Posts tagged ‘artisan yarn’

………Sock Scarves (part 2)

6.  After you have knitted a series of heels and toes end with knitting a toe.  Knit a few rows of waste yarn and remove it from the sock machine.  You will have something that looks like this:

7. I turn the whole thing inside out so that I can weave in ends as well as close the foot by grafting on the wrong side. Here:

For handknitting I close the foot from the right side of the fabric with the knitting still on the needles. With most traditional sock patterns  you  close the toe at the tip of the toe. Since I’m doing short row toes I close the toe at the ball of the foot instead. You graft it the same way but you have more stitches and the grafting is under your foot when you are done. It looks like this on the needles:

8. I usually steam block my scarves to straighten them out and make all the heels and toes lie flat.

That’s it! Its fun to dress up your sock scarves with beads on the picot hem or change colors randomly or at the heels and toes. You can make them wider by using a larger csm cylinder, and longer or shorter by changing your row count. Its fun to experiment with the way the heels and toes create curves in the scarf.  Instructions will be on my website under Patterns. Here’s a few  from my collection:

What do you get when…..(part 1)

What do you get when … you get carried away with heels and toes? Whimsy, a sock scarf. I used to demonstrate antique circular sock machines at fiber and knitting events. I found that like at most public demonstrations you get many of the same questions over and over from each group of people passing by. On a sock machine most people really want to see how you knit a heel or a toe. After many hours of knitting heels and toes you end up with a wonderful Dr Suess-ish scarf. I can’t tell you how many of these I have made over the years but I can share with you how I knit them. After repeated requests for a pattern, I’ve finally written it out so you can hand knit along with me. Whimsy  If you happen to have an antique circular sock machine, here’s my method: (written csm instructions in a pdf format will be available soon too!)

1. Make a cup of tea, choose carefully.

2. Set up your sock machine and cast on in the usual way. I’ve got my Money Maker A right here:

3. Knit 5-7 rows, turn a picot row, knit 5-7 more rows and rehang your hem.

4. Start knitting again. Knit as you would for the leg of a sock.  Then you are going to turn a heel.

5. Now after your heel, knit some more rounds for the foot of the sock. Make toe but don’t csat off.

That’s the basic idea. Heels and toes, toes and heels, on and on.  Stay tuned for part 2 for details and the finished results.

Just a little bit of new yarn…..

I’m doing simple relaxing things this week after all the excitement and activity of Stitches West and my Trunk Show. Both events were great and fun and exhausting. Everything seems to come at once! So far this week I’ve done the laundry, went to the grocery store and oh… posted a tiny bit of new yarn. (Select Single) Really there is just a little of this. Its the 2012 club yarn dyed in an assortment of colors. Its something new for me, a single (ply – one strand) alpaca/wool/silk blend. I don’t usually like singles but this one holds it shape and has just the right amount of twist. It also has SILK in it – how can you go wrong with silk???? Both alpaca and silk are long strong fibers,  they blend well together, no short ends poking their way out of the yarn, they compliment each other. The crimpy wool adds loft to the otherwise dense and straight alpaca/silk blend. The resulting yarn is soft, strong, shiny and just plain lovely!

Designer Interview with Fiberdev

With 2012 right around the corner and plans for the One Skein Club in the works I thought it would be fun to get to know the designer behind the patterns. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jocelyn Blair, a prolific knitter and designer, over the past couple of years. Here in her own words:

Did you like crafts as a kid? What was your favorite toy?

Yes!  I loved the gadgets. I learned to tat with shuttles.  I adored my little plastic sewing machine.  I made tons of potholders using those loops and I had a Barbie knitting machine (maybe that’s why I like sock machines so much).

How did you get started as a designer?

Well it was mostly an accident, but I suppose it really was a natural transition from knitting other designs.  I was always intrigued at how things came together.  I have quite a collection of stitch pattern books and always want to try some stitch patterns out on socks.  Socks are the most satisfying things to try out stitch patterns.  I love knitting socks!

Do you do other crafts/arts besides knitting?

I can sew, my Mom was a seamstress so I learned that first.  I’ve made some quilts and I’ve done embroidery, I still have a sampler to complete from when I first got married!  I learned to spin and weave after I learned to knit.  And then there’s the sock and flatbed machines.

Are you ever surprised at what you are doing now?

I’m always surprise at what I’m doing!  Especially when I actually finish a project!

Do you have a favorite pattern/design? Why is it your favorite? What is your favorite item to design?

The last one, which was Mesquite Flat, but it’s always the most recent.  My most favorite item to design would probably be socks, but a close second is triangle shawlettes – I want to do more of those!!!

What is your approach to design? What comes first: pattern stitch, idea of an item,…?

A theme.  I find you have to limit your stimulus.  Kinda like having a big box of crayons, if you have too many options it’s harder to settle on something.  For the club I usually wait until I know the yarn, the color and the destination.  For the 2012 club I’ll have to decide the item first and that’s going to depend a lot on the yarn itself. 

What is your biggest challenge?

Once I have the item then I try to find a pattern stitch – that’s the hardest part I think.  For socks it’s a matter of working the stitch into the sock.  The same is true for non-sock patterns as well.  But some things will be more important than others .  Repeatability is very important for socks both in row count and stitch count.  For cowls,  scarves and shawls you have to figure in the shape and which way the pattern will repeat.

What is next for you and your work?

Handwerks 2012 One Skein Yarn Travel Club!

Do you have any advice for new designers?

Go for it.  You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with.  It really helps you become a better knitter and observer of all things.

Where can we find more of your designs and hear about what you do?

Ravelry is the best place to find all my designs.  My RavID isfiberdevyou can also get to my blog from my profile.

Winter Mittens

Here is another lovely pattern from Twist Collective, Perianth, designed by Barbara Gregory. Two skeins of So-Soft Sock, Night and Lavender, is enough for a pair for you and for a gift. I’m excited about cold weather!

2011 year of socks

I’ve just mailed out the last of the 2011 sock yarn travel club mailings. I’ve enjoyed the club for so many reasons. Its given me the chance to continue to work with the talented designer, Jocelyn Blair (aka Fiberdev on Ravelry) as well as explore new colorways. I love being able to play with themes and focus on a select group of skeins; mixing dyes, shifting colors, getting everything just right, watching the dyes strike and forever change the white yarns. Sometimes the themes came first, giving me ideas for possible colorways, other times I started dyeing and the colors inspired the theme. I’m influenced by my surrounds and have taken in the colors of the landscape without even noticing until… there, they show up in my dye pot!

Hope you enjoyed it.

Laura

 and the yarns

Ready for a roadtrip?

Knit Together, a new yarn and fiber shop has just opened in Exeter, California.  It caters to knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers alike. They have a wonderful selection of yarns from both big companies and small indie dyers (yes, me! ). The spinning corner looks so inviting with its baskets of fiber and  large mural tree. I’m torn between wanting to sit under its “shade” and spend an afternoon with the rovings or plan my next warp in front of the beautiful cones of weaving yarns on the wall. The owner has included something for all my favorite crafts in her new shop. I’m so glad I found Knit Together and thrilled she found Handwerks yarns!

I’m ready for a roadtrip!

%d bloggers like this: