Monday, July 28, 2014

Socks! - Still More Winter Warmers

Behold, some more  warming winter woolies! This time it is socks.

I have knitted socks before, just one pair, and a sample back when I was studying full time . The one pair were made over 30 years ago for my DH, and the sample was part of a Fine Needlework subject of the Fashion Certificate course that I did nearly 40 years ago. The purpose was to learn how to turn a heel & graft the toe.
These socks are for me, made in  Shepherd Baby Wool Merino, a 100% wool 4 ply. I have been told by various sources that socks should be made from a yarn that has a percentage of a man-made fibre to make them stronger & last longer. One very young sales assistant told me that pure wool socks will go into holes after two wears. Interesting. So I asked an acquaintance of mine form one of my stitching groups who is a member of the Knitters Guild, D____ found out that yes socks can be made from 100% wool. Even more interesting.

My theory now is that it must depend upon the yarn quality. After all, I am sure all the socks knitted a century ago would have been in pure wool. Yes, I am sure they went into holes, that's why there are lots of stories about darning of socks. Maybe the sales assistants of today don't know how to darn, or couldn't be bothered. Obviously the yarn manufactures have worked out a better way to make them last longer, and make them prettier. Some of the sock yarns out today are very clever & stunning when knitted up.

I am now knitting another pair, this time in a pretty coloured speciality sock yarn. It will be interesting to note the difference between the two.

I am also hoping to get to wear them at least once this year. We are still in mid winter, but the forecast for this coming week will be more like spring. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lace Fish Finally Finished!

Yeh! He's finally finished! My bobbin lace fish that has been on my lace pillow for such a loooooooong time! I won't say how long, but all my lace friends know exactly how long he has been on there.

He was supposed to go on a lovely trip overseas quite some time ago, but was not finished in time. There was even supposed to be a second one,  mirrored, so that I could join them together to make a 3D fish with padding in the middle. Mmmmm............. yeah right.................

He is made with Guttermann 100% cotton sewing thread, a  Guttermann metallic thread, and a DMC variegated Special Dentelles 80 thread. Consequently lots of joining in, leaving out, sewings, & ends to finish off. His eye is a tally, which is cringe worthy in the lace world, but I am happy with mine. The orange half stitch 'scales' leave a bit to be desired though. I personally think half stitch is cringe worthy, but then again this is the first time I have done half stitch in 15 years. Maybe I just need more practice.

It was such a learning experience, and there are mistakes everywhere, but he is finished & I am proud to say I have made him.

So now that my lace pillow is free, what's next? Hopefully a  beautiful Bedfordshire handkerchief edging. I have thread & fabric ready to go, my pricking is nearly ready, then I have to wind some bobbins & I will be in business!Watch this space.