Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Woolfest 2010

Finally I got to go to Woolfest yesterday.

What a day!!!  It was incredibly hot and by the time I arrived at the showground in Cockermouth it was already sweltering.  I staggered in with the spinning wheel (the Ashford Traditional) and took it straight to its new owner.  So now with some spending money in my pocket I headed straight for The Yarn Yard stall - of course!  I grabbed the red that I was buying for a friend and some yellow for her too and some red for me....

So now with the essentials sold and bought I could browse at will.  Wow - what an amazing show.  Stalls oozing with yarn and fibre of every colour and variety.  Spinning wheels in use all over the place.  Oh my - it was such fun.  There were sheep and llamas and angora rabbits and the cutest lambs.  So many familiar names from Ravelry, online stores and bloggers.  Lots of Ravelry badges to peep at as I brushed past people.

I was intrigued by a lovely Russian lady who was making the most amazing shawls and spinning super-fine yarn on a drop spindle.  I bought some cobweb lace yarn from her in the deepest of purples:

I got a bit carried away with the fibre and fell in love with a HUGE batt at the Wingham stall.  I have named it Jupiter because it sort of looks like the colour of Jupiter - hee.  See how big it is?  It's 80% Merino, 20% Silk.

I also bought some sock blockers - been thinking about getting some for a while - and now I am doing the 12 pairs in 12 months challenge I want a better way to display the socks.  Here they are with this months finished socks on:

I bought some plain white merino/silk - to ply with the large batt and some small felted brooches for the boys to give to their teachers tomorrow on their last day of term.  I got some sparkly fibre to play with too.  Then I sneaked back to the Yarn Yard stall and bought a skein of the new yummy sock yarn in a gorgeous dark blue/green - I think it looks like Black Watch.

After the show some of us met up in a pub in Cockermouth for a lovely meal and lots of hilarity and chat.  I'm definitely up for it again next year - but will have to stay over as it was exhausting doing it in a day.  I'll have to see if I can get someone to come with me next year.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mojo Socks Completed

So, so pleased - I have finished my Mojo socks.

The basic information:

Pattern: Mojo by Donyale Grant
Yarn: Yarn Yard Clan in autumn colours (my name for it)
Needles: 2.5mm circular (knitted on two circulars)
Changes: I made the second sock a little shorter on the foot as I found the concertina-ing of the pattern was stretching the first one.

Next time: The pattern calls for an afterthought heel - I think I would try a different heel next time. Also I think I would make the next pair matching. Oh - and finally - one of the socks calls for the sock to be turned inside out after knitting the toe and I don't think it is as neat as the other one.
Satisfaction: Lots and lots - loves this pattern :)

Close ups of the two socks here and here - with notes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sock Knitting - June 2010

I've been busy working through my socks and thought I'd take a few in progress shots.

Interestingly the three socks I am working on at the moment each use a different method of knitting and I am definitely coming round to magic loop as my new favourite.

Sock 1: Nutkin using Yarn Yard Clan in Tanzelope (February 2010 Club Yarn)
Knitted on DPNs.

Sock 2: Mojo in Autumn Colours - Yarn Yard Clan:

Knitted on two circulars. My husband thinks this looks like an elephant condom - shame on him!!

Sock 3: Playing with Lizard Ridge in Royal Mail (Yarn Yard Clan - June 2010 Club Yarn)

Knitted using magic loop on one circular.

Now here is where I need some help. The yarn used in that last picture has a really unusual dye. It is half black then white, red, white. So - it forms stripes of mostly black and white with bits of red. To begin with a did a 2x2 rib and you can see how the red pools around the sock - I like that. Then I moved onto lizard ridge - following the pattern. This gave big blobs of colour - always with black in and then sometimes white and occasionally red.

So then I thought about trying to use just the red for the short rows of the lizard ridge. I worked out I was knitting on average 23 stitches with each stretch of red and worked out a size of 'bubble' to fit that. This time when I get to the red I start a bubble regardless of where on the needle I am - fortunately they don't seem to be stacking up along the sock but I think my blobs weren't the right shape. So - I then tried again with flatter bubbles. Hmm - you can't really see them on the photos. Anyway - big random blobs? or small red blobs? Or another pattern altogether?

Oh and before you ask - it's a water-bottle I used to put the socks on for the photos :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

12 Pairs in 12 Months - June

As I mentioned in my last blog I have decided to do 12 pairs of socks in 12 months in the Shed. I know I've planned to do things like this before - but I really, really will try this time - honest ;-)

So - it started on June 1st and I cast on my second sock in my Mojo pair.

Here - a week later it looks like this:

So probably about half way there - not too bad but I think I do need to pick up pace. I do keep getting distracted with other projects.

I am still trying to decide on the second sock for the month. I could do a second nutkin but I quite like the idea of casting on something new.

This arrived yesterday and I love it:

It is the May 2010 Yarn Yard Club Yarn. Natalie felt inspired by the Royal Mail - probably linked to the amount of time she spends at the Post Office ;-)
When it is opened up you can see that half of each round is black with the red and white taking up the other half.

It's really unusual and typically for me I wanted to cast it on straight away - so I wound one of the skeins tonight and have just cast it on. I have a few ideas for socks and may just play a bit and see what works. I was thinking of the Diversion Socks but the lovely Eskimimi was having problems with speed on hers - so now I'm not too sure. They did look super pretty when she was under full steam though.

I'm also considering a lizard ridge sock. The original lizard ridge is a blanket published on Knitty and I have done a couple of squares of the blanket and love the idea. The sock version is here.

Lots of thoughts and lots of playing ahead - but I have to finish another sock by the end of June - so must press on.