Posts Tagged ‘sock yarn’

They started life as a lesson in preparing and spinning a raw fleece for worsted spun yarn. You can find that post here “Hand Spinning a Worsted Sock Yarn – Slow Cloth” so I though you might like to see the finished product.

The socks are a slightly modified version of Gladysby General Hogbuffer. This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.

I had a bit of difficulty keeping the yarn consistent. This was probably because I was spinning too many other projects at the same time. I do find I can be completely consistent to the point where I can match yards per ounce in skein after skein but this is almost impossible if I am working on more than one project at a time.  It seems to be my “crocodile” brain that takes over when I am spinning. I blame the crocodile but perhaps if I took better notes and more complete records I could do a little better?

Here are the pictures of my finished socks. So warm and I am sure they will last a very long time.

Stunning Polwarth raw New Zealand wool fleece

I have one little skein, only about 1/4 of what I’ll need for my socks but I am very proud  of it and it was hugely satisfying to create. These socks will certainly qualify as “Slow Cloth“.

I am only just learning that there is a movement toward and a name for my own philosophy and passion in the my Fiber Art. I love the notion of slowing down in order to have quality rather than quantity in life. The idea that Fashion should be less dependent on rapidly changing trends and colors (fast money for the rich) and more about quality, sustainability, and thoughtfulness in design and materials. The things we create we  should make with care and there should be an expectation that they will have meaning to us. Herein lies great Joy in the creative process.

Slow Cloth

From Elaine Marie Lipson Red Thread Studio

Joy Slow Cloth has the possibility of joy in the process. In other words, the journey matters as much as the destination. Contemplation Slow Cloth offers the quality of meditation or contemplation in the process. Skill Slow Cloth involves skill and has the possibility of mastery. Diversity Slow Cloth acknowledges the rich diversity and multicultural history of textile art. Teaching Slow Cloth honors its teachers and lineage even in its most contemporary expressions. Materials Slow Cloth is thoughtful in its use of materials and respects their source. Quality Slow Cloth artists, designers, crafters and artisans want to make things that last and are well-made. Beauty It’s in the eye of the beholder, yes, but it’s in our nature to reach for beauty and create it where we can. Community Slow Cloth supports community by sharing knowledge and respecting relationships. Expression Slow Cloth is expressive of individuals and/or cultures. The human creative force is reflected and evident in the work. My Sock Yarn

I prepared a wonderfully soft and bouncy Polwarth fleece from New Zealand by a method I learned from Judith MacKenzie. You can read more about how I washed the fleece to prepare it for worsted spinning here and here.

Each lovely clean lock was flicked open at both ends and hand spun with the tip end toward the wheel to a very fine strand of yarn wherein all of the fibers were not only presented tip end first but all lined up parallel with just a bit of tension on the fiber as it twisted so that it would always be trying to regain the crimp that is natural to it, thus producing a nice elastic thread. When I had 3 bobbin done I plyed them together which resulted in a yarn that is a 3 ply worsted. It is elastic, soft and very durable. It is a little finer than my commercially spun sock yarn @ an average of 16 – 18 WPI.I can’t wait to cast on for my socks!

Polwarth wool laid out in preparation for washing the worsted way individual Polwarth locks showing the 4 + inches of staple length The raw Polwarth fleece before any washing. Isn’t it wonderful, so clean.

My guys like a light weight but warm hat, one they can scrunch up and stick in their pocket but when they put it on it needs to keep them warm! The folded over “cuff” should not be too deep and when it’s folder over the hat sits just over the tip of the ears but when it’s pulled down against the cold it goes right over those ears completely. I might call a hat with this kind of fit a skull cap or beanie.

This little watch cap fits the bill perfectly. Having knit and ripped quite a few times before I got it right I can now present you with a pattern for a cap that’s super warm, “stuffs” nicely into your pocket and fits just right. I will make this pattern as a download, all pretty in a pdf with my lovely template and graphics soon but for now, so I don’t forget how I did it, I will write it out here. This one’s for Dan.

I used LUX by Buffalo Gold Premium Fibers (45% American Bison Down, 20% Cashmere, 20% Silk and 15% Tencel) and it was an excellent choice. I used it doubled to make it a fingering weight yarn but you can use any fingering weight as a single strand. A sock yarn would be perfect as long as you aren’t knitting for a sensitive bald head. The lux would be perfect for such a person as this as would many of my exotic luxury fiber hand spun yarns in fingering weight. If ordering from the handspun please let me know you are making the “Perfect Reversible Watch Cap” so I can spin it just right for this project.

I`ve chosen a few of my favorite handspun yarns for this project and put them on sale for you. Jan 2012.

Size: Adult Small (Medium, Large) Finished Measurements: 15 inches around and 8.5 (9, 9.5) inches in length

Gauge: 7.5 sts and 10.5 rows = 1 inch in stocking stitch (11 sts and 10.5 rows = 1 inch in K1, P1 rib)

You will need:

approximately 200 – 250 yards of fingering weight yarn. If using the LUX, as I have done, you will need 2 of the 40 gram skeins of 330 yarns each. The finished hat in size small weighs about 45 grams so you cannot get one out of a single skein. a 2.5mm circular knitting needle and a set of 4 or 5 in size 2.5 mm

Instructions: With single strand of fingering or double strand of lace yarn (Lux) and the circular needles cast on 156 stitches. Join in a circle and work around in K1, P1 rib until piece measures 6.5 (7, 7.5) inches.

Shape Crown: Row 1: Work 11, *Double Decrease (slip next 2 stitches together knitwise, knit the third stitch, pass the 2 slipped stitches over) Work 23.  Repeat from * around ending with work 12. 12 stitches decreased over 6 miters. (144 sts) This makes the nice mitre that looks good on both sides.

Row 2 and all even rows: Work even knitting the knits and purling the purls. (trust me, even when you knit 3 in a row it will resolve itself after the next decrease row) Row 3: Work 10, *Double Decrease over next 3 sts, work 21. Repeat from * around ending with work 11. (132 sts) Row 5: Work 9, *Double Decrease over next 3 sts, work 19. Repeat from * around ending with work 10. (120 sts).

Continue in this manner, decreasing 12 stitches every other round until there are only 12 sts remaining. Break yarn and thread through the remaining sts. Pull tight, secure and weave in your ends.