At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Click on any photo to see a larger image....


Here's my contribution to the recent wave of finished socks:

The yarn is one of the Opal self-striping colorways. I don't know if it was one of the Mexiko or Southwestern designs, but I love the pink/red/purple/orange/brown/turquoise stripes. I knitted both socks almost entirely during meetings at work--fifteen minutes here, an hour there--so they are a testament to doing a little bit at a time. I use a basic top-down pattern on three DPNs. The gauge is 7.5st/inch on #2s.


Taking some excellent advice from Elaine, I'm knitting a double-sized swatch in the Little Cable Fabric stitch I mentioned earlier. Actually, this is not a real cable pattern, but involves crossing one stitch over two stitches every fourth row. The fabric is reasonably balanced and not too dense. I think it will work well for the vest.

Question: do any of you routinely full your handspun before knitting with it? I was reading an article in a back issue of Spin-Off in which fulling--by alternately plunging the yarn into hot and cold water--was recommended to shrink the yarn before it is used in a garment. All I usually do is wash in hot water to set the twist. Thoughts?


This is an idea I'm toying with. From left to right: yearling mohair locks dyed in brazilwood, logwood, annatto; washed lock from a Coopworth hoggett fleece from Hatchtown Farm; more yearling mohair dyed in dark cochineal and light cochineal dyebaths. The mohair was mordanted with 8% alum and 7% tartar prior to dyeing. I'm thinking of trimming the lighter tips off the Coopworth locks and blending them with naturally dyed mohair or tussah noil (as yet undyed) on handcards. I might have to trim the mohair (7" staple) down to blend more successfully with the Coopworth (4-5" staple). It's just fun to look at the individual locks and see the potential yarn....


I know no one will be shocked to hear that the dyebath is still blue. The odor knocks the breath out of my body whenever I take the lid off. I think I might have over-heated the solution early on and thereby derailed the entire process. My plan is to give the dyepot until Sunday night. If there's no color change by then, I'll neutralize the pH with vinegar and dispose of the dyebath, which doesn't contain any other biohazards other than the primordial stink.


I'm still waiting for my two patients to go into labor. I'm sleeping with my beeper next to my pillow, and hoping for the onset of labor before Friday or after Sunday lunch--I'm off this weekend!