Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thundering Forward!

That's what the Alpaca do at That'll Do Farm when Farmer Gal opens the gate so they can head out to play on the hill. I think the goats were a little miffed that they were still stuck in the barn, but I am sure they will also have their chance to romp in the pasture. . .and I know that a goat hill is in the planning phase, so there will be ample opportunity for goat's-play in their future!
I visited the farm for the first ever "Sit-n-Knit" there yesterday (I played a little hooky from work). One of the farmer gals writes a pretty good blog, "laugh-out-loud-in-a-room-by-yourself" funny, about the going's on of the livestock and their keepers. Since my visit, this place promises to become one of my very favorite places, especially since the chickens are friendly and the proprietor gives yarny gifties from time to time. . .see that mitt there? A little sample from Charm, one of my new alpaca friends. I think that this is my first experience with knitting alpaca, and this soft and fine, silky yarn (mixed 90/10 with a little merino) has me and my needles hooked! This mitt was turning out a little large, so I pulled it out to start over on a few less stitches. . .secretly, I am glad that I get to knit it again! It is luscious! I will be buying more of this. . .yarn diet or not!

Not nearly as luscious, here is another yarn that I havespun (or over spun) and just recently plied. I am calling it a success, although not a smashing success. . .but, it is plied. :)
However, just like the knitting machine, I may be finding that spinning really is not my thing. I tried Navajo plying with these singles that I had spun some time ago, and while I was plying, I thought it was going well. It felt mostly soft, and did not seem over-spun or kinky. . .until I gave it a soak, which I have read that you should do with your plied yarns before knitting them. However, when my yarn hit the water, it really kinked up, and I had to weight it pretty good while it was drying. . .the resulting yarn is a little kinky, a little wiry, and doesn't really seem like it will make for fun knitting. I guess there's not that much there (maybe a bookmark?), so it's not such a big deal, but I am getting a little frustrated with the spinning.

I am quite happy to report that I am NOT frustrated with the knitting! As a matter of fact, I am quite enjoying the September socks, Squall in Zitron Trekking XXL, which is a funny name for a super thin yarn! I am knitting these on 2mm needles, 72 sts around for my "average woman's foot." I love that this yarn looks "stormy (not sure of the colorway, but it's dark blues/greys), and the pattern is squall. . .and it's fall, when the rains come and the days get a little gray. . .perfect! More of a review on this sock when it is finished, I promise!
However, if you absolutely need a "Sock in Review" today, well you are in luck! Up this week are the Catnip Socks I picked for the April edition of my Sock Club, although they were completed before April even began. . .more about why that was a good thing on Saturday! These socks were worked in Lion Brand Sock-Ease, in the Rock Candy colorway, which I did not realize was a self-striping yarn until I was well established on the first sock.

This pattern was not my first toe-up sock, but it was my first toe-up with a reverse heel-flap and gusset. The lace was not too taxing, and the foot and leg sections seemed to knit up very quickly! For me, however, I really did not enjoy the reversed heel shaping. . .it was fiddly, and I was unfamiliar with the technique on such a small scale. (I used a similar technique on a larger scale to knit a top-down, set-in sleeve right into an armhole, and it did not seem as difficult. I am still not sure I like the way it looks, though.) I may try this heel-style again, and I would knit these socks again, without a second thought. . .I really like them!
If you are adventurous, and you like to try new things, give this heel construction a shot! Otherwise, knit it toe-up or top-down using your favorite heel. . .it's a wonderful sock!
And just like the Alpaca, I find that I am "Thundering Forward," in knitting and in life! There are Christmas projects on the needles, and a wedding, baby shower and bridal shower in the planning phases. I am so glad that the cooler weather has descended upon my little corner of the world, and I am knitting with wool to celebrate so many occasions. I hope that you can find something to celebrate in your life today!
Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!


  1. You lucky girl. Knitting with the Alpaca's and crazy funny farmer girl ;o)

  2. Except the alpaca's name was Charm, not Chance. I find it funny that you want to rename her -- but her wool is amazing -- but nothing about her is left to Chance. ;)

  3. Right you are, Trish! I have had mush for brains all day, and I am amazed that that was the biggest mistake I made in the blog! Ugh! But fixed now. . .thanks!

  4. Glad you enjoyed the thundering herd of hooves. They are quite the group when they get moving. The fingerless glove looks great -- you are a very fast knitter (and I mean that in a good way). I'm still working on my same ole scarf!

  5. So jelous of your farm knitting day and getting to knit with the farms actual alpaca yarn!