Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Socks to Fluff (and other spinning news).

In the beginning of March I received two delightful fiber packages in the mail. First up is the Panda roving from Atomic Blue Fibers. Rest easy, unlike the name would seems to imply, it is not from a panda. Instead it is a merino/bamboo/nylon blend that is scrumptious to work with. Sayra's fiber is was high quality and worth every penny. Initially when I first started spinning this I had my wheel on the wrong ratio setting but after I corrected that the fiber just flew smoothly through my hands and turned into a gorgeous sock yarn. I still have about two ounces left to spin up. 
Near the end of March I heard about a sal/kal called 'fluff to socks'. The concept is simple: spin fiber, knit socks. There were, however, time frames and deadlines. To be eligible you must start and finish spinning your sock yarn anywhere between April 1st to May 31st. I was already concentrating on spinning two different sock yarns so to hear about the Socks to Fluff sal/kal and also realize that I started both projects on or after March 1st, well, I was thrilled to jump on board. It is always nice to participate in a spin-a-long. I 
am looking forward to seeing all the pretty handspun socks the other participants make.
But on to my second mail parcel. I purchased a set of art rolags from the sweet, Lise of TrezLise. Chock full of all different fibers, they were such a fun spin! Currently the yarn is not designated for any particular purpose but I amsure the perfect project with come along soon. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Looking Back: The first snow of 2013, Thanksgiving day.

Spring has finally arrived. For a long time it
felt as though it would never arrive. We had a beautiful winter, lots of snow and glorious curl-up-inside by the fire moments. But we also had bitter cold temperatures, ice, and astonishing wind chills. And constantly more and more snow. I never tired of it. I love to watch it fall. I love to be ouside in it. And I love to drive in it. But eventually we thought we were going to run out of places to put it before the long-looked for warmth of spring came. However winter is not forever; as long as the earth remains so shall cold, heat, seed time, and harvest. And slowly temperatures began to rise, birds who were migrating came back, and suddenly the snow was melting. Now, instead of snow, we have mud. Slick, greasy, clay mud. Instead of getting snowed in of a Sunday afernoon, we get stuck in the mud and have to wait for the cold night air to firm the ground up. Instead of picking our way across an icy drive, we have a series of boards criss-crossing the soupy mud. But I am grateful. Grateful that the snow has ceased, the promise of Spring is in the air and warm days are just around the corner.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Pertaining to socks and yarn.

In my last post we talked about winter and the cold. That naturally led to my sock knitting. So here I am today, sharing the beginning of the 2014 sock journey. To start out, I first had to buy yarn. It was with no little shock that I realized  did not own a single skein of sock yarn. I have knit an odd pair here or there, but shawls are my real love so most yarn around here turns into a shawl at some point. 
I placed an order through Knit Picks for some Stroll Glimmer in the Kestrel colorway. I loved the sparkle of the yarn which, coupled with superwash merino and nylon, seemed a good yarn choice. Selecting a pattern was quick work. I've long admired Anne Hanson's Almondine socks and it just happened to be in the book I received for Christmas. While I do like the look of this yarn knit up, I do not like knitting with it. It splits and frays and snarls until I am quite ready to cry from sheer frustration. This is not a yarn I would recommend or use again.
Then a couple weeks ago I saw on facebook that the wool mill, Stonehedge, was having a yarn sale. I ordered a few skeins for socks. Sage and Lime were the colors, I believe. 
My latest sock stash acquisition was the lovely 'Honey Bear' sock yarn from Renee at Spun Right Round on Etsy. I was tempted to cast on right away. But for now I am trudging through the Almondine socks, patiently working heels in yarn that splits, and dreaming about my next sock project.