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Episode 119: Celebration, Crepe Yarn f/u* & thwacking

Thank you for joining us this episode. Welcome to new and returning viewers. Thank you to our Patreon support community – I hope you are enjoying our next 51 SAL challenge, which are ‘semi’ yarns. In this week’s show, we chat about a couple of community questions, including a follow up from a previous Spinning Growth submission. She’s started knitting her socks and they look great – it’s amazing how far we can push our yarns, even when we think they are ‘less than’. We answer a question about thwacking: When, why, do I have to? A great discussion to say the least. Thank you to Chat for your enthusiasm and conversations – you make the show so much richer for your contributions. Enjoy the show!

*f/u = follow-up

Announcements

Unbraided – EBOOKS available here & book orders can be made here.

Maker Mornings to Celebrate our Three (!!) Year Anniversary

  • For more, please head to this post on Patreon for dates & times
  • All patrons are invited to join us this summer as we explore some of my making together in a Live Stream
  • Currently, we are working towards meeting this goal on Patreon to make these a regular part of our months – think of this as a taster!

Breed & Colour Studies

  • Lykkemeg (Megan) shared on the Slack channel her finished her toque! Looks amazing with the blue and garter stitch. For more on her project, check last episode when we shared her carded art batts and finished yarn.
  • HopkinsStudio (Emonie) (post 60) dyed and carded her own fibre into rolags. She’s spinning on her drop spindle and I love how moody, dark her yarn is! She’s thinking about doing a woollen style sample as well.

Spinning Growth

Follow up from May’s podcast Episode 117 featuring the crepe yarn – ianelay wrote:

Here’s the start of socks made from my under-plied crepe yarn (featured in Spinning Growth and the May podcast). The lovely thing about all these attempts is that the yarn still knits up quite well.

I knit these on 2 mm needles to make a dense durable fabric. The yarn and fabric feel very sturdy, yet… like tough elastic. The singles definitely have a lot more twist than the plies… you can see how distinct they are in the knit fabric. No bias to the sock cuff.

  • Amazing what happens with our yarns when we knit with them – yarn is so versatile
  • There’s quite a nice texture to these socks due to that single that was wrapped overtop to make the crepe yarn – pretty cool!
  • I’m really interested to see how these wear and feel over time – will be nice to have an update in 6 months or a year.

Ask Anything

Away333 (post 1492) asks:

I have a general question about finishing yarns, in particular thwacking. What is deal with thwacking yarn? What is the purpose of thwacking? Is there a time you should or shouldn’t thwack? Should I avoid Thwacking? Thwacking freshly soaked wool yarn seems bit odd to me since it seems to be a recipe for felting. I take so much care to preventing felting my wool in fiber prep, garment creation, and after care that it seems counter productive. As a result I haven’t thwacked my handspun skeins and my yarns look perfectly fine to me. I see so many people do it and say that it is needed a part of the finishing process, but I am not convinced that I should do it. Am I missing something?

  • Lots of responses in the thread on Ravelry – some love it, some don’t
  • Sidewinder (post 1494) says: I rarely do it. I do snap the damp yarn between my hands and I dunk straight it up and down several times when I’m washing and rinsing the yarn after spinning. However, sometimes, if I want to give the yarn a little more cohesion, I will thwack. The idea is to full (not completely felt) the yarn so that the fibers bloom and they stick together a little more. Most recently, I did this with a woolen spun singles yarn, spun pretty thin. I want it to be less delicate. Sometimes I also will do some more serious felting of the yarn, dunking it in alternate hot and cold baths. Judith Mackenzie has a technique where you put your yarn in a bucket of hot soapy water and slosh it up and down with a sink plunger. Felted yarn is sometimes what you want! My funky thick unusable yarn ended up thinner (shorter) and much softer with Judith’s treatment. Made a great warm hat! Felting is a kind of spectrum…light fulling on one end, solid felt on the other. How far you go depends on the result you want.
  • From my perspective, thwacking has it’s place for sure but I don’t do it as often as I used to
    • Find that my yarns are nicer when I don’t thwack but I will snap my yarns always around the radius of the skein to even out the twist
    • Some fibres need to be thwacked hard like Alpaca and Llama to set the inner core of the yarn

Because felting the fibres can reduce or eliminate the elasticity in your yarns, I tend to shy away from thwacking to any great degree now. I might do it very gently. Yarn to share: Yarn Ink Merino ‘Old Romance’ spin from 2017.

Housekeeping

One thought on “Episode 119: Celebration, Crepe Yarn f/u* & thwacking

  1. Mainer by Alicia Plummer is an excellent sweater pattern. Simple yet pretty. I think that would look very nice with that yarn.

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