Thursday, September 18, 2014

What's the buzz?

The cool summer was great for pasture growth and the flock should be grazing for some time yet before they switch onto hay for the winter.

But autumn being upon us, the rams are in rut so they are confined to a yard on the opposite side of the barn to the pastures, with a round bale of hay to munch on.

Its decent hay and I couldn't figure out why the boys were turning their noses up at it and nibbling instead of thistles in the yard.

Today I went to fork the hay up a little to encourage them.


This is a serious and very active hornet nest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Noro Silk Garden

I don't knit Noro very often these days and I still have a fairly generous stash of it, for when the mood (ie feeling very patient) strikes me.

This is Noro Silk Garden Sock, in colourway S264. 40% Lambs Wool 25% Silk 25% Nylon 10% Kid Mohair. 300m/100g

The thick and thin of this Noro blend is very broad, but, at least, the thin parts don't go all the way down to hair-width as in Noro Kureyon sock yarn. With this blend I'd say the range is lace-weight up to lopi+.  Some parts are so thick its hard to crank it through. And often, even when it will crank through with significant effort a stitch can slip off the needle in a wink. I knit half a dozen pairs and each sock had between 1 and 3 slipped stitched that had to be picked up. 

Feeling perhaps masochistic, I knit everything as a ribbed sock, so the ribber is in place during the entire knit, leaving the slipped stitches to be discovered and picked up at the end. The saving grace is the yarn has such a good grab the a slipped stitch runs either very little, or not at all.

As difficult as this yarn is to work with I continue to love Love LOVE Noro's colours, so I'll always look for those otherwise calm moments when I can get at it.

The pair shown is size Small +, knit with the 72 needle cylinder and 36 ribber on the Verdun 47.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Grazing Aug 31 2014

 Its hard to believe there is so much fresh grazing available at the end of August. The cool summer has definitely favoured the growth of our cool season grasses. Sheep are luvin' it!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Koigu Lace L851

Here is a new knitting experience for me: Koigu Lace, 100% Merino, 292 yds/50g. Shown here in colour L851.

I knit two pair of Size Small for my first experience with this yarn. I knit both pair using the same pattern with the 72 cylinder and 36 ribber. Both with a 1x1 topper and 3x1 ribbed leg and instep.

The first pair I made a false start, having my tension a bit too tight and the yarn broke during the first pass. Resetting the tension a quarter turn looser was just right. And I knit the pair with ease. After washing and blocking I got DW to try them on for fit. They did nicely on her size 6-7 average width foot. I thought they might be a bit loose (being 72 stitch sock instead of my normal 54 for a Small) but there weren't in the least slouchy.

Nevertheless, I decided to make a second pair with a strand of very fine Lycra knit through the entire knit. Using lycra, I loosened by tension off about a quarter turn.The result was a smaller finished sock with very good hugability.

The first pair, without the lycra, I got both socks out of a single skein. With the second pair set at a looser tension I got as far as the toe of the second sock and had to start into another skein.

My verdict - this is a very nice yarn. The weight is comparable to the cashmara lace I've knit - a great light weight wool sock.

Above, is one With Lycra sock laying atop one Without Lycra sock.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Koigu KPPPM 312

On a recent stash enhancement visit to Koigu, I got a bag of uncolourful salt and pepper, KPPPM #312.

I typically think of Koigu in terms of brilliant colours, but after knitting some commercial salt and pepper yarn I decided to try something similar in a pure fine merino.

I like.

This is a size Medium pair, knit with 72 cylinder and 36 ribber on the Verdun 47. I've done a 1x1 top and 5x1 leg and instep. The heels and toes are reinforced with a grey wooly nylon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Alpaca Blend

This is an Alpaca Blend in a heavy fingering weight; 60% Alpaca 20% Wool 20% Nylon; in natural and home dyed Rusty-Red.

This pair is Small and a bit, EEE, mid-calf. Knit with 72 cylinder and 36 ribber on Verdun 47 with a reverse wrap selvedge, 1x1 topper and 5x1 leg and instep.

Small-and-a-bit EEE originated as a bespoke size but it turned out I had a number of regulars that exact size, so I make a few ahead on spec.

Koigu Mori M815

Here's one I haven't knit in a long time. If found a few skeins while rooting through my Koigu tubs, looking for a special knit.

Koigu Mori in colour M815, 50% Merino 50% Mulberry Silk, fingering weight.

This pair is size Small, narrow. Normally I would knit Small with a 54 cylinder, but I wanted to get more elasticity into the fabric (compensating for high silk content). I did actually knit a pair on the 54/27 cylinder/ribber and it met my 'Small specs', but not extra narrow. So I tried this pair on the 72cylinder and I'm much happier with the result.

I knit a 1x1 ribbed topper, switching then to 3x1 rib for the leg and instep.

The finer stitch of the 72 cylinder, combined with the rib ratio delivered the goods.