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Friday, 3 February 2012

Spinning Challenge

For Christmas, I was given a really nice knitting pattern book, Rowan Studio Knits, designs by Sarah Hatton.  I immediately fell in love with one of the patterns, a pretty cardigan with a bow at the front.

There are actually several designs that I want to make, but this one has to be first.  So, off I went to find the wool (Rowan Kidsilk Haze), and was rather shocked to find that it was going to cost nearly £50 to make it - it was £8.25 per 25g ball.

Luckily, in the back of the book, they listed each of their wools and gave details of the make-up, i.e. this one is 70% kid mohair and 30% silk, plus how many yards/metres you can expect per 25g ball.  I had just bought 200g mohair (not kid, but we'll give it a go anyway), and some tussah silk, so I thought I'd have a go at spinning my own.  This yarn is ultra-fine, almost as fine as sewing thread, so it's a bit of a challenge.  I do like spinning finely, but I think this one might just be a bit beyond me.  It's going to have to be spun as a singles, because there's no way I can spin two strands fine enough to ply together.

Anyway, being housebound with this cold for a few days gave me the perfect opportunity to get started.

Two days ago I blended the mohair and silk on my drum carder, and yesterday got started with the spinning.

Oh, something else I'd never tried before.  I've never thought of buying a diz before to make my own roving because I don't have wool combs, but then I saw on the internet that you can actually use one with your drum carder.  Also, that it was possible to make your own with a milk bottle top.  It works!

One milk-bottle top diz!

Here you can see the roving collecting on the floor.

And here it is made into "nests" by winding around my hand, all ready to spin.

I'll let you know how I get on with this, and if it does turn out thicker than the real thing, I can always make the smallest size!

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