First up this week are my pair of finished self-striping, plain vanilla socks. Yarn is from Desert Vista Dyeworks in the ‘Monkey Wrench’ colorway. I used a leftover bit of plain black for the Fish Lips Kiss heels in this otherwise simple pair. The yarn base is one I generally have almost a half skein left (I have 43 grams out of the original 100 g skein after making this pair of “women’s medium” sized socks), so I’ve been on the lookout for some non-sock patterns that might use up the remainders of these skeins. I have a hat pattern I’ve found that I think I may try out this fall and see how I like it that moves the stripes in a spiral pattern.
I also have been working on my “A is for” Altitude socks this week. Pattern is from Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade and I’m using a sock set from Momma Jess for these. I have the heel turned and I’m cruising down the foot of sock #1. Hoping to have the first sock done this week.
I also am making steady progress on my Softly Spoken shawl. I’ve finished the fourth of the five tonal miniskeins I’m using for the center portion of the shawl, so one more (a bright dark green) to go and then I can work the final multicolored section for the opposite end. I think when this is all blocked out I would probably wear it more as a generous scarf than a shawl but we will see how it looks once I get there.
Next up, spinning: I’ve gotten both bobbins of singles spun up and I just started plying these. I divided up the roving for a fractal-type spin, meaning one half of the roving I split into very thin strips and the other I split into thicker strips so there should be sections where the colors match up and some where they blend. In looking at the plied yarn as it’s growing on the bobbin, I’m not 100% sure I like what it’s doing – there’s a lot of muddying of the colors – but as with most of my handspun, I’m reserving judgement until it’s plied and off the bobbin as it really changes a lot at each step of the process. (I think the dark blues and yellows, while beautiful in the roving, are giving me kind of a brownish-green color when blended in the plying process.)
Finally, some good progress on Desert Mandala this week. I have finished the bottom triangular section with the “Ghost Ranch” cow’s skull and cacti. Deceptively detailed, it took a bit longer to stitch than I thought it would but I love all the texture the back stitching and straight stitches of “thorns” give the cactus. It’s hard to see in the photo, but there is a crystal flower bead in the center of the cow skull. It’s iridescent and shimmers in the light but I think gets washed out in the intensity of my work lamp. I decided I’m going to continue on and work on the exterior border and maybe do the interior landscape border, but save the actual landscape vignette until I get the final corner worked. I want to A) Make sure all the borders meet up correctly and B) I’m running low on one of the hand-dyed silks that is used in the feathers and I want to get those stitched before I tackle the clouds in the landscape (which are the same color) since I can substitute in something else for the landscape, but I want all the feathers to match.
That’s it for me this week, YOP’ers – have a good one!