Archive for the ‘CSM’ Category

Changes are happening..

posted Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

It’s been a very busy year and I apologize for my lack of any regular updating. I realized last week that I have only updated this blog a handful of times this year, and that’s rather pathetic. This is my first year homeschooling and it has been much more time-intensive than I expected it to be, and I feel like I’ve spent most of my time playing catch-up for things we’ve gotten behind on. I think originally I thought maybe I’d have more things to blog about, but that isn’t really true.. mostly I just have less time to think about blogging, or to sit down and actually do it 🙂

Between myself and the kids I have spent a good bit of time waiting for various doctor’s appointments this fall, during which time I was able to create a new look for my blog… I’m really happy with it, after bouncing around through several designs over the past two yearsthat weren’t quite “it” for me, one finally came together and gives my blog a fresher and more cheerful look than it has ever had before – but I’m sure it will continue to change and evolve 🙂

With a new look for my blog comes a new promise that I will try to update at least every other week. I was going to say weekly, but I know that may be asking a bit much… every other week is probably way too much! Other than schoolwork, I’ve been very busy making socks all summer, since I opened up and started offering custom sock spots on Hyenacart last spring. I enjoy making these, but I’ve found that I majorly overestimated my abilities and took on more work at the end of the summer than I was really capable of finishing quickly (I am still working on some of them), so while I will continue to offer custom socks spots, from this point forward those will available on a much much more limited basis and a slower schedule – probably only 8-12 spots per month, and less if I know that my schedule will be busier than normal (like right now), which basically means I won’t stock any time I am running behind.


In addition to some visual changes here on my blog, I also just finished working on a redesign of Tiny Lady Cooperative’s Hyenacart, and it’s set to go live at the end of this week, and I am super excited about it. As our congo has changed and evolved (and has grown much larger than the original group of 3!), the original cart design had become a bit dated. To unveil our new look, we are planning two big stockings for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I am hoping to get some sock puppets finished in time – they are cute, and fun to make, and I know they’d be perfect for holiday gift giving 🙂

That is all for now, I expect a bigger update in a few days as I finish up more of my current sock orders (and yes, if you are waiting, I am getting them done, it’s just been very slow, and for that I really do apologize).

Delving into Cotton on the CSM…

posted Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

On a whim (and inspired by a thread on Ravelry) I decided to try some 8/2 cotton weaving yarn I had purchased some time ago that has just been sitting around.. and to my surprise, run with a strand of very fine lycra/nylon yarn, it makes very nice socks!   I knit these on my Legare 400 with a fairly tight tension on my 72 cylinder.  I think this yarn (or even some 10/2) would produce a nicer fabric on an 84 slot cylinder, but I don’t have one.


They’re a little loose right off the machine, as shown above, but once washed the cotton fulls nicely and the lycra activates, drawing in the knitting a considerable amount.  I estimate they shrank about 15% when I washed and dried them.  I didn’t actually expect them to shrink so much, so the foot is almost too short on these.


Then I tried some 8/2 Cotlin (50/50 Cotton and Linen) also with very nice results.  This stuff shrank more than the 100% cotton, so even though I added extra rows to the feet, the finished size is about the same (though I did knit the leg shorter on these).  I didn’t take a picture before washing, but these socks looked looser and more gauze-like right off the machine, but they too washed up very nicely.  You can see how stretchy they are comparing the unblocked sock to the one on the blocker (my second blocker went MIA sometime yesterday.. I still have no idea where it is – thanks, kids)


Since I have a LOT of 8/2 yarn in my stash from my abandoned attempts at learning to weave, I forsee a lot of these socks in my future – the knitted fabric is slightly thicker than I’d prefer compared to storebought socks (for me anyways.. they’re thinner than the socks my DH wears and thinner than wool socks), but the toes on these are seamless, which more than makes up for being heavier, since my #1 gripe about almost any sock is the seam over the toe – it’s uncomfortable, and too bulky even on the thinnest socks since to save money/time the toes on commercial socks are usually serged rather than linked or grafted.

More handspun socks, yarn, and an almost FO :)

posted Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

From last week, I never quite got around to blogging them, but they came out super cute.. knit from the Fern Gully yarn I made last fall, which was shaded from Blue to brown, and then to green:

Two of a kind :)

I have a little bit leftover that is the rest of the brown to blue transition.

I also finished some more yarn last week… this is sort of sport-ish weight, and I’m not sure what I’ll do with it quite yet since it’s too heavy to go through the sock machine.

I Navajo-plied some scraps I had hanging out on bobbins
Then I Navajo-plied an entire bobbin I had spun some time back… it’s hand combed marsh romney and I’m rather happy with this batch compared to the rest of this wool I had carded and spun into a 2-ply yarn.  No idea what I’m doing with this yet, but it will likely become part of a weaving project in the not too distant future 🙂

And I’m nearly done with my  Kelso Cardigan!  All I really have left to do is graft the unerarms and weave in all the ends.


Handspun Socks!

posted Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Just a quick update, I finally made the yarn I spun in December while I was tweaking my Hitchhiker into a pair of socks 🙂

Handspun Socks

Handspun Socks

A bit behind on the updates again…

posted Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

But I’ve at least been busy!

In the past month I knit myself a sweater (Rogue from The Girl from Auntie)

Rogue Finished

I was a bit overwhelmed looking at the pattern, since it is 19 pages, but it’s all very clearly written out and detailed – which is wonderful when you’re knitting complex cables (especially for the first time – I’ve done cables before but nothing like these).  The charts look confusing at first, but if you follow along it all just makes sense when it needs to.  I thoroughly enjoyed knitting every bit of the sweater (well, except for maybe the last half of the second sleeve – I was ready to be finished by then!) and I can’t wait to get started on Eris, another pattern she has written.  I actually bought the Eris pattern back in June, and was promptly discouraged as I flipped through all 40 pages of the pattern… but now I realize that it’s not really that the pattern is that difficult, it’s just that Jenna is so great at making each step exceptionally clear.

I finished what may be the last pair of longies I ever knit for my kids.. since we’re not cloth diapering anymore and they’re pretty much only for the “cute” factor, I think I will be saving the rest of my “longies” stash for sweaters, hats, and other cool weather woolens.  The yarn is my own, dyed in the Red Mountain colorway – I absolutely love how they colorway knit up, and I have more than enough yarn left for a hat to match… or maybe just for a hat for me 🙂

Red Mountain Longies

I made my daughter a simple dress to wear on Christmas (and have plans to make many more with my fabric stash), it’s really simple, sort of an adaptation of my twirly skirt with a pheasant top bodice (similar to this tutorial but I cut my peices only about 7″ long to match the 6″ teirs of the skirt)


I’ve been working a lot on my sock machine too, I made about a dozen pairs of socks in December alone for gifts and as some custom orders, which for the most part went fairly well.  I didn’t photograph all of them since I was usually in a rush to get them sent off.  I have even set up the 1923 Gearhart I added to my collection in August up and have it knitting finally (I needed needles for it), and I even tracked down a 50 slot dial to match my 100 slot cylinder (which is not shown, that’s the 40 slot in the image with the 100 slot cylinder in the machine).  It’s in remarkable condition considering it was an ebay bargain, and while it has a few quirks, mechanically it’s in very good shape as well.  It makes the weirest sound while knitting though – a solid clicking due to the way the uplift cams are spring loaded, which is mildly amusing.

1923 Gearhart

So far I’m still working out some kinks with the ribber timing and I’d like to find a solution to keeping count of my rows more easily, but I hope to soon be able to make some really fine gauge socks on it.

My two year blogaversary is coming up soon – I might just give away a pair of custom socks and possibly some yarn, so watch for that in the next week or two 🙂