I’ve been getting Spin-Off magazine for a couple years now and I always learn something from every issue. The Spring 2015 issue, though, was particularly inspiring. The theme for the issue was “A Celebration of Stash”. Spinners, knitters, etc. refer to the materials they have stored away for some future project as their ‘stash’. Some fiber enthusiasts have a modest tote full of materials and some put an addition on their house to hold their ‘stash’. I’m closer to the former, but do still dream of a studio to work and store my fiber in.
One article that got my creative juices flowing was: “Color Playground; Combining Braids in Ply or Draft“. I acquired 8 oz. balls of roving from Hidden Valley Farm and Woolen Mill in the colorways Rain Forest (70% Coopworth and 30% silk), Spring Sage (100% Coopworth) and Kaleidoscope (100% Coopworth). I spun short lengths of singles from each and then plied them together as a three ply and knit a sample. I was thrilled with the results and decided to dive right in and ply singles from all of the roving for a sweater.
I neglected to take photos of each color in roving format. Here are the 3 bobbins of singles in my cardboard lazy kate, ready to ply another bobbin of 3 ply yarn.
And here is the yarn, plied and wound into a ball ready to knit. (Note the paws of my very eager knitting assistant, Chaplin).
In selecting a sweater to pair with this yarn, I needed one that required somewhat less yarn than most sweaters. My roving yielded just under 1000 yards of 3 ply yarn. I knit swatches with size 6 and size 8 needles and preferred the softness and openness of the size 8 swatch. My gauge, with size 8 needles was about 15 stitches per 4 inches. I wanted to make a cardigan and Harriet in “A Fine Fleece” by Lisa Lloyd caught my eye, so that is what I am currently in the process of knitting up, though I have made some modifications. I find that I wear my shorter sweaters more, so I left off the contrasting border at the bottom of the sweater and started in on the eyelet ridge. I cast on for the left and right front and the back all at once in order to avoid seams. Here’s a picture of the back of the sweater (not yet blocked). At the moment I am knitting the first sleeve and of course I am avoiding seaming again by knitting in the round.
I just love how the colors blend! Reminds me of peacock feathers.
Sometime in the not so distant future I will post a photo of the finished sweater. New Ideas – Part 2 will share more stash busting ideas that I have tried recently.