Blog

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

1 week ago

Soxophoneplayer

Nasty freezing rain today, so instead of going to market I spent some time in the dye room.

This is a batch of Columbia roving, dyed in a Caucasian flesh tone using RIT dye.

For ~200 grams of roving I used 1/4 tsp RIT Tan, 1/8 tsp RIT Rose, and ~ third of a cup non iodized salt.

I put the roving in dry and into a cold dye bath and brought it up to a simmer. In about half hour after simmering I added a table spoon of citric acid mixed in a few cups of boiling water (holding the roving to the side of the pot while I poured it in). This isn't really a necessary step. Last batch of roving when I had some dye wasn't exhausted I just took the roving out and put in 2 skeins of yarn. Easy peazy.

For darker tones, up to a medium brown skin tone the same two colours of RIT can be used in the same proportions, but to a higher amount. The dye doesn't strike instantly so the roving/yarn can just be removed when the desired tone is reached.

This roving will join my offering of felting fibres at the market.
... See MoreSee Less

Nasty freezing rain today, so instead of going to market I spent some time in the dye room.

This is a batch of Columbia roving, dyed in a Caucasian flesh tone using RIT dye.

For ~200 grams of roving I used 1/4 tsp RIT Tan, 1/8 tsp RIT Rose, and ~ third of a cup non iodized salt. 

I put the roving in dry and into a cold dye bath and brought it up to a simmer. In about half hour after simmering I added a table spoon of citric acid mixed in a few cups of boiling water (holding the roving to the side of the pot while I poured it in). This isnt really a necessary step. Last batch of roving when I had some dye wasnt exhausted I just took the roving out and put in 2 skeins of yarn. Easy peazy. 

For darker tones, up to a medium brown skin tone the same two colours of RIT can be used in the same proportions, but to a higher amount. The dye doesnt strike instantly so the roving/yarn can just be removed when the desired tone is reached.

This roving will join my offering of felting fibres at the market.

2 weeks ago

Soxophoneplayer

One of the uses for ribbing is to control size (width) of garment when working with a fixed number of stitches, as in the cylinder of an antique sock knitter.

I use tension to control size by default but this is not always possible if the garment has a wide variety of width in it, such as in a knee sock or thigh high.

The two samples I'm showing are size 'Small +' (~Ladies 7-8) knee socks knit with 72 cylinder/36 ribber.

I set the width of the upper part of the socks by loosening my tension, and gradually increasing the tension as I knit the leg. But when I get to the pre-heel area I want a sock more like what I would knit on a 54 cylinder for this fingering weight yarn. So here I begin to rib on the front half of the pre-heel and carry it on down the instep. In my examples I am using the ribber but can also do this with mock rib to similar effect.

On the top of the socks the primary purpose of the ribbing is to control elasticity of the garment, not size.

In the pair with the brighter red I used the 36 ribber for a 1x1 top, 40 rows, and in the pair with a merlot red I used a mock rib hung hem, 80 rows.

Actual ribbing has greater elasticity than mock ribbing IMO, so can stretch wider if necessary, but my personal preference is for the mock rib hung hem, simply because I think the double fabric at the top of a knee sock is a better look/design feature. Of course it also uses more yarn which may be an issue.
... See MoreSee Less

One of the uses for ribbing is to control size (width) of garment when working with a fixed number of stitches, as in the cylinder of an antique sock knitter. 

I use tension to control size by default but this is not always possible if the garment has a wide variety of width in it, such as in a knee sock or thigh high.

The two samples Im showing are size Small + (~Ladies 7-8) knee socks knit with 72 cylinder/36 ribber. 

I set the width of the upper part of the socks by loosening my tension, and gradually increasing the tension as I knit the leg. But when I get to the pre-heel area I want a sock more like what I would knit on a 54 cylinder for this fingering weight yarn. So here I begin to rib on the front half of the pre-heel and carry it on down the instep. In my examples I am using the ribber but can also do this with mock rib to similar effect.

On the top of the socks the primary purpose of the ribbing is to control elasticity of the garment, not size.

In the pair with the brighter red I used the 36 ribber for a 1x1 top, 40 rows, and in the pair with a merlot red I used a mock rib hung hem, 80 rows.

Actual ribbing has greater elasticity than mock ribbing IMO, so can stretch wider if necessary, but my personal preference is for the mock rib hung hem, simply because I think the double fabric at the top of a knee sock is a better look/design feature. Of course it also uses more yarn which may be an issue.Image attachment

3 weeks ago

Soxophoneplayer

Jonah coiffed.

Quick pic before he rolls in sheep poop and returns to his farm dog thing.

Also, 5th Happy Birthday to my bud.
... See MoreSee Less

Jonah coiffed. 

Quick pic before he rolls in sheep poop and returns to his farm dog thing.

Also, 5th Happy Birthday to my bud.

Comment on Facebook

Happy birthday Jonah! Now let him go out and roll happily in sheep poop. 😊

Is he a Goldendoodle?

View more comments

3 weeks ago

Soxophoneplayer

This is a pair of size Large socks, from my own closet, knit with Koigu KPPPM in colourway P811.

Some years ago I did an experiment: I knit 24 pairs of socks, making 2 pair of size Large in each of 12 variegated or patterned colourways. I knit a further 10 pair of Large, making 2 pair of each in 5 solid colours. All of the knitting was either pure wool or wool/nylon blend 80/20 or 75/25. Each pair of socks was the same 'fit' in both length and width (ie ribbing wasn't used to make a sock narrower).

In each 2 pairs per colourway I knit one pair as a ribbed sock, as in the photo below, and one pair with ribbing only in the cuff.

When I displayed these socks on the sales table I made sure that the fully ribbed and partially ribbed pair from each colourway were placed right beside each other. Each ribbed pair was priced the same as the partially ribbed pair.

In every case but one the partially ribbed patterned sock sold before the fully ribbed, and in every case the fully ribbed solid colour pair sold before the partially ribbed pair.

My own (unscientific) conclusion: in solid colour - ribbing can be a design element, adding interest to the solid colour, while in patterned or variegate yarns the interest is in the colourway itself and the ribbing is a design distraction interrupting the flow of the pattern.

There could be many other factors at play that disqualify my conclusions: could all be coincidence; folks who prefer ribbed patterned socks don't shop where I sell, folks who wear Large socks have different preferences than those who wear other sizes. I also only tried this experiment one time - it might have had a different result if I had replicated the exercise.

But for me it led to using partial ribbing as my default knitting method with wool and wool blend patterned or variegated socks, and full rib as my default for solid colours.

There are exceptions of course - one would be with non stretch cotton yarns, or other yarns with lower elasticity such as high content silk or mohair - in these cases ribbing is serving the practical purpose of adding stretch, rather than acting as a design element. Another exception for me is with a knee high or thigh high where I'm making large change in garment diameter - I might introduce ribbing at the ankle/instep for a smaller size foot.
... See MoreSee Less

This is a pair of size Large socks, from my own closet, knit with Koigu KPPPM in colourway P811.

Some years ago I did an experiment: I knit 24 pairs of socks, making 2 pair of size Large in each of 12 variegated or patterned colourways. I knit a further 10 pair of Large, making 2 pair of each in 5 solid colours. All of the knitting was either pure wool or wool/nylon blend 80/20 or 75/25. Each pair of socks was the same fit in both length and width (ie ribbing wasnt used to make a sock narrower).

In each 2 pairs per colourway I knit one pair as a ribbed sock, as in the photo below, and one pair with ribbing only in the cuff. 

When I displayed these socks on the sales table I made sure that the fully ribbed and partially ribbed pair from each colourway were placed right beside each other. Each ribbed pair was priced the same as the partially ribbed pair.

In every case but one the partially ribbed patterned sock sold before the fully ribbed, and in every case the fully ribbed solid colour pair sold before the partially ribbed pair.

My own (unscientific) conclusion: in solid colour - ribbing can be a design element, adding interest to the solid colour, while in patterned or variegate yarns the interest is in the colourway itself and the ribbing is a design distraction interrupting the flow of the pattern.

There could be many other factors at play that disqualify my conclusions: could all be coincidence; folks who prefer ribbed patterned socks dont shop where I sell, folks who wear Large socks have different preferences than those who wear other sizes. I also only tried this experiment one time - it might have had a different result if I had replicated the exercise.

But for me it led to using partial ribbing as my default knitting method with wool and wool blend patterned or variegated socks, and full rib as my default for solid colours.

There are exceptions of course - one would be with non stretch cotton yarns, or other yarns with lower elasticity such as high content silk or mohair - in these cases ribbing is serving the practical purpose of adding stretch, rather than acting as a design element. Another exception for me is with a knee high or thigh high where Im making large change in garment diameter - I might introduce ribbing at the ankle/instep for a smaller size foot.

Comment on Facebook

Very interesting notice by you! I can see me using your experience in my CSM and hand knitting from this day forward. I only make socks for me and family but this read hit home! Thank you.

What a wonderful share Doug! Isn’t it interesting about how the patterning is effected ....usually in a negative way by the ribbing? Hand knitters also have to be aware of this ...sometimes an interesting stitch pattern can highlight the the hand dyed patterns ...but I am not patient enough for this!🙃 I usually do a ribbed top only on all of my socks. Thankyou again for sharing! Jackie

View more comments

3 weeks ago

Soxophoneplayer

It would be a far stretch to call 2019 a White Christmas year. True we had a whitish actual Christmas Day, but by the time we celebrated with the kids and grands kids on 27th, two days of rain wiped that out.

OTHO great to see everyone and to handout 2019 sock gifts to all.

Number 1 grandson has a drone, which he brought with him. Here are a few pictures he took of the farm.

First pic is the homestead and wool shack (facing south). Second is the barn yard (facing east) which is separated from the homestead by bank of spruce trees. Third (facing west) is the improved pastures in the foreground and, haylands on the second hill. The background left is 'the knoll' which is about 300 rise from the front of the farm. In the distant background, following the lane you can just make out a single tall tree - that is the center of the farm, both lengthwise and width wise.

I used to graze the back hills and bush all the time when the flock was bigger and the coyote population was smaller - it had originally been cattle pasture back in the late1800s/early 1900s and there is much good grass and legume among the wild apple, pear, hawthorn and dogwood brush for grazing. Unless the predator population wanes, grazing will be left to the (many) deer who live on the farm. Either way, it is Jonah's and my favorite playground.
... See MoreSee Less

It would be a far stretch to call 2019 a White Christmas year. True we had a whitish actual Christmas Day, but by the time we celebrated with the kids and grands kids on 27th, two days of rain wiped that out.

OTHO great to see everyone and to handout 2019 sock gifts to all.

Number 1 grandson has a drone, which he brought with him. Here are a few pictures he took of the farm.

First pic is the homestead and wool shack (facing south). Second is the barn yard (facing east) which is separated from the homestead by bank of spruce trees. Third (facing west) is the improved pastures in the foreground and, haylands on the second hill. The background left is the knoll which is about 300 rise from the front of the farm. In the distant background, following the lane you can just make out a single tall tree - that is the center of the farm, both lengthwise and width wise.

I used to graze the back hills and bush all the time when the flock was bigger and the coyote population was smaller - it had originally been cattle pasture back in the late1800s/early 1900s and there is much good grass and legume among the wild apple, pear, hawthorn and dogwood brush  for grazing. Unless the predator population wanes, grazing will be left to the (many) deer who live on the farm. Either way, it is Jonahs and my favorite playground.Image attachmentImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Very good pictures! Isn’t it great to see your place from that view point?

View more comments

Load more