I have not one but TWO blendy projects to show you today.
The first one is a spinning project. This is the latest delivery in the Sheepspot Fiber Club – Cormo top. One thing I’m working on with my spinning is thinking about what type of yarn I’d like to get and them doing things that help me get it (rather than “just spinning” and seeing what results). I recently read about a technique that Sasha Torres calls “the blendy trick,” which I think I saw in her newsletter because I can’t find it on the website. (Not subscribed? You should be!) Basically, you divide the top into skinny sections and draft the singles from more than one color at a time, resulting in barberpoling singles. Then you make a 2 or 3-ply which blends the colors even more. It homogenizes a bump of fiber, but only somewhat.I wanted to try that . Here are some of my bundles of fiber, ready to go.
It turns out to be a little difficult to draft from more than one body of fiber at the same time, though. One keeps wanting to take over. I feel like I’m alternating more than blending. You can see on the bobbin that I only achieve the barberpoling effect sometimes:
But I’m forging ahead nevertheless. We’ll see what we get.
Here, I’m using yarn left over from two different pairs of socks to make a third pair. The beige socks on the left are S1’s; they weigh 94 grams and I have 46 grams left. The socks on the right are mine (just finished!); they weigh 80 grams and I have 62 grams left. So with 108 grams of leftover yarn, I should have enough for another pair, right? Here’s how it’s going so far:
It took me a while to figure out some simple stuff. You can tell that in the ribbed cuff area, I was changing yarn every other round. I was also twisting the yarn when I switched, which was causing some weird tension. I don’t know why I thought I had to do this. It turns out that the best approach is simply to drop one yarn and pick up the next one. When I started that, it was super simple to change on every round – resulting in MORE BLENDINESS.
I also learned that it’s best to change yarns in the middle of the heel flap instead of at one edge, as switching disrupts the slipped stitches that are picked up later for the gusset.
And the final thing I’ve learned is that I really messed up the toe decreases on my pair of striped socks. I thought they fit a little weird when I took photos last weekend – do you see what I’m talking about?
The decreases begin before my foot starts to narrow, which feels very constricting in the sock. I thought I made these exactly like I made the other two pairs of thick socks in this yarn weight:
I screwed up the decreases. I decreased 6 times each round in a graduated way, which took me 28 rounds total.
I SHOULD have decreased 8 times each round in a graduated way, totalling 15 rounds. That is a really big difference. So I will be ripping those back at some point. The stripes probably won’t be perfect anymore, though, because I’m already using the leftover yarn for the blendy socks.
S1 said it was hard to imagine I didn’t notice this when knitting. I guess I sort of did, but I finished one sock and started the next one during a meeting, so there wasn’t much meaningful reflection. I thought it was different because there were only 48 stitches around, which is pretty different from 64+ stitches around. But it appears that it is possible for me to screw up a plain vanilla sock. OOPS!