Friday, January 22, 2010

Lessons learned

In keeping with my concept of "learning stuff" this year, I've begun compiling a list of lessons learned on the fibre front. Here are the first few:

  1. Socks like a tight gauge, at least in the foot area. Not board stiff, but tight enough to give them a fighting chance against abrasion, dirt, and the insides of shoes and boots. I thought I was knitting my socks plenty tight enough, but I was wrong, as witness the Great Sock Massacree of '09. Knit tighter, or at least with smaller needles.
  2. No matter how excited I am about having spun a bunch of yarn all by myself, I shouldn't rush off and knit a sock out of the first half of a hank before I've spun the second. For a couple of reasons: 1) I may knit up a sock with a shorter-than-I-would-like leg, because I think I don't have enough yarn, but then, surprise! I squeeze more yardage out of the other half of the fibre, and it turns out that I would have had enough, had I been just a bit more patient; and 2)if the yarn is all knit up into a sock, I can't look at it to figure out what gauge to spin the rest. Doh.
  3. In both knitting and spinning, patience is a virtue, and instant gratification usually means "you did that wrong." Stop, look, and listen, then proceed with caution.
I'm still thinking hard about the "absolute best combination" of fibres and plies for making socks, even though I know this is serious Holy Grail territory, and many others, far better than I, have tried and failed.

However, in general I think I'm heading in the direction of "longer staple/three plies/higher twist," and some proportion of mohair and/or nylon with a base of about 75% wool. My preference, of course, would be mohair.

Any ideas, suggestions, etc. would be welcome.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

I have nothing.... but lessons are good!