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