Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Handspun on Vacation

I'm posting from beautiful, sunny, warm Florida, where we are wrapping up our second full day of vacation. It's been incredibly restful so far -- and that's exactly what I was hoping for. This isn't the longest trip (we'll be headed back home Saturday afternoon), but some time away from the cold and the stress of work is doing me worlds of good.

Unlike our regular December trip, when we usually come down for at least two weeks, I didn't overpack on the knitting. I knew that while I'd have more knitting time than I normally do during the week, we'd also be doing fun things outside that sometimes don't mix so well with knitting (swimming in the pool, for one). I brought my handspun socks in progress, as I was already about 75% done with them and knew I'd finish them soon -- like this afternoon:

Pattern: my basic top-down stockinette, worked over 70 stitches, with two inches of ribbing at the cuff, a heel flap and gusset, and wedge toe
Yarn: my handspun -- superwash merino from Into the Whirled in Death, spun last year
Needles: US 0 (2.0 mm) 40 in. Addi Sock Rockets, magic loop
Started/Completed: March 7/March 22

Because you're going to ask, yes, I did finish them while sitting by the pool. I was forced to do so next to the pool rather than in it because the pool had to be shocked and we aren't allowed to go in until tomorrow. A certain 6-year-old was probably the most disappointed by this news, but I was perfectly content to sit and knit while catching up on some podcasts.

I brought a skein of Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce self-striping that will be going on the needles next.

The other project that I was hoping to be able to cast on for tonight is my Hitofude. I swatched using two needle sizes -- US 5/3.75 mm and US 6/4.0 mm -- and blocked the swatch last night:

The US 5 was used on the bottom and the US 6 on the top. The pattern's gauge is 20 stitches and 32 rows. But you will see my error right away -- I swatched in stockinette, and of course the pattern's gauge is given over the lace pattern. So it looks like I'll be ripping and reswatching tonight instead of casting on. In a way I'm a bit relieved, because the pattern calls for a US 4/3.5 mm needle to be used, and even with the 6, I was still getting 22 stitches over four inches. The fabric is light enough that it would be too loose with a larger needle. I'm hoping that once I swatch the lace, which will of course be blocked a little more aggressively than stockinette, I'll be closer to the correct gauge, perhaps even on the smaller of the two needles.

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