full circle

I’m having a bit of trouble here.. I last year I knit a Girasole for my MIL and I used two balls of Jaggerspun Zephyr in copper. It was a present and I knit it in two weeks (which for that time was way too fast) and ended up with not only a bit of a pain in my wrist but also with 40 repeats short because the yarn ended on me. So in the last day before her birthday I undid the edging and reknit it with smaller needles and managed to size the shortage down to a 10 row repeat shortage. But still a shortage.

This is what pushed me over the edge and made me take up spinning because I figured that if I had spun the yarn myself I wouldn’t have had the need to reknit the whole edging. Instead I could’ve used my time to spin up some more to finish the edging. So I think it’s quite fitting if I spin my first laceweight for this: a Girasole of my own.

girasole swatch w/ handspun wensleydale

This will be my first laceweight two-ply and even tho it’s not really regular yet I’m really stinkin’ proud of it. It’s roughly the same weight as the Jaggerspun Zephyr but at some points it’s thicker and I know the reason for it so I’m not too stressed out.

First of all you might remember this post where I was gifted (amongst a lot of other stuffs) 500 grams of raw brown Wensleydale fleece by the BF. At the time I had no idea of what to do with it so I gave washing a try. Unfortunately I wasn’t really good at it yet so the fleece is free of dirt and VM but there’s actually still lanolin in there… (so I don’t trust the cleaniness). So when I got my turkish spindle I wanted to try some of it out and I felt the bit of lanolin left helped me get a consistent yarn. I thought I’d wash it out once the yarn was spun. So I fingerpicked the locks and started spinning. I fingerpicked because when I first started carding I didn’t really get it. Do you know how you don’t understand something at first and then just let it sit and while you’re not working it your brain starts to understand. And then the next time you pick your handcards it all gets much easier?

Maybe that’s what happened because this time it worked like a charm and I got a nice rolag. So the first ply was fingerpicked and the second was hand carded and there is a big big difference it consistency.

The picture doesn’t do it justice however, because this swatch has a very nice halo going on which makes it very soft and warm already.

girasole swatch w/ handspun wensleydale

I didn’t find it as gross as I thought to spin it ‘in the semi-grease’, however I did notice a little problem I hadn’t anticipated. While spinning in the grease helps the fibers to stick together and make a nice thin single without too much effort (and breaking the yarn), and when plying the grease makes it look like you don’t need a lot of twist. This was misleading because once I washed the finished yarn it had much less twist than I had expected. I’m still not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing and I should do a little bit more experimenting first before I choose my final ‘way to go’. What I do know is that I need about 2,5km of singles to knit me a girasole (but I’m not going to wait until I’m done with all the yarn before spinning. I’ll probably cast on as soon as I have a skein and switch off knitting and spinning.

hanspun wensleydale

I’m sorry if you’re getting tired of seeing my little drop spindle but I’m so excited about it I can’t help myself! The first thing I’ll do is wash a few locks thoroughly and make a rolag and spin from it to see how that goes.

hmm purplee

In the mean time I still have the option to dye the BFL fleece I have into a deep purple and see where that takes me… I do want to pick a project for it first. I noticed this helps me be more effective 🙂

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