Yak and silk and potatoes

Before I start on the fiber talk, Happy Hanukkah to those of you who celebrate it!  Bring on the latkes!

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Our dog Theo turned out to be a big fan of both latkes and suvganiyot (jelly filled donuts).  This is his first Hanukkah.

My finish this week was my Eureka cowl, made from aran weight handspun yarn.

The gray single is a 60/20/20 merino/yak/silk, and the cream is an ultra soft 50/50 yak/silk.  It was such a joy to spin!

The cowl has a unusual shape, more of a bandana than a cylinder, narrow in the back and triangular in the front.  The triangle dipping down means it will block more drafts when worn with a v-neck or a slightly unzipped coat.

I modified the pattern’s ridge rows somewhat, but the shape is just as the pattern dictated.  It still needs blocking, but I’ve tried it out and it is warm and soft.

Blocking

My mom needed a present for my cousin so I finally got around to blocking a handspun scarf I made a while back.

I checked my Ravelry projects and couldn’t find this knit anywhere, so I’m not sure of the pattern or the yarn.  It was one of the few times I’ve spun a single ply yarn, and I know that I didn’t like the original dye job so I overdyed it with blue.  I think there is mohair in it from the sheen and the halo.  Other than that, a mystery.

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I know more about the next project, which I just made with some wonderfully soft yarn I bought at OFFF.  Yak and silk and merino from Alexandra’s Crafts.  The pattern, hard to see in the lines of my wooden blinds, is Silverwing.  A fast, easy pattern that I think really does look like a wing.

As a reaction to all that gray, I’ve started a deep red project for my next knit.

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Bubble crepe

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I finished my latest spin.  Two yak silk blend singles – one a cream 50/50 yak and silk, one a grey 60/20/20 merino, yak and silk.  Both were butter smooth and cloud soft.

The singles were over spun in areas, because I haven’t yet slowed my treadling enough for thicker singles.  I’m used to treadling as fast as I can for very thin singles due to my lace weight spinning/knitting years.  But it works out because I take out a lot of twist when I’m plying.

It now is hanging on a towel rack over a heater vent drying after its wet finish.  I think it is going to be a cowl/hat combo in its next stage. Something simple to take advantage of its uneven texture.  I’m very pleased with the end result.

What does this have to do with bubble crepe you ask?

Next step after finishing one project is looking for the next.  I went burrowing into the dresser where I keep most of my fiber, looking for inspiration.  In addition to way more fiber than I want to think about, I found an almost finished cowl project that got mixed in and lost at some point.  I will finish it up tonight, as it just needs to be bound off.

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The yarn is a bubble crepe that I spun long ago. I love cabled yarn, and this is a three ply variation. Two singles of very different thicknesses are plied together and then a third single spun in the opposite direction. Because two of the singles are thinner, when they are all wrapped together the thick, soft single gets bumpy.

I think it is a perfect type of yarn for angora blends, keeping the flyaway fiber partly contained without losing the softness. In this case I wrapped an undyed lamb’s wool/angora blend with purple merino singles.

Several years ago when we lived in Washington I was a member of the Snohomish spinning guild.  A guest speaker, Sarah Anderson, came and brought the many spinning samples she had been making for the spinning book she was about to publish. I was fascinated by the bubble crepe and have since made it several times.

I also bought the book when it came out.  I recommend it highly!  All sorts of intriguing recipes for many, many yarns.  I’ve barely begun to sample them, but I dream over some of the more complicated yarns and vow that someday I will try them.

Her bubble crepe is much bubblier (and even) than mine.  I will try again.

Oh, and the choice in my stash dive – this grey top that I long ago over dyed an uneven red.  I spun one bobbin of this long ago and then got tired of red.  Time to spin up some more of it.

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In mid spin

The plan is to ply this 50/50 yak silk single:

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with this 60/20/20 merino yak silk single.

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I love the undyed fiber colors and with the sheen of the silk added in – yum.

Still over-spinning some, but less often. (Compare the gray spun earlier with the cream I’m currently working on.) Spinning more often than once or twice a year is helping!

The next spin

I’m dragging a bit this morning – my 10 year old had a sleep over with his friends at our house last night, and no one got much sleep.  Filled by pizza and cake, they were up late into the night, and the nerf war started up again before 6:00.  I seem to be the only one suffering from the lack of sleep!

My current spinning work in progress is a 60% merino, 20%yak, 20% silk blend, in its natural silvery color.

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I’m still having a little trouble slowing down my treadling, so there is some pigtailing going on, but I’ll take care of that in the plying.  I will also go to the larger whorl next time which will help slow down the twist rate.

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I captured a more accurate color pic of the last spun skein as well.  The sun made a brief appearance around here!  The teal blue with red tones shows up better in this photo, though it is still prettier in real life.

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