Ok, so armed with my new-found lace knitting skills, I’m starting a new pattern. It’s going to be a scarf based on the ‘Upstairs’ shawl pattern by WollSchnegge. I’ve decided I’m going to use the gradated ‘Yew’ Heartwood yarn:
It’ll be a good test piece for a gradated yarn. So confident am I that it’ll work, I’ve been prepping a larger yarn. The ‘Yew’ yarn moves from a dark honey through caramel to chocolate brown, but I’ve extended that at both ends to include a light honey at one end and black at the other. Here’s the batts:
The colours are a little warmer than in the above picture, but close enough. There’s certainly enough prepared to do around 500 metres of 2-ply, so I’ll be able to either use it for a large project or put it on Etsy. Can’t decide yet.
All change with Bryony’s commissioned ‘Sandalwood’ laceweight. It just wasn’t performing to my satisfaction – as stated in my last post, suri has no elasticity and hence it’s not prepared to flatten out during the lace blocking process. Plus, I’m having trouble getting rid of that annoying ’suri loop’ that happens when you soak the plied yarn to set the twist.
So, I’m spinning up another two or three in various huacaya blends so that, when she comes back online, she’ll have a choice. Currently, the choice stands at Sandalwood, Yew and a new one I’ve been developing. I’m toying with calling it ‘Ebony’.
I’ve been working on a way of giving the suri some structure for use in a wider array of knitted and crocheted artefacts. The suri is beautiful – lustrous, smooth and fine – but doesn’t have any elasticity or ‘bounce’ to it. Great for drapey weaves, not so much for a jumper.
The problem was which wool fibre to blend it with. I didn’t want to lose the lustre, so seriously considered Wensleydale. However, Wensleydale doesn’t have the crimp I’m looking for. As luck would have it, searching through my store of fleeces, I came across a Merino x Wensleydale fleece from a farmer in Gloucestershire. It’s pretty damn perfect for what I want: six inch staple, very lustrous, very crimpy.
A lot of different blends later, I have an optimal mix that still looks like suri, but has some spring and structure. And takes indigo extraordinarily well. So, I now have a stock suri yarn base that I’ll be using mostly for dyed yarn, with an eye on producing a ’standard’ range of 2-ply/laceweight yarns. Better get carding and spinning, then…