Experimentalll

Pip post grooming

“Hello boooyyyss”

This is Pip. As this little diva was so kind to gift me with some of her lush fur it seemed like a fair thing for me to post a pretty pic of her pretty little doggy face on mah blog. Everyone say hi to Pip!

I’ve already mentioned how much I’d love to spin a nice 4ply for the boyfriends adult tomten vest so let me tell you how that project is coming along.

handcarded wensleydale x gotland mixed with oatmeal BFL

I was doing some experimental thinking with mixing different fibers and spinning them with my wheel. Then the whole thing with the spindles happened and I realized how useless it would be for me to keep waiting and postponing the spinning until I would have enough time to spin a whole (or half a day). Since I’m still working on my graduation and since it’s still something that I really  need to do, and since I’m going to move to our new home within the next couple of weeks (yes 6 weeks to go….) I really can’t allow myself to think that I might be able to spin I don’t know how many KM (4 ply remember) for an adult male vest.

Now I know my handsome muscular man is broad shouldered and big so I really need to hurry the fudge up right? So while I was carding for this little baby I realized I still have a huge pile of fleece left. Sure the first time I tried to card it I nearly cried in frustration (learning curve yea), but surely after 320 meters of handcarded, handspindled 2ply I could manage a little bit of fleece right?

So guess what.. last time I mentioned something like mixing gotland with BFL or Shetland.. So I changed my mind.. after spinning the bit of grey Gotland I had ordered and after carding the dirty chocolate wensleydale for the Girasole I’m knitting right now, I rememberd I still had a Gotland x Wensleydale cross lying around. Obviously during that time it wasn’t going to work because I hadn’t spun any wensleydale to see how soft it was, or any gotland to see how much it resembles spinning human hair.

Now I understand that the softness of the wensleydale combined with the ruggedness of the Gotland would make a fine tomten indeed. However there was one little problem. Looking back at the swatches I had made back then, and looking at the gotland swatches I had recently made I came to the conclusion that it was still going to be a bit too fuzzy for the garter stitch ridges to show clearly.

So I decided to mix some of the wensleydale x gotland cross with some of the oatmeal BFL I had bought in roving/ combed top. It’s a match made in fuzzy heaven if you ask me. It’s exactly what I was hoping for but to be honest it could have something to do with the spell the Golding tsunami has put on me…

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to knit an all white vest anyway, and this way I can decide how much color I give the fleece and how much added softness.

handcarded wensleydale x gotland mixed with oatmeal BFL

The wensleydale cross has a staple that is almost 3 times longer than the BFL, but that doesn’t bother me while carding. What does bother me a bit is the fact that this batch has felted a bit during the wash. I remember how last year I tried to wash it and I failed miserably. There’s no lanolin or any stickiness (thankfully) but there is, however, some dirt still trapped in the pretty long locks of the fur. It’s a bit difficult to comb through because it’s really stuck.

Last year I decided to try the front loader washing machine to help rinse and tumble dry the matter, but obviously the fleece did not enjoy that one bit and retaliated by felting. I’m still happy because the felting was quite minimal and most of it has become much cleaner in the process. I’m not sure whether or not this batch is cleaner than the other batch and if it’s easier to card the other batch first, but I’m happy trying some things out.

handcarded wensleydale x gotland mixed with oatmeal BFL

Before carding and spinning a huge amount of course I tried a little swatch first. I wasn’t planning to try it out with a 4ply, so I made a n-plied bit of yarn and just knit the swatch with a smaller set of needles. After all, I just wanted to see the effect on the ridges. To be honest, I really like the way it turned out! They’re nice and crisp and the yarn is wonderfully soft.

handcarded wensleydale x gotland mixed with oatmeal BFL

This is what the carded rolags look like. I’m really happy with the marbled effect and hope it’ll show a bit in the final product.

handcarded wensleydale x gotland mixed with oatmeal BFL

Tho be honest it only seems fair that I should spin a nice vest for him since he bought me all this for my birthday! I really hope it turns out the way I think it does 🙂

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