Wednesday, June 18, 2014

From Batts to Socks

(photo from KnitSpinFarm on Etsy)

Hi, Knitters,
First, the winners of the Tan House Brook Shawl are Melsparks, sweetsticks, and mamamustknit (all rav ids)! I've given BostonJen (rav id) your Ravelry names and she will send you your new shawl patterns. Congratulations! Thank you, Jen, for the opportunity. I will host another giveaway very soon.

Now for the beautiful batts I recently finished spinning..... I love the resulting yarn. The batts are from JoAnna's Etsy shop called KnitSpinFarm.

Click here for the KnitSpinFarm podcast! This is one of my favorite podcasts.

(photo from KnitSpinFarm on Etsy)

Here is JoAnna's description of the batts:

Victorian Lilac batts contain: Alpaca, Angelina, Angora, Blue Faced Leicester, Cormo, Merino, Romney, Sari Silk, Silk, Silk Noil. A gradient from white to deep purple with hints of yellow throughout. Total weight: 5.5 oz 

I started spinning with the white end of the batts. I spun each batt separately. When I spin from a batt I pull off strips of the fiber and then I spin onto the wheel right from the end of the strip. White is on the inside of the bobbin above. It is such a lovely gradation of color.

Here you can see how the batt is filled with little treasures of silk and angelina. It's so pretty.

The white bobbin has been Navajo plied and the lower purple bobbin is still waiting to be plied.

It was an incredibly windy and warm day so I hung the yarn outside to dry and it dried so quickly.

Here are the two gradient skeins all washed and dried! They are gorgeous.

One skein had 218 yards and the other had about 180 yards. I really had my mind set on socks. With almost 400 yards of a three ply I knew it was possible. The yarn was heavier than fingering weight, no question, so I cast on 60 stitches instead of my usual 64. I used US size 1 or 2.5mm dpns and literally willed the yarn to become socks. The fabric is very dense but that will serve the socks well in the end.

Here is the first finished sock! I love it so much. You can see I had quite a bit left over. Unfortunately some of the darkest purple was left out but I really don't mind. What a great and useful knit to do with handspun. I love knitting handspun socks and I love wearing handspun socks even more. You should try it if you haven't yet.

Here is another photo of the finished sock. You can see the bits of yellow throughout the sock. It is a really good fit, too. I went down to 28 stitches on the toe decreases, instead of my usual 32 stitches, due to the heavier gauge.

I used the How I make my socks (free pattern) for the sock recipe, only slightly changing the numbers along the way.

You can see my progress on the second sock here. It is just adorable and fun. These are some of the most fun socks I've knit. I am a couple of rounds away from starting the heel flap. 

My project bag is from JoAnna of KnitSpinFarm, too! Click here to see this shop (there are a couple of adorable project bags and a few batts in the shop right now ~ go quick!)


I love the confetti throughout the yarn, little sprinkles of interesting bits and bobs. These handspun socks will quickly become some of my favorites, I can tell already. The spinning of the yarn was such a treat, the plying relieved all of my graduation stress and provided a good distraction, and the knitting of the socks is delightful. It's all good stuff.

Now for a real treat for all of you hopeful sock models out there. I gave my son his Regia Super Jacquard socks that I recently finished. He wore them all weekend (he wore them to the graduation ceremony even and it was warm!). I washed them for him before he left back for school.  

I know that I probably find his modeling antics way funnier than anyone else, but really it is pretty funny even if you don't know him. He is really a kid full of humor. 

For these shots I kind of thought he was joking but when I showed him the photo he said, "Oh, maybe I should have put my legs closer together." I thought that was even funnier because I guess he was more serious than I thought. Yes, probably the legs and feet should have been closer together. Most likely yes. The flip-flops maybe not the best choice either.

They fit perfectly! That was exciting to see.

And the final modeling pose, the behind-the-leg-cross-back-toe. I feel a new trend coming on in the sock modeling world. The hairy legs make the dainty pose even better.

Okay, enough for today. I am slowly making my way back into my work after the graduation weekend. We have a college orientation at the end of the week and TC's birthday this weekend. It never ends and I am very thankful for that fact.

I hope you are well! Whatcha been knitting? I'd love to hear about it.
best, susie


peaknits said...

How cool to see socks from sheep to foot! They are fantastic! I am working away at a turnstile cowl, Almost done, beginning to feel like I have been working on it forever,

Trina said...

Thank you Susan! Very excited about winning your latest giveaway!

Trina aka sweetsticks

Pam D'Esopo said...

Ooh, that batt looks exactly like cotton candy--so yummy.
I LOVE the guy socks!
I am working on the new Shaken or Stirred cardigan, and already planning a second one! Take a look, it has lots of mod opportunities. :) pamelajd on Rav

Unknown said...

Love the handspun, and the socks! That last pose definitely should start a trend!

chmurka said...

Lovely socks story :D

Carol Desrochers said...

I love the sock modeling pictures and the pictures of the gradation yarn process! Wonderful treat!

ajz said...

You have taught me so much about socks! I am on my second pair and am looking at sock blockers. the foot length before the toes is 7.5inches. Is that a medium or a large for sock blockers? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am working on these Mermaid socks by Lucy Neatby. I have knit many pairs of socks, but for some reason, I have started these three times and have never been able to get past the heel. I love the yarn I am using---it is a hand-dyed self-striping yarn by Desert Vista Dyeworks.

Susan B. Anderson said...

ajz - i think each type of sock blocker would tell you what shoe size it will fit. I bought mine quite a while ago and wear a US 7.5 and I think it was a medium but I can't remember for certain.

Unknown said...

Hi Susan,
Oh I am inspired to spin again! What Beautiful socks you made!So Yum!
I just finished knitting my mink Jasmine Tea (ravelry pattern) top and it is so soft! I am really happy with it. I blogged about it. You can see it here.

Anonymous said...

For clarification: So the yarn was a 3-ply from plying the purple singles with the white which you had Navaho-plied into\ a 2-ply? Really look nice. Thanks for the inspiration! :-)

Suzanne said...

I am gushing over your son wearing those socks. My boys always love the ones I make and they choose the yarn. It is often wild and they love to wear them with shorts. Yes. Wild socks and cargo shorts. I smile inside and pray they are not teased.

Pauly Heller said...

Love your son's sock modeling! What a good sport! If I made socks for my son, I'm sure he'd come up with clever ways to model them. Unfortunately, we live in Phoenix and he rarely even wears socks.

Sam I Am...... said...

I started laughing because we went from your new socks (which I love by the way...when I move north I am getting a spinning wheel and learning as I love the looks of those socks) to your son's legs and I wasn't used to seeing hairy legs in your pictures so it was just a funny moment there while I transitioned my mind! LOL! All the socks look great and your son did a great job of modeling...really he did.
I'm knitting a block by block little blanket that is a KAL from my LYS and still working on the giraffe. I'm stuffing the legs and I have another one to make after that plus a lady in my knitting group (she only crochets) asked if I would make one for her to give to her grand daughter...I said yes...what was I thinking? LOL! I should have the giraffes down pretty good after making 3 of them. I took my new Spud and Chloe book in for them to look at and they were all over it. I think you have some new fans now. If I could only knit as fast as you. I did try but I noticed it wasn't good to change knitting methods midstream of a project so I think I will practice continental after the gifts are all done and then I will make some solid squares for a blanket.
I heard you were getting some wild storms up there. Usually it's us down here....stay safe. I hope you have a weather radio or an app on your phones. TTYL!

Unknown said...

Your socks are so lovely, the handspun is fabulous and I love all the little additions to the wool. I am currently doing some heartbreakingly small hats for one of the maternity hospitals, a pair of socks for myself and a couple of baby cardigans for friends.
I did ask at the hospital but they don't need little baby socks..pity...

AnnM said...

This post makes want to learn to spin! I think I'll have to quit my day job. Great looking socks and hilarious poses!

she knits said...

I love your socks Susan,
I am on a bit of a sock binge, I just started my 5th pair in just over a month, I also knit a The Big Cable sweater and some Hoot hats :0) I've been trying to always have socks on my needles like you do but seems once I start them I just finish the same pair, probably because I only have 1 set of 2.25mm signature dpn's and they want socks on them LOL
Love Mel x x