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!

 

Before I Confuse The Next Skein, Too

A few weeks ago, I washed and set three or four skeins of yarn. They dried beautifully outside in the sun & breeze and I twisted them into skeins and set them on my desk waiting to be photographed and shared here so that I could then move them over to my handspun stash. Then I finished another three or four skeins and set them on the growing yarn pile on my desk. I thought briefly that adding them to the finished pile might be confusing, but after brief consideration decided I’d remember which were finished and which were not.

Famous. Last. Words.

All seven skeins sat on my desk while rainstorm after stifling humidity after rainstorm after trip away from home after rainstorm (August & early September involved a lot of rain here) delayed the finishing of the last three or four skeins. Then finally last week the weather cooperated and on a fantastic sunshiney, breezy day it was time to get the yarn all finished.

As I readied the water for the first skein, I realized it had happened. I could not for the life of me remember which were finished and which were not. Had I washed three or four skeins? Sure, I could have made some educated guesses. I mean, yarn is different once finished and if I’d wanted to study each skein I probably could have sussed it all out. Alas, I was impatient after waiting all these weeks to get the yarn set, so I opted to just rewash them all. It took twice as long than it needed to, than if I’d just — you know — made a second pile on the other side of my desk to start with, but there you have it.

In any case, I’m about to start plying another project, so before I confuse that skein, too, it’s time to share these seven skeins and get them squirreled away into my handspun stash!

It’s worth noting that all of these skeins are spun from Three Waters Farm fibers — y’all know I work as a moderator for the TWF Ravelry Group and am just the biggest fan. TWF fibers by far make up the bulk of my fiber and handspun stash and for good reason –the colorways are just to-die for and the bases are simply the best. I’m totally serious when I say I can’t get enough and I never get bored spinning them. There are times I buy a single colorway multiple times just to try spinning it a different way — it’s true! But I digress before my gushing gets out of hand!

The first four skeins I’ll share are for my Vivid project. I’ve not yet started knitting it, but I’m definitely making good progress on creating consistent yarns to use in it when I get there. All the yarns I’m spinning for it are silk blends in coordinating color palettes with an aim at being roughly worsted weight yarns.

First, Vein of Turquoise on an 80/20 Merino + Silk base…

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This skein is significantly brighter than my other selections for this project, so it may or may not ultimately wind up in it. Time will tell.

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I love the icy blue streaking through the oranges and yellows though, so whatever I end up doing with this skein I have zero doubt I’ll love it!

Next, Moving in Circles on an 85/15 Polwarth + Tussah Silk base…

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Which is quite similar to Pumpkins & Persimmons on the same base…

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They are so similar and yet so unique!

I find it very fun to explore the subtle differences in these two. Moving in Circles has just a bit less contrast, almost a toned-down version of Pumpkins & Persimmons. They will work great in my Vivid project for sure!

And then there’s Hickory & Maple on the 40/40/20 Merino/Superwash Merino/Tussah Silk base…

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This is one of my favorite bases and this colorway is one…

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I would buy it again and again — it was a dream to spin!

Next, I get to share my spindle spin from the Tour de Fleece this year, Still Water on that same 40/40/20 Merino/Superwash Merino/Tussah Silk base that I love. I’d finished the singles up at the end of the Tour and then plied then using my wheel shortly after…

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It’s one of those skeins for which it would be easy to point out “imperfections.”img_3647

But it was a labor of love, for I do love spindle spinning, and those “imperfections” are what show that this yarn is handmade, slowly and while life was happening. I like that and therefore where some may call it “imperfection,” I prefer to think of it as “personality.” It’s a lighter weight yarn — floating between fingering and sport weight. I have zero idea how I’ll use it. It was a spin for the joy of spinning and will hang out in my stash until I find the perfect use for it.

And lastly, two totally random spins, just because. First, my August Top of the Month Club, Sheltered Zinnia on Rambouillet…

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I really love Rambouillet…

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It’s one of my favorite wools to spin just because whatever weight I spin it at, it’s got bounce and a squish-factor that is just awesome.

And last, but certainly not least…

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Butte Shadows, also on a Rambouillet base.

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This is one of those colorways that was just love at first sight and I knew I had to have it. And when it arrived in my hands, I just had to spin it.  This skein is in that worsted or DK realm and it’s every bit as dreamy as I imagined it would be.

And there you have it, a month or so worth of spinning. Beautiful colorways made complete with so much joy and fun and life twisted within these fibers. And rather than set them back on my desk — which would be easier — I’m going to take them over to my handspun stash shelves and put them away properly… before I confuse the next skein, too, and end up washing eight skeins where I could be washing just one!