Sometimes you just need a quick knit to give you that feeling of accomplishment. And I needed that.
I purposefully knit the hat long so it would cover my ears fully. Ended up a little longer than I intended but oh-well. Moving on. My Rav project page is here.
Pattern – Big Chunky Comfy Hat (Ravelry pattern here) from Erica Kempf-Broughton of Nomad Yarns (which is actually my local yarn shop). This is a beanie style hat worked using reversed ribbing. The pattern calls for super-bulky weight yarn and US size 11 needles. I actually used US size 9 needles because I always have loose gauge and wanted a tightly knitted fabric. Pattern is free on Ravelry.
Yarn – Malabrigo Rasta (Rav link). This yarn is a super-bulky weight yarn of 100% merino. A 150 gram skein is 90 yards and the two-ply yarn is loosely plied. I used just shy of 90 yards. I love how soft this yarn is but, as expected with a single ply, it is already fuzzing. I’ve also learned that super-bulky yarn is a challenge to knit with because it is so bulky. I’m more of a worsted weight gal.
Soooo I lost a hand knit hat. Back at the end of 2013 I knit a teal shawl and hat to go with my new winter coat. A month ago I lost that hat. I thought all hope was lost but with some fantastic luck I found another skein of the same yarn, same dyelot at my LYS. Yes, a year and few months later they had one skein of the exact yarn. Wow.
I chose a different pattern and purposefully knit it long so it would cover my ears fully. Course, because I wasn’t paying close attention to the pattern and number of rows I made a little boo-boo on the number of rows between the purl ridges. So I just carried that boo-boo through the rest of the hat.
Moving on. My Rav project page is here.
Pattern – Close Knit Waffle Hat (Ravelry pattern here) from Leah Bandstra of Close Knit (website here). This is a beanie style hat worked using knits and purls. The pattern calls for bulky weight yarn and US size 10 needles. I actually used US size 7 needles because I always have loose gauge and wanted a tightly knitted fabric. Pattern is free on Ravelry.
Yarn – Misti Alpaca Tonos Chunky (Rav link)(Company website). This yarn is a bulky weight blend of 50% merino and 50% alpaca. A 100 gram skein is 109 yards and the two-ply yarn is loosely plied. I used 97 yards so I could have made it a bit longer. I would buy this yarn 100 times over – its durable and squishy soft. As a note – the alpaca does shed a bit but not enough its a bother to me.
Usually I’m pretty good as guessing how a single braid of fiber will spin up. But not this time. When I bought this fiber I thought what I have now determined is pink was more magenta. And I was cool with that. But its pink. Oh so pink.
The Process (Ravelry page)
- 50% merino wool, 25% bamboo, 25% silk combed commercial top
- 4.0 ounces unspun; 3.9 ounces spun
- 952 yards / 3891 yards per pound
- 34 wraps per inch (laceweight)
- Spun on my Hansen miniSpinner on the lace flyer, plied on the Woolee Winder
I tore the top into strips for predrafting, mostly because I prefer predrafting and wanted to make sure the bamboo and silk were opened up. I spun the singles together as a two ply.
What Will it Grow Up to Be
The pink is bugging me. For those of you who know me in real life you know I don’t do pink. So, it’s going to get overdyed. I’m first going to try a medium purple Jacquard acid dye. In theory the dye will only adhere to the merino and silk and not the bamboo but my understanding is it may color the bamboo in a lighter shade. I’m actually kind of excited about that – I think with the different fibers this should come out a nice tonal, much like a kettle dyed yarn. If I’m not happy with the resulting yarn color I’ll move on to a dye type that will dye both protein and non-protein fibers.
I’ve been playing on the drum carder again!
If you recall, one of the items I bought at the fiber festival in Greencastle was a Card It Up kit from Hello Purl. It had four ounces of a variety of fibers (angelina, bfl/romney, BFL, carbonized bamboo, faux cashmere, shetland, silk noil and silk thrums) in teals, purples, grays and black.
I also bought another four ounces of merino combed top from my local yarn shop (Nomad Yarns) that they bought from Ohio Valley Fiber. Here’s all the fiber, which I fluffed up/open with my hands since some of it was compacted.
Some searching on Ravelry told me the drum carder would likely only hold two ounces, or at least, after that it got challenging. I divided each of the fiber types into fourths so each two ounce batt would have the same fiber/color composition. FYI – if you have small amounts of silk, or any other fiber, you likely will need a scale that is more precise than a kitchen scale.
Finally it was time to start carding. I started with the merino top, pulling is apart and laying it down first as a base (so it would be, in theory, easier to get off). Then I randomly alternated between the other fibers in small bits, trying to get a variety of color and textures in each “layer.” I painted everything, including the merino, directly onto the drum since the licker in and I don’t get along. Even with being painted on the licker in still wanted to eat the angelina so every time I painted the angelina on I put something over it before turning the drum. Same with the silk noil. After a bit over an hour of painting it was ready to come off.
Well, sort of. It still tried to stick a bit. But, I pulled it off slowly and finally got it. I’m happy with how it came out and can’t wait to spin it up!
For a bit of a break from knitting and sweater stress (one sleeve and a bit to go) let’s talk about fiber prepping. Specifically, experimenting with a drum carder. Part 1 will be about some BFL lamb locks and Part 2 about some silk noil, BFL, faux cashmere and sparkle.
My friend Patty has a sweet drum carder. It’s a Fancy Kitty with a fine or extra fine cloth, I think. At any rate, she was kind enough to let me borrow it for some experimenting. Previously I’ve used a drum carder to mix colors of but never to mix fibers.
I had a couple PhatFiber samples just begging to be carded. The first are some hand dyed BFL lamb locks from Fiber Fancy (who unfortunately closed down about 9 months ago). Here they are before their trip through the carder. I did pull and tease them apart a bit first.
Some of the locks immediately wrapped around the licker in (that’s the little drum). Also, despite the small sample I had I let the fibers cover the entire width of the larger drum. This made the carded fiber very thin and hard to remove from the drum. Would have been smarter if I had fed it onto only half the drum.
Once I finally got the fiber off the drum, I ran it through one more time. The end result was a fluffy, semi-textured batt. I was happy with how the colors blended in the end.
Have you ever tried drum carding? What would you card if you had a carder?