Tag Archives: BFL

Tuffsock knitting: BFL/Texel/Silk

Dearest readers, there I was full of good intentions for more regular posting when I was struck down by illness!  Fret not–I am recovering, but all too slowly for a restless individual such as myself.  In the meantime, I am going to try finishing off outstanding posts and sharing them with you, now that I have a little more brain and a little less cotton wool between the ears…

This post is part of the Tuff Socks Naturally project, an open, collaborative project exploring more sustainable alternatives to superwash and nylon in sock yarn. You can join in on the discussion on this blog or on the blog of the fabulous Rebecca at Needle and Spindle or on instagram using the hashtag #tuffsocksnaturally (which you can now follow on instagram, a rather sweet feature).

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Here is a post at a mystery location (undoubtedly somewhere where waiting was leavened by knitting and idly thinking of the friend for whom these socks are destined).

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This looks more like travelling to or from a work engagement by public transport…

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I reached the final toe just as we were about to leave for Japan so I made a tactical decision to leave these at home and start another pair to maximise knitting relative to weight carried.

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Here is grafting going on, on the train. Out of focus.

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The whimsical cables have not lost their charm (for me at least).

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The subtle bands of colour created by the spinning are rather sweet I think–when I bought the roving I did not imagine it being so homogenised by the spinning, a sign that I was a naive spinner at the time!

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And for a clearer sense of the actual colour:

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BFL/Texel/Silk socks

 

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Some considerable time ago, I bought a blue faced leicester/texel/silk blend roving designed for socks, and spun it into three-ply yarn.  A very fine yarn!  I seriously overachieved on spinning sock weight.  I finally decided to buy finer needles in order to knit it, and now it has become my first pair of no-nylon, no-superwash socks for the #tuffsocksnaturally project.

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Here it is at a coffee shop where I believe I was knitting while reading (some of the) hundreds of pages of papers for a meeting.

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Here it is at the Park-n-Ride (that’s a car park servicing a train station, basically) where I get off the train and wait for the bus. There is just no way to know what the other passengers think of all the sock shenanigans.  A few offer me shy grins and one bus passenger recently told me she used to knit a lot but no one wants her knitting anymore.  I feel blessed for my friends, all over again!

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Here it is on the wide open road headed for a long weekend at Marion Bay. The photographer may have leaned over a bit.

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Marion Bay was glorious.  Here, I’ll show you a little bit. But also there were dolphins, lots of dolphins, emus, lots of emus, kangaroos, and ladybirds, lots of ladybirds, and very many, very shy birds indeed.

And here the socks are, finished, in all their whimsically cabled glory.

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Whimsically cabled socks

Socks take a little while to knit.  Maybe 20 hours or more of knitting for a pair in 4 ply (fingering).  To be honest, I’m not sure.  Needless to say, I don’t sit down and time myself knitting them. I don’t knit them on a whim, they way I do hats, which just sit about waiting for the right head to come by.  I want them to be well received and they need to fit in more senses than one.  So, a little while back, there was a tracing of the foot.  Then I checked the preferences of the intended recipient, ordered BFL/silk sock yarn, and dyed it with eucalyptus.  To get a good strong colour, I dyed the 100g of yarn in four dye baths.  These socks have travelled, because in those hours of knitting, socks-in-the-making are my constant companions, which is one of the lovely things about them.  I enjoy the knitting, and I enjoy holding the intended recipient in my mind for the time the knitting takes. Here is the first sock, and that week’s reading for theory reading group.

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They came with me to hospital to visit a complicated relative who had a near death experience, twice (she is still alive).  They may not have brought her comfort but they brought me comfort.  The second hospital visit was so dim I did something quite inappropriate and had to rip back a bit.  They have been to some high level meetings.  They came to a very informal meeting with a workmate which was interrupted by another knitter (otherwise, a total stranger) who was beside herself to see socks being knit right there in front of her eyes.  My workmate is a generous man who didn’t flinch!  I have walked along knitting them from my bag.  They have been fondled lovingly by the odd stranger.  I was getting to the heel of the second sock when I went to Sydney.  Here we are in a cafe reading political theory (with relish).

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In front of a sculpture at a university in Sydney where I attended part of a conference where my beloved did a wonderful job of presenting.

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In a hotel room with a banksia cone.

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Waiting for a bus outside central railway station in Sydney.  Ask not what the other people waiting thought of my photographing a sock.  There is a lot going on outside Central at night and no one blinked.

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Almost done at Coogee Beach.

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Maybe you wanted to see Coogee beach?  Glorious!

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Toe grafted and ends darned in, in the Sydney airport.

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Here they are in better light after a nice steam press!

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I hope that they will be snug and long lasting… (non knitters: that is a reinforcing heel stitch you see there).

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And I hope that the whimsy of these cables will tickle India‘s fancy the way it tickles mine!  This design was suggested by one of my nearest and dearest, who first told me about India’s work years before I first saw it.  He was the first to have a whimsically cabled pair of socks made by me… and now there are two such pairs!  It is an absolute delight to be able to turn the generosity back toward someone who has been so exceedingly generous to me.

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Filed under Eucalypts, Knitting, Natural dyeing