Apr 8, 2008

Drowning Dragonflies

Gosh, I am such a bad swapper. I showed you my wee tiny sock yesterday but I never told you who made it. My sock was made by Stacy (no blog) who is in Duluth, MN. She sent such a nice note with the sock too.

DSC_0127Perhaps my bad behavior can be forgiven if I share a finished object. I'm calling these my Drowning Dragonflies socks. These represent a milestone in my spinning because this is the first time that I got fiber with something very specific in mind and executed it. The fiber was called Dragonfly but there is something undeniably marine about the colors. It really doesn't matter what you call the color - it just screams Stinkerbelle. She loves blues but particularly the aqua shades so when I saw this top at Maryland Sheep and Wool last year I knew it was perfect for my Stinky girl.

I bought this with socks in mind even though my spinning at that point was still very rough. I had no reason to expect to be able to spin anything even remotely consistent for quite a while but I really wanted to. Before I started knitting with it, I thought the yarn was very unimpressive. It seemed very uneven but as I knit with it I realized that it's better than I thought.

Very often when we spin, that process is enough of a purpose in itself. For example, the batts I bought at the Homespun Yarn Party are destined to be nothing more than skeins of beautiful yarn. That's fine but I think that knitting with our handspun yarn can be an important part of the learning process. In the past, knitting with my handspun has alerted me to flaws that I wasn't aware of. This time, as I created these socks, I realized that I wasn't as bad as I thought I was and that was such a great feeling. This yarn was soft and very stretchy and knitting with it was really enjoyable.

DSC_0126Because I was knitting handspun of questionable weight, I started a simple toe-up sock with the magic cast on and followed the yarn. What evolved was a 48 stitch sock with a short row heel and a subtly patterned leg with the following pattern which I just made up on the fly:

1-4 *Sl1, P3* (repeat around leg)
5 K all stitches
6-9 *P1, Sl1, P2* (repeat around leg)
10 K all stitches
11-14 *Sl1, K3* (repeat around leg)
15 K all stitches
16-19 *K1, Sl1, K2* (repeat around leg)
20 K all stitches
Repeat 1-20 again and finish with a 2x2 rib.

I'm sure that's not terribly original but it worked and made a satisfying sock that showed off the yarn well. The only small problem I had was that a thinner section of the yarn woulnd up on one of the heels but that's easily remedied with a little reinforcing. The most important thing about these socks is that Stinkette loves them and so do I.



Adrienne said...

That color is GORGEOUS!

Carole Knits said...

You make an excellent point. Spinning our handspun really helps us becoming better spinners.

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

I agree 100% that a lot can be learned from knitting your handspun (and others handspun as well). While often the skeins can be a work of art on their own there is a special extra satisfaction of going from fiber to knit FO that just can't really be beat! Beautiful job!

Carol said...

They're gorgeous! You're so talented, I don't know how you find the time!