I've been planning out a sweater project with some of my hand spun. Now, I could just spin up all the fiber and then see what thickness my yarn ends up being and find a pattern that matches but instead I'm trying to spin for a certain yarn weight. My first attempt at a spinning swatch didn't go well. First off, I spun up too much of a swatch...I tend to do that because I get so into spinning that I forgot that I'm just doing a swatch. Second, my singles were way too thick for what I was hoping would be a three ply. The sweater calls for a worsted weight yarn. This is a standard medium weight yarn. You can read more about yarn weight standards here. The end result of my three ply swatch was more of a Bulky weight which wouldn't work for the sweater pattern I choose.
|3 ply. 2 plies of brown merino, 1 of some other fiber. Bulky weight|
After spinning the other singles up, I wound some of the brown onto another bobbin and did a very tiny sample of three ply. Two brown and one of the corriedale. I then checked it with my yarn gauge and realized it would be way too thin. So, I did two plies of the brown, one of the corriedale, and one of the cormo. I checked and it seemed generally to be about right. I'm still working on getting my singles a consistent thickness so it's not really perfect but I"m ok with that. I plied up a little more of this 4 ply and then I set the twist last night. What do you think of how it's coming out? It's a barber pole effect.
|4 ply worsted weight. 2 plies of brown merino, 1 of corriedale, 1 of cormo.|
When I got up early this morning, I pulled out my small sample and knit up a gauge swatch to see if I had reached my goal. Surprise, Surprise to me of all people, I have!! It's not perfect and the gauge isn't consistent through the whole swatch but on average it's 18sts/4 inch which is what the pattern calls for!
I also pulled off a yard of my spinning swatch so I can weight it and determine if I'll have enough lbs of fiber for the yardage I need. That is for another day because I might have Special K take it to work and use the scale at his work, a machine shop! :) For now I feel comfortable that I can keep spinning the way I have and just work on getting my singles as consistent as I can.
Hope you guys enjoyed this sort of lesson in swatching. I know it's a lot of babble really but I didn't sleep well last night because of a leg cramp and I'm up early on a Saturday trying not to wake up Special K who is still sleeping. When he finally gets up, we are heading to brunch and then to Babys R Us for some registering.
Happy Spinning and Don't forget it's a good idea to always Swatch! :)
PS. I know the pictures are crappy as I'm still using my cellphone to take pictures. :) Some day I'll get a better camera.