I now have two pages completed for my new fiber artist journal. Grey Norwegian Wool Top and White Charollas Wool Top. They are both spun, knit in lace & cable, then crocheted. Mom suggested putting them in sleeves, which is where the glare came from, so that they will stay cleaner for longer. It was a fascinating experience working with these two fibers and then yarns. I can certainly see why a lot of people are hesitant to take the time to sample. There were seven fibers in the Paradise Fibers Sample Box from January, I managed to spin five up quite quickly. The sixth is spun, but the seventh is going to take a bit of time (I don’t feel too well so I don’t want to spin sick, knitting seems fine though). Since spinning, plying, setting the ply, drying, balling up the yarn, it has taken quite a bit of time for me to knit up a lace and cable sample then crochet the left overs using single, double, half double crochets. Once the samples are knit and crocheted they get another wash, then they are blocked and left to dry for a couple of days. That is what is happening with the Black Welsh Fiber, once it is dry I will get started on the Mixed Blue Faced Leicester (I have the lace knit, I’m working on the cable next then crocheting the rest.)
In addition to creating a new, healthy, useful, practice, I am learning a lot about my spinning. Mostly I am learning that I am not spinning nearly as thin as I thought I was, but that isn’t a bad thing really. I don’t like working with the very fine yarns, okay I do want to make a very light fine shawl some day, for the most part I like having a sturdy yarn in my hand. My knitting has gotten a lot better, I am not really afraid of ‘knit two together, yarn over, repeat 3’. I am starting to understand what the lace looks like, I know I’m not doing it really ‘correctly’ yet, but I enjoy it. My cables are getting better too, talk about something else I was afraid of, and I am starting to understand how many rows should be between cables to create certain effects. The entire process is enlightening. I am beginning to, sort of, see what knitters are talking about when they say that a two ply is better for lace than shawls, but I like how my cables are popping…I think that has more to do with using needles too small for the cables.
This is really a learning experience all around, and I hope to be able to instill some of these practices into my students…LOL. I still have to figure out how to sample my yarns as weaving also. Fortunately I have the backs of these samplers to put any weaving samples I can manage.