Wednesday, November 11, 2009


One of the fun things about finding smaller amounts of fiber inexpensively is feeling much more free about experimenting with them. There's something about having 8 ounces or more of a fiber and thinking you need to finish up with enough to actually use for something. Then having 4 ounces makes me think, okay, this isn't so much what can I do to stretch it or what can I do that might be interesting.

One of the fibers I got from the Esther's Place booth at the Bishop Hill Spin-in was a ball of mohair roving dyed oceany sort of colors, turqoises, lime green, blue, etc. Very pretty but I'd never seen a 100% mohair yarn. Commercial mohair yarn is always mixed with wool and, for some reason, some sort of nylon or acrylic (never quite figured that out about the nylon). So I spun about 2 ounces of the mohair and started thinking about how I wanted the finished yarn to come out. I know, I know, you're supposed to think about that BEFORE you start to spin. Just you be quiet.
I only did half the roving so if I decided to make a 2 ply mohair yarn, I would have a fairly even go at the second bobbin. But as I was spinning, my eyes wandered to the table where I had started a turqoise merino sample I've had for ages. Came from Outback Fibers in Texas in a sampler pack I got one time. Had an ounce about a dozen different colors and wonderful to spin. So I started wondering about using the merino as a pairing to the mohair. The turquoise is not the same as the main color of the mohair but because the color is moving around so much, I thought it might be a nice counterpoint. So I started on a bobbin of merino.
Let me tell you, if you've never spun well-prepared merino your life is empty. Never mind all your friends and your activities and achievements. Empty. All empty, my friend.
As I kept spinning, my ounce of merino kept going and going and going. Could this have been 2 ounces? Maybe so but it's spinning so finely with my Scotch tension working and my Minstrel humming along. Now I'm not sure what to do? Should I just finish this and make a 2-ply lace weight (that's what it would be) or bit the bullet and ply it with the mohair? Keep in mind that I still have 2 ounces of the mohair left to spin and do something with.
Maybe I'll try a more woolen spun with the second batch. Spin from the fold? It's a long stapled bunch of stuff.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Victorian Garden

I finished 4 ounces of the Blue-faced Leicester fiber in the colorway, Victorian Garden. Although I originally thought I would do a 4-ply, in the end I decided to do a 3-ply using the Navajo plying technique because I wanted to keep the colorway. I'm so glad I decided to do it this way. The stips of color were still long enough to not be too stripey but it just sort of intensified the colors that were there. Here's the skein - 270 yards or thereabouts.

After I got this spun up, I was so anxious to see how it knitted up that I couldn't wait to start. Plus I had to take my car to have it serviced Saturday morning so what better time?! This is knit on size 2 needles using my basic sock pattern because I didn't want anything to get in the way of the colors.

My first socks with my very own handspun sock yarn! So proud.