Friday, June 25, 2010

Fiber Arts Friday: Starting from (almost) Scratch

My best girlfriend and I went to the Estes Park Wool Market a couple of weeks ago.

We graduated from engineering school together, so we both know that if we can't find what we're looking for, chances are we can make it.  In fact, when I was longing after a drum carder and told her how much they cost, she said, "Well, you can make one."  I smiled and thought, "of course I can make one.  I'd just have to acquire a couple of wood working tools first."  :-)

Anyway, while we were looking at all of the wonderful things in the vendor's tent I could tell she loved the products, but wasn't quite finding the thing she wanted to take home.  I knew I could make something she would love and since she's not really a knitter (yet),  I offered to make a hat for her from any yarn or roving she wanted.

She chose this beautiful hand painted bamboo-merino roving.

I love the blue, green and purple together and the silvery sheen makes it even more special.

I started thinking about hat styles that she might like and we looked at a few hats I have around the house.  We talked about the features or design elements that she liked and didn't like.  We passed a few patterns back and forth over email and finally settled on a combination of Lauren's Simple Slouchy Hat and the Mushroom Hat.
While this isn't my first specific project for a specific person, it is the first time I am starting a project this early in the process.
I need to spin 175 yards of worsted weight yarn.  I have never spun with a specific project in mind and have only knit projects based on what was in my stash.  If there was a particularly wonderful pattern, I would take a trip to the local yarn shop.
So, I'm starting from (almost) scratch.  I have not decided if I will make a single or plied yarn.  I prefer to knit with singles, but plied yarns seem to behave better after they've been knit.
I will be spinning this roving for the Team of Wonder during this year's Tour de Fleece (Ravelry Links) which starts on Saturday, July 3rd.  I would love ply or not-to-ply advice from the wiser and more experienced fiberistas out there.
If you would like to join the Tour de Fleece Wonder Team, take a look at Knit with Snot's post, then get on Ravelry and join the fun.
In the meantime, have a gander at the other fun, fibery, fluffinistas because it's Fiber Arts Friday.


Dutch Hollow said...

The color and luster are stunning! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I love the color, can't wait to see the yarn and hat! As for the plying, I have no experience here, really, but I will say that though I often make and knit with singles, when I make a ply the yarn just looks more polished to me. I don't know what difference that would make with knitting, though, as I'm not patient enough for such experiments. I'm sure someone out there has made a single and a 2ply out of the same fiber and knit the same project with both, but I am NOT that person. :)
Good luck, whichever way you choose!!

Allison said...

That should make one beautiful hat! You'll have to post the yarn you spin from that roving.

WonderWhyGal said...

Hooray! You're joining the Team of Wonder. What a great way to get your yarn spun up. As for plying advice...since it's bamboo/merino you should be fine with singled depending on your twist. It's a beautiful roving. I can't wait to see what you spin up and how the finished product looks.

Ellen said...

I left you a reply on the Fiber Arts blog about short rows.
Thanks for stopping by there!

Kathryn Ray said...

Thanks guys. I will definately post the progress on this project. :-)

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

That looks like a really awesome spin - beautiful colors.

AllyB said...

Beautiful color, love the shiny. Can't wait to watch the process unfold.

cara said...

I always ply my home spun. I find it's hard to get it exactly even and by plying, where one strand might be lacking the other should even it out. It creates a more even yarn. But then, I've never knit with single, so I might be the wrong person to ask, as I prefer the plied yarn.

Good luck with your project!