This delicious yarn was hand spun by Eva. It is a 3 ply 50/50 Merino/Silk, 325/93g; It has a very good (for socks) twist and I just love the pink, blue and purple medley. The silk makes this a sturdy yarn with a lovely glow.
This pair of socks is size Small, knit with the 54 cylinder and 27 slot ribber on the Legaré 400. I used an e-wrap selvedge and 1×1 ribbed top, switching then to full stockinette for the leg and foot.
I reinforced the heel and toe with Wooly Nylon. I probably didn’t need to, with the strength of the silk in this blend. But I had the bright purple sitting out from the other day so went ahead to add a little extra durability.
I didn’t weigh these socks, but I had enough left over I could certainly have made a Small+ or maybe even a Medium pair. When I have one unique skein under 400m I don’t like to risk running short (and especially if I’m adding Wooly Nylon reinforcement which would be a massive pain to frog).
Eva spins such beautiful yarn!
Here is a skein of Hand Spun lace weight 100% Shetland. Spun by Usch in Rotterdam.
Aren’t the colours fabulous! I love yarns that have different coloured plies, each doing their own thing.
Here is a pair of socks, size Small, I knit with the 72 cylinder on the Verdun 47.
I added a fine strand of Lycra through the entire knit of this pair, given the lace weight and softness of the fiber. In addition, I reinforced the heels and toes with Wooly Nylon.
I haven’t yet shorn my own Shetlands – and when I saw this I decided to jump the gun and try this out. Luvin’ it.
Mmmmm. Hand spun…
Spring came very early this year. To me and many others I’m sure. I honestly don’t recall ever cleaning out my garden beds in the middle of March.
I haven’t put my snow shoes away just yet. You never know! I did, however, have the winter tires swapped off the truck yesterday.
My knitting is a little slower with so much to do outside, but here’s a recent go:
This is a hand spun from Thomas Creations in Oklahoma (via Etsy). It is a 2 ply super fine Merino, 367 yds/ 3.2 oz – so, what I’d call a lace weight.
This is the Size Small pair I knit using the 72 cylinder on the Verdun 47. The pair weighs 66 grams (whatever that is in oz!). I did a 1 x 1 rib topper, and I added Wooly Nylon to the heels and toes.
I love the colours, and I found this an easy knit with a very consistent gauge. It was a de-stash sale, and I’m very happy I stumbled on it.
And now to rake leaves…
This skein is a handpun superwash Merino by Debbi at Under the Plum. About 600 yards, 4.6 oz.
The socks are Size Small, knit with the 72 cylinder on the Verdun 47. I used a comparable tension to what I use for Cashmara Lace and that seemed about right, even with the deep dye colours. My topper on this pair is a 1:1 rib, while the rest of the socks are in stockinette. I reinforced the heels and toes with a tan/neutral wooly nylon.
The pair took 80 grams, leaving me 46 grams left over.
Here’s another hand spun skein by Leith. 100% Polwarth. At 380m/115g this skein is a little heavier gauge than the last – but still a fingering/light sport weight. Her roving was hand dyed by Southern Cross Fibres.
Leith named this skein ‘Squashed Fairies’. I’ve not yet seen a squashed fairy. That I’m willing to talk about, anyway. But the colours here remind me of an English Country Garden. Not that I’ve seen one of those either, but the lavenders, lilacs, forget-me-nots and grass greens are colours I would expect to see in such a garden.
This pair of size Medium socks was knit with the 72 cylinder on the Verdun 47. The pair weights 95 grams.
I think the colours are spectacular! This hand spun knitting thing could become addictive…
This is an exciting new skein of handspun from Leith’s etsy shop – Stitchpunk.
Its 100% Polwarth sheep, a breed found primarily in NZ and Oz. This breed was created in 1880 in Oz by crossing the English Lincoln onto the Merino and then backcrossing to Merino rams. The result is a not quite as soft fleece as the Merino with some of the Lincoln’s lustre.
The cross is similar in many ways to my own Columbia breed – also developed in the late 1800′s, in the US, by crossing the Lincoln onto the Rambouillet – which is the French Merino.
But I digress…
The skein is 380m/101g 2ply. The roving was dyed by Southern Cross Fibres and handspun by Leith.
This is a pair of size Medium socks knit with the 72 needle cylinder on the Verdun 47.
It took 80 grams for this pair. The yarn knit up easily – a consistent gauge and a good twist for socks. I did add Wooly Nylon to the heels and toes.
The greens and yellows work so well together, but to me the special magic in this colourway is the use of sky blue in a very low value. I think this adds depth to the higher value (darker) main colours in the mix.
Leith named her yarn ‘acid blood’ but if you look at the postcard picture of a kiwi against the socks, you’ll see why I’ve called them Kiwi Socks.
Here are the socks I knit up from Leith MacDonald’s hand spun yarn that she titled Three Suns.
Three Suns Hand Spun by Leith
This 100% merino was a delight to knit. Almost a lace weight, so I knit at the same tension as Cashmara Lace. These are size Medium, knit with the 72 cylinder. Heels and toes reinforced with Wooly Nylon.
Soft. Beautiful. Rich.
I’m really getting into this hand spun thing!
Here’s another skein of hand spun yarn for my queue. This one from Leith at Stitchpunk Yarns in New Zealand.
100% merino. 2 ply. 450m/107 grams.
In a truly dangerous development, I have lost my fear of knitting hand spun. (Noro’s fault!)
Here is the pair of size Small socks I knit up from the Hand Spun by Eva.
The yardage of the yarn was in the same neighbourhood as Cashmara Lace, but with a tighter twist, so I set my tension ~1/2 turn tighter than 4 ply fingering weight.
The gauge of the yarn was very consistent. I did knit a little slower, it being my virgin flight with hand spun – I didn’t need to, but I took great pleasure in watching the colours unfold before my eyes.
The colour behaviour is close to the Noro effect. Just without the thick/thin, knots (none) and no half pound of straw
I expected an evolving colour symphony as opposed to a repeating pattern, and I was correct. The recurring colour themes, however, give a clear sense of continuity between the two socks.
The tight twist adds a good strength to the 70% Merino 30% Cashmere. Still, I added Wooly Nylon to the heels and toes.
I loved knitting this yarn, and confess I emitted more than one ‘Homer’ drooling sounds while I worked.
I’m making this post from my cell phone as my internet is down yet again – I haven’t figured out how to do a link – but if you want to check out Eva’s yarn on Etsy just scroll back a few posts to where I introduced this skein – there is a link there.
So I was thinking.
If I can make a decent sock (with a herculean effort) out of Noro, why not give Hand Spun a shot? My only hesitation has been the potential gauge variation, but surely a nicely worked hand spun skein couldn’t be any more challenging than the evil Noro.
So over to Etsy, and some peeking around at Eva’s hand spun yarn in Germany. And five days later, this arrived:
OMG how incredible are these colours!
70% Merino 30% Cashmere; 427.5m/98g
Already (easily) wound into a cake and now waiting to be knit…
Did I mention – 5 days from Germany to Canada. That’s faster than local!