tussah.

I’m trying to come up with something that rhymes with tussah, and the best I’ve got right now is “sucka” — so let’s just forget that I was going to try to go that way and move on.

tussah macro1

Oh_my_goodness.

Let me back up:

tussah on bob

I finished spinning the reddish-orangey-pink section of my 2 oz. braid of tussah silk (from yarn chef). Inspired by Mick’s beautiful singles, I thought I might try singles of my own. Late (too late) last night, I sat pondering this bobbin, hoping that my singles were strong enough to be wound onto my niddy-noddy. Despite it being significantly past my bedtime, I decided to go for it.

tussah macro2

No breakage! And my, what sheen! I don’t remember spinning this evenly, but I could not get over how lovely this looked on the niddy noddy.

Here’s where I need some third party verification of my math, because I’m having a hard time believing the yardage: I stopped counting strands on my niddy noddy when I reached 250. My loop measures 32 inches in length, 64 inches in diameter, so 250 x 64 (or, for ease of math 250 x 2 x 32) = 16000 inches. 16000 inches/36 inches per yard = 443 yards. (But I stopped counting at 250 strands, so I’m thinking this number is closer to 500. Whoa.)

By the way, why do I not have a 36 inch niddy noddy? That would make my longhand math much faster. And more interesting to read.

hangingtussah

In conclusion, get thee some tussah silk. You will not be disappointed!

ribbing.

mara rib1

Lest you were beginning to think that I had crossed entirely over to the dark side of the spinning wheel, I present some serious progress on Mara. After reading lots of posts over at the Mara KAL in the backwards loop group on ravelry, I decided to modify the ribbing slightly, opting for a k3p2 rib instead of a k2p2.

mara rib2

The pattern calls for 4 inches of ribbing after the inch of transitional rib to finish off the shawl. I don’t have enough of this luscious beaverslide to do that, so I’m pretty much ribbing until I run out. I’ll be happy if I can get 2 inches or so, and I’m hoping to finish this tonight at a new knit night (say that five times fast) I’ve been attending!

The urge to finish this despite warmer temps that are not so conducive to the wearing of squishy wool shawls comes in part from even more new projects on (or soon to be on) the needles.

swatch alpaca

Veera, of 100% rain, put out the call for test- knitters for her plain and simple pullover, and since her sweater is already in my ravelry favorites, I couldn’t help but volunteer. The sweater is knit in fingering weight yarn on smaller needles, and when I looked at the specs/yarn requirements, I realized that this is the perfect sweater for 2 fat skeins of local alpaca in my stash that have long been searching for a pattern to partner with.

local alpaca skeins

I think this is a perfect match — the drapeyness of the alpaca will complement the pattern’s minimal shaping, the foldover collar will hang beautifully, and I will get a short-sleeved, super-soft alpaca sweater that won’t be so warm that I can’t wear it indoors! More on this soon,

Silk update:

shinytussah

I spun most of the orange section of my sunburst tussah silk. It shines like this picture, but at this point, the color is more orangey than red:

orange tussah

I’m really enjoying the process of spinning this — a totally different feeling than wool. I’m hoping my singles will be strong and even enough to stand on their own in a brightly colored shawl for fall.

Alright, time to get to work!

jacob.

jacob skein1

jacob skein2

4 oz. undyed jacob fleece from Spot Hollow Farm yielded 358 yards of light worsted/heavy dk weight 2-ply (13 wpi). I played around a bit with my spinning technique (long draw, supported long draw) while using my middle whorl, and my yardage confirms that I was spinning more of a woolen yarn. This had a very airy preparation, and it seemed to want to be spun in a way that maintained it’s lightness. I enjoyed spinning this so much that I dashed out to my LYS (still having that sale) to see if they had any more in this lovely grey. Alas, none of this particular color of natural, but they did have some darker jacob from the same farm, so I picked up 8 oz.

more jacob 8oz

If I spin this in a similar way, I should have about 1000 yards to play with — maybe a striped sweater?

With the jacob off the wheel and hanging above the sink to dry, I dug through my fiber bin for the next project, and decided I was ready to try a totally new-to-me fiber: tussah silk.

tussah braid

This is just a chunk of the braid, which transitions from yellow to gold to melon to orange to a lovely pinky-red grapefruit color. I have a 2 oz. braid of tussah silk, from yarnchef’s fiber shop (yarnchefSpin) in the sunburst colorway, and I am having a lot of fun getting to know this fiber.

tussahbob

I’m trying to keep this as uniform as possible, with the thought that I’ll leave this silk as a single and knit up a simple shawl that shows off these absolutely beautiful color transitions. A question for you more experienced spinners: how do I finish 100% tussah silk? Same soaking and snapping/thwacking? None of that at all? Inquiring minds (you know, like Boh) want to know.

Time for cup o’ coffee #2, some spinning, and oh, right — some actual work!