Pretty sure I won't have complete any more pairs this year, so my (unproductive!) year in socks follows
First, Crosshatch Lace socks from Sensational Knitted Socks knit with Austermann Stepp. This yarn felt soooo nice to knit with, but I'm not terribly fond of the colors. They socks are cushy and nice, though. (I took this photo awhile ago, and I'm not sure why I didn't include both socks. They both exist..)
Then, for my boyfriend's daughters 12th birthday, Parachute socks! Also from Sensational Knitted Socks and knit with Noro Kureyon Sock which she picked out. When I first started knitting these, I thought "I will never ever knit socks with this yarn again." It was thin and frail and not terribly soft. By the time I finished, I was used to it, but I think I'd stick with a stockinette pattern if I used it again. And they softened up after washing. Happy with the end result, but these seemed to take foooorever.
Finally, my personal favorite and so terribly fun to knit... Mamluke Socks from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks book. Knit inn Gypsy Girl Creations handpainted fingering weight in "A Taste of Wine" and "Fresh Lemonade." I loved the yarn; the pattern was well-written and beautifully designed. They're a touch big, but they'll be fabulously cozy in the Illinois snow. The pattern just flies by. I knit the entire second foot last night. These were my first fair isle socks, and I can't recommend Nancy Bush enough for first anything. I first learned to knit socks from Folk Socks and that was lovely as well. I bought 2 extra skeins of this yarn since I feared running out, but I had just enough from the original skeins so I can't decide whether to exchange it or knit these in reverse.
They're in need of a good blocking, but I love love love them and wanted to share
only I have no weaving experience and don't know what to do with it. I believe it is a table loom, correct? The lady I bought it from says it's in perfect working condition, so can anyone point me in the direction of some resources to get started?
So I went to the county fair last week and saw some beautiful cross stitched works, and knowing that my mom knows how to cross-stitch, I asked her to teach me. The knitter, spinner, and wool lover in me chose this little sheep as my first kit, and I finished it the morning after mom got me started.
Yesterday, I was working on cross-stitching her a thank you card and got frustrated because I had to rip out quite a bit of work because I had miscounted by one row, so I decided to do this bookmark as a break.
I got the chart for that one from Gayla on flickr.
(EDIT: I got it fixed. It involved a hammer, candle wax, and a metal "pin punch" from the hardware store. Now I've just got to figure out how to set up the double drive thingy and I'm ready to spin!)
See, I ordered a used Ashford Elizabeth on eBay. When I received it yesterday, the assembly instructions were for an Ashford Traditional, and the only ones I could find online were for the Elizabeth 2.. which is basically the same, but some of the specifics are different.
So, I commence putting it together.. and come to the part where I'm supposed to put the wheel in position, put the crank through it, then put the "hub pin" through the hole in the center of the wheel, through the holes in the crank, and out the other hole on the other side of the wheel. At this point, I realized that I may have lost the hub pin. I had a pin, the right length (2"), but it didn't quite fit through the crank.. at least without a hammer. So I searched the house for literally like 5 hours, even though the wheel had never left my living room since it arrived, and came up empty handed. Then I placed an order for a hub pin. BUT I wanted to spin on it so badly, I started thinking, and that can be dangerous. The instructions said the hub pin was designed to be a "tight fit" and I'd heard that to disassemble the Ashford, you have to hammer the pin out with a nail. So I decided to see if the mysterious pin that I had would fit if I employed a hammer. It did. Sort of. It's very very tight.. and now it's stuck in there and I'm still not sure it's even the right friggin' pin. So, I guess my question is.. can anyone tell me if this is the right pin? And if it isn't, how the heck do I get it out? Am I going to have to order a new crank too?!
Close-up of the pin in question. That is NOT the crank splitting.. that's a reflection.
The pin in the crank.
EDIT: A member of the livejournal spinning fiber community has verified that it is the correct pin. Now I just need to know how to get it out and why it's soooo tight.
I was originally asking for experiences with the Kromski Symphony wheel in this topic, but that changed when I searched for wheels on ebay as I do every day, and found this. A beautiful, lightly used Ashford Elizabeth on eBay for $350.. finally putting an Ashford in my price range. The auction had only an hour left, and I had only half an hour before I left for class, so I ended up grabbing it up. In class, though, I started to wonder if I shouldn't have made such a hasty decision with something so important. I've done my research on Kromski's, but hadn't focused much on Ashford's because I really never thought I'd be able to afford one.
Anyway, I have a couple of questions now.
Firstly, I'm guessing this is an Elizabeth 1, but I know now they only manufacture Elizabeth 2's. Will the hi-speed kit they currently manufacture fit this wheel? (EDIT: I called the woolery who were very helpful with this question. The lady there was unsure, but she took the time to make a few calls to find out and called me back immediately. And guess what: it fits!)
Secondly, have any of you used an Elizabeth? What'd ya think?
I once had a yarn whose colors that didn't make me happy. I thought "Surely the colors suit someone" and tried to sell it. That didn't work, which made me very unhappy. I then buried it deep under many other yarns and tried not to think of it. That worked, but only for awhile.
One day, I dug it up. Accidentally, of course. I was digging through the heap of yarns, trying to find something that would make a lovely scarf, and out came the evil yarn! "Away, foul yarn!" I screamed. "You would make a very poor scarf indeed." But it refused to let me bury it again. Finally, it spoke to me, calmy. "You are my creator, but if I do not please you, then perhaps you should change me." And so I did.
I immersed it first in a violet color, but when it came out, it was a horrible pink. "Do you like me now?" it asked. "No, that will not do. That will not do at all," I responded. There was nothing left to do seek assistance from royalty. I gave the yarn to Royal Blue of Castle Dyepot, and when the yarn returned, it was the glorious color of jewels. "Do you like me now?" it asked. "Oh my! Oh yes! Yes, this is very pleasing indeed! This is perfect. This is too beautiful for the scarf I had in mind. Much too beautiful. Whatever shall I do with you now?" Then a handsome man, known as Mr. Husband, offered "Perhaps a hat would suit this yarn best. You always do like a good hat." "Yes!" I cried, "perfect! a hat! what could be better!" And this, my friends, is the story of the hat of jewels.
Yarn: Handspun Blue Face Leicester Pattern: Spiral Rib Hat. Ann Norling #54 Notes: One of the few hat patterns I will use since it gives a chart for all sizes and gauges. Plus it looks good in a huge variety of yarns. Also knit up quickly. It was simple enough that I didn't have to look at the pattern, but had enough to do to keep me interested. Impressions: I'm especially happy with this hat because, before I overdyed the yarn, it was a color that I was less than thrilled with. Specifically, it used to be this yarn:
Trekking XXL stockinette socks:
Yarn: Trekking XXL. I've lost the label and dont' remember what color. Pattern: None, just stockinette Impressions: I like these, but I'm glad to have them off the needles. I have some Claudia's Handpainted up next and I don't allow myself to cast on for a new pair until I've finished both socks of the pair that I've started.
I have a stepson named Jaden, who I love dearly, and we only get him during the summer. The other 9 months of the year, he's with him mom.. 900 miles away. A couple weeks ago, just a few days before Jaden left to go back to his mom's, I started dying some roving.. the first time I'd done that when he's been here. Of course, as a four year old, he wanted to help. So I got out another strip and let him pick colors, helped him mix them, let him put the dye on the roving, then let him watch as I wrapped it, steamed it, and rinsed it. He was delighted during the whole process, continually referring to the wool happily as "my colors."
So a few days after he left, I decided to spin it. I wish I had taken a picture of the roving before spinning, as the spinning process really muted the colors. Lately I've been spinning relatively even, light worsted weight, 2-ply yarn. But this, I decided, I would spin as a bulky thick and thin single. So I spun it, and was a bit disappointed when it wasn't bulky enough, and I only had 40 yards. I had been hoping to make a beanie. And so I thought about my options. I didn't want to dye another batch, as I wanted all the colors in this yarn to be Jaden's. I could ply it, but I didn't have any yarn "special" enough to ply it with. But then, when I decided to go ahead and wind it into a ball, I saw it. A center pull ball of my first, undyed, handspun yarn. Jaden's first dyed wool, and my first handspun, plyed together. It was perfect. This, unfortunately, dulled the colors even more and only yielded 35 yards, but I still loved the yarn. What on earth was I going to make with 35 yards? Certainly not the beanie I had envisioned. But I wanted something that I would get a lot of use out of, but wouldn't be harsh on the yarn. I also didn't want to use a pattern, because I wanted it to be mine and Jaden's creation only. Then I remembered a neckwarmer that an etsy buddy had crocheted out of some of my handspun that had turned out beautifully. I'd have just enough yarn, and it would be simple enough to wing it without a pattern. And so, this special neckwarmer was born: