Tuesday, May 18, 2004


(lacy socks) This project is from Nancy Bush's "Folk Socks", The History & Techniques of Handknitted Footwear. I am making them out of Targhee that I spun last month. The Targhee roving was a gift, so I do not know who to give credit to, but it is by far, the cleanest and prettiest roving I have ever had the pleasure to spin. This is "first time Targhee" for me, and I discovered that the that the staple is relatively short (maybe 3 inches) but soft and fine with a tight crimp. I read that most people would spin Targhee with a great deal of twist, and ply it. I broke the rule, and spun it with just enough twist to hold a fine single with about 20 wraps per inch. I had also read that Targhee is excellent for constructing anything that will be worn next to the skin (including babywear!)...and so it was my choice to use it for the lace socks.
The pattern for the lace socks can be found on page 83 of "Folk Socks", and it looks much harder to knit than it really is. I must admit that knitting these socks is both inspirational and motivational. The original sock, made of linen, can be found in the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington DC. There is no information available about who designed it, or the date etc., and so I find my imagination wondering about these things as I knit. And I will have much time to wonder, as these socks are knit on 4 size#000 double points. The pattern is worked on 102 stitches over 7 rounds.
One more thing about the targhee...I had knit a swatch to check my gauge, and when I finished, I unraveled it and cut it into 6-8 inch lengths and draped them in the Quince bush and on the fence railing. I have been delighted to watch the Baltimore orioles, Common Yellow Throat, Catbird, and Northern Parula all collecting these bits of handspun to incorporate into the nest. They used up all the targee, and I dug into my felting basket and came up with some cotton I had spun years ago. They have been using that as well. The Yellow Warbler is the snob, preferring only bits of Angora that it collects from the rabbit hutches.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Very nice knitting on the socks! The smallest needles I have used for socks are a DP size 2, so you have my admiration.

I have not ever put yarn out for the birds, but I do know they can pick up and use the darnest things in nests. When I got married we had the reception at my house. In the spring, I found a nest in the bushes, that had ribbon in it, it had to have been from the favors on the tables.

And there was a small nuthatch nesting in the rafters of the front room of my bunny barn this spring. I saw the babies fledge finally so I took a look at the nest. It was stuffed full of angora. Once I wrote a post on the rabbit internet board about what to do with unusable angora. One of the ideas, was to put it out for the birds, and I said, 'baby birds raised in angora nests are much happier, and happier birds stick around to eat more bugs' :)

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