Ginkgo socks, chart for reduced number of stitches

This was another really quick project, spurred on by wanting to see how the gorgeous fibre looked when knitted ('woodland', merino / nylon from Yummy Yarns UK) and by the advancing autumn and the desire for a new pair of handknit socks.

I had some 'firsts':
  • For the first time I tried splitting the fibre down the middle and spinning each half separately. That should have made sure that the socks matched. I'm not sure why they don't but they look great together regardless. I suspect it's because the second half was a few yards longer than the first
  • For the first time I tried plying from a centre-pull ball. This worked beautifully. It's a great way to 2-ply one bobbin-full with itself
I went for 2-ply for yardage reasons, also that the singles weren't as thin as I'd hoped. Even so, it was quite thick (almost DK I think) and so I went for bigger needles and reduced the number of stitches in the pattern. This made it a very quick knit - I did each sock in two sittings.

The reduction took a little bit of jiggery-pokery because of the lace pattern. The pattern is Cotton and Cloud's Ginkgo Socks, my favourite sock pattern (this is my fourth pair from that pattern) and the designer Kyoko Nakayoshi has said that she's happy for me to post the reduced chart here. So here it is.

I knit the toe ending up with 40 stitches altogether and then used Cotton and Cloud's pattern in conjunction with this shortened chart

Opulent raglan - fleece to finished!

I was lucky enough to meet sheep from the same zwartbles flock that this fleece came from.
I enjoyed using my Haldane Lewis for this one.

I combed the fleece rather than carding it, and spun worsted. The preparation should have taken out the shorter fibres, just leaving the best and longest fibres, all arranged parallel.

I didn't take out the sun-bleached tips, so the overall result is more of a dark chocolate rather than black.
I'm very happy with the jumper. The only thing I am a little unsure about is that it's very heavy. I think this is partly due to a tight gauge. My swatch was significantly smaller than it should have been, and rather than go with bigger needles, I simply went up a pattern size. This means I've packed in many more stitches than there should have been.

This makes it very warm!

Pattern is Interweave's Opulent Raglan. The photos in the montage above are all on Flickr.

How to spin and knit this shawl in ten days

This is the final post about my Ravelympics / Ravellenics project, spun and knit during the London Olympics. It's without doubt the project I'm most proud of. It's a simple knit, free pattern and a great first shawl or lace project. (all details below.)
It's definitely my fastest project too. Here's what helped:
  • Have a time limit or target (in this case I had my eye on the Shawl Sailing finish line!)
  • Something changing to keep your interest. In this case each row was slightly different in colour, keeping me always keen to see the next row.
The singles are not spun terribly fine, but I did use larger needles than called for and so the stitches are quite open. It's translucent and very drapey.
The spiral-dyed fibre graduated to nearly-white. I added undyed white for the last part of the lace border which gives an effect I'm very happy with. It really makes a contrast with the dark blue.

Pattern: Oaklet Shawl
Needles: 4mm (slightly larger than pattern says). Used interchangeable tips/cable and swopped cable for a longer one as necessary.
Fibre: Sliced denim Polwarth from picperfic
Yardage: My fibre made 350 yards which was just right. But the pattern allows you to make the shawl smaller or larger to suit your yardage