Year of Projects – week 32/52

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Knitting

Well my 2nd pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks are finished!  I am honestly thinking why bother doing other patterns, when this fits my small feet so well (using 2mm needle).  It is more interesting than just vanilla knitting (sockinette/K3P1 on alternate rows).  The pattern was free on Ravelry.  I love this yarn, in electric light it has warm colours and in daylight cool colours!  

I can’t stick to the official Grocery Girls Sock bash KAL rules, as it says 1 x 6” leg pair or 2 shorties a month, and I just want to make 12 pairs of socks this year and don’t want socks that long.  But this month’s theme is cables, so I may still have a go at some cable socks….or may just have another pair like these!  Shall we have a sweepstake on how many pairs end up being this pattern lol!?

Void has soooo many stitches now (about 274 …kept losing count) and I am just finishing the 2nd ball of Rowan Lima yarn and there are 4 more balls of yarn to go (you stop at 404 stitches wide) and my head explodes with thinking how the heck this is supposed to be knit on one circular needle, my current needle is 100cm long and I think I’ll need to order a longer interchangeable cable to accommodate the stitches.  The other issue is how long it takes to knit each row and its just going to keep getting longer….but then I really want it finished as its sooo soft and warm alpaca yarn that feels lovely and I want to wear it whilst its still cold.  Progress since last time is shown by the marker.  I also included a photo of the yarn close up, very unusual construction…but think of all that warm air it will trap…this is going to be so cosy to wear.

 

There’s been some people talking about yarn and needle elitism on Instagram, with many of the most popular YouTubers and Instagram account holders only buying very expensive, indie dyed yarns only for it to sit in a stash that may never get knit with.  My yarn stash is relatively small and very mixed and this Rowan Lima yarn I bought for £3 for all 6 skeins at a local de-stash sale.  I think Ripplescrafts yarn lasts really well and is my most used yarn, but I believe in trying to support Highland small businesses.  

I do ooh and aaah at the beautiful colourways that lots of indie yarn producers post and I see phases of ‘must have’ yarns that you find everyone suddenly using and I’ll admit I was feeling jealous and if I was still working I would probably have bought but have no time to knit with.  But as I have no income and I am spinning yarn myself and have a lot of undyed yarn to practice dyeing myself, I am on a yarn buying freeze!  I haven’t bought any finished yarn since October.  (Only yarn for dyeing.).  

Regardless of how expensive or cheap a yarn is, if the finished object is practical and beautiful then what does it matter?  I am interested to hear your thoughts.

Spinning

I continued to spin the brown North Ronaldsay wool, making more rolags and spinning them long draw (you allow some twist between your two hands whilst moving your hands apart and don’t smooth out the fibres, this makes a warm woollen spun yarn).  I am definitely improving in this method, although I seem to get a sore left shoulder and right knee, as I am not used to this method or position yet!  It is all spun and ready for plying into 3 ply, so I will show the finished yarn next week. 

Felting 

Just to explain, my slipper booties aren’t finished yet so no pic…more on why later.  But after some comments last week I thought I should explain these were felted from Icelandic fibre tops and lined with merino wool tops, so no knitting involved.  

You can make slippers by knitting them first and then felting them, but to me that seems a much longer process than just felting the fibre.  Another option, if you’ve accidentally felted a wool jumper in the washer or tumble dryer then you can use that felted fabric to sew some slippers or gloves!  I have seen YouTubers buying old wool jumpers/sweaters from charity shops/thrift stores and making pairs of mittens, slippers and scarf from one old jumper after they’ve felted it on a hot wash!  Great if you are on a budget.

I did use half of my homedyed bluefaced leicester fibre to make a nuno felted scarf.  Nuno felting is where you felt wool and silk together.  On a blank white silk voil scarf I lay out the fibres in roughly vertical stripes one side and horizontal stripes the other and then put additional coloured locks, tussah silk and silk scraps.  Then felted slowly to allow the wool fibres to go through the silk and felt together.  The result is a very lightweight but warm scarf that can be worn on either side up. 

I know what your thinking…these colours match my new socks lol!  

 

The idea with felting is you lay the fibres in horizontal and then vertical layers, so that when they are wet the barbs on the fibre open up and start to lock together, then I use olive oil soap and friction from bubble wrap and tools made for felting.  I can spend hours on Pinterest looking at the amazing felt creations people make.  

There are so many amazing Russian and Belarusian feltmakers, I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos of felting and even if I don’t understand what they are saying I can see how they are doing things.  Here’s a link to my Pinterest wet felting folder with some ideas I’ve pinned, includes some of my own creations.

Side tracked!

On my slippers…I have tacked the sole to the bottom, but need to properly sew them on, when I work out the right yarn to do that.  I planned to finish them on Saturday, but we drove down to the Cairngorms National Park (about an hour south) and went for a walk around a frozen Loch Morlich in the snow. Nothing to do with YOP but thought I’d share some pics anyway 😀  

It was only -5°C/23°F so nowhere near the low temperatures the USA has been getting.  

Top picture is our dog Ylva on the lochside beach, the photo bottom left there are some people in the distance doing cross country skiing around the loch.  We passed more people on skis than walking, so it is obviously increasing in popularity.  There is hill skiing nearby too.

 

 

If you would like to see what the other YOP members are up to check out our Ravelry group for the links to their posts.

13 comments

  1. Hermiones Everyday Socks is such a great pattern and it looks great in solid, variegated and speckled colours, it really is no wonder you want to knit more of them!
    My thoughts on yarn elitism is that while I won’t ever apologise for what I spend my spare cash on I also don’t give into the pressure there is to have this yarn, this needle and it’s even in the knitting of certain patterns. I don’t agree with that pressure at all and when I restarted my podcast that was one of the aims I wanted, I just wanted to connect with people who were knitting what they liked knitting because they liked it, because it was useful to them and because they had a need for it not because it was knit with this yarn or this needle or because it’s this pattern. When I say I walk my own path with my hobby, that’s exactly what I mean, I don’t give into those pressures because I just don’t care about them. It’s irrelevant to me when you chat with me about knitting what yarn, needle and pattern you’re using or indeed what colour your skin is. I wish to just connect with like minded makers and talk about what they are enjoying making and what it’s bringing to them and their lives at that moment. I hope that makes some sense.
    Again love reading and seeing your spinning and felting, and thank you for sharing your pics of your walk. I loved seeing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your socks and the colour is awesome! As is the felting. Interesting to hear that so many people are cross country skiing in Scotland. I totally agree with Ruth about yarn elitism. I can’t afford anything elitist anyway. I started to knit long before the Internet and social media and I still knit today for the reason that I like it. That’s it. All for their own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess because I only have learned to knit in the last year and a half and used YouTube a lot for learning it did seem like everyone was using expensive yarns. We were pleasantly surprised to see so many skiers on our walk…too much like hard work for me.

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  3. Those socks are gorgeous. The colors are lovely. Maybe I should try that pattern?

    I like to knit with nice yarn. “Nice” to me is natural fibers with a soft hand. I love wool and alpaca.

    I don’t buy much hand dyed yarn. I prefer solids. But when I see socks like yours it makes me think I should branch out a little. Anyway, I think people should knit with whatever they enjoy. My knitting time is so precious to me, I really want to enjoy it, so I probably spend a little more on yarn than some others might. I work very hard, though, so it’s a way I reward myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the hermiones everyday sock – I also love the blueberry waffle for fit. I like buying and knitting with expensive yarn, but I earn a reasonable wage and don’t spend my money on anything else, other than my boys. I also use it as I knit quite a lot. But I don’t look down on other yarn or someone that uses other yarn. And I do use other yarns, just that I like buying indie yarn.

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  5. Those socks are beautiful, Liz. I can see why you’d be content to make them over and over. I enjoyed reading about your felting process. I understand it on some level as I’ve crocheted some items I’ve felted, but I wasn’t sure exactly how you went about felting your fibers.

    My thoughts about yarn elitism are pretty much my thoughts about any form of elitism. It’s unnecessary and unattractive. I’m sometimes interested in knowing what yarns people use simply because I might be interested in using something if I find it attractive, but if it’s mentioned with any suggestion of snobbery, I’m turned off and will tune out. Frankly, I’m just as interested in knowing what “big box store” acrylic someone has used if I love it in a project as I would be about a rare sheep breed wool if I were in the market for it. On the opposite end of the spectrum I feel a bit confused when people apologize for using acrylic, or inexpensive yarns. I sort of understand it. When I was new to the fiber world, I felt the pull to do that when in a forum with yarn “connoisseurs”, but I overrode the pull. It is much healthier-minded to embrace that we should all make what we want. Use what we like. And make no apology or derision of our own or others’ choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As always, such a great job with all your projects! You always work on such interesting things! As far as yarn snobbery, all the yarns have their uses. Sometimes it’s nice to knit with indie hand-dyed fancy fibers, but there is definitely a place for acrylics and lower priced yarns.
    Also, love your socks! It’s always great when you find a pattern that fits your feet perfectly. And these look great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your explanation of felting and then making and item was an eye opener for me. What a great way to save some time! Your socks came out great and I have to agree, that is one of the best patterns ever. It can be used for men and womens socks.

    As for Elitism………I have been turned off by many people who turn their nose up at yarns, simply because they are not the proper fiber content or price. It has even happened at my LYS! I love working with Diversity sock yarn and was told it was ‘crap’ yarn by my LYS. Really? I have socks made from it that have lasted for several years and are washed and dried by machine! Since I am wool sensitive, I have a small choice of yarns I can use for clothing items. I feel, if the yarn makes YOU happy and you get the result you want from it. Then it is the PERFECT yarn for you. No matter the fiber content or cost. I have seen some gorgeous items made with Red Heart Super Saver yarn and some horrible items made with super expensive BFL yarn. Elitism has no place in my knitting world!

    Wow…..I feel better now LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Hermione’s Everyday Sock pattern. It is one of my favorites and I should make another pair. Yes, you can definitely see what colors you lean towards. The sock yarn you used for HES is beautiful. I am really interested in your Void shawl. I think it’s a b it advanced for me and I doubt I could afford all that yarn! LOL!
    Thank you for sharing the lovely scenery and your beautiful dog.

    Liked by 1 person

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