be chain plied) for more. I’ve been experimenting a bit with different ways of spinning for color. The sock above is from fractal-spun yarn, for which I split the top lengthwise in half, spinning one half from the end onto one bobbin, and splitting the other half lengthwise into four equal pieces and spinning them from the end onto another bobbin, starting at the same end each time. I then plied the bobbins together, producing a yarn that has big fat shifting stripes, some barberpoled and some solid, where a color meets itself. Other yarns I used are scrappy skeins made from bits of two or more colorways or are spun from fibers that were dyed in similar colors. They produce different, if equally beautiful, results. The mismatched pairs bring me a special joy, though I love them all.
All of these socks are toe-up, using the figure-8 cast-on and a short row heel. I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off (video) for all of these and will never use anything else! I’ve got it all memorized- 48 sts. in worsted on size 2 needles, 56 for sport on 1s, and 64 or 68 on 0s for fingering. I move two stitches from each side of the heel into the heel section (4 from each side for fingering) for the short-rowing, so the heel is deeper. All these socks are knit at a very tight gauge so they last and last and last. Almost every pair came in under 4 oz. It’s great to know that something so useful and beautiful can be made from one itty bitty bag of wool. I can take a ball of wool and the appropriate needles with me anywhere and have the perfect small project to work on.
These are made from Merino sport weight yarn spun by the lovely Vera. The color shifts in this yarn make me far too happy.
Vera also spun this 2 ply 80/20 Merino/silk worsted weight yarn of awesomness. I used about 3.3 oz./220 yards to make this pair of mens size 10.5 socks.
David spun some of my fiber (“Faded” merino) into a 3 ply sport weight of gorgeousness.
These socks were knit from a combination of my Ore and Crag colorways (yarn seen here, lower left), spun for Tour de Fleece last year into a worsted weight 2 ply. I used about 4 oz., 220 yards for this pair of mens 10.5 socks.
The feet of these socks are done in Rising Moon Farm’s 3 ply wool with the legs done in stripes of a mystery grey tweed and this yarn. These used 4 oz. of the yarns, total. It’s a fantastic way to get the most from just a little handspun.
These are the heavy ones, 4.8 oz., full of Romney, made from a patchwork 2 ply worsted weight yarn I spun from scraps of old colorways.
Isn’t Mr. HelloYarn the best sock model ever?
Things I Love This Week:
* knitted mushrooms
* Werner Herzog’s Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo – He notices and writes down the things I think I would notice, so it feels like I’m there.
* rugged, old-fashioned sweaters– am plotting one for Mr. HelloYarn
* the TV show Trauma, which is available streaming online – so cheesy, but I have a TV crush on Cliff Curtis. (Werner Herzog would call me a vapid twit, but what can I do?)
* the project bag in the first photo, because it is the cutest ever – It’s made by Jessalu and I got it at Spunky Eclectic.