Monday, February 02, 2009

Lessons learned

They started with this beautiful BFL top from All Spun Up.



I've already posted about spinning it and plying it, which took, frankly, what seemed like forever.

But I think it was worth it.


I've learned that even if your yarn is a bit overspun and crunchy, it's still worthwhile knitting. Knitting will cover a multitude of sins, and you can cut out the worst parts. But next time, don't strangle it.

I've learned that handspun knits up a bit more sturdy than it looks, as the yarn is denser, so you can't just look at it and guess at a needle size. If you do, chances are that you'll have to rip it back and start over.

I've learned that my normal method of making matching socks by matching row counts doesn't really work when the yarn is uneven. I've also learned that I can live with one cuff being slightly shorter than the other. :-)

I've learned that handspun is warmer than commercial yarn. This is a good thing, since it's still the middle of winter.

I've learned that I still LOVE the Fleegle heel -- perhaps more than is healthy.



I've learned that even if it appears that a colour is disappearing when you're spinning it up, it can resurface in subtle ways and enhance the other colours -- witness the beautiful blue that's not apparent at first glance.

I've learned I love spinning sock yarn and knitting up socks with that yarn.


68 people had something to say:

lexa said...

I totally love them!! I bet they are nice and warm. I'll need wool socks, mittens, hats, etc, tomorrow. Got a NorEaster coming to dump like 25cm of snow on us. :(

Charity said...

Gorgeous! :o)

Julie said...

They are supercalifragilisticexpialidociuos! Gorgeous job, you're doing a pair for me next, right? ;)

cosymakes said...

they are beautiful! what a great accomplishment.

Yarndude said...

Seriously dude, it looks like you knit those out of Noro. Also, that heel is awesome! I'm sure the colors are fantastic as well, but my colorblindness makes it a bit tough to judge.

Amelia, belle of The Bellwether said...

Gorgeous! terrific spinning and yummy knitting. Fleegle heels are on my "todo" so it's great to see such a good photo of yours.

tiennie said...

Wow! I'm so impressed with your talent!

Marcia said...

Simply gorgeous! Well done!

Pat K said...

Amazing color progression. Super socks! Although I've never heard of that heel; I'll have to check it out.

Donna said...

Holy cow, these are inspiring - all of the work you've put into your spinning is paying off!

laura (knittinkitties) said...

i'll say it again, good sir--they look fantastic!

ulli said...

that i call some "good looking socks"!

Kay-From the Back Yard said...

Totally beautiful, Dave! And I didn't know all that stuff about hand spun yarn. Thank you for explaining.

Kerry said...

Wow! Tjose are just amazing Dave!

Trillian42 said...

Beautiful! Really, really gorgeous. I just knit with my own handspun for the first time, and I love it. I'm hoping to get to a point where I can spin sock yarn at some point.

Valerie said...

Those are just outrageously beautiful. What colors! I love the way they sort of drift from one color to another. You done awesome. Who cares if one's a bit shorter — I bet you won't notice it once you've had them on for a half-hour. If at all.

Katie K said...

It was so worth it (and those are my favorite colors, too)!

Opal said...

from roving to socks, this has been an amazing process to witness! and what a gorgeous end product you have to show for it! :)

Marlene said...

Yours socks are fantastic!

Michelle said...

Wow, your socks are spectacular! Absolutely gorgeous!

beadlizard said...

Beautiful work. So very glad you have enjoyed the process. Look forward to seeing more handspun sock posts!

Are you comfortable with what you need to do to spin more consistently next time? --Sylvia

sheepish one said...

what craftsmanship.
to turn roving into finished socks is such an accomplishment!
although i've never spun, i share in some of your lessons learned, most recently the one about shorter cuffs...
again, great work, dave.

Jean said...

These socks are incredible, the colors works so well together, out of all the sock yarns you have had on your blog, this is my favorite. Great Job!!!!!

Paisley said...

Gorgeously splendiferous! Love the colours.

Jane said...

Incredible, spectacular, outstanding socks!

turtlegirl76 said...

Oh wow. Seriously. Wow.

Magaki said...

Wow!

SJ said...

Those are fabulous! And you are so right about socks knit with handspun yarn -- there is nothing better. Great job!

Esoteric Knitter said...

Love your socks! This is a great post.

Pat said...

Beautiful handspun yarn turned into beautiful socks - Those blues and greens are wonderful!! Someday I plan to do that....
But right now I gotta go look up the Fleegle heel!

Judy said...

Gorgeous handspun and lovely, lovely socks!

I'm a sucker for green, you know. And blue. And blue and green. Yeah.

Love 'em!

limedragon :-: Harriet said...

These socks are fabulous!! Love the shading and colors. : )

Kristyn said...

I love those colors. The socks are gorgeous!

Julia said...

Those are incredibly handsome socks. Nice work on the spinning and knitting!

Monika said...

Yeah! You are one of US now! ;o) There's no way back. I like your socks too. :o)

Mary Lou said...

10 below (f) this am - wool socks good! Those are a thing of beauty. I must check out that heel.

fleegle said...

Those are the most amazingly beautiful socks I have laid eyes on in years. The spinning is professional, the colors mouthwatering, and of course, the heel is just perfect :)

I hope sometime to be able to produce a pair of socks that can equal yours!

ps: being written from a hospital in Costa Rica. Every time I go somewhere, I seem to end up in the hospital. The plasma TV isn't as large as the one in Thailand, but the stained glass atrium is quite handsome. Worse, there is not a single yarn store in Costa Rica and I am down to my last skein. Life gets really tough, sometimes, you know?

deirdre said...

Absolutely gorgeous - and how satisfying to have done the whole thing (short of shearing) yourself...

Sarah said...

The coolest thing is you made those completely out of fluff. How great is that.

HPNY Knits said...

wonderful!!!! lovely shades and I bet warm.

sgeddes said...

totally worth it! The socks look great. I think handspun is warmer because of the typically heavier grist of handspun vs. commercialy spuin yarns.

Jennifer said...

Absolutely gorgeous! It's fun to see how a braid of roving can become a lovely pair of socks.

Agnes said...

Absolutely gorgeous colourway! Yeah, it's totally worth it.

BadCatDesigns said...

Your spinning and those socks are just gorgeous! The colors are amazing...

Lorette said...

Those are just gorgeous! Noro schmoro. Yours are better.

Morticcia said...

Breathtaking.

knottygnome said...

those are gorgeous! i love looking at handspun socks.

lori said...

totally awesome.

MmmYarn said...

Those are fabulous!! I have yet to spin sock yarn... you have given me great incentive.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful pair of socks. Homespun does seem warmer than commercial yarn...I don't know if it is because we make it ourselves...or if it truly is warmer. I know I feel better wearing handmade as opposed to store bought.
Stay warm :)

EGunn said...

That's a lot of lessons, and some very valuable ones! Handspun does seem to be a lot denser than commercial yarn, doesn't it? I love the color shading on the socks, and they look wonderfully warm.

Carrie K said...

Handsome handspun handknit socks, Dave!

Alwen said...

Oh my BOB those are beautiful socks! I don't know whether to love or hate you, or just steal your socks. Talk about a sit down & fan myself colorway.

Zonda said...

Just gorgeous socks! Sounds like you learned a lot! :)

Marjorie said...

Those are beautiful.

lisette said...

Beautiful socks!! Real pretty colours!!

eca said...

these are GORGEOUS!

Kyle Kunnecke said...

amazing - I LOVE the color - and the fact that you spun the yarn then hand knit... what a labor of love!

and in my fav. colors! :)

bockstark.knits said...

I heart this post and the socks. They are gorgeous!!! I'll have to try that fleegle heel one day!

Faith said...

Your socks are totally gorgeous! I'm always amazed at how much better my handspun gets when I knit with it too. I'll have to check out the fleegle heel, it sounds interesting.

Jeri said...

oh, man. those are wicked beautiful! way to go!

nova said...

Definitely worth it, they look great!

Jackie said...

Your socks are gorgeous!

Elinor said...

Beautiful! One of my local knitting friends is all about this heel too and I think I'm going to give it a go, once my sock mojo returns! Looks great!

monica said...

Your socks are gorgeous. Your spinning is fantastic. And I love the colors you choose. Simply beautiful.

jessie said...

I am skimming old blog posts and am loving all your spinning. Nice to see color in the depths of February!

Anyway, these socks are my favorite and it's pictures like these that will cause people to take up spinning. Nice job.

Teyani said...

wow.wow.wow

Jeanne said...

May I just say officially that these socks are truly some of the most beautiful I have ever seen?