Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Great Cardigan Adventure

It started with an idea.

My husband is always hot stuff.  In every way.  He gets too overheated wearing full jumpers unless we're talking 15 degrees below outside or he's ill.  He's already got a sweater made from a combination of silk and wool which he loves and looks especially cute in.  It's from Knits Men Want by Bruce Weinstein.  If you knit for a man you love and want to make him something he'll actually want to wear rather than feel obliged to - treat yourself and buy or borrow a copy.

Anyway, after this sweater came the idea of making him a cardigan out of my handspun.  So far, so good.  I have some lovely Jacob yarn in a light double knit kind of weight already spun up - would that do?  Hmmmm, not quite right.  Some Shetland, then?  Spun fine so as not to be too warm?  Yeah, no.

And then the summer crop of fleeces started to arrive and in amongst the bounty was a lovely coloured Ryeland fleece.

Really delicious colours - you can see that from the photos.  Deep chocolate brown, lighter browns, dark greys and flashes of lighter grey.  When it's all carded together into batts, the colours blend and weave together harmoniously.  We had a winner.

But.  This stuff is not the most fun I've ever had spinning.  I prefer a mid to long staple fleece and this stuff is short - only two inches at the max.  And there are lumps and bumps everywhere in the batts.  Surely this will make an inferior yarn, I thought?  Turns out, no.  I set to work on my ever-ready Ashford Kiwi and I have to say that the finished yarn is squishy, bouncy and just wants to be petted once it's in the skein.  It's also heavier than I ever thought I'd knit up for any garment I'd ever make for him - an aran weight at an educated guess.

I'm 5 skeins - almost 6 -  in to the adventure.  Soon it'll be time to start swatching for the cardigan.  Again the unexpected strikes.  Makes life interesting, doesn't it?

Happy Sunday Spinning!

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