Technically, I started the week with the admiration of this first finish – Lisa’s Swirl Spiral Scarf, during our Monday knit night. Yes, it is as luscious as it looks.
She knit it out of Jade Sapphire cashmere, after all. I’ll be dropping it off at the state fair this weekend for her as she is traveling, along with my Greek Swan which I finished well in time to medal for the Ravellenic Games.
This hat, knit from a kit of merino/angora yarn hand-dyed by Solveig Gustafson to reproduce the original colors used in Bohus Stickning haute couture knitwear, is in the original Bohus design Large Swan by Karin Ivarsson.
Solveig has had kits available for The Swan for sometime now, but the Large Swan, a more complex design though still relatively simple by Bohus standards, has only recently been recreated.
Another finish, just taken care of this morning, is all of the plying from those many storage bobbins of Columbia fleece singles. Here is what I learned from all of this spinning:
- Resting singles on storage bobbins is so helpful. They are so much easier to handle after letting the twist set up for a while.
- At 5 plies, the yarn is beautifully round and even (grist average over 14 skeins is 977 yds/lb with a standard deviation of 56 yds/lb).
- I could have put more twist in the singles and would have been able to get an even tighter twist in the yarn, but it is sproingy as is.
- Fiber prep is very important. Second cuts and sections with significant vegetable matter must be culled mercilessly before washing and a second culling before carding. It just isn’t worth saving a bit of fiber to have to fight with nepps and bits in the spinning. Virtually every time I had an issue drafting, I could chalk it up to this sort of irregularity in the fiber.
- When one hits a nepp in spinning, especially long draw woolen, just leave it. I tore a bunch of them out, despite having heard Judith MacKenzie say to leave them, thinking it would make the yarn better. It didn’t – it left a ratty bit in the singles. I belive much of this will disappear when I wash and full the yarn, but next time I’m leaving them alone.
Total yardage is 2,452 yds, plenty for a cabled sweater and the hat to go with it! The yarn isn’t finished completely. There is still the washing and setting of the twist, and I believe I am going to kettle dye the whole bunch, too.
I have another finish that makes me kind of sad – the finish of my row crops garden by this guy. Yes, we have our very own grizzlyhog* (probably a whole den of them as I’ve seen two at once cavorting in the back yard). Got any spare wolves you could send my way?
* A groundhog** of unusual size.
** AKA woodchuck.
*** AKA whistle pig.