Friday, May 18, 2012

FIber Friday - Fleece to Sweater Saga

So I've been busing making samples, dyeing some of locks, flick carding and finally started spinning on my single drive Ashford Traveller.

I spun up several different samples to decide what looked best to me.  All of it was flick carded then carded on the drum carder with only one pass.  Carding up no more than 30 grams / about 1 ounce at a time.  Then spinning that batt.  Then all was spun over the fold long draw.  Both the drafting style, over the fold long drawn, and the carded prep ration helps make a good woolen yarn.  One good sign I've succeeded is high yards per pound because a good woollen yarn is 90% air. Goal is underspun singles and overplyed yarn.


I spun a first sample but decided to test knit the second, third etc samples.

Second  Sample:
2ply yarn - comparable to a light worsted commercial yarn
Ratio: 5:1
Ply Ratio: 7.5:1

Weight: .46oz, .029 lbs
Yardage: 33.2 yards
Yards per pound: 1144 ypp
wpi: 11-12

Knit Sample
US 7 - 4.5mm Needles
Cast on 40 sts
5.25 sts/inch
7 rows/inch


Third Sample:

2ply yarn - comparable to a light worsted commercial yarn
Ratio: 5:1
Ply Ratio: 7.5:1

Weight: .68 oz, .0425 lbs
Yardage: 50 yards
Yards per pound: 1176 ypp
wpi: 11-12

Knit Sample
US 7 - 4.5mm Needles
Cast on 40 sts
5.25 sts/inch
7 rows/inch


Fourth Sample:
3ply yarn - comparable to a commercial bulky yarn
Ratio: 3.5:1 Jumbo Flyer, over the fold, gentle twist
Weight: .64 ounces, .04lbs
Yardage: 30 yards
Yards per pound:  750 ypp 

Knit Sample:
Cast on 30 sts
US 9 5.5mm
Did a 3 sts cable

Liked the 3rd and 4th samples the best. I liked the 3rd sample best for a sweater and the 4th sample would be great for a hat or mittens. The 3rd sample seemed a bit smoother than the 2nd sample because there are three plys instead of two. It will make a more hard wearing yet still light sweater. All the yarn is finished hot then cold then hung to dry.


A nice comparison of the samples from left to right: 2nd sample, 3rd sample, and 4th sample.


Now that all samples are knit up and the fiber has been flick carded  I've dicied to blend the two differecnt colors that are in the fleece.  I add a thin layer of light gray then a thin layer of dark gray.  Making batts that are about 30 grams/1 ounce.   Running it through the carder once. I'll do a post later with some basic photos to get an idea what I'm doing.



Batt laid out flat. Split the batts down into thirds and pull off small chunks to spin over the fold.


Section of the batt.


Bit pulled off to spin over the fold.


Each bobbin will get about 30 grams of fiber then I will ply that together.


Using the little sample bit to make sure I'm spinning the singles as thin as I need to get the yarn I want. Little card has the sample and the larger card is what I've been getting which is close.

Just for the fun of it I dyed some locks.


Left to right: Purple but that separated to a blue and red in the fleece, Teal, and Burgundy




All flick carded and ready to card on the drum carder.

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