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Sunday, September 17, 2006 


A week ago I couldn't fight it any longer. It's weird, because I've always thought of spinning as a waste of knitting time; when there are perfectly good yarns out there, why spend valuable time making your own? (Strange thoughts coming from a knitter, I know...) I e-mailed Gudrun's ullbod and asked which of their two spindles would be best for a beginner, and obviously the more expensive one is prefered. To be certain not to be alone on this adventure, I also ordered one for Fi, whose birthday is in a couple of weeks. A difficult situation arose when I received the spindles Thursday evening, fell immedately in love and I could neither blog nor tell her about it. My quick fix was to invite her over for coffee and birthday present this afternoon, and we are now two happy and excited newborn spinners. Just look at what I've made:

Two years ago, I bought some white carded wool during our summer vacation on Gotland. It was destined for felting, but as the saleslady had pointed out, I discovered it didn't respond very well to felting. It's been lying around ever since, and finally came out of the fiber treasury Thursday evening. And does this wool make pretty yarn or what? It's got an almost silky shimmer, almost visible in this photo. I wonder what I should do with this beautiful yarn. I was thinking a baby sweater to keep until I have a precious little dumpling myself in a distant future, or maybe mittens (for more immediate use)? But then white isn't the best mitten colour. What do you use to dye this stuff? And where do you buy it? Should it be dyed?

In the shadow of this overwhelming event, I've also finished my Norwegian stockings! This is how pretty they turned out:

Picking up at the heel was the worst part. I didn't lift the first stitch on every row of the heel flap but just knitted it, and then I also picked up one stitch in every row and knitted two together, to avoid holes. It went ok, but this heel flap thing isn't too clever, in my opinion. But hey, I've only knitted one pair of socks in my entire life, so what do I know? It does seem to be the most common technique for heels though, so maybe I just need practice. Any tips, anyone? How do you make pretty heels?

Pattern: Norwegian stockings from "Folk socks" by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Baby og hosegarn from LØVE, 80% wool, 20% polyamid
Yardage: 2 balls dark grey, 1 ball pink (210 m each), scraps of something white
Yarn Source: Yll & Tyll
Needles: The lovely bamboo 2.5 mm I got from my SP
Gauge: 28 st/10 cm?
Modifications: Customized for my feet the hard trial- and error way. Altered two strands of grey yarn under heel for reinforcement.

I've done it where you pick up and knit the heel flap stitches, then on the NEXT row, you knit into the back loop. For some reason it works. I always just pick up as many stitches as I need to avoid any gaps where the flap meets the gusset, then just decrease as necessary on subsequent rows (every row for a while, instead of every other row, for example), until I get down to the right number of stitches again.
Your socks are gorgeous!!!

Wow! Norwegian stockings for your second pair of socks! You should be proud as they are gorgeous. I just ordered some yarn to knit this pair as it is a lovely pattern.

Ok, so I guess I have to finish at least one norweigan sock? Back to work then... :D

Lovely, lovely socks! Now I just HAVE to make a pair, too!

Ruby: Thanks for the tips! I guess I'll have to make another pair of socks to try your method... I might go for something less demanding, though.

Robin: This is my first pair of socks!

Hej! Eftersom min engelska är som den är fattar jag inte riktigt allt. Skulle du kunna tänka dig att visa en bild av hälen och beskriva - på svenska - hur du gjort?
En annan börjar söka bland enkla mönster till "förstagångs-stickningen" så det finns bara ett ord som täcker ditt val. Respekt! Dina strumpor är sanslöst fina.

Annelie: Jag tog ingen bild på hälen eftersom jag inte var så nöjd med den... men här finns bilder på ett annat par http://www.figandplum.com/archives/000594.html

När man har stickat skaftet på strumpstickor delar man, så man bara stickar på hälften av maskorna, och fram och tillbaka istället för runt runt. Det blir en liten fyrkantig lapp som hamnar mitt bak på hälen. Sen stickar man de mittersta, i det här fallet 12, maskorna och stickar ihop den tolfte maskan med den trettonde på varje varv tills alla maskor på sidan om de tolv mittersta är stickade, så man får en u-formad undersida under hälen. Detta "u" stickade jag med två grå trådar om vartannat, så det blir lite tjockare och förhoppningsvis mindre nötbart. Sen börjar dramat med att plocka upp maskor längs kanten på häl-lappen, och det är där det gärna blir hål, ojämnt och gräsligt, men det kanske inte blir så fult om man bara har en färg och inte två. Det ska vara hälften så många maskor som det är varv i lappen, så jag plockade upp i varje varv och stickade ihop maskorna direkt, så det blev tätare.

Hoppas det är svar på din fråga!

Wow! The stockings are really great! You can be very proud of yourself, my first socks didn´t look that good...
I always make the "Käppchenferse". The description how to knit it, is on the back of the band around the sockyarn I sent you. Maybe you´ll try it some day.
The yarn you spun is great!

"less demanding" says the woman whose first socks were norwegian multi-color stranded knee-highs!

wonderful spinning! me too have started to enter the world of loose fibres and spinning spindles.


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