August 3, 2008

Gingham Socks

I've been thinking about knitting socks for some time now and I finally found a pattern that inspired me to get out the knitting needles. Here they are : a whimsical pair of gingham checked socks designed by Lucy Neatby at Tradewind Knitwear Designs.

Photo courtesy of Lucy Neatby, Tradewind Knitwear Designs
Gingham Socks

There is just something that I really love about these socks. I also thought that they would look great knit up in black, brown and white ouessant yarn. I'm just getting started, but here's what I've come up with so far!

Ouessant Gingham Socks
Just getting started!

They look even better than they do in the photo ....
... so far, so good! I'll keep you updated.
Knit on!!

August 2, 2008

So just how do you measure handspun yarn!

I love spinning! But one of the problems with spinning is gage. How do you know if you're spinning too thick or too thin? You don't want to have to spin up 100 grams or more, then ply, then measure and weigh... And what do you do when you want to spin yarn for a particular project ... how do you spin for that project which calls for a commercially spun yarn?
I use two different "tools" : WPI and the McMorran Balance. WPI stands for "wraps per inch" and simply enough you see how many times you can wrap your yarn around a ruler in one inch. For example, many socks require a yarn from 15 to 18 wpi. So that's pretty easy... particularly if you are looking at a pattern that mentions wpi.
But for many handspinners, we really want to know how many meters (or yards) we will have in 100 grams (or one pound) of yarn. H. McMorran, a lecteur in textile testing in Scotland came up with a clever scale that tells you just that!
Measuring yarn with a McMorran Balance and WPI

I just love this scale. In the above samples that I'm spinning for socks I'm getting 15 wpi and 230 meters of 2 ply yarn in a 100 gram skein! Isn't that cool!! I just love fiber toys!

Thank you for visiting the Spinning Shepherd!