Thanks to a few threads on Ravelry aimed at either spinning down stash or spinning for a lace project, I’ve been motivated to pull my poor neglected wheel out of my fiber room and do some spinning. I’ve even managed to finish(-ish) a couple of projects that have been languishing. On Monday night, I finally finished spinning the singles from those green merino/silk batts that were my first drum carding experiment. They went sadly unfinished during the Ravelympics, but there is an end in sight now. Here’s proof:
All that’s left is to ply it. I think I’m going to try making a plying ball to see if that works better than plying from a center-pull ball. The only thing I’m slightly worried about is that I know there are some spots where the singles are more than a bit thin. I’m already anticipating them breaking as I try to create a plying ball.
How are your Ravelympics projects going?
I can tell you that they are probably going far better than mine. I have yet to pull out the fiber I decided upon for my spinning project (the superwash Corriedale that was to become socks). Instead, I have been spinning some green batts that were the first to ever come off my drum carder.
I had received some very, very dark green with touches of red and yellow fiber from Deep Color in a swap several years ago (see the yarn to the right). It was one of those cases where I highly doubt my swap partner had read my questionnaire because I had listed green as a color I don’t like. (It wasn’t even until everyone was supposed to be finding out who their secret swap partners had been that I realized that my partner had fallen off the planet. Oh well.) So, I had this nice merino that just happened to be dyed a rather unfortunately color. I tried spinning some of it, but hated the color so much that it languished on a bobbin for almost a year and a half. I ended up using it as my first attempt to Navajo ply because I didn’t care if I completely screwed it up.
I had spun less than half of it, so I still had over 2 oz. of this fiber laying around. Then, I finally decided to get brave and try to use my drum carder. I bought an ounce of bright yellow silk from Spunky Eclectic; it was a color called Walking on the Sun. I blended the 2 together and got a much lighter grass green. The silk also add a great feel.
I have been wanting to practice spinning from the fold and these batts seemed like good practice fodder. Next thing you know, that’s what’s on my wheel. The problem? I started spinning it back in September, so I definitely don’t believe it’s eligible for the Ravelympics. My wheel got put away after I had spun only 1 of the 4 batts I had made because the new puppy showed too much interest in wanting to chew on the treadles, which I just couldn’t let happen to my beautiful Catherine. When I got the wheel out to begin working on the superwash Corriedale, I saw the silky green bobbin and couldn’t help myself. The Corriedale was forgotten.
At least my knitting is going okay… I think.
Sadly, I’ve owned a drumcarder for about 3 years, but it’s just sat in my fiber room collecting dust. Since the advent of Ravelry and my participation in the Friends of Abby’s Yarns (Rav link), I’ve come to have a renewed love for batts.
Almost as long ago, I participated in the Secret Pal 4 swap. The swap partner who was supposed to be sending me things sent me one package before I never heard from her again (not even to tell me she was my partner when the swap was done). Unfortunately, based on the package she had sent me, I don’t think she had bothered to read my filled out survey as the colors were all the opposite of what I had listed as my favorites. One of the items in the package was a 4 oz. bump of dark, dark green merino with slight red and yellow streaks in it from Deep Color (who, sadly, no longer does any dyeing).
I spun up a little more than half of the merino to discover that it seemed to get even darker as I spun it, leaving me a bit disappointed. So, I used the singles to practice chain plying. Since it’s very nice merino, but too dark to overdye, I had thought I could pull out the drumcarder and blend it with something to lighten it up. I found some tussah silk at Spunky Eclectic in a warm yellow color called Walking on the Sun and bought 1 oz.
Sunday night I finally got a chance to set up the drumcarder and play with it for the first time. Here are the results:
The batts weight 2.75 oz. total, with 1 oz. being the tussah silk and the rest being the merino.
I had a lot of fun blending the fibers, although I was a little surprised to find out that it can be hard work. I think I need to see about picking up a kitchen scrub brush for burnishing since my Ashford carder did not come with one. I also need to find out the easiest way to clean up the drum and the licker as there are bits of merino and silk deeply inbedded in the carding cloth now.
So, I’m knitting up a tiny preemie cardigan. And I’ve already knit a hat and booties in normal baby size. But, now I’m realizing that a yarn I have in my stash that I didn’t originally use for a baby gift because I thought it was not superwash may indeed be superwash — Lisa Souza Merino Hardtwist in Spumoni. (For some reason, the skein I have is a completely different color from the Spumoni on Lisa’s website. Mine’s a yellow, green and pink mix while the one on her website is teal, grey, and purple…. weird.) This is why I’m thinking my skein may not be superwash if something changed along the way. It’s a skein I picked up at a yarn swap in January, so my memory is a little foggy about it, and it’s at home and I’m still at work (*shhh*).
Anyway, if my skein does turn out to be superwash, I thought it would be nice to knit my friend a normal sized baby sweater as the little girl won’t be preemie sized forever. I’ve knit EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket once before and thought it was a great, fast knit. But, now I’m also considering EZ’s Feburary Baby Sweater to make things exciting with a little lace. I am flip-flopping between the two. Thankfully, this isn’t a rush. i’ve got the hat and booties and the preemie cardigan should be done quickly (which is good because I believe my friend may be coming to a work potluck on Tues. and I could give them to her then).
So… opinions. Should I go with the magic that is the BSJ? Or should I try something new and knit the February Baby Sweater?