handspun · knitting · spinning · yarn

in progress.

I have a couple of things I’m excited to share with you but … they aren’t quite ready to share. One of the projects I’ve been working on this week is almost complete – I’m just waiting for some decent weather to photograph Norah and James! In the meantime, I thought I would chat to you about my current spinning project.

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I bought this Malabrigo Nube, in colour 852 Persia, a while ago. Bought with purpose for the Frida Shawl by Hiroko Fukatsu, I’ve had a difficult time figuring out how to spin this fibre. It is a neutral blue – the light and dark grey add depth and interest but overall, it is a semi-solid. The 100% merino isn’t ideal for lace work as it will ‘bounce back’ over time, limiting the lace definition; however, the majority of the shawl is stockinette … and loop stitch.

Loop stitch. This is where I have been having some difficulty. I would like something super soft for around my face (hence the choice of merino) but some structure to the yarn to have definition when the loop stitch is washed and blocked. So, to my wheel to sample I went!

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traditional 3-ply

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3-ply swatch

I swatched with some traditional 3-ply I sample spun a few weeks ago (pictured above). My main concern was that without lots of structure to the yarn, the loop stitch would appear ‘fuzzy’ – which is exactly what happened. I quite like the effect but I would like something slightly more structured to define the stitch more effectively.

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cabled 6-ply

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cabled swatch

The sample I spun of the 3-ply was more than enough to make a cabled yarn. This new swatch is much closer to my original vision but I would prefer not to make a 6-ply yarn! AmIright?!

In the end, I’ve decided to make a 4-ply cabled yarn. At this time, I have 2 singles bobbins ready to ply. I will keep you posted on my progress as I get ready to dig into my second hank of fibre.

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Whew – it has been a lot of sampling, swatching and reflecting. I’m looking forward to getting to the ‘just spinning and knitting’ phase of this project!

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