Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Experiment Commences

I'm happy to report that my sweater is done (you'll get to see it in another day or two), so I've been able to spin again without feeling guilty.  On Friday night, I finished spinning the fourth and final bobbin of singles for my cabled yarn. Yesterday, I started plying up the first of two bobbins.

After I ply all the singles, I'll then ply the two-ply yarns together. Based upon a quick ply-back test on this bobbin's yarn, it looks like my finished yarn should be sport weight-ish.

Also, though it's not spinning, I have some spinning-related knitting to share today. I finished my socks with the regular and opposing three ply!

Traditional three ply on the left, opposing three ply on the right
I decided to keep these very simple, because in my experience, the true beauty of handspun socks is the yarn. I really wanted to let it shine (and stripe, apparently), so I stuck to some plain-vanilla stockinette with a couple of interesting features.

For one thing, I added some cable twists to the cuff of the opposing ply sock so that I could tell them apart down the road when I'm evaluating their relative durability.

I also changed up my typical heel to get some more wear in that area because that seems to be where I develop holes first. Rather than knitting back and forth over half the stitches for a heel flap, I worked in the round while I increased next to the instep stitches every other round to create the gusset at the same time. Then I turned the heel as usual and proceeded to work back and forth over the resulting sole stitches (maintaining the slip-stitch patterning) and working decreases at each end to connect those stitches to the gusset stitches until I had the right number of sole stitches left. The result is a heel that looks very much like a flat-and-gusset sock but that will (I hope) be a little more durable.

Supposedly the yarn spun with an opposing ply will be more durable in the long term, so the point of these socks is to test that theory. I'll be wearing these normally through the fall and winter and will report back if any holes form.

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