Oh my. I was going over the critiques of my Blue Ribbon handspun yarn skeins, looking for suggestions and ways to improve my spinning, when I noticed that my total for the wool/silk skein (Tulip colorway, Twisted Fiberarts Roving, 2-ply fingering weight) was added wrong. I should have had 69 points (out of a possible 75) rather than 74. So, it's possible that I got that ribbon in error (depends on how many points the next lower skeins had). I'll notify them, and if that's the case, maybe we can get the ribbon to the rightful winner.
In the meantime, I finished a pair of Christmas Grandsocks- the pattern is called Circle Socks, and is available as a free download on Ravelry, or from designer Anne Campbell's Needlework (http://www.jfcampbell.us/anne/patterns.htm ). The easy slip stitch patterning makes a great texture on the cuff of the sock, and I love love love how it works with self-striping yarn. I modified the pattern by using heavier yarn, size 2.75mm needles, and 56 sts (rather than 64) on the cuff (and 54 on the instep), and working a short-row heel and a star toe. This sock will fit girls shoe size 12-13. The pattern calls for an 8 stitch repeat, so you can adapt it to other yarns, and adjust it for sizing pretty easily. The yarn is Playful (100% superwash wool) from Twisted Fiberarts (heavy fingering weight), in the Tulip colorway. I used a mottled coordinating solid yarn for the heels and toes, and I have enough yarn left over to knit another pair this size (or even up to youth shoe size 3-4).
I have also been working on handspun hats for the Christmas pile. I finished 3 more, and am almost done with the adult size hats. I still have 7 kid-size hats to knit. These are super fast- we're talking 2-3 hours, start to finish, and the pattern could not be simpler (66-72 sts, size 10.5-11 needles, knit ribbing for 8" or so and decrease). It's a good way to use up all that bulky handspun yarn I have on hand (I must have been psychic when I made so much of a kind of yarn that I rarely use. Yeah, that's right... psychic...)
And I finished spinning and plying 2.1 ozs of the neon green/purple/blue Merino roving that I bought at the fiber fair. It's 2-ply, heavy fingering weight, not terribly consistent in diameter (something I need to work on), and about 148 yds. I have less than an ounce left to spin, so there may not be enough yarn for gloves, but there will be plenty for fingerless gloves, which is what I think I'll make with this yarn.
TV commentary: Was last night's Emmy Awards show not the worst awards show in the entire history of awards shows? It was excruciatingly bad- the hosts were awful, the speeches were all too long, and even the dresses were boring. And Mary Tyler Moore- please, no more surgeries. Oh, and sleeves are a really good idea. Trust me on this.
But tonight- Heroes!!!!!