I started hand spinning a few years ago. What could have been an excellent addition to my crafting repertoire never really became something useful in the last few years. I’ve just been spinning for the sake of spinning, never creating anything I could make into a garment.
Then there was that wonderful lady in my hand-spinning group who asked the same question: Why have you never made something out of your spinning results? Her question gave me a much-needed kick in the ass, and we set up an appointment to dye some fiber. Since then my head has been bursting with ideas for yarn I want to try and use.
I immediately had an idea for a colorway. Images of fresh, bright orange pumpkins shining through dense autumn fog filled my mind. The next day I sat down, painted my idea, and picked a few colors for dyeing.
I didn’t want to start with too big of a project, so I chose something small that would complement my wardrobe perfectly and be suitable for the coming fall. A vest was the answer. My Icon-Vest has been a workhorse in the colder months and I wanted something similar to change things up.
We dyed 300g of Corriedale wool in bright orange, olive green, and a muted turquoise-blue and I am so in love with it. It’s perfect. We totally nailed the colors I chose, didn’t we?
I thought a lot about the perfect way to spin it for my project, as I’ve never spun (multi-)colored fiber, and the possibilities are endless. I wanted some color pooling but didn’t want the colors to mix too much and become dull and muddy.
In the end, I decided to strip the fiber vertically into 16 small batches per braid and chain-ply the singles to have better control over color matching.
When chain-plying, you essentially just ply the yarn with itself using a large crochet loop, allowing you to maintain control over how the colors will match and prevent them from mixing.
The spinning process went surprisingly fast. I set up the spinning wheel on the porch, and the little raptor played in his mini-sandbox (which is simply a big flower pot filled with sand) and ‘helped’ me here and there by reorganizing my bobbins or turning the wheel into the opposite direction. I’m curious to see if his interest will last.🤪
Since I’d never chain-plied before and didn’t know it would result in a 3-ply yarn, I spun the singles quite thick because I was expecting a two-ply yarn, which would have turned out a bit thinner in the end. It’s now more of a bulky weight, but I’ve grown used to it. It knits up incredibly fast, which is great when you have a toddler running around you need to prevent from killing himself all the time. The vest was knitted up in the blink of an eye.
I spent some time pondering the perfect knitting pattern. I switched a few times between a commercial pattern and calculating my own. Since I rarely match the required gauge, I usually have to recalculate nearly every pattern. In the end, I decided to create my own pattern from scratch, which shouldn’t be too difficult with such a simple design. I got confused a few times and had difficulties deciding on the amount of ease I wanted. In the end, I completely forgot to add ease, so it’s now a very fitted piece of clothing. But it wasn’t too complicated in the end.
I knitted the vest in one piece from the waist up, using a provisional cast-on, so that I could knit the ribbing in the end and try it on if needed and ensure consistent coloring throughout. This also had the benefit of allowing me to estimate if I had enough yarn. This way, I could easily switch colors if I ran out. As you see, I had more than enough. I still have a bit left over, which will probably make a nice color pop on Raptors next sweater.
I also decided to add faux side seams. That means I simply added one purl stitch on each side, which I wanted to sew together for some extra sturdiness. By now, I’ve decided against sewing it together, as I like the look of the visible ‘seams’.
And of course, I forgot to take a photo. Watch out for my Instagram-Feed where I will submit one later, and maybe a few outfit ideas.
I’m quite sad my grandma won’t see this anymore, as she passed away this summer. She taught me the basics of hand spinning and took me to the hand spinning group I’m still a part of. I’m sure he would have been proud and I miss her so much
Linked at MeMadeMittwoch