Tuesday, October 23, 2007

come to my pity party

A question before the whine...can anyone identify these needles? I was hoping to buy needles from a particular vendor at the Spinners and Weavers Day. However she wasn't there this year. Two years ago I bought some vintage needles from her, small dpns. As I walked down Burwood road a couple of weeks ago after leaving the Open Day, I saw these needles in a tin in the local Vinnies. There were eight of them, five yellow and three pink. They feel quite bendy and flexible and I wondered how they would go. They weren't dear at all so I bought them all. To my surprise, I really liked them. They are too long and I'll have them cut down, but they feel good to use, almost like my favourite casein needles. They look oldish plastic, have quite a bend to them but knit well. These are equivalent of 3 mm.
Now I bought this wool at the Open Day. it says 5 ply crepe. Certainly crepe finish but I think it resembles the thickness of Lion Brand Magic Stripes more than 5 ply. That would make it 6 ply, American sportweight. The needles shown are 3.0 mm and the fabric is very firm.

This is the spring green colour I wanted when I made the brown Zokni socks. I loved it and bought it immediately I saw it. Not expensive, but not cheap either. 200gm in hank which wound well. I tried two different patterns but frogged them both as the design did not show up well. I decided to let the colour speak for itself.

Now for whine #1. The wool is splitty, no matter what needles I use. It's as bad as the Wildfoote luxury sock yarn which makes beautiful feeling fabric but splits constantly. I've done several pairs of sock in Wildfoote and vowed never again.

Whine #2. I could sort of put up with the splitting of the wool, but I have another problem. It seems to be badly plied. If I have more than about a handspan of length of wool between needles and ball of yarn, that length immediately folds up on itself and twists as if making a twisted cord for a belt etc. If I disregard it for a few stitches, it seems to easily fall into a knot, or if I pull at the two sides of the twist, another knot forms. I need more yarn than 9" to work with an even tension. Is this a problem with the plying? I'm not a spinner although I do have a traditional Ashford wheel and did some many years ago.

Is thre any way of fixing this or of handling the yarn in a particular way so I can use it? Or do I just put it down to experience and put it back in the stash. It might work if crocheted but I'm not about to try that in a hurry either. I have the seller's email and a webpage on Ozemail so I could contact her about the wool, but thought I'd ask here first for ideas.

pass the slipped stitch over


Rose Red said...

Oh, wish I could help with the yarn problem Jan because it's a lovely colour. Hope someone else can give you some advice!

Terri said...

I'm glad someone else feels like I do about Wildfoote sock yarn. I tossed out the last 'single' sock I made with it, because I hated the feel of it and just couldn't bring myself to make sock #2.

Hypatia said...

Jan, I'll jump in but I know there are other spinners here so I hope they will have a think about it too.

I think I recognise your problem and for me the solution was in the way I was holding and wrapping the yarn to form the stitches, I was somehow twisting the yarn just slightly and so introducing more spin. It only happened a little bit each stich but it eventually added up leading to a corkscrew effect. I no longer have the strand of yarn wrapped through and around various fingers to keep the tension as I recall I was taught to do, just one simple loop around my index finger.

I have heard that using handspun for crotchet can be tricky depending on the direction of the original spinning - the hand movements tend to undo the spin (so I'm told). Maybe something similar is happening here. (But, to me your yarn doesn't look like handspun).

With a Q said...

No matter how the yarn was made, it may have been under or over spun, resulting in the twist. I tend to overspin my handspun and to correct it I skein the yarn, soak in warm water, squeeze out the excess water (wrap in a towel is best), hang on to one end and give it a good whack against the laundry tiles! I then hang the skein in the shower. If it is still twisting, place a tin of soup in the end "cradle" created by the skein. The weight should even out the twist.

Using commercial yarns for socks I do get over twist too. It happens because I am turning my sock the same way all the time, adding twist. To overcome, try turning your knitting in the opposite direction from time to time (ie: backwards 2/3 instead of forwards 1/3)

Hope that helps.

Jan said...

Thanks for the suggesations. I love the colour nd really want to use it.

I'll try the one loop idea first, although I am not sure I'm adding tehetwist. Normally, I do have wool around several fingers, but this is so twisty it won't stay there and keeps falling off so there is only one looped finger.

Then I'll try the whack against the tiles etc.

Thanks to you all.