I finished spinning and plying most of the Malabrigo merino in “Whales’ Road.” I still need to soak it to set the twist. On the whole, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s so soft! And I love the colors, which work well together whether the plies are the same color at a given point, or very different, giving a barber-pole effect (for instance, light purple and dark teal.) I had a fair bit left over on one bobbin, a result of spinning the second braid thinner, so I will be chain-plying that this week.
As for technique, I mostly avoided overspinning this time, but I underspun a few sections to the point that they came apart while plying. And the diameter is still not consistent, ranging from a very fine laceweight single to something more like a DK single, which means the plied yarn ranges from light fingering to at least worsted or aran in the same yarn. I could really use some more instruction, from someone who can help me figure out how to get a more consistent outcome. I’ll have to see if I can find any spinning classes in the two nearest large cities, since it appears our nearest small city doesn’t offer any.
What’s up next? I’m not sure. The fiber stash has been growing faster than I’ve been spinning it!
Sock #2 is coming along, but slowly. I’ve turned the heel and I’m ready to pick up the stitches for the gusset.
The soft teal cowl is my first attempt at using the very first yarn I ever spun. But I’m not really happy with the basketweave pattern, so I think I will take it out and try something else. Maybe just stockinette to let the very thick-and-thin texture of the yarn come through, with seedstitch borders to keep the edges from curling? And I’m considering making it lengthwise instead of in the round, and fastening it with buttons or a pin—more of a neck warmer than a cowl. I could always change my mind and seam it in the back.
I’ve been thinking about other knitting projects to use my handspun yarn. Most of my early handspun is pretty thick-and-thin, so I’m thinking of ways I can highlight that texture. Cowls are good if the yarn is soft enough, but if it’s not, it makes my neck itch. Hats get more wear-and-tear, but might be good for the scratchier yarns; same with tea cozies. I have even wondered about throw pillow covers (or the front of a pillow, anyway; I could stitch it to a zippered cloth cover, which would lend the knitted fabric strength and structural integrity.
And we heard some exciting news this week: my niece is expecting! So one of my next projects will probably a baby blanket. I’m in search of patterns that will work well in a nice, washable acrylic and be lightweight enough for late August. I don’t particularly like knitting with acrylic, but I know it will be easier for the new mom to care for.