Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Will Knit For Stuff (part 2)

Yet another trade this spring!

In exchange for handmade salted caramels (oh wow oh wow I hoarded these)

I knit a pair of Firestarters.

She sent me the yarn, which was Wollmeise in Poison #5.

And I admit that I ate most of the pound and a half of the caramels all by myself (but only one or two at a time). I only shared with the kidlets if they performed significant tasks for me. My logic was--these socks took my time to knit up, so do something that frees up more of my time to knit.

Another fun exchange!


From String Theory Colorworks, we have Copper!

It arrived, and I cast on immediately. I used a modification of an old traditional pattern, Old Shale,

with my own version of the Bordhi-style riverbed heel.

This yarn is pure love!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Will Knit For Stuff (part 1)

Oooooh la la! I recently completed a trade where I sent handwarmers in exchange for an intricate lovely piece of embroidery. Check out what arrived in the mail!

Such incredible little details! Here's how the whole piece looks:

She has much nicer pictures of it here.

In exchange, I sent her 2 sets of hand warmers, to keep her toasty while stitching and in other occupations on that gloomy west coast.

The first are made of Bugga! in Horseshoe Crab.

And then, because one can never have enough hand warmers, a pair of Dashing made from Malabrigo Rios in Pearl Ten.

I think we are both pleased with the outcome of this exchange.  I've been admiring her extremely detailed intricate work for a while now, and was so very pleased for a chance to have one of my own.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Knitting with Wollmeise

I have recently been knitting with a skein of Wollmeise. I've owned some of this rare and highly-sought-after yarn for nearly a year, and just recently began actually knitting some. This skein is not actually my skein. I'm knitting the socks as trade.

I soon discovered a problem with the yarn. It's overtwisted. Way overtwisted. Twisted enough that the stitches won't sit straight, causing the socks to twist diagonally. It was unsightly and unacceptable. To solve this, I wound up letting the sock dangle every half row and spin out the overtwist. Consequently, I can't knit the socks two at a time, because they can't untwist when they're joined. And even worse, the knitting takes a lot longer because you're stopping every half row.

To test the twist of the yarn, I hold two spots on the yarn, and bring the dangling strands together. If they twist around themselves, they have too much twist. I pay attention to the direction the strands spin, and that's the direction I spin the sock.

If you hold the dangling strands close to each other and they just hang there, not twisting around each other, then the yarn is fine for knitting.

Perhaps the overtwist is a defining characteristic of this expensive yarn, but I couldn't knit with it that way. The knitted product was sloppy and twisty.  It's been a long process, knitting these socks while untwisting the yarn, but I'm nearly there.