Monday, April 23, 2007

April Socks/Yarn Organization

Don't these socks remind you of Spring? The bright colors were my inspiration to survive those recent rainy, gloomy days in Central PA. They are soft but yet sturdy...the first pair I have made from Perchance to Knit. These are the Azalea colorway. I just love them. Our 70+ degree temps are supposed to drop back a bit later in the week so maybe I will have an opportunity to wear these socks before fall!

Readers have asked where I buy my sock yarns...primarily from Sheri at The Loopy Ewe. Her selection beats all others I have reviewed and her customer service is outstanding. If you are a lace knitter, keep checking her site because Sheri is going to start selling lace yarns which are perfect for shawls. She is promising to post those yarns this week. I have bought a few yarns from her and they are earmarked for shawls -- my personal choice is using sock yarns. Check her site often because she sells out in the blink of an eye but reorders and gets the yarns as fast as the hand-dyers can get them to her. Most of her sock yarns are hand-dyed, made by 1 or 2 women so her business is also helping to keep other small, female-owned businesses (commonly known as cottage industries) in operation. If you shop from Sheri, please tell her I sent you!

Keith couldn't find me much of the weekend...I was knee deep in yarn. I decided it is time (well, actually waaayyyy past time) to organize my yarn stash -- a lot of which I have had for 5 years or more. I have been planning this adventure for months but never knew where to start. So, I just opened a box and started. I had notepad, pen and labels in hand. Each rubbermaid storage container is labeled with a box number and the notepad has the corresponding box number and box contents on its pages. I think I need to live to be very old or perhaps even have an additional lifetime to use all of this yarn. But, now I know what I have and can knit from stash.

I am almost finished with that phase of the project and then it will be on to the sock yarns. They are organized but I am doing some re-organizing. The rubbermaid containers are going to the rental storage area to give me more space in that room. Can't wait and neither can the cats...all of these boxes have taken over their playroom!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Washing Socks

Many people choose to wash their handmade socks in the washing machine and some even are brave enough to put them in the dryer. Well, then call me "Chicken" with a capital "c" because I handwash all of mine in Eucalan which has a wonderful smell and doesn't require rinsing. I let my socks soak about 15 minutes per pair in this wool wash, swish them around and then gently squeeze out the excess water. Then they are rolled in a towel and NOT rung out but again gently squeezed. After this they are hung on the bathroom towel rack to dry. Yes, it might take a whole day but I'd rather that than shrink, felt or damage them. I use sock yarn that is colorful and often costly. Additionally, the hours I put into knitting these gems is worth a little extra care in washing and drying. Others have methods that work for them and that is great. This works for me and I am sticking to it.