Sunday, April 5, 2009

One Charybdis Down, and Visiting the Alpacas

While I haven't had all that much time to knit the past few days, some progress has been made on all of my projects, including finishing the first of the Charybdis pair, shown here in its swirly beauty. I think the Auracania yarn in very weird colors really goes well with this swirly pattern, and I've enjoyed making this first one--it just takes a while when I am concentrating on other things. This sock was done toe-up, and has a short-row heel, which looks just fine, for a short-row heel. It's always nice to do something different every so often.

The one thing that surprised me about these socks is that perhaps I went too tight on the ribbing. I decided to go off on my own (perhaps dangerous) and do a K1P1 twisted ribbing, just to add a neat edge. But, when I bound off with my usual method, I could not get the sock over my heel! It was really, really tight! Argh. so, I had to take it all apart and put a different edging on. I guess the picot edge looks festive enough to make it worthwhile. Now I just hope I can duplicate the sock. Well, actually, the second sock's swirls will go the other way, which is quite sophisticated!

One reason I haven't been doing too much knitting this week is that Lee and I went out to the Old Oaks Ranch, which is near Wimberly, which was having its open house yesterday. I am glad I finally got a chance to go out there, though it meant I missed the yarn shop. Sometimes you just have to do a family activity on a weekend. It's a great place to visit if you ever have the time. They have lots of lovely alpacas, plus a sculpture garden and a shop where they sell yarn, looms and spinning supplies. And they have lots and lots of classes. I'd love to find the time to go to one of them some time!

We missed the demo of alpaca shearing, but did see a freshly shorn alpaca looking much thinner than her companions! I bought a pound of alpaca yarn, in what appears to be worsted weight. It has three plies, one natural, one fawn, and one chocolate. Texas Fiber Mill, the fairly new company that turns fleece into yarn, does the yarn for Old Oaks Ranch, and it is very nice. So cool it was all done in Texas. I think the yarn will make a wonderful cardigan, and I have some solid chocolate yarn that can be used for trim, etc., if I need more. The best part is that I also got pictures of each of the animals whose fleece went into the yarn. I know I am a nut for knowing who gave the fiber, but I think it's really a nice connection.

Tida gave the natural color. She is shown here rolling in the dust--so happy!

Dr. D. gave the fawn yarn. He was off in the boys' pasture, away from the ladies.

SeaBelle is particuarly lovely and gave the chocolate yarn. She's the one on the left in the photo. They're all beautiful animals, but these are the beauties who provided my yarn's ingredients.

We also saw a fun demonstration of taking raw alpaca fiber and turning it into a felted hat. Suzanne, one of the partners at the ranch, did the demo. It really looked fun!

As for the other projects, I got past halfway on Flit 'n Float, even after I repeated the pieces of the center chart twice. It's going to be just the right length for me, and I can't wait to block it (currently it curls like a piece of stockinette tends to do).

And I did get a bit done on Bridget. I am concentrating on her for the rest of my knitting day today, though, um, I must admit most of my evening will be totally concentrated on a Bruce Springsteen Concert. Fun for me!!!


  1. I'd love to go to one of the classes with you sometime - perhaps after we move out of the tiny apartment and things settle down some.

  2. Wow, love the swirly socks! The alpacas are just beautiful animals, are they? You are SOOO right about this Mystik yarn! Who would put a knitter or crocheter through bobble making with this yarn??!! Today I'm beginning the fancy border on the shawl.....

  3. Nice socks... funny animals...really! I think it's amazing that their wool (?) is so soft.

  4. I had to queue those socks now.

    I love the picture of the alpaca rolling, made me laugh. I'm hoping that my mom and I can go to a local alpaca farm this summer.


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