Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Skeined Prawns

That's a picture of the latest addition to my yarn stash, I made it myself. It's a nubby blend of cashmere, shetland wool and tussah silk. "What are you doing making crazy yarn with a luxury blend like that?" I hear you ask - "shouldn't you make a fine sock yarn, or laceweight for a beautiful shawl?". Ahem. Well that's what I planned to do. Only my drum carder had other ideas. It thought that cashmere and silk would look great all knotted up and coughed out over the shetland wool. "Blending's boring", it told me, "I want to make neps!" Stupid drum carder. I've been saving that cashmere for years, thinking it was too nice to use until I could spin well enough. Well now that I can spin a decent fine yarn, I have decided I also need a decent drum carder. The one I have is a secondhand Barnett. And I've only just found out that the carding cloth is classed as 'coarse' by most other manufacturers. I don't completely dislike it. It's actually a great carder for the wirey suffolk wool that I normally put through it. But clearly cashmere and silk are a step too far. My mistake. New carder required. Actually, make that an additional carder - I'd still like to card suffolk fleece from time to time.

Anyway, since the batts turned out to be not so beautiful, I decided to use them for an experiment. I dug out some koolaid packets that my friend Barbara had sent me a few years back and tested them out on the roving, handpainted style. It turned out a pretty pink and purple colour. Quite nice really. See:

Then I spun two singles from it. One plain, but quite thick (like my drum carder, not that I'm bitter or anything...), and one with big slubs along it. Then I plied the two together, coiling the slubs around the even yarn whenever I reached them. I've done three skeins now, and I'm getting better with each skein I make. I think the slubs look like peeled prawns, so the yarn has been titled "Skeined Prawns". Better that than "look what you can make with a bunch of neps".

No comments: