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August 14, 2006

We’ll get to today’s surprising whodunit in a minute, but first a little old business.

The Eleanora socks are finally complete.

As much as they took forever to knit, they really are gorgeous socks, they look like brocade. The bright red yarn from Lisa really suits the design. I knitted the whole thing on size 0 needles because of the number of stitches in the circumference, and because of that I had to do a LOT of extra repeats to get the leg length, but they fit quite well.

The Swallowtail shawl is progressing, more slowly now that it takes 5 minutes to do a row…

I have only one repeat left of the 6-row center pattern and I will be starting the border. I started out with 1.9 ounces of this yarn and when I finish that center I think I will probably have used half of it. Can someone eyeball the photo in the most recent Interweave Knits, and set my mind at rest that half the yarn is enough to do the lily of the valley border??? Eek. There IS NO MORE of this yarn, so I can’t afford to go wrong. I’m thinking that if I leave out the nepps from the lily pattern I’ll save yarn – is that a delusion?? The center was 14 repeats of a 6 row pattern, plus 10 rows for setup. The border is a total of 22 rows. Then there’s the edging. Waah.

Ahem. But, on to the whodunit part of this post. Who on earth made this yarn??

It’s in my house, it’s on my niddynoddy, but I cannot believe that I made it. I keep looking at it in amazement.

When I started spinning it last weekend, I quickly saw that it was producing long LONG color runs, and I decided I wanted to navajo ply to get those runs into the finished yarn. I had never done this before but I had been assured many times that to get your colors to stay together instead of making a marl, navajo ply is the way to go.

I made sure that I spun the single to get the longest possible color runs. To do this, I only split the roving once in half lengthwise – I didn’t strip it into skinny strips. Then I predrafted it horizontally to open it out, and I spun each color before letting the next one into the twist. This was really easy and did not take a lot of concentration to do. Bluefaced Leicester is so easy to spin anyway, it was such bliss to spin it after the angora that took so much effort. Here’s the finished bobbin of singles. See those nice wide bands of solid colors?

There were basically three colors in this roving: a lovely sea green aqua, turquoise, and violet blue. The photos tend to wash out the contrasts a little in the finished yarn, but there really are 3 distinct colors and one of them is GREEN…

So I took a deep breath and started navjo plying. As it turned out, the runs were so long that I didn’t even have to adjust my plying technique at all, I just pulled up my loop and it was always just right. There were areas of the single where there was a transition from one color to the next, and in general that meant that there was one yard of finished yarn where you had a transition happening in one of the plys, but mostly I got exactly the color runs I wanted.

So I have this hank, 4 ounces and around 250 yards, and I keep looking at it. Where did this come from? Who made this? It’s probably the best yarn I ever did. I can’t believe I did it. So I kept taking pictures of it.

Anybody have any of that old Dyeing For Fiber BFL lying around that they want to sell off??? I’ll take it… Failing that, does anybody remember the name of this colorway?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie permalink
    August 14, 2006 9:50 am

    Gobsmacked. That is so very beautiful, perfectly spun and plyed and in my favourite colours. Amazing work.

  2. August 14, 2006 10:02 am

    Very nicely done! Bravo!

  3. August 14, 2006 11:47 am

    That yarn turned out BEAUTIFULLY! I am in love.

  4. August 14, 2006 1:26 pm

    Fabulous. Wow. Very impressed. Glad I’m sitting down. That’s some incredible yarn.

  5. August 14, 2006 1:44 pm

    Congrats on finishing your socks, they’re beautiful!
    Your yarn is FABulous! Great job on the color runs, the spinning is perfect!
    You know, I do have LOTS of Dyeing For Fiber roving in my stash, but it sure doesn’t feel like BFL, it feels more like dreadlocks.

  6. August 14, 2006 7:42 pm

    Stunning yarn, just absolutely, totally stunning yarn! I can see why you are excited!

  7. August 14, 2006 8:24 pm

    Wow…your yarn is so beautiful! I would keep taking pictures of it too!
    Your socks are pretty awesome too.

  8. August 14, 2006 9:51 pm

    Caroline, that yarn is flat out gorgeous (and perfect)!
    Do you think that if you sent a photo of the colorway to the lady that took over for Dyeing for Fiber (ebay: ragtimelil)she might be able to ID it for you? She claims to have all the recipes for the colorways from the original owner. Maybe you could special order?

  9. August 14, 2006 10:59 pm

    Everything is absolutely beautiful! Lovely work. πŸ™‚

  10. August 14, 2006 11:32 pm

    Oh MAN! I so totally stink at Navajo ply (have to sit with Sam) but look at YOU…so perfectly plied without lumps and bumps. Kudos, Miss Thang. Oh yeah, and the socks are fabulous. :o)

  11. August 15, 2006 8:01 am

    You are impressed with that yarn for very good reason. It’s beautiful!

  12. August 15, 2006 11:27 am

    That yarn is absolutely beautiful.
    I don’t know how to Navajo ply. Yet. πŸ™‚

  13. August 15, 2006 11:31 am

    wow gorgeous!!

  14. August 15, 2006 7:30 pm

    You can only get that roving if I don’t find it first! How lovely, both the colors AND your spinning.

  15. Barb permalink
    August 16, 2006 1:02 am

    Great job spinning. The skein is just beautiful. I love the socks too!

  16. August 16, 2006 10:35 am

    great yarn. my navaho plying ends up looking like twisted wire. sigh.

  17. August 16, 2006 3:50 pm

    Beautiful socks and yarn!

  18. August 17, 2006 8:06 am

    That yarn is so gorgeous. I love the colors. Great socks too.

  19. Melissa permalink
    August 17, 2006 6:56 pm

    Well, just Go, girl!
    What a beeayootiful skein!

  20. Sam permalink
    August 20, 2006 5:57 pm

    Caroline, that is most definitely yarn to be proud of. Good lord, but that’s gorgeous. πŸ™‚ Have you found out what the colorway was called yet?

  21. August 22, 2006 8:48 am

    Eleanora’s are beauitful! I also did mine in red and with fall coming up it will be great to have them to wear, no?
    You spinning is SO beautiful! I’m just learning and you are an inspiration.

  22. August 22, 2006 9:27 am

    Gorgeous yarn and I’m loving the Eleanora socks!

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