Disappointing

They say that pride comes before a fall and irritatingly, They are usually right. Alfresco is a beautiful yarn and I remain very proud of it. Meringue however, not so much. It was the fibre that I blended and spun for the Spunout shawl SAL/KAL. However, I decided not to use a control card to help me maintain a relatively consistent thickness instead spinning to what I thought was my “default” thickness. I’d heard so much of spinners having a “default yarn” that I thought I should try to find mine. Turns out I don’t have one!

Whilst the thickness of the singles isn’t dramatically variable it is definitely inconsistent, in a very bad way, though this wasn’t immediately noticeable as singles on the bobbin.

I plied 2 bobbins of singles together and when they were finished and I slipped them off the noddy-noddy and astonishingly, the yarn was really balanced and I mean REALLY balanced! Before it’s bath and thwacking balanced!

Still, it looked like this…

 

…and that’s before we even mention that the yarn turned out the colour of ancient bra! Not the desired effect at all. For those who don’t know me IRL, ancient bra is on a par with baby poo and insipid apricot as my worst colours ever!

As the yarn was balanced, I didn’t think that passing it through the Hansen in a clockwise direction was going to improve matters, though perhaps I am wrong in that. One thing that I could do to improve the yarn was to dye it a prettier colour than “ancient bra”.

Fortunately, I’d planned a crafty meet up with Ursula and Bee. Ursula has a spectacular talent for dyeing so off I went in the hope of redeeming my fugly yarn.

So, we did a randomised uncontrolled  dyeing experiment in immersion dyeing, adding a bit of this colour and that colour and waiting to see what the end result is. To be completely honest I really didn’t care so long as it wasn’t one of the aforementioned colours in the end.

This is the result of that experiment.

 

I told you she was talented! I love the way it turned out even though it didn’t magically restore the yarn’s consistency problems or even hide them very much.

Anyway the proof will be in the knitting and I just have to figure out what to knit with it. I shall knit it very soon because let’s face it, I have no desire to have it hanging around in the skein so I can admire my spinning skills. I do however, want to knit it up to see how the colours behave.

Anyhoo, more positive news is on the horizon.

ttfn x

Catagorical

I’m usually adverse to labels and labelling as it’s usually followed by stereotyping and judgement which make my cringe but it just occurred to me that I might have unknowingly crossed a line.

I appear to have become a spinner who knits rather than a knitter who spins. When I say this I don’t infer any kind of level of expertise, heck I have so much to learn about both crafts that I think intermediate beginner is probably an exaggeration of my skill level. It just seems that given a choice I would much rather spin than knit. Put another way, knitting is something I do these days when I can’t spin. I absolutely could never see myself giving up knitting, never in a million years! However, my current WiPs only 1 knitting project and 4 spinning projects certainly give the game away.

Currently on my needles is Terra by Jared Flood. I’m really enjoying this knit even if last night I ripped back a huge chunk because I’d messed up the garter stitch edging on 2 rows. A testimony to my beginner skill level if ever there was one.

On the Hansen is the accent colour for a Dream Stripe shawl that I’m doing for the Spunout shawl SAL/KAL on Ravelry.

 

On my spindles are The Thylacine sock club fibre on the Turkish and my own blends on the Ken Ledbetter.

 

One thing I will always be though, is a woolista.

Fun with fibre blending

I had heaps of fun blending fibre yesterday with my hackles. All of the blends were with British breeds that I blended with dyed Polwarth or Merino. The house looks like a bomb has been dropped on it and there is a thick carpet of Kemp and fluff where the polished floor boards should be but hey I thoroughly enjoyed it. My hands are really sore now though. Here’s a sample of each of the blends I created.

The central Southdown and green Merino I created especially for Sharon it’s her favourite colour. The dusky pink BFL and oatmeal BFL I created especially for Sonia as it is her colour. Both of these good friends encouraged me so much at the beginning of my spinning journey and this is my thanks to them.

The beauty of hand blended roving pulled off a hackle is that the fibre drafts like a dream making spinning effortless. The obvious benefit is that you can make yarns that are completely unique you would never see these blends at your LYS. The downside is that you are left with a lot of short fibres that can’t be dizzed off but they are great for carding.

My hackles are the Majacraft double row set and you don’t necessarily need combs unless you want to blend more thoroughly. I got my hackle set and combs from the lovely Emma at Spunout. My fibre was mostly from R.E. Dickie though their email seems to be defunct. So now I mostly use World of Wool who’s customer service is excellent and if your not up to blending yourself they do have a rather cool make your own custom blends tool that I have used, minimum order for the custom blends is 500g though. Here are 2 blends that I’ve made through them so far.

BFL/English 56s/Shetland/Tussah silk

Shetland/BFL/Merino/Mohair

Of course now I just need to find storage space and clean up. Another 24 hours in the day to spin up these lovelies would be good too!