Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Socks, books & collapsible balls

The week after any school holiday is generally a slow one for crafting, and this is no exception. There has been no spinning (!) and only my new handbag socks have had any attention at all. I'm knitting Wendy D Johnson's Diagonal Lace Socks and they are, as predicted, simple enough to pick up and put down frequently. When I posted about Wendy's patterns last week a lovely reader commented that she was looking for something similar to download, rather than needing a whole book, and so for anyone else in the same position here's Wendy's website - there are lots of great free sock patterns which you can download immediately.

Dealing with collapsible balls (!!)
Following other posts about knitting two socks - or three or four multipuffs - on a long circular needle at the same time, I've had feedback that people find it hard to prevent the different balls of yarn from tangling. I find the easiest way to avoid this is by turning the work clockwise after the first side, and then anticlockwise after the second side. This puts one twist in the yarns and then untwists it. I usually wind centre-pull balls, and this works really well, as there is little/no rolling around when the yarn is pulled from the ball.

For the current socks, I'm using Drops Fable Spray Paint (pink/brown) which came in the type of ball that is prone to prolapse. In this case I have put both balls in mesh bands to lend extra support and am knitting from the centre of the ball as normal, but I am also working from a RosyRetro project bag which has poppers along the top...
If you look at the picture again, you will see that the yarn is held between the (closed) poppers and this keeps the two strands apart and makes it really easy to manage, especially when knitting with more than two balls - or from both ends of a single ball. (I have a few of these bags and love them - they also come with really cute snag-free stitch markers and very prompt delivery!)

No doubt you will have noticed the stunning Fyberspates yarn also pictured. I really could not resist 1,500m of silky goodness, but as yet am not sure what to make with it. Do you have any suggestions? 

Finally, I have just finished reading The Age of Miracles, a coming-of-age tale set during an unforeseen global catastrophe. The spin of the earth has started to slow and the effects on nature, the human body and psyche, are explored through  the story of 11 year old Julia, her family and friends. Time - as we know it - has become meaningless and society is irreversibly changed. I was gripped from the start - the novel is as compelling as it is chilling - a stark reminder that we are at nature's mercy and our whole lives could change without warning. I would certainly recommend this book for teens or adults - it's well written and very thought-provoking. 

P.S. Spell-check doesn't check the post title for typos!!!!! *d'oh!* 


  1. Don't forget Wendy's shawl patterns, they're so pretty :)

  2. That yarn screams a shawl to me :)
    But when it comes to which shawl, I cannot help you.

  3. I like the project bag, what a clever idea.

    The lace yarn is beautiful. Definitely needs to be a shawl. I love Booknits designs, well written with both charts and written instructions and lots of pretty beads :-)

    1. Thanks. They are on my radar for a possible KAL :)

  4. OMGosh! Lots of eye candy in this post, Sarah ^^! That is clever how you're using the project bag. I remember when I was using both ends of one ball for the cloche, they kept twisting about which was a pain. That silky yarn is gorgeous. I think you have to make some kind of shawl to show it off properly. This post reminds me I need to dig out those yarn cozies since I'm usually !@#% when the ball gets tangled up and having to stop and untangle and deknot areas blows my mojo and flow.

  5. 1500m of silk? A lovely wrap!

  6. Love the yarn, the socks, the project bag and the book recommendation! I didn't know we were throwing books in here too! Awesome! I haven't read Beth Hoffman's 2nd book but her first was THE BEST of 2012 for me...The Raising of Cee Cee Honeycut. I don't know what the new title is but it's out but you MUST read the first book if you haven't read it yet. She is a masterful storyteller! Happy Summer!

  7. Thanks for the lucid tip about knitting with multiple balls of yarn. Best explanation I've read.

    I loved The Age of Miracles--well worth a read or a listen. In a similar vein, I'll recommend The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. Post-apocalyptic, yes, but no zombies, vampires, or excessive bloodshed--real human relationships and behavior.

  8. Okay I downloaded the sample of the book on my nook.....and I love the socks and will have to look into one of those bags....gorgeous yarn...

  9. Okay--I am trouble. I clicked the link to the cute project bag and I just want to spend, spend, spend! Next payday I am paying another visit!
    Your book sounds oh-so-chilling and oh-so-interesting.

  10. Nice pictures and I am planning to read Age of Miracles next. Thanks for the mention about RosyRetro; what a clever idea!

  11. What a fabulous post, so many helpful tips to keep that ball of yarn under control and tangle free and I love those popper bags.......thanks for all the links.

    Your diagonal lace socks are looking good,and that book does indeed sound chilling........I shall have to add it to my reading list.

  12. Blooming enabler. Rosy retro bag ordered! Its really good actually as I had been looking for something similar and this is perfect at such a good price. Thanks

  13. Blooming enabler. Rosy retro bag ordered! Its really good actually as I had been looking for something similar and this is perfect at such a good price. Thanks


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