Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A short update

It has been a quiet week on the fiber front. I decided not to do anything on the loom while I caught up on knitting. And I've done some of that. I also have been spinning

I had made triangular pockets on the sweater. As a reminder, here is the last photo I posted of the pocket.

The issue here is that things can fall out of the pocket since it has no depth. For Cross Pockets, the designer has you knit a pocket extension that hangs behind the bottom band. However, that is a wide bottom band. I am just doing an icord at the bottom. So I needed to do something different to make the pockets functional.

I decided to add 2 inches to the length (pocket and body) where I would sew up the side of the pocket so it was vertical. That would achieve the same result as the pocket extension. In order to do this, I had to lengthen the pocket I was knitting, put the sts from the body and the other pocket on to the needles and add the length, and then go ahead and join them. 

So that is what I've been doing. I just finished the icord BO on Monday. I was going to graft the beginning to the end and then finish the pocket area to make sure it all lays flat and neat before I move on to the sleeves. But I have been having itchy eyes due to allergies. I scratched at them on Monday night and they are all swollen. It is better today but I couldn't see very well yesterday. So there was no fine finishing work going on yesterday. I hope to get to it today and will have photos in my next post.

In the meantime, I have spinning photos. I have been spinning the stretchy 3-ply sock yarn in a full project quantity. In the process, I realized that you only really see the colors in a braid when you are spinning. Looking at the braid only lets you see the large color blocks and not the lovely transitions that occur between colors. 

This was the braid. As you can see, it is mostly blues with some yellow and bright green in it. It looked pretty monochromatic to me. When I opened it up, I realized that most of the yellows were concentrated in one area of the braid. If I split it vertically into 3 as I usually do, there would be  only one section of the yarn that would have the yellow. So I split it horizontally into 3. This way the yellow would be predominant in one ply and be spread across the whole length of the yarn. 

However, as I started spinning, I realized that there are sections of green in other areas. This is from the first ply.

And some lovely violets and ceruleans in the second ply. The cerulean is hidden under the very light blue layer on the left of the bobbin. The violet was surprising. After I spun this and I looked back at the original braid, the green and the violet jumped out at me. But when I first looked at it, they were overwhelmed by the blue and the yellow-green. I am really looking forward to this yarn and I may not use it for socks after all. The colors would make a very wearable shawl with my usual uniform of blue jeans and T-shirts.

This is the first bobbin, all spun up. You can see the green in the single here. Of course, when it is plied, it will also have the colors from the other plies at that point but the green will show up as blips of color and will get accentuated by anything I wear that will is green. 

My recent scientific sampling (from the previous posts) has also led me to actually make a control card for this yarn. I have samples of the singles taped on to it and a plyback sample showing the amount of twist. You can see that in the bottom right of the card. A plyback sample is just letting the singles ply back on itself when it is freshly spun and the twist is active. I do plyback samples a lot but I never keep them. I just look at them, undo the plying and wind them onto the bobbin. I am doing this temporary plyback a lot while spinning this to make sure that I am maintaining the under-spun low twist desired state. I plan to put samples of the washed and unwashed 3-ply yarn on the card also. But I am not sure what I will do with it. This is why I don't usually make cards. Let's see. Maybe it will come in useful.

The low twist has resulted in a few times when I didn't have yarn. The singles just came apart and I had to go back to a spot where there was enough twist and then add more to the part that was falling apart. I hope the plying works because if it doesn't, it will be a pain to recover. This is why I started with a braid that I wasn't too enthralled by :-)

I am almost done with the second singles. I have about 8-10" to spin which is a couple of hours at most. The third one is the one with all the yellow-green, so I am looking forward to that and saved it for last as an incentive. 

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