Sunday, March 18, 2012

Double Your (Handspun) Pleasure

Two yarns for you this week, mostly because the first one took so long that I needed a little instant gratification after it was done and spun up the next one in two evenings.

First is the December 2011 shipment from the Crown Mountain Farms fiber club, 4 oz. of 74 Organic in a colorway called Lemuria. Here was the fiber when it first arrived:


I really have not been able to capture the colors very well; in reality, it was a slightly orange pink (almost a salmon color) and pale green running into brown.

The fiber itself was very soft and seemed like it wanted to be spun fine, so I decided to use it for my first attempt at a cabled yarn. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular technique, a cabled yarn is achieved by spinning two 2-py yarns and then plying them with each other in the direction the singles were originally spun. Because any plying takes out twist, you need to have more twist than usual in the first plying so that your yarn holds together. Fortunately, I like a high amount of twist in my yarns normally, so while many instructions for cabled yarns tell you to run the first plied yarns through the wheel to add extra twist before plying them together, I just skipped to the last step. Here's the result:


I suppose I was in laceweight mode after finishing my Millifiori, because the singles I spun were so fine, the finished yarn (which is effectively a four ply) is still fingering weight. The skein is approximately 348 yards, so a good amount for some project or other. I think this fiber is a bit too soft for socks -- unless I want them to be felted socks on the first wearing -- but it would be heavenly around the neck, so perhaps a cowl or shawlette is in order.

After all that plying, I knew the next yarn had to be a singles yarn -- one step and done, in other words. Remember that fiber that showed up in my mailbox by surprise about a month ago? I'd been staring at that green the whole time I was spinning singles and plying, so it practically leapt onto my wheel. I ended up with a skein of fingering-weight singles that is just as pretty as the original fiber:


I think this just has to be knit into something for the classy lady who sent it to me, but only about 288 yards, so I'll have to get a little creative in picking a pattern. I am not sure how sensitive she is to wool (Wensleydale isn't exactly merino, either), so at this point I am thinking a lacy scarf or shawlette that she can wear outside a coat or over a sweater if it's too scratchy for her. Any suggestions are welcome!

2 comments:

Stripeyspots said...

The cabled yarn is stunning! And the green singles are going to knit up beautifully!

Julia said...

For the green single (what a stunning colorway!) how about a Honey Cowl? I knit one up in a single, fingering weight, with long color runs, and it looked wonderful. Good outside a coat or turtleneck to avoid the scratchy...