Monday, March 21, 2016

I've Got The Blues

For a better comparison of the new superwash merino fibre base with the old superwash merino fibre base, I've been sent a sample of the old base.
It arrived well-smooshed for shipping, but a little shake and it was fluffy again.

Visually, compared with the new base and the non-superwash, it looks the same - you know, fluffy and soft.
Superwash Merino

Super-saturated colour! Old base, new base, and not-superwash
It spun up as I remembered the grey superwash merino spinning - smooooooooth.  Soon I realized I had the blues. All the fibre blues. All the blue. It all happens to be dyed by the same two friends.

At the wheel - Earth Day batt finely spun on the left, superwash blues on a bobbin and the wheel, jewel-toned blue and purple waiting to be plied

Earth Day batts and recent superwash contain similar shades of blue, but in different blends.

The first half of the purple-blue is finished and a little over half of the superwash blues is done too. It was blue bath day in my sink.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A few follow ups

I promised a photo of the finished purple-garnet shawl that I was spinning for three posts ago.

This is Tulippa by Kristina Vilimaite (aka AnimaKnits on Ravelry).
Tulippa for two

As always, it was a pleasure to test knit (my project link) for Kristina as I adore her designs.

I'm spinning and testing for another of her new designs at the moment.

This is some locally dyed Finn fibre that I picked up at a knitter's frolic. I am making this a 2-ply, DK weight yarn.

I also finished spinning the multi-coloured merino as a singles yarn.
As a fellow geek, I appreciate how Cloud9 Fibreworks names yarns and fibres - such as this Elephant Trunk Nebula merino.
I initially started spinning this merino for the sake of comparing it with a new fibre base, but for better accuracy in comparison I'm being sent some of the former superwash base fibre so that I'm comparing like with like. More updates to follow.
The real question is, what will I knit with this lovely yarn? I think I'm going to use a second solid yarn with it.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Testing Fibre

When I spin, I decide the method using a combination of what I want and what the fibre does best.  There's not much point, I feel, in forcing fibre to do something it doesn't want to do. I know I won't be happy with the result.
When a friend asked me to test out a new superwash merino fibre base for her, I gracefully accepted the opportunity to spin lovely fibre.  When asked what colour I would like it dyed, I didn't make it easy - I chose jewel tones in amethyst and sapphire.  I received full, saturated colours. Gorgeous.
I wasn't intending to spin the next morning, but what's a girl to do when she opens her computer to work and it immediately reboots and begins a slow upgrade process?

This top is delightfully fluffy - no compression here and even with the saturated dark colours, there was very little tricky sections.  I don't do a lot of prep with my rovings - unless they are compressed and need a really good fluffin'.  For this top I tore the length in half and then split that half lengthwise so I would spin up a quarter of the fibre.  I pulled the fibre sideways a little, but otherwise I spun it as is.

Initially I spun fairly loose singles.  The fibre liked being a fluffy single.
Then I got to thinking that, being superwash (at least that's what I recall it is supposed to be, so I erred on the side of caution), I couldn't full a single and I didn't trust it to hold up to regular use as a single in merino.  Plied up, it was too loose for my taste, so I butterflied the yarn back on to my hand and added more twist before continuing.

It's probably difficult to see how much more twist is in the single thread above compared with the single on my fingers.
This ply-back provides a much better illustration of the higher twist compared with the first run.  I was quite happy with the higher twist result and carried on to finish the quarter of fibre.

Immediately following this quarter I popped in a new bobbin to spin up a sample of the fibre base my friend used to dye (because I happened to have some in my stash).

mmmmmm. Just look at those beautiful colours.

I wanted to see if the new fibre spun the same as the old.
The only difference is that this time I knew I was working with not-superwash merino, so I decided it was high time to practice spinning singles. I spun with lower twist.  It pretty much drafted the same as the new fibre.

All in all, I conclude the new fibre supply is equivalent to the former fibre supply. Test done. (Now to finish spinning the fibre! Oh the demands of testing.)