Monday, March 17, 2008

My big spinning project for 2008

My husband and I were talking earlier today about my spinning and knitting. I think I am becoming a spinner who knits instead of a knitter who spins. In other words I am now more likely to buy roving instead of yarn. I still like knitting and am always working on something. But I do think about spinning projects more. For the past few years I pick a big project to work on. It has been something that I would spin for then knit. Last year I dyed some roving and made a top down sweater. A couple of years ago I washed, carded then spun for a sweater. Well this year I wanted to kick it up a bit. This year I am working on spinning for a gansey. I bought 3 pounds of roving from a friend of mine. Its from Kramer yarns and the colorway is spice. I plan to knit the White gansey from Beth Brown-Reinsel's book Knitting Ganseys. Well for my size I need 2100 yards of a sport weight yarn. Which seems like a huge amount, but I was confident that I could spin that much with the three pounds. So I looked up what I needed for WPI. I found a web site online that said I needed 14 wpi. So I started out on my first three balls of roving. Well once I got all of it spun and then plied I ended up with only 388 yards. Oh boy was I way off. It was 14 wpi but there was no way I would have enought roving to spin the sweater. So after lots and lots of thought. I decided to do some more research and found that I really needed to get 18 wpi for a sport. I really wanted to spin a 3 ply as I really like the look of the yarn better. So I went and got a 4 ounce ball of the same type of roving. I really need to at some point buy a spinners control card. So I looked around the web and found one for 15 with shipping. Well I am a bit of a cheap skate so I decided to find a 3 ply sport yarn and use that as a guide. I found a ball of Bernat sport at the local Micheals. while I was there I was caught buying crappy yarn by a student of mine so I had to explain why I was buying the yarn.
Oh well. When I got home I got to work. I divided my roving into thirds and got to spinning. When I got the spinning and plying all done I ended up with a 18 wpi sport weight with the feel that I like but it only came out with 197 yards. So I am still about 40 yards short of what I should have for 4 ounces. So with what I have left of the spice roving (9 4 oz. balls) I will be about 327 yards short. So what I think I will do now is get started again on the spice roving and try to make the singles a bit thinner and see what I end up with. If I have to add in some of the stuff I first spun I will. Think I will add the thicker stuff at the cuffs and the bottom ribbing and the neck edge. So my question for you all is, have you knit the white gansey? Did it take as much yarn as the pattern calls for and how did it turn out for you? Have you spun a 3 ply sport and what was the yardage that you came up with?

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