What I’m doing with my Samhain yarn (and fibre!)

Of course I kept some for myself!  Did you think that I wouldn’t?  This is the first installation of my first ever yarn club, you know!

Admittedly, the sock and lace yarn I kept are from the prototyping phases – and I havent’ done anything with the lace yarn yet – but I had to keep *some* souvenirs.  The colour prototype, by the way, had a much more abrupt change from orange to black, generally less saturation through the oranges, and was – ahem – technically less together than the finished club yarnz.

I had hoped to have the pattern for these socks (or at least, the finished socks) ready to display on Hallowe’en itself – but no luck.  I finished the whole first sock, then decided that, really, it was too tight.  Yes, I could wear it – but it wasn’t how I wanted it to be.  So I started the second sock (without ripping back the first, I hasten to add; just in case I changed my mind!), and started work on the second.

When I finished the second, I realised I’d done a really stupid thing when setting up the stitch pattern for the foot: the whole thing spiralled gently, biasing it’s way around the sock.  Wearable, again – but still not what I wanted.  So I pulled it out, back to the end of the heel turn, and set at it again.  I think I had the first sock finished for November 1 – and I’ve been plodding my way through the second ever since.  I’m on the foot now – and without any silly mistakes, thank you – so it shouldn’t be too much longer till I’m done!

The fibre was easier.  I wanted to maintain the colour progression, so I spun it all into one long, graded single, and then chain plied it for a fat, round, 3-ply yarn. (Chain plying, by the way, is also called Navajo plying, but certain people think ‘chain’ is more correct, so that’s what I’m trying to train myself to say.)  But wow!  It’s a long time since I’ve chain plied anything, and I’m a much better spinner now, with much higher standards.  I had never realised before how hard it is to keep all the strands under even tension whilst you add the plying twist – and if you don’t do that, you don’t end up with such a regular yarn.  More on that another day, perhaps, but suffice it to say that what I was expecting to be a quick-and-easy ply has taken me a lot longer than I expected, and has needed a lot of concentration, too!

I overplied the yarn relative to its intial spinning twist, so it was quick active (read: twisty – you can see it coiling up on itself!) when it went in for its bath this morning.  But a couple of changes of hot and cold water, a good squeeze and a snap between the hands have it hanging meek and straight in the shower, drying.  I think a hat is in its future.

4 comments


  • Very nice sock! Too bad the foot will get hidden in shoes, so pretty!

    13th November 2011
  • Anne

    Love the bonfire colours … and just noticed the ‘flame’ theme continues into the sock pattern. Clever! 🙂 (Also VERY pretty!)

    13th November 2011
  • Anne

    p.s. Maybe more Beltane than Samhain though! 🙂

    13th November 2011
  • Nice sock and yarn!

    I like “chain-plying” because it’s more descriptive.

    14th November 2011

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