Cherry Bomb Baby

I live in a pile of bricks with a fire puter-outer, a Halloween enthusiast and a pretend lemur, who sometimes admits to being my second son. I have a kitchen for flowers. I know all the lyrics to the Spiderman theme song and (am forced to) sing it everyday. I cook with color. This was a blog mostly about yarn spinning and natural dyeing. Now, it is fair to say, it lacks direction entirely.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Looking back over this blog I feel the need to post some knitting content. What happens to all these dyed fibers and spun yarns? Does anything happen to them? In fact, I've noticed that we see very little evidence that anything ever happens to them. But, ah, things do happen. Things like, half finished socks! (Ok, and ribbed scarves. But I'm trying not to talk about that.)
Since these are half done and have no mate, this is actually only a quarter finished. The roving is blue faced leister and it is an entirely natural dyed rainbow. It was from a natural dye class and we were to make these socks with it. I have still not finished this months later. I adore rainbows but don't wear them. For the most part my baby is forced to wear my color cravings and walks around in a perpetual state of handmade chromatic clowndom. I'm sure he is grateful that the designated project for this roving was socks.

Two things about these socks: 1. The wool was over mordanted (with alum and cream of tartar), the colors are a joy to knit with but the wool is a bit sticky, it doesn't draft as easily as it would have and the fiber has a stiffer feel. I notice it most in the spinning of it, when I try the sock on less so. Our instructor said this would change when it has been washed but I've also heard that overmordanting will permanently effect your fibers. I've not gotten far enough, obviously, to see what will happen but am curious.

And 2. Our project was to spin the yarn on a drop spindle as a single (the thickness of spagetti) and put extra twist into the yarn. Then, knit it within 24 hours of spinning it, an energized single. Knitting your freshly spun single in this way will cause the stitches to slant heavily while knitting in stockinette. We were to experiment, and so there is weird color work in spots (carding white and black with the colors, spinning marled yarns and such). Some I had to frog because it was just beyond what was acceptable for a respectable rainbow sock. I spun some sections using S twist (clockwise) and some Z twist (counter clockwise) and so there is some textured striping going on back and forth based on which way the yarn was spun. I'm not sure that I like this. In fact, I don't. I would probably have finished these socks by now if they would have been spun the same direction all the way around. Then the stitches look almost like they are forming this neat slanted spiral down around the sock. So, frog it? But then I'd have to re-spin half of the yarn the other direction and re-spin the rest of the yarn to get more twist into it before I could knit it energized.

And finally, when holiday knitting goes wrong:

The above socks were knit for my mother-in-law for Christmas. What went wrong you ask? I stayed up until 3 in the morning working on them. You may notice some weirdness in the gusset decreases and that is why. They are also ankle socks because I started them too close to Christmas and in my mind they feel half finished because of this. I do love the feel of the finished fabric, the yarn is Crystal Palace's Panda Cotton (a cotton/bamboo blend). That said, knitting them was torture and I am not happy with the end result. My pointy Addi Turbo size 0's kept snagging on the tiny threads plied together, my fingers felt pinpricked by the time I was done and I was hating the color pooling before I finished the first sock. Oh, and I don't like ankle socks. At least not these, they just feel skimpy. But not in a good short skirt kind of way. More like a my-ankles-look-pregnant-again kind of way. I guess pressured middle of the night knitting isn't my thing. To top it off, they don't quite fit. Which is why they are back on my feet for this picture.

Next up, FOs that I enjoy and won't complain about!

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