Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Sweater Story

I finally finished my handspun sweater.  It was such a terrific experience, I am planning the next one.
It started with beautiful blue faced Leicester from Three Waters Farms.

I planned and sampled for the sweater on my Kiwi while at Arrowmont in a two and half day spinning class with Kate Larson.  In April I bought my Rose and sampled all over again. 

I spun two pounds during the tour de fleece.  As you can see, I used storage bobbins and spun all the singles before plying.  I chain plied the hand painted Window Dressing and then procrastinated plying the dark bfl.  I wasn't satisfied with my plying skills.

I was lucky enough to take a class with my guild taught by Nancy McGraw.  I learned so much and attacked the plying.  Woohoo!

I knit the sweater during the Ravellenics.  16 days, another woohoo!
It really surprised me that I enjoyed the singular focus of this major project.  So many lessons were learned.
  • I love to spin, more than knitting and more than weaving.  Poor neglected loom.
  • I need to knit with my handspun, it was a little disheartening to knit with yarn spun six months ago.  I am better now, I really am.
  • Even with the tight overspun bits it is a pleasure to knit with my handspun.  It is hard to describe how satisfying it is.
  • Knitting with my handspun taught me a lot about my spinning.
  • Sample, swatch and sample and swatch some more. 
  • Wet finish your yarn as you sample, it really brings out the yarn's character.
  • Spin all your singles before plying, you can mix and match your singles and end up with a more consistent yarn.
  • Even questionable yarn looks pretty good knitted up.
  • It is important to finish well.  I used the grosgrain ribbon tutorial from the Knitmore Girls and love the ribbon.
  • Most importantly, use beautiful fiber.  The prep on this was a delight and made even this new spinner look pretty good.
I love my sweater, it is rustic for sure.  It was delightful to take it in to Yarns Etc. and show Mary Ann Pagano of Three Waters Farm.  She helped me choose the fiber and offered encouragement along the way.
Today, the UPS guy didn't even make into the driveway before I ran out to greet him.  My corriedale fleece arrived from Zeilingers.  But that is a post for another day.

1 comment:

Louellen Lawson said...

What pattern did you use for your sweater?
I occasionally take spin class from Kate at the Trading Post in Pendleton. Enjoyed your post.