HAND SPINNING

Handspun Merino Socks

These socks are easy to spin and are a great project for using leftover bits of fiber from your stash. I used about 6 ounces of merino top, in 3 colors – peach, royal blue and tartan green.
roving

merino roving

I chose to do the color blending at the wheel, in order to create the definite sections of color. Carding the fibers together would have produced a more heathered type of yarn. To spin, I pulled a 6 inch length from each of the sections of roving, and held them together in my left hand. I then spun from this hank, working back and forth, allowing the colors blend randomly.
handspinning

handspinning closeup

I used the largest whorl on my spinning wheel – a Louet S87 Saxony – as my spinning tends to overtwist a bit. To reduce the diameter of the spun yarn, I use the hooks on the flyer and lace the yarn before threading it through the orifice.

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spinning wheel

After spinning, I plied the singles together to produce a 2 ply yarn. The finished skeins were then washed and fulled. I filled a sink with hot water and a bit of dishwashing detergent. I placed the skeins into the hot water, and used a potato masher to give them a good beating. The skeins were then rinsed in cold water. This treatment seems a bit rough, but it sets the twist of the yarn and allows the wool fibers to open and fluff up a bit, creating a more pleasing yarn that is now ready to be knit.
fulling yarn

handspun yarn

The socks are great, but now I have to make more for the other feet in the family.

Knitted Sock Patterns

Sock Knitting Pattern Books
Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers
Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series)
Knit Socks!
The Knitting Circle

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