Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lots to Learn

The first handspun sock is all knitted up and it is mighty dense! It was not fun to knit.  The second sock is on the needles and is also working up just about as dense, and just about as annoying to knit.  While the yarn was more lightly plied, it came out thicker and fluffier, but I'm working it on the same size needles so the fabric has about the same density.  Here are the socks, posed with their respective yarns, for comparison:

I wish you all could give the fabric a feel and see the yarns for yourself. Another consideration is how much of the density of the fabric is the result of the knitting and is there any performance differences between a sock that is dense due to spinning, vs one that is dense due to plying?

It's interesting, this learning by internet wisdom thing.  While I have lots of theoretical spinning knowledge, I don't have the practical experience that makes it useful. I've read lots of places to put more twist in the singles and the plying when making sock yarn, but the practical question is how much more? More is relative, a fuzzy logic problem if you will. (heh) So this is a grand opportunity for me to learn through trial and error, experimentation and most likely some small disasters.  Hopefully, not too many.

 Next up on the wheel, surprise, more sock yarn! I decided that I should work up some handspun, handknit socks for Father's day for my dad. There's plenty of time yet, right?  Right? Fiber on the wheel is Cupcake Fiber Company's SW BFL with nylon, the only thing that will do for a gift.

In the category Husbands say the cutest things, Jim was watching me plying and I was talking to him about the lazy kate.
He asked "Why is it called a lazy kate?"
I replied, "I don't know. I guess it's because kate was too lazy to tension the bobbins on her own."
Thoughtful man returned "Well, that's silly. It should be called a clever kate, cause it's a smart idea."


  1. The socks look good and they will be durable. Good luck with the next ones you are working on. I was thinking about knitting socks for my Dad too and was wondering if I could finish them in time and I certainly am not spinning the yarn as well!!!

  2. Isn't it fun to see a sock and think you spun the yarn for it? Very nicely done! And that green your are spinning for your dad's socks is beautiful.

  3. Oh boy, you DO think a lot about spinning. I don't do that at all. I spin everything the same. For me it's right, when the singles hold together well, and the yarn after plying too. The times when I have overplied the yarn it was because the intact of the wheel didn't work.
    I like to use 3-ply yarn for socks, or chain plied, which is softer. I use 2-ply for lace, and other stuff but not for socks if I can help it.
    You probably just need more practice. Good luck with your father's day project!

  4. And a clever hubby too! :)

  5. Lots of time til Fathers Day:) I think all the great inventions in the world were invented by lazy people. And I say thanks.

  6. If Kate is so clever, I think it should be called Lazy Laurie! You've been out-doing yourself lately... and I enjoy watching!