Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Videos!

Wow! They do exist! In May, I flew out to Fort Collins to shoot some videos for Interweave. And now those videos are available.

F+W provided the images here for promotional purposes.


I would love to hear what you think. You can contact me at amy@stonesockfibers.com.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

1 x 60 = 60

I’ve reached the half-way mark! Here is the sixth of twelve sock patterns in my journey of 60 stitches. The featured stitch pattern has a 1-stitch repeat. In other words, each round is either knitted or purled. Sixty repeats of a 1-stitch pattern equals 60 stitches total. I’ve grown fond of welts over the past couple years, so I made one up for this sock.


On the leg, you are either knitting a round or purling a round. Some knitters really hate working in purl on double pointed needles because it’s easy for the first stitch on a needle to be loose, creating a sort of break in the work. I’ve devised a strategy to avoid this. If my first stitch on a needle is a knit stitch, I hold the right needle under the previous-now-resting needle. If my first stitch on a needle is a purl stitch, I hold the right needle above the previous-now-resting needle. If this doesn’t work for you, you may want to work this pattern on 1 or 2 circular needles.

The yarn I used was “Finullgarn” by Rauma Garn, made in Norway and distributed in the US by The Yarn Guys. It’s 100% wool, “100% Ren Ny Ull”, in color 406 (a nice heathery light brown that seems to suit the welts). The skeins are about 175 meters, and 50 grams. I used 2 skeins for this pair of socks. I got my gauge (7 ½ sts per inch, 12 rounds per inch) using US size 1 (2.25 mm) needles in stockinette stitch.

Cuff:
Loosely CO 60 sts. I used a long tail cast on, with US size 3 (3.25 mm), then changed to US size 1 (2.25mm) for the sock. I used a set of 4 double pointed needles and distributed the stitches so that there were 20 sts on Needle 1, 20 sts on Needle 2, and 20 sts on Needle 3.

Round 1: *k1, p1, k1, p2; rep from * around.

Repeat Round 1 until cuff measures 1 ½”.

Leg:
Rounds 1-2: knit
Round 3: purl
Rounds 4-5: knit
Rounds 6-9: purl
Rounds 10-11: knit
Round 12: purl
Rounds 13-14: knit

Repeat these 14 rounds until sock measures ~5 ¾ inches unstretched, and ~7 inches stretched, end having finished a Round 14.

Heel Flap:
Knit the first 15 stitches on Needle 1. Place the next 30 sts onto 2 needles. Slip the last 15 stitches from Needle 3 onto Needle 1. The heel flap is worked flat on the 30 sts on Needle 1. The 30 sts on the other two needles constitute the instep.

Row 1 (WS): sl1, purl to end.
Row 2: *s1, k1; rep from * to end.
Row 3: sl1, purl to end.
Row 4: sl1wyib, myf, *p1, sl1; rep from * to last st, k1.

(sl1wyib = slip 1 stitch with the yarn in back; myf = move the yarn to the front)

Repeat Rows 1-4 until heel flap is approximately 2 inches long, end having finished a Row 1.

Heel Turn:
The turned heel is made up of “short rows” with decreases. This process shapes the heel. As a result, for each row you will work a different number of stitches, and you will end up with fewer total stitches than you started with.

Row 1 (RS): sl1, k16, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 2: sl1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 3: sl1, k to 1 st before “gap”, ssk, K1, turn work.
Row 4: sl1, p to 1 st before “gap”, p2tog, P1, turn work.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until 18 sts remain, having finished a row 4.

Next row: sl1, knit across.

Gusset:
Pick up and knit 18 sts along the right side of the heel flap. To do this, insert right needle under the first edge stitch (under both strands of the stitch), wrap the working yarn around the needle, and pull a stitch through (one stitch has now been picked up and knitted). Repeat this process until 18 stitches have been picked up.

Slip the following 30 sts onto one needle. These stitches constitute the instep of the sock. Work these 30 sts following Round 1 of the instep pattern (see below).

Pick up and knit 18 sts along the left side of the heel flap.

Onto this same needle, knit the next 9 stitches (from the remaining heel stitches). Slip the remaining 9 heel stitches onto Needle 1 (with the right side gusset).

You now have 27 sts on Needle 1, 30 sts on Needle 2, and 27 sts on Needle 3. The middle of the heel falls between Needle 3 and Needle 1. Consider this point to be the beginning of the round.

Round 1: On Needle 1, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. On Needle 2, work Round 2 of instep pattern. On Needle 3, k1, ssk, k to end.

Round 2: On Needle 1, knit. On Needle 2, continue working instep pattern as established. On Needle 3, knit.

Rep Rounds 1 & 2 until there are 15 sts on both Needles 1 and 3 (60 sts total).

Instep Stitch Pattern (worked on Needle 2):

Rounds 1-2: knit
Round 3: purl
Rounds 4-5: knit
Rounds 6-9: purl
Rounds 10-11: knit
Round 12: purl
Rounds 13-14: knit

Foot:
After completing all the gusset decreases, continue working even, and continue repeating the instep pattern for as long as you want. I worked three repeats of the pattern. Then I continued in st st. Begin the toe when foot of sock measures 2 ½ inches short of foot length.

Toe:
The toe is 30 Rounds total.

This toe is shaped so that it gradually narrows. To achieve this effect, you will work a “Decrease Round” more frequently as the toe progresses.

Perform a Decrease Round on Rounds 1, 6, 10, 14, 17, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29, and 30. On all other rounds, work even.

Decrease Round: On Needle 1, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. On Needle 2, k1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. On Needle 3, k1, ssk, k to end.

At this point, there will be 4 sts on Needle 1, 8 sts on Needle 2, and 4 sts on Needle 3. Now, knit the next 4 sts onto Needle 3, leaving 8 sts on Needle 2 and 8 sts on Needle 3.

Graft the toe using the Kitchener stitch:

Cut the working yarn, leaving a 20 inch or longer tail. Thread this tail through a darning needle. Orient the sock so that the 2 needles are horizontal, the instep side of the sock is facing you, and the working yarn is coming off the right side of the needle in the back.

Step 1: Insert darning needle into the first stitch on the front needle as if to knit, pull the yarn through and slip this stitch off the needle. Insert darning needle into the next stitch on the front needle as if to purl, pull the yarn through and leave this stitch on the needle.

Step 2: Insert darning needle into the first stitch on the back needle as if to purl, pull the yarn through and slip this stitch off the needle. Insert darning needle into the next stitch on the back needle as if to knit, pull the yarn through and leave this stitch on the needle.

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until all stitches have been worked and slipped off the needles.

Weave in all ends.

If you have any questions – or if you find any mistakes – you can either leave a comment on this blog page or email me: atyler@centurytel.net or amy@stonesockfibers.com

This pattern is free, but it is still copyrighted. So, feel free share a copy of this pattern or knit these socks, but please do not sell the pattern or sell socks made from this pattern. Thank you.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Used Leclerc "Cendrel" Inkle Loom for Sale

I am moving sometime in the near future and I need to lighten my load. One thing that I am parting with is a floor standing inkle loom, the “Cendrel” by Leclerc. This loom can also be used as a warping board. It can weave bands up to 6” wide and 16’ long, and it can be used to wind a warp up to 10 yards long.

Dimensions: 33” at highest point, 28” from front to back, 15” deep (as measured at the base). The manual says it weighs 9 pounds.




I’m including 25 string heddles with the loom (made from a very strong, smooth linen yarn), and a copy of the Leclerc owner’s manual (23 pages).

I bought this loom a couple years ago from a friend of mine. She had it for a long time. I’ve used it once. It works very well, but I don’t do a lot of inkle weaving, and I have another inkle loom that I am keeping.

This loom is an older version of the one that Leclerc has an owner’s manual for, but it’s essentially the same. My loom has only 17 pegs, and the peg for the heddles does not have a slot. The retail price on a new Cendrel is $267. Although this loom is older, it is in good condition. I am asking $100. If I ship the loom, buyer would also pay packaging, USPS Priority shipping, and insurance. I can take the loom apart for shipping. I’d be willing to drive a bit to meet or deliver. I live in Lake Ann, Michigan. Zip 49650. You can contact me by email: atyler@centurytel.net

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fiber Festival the Michigan Way

It’s summer. In Michigan. That means the Michigan Fiber Festival is on the horizon. The festival is held every August at the bucolic Allegan County Fairgrounds in Allegan, Michigan. This year the festival is Saturday & Sunday, August 15 & 16. Activities include competitions for various kinds of fleece (wool, mohair, angora, pygora) and skeins. During these competitions, the audience gets to watch and hear the judges do their work. There are animal shows and sales (if it’s an animal that yields fiber, you’ll find it here!), a fiber arts display, fiber arts demonstrations, herding dog demonstrations, shearing demonstrations, kids activities, music, and more! Parking is free, and admission on Saturday & Sunday is $5, or you can get a weekend pass for $8.

Oh, did I mention the vendors? Over 120 vendors will have their wares for sale. It’s a fantastic opportunity to talk to farmers and makers; examine the near endless types of fiber, fiber tools, and fiber arts (with a good dose of soaps, lotions, baskets, paintings, and pottery); and soak in the love of fiber.

In addition to the weekend festival, there are workshops offered Wednesday through Saturday, August 17-21: spinning, knitting, crochet, weaving, basketry, felting, soap making, rug making, and MORE. It’s a distinguished line up of instructors. If I weren’t teaching, I would most definitely be taking some classes.

Yeah, I’m teaching some workshops: Mechanics of Your Wheel on Wednesday afternoon, Beginning Spinning on the Wheel on Thursday, and Spinning Wools of North America on Friday. That last workshop I usually teach over two or more days, so it’s going to be a whirlwind to spin test all the wools.

Also on Friday, over 60 vendors are open, and admission that day is free!

So, go. Just go there. Have fun. Have fiber fun. And lots of it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

10 x 6 = 60

Here is the fifth of twelve sock patterns in my journey of 60 stitches. The featured stitch pattern has a 10-stitch repeat. So, 6 repeats equals 60 stitches total. I’ve used a lace stitch pattern that I found in Debbie Tomkies’s book, Knit Stitch Dictionary (Interweave, 2015): pattern #57, “Thistle”. Rounds 6-9 of this sweet lace pattern create a scalloped effect that I adore.


This is another one of those patterns that involves yarn-overs between other than two knit stitches. If that is new to you, you might want to refer to an earlier blog post.

I used Skacel CoBaSi yarn for this sock pattern. This yarn is 55% cotton, 16% bamboo, 8% silk, and 21% elastic nylon. This is a great yarn for summer socks. I’ve made several pairs of socks from this yarn, so for this sock pattern, I used leftover bits (deep turquoise, kiwi, gold crest, ripe raspberry, butter cream). If you use just one color, it’ll take 2 skeins (220 yards, 50 grams per skein).

I got my gauge (7 ½ sts per inch) using US size 1 (2.25 mm) needles in the “Thistle” stitch pattern. I got 25 rounds per 2 inches in st st.

Cuff (This is a short cuff):
Loosely CO 60 sts. I used a long tail cast on, with US size 3 (3.25 mm), then changed to US size 1 (2.25mm) for the sock. I used a set of 4 double pointed needles and distributed the stitches so that there were 20 sts on Needle 1, 20 sts on Needle 2, and 20 sts on Needle 3.

Round 1: knit.
Round 2: purl.
Round 3: knit.
Round 4: purl.
Round 5: knit.
Round 6: *yo, k2tog; rep from * around.

Leg:
A couple of notes about this stitch pattern:

1) I changed color after each 16-round repeat of this pattern.
2) If you work this sock on double points, there will be two rounds (6 and 11) where the last stitch on each needle is a yarn-over. It’s easy to forget the last yo of the needle.
3) The s2kp may be new to you. Here is how it’s done: slip 2 stitches as if to k2tog, k1, pass 2 slipped sts over.

Round 1: knit.
Round 2: purl.
Round 3: knit.
Round 4: purl.
Round 5: knit.
Round 6: *k1, yo, k3, s2kp, k3, yo; rep from * around.
Round 7: *k2, yo, k2, s2kp, k2, yo, k1; rep from * around.
Round 8: *k3, yo, k1, s2kp, k1, yo, k2: rep from * around.
Round 9: *k4, yo, s2kp, yo,k3; rep from * around.
Round 10: *k2, p2, k3, p2, k1; rep from * around.
Round 11: *k1, yo, ssk, p1, yo, s2kp, yo, p1, k2tog, yo; rep from * around.
Round 12: *k3, p1, k3, p1, k2; rep from * around.
Round 13: *k2, yo, ssk, yo, s2kp, yo, k2tog, yo, k1; rep from * around.
Round 14: *k2, p1, k5, p1, k1; rep from * around.
Round 15: *k2, p1, k1, yo, s2kp, yo, k1, p1, k1; rep from * around.
Round 16: *k2, p1, k5, p1, k1; rep from * around.

Here is the pattern charted:

Work these 16 rounds five times, or until desired length, end having finished a Round 16. Leg measures approximately 6 ½ inches.

Heel Flap:
(I used the deep turquoise for the heel flap and heel turn.)
Knit the first 15 stitches on Needle 1. Place the next 30 sts onto 2 needles. Slip the last 15 stitches from Needle 3 onto Needle 1. The heel flap is worked flat on the 30 sts on Needle 1. The 30 sts on the other two needles constitute the instep.

Row 1 (WS): sl1, purl to end.
Row 2: *s1, k1; rep from * to end.

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until heel flap is approximately 2 inches long, end having finished a Row 1.

Heel Turn:
The turned heel is made up of “short rows” with decreases. This process shapes the heel. As a result, for each row you will work a different number of stitches, and you will end up with fewer total stitches than you started with.

Row 1 (RS): sl1, k16, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 2: sl1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 3: sl1, k to 1 st before “gap”, ssk, K1, turn work.
Row 4: sl1, p to 1 st before “gap”, p2tog, P1, turn work.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until 18 sts remain, having finished a row 4.

Next row: sl1, knit across.

Gusset:
(My colors for the foot: kiwi, then gold crest, then ripe raspberry, then butter cream, leaving turquoise for the remainder.)

Pick up and knit 19 sts along the right side of the heel flap. To do this, insert right needle under the first edge stitch (under both strands of the stitch), wrap the working yarn around the needle, and pull a stitch through (one stitch has now been picked up and knitted). Repeat this process until 19 stitches have been picked up.

Slip the following 30 sts onto one needle. These stitches constitute the instep of the sock. Work these 30 sts following Round 1 of the instep pattern (see below).

Pick up and knit 19 sts along the left side of the heel flap.

Onto this same needle, knit the next 9 stitches (from the remaining heel stitches). Slip the remaining 9 heel stitches onto Needle 1 (with the right side gusset).

You now have 28 sts on Needle 1, 30 sts on Needle 2, and 28 sts on Needle 3. The middle of the heel falls between Needle 3 and Needle 1. Consider this point to be the beginning of the round.

Round 1: On Needle 1, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. On Needle 2, work Round 2 of instep pattern. On Needle 3, k1, ssk, k to end.

Round 2: On Needle 1, knit. On Needle 2, continue working instep pattern as established. On Needle 3, knit.

Rep Rounds 1 & 2 until there are 15 sts on both Needles 1 and 3 (60 sts total).

Instep Stitch Pattern (worked on Needle 2):
I worked Rounds 1-5 of the Thistle pattern all the way across the instep, but I worked rounds 6-16 only on the middle 20 stitches of the instep. I used stitch markers to help keep track (thus the “place marker” that is in Round 1).

Round 1: k5; place marker, k20, place marker; k5.
Round 2: purl.
Round 3: knit.
Round 4: purl.
Round 5: knit.
Round 6: k5; (k1, yo, k3, s2kp, k3, yo) twice; k5.
Round 7: k5; (k2, yo, k2, s2kp, k2, yo, k1) twice; k5.
Round 8: k5; (k3, yo, k1, s2kp, k1, yo, k2) twice; k5.
Round 9: k5; (k4, yo, s2kp, yo,k3) twice; k5.
Round 10: k5; (k2, p2, k3, p2, k1) twice; k5.
Round 11: k5; (k1, yo, ssk, p1, yo, s2kp, yo, p1, k2tog, yo) twice; k5.
Round 12: k5; (k3, p1, k3, p1, k2) twice; k5.
Round 13: k5; (k2, yo, ssk, yo, s2kp, yo, k2tog, yo, k1) twice; k5.
Round 14: k5; (k2, p1, k5, p1, k1) twice; k5.
Round 15: k5; (k2, p1, k1, yo, s2kp, yo, k1, p1, k1) twice; k5.
Round 16: k5; (k2, p1, k5, p1, k1) twice; k5.

Foot:
After completing all the gusset decreases, continue working even, and continue repeating the instep pattern for as long as you want. I worked four repeats of the pattern, then Rounds 1-5 again. Then I continued in st st. Work until foot is 2 ½ inches shorter than desired foot length.

Toe:
The toe is 30 Rounds total.

This toe is shaped so that it gradually narrows. To achieve this effect, you will work a “Decrease Round” more frequently as the toe progresses.

Perform a Decrease Round on Rounds 1, 6, 10, 14, 17, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29, and 30. On all other rounds, work even.

Decrease Round: On Needle 1, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. On Needle 2, k1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. On Needle 3, k1, ssk, k to end.

At this point, there will be 4 sts on Needle 1, 8 sts on Needle 2, and 4 sts on Needle 3. Now, knit the next 4 sts onto Needle 3, leaving 8 sts on Needle 2 and 8 sts on Needle 3.

Graft the toe using the Kitchener stitch:

Cut the working yarn, leaving a 20 inch or longer tail. Thread this tail through a darning needle. Orient the sock so that the 2 needles are horizontal, the instep side of the sock is facing you, and the working yarn is coming off the right side of the needle in the back.

Step 1: Insert darning needle into the first stitch on the front needle as if to knit, pull the yarn through and slip this stitch off the needle. Insert darning needle into the next stitch on the front needle as if to purl, pull the yarn through and leave this stitch on the needle.

Step 2: Insert darning needle into the first stitch on the back needle as if to purl, pull the yarn through and slip this stitch off the needle. Insert darning needle into the next stitch on the back needle as if to knit, pull the yarn through and leave this stitch on the needle.

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until all stitches have been worked and slipped off the needles.

Weave in all ends.

If you have any questions – or if you find any mistakes – you can either leave a comment on this blog page or email me: atyler@centurytel.net or amy@stonesockfibers.com

This pattern is free, but it is still copyrighted. So, feel free share a copy of this pattern or knit these socks, but please do not sell the pattern or sell socks made from this pattern. Thank you.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Interlochen Action

I have a nice line-up of teaching events scheduled for this summer: a couple in Michigan, one in Wisconsin, and one in Ohio. Today I’d like to share some information about my July gig at Interlochen. Folks who live in this corner of Michigan are incredibly lucky to have the Interlochen Center for the Arts  in this neck of the woods.

Interlochen was established in 1928. Since then it has hosted a summer arts camp for students in grades 3 through 12 in music, dance, the visual arts, creative writing, the theater arts, and the motion picture arts. During the school year, there is an arts boarding school for students in grades 9 through 12.

The campus is lovely. How could it not be? It’s situated on the shores of Green Lake, and nestled in the woods of northwestern lower Michigan.

All year round, the campus offers concerts at several performing venues, both indoor and out. There are two Interlochen public radio stations (my car radio is almost always tuned to IPR new & information channel). And, there is an adults arts program.

A couple years ago, the adults arts program began to offer fiber arts classes as part of the visual arts offerings. I’ve taught beginning spindle spinning, beginning spinning on the wheel, and diversity of wool.

This summer I’m teaching a 1-day workshop, Fiber Preparation for Spinning, on Friday, July 15, 2016.

Here is the description on the Interlochen website: “Well known for her animated and engaging teaching style, Amy Tyler brings fiber preparation to life in this one day workshop. Amy will cover techniques such as using hand cards, hand combs, and a flick carder to prepare clean fibers for spinning. Students will work with washed wool locks, as well as learn strategies for combining wool with other fibers, or how to blend prepared fibers. Students will be presented with techniques for preparing fibers without equipment as well as preparing and blending fibers on a drum carder. This workshop is suitable for anyone from beginning to intermediate level in spinning.”

This ought to be fun. I’ve got loads of different fibers to play with, and I’ll bring hand cards, hand combs, flick cards, and a couple of drum carders. There are so many ways to get fiber ready for spinning! And July is a delightful time to visit.

Interlochen is also going to have a Fiber Arts Weekend, October 14-16, 2016, conveniently scheduled very close to peak autumn color season. Details of that event will be posted soon. So, mark your calendars.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Two Travel Wheels for Sale

I am helping a friend sell two more of her many spinning wheels. She has re-evaluated her spinning needs and has decided to sell two travel wheels because she just doesn’t travel that much.

Holiday Wheel

 


One is a “Holiday Wheel” made by SpinAway Wheels. This charming travel wheel is most unusual. It weighs about 8 lbs. It’s double treadle. It works as a double drive wheel, but there is no drive band on the drive wheel. Instead, the drive wheel has some sort of internal gear connection that allows it to drive an accelerator wheel (four rotations of the accelerator wheel for one rotation of the drive wheel). And there are 2 bands: one is elastic and attaches the accelerator wheel to the flyer whorl; the other is inelastic and attaches the accelerator wheel to the bobbin. There is one tensioning screw that moves the bobbin/flyer away from or toward the accelerator wheel, thus adjusting the take-up tension. Another unusual feature is that the bobbins do not have a pulley groove. They physically lock into a pin on the spindle assembly.

This wheel assembles and disassembles very easily. Disassembled, its dimensions are approximately 16” x 14” x 8”. Quite compact!

This wheel is made from lovely cherry wood. It comes with 4 bobbins (all with new leaders), and extra drive bands. And I’m adding some non-skid shelf liner to put under the wheel. (Because of the wheel’s light weight it has a tendency to slip on a smooth floor.) It treadles very comfortably. It requires no lubrication. It has been used very little.

SpinAway is not currently taking new orders for this wheel. My friend told me she waited 4 years for her wheel. I don’t know when she actually got the wheel. The current price on the makers’ website is $775. The asking price here is $700.

Bee
the Bee, folded


the Bee, unfolded
The other travel wheel is a “Queen Bee” made by SpinOlution. This wheel folds up in a snap to a tidy 12” x 19” x 9”. It weighs about 13 lbs. There are 3 bobbins (4 ounce capacity). The special thing about this wheel is that it has a huge range of drive ratios: theoretically, there are 12 of them, but practically speaking, there are 9, ranging from 1:5 to 1:35. With such a wide range of drive ratios, along with pegs instead of hooks on the flyer, and a hook for an orifice, this wheel is capable of making all kinds of yarns.

This wheel has two bands: one that connects the drive wheel to an accelerator wheel, another that attaches the accelerator wheel to the flyer. This wheel has a scotch tension drive mechanism, with a brake on the bobbin controlled by a tensioning knob. The treadling is unique to SpinOlution wheels; the balls of the feet push on the treadles and produce a sort of side-to-side rocking motion of the treadles. It’s nice and quiet. The wheel has a built-in lazy kate (the rods can be removed for travel).

This wheel has been very lightly used. The current retail price for this wheel is $759. The asking price for this wheel is $700.

If I ship either wheel, the buyer covers packaging, shipping (USPS Priority), and insurance costs. I am willing to drive a bit to deliver or meet. I live in Lake Ann, MI. Zip 49650. You can contact me at atyler@centurytel.net