Sweater and sock yarn
The thin sweater and the thin 4-ply sock yarn I showed in my previous post are finished.
Left over yarns.
I spun this yarn on several light weight top whorl and Turkish spindles. Merino and Merino-silk left overs. I think needles 2,25 or 2,5 mm.
The liver leaf is one of the first flowers in spring. I love them!
Work in progress
I’m a person with lots of UFOs. They don’t bother me, I’m old enough to know that one day I will finish them. Or, if they’re coming out as I planned, I frog them (no problem with that either). I like to start new projects, I work on them for a while, and then I start a new one. It’s my way of working.
So here are two projects from my UFO bin: a sweater that is completed except for the finishing bath, and a gang of small balls of singles yarn that will one day become a sock yarn.
The sweater: I made it from left over yarns. I have a lot of left over yarns! All except the red yarn are commercial yarns.
I wanted to show the yarn ends! You know what it says in knitting patterns: weave in all yarns. I don’t always do that. Sometimes I tie knots. This is before:
And this is after. I make one knot while knitting, and the second afterwards to secure the slippery fibers.
The sock yarn wannabe:
Small balls of different fine fibers spun on different tools. Some of them have been waiting for a couple of years, some I’m still spinning. When I’ve finished spinning = when I think I have enough yarn for a 4-ply, I ply. These are my default singles of mainly merino and silk. I could make a cabled yarn, but as I’ve used so many different tools, I’m not 100% sure the twist is consistent through all yarns. A cable seems a bit hazardous, so: a plain 4-ply it’ll be. I just have to finish the yellow tops, then I’ll ply.
I promise to show the sweater and the yarn as soon as they’re finished!
Waiting for Wednesday
I’m waiting for Wednesday – I’ll leave early in the morning, and in the afternoon I’ll be in Orkney! On Saturday I’ll be in Shetland. I’m not sure if I can post from there, but will post when I’m back home if not earlier.
This yarn is spun from Kainuu Grey wool and mohair from Sanski’s goats that I mentioned in an earlier post. Delicate like Sanski’s handspun yarns, which is a bit odd as it’s spun in a mill. I love it! Light, light grey.
Autumn has come, and with it the frost. It’s still sunny and quite warm every now and then. The green beans and some of the herbs have frozen, but some flowers have survived. Wonder if I should save the pelargonium. It’s bright red, and there’s buds.
At last! Spinning again!
An odd thing happened when I was sick with the cold (or flu, whatever it was). Spinning made me cough! Weird.
But now I can spin again. Here’s what I’ve done the last few days:
Dog hair yarns! I also spun the red roving I showed in an earlier post. And the 3-ply barber pole is a yarn I don’t like very much, but I know it’ll be good in a weaving project. It’s unfinished in the photo.
The chiengora is my first dog hair yarn for many years. I used to earn part of my living by spinning chiengora for customers for some 15 years. I was so fed up with it for a long time, but now I wanted to see how my new drum carder would blend wool, Keeshond hair, and silk. It did it very well. Here I’m starting to blend opened (teased on the carder in one pass) Kainuu Grey wool with the dog hair + silk that has also gone through the carder once:
I used coloured silk in some of the batts, and spun three different yarns. Two skeins with thicker yarn, one thin with leftovers from a bobbin with merino (I think), and two skeins with my default yarn. I like them all!
There was pretty much debris in the wool and the dog hair! Some of the silk fell through, but that’s not a problem: shake it, and the debris falls out and you can use it.
After the successful carding of the rather long Keeshond hair, I wanted to try something I’ve been thinking of ever since Kasper came to live with us more than ten years ago. I’d like to spin his very short undercoat. So here we go: the 1,5-2,5 cm long Kasper hair on top, and some Kainuu Grey lamb locks underneath. I also added a little silk. Silk is magical in chiengora yarns. It binds the shorter fibers, and adds lustre to the yarn. I’m not afraid to use my scissors – I often cut silk tops into shorter lengths to make the blending and spinning short, tricky fibers easier.
Here’s a Kasper batt ready to be doffed off:
I haven’t spun the batts yet. As you can see, I haven’t blended the different shades of the Kainuu Grey thoroughly, as I like the heathered look very much. If I’d like an even colour, I’d card the wool separately in 2-3 passes before adding the evenly coloured Kasper hair. The undercoat from dogs is very fine and delicate, and it can’t be carded in more than 2-3 passes on the 72 tpi card cloth before it starts breaking and making pills.
So now I’m working through my not so small fiber stash. I’m opening fleeces in one pass. I’ll use most of those rovings for blending both for colour and structure later. It’s so much more fun to just start blending and not being forced to open the fleeces first! Here’s some light yellow Finn x Texel ready for blending or further carding as it is:
This was a nice new wool: Campanica from Portugal. The two wool samples I got were from the same sheep, and quite different in character. That is not unusual, in fact it’s what most sheep produce: different wools from different parts of the body. The site I linked to doesn’t mention other colours than white, but there are black/brown Campanicas also.
I prepared and spun a few samples, and then spun two different yarns:
The smaller skein: coarser wool with kemp. Carded and spun woollen.
The bigger skein: softer wool with a small amount of kemp. Hand combed and spun worsted.
This was interesting wool to work with. It reminded me a bit of some crossbred wools I’ve spun, like Finn/Texel. Soft with a bounce, and not so little of the bounce either! There was yellow stain in the softer wool, which can be seen in the slightly yellow tone in the yarn. It would be a perfect wool for many kinds of sweaters, from rough outdoor to in-between sweaters for winter use, and thinner for summer. Socks, hats, mittens. In Portugal it’s used for blankets and rugs, mixed with other wools. The coarser yarn I would use just like that, in a blanket, bag, or carpet.
I just learned that there is a number of people trying to preserve the traditional Portuguese ways to prepare and spin wool. They have a group on fb called Cooperativa Oficina de Tecelagem de Mértola. Use the fb translator to see what they’re doing.