The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home

Wool bounces back

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Saturday’s mission was to ‘treat’ my handspun yarns, and fiber for moths.  ‘Treat’ is euphemistic – really, I was on a rampage.

Let me back-track a bit.  You see, on Saturday morning I just wanted to knit with my handspun.  I decided it would be the 3-ply pink merino.  One skein is not that hot but I had 2 good ones to play with.  Or so I thought…

I wind my yarn by hand, and I had it on the Rapala fishing line counter for good measure.  All very exciting until I see that long lengths are under-plied, i.e. loose.  Followed by a break in 1 ply.  And another break.  And so on… Odd.  But I soon got the picture.  The pride & joy merino fingering yarn is hurt –  not by my spinning but by a clothes moth.   I went on a heat-treatment rampage.

Many thanks go to John Valleau of The Fibre Garden for his instructions on heat-treating wool.  Whereas the retailer of this Coopworth roving + moth had nothing to say to me, John is giving tons of support & concrete advice.

Over the course of the day, I steamed some & had some sitting in almost-boiling water.  Steam + combed top =

Yes, steam + combed top = reconstituted wool.  The crimp is back.  Back again…  I knew it would happen but I was determined to kill any moth eggs there & then.  This is my BFL.  I have been spinning it laceweight & had big plans for a shawl.  All plans are now under review.  Perhaps the straight combed single & post-steaming single could get along magnificently.  I don’t know.  It could be a design feature, right?  TBD…

Setting aside the hurt merino yarn, and the stalled BFL lace for the moment, there is some good news.  I finished spinning the Polwarth roving!  It’s now a bouncy, soft & self-respecting 3-ply yarn:

This is what I was working on last week while planning a trip up to Milk River Bath in Jamaica.  As of today’s sit & knit, it’s now my 1st handspun knitting project!

The very beginnings of a pair of fingerless gloves.  The pattern is Clara Parkes’ Sweet Fern Mitts from The Knitter’s Book of Wool.  It is true that cream mitts will show dirt.  They might also be my first stab at dyeing.

My own sweet fern made it through the winter!  The other one’s not looking so green…

Author: iriegemini

Lara lives in the Greater Toronto Area with N, their young son, T, and Melly cat. Starting with knitting as a newcomer from Kingston, Jamaica, Lara learned to spin, prepare fibre, dye & weave. A spindle is usually close to hand.

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