…begins with a swatch. After my recent success in spinning I’ve finally gotten up the courage to take the leap and start spinning my own yarn for a sweater for myself. Not an entirely monumental task, but not a small one all the same.
I surveyed the fiber stash and remembered two different 1 pound lots of merino fiber that I bought at this year’s Maryland Sheep and Wool. The first is from the “Toney road collection” and was purchased from The Little Barn (a favorite fiber supplier of mine thanks to an introduction by Risa last year at Rhinebeck). There is blue mixed with several other colors in this fiber. While it’s very pretty as roving and also very pretty spun up, I thought it might be a bit too dull for my tastes by itself.
Enter fiber that I bought from Ohio Valley Natural Fibers. A lovely royal blue that would coordinate quite well with the Toney road and brighten it up a bit.
I want the yarn for this to be near a worsted weight and to be nice and round and warm. That all means three ply is the way to go. So I put a plan in action. I’ll spin two bobbins of the Toney road fiber and one of the Ohio fiber and ply them together. I decided to do a little test before I jumped in with both feet. I took a small length of each fiber, spun it one night, plyed it the next and gave it a wash. When dry, I knit up the swatch below. I used US size 7 Crystal Palace Bamboo circs and did some garter stitch on the edges to eliminate some of the tendency to curl.
At first I thought the yarn might be too thick, but the more I worked with it the more I liked it. I have been knitting socks all summer after all (and even before the summer!) so just about anything would feel thick right now. The fabric is flexible, which I thought was important, and the yarn has a nice spring to it. I have a small fear of it getting to be too heavy in a large garment, but once again, I don’t have much to go on right now. I mean, even the current sweater in progress is dk weight, not worsted!
So what do you think? Does insanity reign here at Zarzuela Knits? On second thought, don’t answer that.
ETA: This is a long term project and most definitely *not* being considered for Rhinebeck. I may be crazy, but I’m not suicidal!
*I have no idea how many stitches are really in a sweater my size and honestly, I don’t think I want to know! I just thought it would be a catchy title.
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