Sunday, 6 December 2015

Frankenadventsocks - no.6 mystery yarn

 

Things are going well with my Frankenadventsocks and the latest section is quite monsterous. I did attempt a bobble style stitch but was too tired to concentrate as well as being constantly interrupted. It's one of the stitches where you have to count and do everything right otherwise it ends up looking like a holey mess (see below).

I've renamed it freestyle lace. It's very in the moment and totally organic. It neither has direction nor is concerned with remaining within the confines of a regular pattern. It's impossible to make a mistake because there is no right or wrong way.

 

Not only have I freed myself from perfection and conformity in this section, I have also challenged my fear of scratchy yarns. I discovered that the softest of softs is not the only way and that everything is welcome in these socks even if I have absolutely no idea what the yarn is. I have changed my focus of what something is, to what it can be. This ball of charity shop treasure has no doubt lived a wild and wonderful life, it has stories to tell and these socks are just the next chapter. And if I actually knew what kemp was, I wouldn't be surprised if it was in this yarn. Perhaps it's the dark wiry flecks?

 

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Frankenadventsocks- No. 3 Blue faced Leicester

I really haven't been feeling well at all of late. I did try to get an appointment with the GP but they are not easy people to pin down, so I turned to the pharmacy for help.

 
The Old Pharmacy in Faversham is no ordinary place though; it is a luxury yarn dispensary. If you find yourself weighed down with the heavy burden of the more rubbish aspects of life with symptoms such as weepiness and loss of all believe in yourself, then this is the place to go.
Filled with colour, texture and fluffiness in each of its old fashioned nooks and crannies, just the pure existence of all those rows of tiny drawers is enough to lift the grayest of souls. I couldn't help myself, I had to get my mitts on one of those exquisite glass knobs and have a little peep inside.
 
Although those apothecary jars are now filled with coloured water, it was exciting to imagine what delightful lotions and potions they once held.
Gillian is the most wonderful person/ designer / yarn guru who accurately prepares the prescriptions, provides workshops and even has a secret stash of surprises. If you don't see it in the shop, it's worth asking because this lady is connected.
I'm only too aware that you can't make yourself better by purchasing loads of material items but I think 100% British wool from a traceable sustainable resource (sheep who actually need shearing) is very different to some plastic, "made in China" tat. And I can totally justify it as part of my yarn therapy prescription which I'm making into Framkenadventsocks (they could even be an heirloom!). I decided to go for British Blue Wool by Erika Knight in fawn. It's pretty much sheep coloured, fabulously soft and 100% Bluefaced Leicester.
Here's the Frankenadventsocks progress so far and as promised I've told all my friends about Gillian, Sam (although I didn't grill him on the spot about everything) and the brilliant Old Pharmacy, luxury yarn dispensary. Everyone should go there even if they don't like knitting...yet. They have alpaca pom-poms which are the best thing in the world ever.

 

 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Frankenadventsocks - No.2 Wensleydale Sock 2

It's official, both of my Frankenadventsocks have been started with a ribbed cuff in 100% Wensleydale wool.

 

So why is that important I hear you ask? Because Wensleydales are in the "at risk" category on the Rare breeds list and if we don't do more knitting with this fab British yarn, then the demand for Wensleydales will decrease and they will disappear.

Above are the facts taken from a 1949 book by N. L. Tinley (Department of Agriculture) entitled Good Sheep Farming. I got the book out from the LRC at work. It seriously does have a book on everything I'd want to know ever.

Just look at their mega fringe, curly whirly dreadlocked fleece and these guys are big. They even have blue faces. For long lustrous wool, I'm a fan so they're going in my Frankenadventsocks and my imaginary sheep farm.

 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Frankenadventsocks - No. 1 Wensleydale


It wouldn't be December without some kind of advent celebration. I'm done with the overpriced hugely commercial sponsored by Cadburys / Thortons chocolate before breakfast calendars but have yet to persuade the children that there is another way. I don't really know the full history of advent but it's interesting to note that if you do start to google it, "the history of advertising" comes out as the top hit which I think says a lot about the whole count down to Christmas.

What with the time of year and the stresses and strains of my working life, I have found myself not really feeling that well. So following all I discovered in Wovember and the therapeutic effect of knitting and getting back to nature, I'm stepping back from the hustle and bustle of 24 shopping days left to Christmas and taking things one stitch at a time.

I came home from work early yesterday, thoroughly crushed and Shinybees Podcast came to the rescue with Frankenadvent socks. These are an advent based development of Frankensocks, which had also previously passed me by. Frankensocks are the knitted descendants of Frankenstein; a monstrous hash of woolen cast offs joined together to create something that resembles socks. I have yet to investigate how the knitting community on Ravelry enables friendship but all credit for Frankenadventsocks goes to someone who goes by the name of Feltaria.

Today therefore is the first day of Frankenadventsocks for me and the best place to start was with my first Wovember purchase from Home Farm Wensleydales.


I'm going for top down socks and have started knitting a 1 x 1 twisted rib with 100% Wensleydale 2ply in Ercu. This was the first attempt at spinning by the very lovely Jayne who sent me a truly informative letter and some gorgeous samples of Big Wool which is a Blue Faced Leicester and Wensleydale mix.


 The dog and I settled down to some comfort movie watching on True Christmas and a cup of green tea in my latest treasure find tea cup to banish those worries and woes. What better way to clear the chaos in my head than to knit it all into some woolfully knitted Frankenadventsocks. I feel better already, well it's a start.