Monday, April 6, 2015

Spinning: first handspun sock yarn.

I finally made sock yarn! They're going to be very short socks...but more on that later. :)

I've spun quite a bit of yarn for smaller projects, but two of my goals have always been to spin enough for a sweater and to spin sock yarn. Obviously spinning for a sweater is the bigger project of those two, but spinning for socks is pretty intimidating in itself!

The fiber was 4 ounces of a 75/25 blend of superwash Merino and nylon from Mulberry Fibers. This was my first time spinning Merino as well as my first time spinning anything superwash or with nylon in it. I found it a bit slippery at times, but overall it was easier than I expected.

But it still isn't easy for me to spin yarn this thin. If I sit down and spin without thinking about it, I usually end up with a DK or worsted weight yarn after it's plied. That's a comfortable and natural spin for me. Yarn that has to be thin enough to be fingering weight after three strands of it are plied together? That is not mindless. I have to constantly pay attention.

The fiber was basically gradient dyed, with one end being mostly tan/brownish and the other being mostly purple/blue, but there were random little patches of color mixed in. Because of that, I decided to do a traditional 3 ply instead of a Navajo just wasn't necessary to keep the colors separate.

Despite being Merino, this yarn isn't very soft or cushy at all. I may have actually put in too much twist...but at least that means they should last longer, right?

Since I only had 4 ounces, I knew that it was going to be tricky to get the necessary yardage. But I had done it once before (432 yards of chain-plied fingering weight!) so I hoped I could do it again. Ha. I don't know whether that previous spin was some sort of fluke or a miracle, but this time I only ended up with 266 yards! And that was after I Navajo plied the leftovers from two bobbins. (Shown above in the last picture, which sort of makes me regret not Navajo plying all of this yarn...those two mini-skeins look so pretty.)

So...this is the plan. Short socks. I'm going to squeeze as much sock as possible out of this yarn, but I usually do socks with 8 inch cuffs that use about 375-400 yards of yarn. I've never made socks with such a small amount of yarn before. In order to not run out of yarn and to use up every bit of it, I'm going to do toe-up socks for the first time. It should be interesting! (I'm still using DPNs, though.)


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