Thursday, January 21, 2010

Handspun Socks

My November Sock Knitters Anonymous entry started way back this summer with an impulse purchase of Falkland wool so pretty I couldn't resist the colors. Falkland wool is from a location (the Falkland islands) rather than a particular breed, so there can be a lot of variation. This batch is sturdy, but still soft. According to The Falkland Islands Government web page, "Sheep breeds are predominantly Polwarth and Corriedale."

I enjoyed spinning this wool up into what I thought would be fingering weight yarn, skeined and finished it, and put it on a safe shelf to admire until I could find a project for it. Of course, my inexperience was showing a bit. The yarn is not one consistent weight. A good portion of it is sport weight (or possibly heavier) and some is very fine fingering.

Orchid from Laughing Rat Studios
It still knits up nicely!

I only had around 300 yards, and I was concerned about having enough for socks. So I found some coordinating yarn for the toes and heels. It took a couple of tries. I think I started these socks four or five times trying to find the right gauge for the irregular weight of yarn and finding the right stitch-count for my feet. But it did pay off.

Classy Slip-Up Socks

I knit "Classy Slip-Up Socks" by Betsy Lee McCarthy from "Knit Socks!". This was actually the first book of sock-patterns I purchased, and it's still a solid resource. I do like to sub in parts from Cat Bordhi's books, and of course I couldn't just leave the pattern alone. Rather than knit top-down with an uncertain amount of yarn, I switched the pattern to toe-up. I subbed in Cat Bordhi's reinforced heel, and also knit both the toe and the heel in a coordinating yarn. I also pulled my favorite trick and wrapped the to-be-slipped stitches twice when working the previous row. My sock is stretchy and comfortable!

Classy Slip-Up Socks
The wool seemed a bit rough to touch and when working it, but after just one wearing the bottom has fulled up nicely into a very soft fabric. The colors striped in a surprisingly similar fashion considering I had spun the roving up without a plan or a clue.

For my first handspun socks, these are a complete win!!

1 comment:

Araignee said...

There is NOTHING better than handspun socks. They can be spun from the scratchiest yarn and end up totally mismatched but the minute you put them on it's always true love!