February 19, 2004


Hear ye, hear ye. After due process was served yesterday in this blog the Farmyard Jacket was convicted of all charges and sentenced to death by kitchen garbage can. A stay of execution was suggested by a number of jurors who attempted to convert the jacket to a pillow, and one member even offered clemency and a new home to the accused. Unfortunately it was a miserable piece of ugly knitting and this court took immense pleasure in heaving it into the garbage can and watching a little coffee grounds get on it. For the record, I would like to note that the Farmyard Jacket was a toddler size and I never had any intention of wearing it myself.

Moving on. One of the Mamluke socks is finished. Be still my heart.


I love it. See the band of "m" shaped fancies at the ankle and toe? It is "Allah" written in cufic/ arabic letters. Sincerely...how cool is that?

At the same time, I am knitting these. "Welsh Country Stockings" also from "Folk socks"


Only, mine look like this


In a daring move, I am spinning the wool myself. I've spun enough for the cuff, heel and toe of both socks (I think) and I'm ready to begin knitting in the darker grey pattern and leg. The yarn for that looks like this.


Catch that? It was subtle. Yeah, small problem. I'll get it looking more like grey yarn later today. I keep trying to figure out how much fleece becomes how much yarn....does that look like enough to anybody? Can you imagine anything that would make you want to run in front of a public bus more than spinning your own sock wool and only being able to knit 9/10ths of the second one? If anyone knows some voodoo figuring out thing, would you drop me a comment?

Posted by Stephanie at February 19, 2004 10:39 AM

Do you know how many ounces of dead rats you have? It takes about 3-4 ounces to make a pair of socks depending upon how fine I spin (that would be in 3-ply).

FYI -- I am a fellow KnitLit Too contributor!

Posted by: Ellen at February 19, 2004 10:59 AM

My favorite method for not running out is to knit toe-up socks. And if you can knit both simultaneously, so much the better. Otherwise, you'll end up with one sock longer than the other, and your husband/S.O./kids will laugh at you. (Not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything...)

Posted by: Beth at February 19, 2004 1:13 PM

Hey, I have 1 2/3 of those Welsh Country stockings knit, too! They've been buried at the bottom of a basket for too long - maybe time to give them a pardon and release them from jail. ;-) Yours win the cool prize, though, as mine are knit from commercial yarn. They're awfully fun to knit, aren't they? As for how much? I'd say you'd be safe with 3 oz of fleece. I don't know the voodoo, but I've gotten better at estimating. ;-)

Posted by: Sam at February 19, 2004 1:34 PM

I agree w/ Beth. When unsure of quantity I will only do toe up and both socks at the same time (on different sets of dpns...I'm not THAT much of a masochist!) After all, you HAVE to have the correct length for the foot, but the leg height measurement is Knitter's Choice, right?!

Posted by: Valerie at February 19, 2004 5:37 PM

Hey. Beauty, eh?
Sorry, I know nothing whatever about spinning.
I just think you have good taste and are one fine knitter.

Posted by: Kathy Merrick at February 19, 2004 6:27 PM

This puzzle is easy. Using the pattern as guidance and assuming your handspun has about the same wpi and stitch gauge you perform a little math and bingo with a fudge factor you have it done. Since the rats are washed and I assume have no breaks, veg matter, short cuts etc. go weigh out a base amount of rats. Use whatever works for you say 10 grams. Prepare as you usually do i.e. semi worsted and spin the singles from this quantity. After plying measure the distance achieved, Reweigh the plyed yarn and compare to the raw input. The weights should be pretty close assuming you have not lost much in the prep. If you do loose weight in your preping you will need to remember that your base weight will just yield less finished yardage. It just means more rats then you may have initially considered. Now you can tell how many yards/metres you get from a specific weight of fibre. You can estimate the commercial yardage/meters required (ball bands or similiar yarn). You already know how many yards/base unit of weight of clean raw fibre that you get in handspun. Using those yards as the denominator and the commercial yardage as the numerator, proceed to divide. This gives you the number of base weight units required. I would add a bit more for a fudge factor and now you have the weight requirements. See my poorly written out formula at the end.

Do not think that 50 grams of clean fleece will necessarily yield the same yardage of handspun as your commercial 50 gram ball. Ask me how I know.

This explanation is very wordy. Still confused? You know how to reach me. Also I have ideas for easy scales should you not own one that measures in small quantities.

Regards to the fellow spinsters at chez Harlot.


commercial yardage required/ yards of plied handspun that the base fibre produced

This gives you the number of units of fibre that you need i.e. 25 - 10 gram units or whatever I just pulled a number out of the air.

so you need 250 grams plus a fudge factor.

Posted by: the anon spinster at February 19, 2004 7:15 PM