A couple of weeks ago, one of our community members (Kat, to be specific) shared a lovely pattern called Kagerou by Michiyo on the Slack Channel. It caught my attention due to the incredible drape and texture of the fabric. I clicked on the link that took me across to Raverly and I had a look at the yarn. It was a yarn by The Fibre Co. called Meadow.
After looking at the colours for a few minutes, I noticed the yarn, milled and dyed in Peru, is a blend of some interesting fibres:
- 40% Wool – Merino
- 25% Camelid – Llama
- 20% Silk
- 15% Cellulose – Flax/Linen
After thinking about the above-mentioned pattern for a while, I decided that, while it was a beautiful pattern, it was an incredible amount of spinning and knitting. I thought about some of the sweaters I’ve made recently and gaps in my wardrobe. I had ripped out the Shoreline Vest by Carrie Bostick Hoge last year and decided that it might be a good platform to build the yarn and a similar vest on! I waxed poetic about this process on the most recent episode of The Wool Circle (previously The Wool Stream but YouTube kept flagging and removing the videos) here.
To my stash and drumcarder I went! I pulled out undyed fibres (that will come later):
- 40% BFL
- 25% Alpaca
- 20% Tussah Silk
- 15% tow-flax
I blended up the different fibres into 2 – 50 gram batts and further blended the fibres together. It was fun and actually, quite fast! I was surprised. The yardage needed for this vest (in size 35″) is 747 yarns of sport/DK weight yarn. The pattern calls for ~340 grams of yarn but I will see how many batts I need to make after sampling and calculating my grist from the initial 100-grams that I have carded. After spinning to a ~12WPI yarn, I’ll dye it all at the end!
The results are quite lovely – I decided to create nests of fibre to spin from to keep the bobbins even. I like to do this when I have control, rather than creating big batts and hand-pulling apart the batt at the wheel. This way of spinning creates a nicer yarn for me and I like the extra effort to put the batts (broken down 4 times for 1/4 of the batt per each nest) through one last time.
The nests have a lovely sheen to them from the high percentage of silk, along with the BFL and Alpaca. I am excited to see how the tow flax (waste from creating line-flax) affects both the spinning and knitting! I’ll keep you posted …
What has been your favourite blend to spin to date? Have you made your own blends and if so, how did it go at the wheel when spinning? Any disasters?!
I’ve been gifted some raw alpaca and just started spinning it (I wish I had a drum carder!). Haven’t done any bleeding yet. Do you weigh out prepared fibre in chosen proportions and blend on a board? Curious to know how you get consistent proportions in batch of rolags (pretty new to spinning but love it!)