Monday, April 4, 2011

Spinning my Wheels

This past weekend was a spinning weekend. There was much needed cleaning to do, but DH insisted I not help (something about being on crutches was not helpful). So he marched me to my desk area.....where got to some serious spinning on the wheel. I had discovered (to my delight) that I could operate with one foot with only a minor bit of fiddling (as I have double treadles). So, I listened to podcasts and spun for a good chunk of the weekend.

I spun 3 ounces of Frank, then needed a little something different for a while. Digging around the Stash, I found a batt I had gotten a while ago. The colorway was "Cedar Waxwing", which I discovered is a type of bird (didn't know) that is black & gold color.

While spinning, the batt reminded me of everything from black opals to black hills gold.

Cedar Waxwing

3.25 oz batt. 60% merino/ 30% bamboo/10% firestar
Single: 4.5 TPI
Finished: 2ply / 166 yards / ~ 3.15 oz
18 WPI (sport / DK weight)

Just so that I wasn't completely unfaithful to Frank, I decided that I needed to spin a test swatch for Frank. So, I spun up a 3ply and a 4ply. My simply plyback tests had told me that a 3ply would work for the sweater I wanted to knit, but I wanted to make sure and there's no better way than to knit a swatch.

After plying, the samples got washed, thwacked, and dried (in the nice day sun), and afterwards were knitted into swatches.

Frank as 3ply
(Before washing: sport/DK weight)
(After washing: Aran/light worsted)
Knitted Sample: 4.5 stitches/inch (18st/4 inches) on US6

Frank as 4ply
(Before washing: light worseted)
(After washing: heavy worseted)
Knitted sample: 4 stitches/inch (16 stitches/4inches) on US 7/6

Both samples were very nice, although I much preferred the 3ply as the fabric because it matches the gauge for the sweater I want to knit and it has a much drapier hand. Whereas the 4ply was a bit thicker than I wanted, and could probably be made into a much thicker sweater or hat.