Tuesday, October 30, 2018

WYSI-not always-WYG

I spent the past four days power-knitting a pair of socks, because I wanted to get it over and done with.

First off, when I saw the skein that produced the socks below, I thought it was the most beautiful yarn I'd seen. It read turquoise, olive, magenta. It did not read brown, as the finished socks do. So to say I'm a little disappointed is an understatement.

But the yarn was pricey and I don't like having UFOs lying around...because they eat at my mind until I finish them. So I just knit up this pair of socks from the getgo, working as fast as I could, so that I could move on.

The yarn was also relatively difficult to work with, because it's a very tightly spun 3-ply that is very round -- which likely makes it good for socks, but cumbersome to work with. Plus, that tightly-spunness rendered all the stitches so uniform, that the finished socks look as though they were made on a sock knitting machine, not by hand.

However...they're warm and comfy, despite that they don't go with anything I own. And they're also 100% superwash wool, which is the only wool I'll use these days.

In my spinning days, just the name superwash would kind of make me recoil. I used to buy raw wool fleece and process and spin it myself. So a wool product messed-with in any way was out of my range of comprehension...

...until about 10 years ago when I realized that I could no longer wear wool, because it itched too much. So I used up what handspun wool I had left on items I donated to local animal rescue groups, and set about knitting up all the handspun silks I had in my collection.

Then I decided to knit again in earnest, and I discovered superwash wool. The primary reason it is called superwash, is that it can be soaped and agitated in a washing machine without turning into felt, as natural wool will do in a heartbeat. Natural wool fibers have microscopic barbs on them, and those barbs stick together when wool is agitated. (Those barbs also help the fibers stick together in the yarn-spinning process.) The process of making a wool superwash removes all those barbs, which is why you can wash it without fear of felting.

But...removing the barbs from the fiber also renders it Non-Itchy! And that's why I'm using superwash wool now. I can use and wear wool without an allergic reaction. Hallelujah!

I've gotten back into stamp collecting, something I did as a kid in the 50s. I think it was all those recently-acquired vintage envelopes with their old stamps that pushed me over the edge of deciding to do something more formal with the stamps I've been collecting for the last five years. I'll say more about it in my next post.

Early indicators predict that this will likely be a warm and dry winter in California. We had a smattering of rain a few days ago, but I don't think we'll see a lot of it this year. I hope I'm wrong.

Happy Hallowe'en! xx

8 comments:

Leslie said...

I LOVE the sock colors. You get tired of them, you got my addy. So pretty with those songs of turquoise.

jenclair said...

The socks look colorful to me, and I'm sure they are warm and comfortable. Thanks for the info on superwash wool, Connie!

Jacki Long said...

Thanks for the lesson on super wool and socks in general.
I agree, your socks look professional, Connie! ;o)

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I used to give a second thought to sock color and if my socks didn't match each other...well...I would go without before I would wear mismatched socks. Not any more. Who CARES!! I don't knit, I do crochet but I have never made socks. I never wear wool close to my skin, but I do love wool coats. Here in Northern Indiana, the weather people can't decide if El Nino will effect us or not. Some say wet and warm, others say sub cold and lots of lake effect snow coming our way this winter. Me? I'm just going to stock the freezer and watch from the patio door.

happy Halloween!
xx, Carol

Carol Cohn said...

I think the socks look great - and warm and comfy for the cool nights of winter!

So long as they're soft, it's perfect!

john said...

Hi Connie,

Yes, I am in Ireland solo. Loving every minute of it. One more week and then I will be home. Hugs.

ileneharris said...

Your socks are lovely and so is the colorway. I, myself, like Superwash for socks and have been knitting them - on a circular needle - for years. Meditative and highly practical, too...

Dortesjs said...

awsome, love the soks to