Jobo Designs

Letting the crafty creative juices flow. Knitting, spinning, crafting, dyeing, rabbits, sheep and more!

19. August 2009 07:30
by Jobo

Done Monkey-ing Around!

19. August 2009 07:30 by Jobo | 1 Comments

In general, socks are a pretty quick knit for me... even in light fingering weight wool on size 1 DPNs... I'm not sure why exactly they seem to fly off the needles so fast, but it's not unusual for me ot knock off a pair of socks in a week to 10 days.  Probably a sign of my need to knit lately?  What with a new job and lots of things on my plate, those stolen moments (even 10 minutes at a time) are really necessary for my mental health - and boy do they add up too!

Here they are: 

the Pattern:

Monkeys (by Cookie A) - link to pattern if you're interested

The Yarn:

Fibranatura 100% Merino "Yummy" 

I was really impressed with the way that this yarn didn't pool or flash in any particular area.  I would have thought that since it was dyed in simple colour segments, in a fairly predictable order, that it would have puddled like crazy! Maybe part of the well behavedness was related to my pattern choice, but I'm not really all that experienced with using this kind of hand dyed yarn yet.  Once I try a few more skeins and try and predict possible behaviour maybe it will all make sense ;)

This yarn was great to work with too... not at all scratchy as some of the reviews on ravelry might lead you to believe.  Through the whole project, the plies were even and consistant, the colours behaved predictably, and the overall resulting fabric was perfect.  Not too loose on size 1s or too tight.  Had no trouble achieving the gauge called for in the pattern.  I would actively seek out this yarn again.  Plus I think I have enough yarn leftover for a pair or baby socks too!

If you are looking for a really well written, straightforward pattern, with a little interest, but mostly basic - This pattern may be for you!  I hardly had to look at the pattern for the second sock, and would probably forego using it at all if I were to cast on a second pair today.  I was able to work on them even when I only had a few minutes... which is unusual, because I often have difficulty working only a few rows of lace and then putting it down for fear of getting lost and not knowing where I am when I come back.  I'm not sure if this is just because I am getting more comfortable with lace patterns?  I am starting to be able to "read" my own work and know what point I am supposed to be at just by looking at the stitches of the previous row, which is something I have been working on improving.  I think a lot of knitters have trouble with this early on.

All in All the Month of August has been a socky one so far... with two pairs of completed socks.  My Mother-in-Law has been trying to convince me for years that I should enter some of my homemade goods in the local exhibition... and see how they fare for judging.  I just might have to do that this year and see what the judges think.  I might enter my Not-Mary-Kate-and-Ashley Jaywalkers in the Handspun category (if there is one) and maybe the Monkeys in a lace category of some sort?  She would really like me to enter a quilt, but I haven't really been working on any quilts for the last few months... so maybe next year for those.

Anyways... I have another pair on the needles to show you, but I have to take some pictures first!  These are being made with some samples of Kauni Effetgarn that I received in the mail from Estonia the other day... and are working up really well.  I am enjoying the long colour stretches (Doesn't that seem to be my favorite thing lately?)

I leave you with one more finished sock photo.... don't they look all happy outside on the patio furniture?  I don't think they even mind the humidity... sigh.  It was 38 degrees yesterday with the Humidex... it was all I could do to NOT melt.

14. August 2009 13:30
by Jobo

Evil, Evil Monkeys

14. August 2009 13:30 by Jobo | 2 Comments

My Mom and Dad went on vacation earlier this summer over to Cape Breton and toured the Cabot Trail... and brought me back sock yarn as a souvenir from Baddeck (From Baadeck Yarns)  Apparently it is common knowledge that I am open to accepting any and all forms of yarn and/or fibery items, though I am not sure who leaked this data to the press :P

I had never heard of this particular brand of yarn before... so I had to fondle it for a little while, and then of course go look it up on Ravelry and see what the masses thought of it.

The Brand is Fibranatura.... in 100% Superwash Merino, and overall it seems to be a well liked product.  Some folks seemed to think that it wasn't very soft, and was a little stiff.  Now myself, I like my sock yarns to be a little more tightly wound and tougher - since we know that more tightly wound worsted plies are less likely to pill and fuzz, the socks should be more hard wearing and not wear out as fast.  I did find this yarn to be a little overspun (kinks up a little back onto itself) but not enough to be unpleasant to work with.  As far as softness goes, I don't find it to be scratchy or unpleasant... and once the skein was undone, the yarn didn't feel very stiff to me.  Overally I found the texture and softness to be acceptable.

Winding the skein is usually a telling experience... are there any knots?  areas where the yarn is in poor condition?  are all sections evenly dyed?  I was very impressed at the quality of this skein.  There were absolutely no knots or joins, and the colour was nice and even throughout.  The texture of the yarn was very consistant, and the colour transitions were even and seamless.  A+ for quality so far!

I'm not sure I would have chosen this colour combination myself, but once I opened up the skein and got to see the colours in a pile, rather than in neat organized skeiny fashion, the purples and blues and greens grew on me.  I have only worked with handpainted yarns a few times, and the whole flashing/pooling thing is new to me.  I like the idea of watching the color patterns emerge as you go.  I still don't have a lot of experience choosing patterns that compliment that feature, but I had seen many pairs of Monkey Socks on Ravelry that used this style of yarn... so I hoped it would be ok.  There have been nearly 10,000 pairs of Monkey Socks documented on Ravelry to date... so I think the numbers must speak for themselves, and apparently it is impossible to knit just one pair.  Many ravelers have made 3+ pairs of these... are they Evil?  (I'm sure Chris from Family Guy would think they were... hehheheehee)  I also tried to pay special attention to the placement of the colours and the dyeing style so hopefully I would be able to dye my own yarn in a similar way someday.


I think these socks will look excellent with blue jeans!

Armed with freshly printed pattern... I cast on and was off to the races with the twisted rib cuff.  (I had never done "twisted rib" before, and I actually liked it better than regular 1x1 rib... not quite as monotonous, and a nice tight springy feeling fabric.

The pattern itself - Monkey Socks by Cookie A - is very clearly written, simple to follow, and easily memorizable.  After working the 11-row pattern repeat a few times I didn't have to follow the pattern anymore, and was even able to work on these in the car. (which I often can't do with patterned knitting, since I get carsick when I have to look at my hands too much)  After knitting a few repeats, it appears that the colours will be well distributed and that there is no really obvious pooling or flashing.  I must say, I was a little surprised at this, because I would have guessed that the regular repeating segments of colour would have made some distinct pools or flashes.  The only place any pooling happened to any degree was in the cuffs, but I kindof like it, because it seems to make my twisted rib stand out in a nice way, almost like it was planned to be there.

Close up of pattern on leg... so you can see the non-pooling nature!

All in all, a quite enjoyable knit... with enough interesting things going on to keep me amused, but not so much that you have to focus too hard on the pattern.  Also a quick knit, I have the first sock completely done now, and the second one done to the heel gusset.  (I will likely finish these this weekend, and post more pics later on)

Sneak Preview...

More to come :) Stay Tuned Knit-fans!

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