Posts tagged ‘merino’

I carded batts of black Merino top and started spinning. Even from the fold with a broken-off section of fiber, it handled just like the original top. So I’m going to have to go with the damp technique. The small bit of batt I sprayed down and let dry is much improved, so I’ll be doing that to each one in turn.

A while back I started messing with some swap fiber I didn’t know what to do with. I still don’t, but I’m pressing on and now making yarn I don’t know what to do with. Some person will undoubtedly be getting a gift before this is over. But I need to stop with the acrylic baby knitting for a while and go back to a fiber that has some connection to an actual organic substance.

I took the carded multi-color single and plied it with two more of carded black Merino. I’d been looking for something not so fine, a better match for the original fiber, but then Paradise Fibers had a sale. I hand carded a little to do this sample:

black, purple and green yarn

I’m not totally thrilled with the black because I don’t like how mill-processed Merino top handles. Dampening it and letting it dry might improve it, but I’m too lazy to go that far. The fiber is also a little too long to draft well as a woolen. I’m always a little reluctant to make something that I’m not completely in love with from the beginning, but it will look and feel a lot different when it’s done. And I would never wear anything with chartreuse anyway, so I don’t have to get attached to it. It’s supposed to be an experiment.

Right now I’m in the middle of carding the 160g of black to go with the 80g of single already spun. Even if it weren’t too long to nicely hand card, I’d do it on the drum carder because there is so much to do and no concern for maintaining distinct colors. Carding commercial top is not as easy as one might imagine, it’s very dense. Just like Merino fleece, you have to open it up a lot to get good results. But it doesn’t handle like fleece, it acts more like fiber with almost no crimp.

This scarf started sometime in 2006 when, sick of spinning nothing but samples for the COE, I started several bobbins of singles from some black merino lamb fleece I had. I still have most of those singles, but I was talked into sending some to the county fair. My previous attempt to do something with it didn’t turn out so well. I’ve been wanting something just big enough to tuck into my coat, so I started a small scarf and have been working on it mainly in meetings. As a result there are plenty of errors, which I’m ignoring.

merino scarf

The yarn is natural color, from a lamb fleece I got a good discount on because it was full of VM. Since I comb a lot of fleece, this didn’t bother me much. This is almost as dark as you get with natural color wool, I could have cut off the tips and it would be a little more but I didn’t want to lose the fiber length.

The pattern is my usual simplified feather and fan with a 12 stitch repeat. One thing I like about this pattern is it’s easy to remember and the small row repeat means I can knit until I run out of yarn. It’s a little over a meter in length and about 16 cm wide, small by scarf standards but just what I was after.

I’m working on more Merino lamb, I just pulled out another batch of fiber to start combing. I thought I’d post some pictures along the way. Here’s the first one. I’ve flicked all the ends so they aren’t nasty, taking most of the VM out along the way. Lamb is like that, having never been shorn, the tips are curly so it sometimes takes some extra work.

flicked Merino lamb fleece

I’m typically not prone to chasing after something just because it’s new, but I’m getting bored with the current project. I don’t hate it, I’m not about to declare it a UFO and hide it in the closet, it’s just not particularly thrilling. I’m sure it’s because I don’t know what I want to do with the yarn once I get it done. I’m almost finished with the second bobbin of three, combed dark brown Merino lamb. It’s tiny yarn, so there’s a lot of it.

I’ve been debating overdying it to get black, maybe brown is part of the problem. Originally it was going to be socks/stockings/legwarmers but now that I live in a real apartment and not a pit I’m forgetting why I wanted it. And remembering how much I find knitting tedious. I’ve determined that I have enough spare bobbins to safely start another 3-ply yarn. But I’m not sure what I would do with the new project yarn either, which could lead to all manner of trouble. The new blended batts aren’t enough alone to weave something. But when was the last time I finished a knitting project? I like the results, enough that I can make it through a hat once in a while, but that’s about where it ends. Maybe I just need to cultivate a knitting swap buddy.

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