Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, look -- shiny!


Yeah, I'm a bit behind the trend -- nothing unusual there -- but I finally got around to trying out one of the tencel blends. You know, the ones that make you say, "Oh, look -- shiny!!"




In this case, Shiny also happens to be the name of the yarn. It's from Twisted, in the Angst colourway, 50/50 superwash merino/tencel.

Shiny it is. Also, stripy it is.

I'd started these way back last spring and they sat around for a while. I finally picked them again this fall, ready for a heel. But, hmmm, what heel should I do?

It was about this time that Fleegle returned to the healthy. I took that as a sign that it was time to try her toe-up heel, but top down, of course. Luckily, it works beautifully either way. It's written for two circs, but translates easily to DPNs. Not only is it beautiful, but it is


no fuss, no muss
no flap, no wrap
and
no hole.


A thing of beauty indeed.


Easiest heel I've ever knit. Just a gusset, a very big heel turn and then a little piece of magic that completely eliminates that hole that can sometimes happen at the corner.


And how does it fit?


Perfectly. Thank you, Fleegle!


Unfortunately, I can't really say that I love the yarn. I like the colours, particularly that blue stripe that fades in and out, but the yarn felt kind of hard and plasticky. I'm hoping it softens up in the wash. It had a slight tendency to split, which was much more noticeable when doing increases and decreases. I have more of this blend in stash and will knit it up eventually, but I don't think I'll be getting any more.


In the Other News Department, I continue to practise my spindling, trying to get in 20 or 30 minutes every day. It really does make a difference, and I can see and feel the progress. My consistent spots are happening more, well, consistently.


It's still not as tight as I want it, but the size is right. I've been over-twisting the singles and then balancing when plying. I've received some very helpful advice from Micki (thanks, Micki!) to over-ply as well and then balance when setting the twist, so I'll be giving that a try this weekend. This spinning stuff is like a whole new world that I knew was out there but was successfully ignoring. I'm glad I've opened the door just a little bit, because it's been good for the mind and the hands to try something different.

35 people had something to say:

Marcia said...

That heel looks great! I'll have to give it a try.

Jean said...

The socks fit nicely, too bad about the yarn, the stash yarn could be made into cowls, perfect quick presents for the ladies in your life. By the way the colorway on this yarn is appealing, I may have to give that heel a try.

Bea said...

Hi Dave,

for me, the reason to begin spinning was that I didn't get fine yarn in the quality I wanted to have. Not so much poly in it, a wool that doesn't scratch, colours of own choice. That were the reasons to buy a spinning wheel.

Now it has changed. Now spinning is a kind of meditation for me. When I feel bad, spinning helps me to relax, to find back to myself.

But I never tried a spindle.

By the way. Until now I couldn't find a sock yarn which is as warm as my handspun German Merino sock. German Merino is a semi fine wool, comparable to New Sealand wool.

Lots of fun with your spinning experiments.

Bea

Tallguy said...

So great to see you are starting spindling! The most fun a guy can have and not spend much money at all! haha

It does look like you are consistent in your spinning, and doing it very fine. But I do think that you are not plying with enough twists. From here, it looks like it's fighting for a bit more, and you are not letting it. Try to ply a bit and then just let the spindle hang; it should find the right amount by itself.

I tend to spin very tight, and then over-ply at bit, because I like the yarn like that. It doesn't look balanced but after washing, it seems to be just right. I love it!! I have some pics to post on my blog soon, then I can show you.

Esoteric Knitter said...

I love the look of the socks. Such pretty colors. Suck that you weren't so happy with the yarn. :(

Thanks for the link to Fleegle's blog, gotta try that technique.

Carrie said...

Your spinning looks great, and so quickly, too! Putting time in every day is really paying off for you. I learned that trick about overtwisting the singles, and I love it! I have softer yarn now. And I love the sock heel! It looks great.

fleegle said...

Aww, thank you! I am glad you like the heel. I created it because Roy hated the little flap seam and short row heels didn't fit him very well.

The stripes are eye-popping....but I agree with you about the tencel. It's so pretty, but I didn't like knitting with it. And it's actually a bit itchy, too.

Your spinning is looking better and better!

Alwen said...

Wow, those blue stripes glow on my monitor! Shiny.

I have a tencel shirt, and the texture was described to me as "peach bloom". Interesting to know how the wool-tencel blend felt while knitting.

Angelika said...

I thought there could only be so many ways to turn a heel and look, somebody came up with yet another one. Interesting.

Monika said...

The heel looks interesting. Will give it a try someday. I have tencel/merino blend sock yarn in my stash. The thing which keeps me from using it, are the multitude of colors. Too wild. Good progress on your spinning. IT is fun, isn't it? :o)

Paula said...

Thanks for sharing that heel technique. It looks great. And your spindling is looking really good too! You know, you can knit with that stuff too.

Kay-From the Back Yard said...

I love the color of those socks and the heel, too. It looks sort of like the Strong Heel, only the turn looks different. But the splittiness of the yarn must have been a real booger (foreign word) when you did the make 1s.

Micki said...

Fantastic socks! Twisted's striping colorways are awesome. I've been wondering whether merino/tencel blends are well-suited for socks, though.

Your spinning is looking great too! It's so even--it definitely doesn't look like the work of a beginner. You're a natural. :)

LaurieM said...

The color way of that sock yarn in the skein reminds me very much of Fleece Artist, though it looks different knit up. I've booked marked the Fleegle heel. Your sock is excellent advertisement!

lexa said...

Love the heel. The colors are so nice, love the striping.

lexa said...

Love the heel. The colors are so nice, love the striping.

Kristen said...

MY FAVORITE COLOR IS SHINY.
I'm not kidding. I love that colorway, too.

I'm really glad to see you spinning! Now just move a little farther south and we can meet up in the middle of nowhere or something! Woo!

(I'd drive up to Ottawa, but I don't want to give the car any excuses to die.)

Norma said...

Nice heel and I do love those colors and they way they smudgily blend in. I know what you mean about tencel, though -- the sheen is lovely, the softness is great, but it does have a plasticky feel to it.

Great socks!

Kathleen Taylor said...

I love love love Twisted Fiberarts yarn, but I prefer the Playful (heavy fingering weight) and Arial (light fingering) superwash wools more than the blends (though I have only tried the Kabam! wool/bamboo blend, not the Shiny).

Your socks are gorgeous! And your spinning is coming along very well. You might want to try Twisted Fiber Arts rovings- I particularly like Festive (wool/silk) and their BFL (blue faced leicester) rovings.

SJ said...

That heel sounds genious! I must try it out next time I make a plain sock. (Hmm, maybe this is the time to use that self-striping yarn I dyed like two years ago.)

Joanne said...

Beautiful color, and excellent knitting.

Opal said...

I love your socks and your spinning? Your spinning is divine.

Kim said...

That is an interesting heel, I would like to try it.

Spinning for 20-30 minutes every day does, indeed, make a world of difference. The first spinning teacher I encountered recommended that jewel of advice!

gilraen said...

Lovely yarn and gorgeous socks Dave! :)

I've bookmarked that link, thank you :D

Briley said...

I think your spinning is amazing for the amount of time you have been doing it. I couldn't even imagine spinning yarn that consistent with a spindle. I'm sure you will get it just the way you want it in no time at all.

Your socks (as always) are beautiful. I would be interested to hear how the yarn wears over time, though. I have some merino/tencel roving that I have been wondering what to do with.

KnitNana said...

Cool socks! (I'm with you on the tencel stuff...)
And. Spindling. It looks great!

You're branching out, Dave's changing focus.
(sigh)
I'm gonna stay right where I am...
(((hugs)))

tiennie said...

The sock colors seem to just glow. I love how you can knit socks where the stripes seam to stay even!

Jean said...

I know how busy you are, but I had to nominate your blog for the I LOVE YOUR BLOG AWARD. So if you would be so kind to go to my blog for the rules and post the award on your blog... I think your blog is quite wonderful.

Julie said...

I haven't done many toeups mostly because I haven't yet found a heel I like- will have to check this one out. Thanks for the link!

Teyani said...

you are so funny - no muss, no fuss. indeed! The colors are fun.
So, the scoop is that tencel is a fiber made from trees, and yes, it'll soften and strengthen every single time you was it (which is theoretically good for socks)but, one of the bennies about tencel is also the 'drape'.. (sigh, no drapey socks please). I'll be interested to see how they hold up to the test of time :-)
And you spinning looks great! wow. Are you doing all of that with a drop spindle?? hmm - me thinks a wheel might be in your near future (heh heh)

Anonymous said...

Those socks are amazing! Don't you hate it when the yarn is great but next to your skin, not so great... I hope it softens up too for you.

Your spingle spinning is WONDERFUL! Do you ply on the spindle too? I haven't tried that yet....

Beth (big geek)

Carrie K said...

I'm still ignoring spinning. Hopefully the apocalypse will not be on us anytime soon. I think I have enough stash to ride it out. :)

Cute socks! Shiny! Sorry to hear about the plasticky feel. Hope it went away in the wash.

Marjorie said...

I was late knitting with tencel too, and my first was a wool-tencel from Brooks Farms (Acero--not a sock yarn). I loved the look and feel of the yarn. I think it will become silkier as you wash it.

jessie said...

I think your spinning looks great for how recently you've picked it up. Keep going, the more you do the more you want to do!

Denise said...

I really love that sock yarn.

I agree about spinning daily, it's only the way to improve.

Your yarn is very nice and even.