Purple suit wrap up

Posted by Caroline in Dyeing, Knitting, sewing, socks, Weaving on April 22nd, 2014

The worst part of the whole business was pressing the jacket – it was such an educational experience that I started looking for local tailors in the Yellow Pages because I would have happily paid someone to do it for me. I watched a professional do it on Youtube and then set to with a tailor’s ham and a sleeve board. It would have been more straightforward if I had a wider ironing board, I got on much better once I’d put a chair behind it to stop the jacket making a break for freedom. Tacking it all together was a good thing to have done, it would have been even better had I run a line of stitching around the cuffs and hems of the jacket because I had to rediscover the edge of those. It would benefit from better pressing and I will show it the iron again once I’ve forgotten what a performance I made of it the first time. Badly pressed or not, it’s a lovely colour.

The buttons were also educational, my new word for this week is “ligne”. That’s how buttons are traditionally measured and the ones I took off the jacket were 24 ligne on the cuffs and 32 ligne on the body (also known as 15mm and 20mm). In keeping with the theme of cheap and cheerful I bought a mixed bag of ten of each size on Ebay for £4 including postage so the jacket has cost £15, a teaspoon of dye, two tablespoons of citric acid and lots of hot water. He’s pleased with it and more surprisingly (because my standards are much higher) so am I. It’s very evenly coloured and I made a much better job of dyeing it than I thought I would.

I released another pair of school socks into the wild last week. As usual they didn’t hang around long enough to be photographed, this morning I tracked them down to the laundry basket. Of course I would prefer to be showing a shot of a pair of clean socks but at least they are currently still a pair so I’ll work with what I have. The knock on from knitting the longer cuff and starting the colour before I’d finished the gusset decreases was that I ran out of the patterned yarn before I started the toe. Fortunately I still had some bright yarn that I hadn’t out away yet and that lasted to the toe with about a yard left over. That means that I’ve used up two small balls of yarn rather than one so it’s a win.

This is all that I have left from the fabric that started life in this post. At some point I’ll use up all the scraps in a patchwork something, at the moment I’m sticking them all in a bag. I’m not sticking them in this bag of course, that’s the one I’ve just made. With this I started with the fabric that I had leftover, I couldn’t work back from the bag that I thought I wanted because I didn’t have enough fabric to have any choice as to size. It might not have helped me much because I’m no good at visualising sizes, I can wave my hands around as much as I like but I still can’t what the finished thing will look like until I have it in my hands. It’s a perfectly proportioned spindle bag with room for at least four ounces of fibre but I’d rather be making sock project bags. Now that I have one in front of me I can see what I need to change to get the sock bag that I want. I can see that future bags want to be a bit deeper and wider but not as long with a narrower handle and no interfacing in the lining. I knew the lining didn’t want to be stiff but no, I had to follow the tutorial. Bag two will be a variation on a theme and hopefully next time I’ll get the zip in to my satisfaction.


Dredging through the knitting bag

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, socks, Spinning, sweaters on April 14th, 2014

It’s such a little thing but it feels as if I have been knitting it forever. Guess what, I HAVE been knitting it forever. The blog remembers these things so I don’t have to and it tells me that the first sighting of baby Sirdal was on January 17th. The body knitted up quickly enough but when I got to the start of the second pattern band (about armhole level) I realised I’d made a mistake right at the bottom and that put me off the whole thing. I had a choice between ripping it back and starting again or ignoring it and hoping I could sort it out in the finishing and it spent weeks in the bag while I decided what I was going to do. The thing I like most about this is that it’s finally finished the yarn and the buttons, I liked the buttons so much that I went back and bought the other ten to go with the three that I would have leftover from this. I don’t know what I’ll do with thirteen buttons but there’s a lot more options than with just three.

The pattern is Sirdal, a Dale of Norway pattern available as a download from Patternfish. I wanted the baby size but was surprised to find that the pattern covered all sizes from baby through to adult. This is the first thing I’ve made with steeks, it was knitted as a tube and cut up the front and then the sides sliced to open up for the sleeves. That was straightforward enough and I’d not hesitate to do that again. It was the front steek that tripped me up, when I set off I decided that five stitches sounded narrow and seven would be better so I cast on an extra two. If I’d written that down or remembered it then I would have been fine but I did neither and then when I lost a stitch marker I incorporated them into the pattern.

These are the first buttoned cuffs I’ve ever knitted. As I was knitting them I didn’t like the flare that comes from changing to larger needles and increasing at the same time but now they are blocked it looks right. Knitting cuffs is less messing about than sewing cuffs on a shirt because there’s no raw edge to deal with but it is considerably more messing about than not having buttons at all. The start of the cuff is knitted flat (obviously because if it were joined together it wouldn’t need a button) and that means having single rows of colour before it’s joined in the round. I tried to get fancy to avoid the ends that come from single row colour changes by using a circular needle and working from whichever end had the right colour. To be honest I think I’d have been quicker just cutting the yarn.

I would knit it again, it looks lovely and it wasn’t as much work as you’d think from looking at the time it’s taken me. Most of the time it’s been on the needles I’ve not been knitting it because I couldn’t decide what to do with my two stitch mistake at the front edge. The blue and white is a classic combination and I like the subtle variation in the darker yarn. As I said in another post I don’t like the thickness of the front bands, two layers of double thick ribbing is too much on something this size. It makes for a soft collar though, there’s no hard edge that will rub under a chubby chin. I didn’t like having to change the pattern at the sides, I’d much rather work with a pattern that fitted into the stitch count so that it flowed all the way around. I also couldn’t fathom the concept of the pattern repeating around a central stitch on the sleeves when there was an even number of stitches.

I didn’t say whether I ripped back and fixed my mistake or lived with it. Looking at the first photo I can tell, you knitter-people would probably tell if you could see it closer but the general baby-dressing populace will see blue! white! buttons! and the man on the galloping horse doesn’t stand a chance.

I am ripping these although I’ve not made a mistake in the pattern. My mistake was in the yarn choice, it’s sock yarn and although it’s bang on gauge it’s making a fabric that is too loose for my liking. These are the Etude mitts, or rather that’s what this would become if I kept on knitting. This has been sitting in the bottom of the knitting bag for over a month and the fabric has not improved at all during that time. I’m ready for starting something new so it’s time for the non-starters to move along back to yarn. The socks can stay though, the end is in sight and there’s nothing wrong with them except for the length of the foot. I can’t believe that child socks have become the longest socks that I knit, at fourteen he’s now wearing a size nine and a half shoe (Eur 44, US 10). I add an extra half an inch to the heel flap because he has a high arch and with this pair that meant that I ran out of black yarn before I finished the gusset decreases. Next time I need to shorten the cuff or I risk having colour showing above the shoe which would never do as these are pretending to be plain black socks to be worn with plain black shoes, plain black trousers and a black blazer. The socks are the only thing I have on the needles and as I’m an inch from starting the toe shaping they should be finished very soon. They will be the second thing that I pick up as soon as I press “publish” on this, the first one being a cup of tea.

It works for me

Posted by Caroline in Dyeing, Knitting, socks, Spinning on March 5th, 2014

Baby Sirdal has been rescued from the bag of abandonment. I’ve finished the first sleeve and started the second although I’m not yet at the point where I can see that I’ve successfully reversed the cuff. I know from mittens, gloves and studying organic chemistry that I have terrible issues with chirality mirrored items but because I know that I can’t see the difference I don’t often get it wrong. I take a lot of care to check that what I think I see is really what is there. In a few rows time there will be much poking and several second opinions and then I’ll leave it overnight and check it again. I know that it shouldn’t need much thinking about, I just need to do what the pattern tells me to do but that assumes that I managed to do that on the first sleeve.

I’ve got as far as setting the wheel up, I put it away for Christmas and never got it back out. I know, it’s shocking, what is the world coming to? In my defence I would like to point out that I’ve not been well. I found the samples I made when I knitted Celtic Dreams back at the end of 2010 (18 stitches, 24 rows per inch) which should serve as a staring point for the yarn for Yoho (16 stitches, 20 rows per inch). I know that some spinners have elaborate systems for storing samples and have purpose made books or cards with attached yarn and ratio notes. I have a system that works for me and it obviously does work seeing as I found the relevant samples in under a minute. My tried and tested system is that I stick things in a bag that lurks near the wheel. I have the unwashed single, the washed plied yarn and the knitted sample. Hopefully I should be able to get the yarn I need on the first attempt.

It’s still sock knitting season here although I am starting to be bored with round and round knitting which is why the last pairs have had patterns. This pair will be going away for birthday/Christmas presents and by the time they reappear I may have forgotten that the toes don’t quite match. The yarn originally had a pink and white section that was right on the very edge of being husband-acceptable but you can’t see that in the finished sock (at least not after its encounter with navy dye). Ordinarily I would have dyed the yarn before knitting it but I had no other knitting so I didn’t want to wait for it to dry. I also wanted the leftovers to be pink and that’s not going to happen if you start with navy. The easiest thing to do was to knit the socks, dye them navy and then dye the leftover yarn pink. I can recommend dyeing the socks rather than the yarn because not only does it avoid having to wait for the yarn to dry, it also avoids the work of turning a ball of yarn into a 420 yard skein to then wind the 420 yards back into a ball. The only skeining and winding that I needed to do was that of the leftovers and that was only a quarter of the work. For anyone wondering why I bought the yarn if I didn’t like the colour – I buy most of my sock yarn very cheaply in Ravelry destashes and the colour is immaterial because I know that I can change it.

The road to recovery

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, socks, Spinning on February 21st, 2014

I’m really stretched for something positive to say although “I am not flooded” seems to be a good start. I’d like to wipe the last few weeks from my memory, I’ve been ill enough to be happy to spend my days flat out on the settee watching whatever drivel pops up on the television. There’s been no end to the sore throat, coughing and crackling chest. I’ve been too sick to knit and I reached a new low of being too sick for tea. All in all it has not been a fun February and I can’t wait to turn the page on the calendar and declare it to be March.

The antibiotics appear to be nailing my chest infection so I’m feeling a lot better. I’m not yet ready for the level of thought required to match yarn to pattern but I can cope with round and round mindless sock knitting. The black and bright pair are for my son as they meet school uniform requirements, they’re shown below non-black trousers as it’s half term here this week. (I’m keeping on looking for the positives, so I’ll say that half term has been a major win as the neighbouring school authorities have half term next week and everywhere is deserted. Cinema for seven please) I ended up knitting four heels because on two of them I managed to drop an edge stitch early in the flap and didn’t discover it until I was a stitch short after turning the heel. After all the ripping it’s a surprise that they managed to make it to the toes. The very bright pair are for my husband who in the last three weeks has not once complained about me coughing in the night time and has been cooking, ironing, shopping and covering all those other jobs that I haven’t been doing. It’s more than likely that the leftovers from these will go into the next pair of child socks because it certainly meets the requirement of “bright”. The flash has changed the colours a little but I’m not sure that it’s making them brighter than they really are. A closer look would show how much better I’m feeling because the broken rib requires me to count to two and I’m managing to keep on top of that. I’m not ready for Sirdal yet, that needs me to follow a pattern and increase every X rows and that’s still too much to even think about.

I bought a sweater’s worth of Shetland this week (another sign that I’m feeling better), it was cheap and my Celtic Dreams won’t last forever especially as I’m wearing it all day, every day. The bags of wool are currently packed away until I get back to being fully functional because there are plenty of ways I can fail in making a fitting sweater from a heap of wool. I need to check that I have enough of it and then find the sample that I made for Celtic Dreams because that will be a good starting point for the yarn that I need. I’m pretty sure that I can put my hand on the sample right away, I’m also fairly sure what I’m going to knit – top down, saddle shoulder, cables but with a higher neckline than Celtic Dreams so I don’t need to work at keeping my neck warm.

The laptop bag is now properly finished because I found the magnetic clasps. They were in my handbag and must have been there for months. I can just about recreate a scenario where I took the clasps out to show someone and dropped them back into my handbag planning to put them away later so it nearly makes sense and I don’t need to fall back on my usual explanation for the inexplicable (alien abduction). I need to make a matching phone case but I only seem to think about this when the phone is out of the house so that might take a while despite only being a ten minute job.


Where did I put that?

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, sewing, socks, sweaters, Weaving on February 3rd, 2014

Somewhere in the house is a clear plastic bag with a dozen magnetic bag fasteners in it. I’ve always kept them with the buttons but recently I took them out to show them to someone and then decided that the button tin was a silly place to keep them and it would be much more sensible to put them …. well that’s the problem isn’t it? When I find my new and improved hiding storage place I’ll be able to really finish this laptop bag (click on the photos for larger ones). This is a replacement for the one that I made nearly four years ago, I’ve been promising to make another ever since the husband got a new and smaller Mac but it became more urgent after I set fire to the old case. That sounds extreme and it was. I caught it before it got as far as flames but it was headed that way, the wool layer had altogether scorched away and the cotton batting was toasty and brown. Wool doesn’t burn but cotton certainly  does. I didn’t mean to set it on fire, I was using the case to stop the floor lamp from singing in sympathy throughout my son’s music practise and I forgot about it then turned the light on. The smell should have been a giveaway but it took time to eliminate the dog as the source. I’m not likely to make the same mistake again but, just in case, this one is wool all the way thorough, instead of a layer of cotton batting on the inside I used a second layer of the wool fabric.

There’s less knitting than there should be because I’ve got new contact lenses and they are next to useless so I’m spending three hours a day with poor vision. I’ve been waiting for my sight to magically resolve but I am now suspecting that the lenses don’t fit and that I’ve been torturing myself unnecessarily. When I’ve been able to see I’ve been knitting the blue and white tube. My unbounded love for it faded a little when I got to the neck shaping because knitting in rows with one row colour changes makes for far too many ends. It would have been nice if I could have avoided it by knitting/purling from the other end of the circular needle but the need to cast off at the neck edge meant that was a non starter. Grumble, mutter. At the same time as I was grumbling through the one row colour changes at the neck edge I also had – surprise – one row colour changes at the sleeve cuff. I cheated on the cuff in an attempt to reduce the number of ends and with any luck I’ll managed to repeat in on the second one. If I knit this again I’ll try to stagger the grumbling sections because at that point there was no fun to be had in the knitting bag (yes, I have socks on the side, they are plain black, point made). There is a left and a right sleeve because after I’ve sorted out all those ends there will be a dinky little cuff that fastens with a button.

(ETA I was right, the contact lenses didn’t fit so it’s back to glasses for now)

Updated vintage coat

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, socks, sweaters on January 29th, 2014

This booklet is showing its age, although it’s been stuck together multiple times the middle pages are still falling out. There’s no date on “First Woollies” but as my mother says that I had multiple items knitted from it then it seems fair to assume that it dates from the early 1960s. The original pattern is a single size 17-19″ chest, everything in the booklet is in this one size which isn’t surprising seeing as the subtitle is “knitting for the first six months”. It uses Patons Beehive Baby Wool and there are no prizes for guessing that this yarn is now discontinued but at eight stitches per inch sock yarn would look to be a good substitute. It’s a three part set of dress, coat and bootees but I think I’m stopping at the coat. The bottom edges start with a hem, it’s knitted upwards and then the sleeves are joined into the joke. I superimposing the eyelet pattern onto a multi-sized modern pattern of similar construction because I originally intended to make it in a larger size but then the reality of inches of plain stockinette in plain white hit home and I saw sense and made it in the 18″ size. It still needs a wave of the steam iron now that I’ve sewn the seams up but that will wait until the day when it’s leaving home. I seem to have solved my button buying problems – the trick is to go somewhere with a tiny selection so that I have a choice of two, one of which is a funny colour.

My inner knitter started to complain when I started the last pattern on the body of the baby Sirdal, she was very unhappy that I had missed dividing for the sleeves and kept trying to tell me that it was “long enough”. This is the first garment I’ve knitted where the back and front are knitted as one all the way to the shoulder, the openings for the sleeves are cut into the tube once you’ve knitted the sleeves and know how wide they are. I know that to be true but it still felt wrong, as I was looking at it I could see when the height was right for the width and where the sleeve opening needed to start. I’m well past that point now and so my inner knitter has stopped nagging me. It helped that I gave her something else to think about, when I came to work the larger pattern I found that it wouldn’t fit. I had six inches of perfectly good knitting that was two stitches short of being right. To be honest I never considered ripping it back, one stitch each side is not going to make a deal of difference and I can always make the front bands that little bit wider. Having established what the problem was it was easy to fiddle the pattern to fit the space I had.

The scrap socks are done, I got a bit more variety out of the remaining yarns by throwing them into some dark green dye. There is still some green left but not enough for another pair of socks. These are the second pair into the pile for Christmas 2014 although they might not make it to December seeing as there is a birthday before then. They are not the most exciting socks I’ve ever knitted, they won’t win any prizes for design but they fit and they will make another pair in the sock drawer. I think the next pair will be another pair of school socks with black cuffs, I keep making them but what I see on his feet is usually the most recent pair that I finished. What he does with the others I do not know, I’m hoping that in his wardrobe there is a shelf of carefully matched pairs of socks hidden under some other item of clothing. I don’t want to check to see if this is the case just in case it isn’t.


Catching up

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, socks, Weaving on January 9th, 2014

Happy New Year to one and all. I usually start a blog post by looking at the camera card because the photos serve as a reminder of what I’ve been up to. I can’t do that today because the camera spent all of Christmas sulking in a corner muttering about its card being full. This means there are no photos of the mini bagels (yes, I remembered the salt the second time), the mini pork pies or the second pair of socks that I finished in time to go under the tree. The third pair of socks managed to work their way into service before I got the camera sorted out but the fourth pair are still in pristine condition. I used exactly 25g of a ball of black, the rest of the yarns are leftovers from other socks.

I still haven’t blocked the baby jacket and cowl, my blocking surface has been full of freshly laundered sweaters so that will have to wait another week. My big job this week was sorting the loom out, I wound this warp in October which is so long ago that I was bored with it before I started. The big delay was down to ordering then fixing the sectional rakes on the loom and then of course the tree went up and everything stopped for Christmas. All my threading errors are on the left hand side so I can only assume that I got giddy when I passed the half way mark and carried on past the time when I could actually see. The woven part that you can see here has now gone, there was so much wrong with it that it was easier to cut it out and start again. I started off wondering why it was that the pattern wasn’t emerging, it turned out that I’d changed my mind about what I was going to weave so what was in my mind wasn’t what I’d threaded but in addition I’d written the treadling down wrong. When I got the pattern established I managed to ignore the odd looking sections by telling myself that they were reed marks and they’d wash out. This would have been more convincing if I hadn’t had some ends left over after I’d finished threading. That strongly suggests that somewhere along the line I’d missed a heddle or four and when I looked closer in better light I could see that my “reed marks” were never going to wash out. It’s all fixed now which means I can get to planning the next piece.

This is the other major call on my time, a minute here, a couple of pieces there, it all adds up. Looking back it was unbelievably optimistic of me to think that we would finish this in the time between Christmas and New Year. We don’t usually tackle a jigsaw with this many pieces and it just about fills the breakfast bar which means that it’s tricky to see the pieces because you have nowhere to put them. I think we’re over half way there now and I’m at the stage where every time I look at it I see a piece and recognise exactly where it needs to go. Earlier in the week I did suggest that what we needed most was a jigsaw hammer but I think we will get it finished without that.

I have new knitting and I maybe need to tell you about setting my husband’s laptop case on fire (that’s a slight exaggeration because we all know that wool doesn’t burn but I’d scorched through to the cotton batting before I caught it so flames were on the menu). That will have to wait for another day as I the light has already started to dim and I have some close work to do. I deleted the next several hundred words moaning about the short days and the gloomy grey light because I could be dealing with a flooded house in poor light so my inability to see to thread a needle doesn’t really warrant a moan.




Posted by Caroline in Knitting, socks on December 24th, 2013

I’m convinced that there’s something significant that I’ve forgotten because there doesn’t seem to be anything to panic about. All the gift knitting is finished and wrapped (more about that in a moment) and the food shopping is all ticked off (with the exception of the pig’s trotters and packet gelatine will sub for those). There were no last minute parcel deliveries, no running out of sticky tape or wrapping paper although there was one present that had to be returned, much to my disappointment.  I’m trying to look at that as a win because if something is too small then I’d rather know that before Christmas so I can send it back and not have it appear under the tree.  Even the bagel failure didn’t matter because I was making them ten days in advance so I have plenty of time to bake them again, next time I’ll try hard to put the salt in. I’ll also be making the bite sized ones smaller because I tested one or two and they were definitely three bite bagels.

It turned out that I was knitting solstice socks, I finished them on the Saturday and dyed them on the Sunday. The yarn came out of the scrap bag as daffodil yellow and I dyed it a bee-gold, intending to knit bees into the foot. My second idea was to duplicate stitch “Bees?” on one sock and “No” on the other so it would make sense whichever foot he had the words on. I then realised that I had no time for faffing about and I’d just aim for getting them finished and wrapped. I really didn’t like the yellow as I was knitting it so seeing as I had the time I overdyed the finished sock. I tried to get fancy and have them change colour towards the toe and that sort of worked but not exactly as I’d planned. They are a brighter colour than they were, finished and dry so I’ll settle with that. If anyone is wondering about my colour choices – they meet the uniform requirement of plain black socks without being as mind numbingly boring as fully plain black socks would be.

I hope you all spend tomorrow with delightful company, perfectly cooked turkey and batteries in all the right sizes.

Best wishes,





Is it Friday yet?

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, socks on November 20th, 2013

This is the end of my current round and round knitting, it’s all I’ve been good for this week because I’ve been too busy fretting about real life to have any time left over for thinking about anything else. These are husband socks, I had thought to aim them at my son but it seems that his feet are now too big for my standard 72 stitch sock. He either needs a heel worked over more than half of the stitches or simply more stitches because when he came to try it on it was straining over the instep and as I was already at the toe it was easier to give them to someone with smaller feet. The baby jacket is sidelined because it is at the point where I should be uniting the sleeves with the body and starting on the yoke. This needs me to calculate the yoke decreases so that they work with the pattern I’m using and that won’t be happening until next week. There’s a lot of things on hold until the magic time of “after Thursday” and all knitting that needs any thought will be happening after then. My Christmas shopping also starts after Thursday as does preparing for a weekend away and threading the loom.

I’ll leave you with a quick trip down memory lane as that needs one photo and no thinking. I believe this to be the oldest thing that I’ve knitted that is still being worn. You can see that it is a product of my early knitting because it’s in the same colour as the pattern and more than likely I made it in the recommended yarn too. I remember that it took a lot of balls of yarn and that’s because it was sold in 20g balls. Looking back, that seems very strange, it was just a plain old double knit so anything smaller than a 50g ball would be very odd now. I suppose the fact that there is a pattern and I stuck to it also marks it as being not that recent. I knitted this bed jacket for my mother somewhere around 1980, it might have been slightly earlier but it can’t have been much later. Even though I made it thirty years ago I still remember the horror that I felt when I came to wrap it up and saw that I’d made a mistake in the pattern, before I got it out to take this photo I knew that it would be on the collar on the right as I looked at it. I could see myself frozen in the act of wrapping, poking at the unwanted yarnover and trying to convince myself that it would be fine to just leave it. It wasn’t as if I had any other option, it was a Christmas gift and I didn’t have the time to fix it properly or the experience to fix it quickly so I left it and needless to say it has bugged me to this day. The yarnover is still in the wrong place but the more mature me thinks that it’s not all that noticeable and it is certainly not the glaring mistake that I remembered it to be. It’s taken me a while to reach acceptance but here it is at last.

There seems to be some sort of lesson there about avoiding perfectionism, not getting hung up on small things and living with “good enough will do” but no, it’s just slipped away from me.

Redefining leftovers

Posted by Caroline in Dyeing, Knitting, socks, Spinning on October 20th, 2013

It’s not been a week where I’ve flown along but I did accomplish a few things. The striped baby jacket is finished including buttons. When I’ve made this before I’ve used sock scraps for the contrast colours and although it’s not hard to make the two sides match it does need a bit of effort. The sleeves were hard work last time, even putting the yarn for the second sleeve in a bag marked “sleeve” wasn’t enough to make it plain sailing and so I seized the opportunity to do something differently this time. I can rationalise with the best of them and I managed to convince myself that it made no difference to the order in which I knitted them providing that I ended up with a pair of socks and a baby jacket out of a ball of sock yarn. It didn’t really matter whether the jacket used leftovers from the socks or the socks used the leftovers from the jacket. This idea came to me because I was looking at a ball of sock yarn that was the same colour as the scraps that I’d dyed, that they matched should be no surprise given that they came out of the same dye bath. The result is that the body of the jacket uses overdyed sock yarn leftovers but the sleeves are knitted from a full ball of sock yarn.

When I finished the jacket I had just under 70g of the sock yarn left, not quite enough for a pair of socks but that didn’t matter because I had some of the other colours left from the jacket. These socks have the cuff and heel flap knitted from the true leftovers from the jacket and that was enough for the main yarn to see me to the toe. You’ll notice that the blue stripe isn’t prominent in the sleeves of the jacket, that’s because there wasn’t a stripe in the yarn then. I originally thought I’d add stripes as a way of making the 70g of yarn stretch to the toe, then I thought about all the ends that would generate and decided instead to make the cuff, flap (and toe if necessary) from other yarns. I still liked the idea of stripes though so I added a wide stripe of navy to the yarn.

I do still spin, last week I spun up a bag of merino/angora that I found as part of my tidying up, there are no photos of that because it’s gone away. It looks just like every other skein of white yarn you’ve ever seen so you didn’t miss a deal by me not taking its photo. I looked out a bag of coloured Shetland and a bag of coloured Corriedale and carded several sets of colour changing wool. When spun end to end you end up with a monochromatic gradient yarn, I’ve spun it many times before so I know exactly what it will come out like but it’s still fun to watch the colours gradually change as I spin and ply. It was so much fun that I might make another (and another).

My big plans for the loom were sidelined, I wound the warp and then read the directions for using the sectional beam. I need a metal rod and that didn’t come with the rakes so the warp is in a bag waiting for two foot of something that’s rigid but thin enough to pass through the eyes on the rakes. Thinking about it, there might be a work around – I see some research in my future.

I’m down to one knitting project now, the ugly duckling baby jacket. Glowering at it doesn’t seem to be getting it finished so it does look like I have to pick up the needles to get it done. If I don’t start anything else then there’s more chance of that happening.