Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fiber at home

While there's at least one more post's worth of fibrous content from Peru (not to mention all the non-fiber things we did; patient as my family are with my obsession, I didn't subject them to constant doses of woolly goodness), I have been spinning and knitting here at home, too.

Between Peru and Sock Summit, I had a short period of time at home.  I devoted myself to finishing the Alhambra socks, as I had hopes of wearing them while at Sock Summit; there is something particularly wonderful about wearing socks that took so much effort to knit to a place where I knew I'd be surrounded by people who actually understood how much effort it took to knit them.  So I knitted like the wind.
You can see that poor Tilly is feeling rather left out of the process here.
Believe it or not, these were not knit to be opposites of one another, and I held the same color yarn in the same hands throughout both socks (yellow in the right hand, blue in the left); the relative brightness of the colors seems to be very different between the two socks, though, doesn't it? 
I don't care.  I really, really love these socks.  They fit beautifully, the pattern is gorgeous, the colors are exactly what I would have chosen if I'd been in charge.  The yarns are fine enough that these socks aren't too bulky to wear in clogs (which I did at Sock Summit; this explains the now-no-longer-pristine semi-fuzziness you can see in the pictures).  I will wear these a lot, come winter.
The foot and toe charm me rather unreasonably, even knowing that no-one will see them but me.  I'd knit these again.

To recap, these are Janel Laidman's Alhambra socks (my Rav page here), from this year's Illuminations sock club.  They're knit out of jwrayco handpainted fingering yarn (the kit yarn); the blue color is Lerwick Harbor Purple, but I never got a ball band for the yellow colorway and I don't see its name on the Rav pattern page, alas.

So, I did manage to knit and wear these and my handspun Rivendells at Sock Summit.  Two out of three dreams ain't half bad, right?  (I also managed to show the Alhambras to Janel, and the Rivendells to the folks at the Sincere Sheep booth; that was rather fun.)

What was the third pair I'd wanted to knit and wear, you ask?  These:
You can see I didn't make it, although this sock was my major knitting through Sock Summit.  This is the larger version of my Silk Road socks, knitted for me, this time (note that it fits?  I've been checking...).  I managed to get the heel turn to work in the larger stitch count, and I'm very pleased with that fact.  These go pretty quickly when I work on them, since I don't need a chart to knit them.  So I'll keep plugging away.  I need to decide whether I'm going to write this pattern up or not.  The major hesitation comes from writing up the heel; I may end up writing out the heel turn line by line, and I should take notes on that when I do the second one.  We'll see.

Meanwhile, I have also succumbed to the siren call of the Stripe Study shawl.  I managed to hold off in spite of drooling over Helen's gorgeous versions, until I walked into my LYS and saw one hanging there innocently, right above a display of Zen Garden Serenity Lace (which has cashmere in it, just so you know).  I was lost.
The colors are close there, although imagine that purple a bit more on the burgundy side.  So yummy.  The colorways there are RaspBerry and Grey, and I love this thing unreasonably.  I keep knitting away at it, even though it's only garter stitch, and I keep telling myself to save it for meetings.  I can't seem to put it down - I think things like, "Just one more short row", and then "Just one more gray stripe", and I'm lost.

I'm also playing with fiber.  For example, between trips I finished spinning the absolutely gorgeous fiber that Erica sent me last spring - I need to wash it to set the twist before I take final measurements, but I spun this woollen in hopes of getting a lofty yarn, and I think I've succeeded.  Younger Daughter has already laid claim to it and wants a shawl.
It's really a lipstick red; the color is gorgeously saturated, and the fiber was in amazing condition, not at all compacted or compressed by the dyeing.  For some reason I can't find my notes on what kind of fiber it is (I know I have the ballband stashed away, but if I stop to look for it now I'll never finish this post) - I'll update that soon.  I need to decide on a pattern that will let the color and the handspun-ness of the yarn stand out.  (I also need to know how many yards I have, of course - I think it's about 300?)  Any suggestions? 

And finally, I'm playing with silk hankies for a class I'm teaching at my LYS in September.  I want to have a nice simple pattern for mitts, plus maybe one for a shawlette, by the time of the class.  It's such a hardship to have to play with silk...
I'm not spinning it, although I might with the next one - right now I'm just drafting and knitting straight from the hankies.

So, fiber fun right here at home.  And now, I think I should finish just one more short row before dinner, don't you?

17 comments:

Willow said...

If I lived closer, I'd be taking your silk hankies class! Details please on how to knit up the drafted silk!!
Are you sure you have enough home projects to keep you sufficiently occupied until classes begin? :)

lori said...

I just love the blue and yellow combos of your socks -- who could be down in the dumps while wearing those, I ask. I've been on the fence about doing a stripe study shawl, maybe I'll tip over. They can be so striking. Happy knitting before classes start!

Mary Lou said...

The wonderful Gretchen Funk is teaching that class at the Yarnery - if I have time I really want to do it. Looks like such fun.

fiberjoy said...

Love your socks!!! (I'd noticed them at SS and had meant to comment, even made a mental note to gush over them when you were free from a customer but alas, my brain.) Oooh, silk hankie socks!

Lynne said...

Everything is so lovely I don't know which to comment on!

I have a silk hankie here; I must try knitting with it - I just don't understand this "drafting" thing! Everyone I know who has tried it is also a spinner so they say things like "just pull it out and knit" which doesn't really help. Pull how? how thick? from where?

KnitNana said...

Ohh! The socks are gorgeous and I'm so glad you got to wear them at SS11!
I love Roxie's yarns (Zen Yarn Garden), overly much...
(((hugs)))

EGunn said...

Wow, that's a lot of knitting! I love the socks. (All of them.) I especially love the heel turn stripes on the Silk Road.

I hadn't seen the Stripe Study before. It is tempting, isn't it? Love the colors. And the hankies! Also pretty, pretty colors. I've heard that silk takes dye beautifully...I'm thinking that I may need to experiment someday. =)

I think the coral top was Corriedale, but it could have been BFL. It's one of those two, anyway. You spun it up beautifully! I don't know what pattern to use, but that yarn is telling me that it wants to go with beads.

But then, Anne just put out that doll shawl (Jul 28 post). Don't know if it's big enough for YD, but it could be fun to have matching shawls.

Anonymous said...

The Stripe Study is addictive, isn't it! I find garter stitch very soothing, and the short rows add just enough interest for me. Your colors are lovely. Lori, try it, you'll like it! My first was two shades of blue, claimed by my blue-eyed daughter. I know I'll do another after Camp Loopy is over.

Beverly near Yosemite, CA

Carrie#K said...

Yes. Maybe two rows. ;)

I saw your Alhambras on Ravelry! Too gorgeous. Glad you got them done in time!

twinsetellen said...

Oh, it's so fun seeing these pictures just days after seeing the socks (all of them) in person. I almost feel like it's all still going on.

Beautiful yarn, and yes, Erica's fiber just doesn't seem to mat at all.

I came home with two packets of hankies - not sure what they will become yet...

AlisonH said...

Wow wow and wow. If ever there were a set of pictures to make me want to dive into my knitting. Beautiful socks, beautiful colors, lovely!

Sarah said...

Damn, these are gorgeous projects!!

Alwen said...

Cashmere! I bought one of Colourmart's sample packs and one of them was pure cashmere. I don't really like the color of the sample I got, but the softness, oh oh oh.

Rachael said...

So many gorgeous things, you are surrounded by lovely color!

Gina said...

Your Alhambra socks are beautiful, and I love the colors of your stripe study shawl. I hope you are enjoying the last fibery days of your summer break. Fall classes start all too soon!

twinsetjan said...

Man, oh man! Some fabulous stuff there...and I think we sign you up to teach hankie knitting to the cellmates at next Sock Summit.

RobinH said...

Luscious colors- they look good enough to eat!