Thursday, October 7, 2010

Uncertain, but pushing forward anyway.

I had a thought.

You see, I absolutely love roving (top, sliver, batt.... I love them all, but I'm using the term *roving* to encompass them all) ..... most particularly, hand-dyed, multi-coloured roving dyed with care by various indie-dyers. I love watching the progress of turning roving into yarn. The colours shift and change and become something completely different from what you'd expected (well, for me they do, I'm not experienced enough to make the roving do exactly what I want.... I sort of coax it in the approximate direction I'm aiming for, cross my fingers and hope for the best). I also love the resulting yarn, it's always a surprise... the end result..... Handspun yarn is special. It is utterly unique. I doubt two spinners spinning the same roving would make the same yarn.... or even could make the same yarn. The downside of this luscious yarn? For me, a sweater made from a multi-coloured roving is.... uhhhhh... for the most part.... not my style. I prefer solid to semi solid colours for my sweaters and..... I knit a lot of sweaters. On the other hand, solid to semi-solid roving (although very satisfying and enjoyable to spin) doesn't hold quite the same spinning appeal as the brighter multi-colour rovings that I enjoy.... I could knit more hats, mittens, scarves etc.. or even give the yarn away.... but I like to knit sweaters and, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm a rather selfish knitter.

And now on to my thought...... How about a wide striped sweater? (I saw something that inspired me on TV... OK, OK, it was a Twilight movie, I'll admit it!)  Combining a handspun yarn with a solid commercial yarn should tone down the wild/weirdness of the handspun.... Could be cool??? Right???

I started with this roving from Julie Spins (I blogged a bit about it last time).

And made this yarn.

Nice eh?? Of course, this yarn doesn't really prove the point I was making about the wild yarn.... it IS rather subtle, but I started with the roving and I'll finish with the yarn.... 

I wanted to combine it with some Mirasol Nuna in my stash in a charcoal grey. I thought my handspun would work. It had the same wraps per inch. But when I swatched the two together, it didn't work out. The Nuna's gauge was too loose and the handspun perfect. This caused the Nuna to stretch and the Handspun to pucker. You can see this in the swatch on the right in the picture below. I then searched through my stash for a replacement and came up with some Manos Del Uruguay silk blend in a steel grey. Neither the colour, nor the yarn really were what I had envisioned. Nuna would have been perfect. It was a plied yarn with a silk, bamboo, wool combo that looked similar to the handspun. The Manos, on the other hand, is a singles yarn without the shine and lustre of the Nuna, totally different than the handspun. Perhaps the textural difference would make for a design element??? I decided to swatch it and find out .. and it was perfect... gauge wise... I still haven't decided if I like the difference in texture of the two yarns or not.....

I've cast on for the sweater and am almost to the armholes... I'm either going to love it or hate it... and I won't be able to decide until the end..... 

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