Sunday, June 10, 2007

Long and lots n lots of fiber content

I've been working on my shawl for the Spun Stitches KAL. I thought that a lace shawl done in just the brightly colored merino viscose blend roving was just going to be too garish so I decdided to use one end of white along with one end of the colored yarn. I ordered some plain white merino and viscose blend from a company in Canada and it finally arrived. I had it sent to where I used to work by mistake. Opps! I could have sworn that deleted that address so I wouldn't make that mistake but I guess I only thought about doing it. It wasn't to bad to have to go in and get it. The fiber is was really inexpensive because it was mill ends. It's mostly orderly so I could spin it as is but when I tried that the yarn didn't come out as smooth as I want for lace. I decided to use my Louet mini combs to make a nice fine roving. Here is some of the 2 pounds I ordered along with my tools.
Here's a close up of the combs, ditz and threader. The combs are a single row of tines which is great for really fine fibers like this merino viscose blend. I bought the ditz and threader a few years ago at the Maryland SHeep and wool fesitval. Notice in the ditz the row of holes to draw the fiber thru, I'm using the smallest one to get the narrowest roving I can. This will cut down on the amount of drafting I'll have to do. Re-combing the fiber causes neps (bunches of short fibers that get tangled into tiny knots) to form. By drawing the fiber thru the smallest hole allows me to see and pick out the neps. This is some fiber loaded onto the comb. The second comb is empty at the moment.

And the fiber once it's been combed out. There's still some fiber left on the comb on the right and it's trash. The sibers are super short and/or reallt tangled. Combing always results in more trashed fiber but it's worth it to have really great roving to work from. This particular fiber was really inexpensive and with having 2lbs I'm not worried about waste.

Here you can see I've got the convex side of the ditz towards the comb and I've inserted the thread the get fiber thru the teany tiny hole.

Starting to draw the fiber thru the ditz.

I've now drawn all the fiber thru the ditz and now it's offcially roving.

This picture shows what's left on the comb after the fiber is drawn off thru the ditz. More short tangled fibers.

Here are some nice neat bundles of roving that are just waiting to be spun. It took me about an hour to fill the box up (sorry for got to get a picture of that) with about an ounce of roving.
This is the start of the new single of white. The sheen is decidedly flatter than the colored roving but that will just make the colored single just sparkle.

I decided to use a pattern from Victorian Lace Today. It's the first of the scarf patterns but I'm going to do a few more repeats of the end boarder to make it wider. The end boarder calls for 7 repeats for the scarf so I think I'm going to do 11 for my shawl. I wanted a simple lace pattern so the color won't fight with the stitch pattern. I also wanted it simple because I'm sure this project is still going to be in process when I go back to school so I wanted to be able to knit on it during lecture.

Here is a closer view of the start of my shawl. It's just the first repeat of the end boarder. The yarn is soft and has such a great hand. I know the whole shawl will have wonderful drape.

Next time on Get a Clew: The progress on the Jaywalker Socks after a set back and what I have planned for the Summer of Socks and or what ever else comes to mind.


Ann-Marie said...

that was a nice little tutorial.
i might be getting some combs, so that's nice to see how to use them.

where is your "supplier" in canada??
i live in canada and can't seem to find good prices on fibre anywhere...

Teresa said...

I am in love with those colors!

I can't believe you went through so much work! To even make the roving itself is phenomenal. I bet it feels good to be finally knitting your yarn :D.

emma said...

Thank you so much for such a comprehensive post! I was sent a bag of fibre to spin (by drop spindle) and I've been too scared to try it, but I totally will now.