Thursday, September 17, 2009

O ye of little faith (in two parts)

Faithless, part I

When I purchased a skein of Dragon Brook Yarns sock yarn at Metaphor Yarns while on vacation, I was skeptical that one skein would produce an entire pair of socks. But the price was such that I was willing to risk it. Still, I was skeptical enough to force myself to knit toe-up, figuring if I ran out, I could knit the cuff in a complementary yarn.

But guess what?

There was plenty of yarn, if by plenty, I mean 5 grams left over from the original 80. And I am glad I did not have to find a complementary yarn because this stuff is one-of-a-kind.

I will quote directly from the label: Dragon Brook Yarns is a small hobby farm in Shelburne, Massachusetts. All of our yarn is created from our own Romney-cross sheep. The wool is sent out to a mill to be processed into single ply yarns. When it comes back it is dyed in 1 lb batches and then plied together by hand to create these unique marled yarns.

The yarn is a coarse blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon and has no spring to it, but I loved knitting it, I think because it feels so close to the source. I could practically hear the sheep baa-ing! And I loved the mixture of gray, brown, orange, and gold. It reminds me of autumn.

The label lacks any reference to needle size or gauge, so using the wraps-per-inch method, I guessed it to be sport weight, but just barely. I used US2 needles and the number of stitches per round was 56. The pattern was cobbled together from Socks from the Toe Up: "easy" toe, gusset heel, stockinette stitch, 1x1 ribbing for the cuff. These socks are a woman's large/man's medium and are destined for my SO (he picked out the yarn), but I hate to see them go.

Faithless, part II

Thanks to Qutecowgirl's suggestion in the comments, I visited Ravelry (my Id there is "bittenbyknittin") and found a spreadsheet similar to the one I am creating as I knit my Baby Surprise Jacket, and already I have found a difference in interpretations! On the row of increases (for fullness above the cuff), The Boy Who Knits did no decreases. While this makes a certain amount of sense, his method differs from yesterday's source. I think I prefer the latter, as then the lines of double decreases are uninterrupted, but it probably does not matter. TBWK also interpreted the "work 3 rows even" as including the even numbered rows, while I was toying with the idea of treating them as just odd numbered rows, i.e. work SIX rows total even. Again, it probably does not matter. What do YOU think?

In spite of the instruction frustrations, the BSJ is a fun knit. I am working this one plain, in one color, while I get the hang of just how the whole thing works. As I knit along, I envision doing many more, each with an embellishment or modification to make it different from the others and to make it my own. Which is probably just what EZ wanted us to do.


llamalady said...


Thanks so much for the kind words about my yarn! I really enjoy raising the sheep, spinning and dyeing the yarns!


Anonymous said...

Just bought some Dragon Brook Sock yarn for MYSELF, and glad to see further proof that one skein will make a pair of socks for me. I like the toe up in any case and will enjoy having as much of the yarn as possible on my feet and not as a left over nib.

Liza the Blogless