Tommy Socks 01

So Satisfying!

First, it’s U.S.-sourced wool. Then it gets hand-spun into fingering weight yarn. And finally it becomes socks in one day.

It Doesn’t Get Any Better!

Tommy Yates owns Minnesota Woolen Mills and is also a shepherd raising a breed of sheep called HI-5.  In fact, he has the only purebred flock of this breed today.  As part of his processing of his own and others’ fleeces, he will sometimes cherry-pick some of the best fiber that comes into his mill and produce a blend that is truly incredible.

When I met Tommy two years ago, he had a bag of what I call “Tommy’s Preferred Blend.”  It includes select lamb’s wool, alpaca, mohair, silk and angora.

Tommy Blend Spinning 02-24-19 02

It is rich, and soft and lustrous.  It is also both challenging and a joy to spin.

A while ago, I spun about 100 grams of this fiber into 500 yards of 2-ply light-fingering weight yarn.

Knowing that Tommy also hand-cranks (and sells) socks from his mill, I thought the hand-spun might be perfect for cranking socks on my sock machine.

Boy howdy, was it ever!  In less than 24 hours, I was able to produce this pair of socks.

Tommy Socks 00

There were a few missed/dropped stitches during the cranking (which I have easily fixed).  My antique machine also left a dark greasy mark along the round where I turned the heel.  I’m hoping a quick soak in some Dawn will de-grease it and get rid of the mark.

But regardless of those minor glitches, I LOVE these socks.

Can’t wait to see how the rest of Tommy’s Preferred Blend spinning will knit up on the sock machine!

Current Knitting

Since I spent some of my time making the socks above, there wasn’t a lot of other knitting.

I did start a new scarf or wrap project using the fine alpaca yarn.

Horizontal Garter Stripes 04-08-19 01 Horizontal Garter Stripes 04-08-19 02

Nothing special, but it’s nice easy knitting that will probably sell quickly at a craft show.  It’s hard to go wrong with neutral colors with that audience, even though I much prefer to work with rich, vibrant colors.


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