4. July 2011 10:57
Lately I've been gravitating towards ultra-thin, almost cobwebby handspun for lace. I think maybe because I like getting the absolute most out of a pretty braid of fiber... that, and I love to knit lace in the first place!
This - is from a bag of carded fiber from Belfast Mini Mills - a blend of Bamboo, Merino and Tussah Silk (percentages of which elude me at the moment) I'm testing out a theory that I should be able to spin this very lightweight on my Russian Supported Spindle, and perhaps have enough out of the 4 ounce bag to make an estonian style haapsalu shawl... or at least something in that tradition. I wanted to spin up a handful first and see how the finished yarn behaves before I go on to complete the whole bag.
The Yarn is a nice fine 2 ply... which shifts from light creamy green to denim blue and back and forth. Basically the roving has a strip of each color side-by-side (will get more photos later) and as you spin back and forth across you get a blend. When I started spinning, I noticed quite a few nepps and little blobs of the silk, which was a little disappointing. I had hoped for an ultra-smooth spin, as one would usually find with bamboo and silk blend fibers. I decided though, to just let it go - spin it as it comes - and try not to be too much of a control freak about everything. I'm going to have to learn to let go a bit with the whole baby thing, so why not start now? (Jobo - you can't control every aspect of the world... lol)
I decided to try a swatch from Knitted Lace of Estonia, since that's what was on my coffee table at the time... though I will likely go back to the Haapsalu Shawl Book when the yarn is completed and I'm ready for the official cast on. I plan to do the basic rectangle, with the vine lace and nupps, and the standard garter stitch border, then maybe a knitted border sewn on afterwards, sanity and remaining yarn notwithstanding. This swatch was knit on 2.75 mm dpns (since also, this is what was on my coffee table!)
The resulting lace yarn has some lumps and bumps in it. The colors come at you randomly (only blended a little by the 2-ply's effect) and I wasn't sure if the lace stitches would cover up and complement some of this effect, or hide the lace completely. I think the finished swatch is alright... definitely less muddy than I might have guessed it would be. I think it's promising enough to finish spinning up the bag this way, and then cast on and see how it goes.
What do you think? does the yarn mask the lace too much?