Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sample Spinning

I am itching to spin something and then knit it, but what to make?

handspun swatching

Above is the first round of sampling. Should I sample greater lengths of yarn? It might give me a better idea of the finished project, but since I am sampling from 4oz bits of fiber I'm limited.

The two browns on the left are Coopworth. The lighter one is particularly delicious. I would consider spinning for Owls if there was more money in the fiber budget right now...

On the right two different Gotland samples. The dark is the pin drafted lamb's fleece. It has these lighter bits that swirl around and make lovely texture (too soft and pretty to be called neps, but really I think they are tangled fiber). I wanted to spin this in a way that would preserve its loft, softness and texture. The two ply came out not very textured, and the single ply seems fragile... not too delicate to knit, but unlikely to stand up to serious wear in the garment. I probably just need to knit it in stockinette stitch to get the texture to pop.

The brighter silver is Gotland top. Just for the fun of it I did a small sample from the fold and it produced an unusually fine and even result (for me). As I have 10 oz of the lamb and 4 of the top I was thinking of combining them for a vest. I would put random stripes of the lighter silver through the dark. Overall though, I'm not certain exactly what the lamb fiber is best suited for. Both Gotland fibers also show a tendancy to full.

At the very end of the silver sample there is also a tiny, two row sample of some Cotswold. This top is one of the first things I bought as a spinner and now it seems rather sticky (hardened lanolin?) and hairy. Not pleasant to spin. Surprisingly though, once it was yarn it was pleasant enough to knit.

Not enough here to help me choose the next big project, but you know how it is. I'll want these notes to refer to as more possibilities come up and I begin to forget the characteristics of each of these fibers...

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