Okay so it’s not a sweater, but I have a really good reason. After spending weeks making an awesomely huge ball of yarn I started making a sweater for my three year old, Gus, which of course was supposed to be the end result of my project.
I soon realized that the yarn I’d made wouldn’t create the size gauge I needed for the pattern— with machine made yarn I can usually adjust the hook or needle size to get the necessary gauge, but it turned out that my handmade yarn was too bulky. I tried a couple different patterns and tried using smaller hooks, but all had the same outcome— the sweater would’ve been more suited for an eight year old, not Gus.
So my blog should be called “A scarf from Titan”, but I’m keeping it the way it is. It’s been a super experience learning to spin yarn from raw fiber, and it’s given me great appreciation for people who are skilled at it. I’ll keep working at it, and I’ll eventually get the weight of my yarn consistent, and light enough, that I’ll be able to make Gus a sweater.
And if the rapture ever actually happens I’ll be able to make sweaters and beanies for myself and everyone else who’s left below. Or if I’m threatened by a werewolf I could offer to brush his coat and make him a scarf out of his own fur, in exchange for not tearing me to pieces. Or if the zombie apocalypse happens maybe I could persuade them not to turn me if I offer a really nice sweater with dried guts spun into the yarn…I’m just saying, there are some seriously practical uses here…
I will never again roll my eyes when I see 90 yards of handmade yarn with a price tag of $30…now I get it.
So I ran out of olive green fiber and had to dye another batch…I have plenty of dye though, so no worries there. That was a week and a half ago though, and the dyed fiber still wasn’t dry as of this morning! I spent way to much time this evening gently drying the fiber with a blow dryer, so as not to felt the fiber and make it unusable, but I’m finally ready to get going again. Note to self: better to dye too much fiber in summer than have to dye more, and deal with the cold, humid autumn air in Washington.
But not nearly enough for a sweater….just keep spinning, just keep spinning…
Now I just need a lot more of this, and I’ll be set to make a sweater!
To make yarn for the sweater I start with natural and dyed fiber, then use the drum carder to create batts of fiber for spinning, then I spin the fiber into single ply yarn, which I then ply together for nice thick yarn. I’ll have to repeat the fiber > batt > single ply > double ply steps quite a few more times to get all the yarn I need, but the sweater will be awesome!
Enough messing around…it’s time to get on to this sweater! Kool-aid aside, I decided to try using “real” dye, as in dye purchased specifically for the purpose of dyeing fiber. I chose olive green and, as you can see, neither batch is quite right.
To be completely fair, I’m one who tends to skip a step or two so when the instructions indicate that the fiber should be weighed before dropped in the dye bath I rolled my eyes and tossed in some handfuls. The batch on the left would be that first attempt—way too much fiber for the amount of dye added.
Let’s not pretend I followed the directions more closely on the second batch—I just added less fiber. And it wasn’t nearly enough—as you can see it’s almost black. Blerg! Here’s to reading, and following, instructions!
So I’ve been knitting a scarf with the blue and gold yarn I made, and I started on a new skein the other night. I noticed the yarn wasn’t staying twisted, and it was just a mess to work with, but I couldn’t figure out why. Upon closer inspection I’d plied the yarn clockwise, instead of counter clockwise like it should have been. D’oh! Easy fix though—just had to feed the yarn back through the orifice onto a new bobbin going counter clockwise.