It’s Sweater (Spinning & Knitting) Weather

A couple weeks ago I shared this image of all the grey yarn I’d prepped for Spinzilla…

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It’s 28oz in total of a Merino + Tussah Silk blend from Three Waters Farm  sitting there. For those non-spinners, usually you purchase fiber in 4oz lots and generally when I’m sharing a single skein, that’s one 4oz lot. To put together a sweater spin, of course, takes more fiber. As this is hopefully going to wind up as a Tecumseh sweater (that’s the current working plan — a final swatch is still necessary!), I needed more than a single skein. I opted to spin 28oz, deciding that I’d much rather err on the side of way too much than not enough. Whether I’d opted to spin just enough or more than enough, it is not a small undertaking either way!

I had 2 different dyelots of grey, so I broke everything up as randomly as I could into 1-5oz nests. The non-uniform size of nests was on purpose to try to avoid pooling as much as I could with random color repeats. Control card in hand to help keep my aim on that DK weight yarn I’m looking for, I spun my heart out during Spinzilla, finishing up 20 of my 28oz.

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Like the yellow I think I’ll be using with it, it may be a bit on the heavy side. I think for future projects, I will likely aim one rung lower on the WPI on my control card just because I tend to fluctuate a little toward the heavier side. Oh, the lessons learned along the way!

In any case, uniformity across the skeins is pretty good…

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In both size and color…

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And I’m quite happy with the results post-finishing. I just need to skein them up so I can knit up another swatch and then get started!

Having started my last 2oz of Grey on my Schacht Reeves last night, I felt like spinning a bit in the kitchen today and I had the option of another round of plying  some Grey on my Jensen Tina 2 or to start on the blue color I intend to use, Iron Blue from Three Waters Farm

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I went with the Iron Blue and I have no regrets. This is my absolute favorite blue to spin! It’s the second project I’ll be using it for and I still have some Superfine Merino in my stash. It’s just that good. So taking a short break from the Grey in this late stage of its spinning just feels like a wonderful treat.

This sweater is my participation in the TWF Handspun Sweater-along which started August 1st. I dragged my feet all the way to October 1st and the start of Spinzilla before getting started. I waited for a number of reasons, but really if I’m honest, a big part of the delay was that I was intimidated by that 28oz of Grey. That’s a lot of Grey and that kind of tonal project can make even the best spinners get a little squirrel-y.  Surprisingly though, the spinning did not really phase me like I thought it would. I think the combination of using a base I’m really infatuated with (80/20 Merino + Tussah) and the unrelenting drive of Spinzilla meant I really didn’t have time to think much about spinning one color for days on end. And it just…. it flew by!

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment wasn’t the Spinzilla push, but the fact that not only did I wash & finish those first 5 skeins the day after plying them, I also kept spinning the remaining 8oz of Grey when I’d finished. Sure, I thought about taking a little jaunt in a totally unrelated spinning direction, but instead I kept on with the Grey. Determined to finish, I didn’t attack with the same vigor and sense of urgency as I did during Spinzilla, but I kept at it. By the time I go to sleep tonight, I might be finished!

On that note, I think it’s time to get back at it! Happy spinning & knitting, my friends!

 

16 thoughts on “It’s Sweater (Spinning & Knitting) Weather

  1. JUST.WOW. I’m not a spinner, but even I can see how much effort was involved with the gray. As beautiful as it is (and IT IS!) and as gorgeous as the sweater will be, I suspect gray after gray and day after day could be a real snooze. You were smarter than you thought by procrastinating and doing it for Spinzilla so you wouldn’t have time to think about it. Boy, is it fabulous! And with that yellow and blue, it will be stunning. Good job!

    1. Thank you! Should you ever want to try it out, I highly recommend it. I was a knitter for years before I got into spinning. It’s made me a much better knitter because I understand the yarn with much more depth!

  2. Sarah, it is gorgeous! And something to be proud of, getting all that yarn so uniform in size and color!

    Iron blue. Gah, I love it. You are right, it is to die for!

    Somewhere I found an article that gave some guidelines for spinning yarn to size. I’ll look for the link, but the bit I saved for my spinning bag says

    “For a 2 ply, singles wpi should be 3/2 the desired final wpi.

    For a 3 ply, singles wpi should be approximately twice desired final wpi.”

    And of course a reminder anout the change after finishing, which I know you know.

    Does this make sense with what you just spun? I know you used your control card carefully, so it’s probably not news. 😉

    Whatever sweater you are able to make with all of this is going to be gorgeous!

    1. Well, first of all, I always keep in mind that WPI and yarn categories are pretty fluid. One DK is never the same as any other. And one DK is often another’s light worsted, so I take it all with a grain of salt especially when I am spinning for a pattern written using a specific yarn. Spinning has taught me that!

      As for this project, I’ve been working at roughly 2:1 even though I’m doing a 2-ply — that’s what the control card instructs, but I’ve read your instructions as well. I believe there’s a blog post from Abby Franquemont on it! The added trick is how you ply can impact the yarn as well — not to mention the finishing you mention! — and I knew I wanted a relatively high twist yarn. Partly for durability, but also I think Merino + Silk looks nicer in a higher twist.

      There are so many variables — some day I may take on Master Spinner coursework and master it all, but for now I’m pretty pleased with getting close enough with my spinning that my knitting can pick up any slack, and vice versa! And this grey is looking pretty bang-on for WPI for this project so here’s hoping!

      1. I am pretty sure that it will be fine! And I agree with you on a little more twist to make the silk shine!

        Abby Franquemont is always worth the read – she could deliver that master spinner class you are speaking of! It would be fun to do sometime, when one had the time and brainpower to devote to it. Maybe someday we can do it together… when your kids are grown and I retire?

  3. Amazing! This will be so pretty! I love Boylandknits designs, and I know this will be great for the Tecumseh. Cant wait to see it. 🙂 I’m casting on her Ingalls sweater today.

      1. Farmers Daughter Fibers. I picked the Sinopah (deep purple) for the main color, and a nice creamy natural color for the colorwork. It’ll be my first time doing colorwork, so fingers crossed. 🙂

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