Monday, February 9, 2009

Dyeing, Spinning and Knitting!

I'm hopelessly cheap...errrr, I mean frugal. However, I do love beautiful sock yarn. If you aren't a sock knitter, you probably can't understand why anyone would pay $20 plus for a skein of hand-dyed sock yarn that will make one pair of socks when you could just go out and buy a whole finished pair of socks for a couple of bucks. Well, I can only say that if you knitted socks, you would understand.

I knit fairly quickly, so I am always on the lookout for good deals. Recently, I schemed up the idea to spin and dye my own sock yarn. There were two hurdles to overcome here. First of all, I wasn't aware you could purchase superwash fibre with nylon to spin. (This is the kind of yarn I like for my socks because it is washable and durable.) Second, I didn't actually have any clue how to spin.

I came across The Black Lamb and a super-amazing deal on mill-ends roving that was superwash with nylon! I was thrilled and ordered some right away. It actually arrived the next day! Woo hoo! Hurdle number one solved.

Hurdle number two, the part about my not knowing how to spin, was to be solved at my mom's. My mom is an accomplished spinner, having spun the fleece from their own sheep and made sweaters and lots of other wonderful handmade items for years. Although my first spinning lesson went well, it was evident that I was not going to be whipping up skeins and skeins of sock yarn in the next short while. So, my mom saved me. :) She spun up some of the roving into lovely yarn without my even asking. Thanks, Mom!

I decided that the first pair should go to my mom, seeing as she did so much work. I started a pattern called, Betty Cable Socks. (This is a Ravelry download, so you must be a member there to get it.) It does have errors, so I wouldn't run out and download it if you are not at least a little experienced in sock knitting. If you are, you should be able to easily spot the errors and correct them. I am also not sure about the effect of reversing the cables as I go up the leg. You can see the 'loops' in the picture, near the working ends of the socks.

Well, I'm off to homeschool skating with the kids. It is a beautiful, sunny day outside, as it was yesterday. It is such a good feeling when you know Spring will be arriving in the near future. :)

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