Monday, April 1, 2013

Big wheel keep on turnin’

Yes, I AM still spinning… just not as much as I was managing during certain periods of last year. Sometime in February I pledged aloud (to my kids) that I wanted to spin 15 minutes a day. And mostly, I did – with the result that I now have something to show you.IMG_0962 This pretty skein was created from top purchased at Rhinebeck in 2012. It is 85% Polwarth and 15"% silk, dyed by into the whirled. The color is “Targaryen” (which is a Game of Thrones reference). I spun the singles on my 12.5:1 pulley and chain-plied it. I didn’t really need to chain ply…but I did it in order to use up every bit of the singles, and because I thought it would be knitted with another chain-plied yarn.IMG_2159 I started spinning this just before the holiday madness hit, and had to work to get back in the swing of it. The skin contains 372 yards and weighs 116 grams.

Next…remember this Fiber Optic gradient roving I got at Maryland last spring?


Now it looks like this:IMG_0963In the skein, total clown barf. Let’s try showing the yarn a different way so you can appreciate the gradient better: IMG_0964 This is 80% merino and 20% silk, and I think it’s roving, not top. It didn’t spin as evenly as the purple stuff and that would explain it. I spun the singles on the same ratio (12.5:1) and chain-plied. I plied both skeins this weekend, so the plying should be consistent. But the resulting yarn is not! The gradient skein contains 267 yards and weighs 113 grams. It’s a little fatter than the purple stuff.IMG_0968 I do love how this shifts from deepest darkest purple to a murkier green-purple and then on to deep forest green and up through all the greens of Ireland to wind up with that bright, yellow-ish green with which I’m currently obsessed.


To the naked eye, the yarn doesn’t really look that different, does it? You can see more variation in the purple, though.

Now that they’re done, I think the purple fiber looks more lavender than gray. It was my intent to have a light grayish-purple to set off the gradient colors. I hope this isn’t TOO purple. Maybe I need to get something more plain gray.

I bought these two fibers with Stephen West’s Spectra in mind. Then I realized that I had equal amounts of fiber (about 4 oz of each) but the pattern calls for 420 yards of the solid yarn and only 230 of the gradient. I really want to use ALL of my gradient yarn so that you see the transition from purple all the way to bright green. I figured I’d need to use this for something else.

But now I am in a quandary. I don’t have even amounts of yarn even though I have equal WEIGHTS of yarn. I have 372 yards of the solid and 267 of the gradient. Maybe I could squeeze a Spectra out if I trimmed some small sections of the gradient? I am making an assumption that the two yarns are close enough in size to use together. (Tell me if you have serious reservations about this!)

Or… perhaps I could knit Daybreak instead of Spectra. It comes in 3 sizes – here are the yarn requirements:

Color A: 135 (240, 325) yds (I have 267)
Color B: 200 (270, 440) yds (I have 372)

If I made the medium size, I might be okay.

Or… what about Clockwork? It requires:

Color A: 420 yds (I have 372)
Color B: 275 yds (I have 267)

At least one Raveler has altered Clockwork to make it smaller (more narrow; more scarf-like), by doing 6 stripes in each section instead of 12. I could do 9 or 10 stripes perhaps and have enough yarn

Readers, what do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Nice spinning. You must be very proud, Mary!

    I have to say that a lot of the technical aspects of your spinning go way over my head -- these are probably things I should be paying more attention to. I like all of those Stephen West patterns, but I think I like Clockwork the best -- those little divided up cells are really appealing to me.