Friday, 23 December 2016

Yarn produced

I have now spun three bobbins of thread and plied them together. There are about 750 metres of thread, which might not be sufficient for the whole project, but it will do to get started. It appears to be about 19 epi, which would have to be one of my finest spins. The swatch suggests I need to knit up 132 stitches, so that is done and I am now progressing with my first triangle.

The colour of each thread is different and this is coming through in a very subtle manner.
For now, the project is being put aside while I get on with finishing my Christmas projects. There are bath mats to be woven and silk worms to be tended. I am considering using their produce in the next fibreshare project.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Fibreshed Knitalong in Melbourne

I have signed up for the Fibreshed Knitalong which requires me to use local yarn to produce a garment. Many people around the world will be knitting the same garment, the Radiata Shawl Pattern available at It has been specially selected to accommodate different yarn types.
I have decided to spin my own yarn to draw attention to the current practice of sending our local product offshore to be scoured and spun. So much of this processing was done in Australia, but it is a lost industry. I have acquired fluff from three different sources: alpaca fibre from Miner's rest, just north of Ballaarat. 

It will be plied with corriedale wool from two different sheep. I have a lovely soft grey fleece from a sheep called June who currently lives in Somerville on the Mornington Peninsula.
The other fleece also contains a lot of grey and was delivered to me in Caulfield by Steven from Bulart Alpacas. It comes from the western part of the state, near the Grampians. 

I am spinning them all in the grease so I can benefit from the lanoline when spinning the wool. The skeins will be washed before knitting. So far I have spun a bobbin of the alpaca and half a bobbin of June's lovely soft fleece. Both of these have spun easily and finely. I have had not a choice in how to spin them; they both want to be fine. This was one reason I decided to incorporate a third thread, a fairly recent decision. 
There is another reason for combine three different fibres. I have been spinning another yarn recently with three different fibres: two alpaca threads and one corriedale. This yarn is being knitted up into a jumper. I have been fascinated by the way the different colours interacted. The two alpaca threads were black and fawn while the corriedale (from a ram called Clyde) was dark brown. Despite the black and dark brown being similar, the fawn tends to dominate as I knit it. It reminds me of the random order of genetics. As I am doing this project while also exploring the family tree and tracing cousins, I am feeling resonances. I am curious to see how all my different shades of grey play out in my shawl.
The first meeting with other Fibreshed Knitters will be held next week. I am looking forward to sharing this project with others.