Before showing off my recent purchase from Little Knits, I thought I would show off my own handiwork.

This is Vera. 

She is 185 yards (5oz) of Navajo plyed yarn (also known as Chain Plyed because you make big crochet chains with the yarn when plying it on itself) and ranges in weight between a heavy worsted/bulky and a fingering.  You can only see a few of the joins but I highlighted one above with Susan B Anthony so you could see it.  For the most part, the yarn is steady and even but there was one or two places where the yarn broke causing me to create a join which resulted in a bulky area meeting with a thin.  While it is far from perfect, it is the BEST N-ply yarn I have ever created and I will spin more in the future.  This shot shows a range of her finished plys but really, the first picture shows her true colours.

“March” is on the wheel next and I am working on spinning a bulky (on purpose) with this one.  I had to use the flash because of the grey and dreary day we had here so the colour is no where near true to form but really its a deep, jewel-toned yarn done on dark BFL.  Those patches of grey-ish brown?  Thats the undyed fleece that looks almost black to the naked eye.

I finished Pickle Sock #1 and I have to admit that I really love it.  Toe up using Judys Magic Cast on and Jenys Suprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, I have to say I am looking forward to wearing this sock.  If you havent tried either of these techniques in the past, I would highly recommend them.  I know that I use Judys cast on instead of any other style of provisional cast on and it works perfectly.  JSSBO is going to be a staple in my cuff and collar life because it really IS surprisingly stretchy!  I cast on the second sock this morning and it is looking at me as I type because I left it mid round before all the toe increases were done.

While poking thru my stash for the yarn for my untitled sweater, I found yarn in a bag that I had completely forgotten.  The yarn was hiding in the bag because it was part of a purchase that I made with a friend for a scarf for her.  It was originally intended to become a cowel for my Mum for Christmas but after looking at it longer, the colour changes were not suitable for the cowel I had in mind. It was those small streaks of periwinkle that initially caught my notice and after looking at it for a long while (I tend to carry yarn around a store with me to help me make up my mind about making a purchase), I realised that it had to be one of the most beautiful yarns I had ever seen.  It helped that it was also one of the softest too!  50% Alpaca, 30% Merino, 10% Silk and 10% Nylon and while it is labeled as “Sock Yarn”, I dont think that I could make socks from it.  To hide such a yarn in shoes, even mary janes, would be a travesty.  Well, that and I’m pretty sure that they would have to be handwash socks and knowing myself and my laundry habits, I am pretty positive that they would be felted after the first wearing and wash.  A tragedy indeed.  So I have 437 yards of this beautiful yarn and am looking for ideas for its future.  Maybe a scarf or small shawl (to be worn as a scarf)?

In my history of blogging, I dont think that I have ever taken pictures that equal these.  I am so excited to finally be able to show off yarns with, at least on my monitor, is true to colour.  Of course, YMMV, but I hope their beauty comes through for you too!  Before I go much further, I have to make comment on Self-striping yarns.  I usually am one who goes for the colour that speaks to me or has a name that I can related to.  I bought the yarn for my Pacific Northwest Shawl because Sheri named it “The World at Sea” and I had just spent 4 weeks fishing with my former partner.  It was intended to be socks, a matching pair for us that was not to be.  It became the shawl after I realised that I would need 000’s to get the gauge I like for socks and there was no way I would move into crazy-ville for socks.  OnLine doesnt give names to its yarns and relies on numbers alone.  There is little inspiration that comes from numbers like 106, 1059 or 1132 but they have something that few handpainters can boast : Photos of the yarn knit up.

Unless you are very skilled, and I’m not sure how I can develop this talent, one can’t see what the yarn is going to knit into while still in the skein.  There may be bright colours that catch your eye but you dont know how the colour will pool or flash when knit up.  Sometimes, even when knitting from the same skein you have no idea what will happen and the results will be totally different. My own best example of this are my Sheer Gall! socks knit in Schaefer Lola: Same ball of yarn knit from the inside and out both at the same time while I was recovering from having my gall bladder removed in March ’07.  What changed?  I used 2 different brands of size 3 needles.  Susan Bates for the narrow stripes, Crystal Palace bamboo for the wide stripes.  They were obviously NOT the same and by the time I was thinking clearly and free of pain meds I was already past the heels and beyond caring.  It was with these socks that I learned that 3’s, even with DK yarn, is way too loose of gauge.  These socks only lasted a year before needing to be darned and then only another year before the final “darn!” over the the garbage bin.

Back to topic though…Photos can be a knitters best friend.  You will need to scroll down to see the knit socks in the specific colourways but they are all there!

Number 1060 will knit into THESE

1031 looks like THIS

1021 is sporty and cute, though no where near the purple shown!

1026 is very close to the picture (6th from the top, 3rd from bottom)

1073 is a “Wellness” colour and has Aloe in the yarn!

1093 has stripes AND lines

1047 is alive with colour

Regia 1068 was named Aurora Borealis by Little Knits but is only shown in skein.  However, a German site named it ‘Afrika’ and show it here.  It looks like this one *may* have a bit of pooling but as we dont know how large the sample (it could be a swatch or a whole sock), nothing can be said for sure.

The real reason I went to the Little Knits site?  These needles.  I wanted to try 9″ circs for my socks and, since Sheri was out, I figured she wouldnt be too upset for my shopping elsewhere for them!  This isnt to say anything against my Knit Picks fixed circulars which I love and almost always reach for but these are stainless steel and that means my fingers wont turn green from nickel and the needles themselves won’t tarnish.  One less thing to clean is always a good thing in my book!

Grand total for my 9 skeins of yarn and 3 needles?  $75.61  $53.11 in yarn only which means that I paid, on average, $5.90 per skein of sock yarn.  My usual yarn runs between $16 and $23!  What a deal!!  If it takes me an average of 18 hours to knit a pair of socks, thats 33 cents per hour of entertainment!!  If a statement was ever worthy of multiple exclamation points, that would be it 🙂