Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How to Spin My Posy Toes Batts--Snake Plant techie stuff

Hmmm.....I suppose I should throw some numbers out there for those of us who enjoy them? Or want to copy my socks exactly? (that's not gonna happen. handspun yarn will differ every time because it's our hands that control the yarn, and our hands are not machines built to churn out exact duplicates. besides, I want my students and other miscellaneous spinners to follow their own karma when making yarn)

Now that I've exposed yinz to my rarely-humble opinions, here's the relevant stats. As stated a few days ago, I like to put a lot of twist in the singles and ply tightly to produce a nice tight yarn that will stand up to the wear that socks get. My yarn was spun on the 16:1 whorl of my Bosworth Journey Wheel. I did not keep track of the tpi (twists per inch) because I've been spinning sock yarn long enough that I just do it to my usual standards, which are engrained in my brain. Sorry. However, the 2-ply washed and finished yarn came out at 16 wpi (wraps per inch) which is standard sock yarn. Since it was spun semi-woolen, this yarn was spongy and bouncy and I felt it needed to be knit at a tight gauge. So I've used US#0 for the toes and heels, US#1 for the body of the sock, and US#2 for the bind off. I'm using Judy Gibson's You're Putting Me On Socks pattern and so it's very easy to switch to the smaller needles when necessary. The gauge I'm getting is 7.5 sts and 10 rows per inch over Stockinette. It's a nice tight fabric and a nice thick sock, yet soft, flexible and springy due to the Merino content in the batts and the semi-woolen spinning technique.

I've gotten one sock finished already (a 4-day sock! amazing!) and have cast on for the second one. I've not yet started spinning the next set of batts for a very good reason. I've been spending a good bit of time this past week at the almost-renovated family house, dealing with a stray pit bull that's been hanging around. That means lots of time to sit and knit on the porch while I wait for her to wander back into the yard, for the police to respond to my call (didn't happen--wonder if they'd come in a REAL emergency?), or for the county dog warden to stop by again. This dog would sleep on the front porch but would run away when we got within 30 feet of her. Last night the dog warden left a humane trap on the porch with a big bowl of kibble. We caught her this morning! She's an older dog and a bit thin from living outdoors for several weeks--she was shaking with fear when we talked to her inside the cage. So sad. But she's now in a safe haven that's run by a very kind man who loves pit bulls, and will either live out her life with him or be adopted by a very special person. Saving her is the best reason I can think of for not getting my spinning started.


Alpaca Farmgirl said...

Love to hear about handspinning. The sock stuff is way over my head, but I bet knitters' feet stay very warm.

Thanks for participating in Fiber Arts Friday!

TexasRed said...

That's a great reason for a little delay! Sounds like you're getting other fiber work done, though, while doing good pit bull deeds.

spotted dog farm said...

you are amazing - i've been working on the same sock for at least a month. but it's my first, so hopefully i'll get faster!

that's wonderful that you saved the poor pit bull and that she went to a safe haven! i have a soft spot for them.

Doris Sturm said...

I agree! I am a big animal lover too and would do anything to help. Thank you for being so kind!

Everything you said about spinning is over my head, but I recently started to knit a pair of socks. It's been a while since I've knitted socks. (I usually crochet)I must practice for winter ;-)