Finished the tranquil handspun for a vest

170 grams, 490 m sportsweight.
A yarn with a little bit of character, both in colour and smoothness. This will give a lovely knit fabric. I’m looking forward to wearing the vest made from this.

Ravelry has a few patterns for vests in this weight and meterage.
But patterns use a range of meterage and sizes. To find out if a vest in my size with this meterage is possible I need to look at projects people made with similar yarns. How well thought out is the site Ravelry, to have a database that shows all these possibilities!

Vests actually knitted with this kind of yarn.
These are predominately children’s vests. I have not enough meterage to make one for me.

Good to know.
I’ll do what I did with Sprookjesvest: knit front and back panel in the handspun and add edges in another yarn. No worries.
Edging in a smoother, solid coloured yarn will make my vest look and wear even better.

The twist is set and it’s now drying in the golden autumn sun:

More of a DK weight now, I’d say. Things are looking up, more vests are made for adults in DK.


Preparing to wear green.

Being in a very green mood from the Travelling Stitch Legwarmers and the lovely Late Summer days I’m having at the cabin I’m “greening up” my garderobe.

I washed the shirts I dyed with reed flowers. They’ve had a few weeks to cure, now it was time to give them a proper hand wash. The rinse water was very dirty but a lot of colour remained on the cotton fabric:
reed green rinsed

Next I started spinning my green TdF prize batts because I can SO see a little handspun vest in it, just like Sprookjesvest which I’m wearing a lot these days.

Yes, I see here a lovely white greenish vest, to wear over those reed dyes shirts, on top of a skirt with my green Travelling Stitch Legwarmers under it:

The batts together are 150 grams. I added 75 grams of white Falkland top to make more meterage and to make the overall colour a touch more white.

I didn’t card the white in with the batts. The batts are perfect as they are, carding them again would ruin them: creating nepps and/or mixing all the colours into a boring lifeless blend.

To spin both fibres I just keep them together in one hand and draw from them simultaneously. The “feed”  to the wheel travels from side to side and I move my hand sideways to give it more white or more colour. I also twist my hand around to make sure the colour wraps around the white and sometimes to make the white wrap around the colour when there’s a bit coming up that’s particularly bright and could do with a toning down.

The single is a mix of the two fibres and often there’s a bit of barber pole going on as though it were a two ply. Individual specks of colour are well visible in the single.

Once it’s plied and knit up I expect the prominent specks of colour to have melted into the background. Here’s an impression how my vest will look, colour wise:

A calm colour with subtle variations. A very good colour as a backdrop for my face or jewellery or a shawl.

The lovely spinner’s delight will be that up close the specks of colour will still be visible. The purple, the bright green, a white nubb, it will all be there for the observant eye.
Yes, it will be an ongoing interesting fabric to have right under my nose. Which is where I wear my vests. How cleverly planned!

TdF finish!

I spun a lot!
Far more than I thought I had, considering I had to lie down for several days in a row and in between spinning sessions. Wow!

The total is 2337 metres out of 780 grams of fibres. That’s a lot of meterage from not a whole lot of fibres.
(There’s 125 m out of 10 grams of silk hankies so that skews the numbers.)

Big contributors are the 5 skeins of natural coloured Shetland: 488 m out of 250 grams total.

The Passe-Partout roving from the last days is 325 m out of 100 grams.

The dark green Nunoco batt yielded 239 m out of the 50 grams.

And it’s light green sister that I combined with my most precious silk and a white fairytale batt: 348 m out of 140 grams total.

The others are smaller skeins. Very suitable to combine with other yarns. For example as a colourful accent in a shawl or as part of mittens.

What a result!
I wanted to spin more green and I have. I also wanted to spin some of my most prized possessions and I did that too. So brave!
I also wanted to spin three fleeces on my Countryspinner (Pip, the Horse for Spinning) but Pip has not left the stable at all. All spinning was done at my regular wheel.
I did prep nearly all of the Bowmont fleece so some fleece was involved this Tour de Fleece.

Now it’s time to knit with these gorgeous handspuns. But first I have to soak the skeins, to make them into proper yarn. Luckily today is soup day, I’ll have a bucket of hot water at the end of today.

I particularly enjoyed spinning the Mulberry Silk. On its own and in the roving of Passe-Partout.

update: ack! I just spend time setting the twist on all the skeins, with the hot water from the soup cooling. Rinsing them in a particular order, keeping in mind residu spinning oil (Shetland), colours that tend to bleed (bluegreens, they didn’t) and the yellows (they did). Don’t put the wet whites on the coloured ones at any point.
Putting them all through the centrifuge. Putting them all on the drying rack, remembering to “twang” the silks to align the fibres.
Dry the centrifuge, the floor and the kitchen. Put on dry socks.
Sit on couch.
See the skeins from frogged Fractal Spun Jumper I mentioned this morning. They needed rinsing too, to get the crinkles out and make them knitting yarns again. Ack! I forgot them!

Tdf 21: 325 m of Passe-Partout’s gorgeousness

A Dutch woman won the women’s race on Champs d’Elysees!
Anna van der Breggen!

It was a raining pipestalks, as we like to say here in the Netherlands, which is to say it rained heavily. All the soot and dirt detached from the road surface -pittoresque cobble stones!- and the road became every slippery.
Lots of riders fell. Some got seriously hurt.
I spun my second bobbin full of singles during that race, stopping and holding my breath frequently.

The first bobbin I had spun from end to end, making fairly long stretches per colour.
For the second bobbin I split up the roving in smaller strips so the colours would change faster.
This is called “fractal spinning”

In the evening the men’s race was adapted, there was to be no racing to minimize accidents. Just a little sprint at the end, when the roads were dry again and all the dirt had been washed away during the down pours earlier in the day.
The sprint was won by Greipel.
During this race I plied my singles and I had to peddle hard to finish just as the riders crossed the finish line. So now I know it takes 3 hours of serious spinning to get 325 m of yarn plied. In those 3 hours had to lie down for 30 minutes twice.

The result is a striping yarn with all harmonious colours. There are no hard breaks, colourwise.

With a little bit of luck each yarn has one stage where working with it is a sheer joy. It can be the knitting. It can be wearing the finished product.
Spinning offers more stages.

This yarn had its peak during the spinning of the singles. That’s where the silk shone. Where the colours excelled and interacted. Where the spinner gets some sort of conversation with the dyer. Especially when the sun light was falling on the drafting zone it was absolute joy.
So much colours. Such delicacy.

The plying was not much fun. The colours did not interact the way I anticipated (and I’m not particularly good with reality not confirming to my expectations).
One plus one did not bloom into more than the sum of the two. It ended up rather brown…

This is a tricky stage. I might be fooled into thinking this yarn is no good and might hesitate to knit with it. But the joy/quality of knitting the yarn and having a finished object from it cannot be predicted at this stage. I have to do it to find out.

The old ceramic pipes with their long stalks that give pouring rain its name:
pic by Goedewaagen which still sells old fashioned quality handmade ceramics.

TdF 19: 239 m sparkle

I spun the Nunoco batt that I got in the swap. I tore the batt in two and made a 2ply.

It was so soft! And very sparkly. This really is a top of the range spinning fibre. But I think I prefer others… This one is so delicate. I think I prefer my delicate spinning fibres to come rolags (think cashmere, yak, camel down, Bowmont) or locks (Bowmont, Saxon Merino, Shetland)

It’s a very pretty yarn. I already see a lace cap, to wear when I’m insecure about my hair. Lace with sparkling beads. In a pattern from the old days, when girl’s caps differed from boy’s caps.

It’s 239 metres out of 50 grams. It’s a heavy lace.

Weird Wool Wednesday: funky style spinning baby!

I found pictures of a green glowing sea sheep

pic by Lynn Wu

It’s a sea slug that eats so much algae it glows.

And I spun the Dutch Wool Diva Fibre kisses which glow as much as the sea slug sheep does:

The colours remind me of Dutch ’80s band Doe Maar:

They were such a rage! The Netherlands collectively overheated.

I’ve named the skein 4us, which is pronounced: “virus”. 57 metres from 20 grams.

Then things came together:

By the way, the singles didn’t get a name, not even back in the ’80s.

TdF 17: plied all the Shetland

5 times 50 grams. About 90 metres of each colour.

I’m already thinking what kind of colourwork project would be nice in these 5 natural colours…

Perhaps a teacosy, such as the ladies from Wolgelukkig did?

a hat?

sheep heid by Kate Davies

boot cuffs or legwarmers?

Dutch Shetland Leggies by Malia Mather

the yoke of a sweater?

Thingvellir by Linnea Ornstein

a pillow perhaps?

Dornoch cushion cover by Hazel Tindall

or mittens?

Häggenås 1 by Solveig Larsson

a bag?

Solicitude by Meghan Jones
I love the colourwork. But it feels a bit sinfull to use wool for a bag. Wool has properties that should be used, a little voice in me nags. It should be used for it’s warmth.
But I could easily counter argue that it’s tactile properties are well used in a bag. Every time you touch it.

I’ll keep looking through the database of patterns and people’s projects, it’s very much fun.

This is how the spinning fibre looked. Combed roving. So well prepared that I could spin it semi-woolen.