Once upon a time a long time ago . . . I saw an incredible pair of mittens on the Victoria & Albert museum website. They were, as I remember, natural colored with a poem written from the cuff of one mitten to the tip of the other mitten in red wool. Very fine gauge, very cool. I want to do that someday (and, if anyone has a link to that image, I’d appreciate finding it again!). So, for now it stews.
It came to the top recently when I decided to spin a fleece that was gifted to me last year. Melanie (customer, business neighbor, friend) gave me a fleece from her flock’s matron, Blanche. Blanche is a very nice Romney. Sturdy, good length and a creamy white. She seemed a good candidate for spinning to make those mittens. That decision made, I had to figure out how to spin her and settled on worsted style because she has a nice lustre in addition to the length. Also, smooth yarn would allow the pattern to show through. Worsted yarn isn’t very warm because it doesn’t trap air, but I figure the fact that I’ll be knitting with two strands at a time will make up for that.
Combing is fun. Not fast, mind you, but I do enjoy it. The combs are wicked. There’s no other word that can describe them! Since embarking on this project I’ve drawn blood three times. Ouch! The photo above shows the combs partially “charged” and a “snail” of combed top ready to spin.
The best laid plans . . . often fall to the wayside. The first to go has been the words. The wool wants to be spun a little too thick for writing knitted words. Plan B was an a Fair Isle theme with every pattern being a different peerie – completely different from beginning to end. I spent hours with graph paper and pencil and then more at the computer and finally called “uncle” to that idea. I am now spinning to knit an all-over pattern incorporating a complimentary cuff with a dark background. You can kind of see this in the picture below.
Here’s what I’ve been playing with so far. I don’t know if the colored yarn will be solid as this is, but Blanche sure took the dye beautifully. I may do some rainbow painting. We’ll see. The graph is probably what I’ll be knitting. But, since I haven’t finished spinning and dyeing yet that could change!
I’ll keep you posted.