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Autoknitter Socks, and Some Productivity, and Milestones

Well, yesterday I turned 35, which seems somehow implausible, but there it is. It was a very pleasant birthday.

I seamed toes of a few autoknitter socks, and tried some to-be-seamed ones on after that to see if I really felt like grafting the toes, or if I would rather rip and reknit them. This, too, allowed me to determine what I really want to be spinning for in yarn for the sock machine. It can handle a wide variety of things; but I’d like to get some socks I’m really going to wear. To that end, I have some issues to resolve, and these can be handled in various ways including yarn customization.

Sock #1: Austermann Marina. This was a discontinued superwash merino yarn I bought a bunch of on sale some time ago. Very soft, very springy. Makes a great sock on this machine, as it turns out, but there are issues with the toe on this one — too much fabric. I could see about shortening the foot portion of the sock, and simply blocking… but with it being superwash, and as springy as it is, a better solution would be to figure out how to narrow the tow and round it a little more.

I actually really like this sock, and will seam up the mate to it, and they’ll be wearable. Using the different colour yarn for heel and toe made it easy to see where I wanted to graft and various other things about the sock structure.

Sock #2: handspun falkland/silk 2-ply. Sigh. This yarn will make fabulous socks, but I was way too loose. So I’m going to seam up the other one and try to shrink ’em and felt ’em a bit.

Sock #3: handpainted laceweight merino/silk 2-ply (commercial, handpainted by me). Think Jaggerspun Zephyr, if you’re familiar. This one I tried on before seaming, having really high hopes for it. And this pair, this pair is the winner. I will definitely wear these socks.

So for me, right now, the easy way out is to spin a nice 5000-6000 ypp wool blend yarn, and crank the socks out fairly tight, to roughly the formula I used on the third pair of socks in this photo. That determination being made, I went up to the yarn room and grabbed some ball of orange merino-tencel top I had picked up somewhere…

and get started spinning some singles for a 3-ply sock yarn…

Should be nice and toasty. And I’ll keep practicing and thinking about how to make good socks with, you know, not laceweight type yarn.

Oh, this morning I was charmed by Edward opting to wear his favourite shirt to school. It’s a shirt I made him last year, so I took a few pictures quick before he outgrows it.