Monthly Archives: April 2012

Some more alpaca merino

Those of you with long memories may remember that a couple of years ago I bought some lovely 70% alpaca, 30% merino fibre in colour Cappuccino from John Arbon on one of our jaunts to Devon, and spun it up to about a DK weight during last year’s Tour de Fleece. I had intended to knit the Sleeves in Your Pi cardigan / shawl, but when I finished the spinning I realised I was woefully short in the metreage needed. So last November on our latest Devon jaunt I bought some more fibre when we dropped into John and Juliet’s shop and I have finally finished spinning it.

It has come out a bit different to the first lot. I think the second batch of fibre included a darker brown and also the fibres were not as blended together as the first lot. My plan is to use the second batch for the edging of the cardi and hopefully make the most of these differences, as the two yarns are close enough to tone together but different enough to add interest. I have 920m and 531g of the second batch, so I think that should be plenty for pattern. It is a 2ply construction, approximately DK weight, and I used the 10:1 ratio on my Majacraft Suzie Pro.

I am looking forward to casting on!

Wingham sample day

Back on the 11th of March I went along to a Wingham Woolwork sampling day near Didcot being organised by the Kennet Valley Guild of Spinners, Weavers, and Dyers. The idea is that you bring your spinning wheel and your lunch, pay £6 entrance fee and then can try out as many of their fibres as you would like during the day. It was great fun!

I find it quite hard to know how the colours are going to change from the fibre, to the yarn, to the knitted piece, so my plan for the day was to spin a little chunk of a variety of their blends of merino, and merino and silk and see how the colours blended together.

Here is the finished tube, with a little bit of the fibre next to the knitted fabric it became:

Some of them were fairly predictable, but others were surprising. The more different colours in a blend the more difficult I found it to predict how it would come out. A very useful exercise, and I am very keen now to have a go with blending more colours myself rather than just buying pre-selected blends. I do love colour!

Of course no day of this kind would be complete without a bit of stash enhancement. I bought two bags of Rainbow Merino fibre, this one is actually two shades of navy although they are quite close together:

And this one is a bit less subtle 🙂

And some Rainbow Merino Silk too:

I bought a bit over 100g of each, the measurement is a bit vague because I was weighing it rather than them. It should hopefully be enough for a pair of socks in each colour. I am looking forward to seeing whether I can make socks that are soft but also will wear reasonably well.

Handspun leaves waistcoat

Finally after only two and a half years (!) I have finished my handspun leaves waistcoat. As you can see I am quite happy with it 🙂

I actually finished at the beginning of February, but finding a time when both I and the resident photographer were available, and it was actually daylight and not raining (or hailing as it has been today) proved to be something of a challenge.

This has been a fun opportunity to use up some of my early handspun. I stuck to the theme of dyed reds and natural browns to try to give it some kind of cohesion. The pattern is fortunately very forgiving of different thicknesses of yarn!

Those of you who have come along to the Patchwork Knitting Workshops in Marlow will have seen this in progress two years running! It is the difficulty that it is something for me, but not a City and Guilds piece, so always keeps getting put to the bottom of the priority list. It feels very good to have finished it and be able to wear it. It is turning into a very wearable item too, and I wore it quite a bit before the weather turned cold again.

I am planning to write up the pattern, but that might well take me a little while.