sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Instead of doing lots of intended things (etsy friday, secret knitting, listing new freshwater pearl stitch markers in my etsy shop), my past week was sidelined by the crazy rain here in the bay area (mom had a leaky roof!!) and my son's first bout with the flu ever-- meant lots of no sleep for me and lots of juggling, but thank goodness for our hobby... it calmed my nerves quite a bit over the past few days.

During the night hours where I'd watch my redfaced son try to suffer thru sleep, I worked on my Casino shawl project.

Casino Shawl by Anne Hanson of knitspot-- petite size
Elann's Lana Cash
Started: 28 December 2007
US 6 (4.0mm) Knit Picks Harmony needles, 48"
faceted freshwater pearl knitting stitch markers from

I know, doesn't look like much! :)

I started this shawl soon after Christmas for someone close to me who needed something akin to a comfort shawl... something to be wrapped up in where each stitch was made with a good thought of warmth and love. Of course, my mind flew instantly to anne's pattern shop and I remembered how much I liked this shawl when she debuted it a while back. It's interesting and not mindless-- one of the things that scares me about lace is the monotony of patterning and my tendency to get bored with the familiar, but the casino shawl is "knitted lace"-- patterning on both sides; the WS patterning is simple but it's not just "purl across." There is a provisional caston for the upper edge's border, but the side borders are knit as you go so I'm not as intimidated as I thought I'd be.

The Lana Cash (not carried currently by elann, the link above is to my short review of it; 70/30 wool/cashmere) is a 2-ply of black and brown with white tweed flecks; I worried that the shawl would look too... shabby? in this yarn, but figured it would be more wearable on more occasions than something dressier like a solid or silk blend. I also really liked the way the Lana Cash ended up after a good warm water soak-- it feels like rowan felted tweed and gained quite a bit of softness, so we'll see in the end :)

I did keep making some sort of mistake on the row 18-row 1 transition so I put it down for truly mindless knitting...

Handspun American Maid BFL socks
roving from
Started: Jan ? 2008
US 3 dpns, 4

Another pair of handspun socks based on Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' Simple Socks method, another beautiful showing of handdyed roving from etsy sellers. I'm still amazed at how red they are (and this is the more blue skein)-- I shy away from buying red roving destined for socks since it usually drafts finely into pink, but this is red-red and you guys know what a red fan I am :) The blue also holds its own, not purple which is a nice change for me.

You can see what I mean here from last time-- my long draw spinning's becoming less fuzzy in yarn and FO from the last pair, which looks better but doesn't feel as good on the foot. I'm definitely a feel-girl, so I may start to try and make some more fuzzy yarns :)

In the wake of the week I also started spinning the 50/50 rovings from my last dye session-- I dyed 2 oz of 70/30 sw merino/seacell and 2 oz of 80/10/10 sw merino/cashmere/nylon together, intending on spinning them into singles and plying together to see what they'd look like in a finished yarn.

The seacell blend:

"Mercutio" colorway

I usually don't like on-the-bobbin shots since mine always come out blurry and weird, but I tried since I really want to get pics of how the different fibers look individually to compare to the finished yarn plied together. The seacell in the blend didn't take the dye (I use acid dyes), and my method of dyeing will often leave white spots of undyed roving, so the finished singles were almost ethereal in their shine-- fog stains of the original colorway. I bet if spun into a thicker yarn you could see the streaks of whitish seacell, but here it just lends a sheen to the overall single.

I have come to the realization that I don't really like yarns with sheen/shine, but I really like spinning tencel-seacell-*-cel fiber blends. I'm hoping that plying with the merino/cashmere single will leave me with a yarn I can enjoy knitting into socks... I'm getting nervous about running out of handspun sock yarn for my mindless knitting :)

*Finally* regarding diverted time, I did manage to make lots and lots of new knitting stitch markers for my shop, though I am wrestling with the weather for better pics. New shapes for old favorites (tiger's eye stone bricks, silver leaf jasper in square pillows), new pearl/garnet combos and amethysts to be listed sooner than later. I will be restocking regularly over the next weeks-- I have a lot of sets that I just haven't even taken pics of yet.

Okay! Little boy MUST be feeling 100% better because he's crawling all over me, so miss you and talk to you soon :)


Chris said...

I'm glad your little one is feeling better! The shawl is lovely and doesn't look shabby at all. :)

Lori said...

I got the rovings in the mail yesterday, and I'm going to have to start spinning right away! You're always so inspiring with your posts.

Glad the little guy is feeling better!

lexa said...

Glad the little one is feeling better. It's amazing how quickly they can bounce back.

Love the shawl and also the new socks. The colors in the new sock are great, I love how the red stayed red. :)

mel said...

That handspun sock is great!! Hooray for handspun socks :) and I love the mercutio colorway, lovely.

glad your tyke is feeling better!

Stacey said...

Hope he feels back to 100% soon! The handspun socks are so pretty! the reds really come out!

Lothlorian said...

ugh isnt it horrid when the wee ones feel really poorly, you just want to take it all away dont you! Glad hes on the mend, and love your knits, couldnt see the yarny pic it wont load (puter playing up)

knitspot anne said...

oooh, your casino is looking really lovely and i like the interesting yarn. let me know if you need help still with that transition . . .

Phoebe said...

Don't you just love Anne's patterns! Glad the little one is on the mend.

Anonymous said...

oooh - i can't wait to see that shawl blocked open, looks so good as is!

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