The blasted elves still haven’t shown up here.  Not a single sign of them,  but with my wool as my witness, progress was made here yesterday, and the humans in my immediate vicinity (the ones who count on me to knit and spin in order not to have to live with a vengeful lunatic who can’t relax) are grateful for it.  I did enough carding yesterday to have myself twelve pretty little rolags of angora/cvm (actually, that’s technically wrong, it’s more CVM than angora) and I made time last night to spin it up.

I washed the soft and pretty yarn last night and hung it up to dry, and this morning I put it out in the backyard to finish drying in the sunshine while Jen and I went for our training ride.  

Arriving home, it was dry and pretty, but not nearly as fuzzy as I was hoping the angora would make it.  I want it to look like a little cloud, like a fog settled on the yarn, with a beautiful halo standing out from it.

It’s not there yet. It’s a lovely yarn, and so soft you would mistake it for the soft brand new cheek of a baby, but it’s not the cloud I imagined – not just yet. Still, it’s a lovely, lovely thing, and sometimes yarns with angora "bloom" after you knit and wash them, especially if you’re a little rough with the washing, so I decided to give into the urge and make them into a pair of Cutest Bootees

Aren’t they sweet? Aren’t they going to be soft and lovely, and perfect for… oh, wait, something the size of a horse. THEY’RE HUGE. That pattern is written for fingering weight, and this yarn is a little thicker than that, and that makes these big enough for a walking baby, and walking plus angora bootees = DEATHTRAP. Anybody walking in these would be skating in no time, and so they are no more.  I’ve ripped them back, started with bigger needles (they were a little dense, like me) and way fewer stitches.

Tomorrow, there will be smaller sweetness. Two steps forward, one back.

91 thoughts on “LeapFrog

  1. Maybe with the ripping back you’ll get that halo you’re longing for!! There is a bright side to everything. Man, I wish technology had a way for us to fondle the things we see on our screen. (I’m talking about the yarn)

  2. Well, you do live in Canada where hockey is a national past time. You could just be encouraging an early start to the skating skills!

  3. Hah. I thought I felt a disturbance in the… erm… bootieland. I’m making tiger booties, ladybug booties, and ordinary garter stitch booties.
    I hope you like it here.

  4. Lovely lovely yarn, and sweet sweet bootees, CVM always sounds like the acronym for a nasty disease, although that’s a calumny on lovely sheep. Thanks as always for the reminder about how to justify by fibre obsessions as a public service…

  5. You could try brushing the yarn to increase the halo.
    Basic method is to setup a ball winder and a nail brush (or some other stiff closely bristled brush) next to it, so that the yarn is pulled over the surface of the brush as you wind. You might need to wind 1, 2 or 3 times depending on the yarn and how how much halo you want.
    Frogging and re knitting will increase it a little too.
    The yarn looks lovely, good luck with the bootees.

  6. I’ve been doing the slow progression of two steps forward, one step back all day. I’m hoping that now that Husband is home and Little Man is asleep (napping) that I can get more done…
    But all i want to do is knit and spin and other fibery endeavors. ::sigh::

  7. Looks like you’re on a rippin’ bootee rampage after all, even if it’s not what anyone thought at first.

  8. Patience grasshopper. It is an angora blend and it is freshly spun. Tha halo will come with handling and time.

  9. Try steaming (over the snout of a boiling tea kettle) the finished bootie and see if that brings up a halo.

  10. Awesome yarn-a glass of wine should soothe the pain of ripping back. Hope you had a good training ride!

  11. I admire your courageous bravery — or do I shake my head at your reckless bravado?
    You put a freshly spun, freshly washed skein of yarn in the BACKYARD to dry. You left for an ALL-DAY bike ride.
    You are taunting the entire North American population of grey squirrels.
    This should be good.

  12. What beautiful yarn. How wonderful that you can make yarn ‘from scratch’.
    Your “Cutest Booties” pattern is one of my favourites to knit, so it’s lovely to see some from you again (even if they had to be ripped back – commiserations for that part).

  13. Presbytera’s comments are back! Thanks for the smiles. I’m racing the unaware harlot – we started sweaters at the same time, and it looks like I’m WINNING- she’s distracted with carding, spinning, booties, etc. and I’m seaming. I hope I didn’t just awaken the hare.

  14. ooo. Send them my way. My newborn has ENORMOUS feet. Really. They are flippers. My knitting can’t keep up.

  15. those elves> ?? I am waiting for them as well, please send to Portland Oregon when they finally show up at your place. I am so tired to doing their work for them..sheesh. nice yarn btw.

  16. well, they might have hung from a rear-view mirror. hehe. can’t wait to see the yarn knit up and washed.

  17. Good thing bootees knit up fast. And it’s okay, I myself am often (usually) a bit dense too.

  18. I was nervously reading, bracing myself for a squirrel story, then “whew! ” it’s ok. The yarn is safe!

  19. I’m with Beth at 10:07, reading Presbytera’s pithy comments is almost as much fun as reading the Harlot’s blog!

  20. The infamous squirrel popped into my head, too, and I am VERY glad he/she didn’t become part of today’s story! Frogging a swatch (a.k.a half-a-bootie) exactly what one does with precious yarn like this.

  21. You had sunshine!!!!! We are underwater here in Downeast Maine. I envy you your sunshine, riding time and spinning. /sigh/ Reminder to me: Thouh shalt not covet thy harlot’s progress. 🙂

  22. Yes, I had very brief squirrel thoughts also – so happy there was none involved. The blessing of yarn with less halo is that it is easier to frog now.

  23. Isn’t knitting with handspun just about the best thing? (other than cuddling a baby swathed in handknits…or pretty much any baby.)

  24. You just made me feel much better. After avoiding baby knitting all my life because I’ve been fighting the knitting is for grandmas stereotype since age 10, now that I actually am one I made my first pair of baby booties two years ago. My son told me they fit his three-year-old niece. Oops.’
    With a second grandson having arrived last month, I really need to try again to make a pair.

  25. Your spinning always looks beautiful. It’s inspired me to learn, so I got an antique 2nd hand wheel (dirt cheap! Haldane Shetland for $50)… sadly, antiques have “character” so it’s going to a spin doctor for adjusting and tuning up, and I’m saving up for a Louet (because I got to try one during my spinning class). Maybe someday I can make pretties myself!
    And booties! *SQUEE*

  26. So how did you eliminate those fiber-stealing squirrels, the Blog asks.
    Love the booties…and the yarn.

  27. Try the Angora Booties pattern from Last Minute Gifts. They are sweet and cute.

  28. I think I read somewhere that angora needs to be roughed up a bit before it gets fluffy.
    After reading your bunny saga, I think I am finally going to have to blend some some of Samwise’s fluff with some of that cormo fleece in the closet and give it spin. (I share my home with an English Angora rabbit, but haven’t gone past the collecting fluff stage yet.)

  29. I think that angora needs to be beaten a lot to get halo. One little crack doesn’t do it. I think that I’ve also read that slightly fulling it when you are setting the twist does the trick too (research!). I beat the crap out of my Romney/Angora just in case and it has nice halo.

  30. Sooooo cute!
    Next time you do that, though, why not try to find some of the shoes grippy stuff like they put on the gripper socks? Or some suede you could sew onto them so that the little one doesn’t slip.
    Then they could have soft booties FOREVER!! (Or for a long time.)
    Katie =^..^=

  31. That is some kind of magic you do . Take that fluffy fleece and twist it into yarn that looks like heaven to touch and then…..to make it even more miraculous, to knit it into the sweetest little booties (watching my spelling here). I don’t know. It seems more wonderful than space travel, and possibly more important.

  32. The bloom you’re imagining will appear with a bit of handling. I find handspun with angora won’t show the angora on first washing/wearing, and perhaps even for the second or third. But eventually you will have a lovely fluffy cloudy bloom.

  33. I love them! Maybe early skating skills are necessary in Canada? Just early Olympic training I would call it!

  34. Hi Stephanie, Love your blog. (I’ve been trying to get on the bike with the dog running alongside all week!) I am a novice knitting writer, wondering if you would be kind enough to consider previewing my new knitting book, due out this summer, for advance praise or a review on your blog. Sorry to write in this public forum, but found no other way to contact you. Thank you very, very, very much! Reba

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