New Pattern!

It’s been years since I’ve had an entry here, and even more since I published a pattern, but I just posted a sock pattern for free on Ravelry and I figured I’d show you all here, too.

Keel Heel Socks


The first version of the heel I worked out for these socks is actually in the previous entry here. As I said there, I put reinforcing on the bottom of the sock heel because that’s where my dad wears holes first. I did this by doing a heelflap-and-gusset style heel, but toe up. It starts as a totally normal reinforced heel flap, but then I turn the heel in reinforcement, and carry reinforcement up the gusset decreases too, so I don’t totally have to sacrifice having some strength on the back of the heel.

I knit several more versions of it over the last few years and finally wrote it up with the latest version.

It’s named for a sailing term because my dad’s hobby is sailing. :)


Back to Spinning

Today is my birthday. I took the day off work and was all set to spend the day pondering the past and the future too, but thinking back over just the last year I got totally sidetracked when I realized I have finished only one spinning project this year, and it was on January 1st so it barely qualifies.

I never even blogged that spin. I started it during Tour de Fleece last year. (I skipped TdF entirely this year…)

It was SW Merino fiber from Quaere, in the colorway Jovial:

I stripped the roving into 8 skinny pieces and spun for my usual 3-ply sock yarn.

I n-plied it.

Then I knit it into man-sized socks with a toe-up heelflap and gusset (my dad wears holes first in the bottom of his heels, so I thought it would do nicely to have most of the reinforcing there.)

There’s a Loop bump on the wheel right now, and as soon as I finish posting this I’m going to pull out the wheel and get back to the joy that is spinning.

The bump is Inner Warmth, and I used the same method that I did in Splitting a Loop Bump to split it into three parts.

I’ll do a three ply. I know, I know, I could have just spun it as-is and done a Navajo ply if I wanted a 3-ply gradient, but I wanted to stagger the color transitions so that the fade is more subtle. Plus tearing the bumps up is really fun.

The year so far

Well I’ve been quiet lately. Here’s what I’ve been up to in the crafting realm…


I finished spinning the rainbow yarn from last post. I tried for a little less twist in this one than I usually do, because the blend already has some nylon for strength. I’m quite pleased with the result.

rainbowI also finished up the Orange & Turquoise yarn. For that one, I had 2 ounces each of two different SW Merino fibers. I vertically stripped each piece into 4 bits, then tore each of those bits into 4 pieces. Then I alternated spinning one from the turquoise & gray batch with one from the aqua & orange batch (have a look at the picture from that post for them all lined up), and finished by chain-plying.


Aaaand that yarn has already been knitted into socks. I felt like mixing up the colors even more, so I opted for 2-row striping plain toe-up socks with a modified short-row heel.


I’m quite amused how the colors matched back up on one of the cuffs.

The Moonrover yarn we saw last post has already been knitted into socks too, also of my own invented design. The cables look cool but kind of make a mess of the fit, especially at the ankles.


Also those Bluebell & Clover socks from I-don’t-remember-when were frogged because I was unhappy with them and knit into something much more pleasing: Puschkinia socks from Kirsten Kapur.


The silver shawl pictured in the last post was also finished! This was really a win for me, because I’d been working on it for at least four years (it had gotten to the point of only being airplane knitting) and I thought it might never get done.

Modeled by my lovely friend T

Other Adventures:

So the sewing became all-consuming for a little while, because I became a little obsessed with the idea of a TARDIS box bag (idea supplied by the delightful Chris.) I ran through several prototypes, but by the fifth or sixth bag had worked out all the details. So naturally I stopped there and haven’t made any more since.

Tardis Bags

I was also recently sent to Alaska for work for two weeks. I took the only full day I had off and visited the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer. I scored some sweet, sweet qiviut in the raw form and I’ve spun just a tiny bit of it so far.

muskyMy brief searches of the internet so far haven’t yielded an abundance of info on spinning raw qiviut, so I mostly winged it and it seemed to work out. I’ll take lots of pictures when I spin the next batch.



A sock blog

I swear this was supposed to be a spinning blog, but after the survey to my relatives about socks, I have been in sock knitting overdrive. This does not actually mean I am knitting socks for the relatives.

The rainbow yarn on the spindle from last time has been finished, which is the bulk of the spinning I’ve done in the last few weeks.


Oh, I spun a sample of an art yarn too.

[Not pictured because it is tiny and kind of pathetic]

But socks!

Socks in primary colors! (Farmhouse Yarns Fannie’s Fingering Weight in “Indian Corn”)


I need to do something fun with the gusset. Not sure what yet.

The socks I’ve been knitting with the Vicariously yarn got just far enough for me to figure out that I was unhappy with the toe, the fit, and the fact that I forgot to start a cable pattern in the gusset.

They got this far, which was also far enough for me to confirm that the yarn is fabulous.


And then they suffered a sad fate.


They will get cast on again once I reclaim the size 0 needles from the sock I put them in. Which is this.


Lacey of Moonrover has started dyeing sock yarn! I jumped on the chance to knit a test skein and am thoroughly enjoying myself. Instep gusset for the win!


WILL IT BLEND!? The spiral socks I was working on before caused me to become temporarily obsessed with socks knit from scrap yarn. I went through the scrap bag again and made this pile…


…which is slowly being converted into these funky socks using the Blender technique.


I think of these as my “Arrested Development” socks, because that’s what I’ve been watching while I knit them. (Not the new stuff yet, I started at the beginning.) They also feel appropriately wacky in that way.

And that sweater plan from last time? Remember how I am fickle? Now there is a Loop plan. Winter Tour de France Fleece is coming.


No, the whole stack is not the plan.

And to be clear, winter doesn’t come here.


I dashed home from work to snap a few progress pictures and then ran off to go teach my lace class at a nearby yarn store. So, briefly:

On the wheel this week, SW BFL from Sosae Caetano in “Grape Jelly”.


Spinning for 3 ply sock yarn again.

The Loop Oasis Toffee shawl looks like this.


And I cast on for some simple socks with the Vicarious yarn on size US0 needles.


My swap package went out last week and so hopefully my (international) recipient will have it by next time so I can share the fun stuff.

And now Farnsworth is yowling at me because I didn’t give him enough attention today. I’m off to see how he likes lasers and fish flakes.


Mostly Socks

The Loop Batt spin is coming along nicely. I’ve finished the bobbin for one half-bump and started the other.


The first half I spun was the heavier one (by about 10g). As I spun through it, I separated out pieces of each color until I had 5g. I’ll add those back in to the second half as I spin to make the weights more even.


Mostly I’ve been working on the lonely socks this week. The fancy lime socks (Vilai, from Cookie A.’s Sock Innovation) have made some progress.


The purple Mockery socks also made a little headway.


If you look closely, there is a faint line about halfway down the leg of the Mockery sock. That’s where these got picked up. It had been over four years since I had knitted on these and I was surprised to learn that my gauge had changed. The pink needles are exactly the same ones these socks got started on, but in the intervening years, I have made minor adjustments to my knitting technique to make me knit faster. It also seems to have tightened up my tension just a bit. (That, or my life is more stressful now than it was as a graduate student, which I significantly doubt.)

I have not abandoned the Bluebell and Clover socks, though I have growing concerns that they are too big (and I wear a women’s US10 already). I’ve decided to ignore it and keep knitting.


Some other yarn time this week was taken up with projects for an impending infant, but the pregnant coworker in question looks at pictures on this blog, so no one gets to see until after this weekend.