My last couple of projects in the past little while have been socks. I really enjoy knitting socks and wearing handknit socks but sometimes I am not a fan of knitting items where I need 2 of something. As many of you know, sock knitting is addictive!!
My first pair I made with Wisdom Prose Sock yarn I got from Wolseley Wool in the colourway Vegitate. Normally I don't mind if my socks don't match exactly but these ones made it just so easy. I stated these just after the Manitoba Fibre Festival and finished them at the beginning of Nov. Can't go wrong with plain ol vanilla socks. I worked these cuff down and used my regular heel flap and toe.
Talking about mis-matched socks.... I was gifted this sock kit from my friend Nicole. At first I was a bit confused about what they would become, but it seems I am the only one on the planet who hadn't seen these amazing socks from the Yarn Enabler (and I even follow her on Instagram!) You can knit these either cuff down or toe up. These Paper and Pencil socks have been my most fun knit this year by far! I use my new ChiaoGoo 9" circular (2.5 US 3.00mm) and whipped through these in 2 weeks.
This kit is called Stationery and includes both paper and a pencil :P in the words of the Yarn Enabler "What good is a pencil without paper?" The larger white skein is the loose leaf which I knit as a plain vanilla sock. The other 3 skeins make up the pencil starting with the lead and wood portion, moving onto the yellow body and finishing with the metal cap and eraser. I used the No. 2 pattern for the pencil because - come on, you gotta give the pencil its true form. I used up pretty much every inch of yarn for these socks.
I used a few different techniques for this pair. I knit these toe up and since I am a fairly tight knitter, I have a hard time doing Judy's Magic cast on so I use the toe from Charlene Schurch's book "More Sensational Knitted Socks". This toe starts out using a provisional cast on and then you knit a little rectangle which you then pick up stitches on the side and increase for the toe until you are up to 64 stitches. I then used the heel and gusset increases from Kelie Oreb's Straight Up Socks pattern. Super easy, it didn't upset the stripes and I didn't have to switch to double pointed needles.
For the cuff, I did k1, p1 ribbing until I had enough yarn left over to do Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy bind off. 100% fun the whole way. I haven't worn the socks yet but I did hear somewhere that people who wear mis-matched socks are geniuses haha.
Spin-Well Spinning Wheel
This glorious wheel was made between 1930 and 1946 in Sifton, Manitoba by a blacksmith named John Weselowski. He based the design on a wheel he had from the Ukraine. The Spin-Well wheels could be bought by mail order for the low, low price of $7.75. By 1938 John and his brother were able to make 20 wheels a day! John expanded his business to become a small milling operation called Custom Woolen Mills. Later on a descendent of his sold the milling equipment to Carstairs, Alberta which is what I know as Custom Woolen Mills now. Another cool tid-bit of information is that John partnered with Willard McPhedrain and together they started Mary Maxim. That's a lot of cool history to come out of a small town. In 1947 Spin-Well Manufacturing Co. was sold and became known as Made-Well Manufacturing Co. which continued until the 70’s.
The above info from https://archaicarcane.com/workhorse-spinning-with-a-canadian-connection/
The orifice opening is 1/4" in diameter which is larger than many vintage wheels, much larger than my Haldane and my Kromski Sonata is 3/8" so pretty close! The height of the opening is 29" and it is centered on the wheel which makes it pretty comfortable.
The chair frame sets it apart from many other vintage wheels and is easily noticeable. Although not the prettiest, there is a lot of thought put into this design which makes it very versatile, lightweight and compact.
The wheel diameter is 13.5" and it is 2" thick and made from solid wood slabs, laminated together. The footman is attached in the centre and uses a crank style motion in conjunction with the treadle to get the wheel spinning.
This wheel is a single treadle but you could easily use both feet as it is the width of the frame. Treadling on this wheel is much different from other single treadles as its motion is more like that of a table sewing machine. It is very easy to get going, and much easier to keep in motion.
Yarn at The Naked Sheep
My friend Nicole will be opening a new yarn shop in Regina here in the next couple of weeks. I am very happy to get a real LYS again in my hometown. It is called The Naked Sheep Yarn & Fibre Emporium and it is located at 104 College Ave E. She will have a great selection of yarns and fibre from a lot of local dyers as well as all your favourite brands. I have sent her some Knit Natural handspun recently and will add a few more skeins as well in the next week or so. Keep an eye on her Facebook page for more info on opening date, upcoming classes and more goodies arriving daily.