12 in 2012 Goal

When I got back from spending time with family for the holiday, I immediately sat down at the wheel with the goal of cranking out one last skein of sock yarn to finish my 12 in 2012 goal.

I did some pretty serious stash diving in search of a relaxing, easy spin, and found this set called “Olympic Size Pool”. The green ball is superwash wool and the blue ball is superwash wool blended with silk nepps.

fiber

The fiber was from Feistywoman Designs and had been in the stash for almost 3 years now. It was high time it became yarn.

I spun them exactly as presented – even after being squashed in the stash for so long, it was still light and fluffy and I didn’t need to predraft.

singles

I spun these with pretty high twist so that it would wear well as sock yarn. A basic 2-ply really blended the colors into a nice overall green. There was a little more left over of the blue, so I’ll throw that in as a few stripes when I make socks.

swirl

It was overall a very relaxing but quick spin, which is just what I needed for the holidays.

close

This last one completes my 12 in 2012 goal! Yay! Here’s all together:

all12

Happy New Year, everyone!

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Bluebell & Clover Gradient

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to spin 12 skeins of sock yarn in 12 months. I’ll be hard pressed to get that last one done amidst the holidays, but I did just finish up skein #11.

This is a pretty standard way to spin a batt, but I don’t think I had ever done it this way before now.

I started with a matching pair of SW Merino batts in “Bluebell & Clover” from Sosae Caetano. Sosae had already carded these into a gradient with added sparkle.

batts

I spread them out and then rerolled each one into a tube.

roll

Then I started pulling it carefully sideways, stretching along the length and pre-drafting so it was narrower.

draft

The first pass was coarse. I think I drafted it all four times, each time making it thinner and drafting more carefully. I did the second batt immediately so that my drafting would be consistent. This is essentially “hand-pulled” roving.

draft2

Since it was drafted sideways off the batt, the fibers were fluffy, a little tangly, and not as aligned as commercial top or roving is. It did mean I could long-draw a woolen yarn quite easily. Starting at one green end, I spun fluffy singles at ~40wpi. When I finished the blue, I joined the second one at the blue and spun back to green. This way, I could have one complete skein and was more likely to spin a consistent yarn. I Navajo-plied to maintain the gradient.

plied

On the niddy-noddy, you can see the green-to-blue-to-green overall gradient.

niddy

This one relaxed nicely when I washed it, so I didn’t worry to much about vigorous thwacking to set the twist. Viola! A finished skein, 362yds/4oz. When I make socks, I’ll do my favorite trick where I knit from the inside and outside of the ball while making two-at-a-time, so they’ll have green toes and blue cuffs.swirl

This is definitely one of the easiest ways to make a gradient yarn, though I won’t know until I knit it up how closely the two socks will match. One of the advantages of hand-pulling the batts rather than tearing them into strips is that it tends to blend the colors and should make for a smoother gradient.

Happy spinning! (and happy holidays!)