Monday, November 19, 2007

Crackle with Handspun

Sunday I was still feeling a bit of head cold misery so I spent some lazy time plying some of my singles. I have been getting tired of knitting socks in my odd waiting hours when I am away from the loom (and computer), so had begun thinking of knitting a lace silk scarf or two with some of my handspun. . I thought, if I designed a simple lace pattern, this would be a pleasant change. And so I was motivated to get to work on plying. And I needed something easy and repetitive to do to put me out of my misery.

Normally I truly hate plying. It is boring, boring, boring, and I try desperately to play games to make it more quickly. Yesterday morning, however, it was a pleasant occupation. And I just kind of let my head run wherever it wanted to go.

I was very surprised. My mind started coming up with ideas for weaving with handspun. Weaving crackle with handspun. Clearly I must have been feeling a bit better than I realized. I began to think of the possibility of using two different colors of handspun as pattern wefts. I would then use the same two colors for warp and tabby binders. But these yarns would be silk.

As my mind continued playing with this particular possibility, I realized I already had spun one color of merino I really like, a very deep but heathered blue teal. I have not plied it yet, but when I do, I suspect/hope it will be about fingering weight. So, I thought about getting another merino from same source (link to source) and spinning and plying that.

Later that day I went to my source, Lisa Souza, and found the perfect red. It is called Garnet. You can find the color here. Look under "heathered solids." I ordered it. How soon it will come will depend whether she has it on hand or has to dye it. She is usually quite prompt in filling orders.

Lisa also has a lovely color called Warm Gold. Later I might order a bit of that to use as an occasional spark.

Here is a skein of the yarn I plied yesterday, washed and dried. 330 yards. I have two more bobbins to skein. One should be about 330 yards and the other significantly less.

A while ago, I figured out how much yarn I would need for warp and weft for a scarf roughly 12" wide x 72" long, including fringe. I figured the sett at 10-12 epi. 620 yards to 642 yards were the absolute minimum figures I came up with.

When I spun the singles for this, I came up with one full bobbin and one bobbin a little more than 3/4 full. All of this is helpful information for me in figuring out how much I will need for weaving. The one thing I did not document is how many ounces of fiber this was originally! Next time.....................

The source of the fiber for this yarn was Three Bags Full, sold by The Bellweather. I have their subscription which comes out 4 times a year with the latest samples. It is wonderful stuff and great fun to spin.

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