I have been really lax about doing WIP Wednesday posts. In part that is because I haven’t been doing as much spinning and knitting recently, but it’s also because I have been terrible about taking photos of my crafting, and terrible about posting in general. I’m going to try to do better this year!
I spun this yarn last fall, from fiber that Robin gave me for Christmas 2020. This past week, I finally got it off the bobbin, soaked and dried it to set the twist, then weighed, measured, and photographed it. It’s BFL (Bluefaced Leicester) wool, hand-dyed by Quillin Fiber Arts in her “Salish Sea” colorway: shades of emerald, teal, and olive. The large skein is about 129 yards of squishable softness in a 2-ply yarn; it averages 7.5 wraps per inch, so it’s between an Aran and a bulky yarn in weight, depending on which authority you consult. The small skein is a little over 8 yards, and was plied from what was left on one bobbin, using the Andean plying bracelet technique.
I started these socks in October, and finished them last week, although there were plenty of weeks in between when I didn’t work on them at all. They are knit from Opal sock yarn using two circular needles (US 1.5), and are light and warm and comfortable. The pattern is Ann Budd’s 8-stitches-per-inch recipe from her book, Getting Started Knitting Socks. The colors reminded me of jeans and roses, so I call these my “Denim Rose” socks.
These are the third or fourth pair of socks I have knit on US size 1.5 needles. Before that, I used size 1 needles, which are slightly smaller. I switched because the fabric of the socks I was making was coming out very dense and thick. But I used to knit very, very tightly, and I think I have eased up a little in recent years. At any rate, I find that last few pairs of socks knit on size 1.5 needles tend to stretch out and remain stretched out until they are washed, whereas the older ones knit on size 1 needles stay snug even after several wearings. So I think I will go back to size 1 needles for my next pair, and see if the smaller needles work better now that my yarn tension is a little looser than it used to be.
(For anyone who is wincing over the idea of wearing socks several times before washing: Wool is odor-resistant and good at thermoregulation, so your feet don’t tend to sweat as much, and the socks don’t tend to smell even after several days’ wear. So wool socks, and for that matter, wool sweaters and slacks and shirts, don’t need to be washed as often as similar garments made from other fabrics.)
NOTE: As of several years ago, Ravelry’s new site design has caused some users to experience eye strain, migraines, dizziness, and even seizures, rendering the site unusable for those individuals. Although the Ravelry team did eventually offer some optional modifications and an alternate color palate that is gentler on the eyes, Ravelry has still not fully addressed the harm done to users. (To minimize the risk, set your Ravelry settings to “reduce motion” and “freeze animations,” and choose the “Herdwick” light setting.) For the sake of those who still cannot safely use the site or choose not to use it, I will clearly label all Ravelry links and provide alternate links whenever possible. (Since many designers sell their patterns only through Ravelry, I can’t always provide an alternate pattern link.)
- Salish Sea BFL handspun yarn: My project page on Ravelry. Fiber dyed by Quillin Fiber Arts.
- Denim Rose socks: My project page on Ravelry. 8 Stitches per Inch Socks pattern available on Ravelry, or in Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd (Goodreads link)