Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lace study

With the class coming up at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Fesitval, I've been trying to push my limits in spinning lace.  Let's be honest.  My default yarn tends to be on the fine size.

But I wanted to work some samples with different types of fibers and different direction plies and see what I could come up with for projects for the Spinning for Lace class.

First of all, I put together this group of samples.  One of these is a commercial merino lace yarn.  The others are all handspun.

(Okay, there are 2 commercially spun yarns.  The one on the left is a strand of worsted weight yarn as a example.)

I also wanted to spin enough of one sample to knit something that will show the progress so here is the merino lace.  I spun something like 275 yards from 3/4 oz of merino fiber.  I can't believe how springy and fun to knit this is.
I spun this on my Kromski Symphony (which is my new favorite wheel for lace weight) at 16:1 ratio.  I spun the singles z and plied s.  I washed it in really hot water which activated some of the original merino crimp and gave this wonderful bouncy light lace weight yarn. The pattern is feather and fan (with an extra garter ridge running through one of them - I didn't find it until I was way past).  I've had to rip out several times and, because I've got plenty of twist in the yarn, it's hasn't been harmed by the ripping and reknitting (and ripping and reknitting - several times).  This was less than an ounce and I've got about 10 ounces left so I'm going to be able to do plenty with.  And isn't it a pretty color?  So springtime!

One more sample I'm going to knit up.  This is bfl which puffs up a lot once it's washed so it's never as fine as it seems when you're spinning:

One more and then I promise I'll stop.  This is rambouillet from the fleece which I washed lock by lock and spun straight from the lock:

(This is the worsted, handspun bfl and handspun rambouillet fleece.)

P.S.  Did you pick the commercially spun yarn?  It's the white strand on the left.