Socking and Spinning

See that? It's a broken DPN, and the reason I haven't made any progress on my basketweave socks in weeks. I thought I'd have to buy a new set of needles, but someone on the Ravelry forums told me Brittany will generally replace broken needles for free! I sent an email a couple of days ago. I haven't gotten a response yet, but hopefully I will soon so I can get on with the knitting!

In the meantime, I've been working on a new pair of socks. It's a total re-write of Grumperina's Jaywalker pattern, applying a similar stitch pattern to a different sock. I'm calling them Skywalkers. There's a lot more info about them on their Ravelry project page (Socks for Great Justice), but I'm holding off on posting the actual pattern until I have both finished.

Here's a technical preview:
They're big! They should fit a men's size 10-12, or a women's 12-14.
They're toe-up! It's easy to make sure if you have enough yarn left over for the second sock.
They're more zig-zaggy! I modified the stitch pattern so the zigzags are more pronounced.
They have shaping! Ribbing on the instep keeps them fitting well, especially if you have a high arch.
They're crew-height! Great for people who don't wear dress socks.
They have short-row toes and heels! Nice-looking, sturdy, and easy to do.

Two weeks ago, I went to the Orlando Needlework Convention at the Orange County Convention Center. It was held along with a scrapbooking show and a beading show, three in one. All of them were pretty impressive, though I was a little disappointed that there were so few vendors selling yarn.

I did pick up some spinning goodies from one of the quilting booths (Boutique 4 Quilters Inc)...

Top to bottom: 30 silk cocoons (0.5 oz), 1 oz Colonial Top roving in Koala, 1 oz Colonial Top roving in Slate

I spun up a little of the Koala, it's so soft, pretty, and easy to work with. Nice long staple length too, without being too long. It's only one spindle-full so far, about 23 yards. Mostly DK to worsted-weight, with a few thinner spots. I'm thinking of plying it together with the Slate.

Silk-processing has been an adventure so far. I managed to degum the cocoons with some help from Worm Spit, and ended up with this fine mess of a thing:

I don't have any carders yet, but I did pick it apart a bit to untangle the fibers and see what the fiber comes out like. Nice! I think I'll like spinning this, once I get it out of "poofy tangled cloud" stage.

Of course, all of this spinning has a purpose! It's going into a portfolio project I'm working on. More on that to come later, or get a sneak preview photo in Ravelry.


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