Socks, hedgies and woolly wonderousness

A week into Wovember, I though it would be a nice idea to report on my woolly activities. First, I can now share some pictures of the two hedgehogs that I sent to Pauline in New Zealand:

Shy and travelling companion, Tiny

Shy and travelling companion, Tiny

You didn’t know hedgies migrated south in the autumn, did you? They were made a few weeks ago, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise… which actually was Tiny as Pauline thought she was only getting Shy.

Prior to embarking on some 100% wool creations, I had a pair of socks to finish using some of the wool that I won in a UK Hand Knitting Association competition. I had four balls of this yarn and it’s interesting to be able to compare an unknitted ball with the final finished item:

Finished socks

Finished socks

Isn’t it fascinating to see how the stripes come out? This pair of socks (there really are two of them in the photo!) are a gift and so will be wending their way to someone in the next few days (not saying who – it’s a surprise).

And so, with those out of the way, I’ve been able to make a start on working with wool. The ‘blank’ that arrived from Burrow and Soar had to be unravelled, wound into a hank, washed, dried with a weight to help straighten out the kinks, and finally wound into ‘cakes’. Only now is it ready to be knitted up.

But before I get going with that, I’ve started work on a neck warmer in the hand-spun Portland wool from Hannah at Spinning a Yarn. It’s a slightly odd pattern, and I’m not convinced that I’m doing it right, but it looks nice, so I don’t really care!!

Lovely soft Portland yarn

Lovely soft Portland yarn

So, it you are hankering after a hedgehog please get in touch (I had to buy the yarn for the prickles in bulk, so I have plenty!). Oh, and the Welsh Dragon neckwarmer featured here is still for sale and looking for a home if anyone is interested.

Right, I’m off to bottle some more apples now… for a change…

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27 Comments

  1. I read about the safe arrive of Tiny and Shy on Pauline’s website. Marvellous!

    Reply
  2. One of these days, I’m gonna work up the nerve to make some socks…

    Reply
  3. Ann Pole

     /  November 7, 2015

    I think Spike & Shy would love to have Tiny to keep them company… so yes please. 🙂 The socks look fab too. Must learn to knit them too….

    Reply
  4. I do love your socks – I think at some stage there has to be another swap, I better start working on some new project that you might quite fancy! And I am looking forward to seeing how the yarn knits up, unravelled, washed and balled up it looks very pretty! And of course you must model the neck warmer when it is done 🙂

    Reply
  5. Unmitigated gorgeousness Ms Snail. You are a talented wench to be sure :). Is it hard to knit socks? I keep verging on the cusp of picking up my grans old needles that I inherited along with her gardening book and having a go. I hear you do it with those circular needles? It’s the heel that has me perplexed. Love the hedgies, the socks and everything else and that pattern looks like excellent fun to work. Can’t wait to see what you do with that scrumptious pastel coloured wool now. 🙂

    Reply
    • I like knitting socks because, most of the time it’s completely mindless – just round and round knitting. Once you get the hang of turning a heel it’s easy: I don’t need a pattern any more. I knit on dpns, but some people prefer a circular needle.

      Reply
      • I love mindless crafting. I can sit for days on end hooking a massive granny square. I used to do it for leisure. I would love to learn how to make socks so that I can mindlessly turn out something useful. Stevie-boy is hard on his socks. He has been known to kill a pair in a few days. I think he has acid feet. I would like to test some sturdy yarn on his feet and perhaps assemble a scientific theorem at the same time. Any chance you are ever going to do a blog post about socks? Twood be most interesting from a snails perspective.

        Reply
  6. I spied those adorable hedgehogs on Pauline’s page earlier this week. They are absolutely, charmingly, adorable. Clever you and lucky Pauline.

    I love seeing the process of the yarn worked into a cake. I didn’t know any of this. Fun times ahead.

    Reply
  7. What is the thinking with the woollen blank? Do they knit the piece and *then* dye it in those lovely splodges? Otherwise it seems they are just giving you lots of extra work…

    Reply
    • Yes, apparently it’s dyed after being knitted up (by machine I think) because you can achieve a different effect that way. According to the maker it was “dyed in three stages” so it must involve adding extra colours at each stage. I’m interested to see the end result once I’ve turned it into a finished piece because I’ve never worked with anything like this before.

      Reply
  8. Ann Pole

     /  November 7, 2015

    He is a size 9, can’t remember drawing round his feet last time. I could draw round his socks – if ever he takes them off. As soon as they are washed and dry, they are his socks of choice. Get worn more than all the others put together. 🙂 X

    Reply
  9. I saw Pauline’s delight at the hedgehogs and didn’t have to wonder why. They’re delightful Jan. You’re a fantastic craftswoman. I was fascinated to see how you turned the blank to a hank. I’ve never seen a blank of wool before.
    Have a marvelous week.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Reply
  10. I don’t really understand this idea of a blank–do you get sent a knitted piece of fabric that you then unravel back into yarn? And what’s the point? It’s all wonderfully pretty, of course! And the hedgehogs just make me smile!

    Reply
    • Yes… the blank had to be unravelled, washed to reduce the kinking and then re-wound. I’ve never had one before (it was a real surprise when I opened the parcel), but apparently it allows the dyer to produce different effects than she can when dying hanks/skeins. Never having dyed yarn myself, I have no idea what it’s possible to achieve but I have discovered that if you want matching socks, you dye a blank knitted with a double thread… then use one thread for each sock – clever, huh?

      Reply
  11. claire

     /  November 19, 2015

    oooh hedgehogs! would you really make some more? they are so cute!
    though I am afraid swapping will be difficult, most of my crafting takes place in the kitchen, and you already have your share of tomato sauce and apple chutney. What about a selection of swiss cheese and chocolate?

    Reply

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