Friday, March 8, 2013

Handspun and Millspun

So Jillian Moreno wrote a great column about knitting handspun yarn in the new Knitty, and people at knit night last night were talking about it. You should read it, but essentially she knit commercially spun and handdyed yarn and handspun fiber dyed in the same colorway by the same dyer, and there are swatches, oh so many swatches. Of course, I've been (much more slowly) doing the same sort of experiment. In 2010 I knit a pair of socks in Socks That Rock mediumweight, in one of my favorite patterns. The yarn is a softly-spun three-ply with a lot of plying twist for bounciness and density. Here's a ravelry link to my project, but pictures are below IMG_0475 The start of the socks with the ball of yarn. IMG_0558 Finished socks, which long held court as my favorite pair, but have now been worn through and patched enough times that they have been retired. (I think I darned the heels at least four times before deciding there wasn't enough there to darn anymore.) Sometime in their long and glorious reign, I ordered a sheep-to-shoe kit from Blue Moon in the same colorway (Jabberwocky). I spun the fiber (slowly, I don't spin fast) long-draw from the fold, and three-plied it with a lot of plying twist. This was one of the methods discussed and sampled in a Spinning Sock Yarn class I took with Abby Franquemont at the Trading Post (in 2010). I cast on this past summer, but socks haven't been a thing as much lately, so they've been moving slowly. So these are a handspun equivalent pair of socks - except for the missing garter rib, but no big. IMG_1384 They're going to be fantastic, but they're not really at all like the millspun ones, are they? The above is an older picture, I'm halfway through the second sock by now and hope to knock the pair out by the end of my impending Spring Break.

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