Saturday, April 03, 2010

Go Back, Go Back!

This is no more:
slant knitting2

The silk was spun on spindles. It, the spindles and more silk were to be my carry-along project for the summer. But alas, too much twist. You can see the slanted stitches in the plain knit part. I caught the problem when I made a mistake, and had to press and rip the scarf.

Let me back up: I made a mistake while knitting fine slippery silk yarn on size 00 needles. I had no lifeline, so I ironed the scarf, pulled back to the error, and picked up the stitches to continue. I iron the silk because then all the little stitches will stand up tall, happy to be picked back up.

But then? I noticed the slant. The fresh knit stitches did not slant, it's the after-blocking stitches that slanted.

I knit several rows more (airplanes, must do something) and when I got home I dunked the whole thing into a bucket of water, hung it to dry and waited.


I put too much twist in the yarn. Now, I'm new to the whole spindle thing, and I was told rim-weighted spindles did not spin as fast as center-weighted (longer, but not fast), so I always allowed extra twist before I wound on, spinning and plying. Plying especially: I just held on, while the spindle turned, after every length. I also thigh roll rather than twiddle (!), which I think sets the spindle going faster.

I think the majority of extra twist is in the plying direction, because of the direction of the slant:

plying spindle2

This is my new moon-and-stars Golding plying spindle, a gift from a friend. I love it, and it's speedy.

All is not lost, though, the yarns will be fine in weaving. In fact, they are already run into a warp:
warp before dyeing3

and over-dyed:
warp after dyeing

I'll add it to some other handspun silks that I have languishing:
silk warp yarns

And I have a new travel spinning and knitting project: 8 ounces of BFL/silk that I bought from Beth. It will be baby bonnets, baby booties, some sort of grandma-thing, likely a three ply. Still small enough to travel with, spindles, knitting and all. I can dye it once the knitting is done (it will be a variation of pink!) and I will endeavor to insert less twist.....


Blogger Spindlers2 said...

My experience is that rim weighted are faster, but that could just be in the spindles that I have - which include not many centre weighted ones!
You can always take some plying twist out, you know. But something of a faff if you can just as well weave with the yarn.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Delighted Hands said...

Great solution.......the yarn looks great in that color!

5:44 PM  
Blogger Wanderingskopos said...

Lovely yarn and a great save!

I've found that making a plyback sample with fresh singles (where the twist hasn't yet had time to go to sleep) and then checking the twist against the sample when plying is the easiest way to get a more or less balanced yarn.

As for the rim-weighted vs. centre-weighted being faster... I've heard that once you get them going, both can be equally fast. The centre-weighted takes less energy to get up to speed but it doesn't spin as long, while the rim-weighted takes more energy to get up to the same speed but once you do, it spins longer. And also that there are so many factors affecting spindle speed and spin duration that the best bet is to try and see for yourself...

3:51 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I absolutely have no idea what you're talking about and that's the reason I brought my spindling to halt - the moment the spindle train started to leave the station.

I cannot wait for spindle heaven next month. Wait!! I just dyed some fiber today with some various migrant suspect individuals that I might be able to sample from~

11:19 PM  
Blogger Charleen said...

I know I have been AWOL for awhile but did you say "grandma-thing"? Would that you as the grandma?

4:22 PM  

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