Sunday, April 13, 2008

FF*: Verdant laceweight

My first installment for Project Spectrum 3 - Earth. Finally, at long last, I'm done spinning the Verdant laceweight. This was my first attempt to spin laceweight, and it was more or less successful I think. But it took a damn long time!

I started with this gorgeous fiber from Hello Yarn:


70% merino, 30% mohair, Colorway "Verdant". I got 8 oz of this fiber in my double order from the Fiber Club, but only used 4 oz for this experiment.

I split the top in half lengthwise and then in half again. Each half (2 quarters) was predrafted in sequence, and rolled into a ball. My goal was to spin two singles with more or less the same color sections so the two ply yarn would be sort of self-striping instead of marled.


Spun each half on a separate bobbin at 15:1. I used a sample card with a sample of commercial two ply laceweight (Knit Picks Shadow) showing both the two ply and the single. I actually spun up a sample of the fiber before starting the whole batch, so the sample card also had a Verdant single, the unwashed two ply and the washed two ply sample.

Verdant singles

I started off spinning this knowing only a few things about spinning laceweight: 1) thinner singles need more twist, hence the higher ratios so your knees don't burn out of their sockets, and 2) another way to help get enough twist was to keep the take up really really low. My initial takeup was so light that I felt like I was pushing the single into the orifice and it was going nowhere. So I increased the take up a little bit and it seemed to work ok. I had to keep adjusting it as the bobbin filled however, and that took a bit of attention. I spun from the fold, using a supported long draw, which I'm liking more and more as I get better at it.

I plied at 12:1, and the colors matched up pretty well. There were only about 5 points at which I had to wind off one single onto a holder to get to the next color in the progression. Those held singles got spliced back in at the end. It was tough going on the last few bits though - that was one full bobbin!

Verdant plied

I finished the yarn by soaking the skein in warm water and hanging to dry. I didn't give it too much abuse, since I'm planning to knit lace with it. I also didn't want the mohair to bloom too much - fuzzy lace isn't my thing.

Final specs: 3.9 oz, 18-22 wpi, 520 yds.

My original thought was to let the yarn sit for a bit until I cast on with it, but I couldn't resist. I wound it up and cast on for this the day after it was dry. It's flying off the needles, and once again, I am almost overwhelmed at how much fun it is to knit with my own handspun.

april 034

* I know it's Saturday, but I was ready to write this post yesterday when my mouse went bonkers and refused to cooperate. So it's a day late. So sue me...

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