Friday, August 7, 2009

Devi is now a hat.

Well, not really. It's her fiber that is finally in a truly finished state, as fiber is meant to be. I've been on a bit of a head wear knitting kick recently. Unfortunately, since spinning takes of more of the little free time I have than knitting does, it takes me forever to finish a project. I made a tam from my first skein of hand spun alpaca, which I bought from North Star Alpacas Etsy Shop.
The yarn is fairly thick and thin lace weight, even as a two-ply, but the thick and thin spots aren't very visible in the pattern. The tam is a very soft and light enough to wear on a spring or cool summer evening. Very fun to knit.

You may remember the yarn that I spun from Devi's fiber. A worsted weight two-ply spun from hand carded rolags with a woolen draw. I knit that yarn into a heavy winter tam, even though the pattern I chose is called Spring Beret.
Here's the yarn:

Which is now this tam:

I've also been doing a lot of dying, carding and spinning for the shop as well as for myself. (As is evidenced by the epic blog neglect I've had recently.) I decided it was time to make a 3 - ply, and I really want to knit a Quant - an entrelac headband available on Several handspun Quants are featured in the most recent issue of Spin-Off magazine.

So, I measured out 6 ounces or so of Evita's fiber, dyed it in blue, green, purple, and pink, and had some fun blending colors at the drum carder. I blended the blue and green together and spun that as singles on one bobbin with a woolen draw. I divided the purple and pink into one ounce piles. I made a few bats of blended purple and pink, which I spun onto a second bobbin. The remaining purple and pink were carded into layered batts and spun onto a third bobbin. The layers made an interesting marled effect in the singles. Then, I was ready to embark on my first 3-ply attempt. It was quite a battle with my lazy kate, which wanted to jump around, adn the hook that holds the yarns kept coming out. Time for a new one, I suppose. In the end though, I have a wonderful, squooshy, incredibly soft worsted weight 3-ply that I can't wait to knit with. I like make 3-ply yarn a lot, and the resulting yarn is very smooth.

Now I have a new dilemma: What do I spin next? What do I card for the shop? I have so much fiber and I can't decide what to do with it. I know, I know, call the waaahhmbulance. Too much fiber. How horrible indeed. I think I really want to make a pair of glittens in time for winter (knowing me, it will take that long to finish knitting them), and I have plenty of Devi and Evita fiber to blend with some of the Merino wool (for strenght and memory). I also have an ouce of yak fiber that I want to blend with the alpaca. I think it will make a soft tweedy effect. Hmmm....perhaps I just resolved my own dilemma. Now to figure out how many ounces to card. There will be alpaca/merino batts available in my shop when I make my next update, as well as some merino/silk noil art batts.

Happy spinning!