red red red!

Admin: A couple of people have been having problems leaving comments. Can you please shoot me an email if you are? Thanks!


It’s no secret that red is my favorite color.

red 3 ply merino
red merino

Can you blame me?

red 3 ply merino
red 3 ply merino

This is my first 3-ply on a wheel.

The fiber is a kettle-dyed merino from It required a LOT of pre-drafting, but it made a huge difference in my being able to spin relatively thin.

I worsted-spun three singles at 6:1 on the Lendrum, testing every so often to make sure I was getting the thickness I wanted.

In retrospect, I think I should have put a bit more twist into the singles.

I plied it at 5:1 with the mostly-one-handed method, which wasn’t nearly as fiddley as I expected.

3 ply merino
my first 3 ply! it is very red

This is also the first handspun I’ve really abused in finishing. I soaked it in Kookaburra woolwash (note: it is STILL releasing dye, darn those reds!), soaked it in almost-hot water, removed most of the water, and then thwacked it on the bathtub, about 8 thwacks per 1/4 turn. It definitely changed the yarn for the better, almost evening it out a bit more. Huh. Maybe I’ll have to do that more often.

At the end, we have ~170g of a 3-ply yarn at 12-13 WPI, around 324 yd. My target was worsted weight and while it seems to be closer to DK, I think it actually will want to knit up to a more worsted gauge.

[note: my scale may be acting up. It said it weighed 220g, then 160g, then 170g. It was on a flat surface and I zeroed it out prior to weighing, so either it needs new batteries or I need a new scale! This means the weight may not be accurate.]

I didn’t like the look of the 3-ply at all until after I wet-blocked it.

This yarn gets the nod of approval from DH (“it’s mostly even and it’s all one color!”).

This was a learning spinning project — I am planning to spin up enough yarn for a sweater. This lead to some confusion when I posted about this spinning project a few weeks ago — this yarn will (probably) not be used in the sweater (possibly in the yoke). This is a learning skein, a way for me to tweak technique and make some decisions about what I am going to do for the handspun sweater.

I have 2 pounds of brown BFL (ordered from Adrian at Hello Yarn!) for the main body of the sweater. DK-to-worsted is about the weight yarn I hope to spin up for it. I am currently pondering 2-ply versus 3-ply — I prefer to spin 2-ply, but I think 3-ply is probably the right choice for a sweater. I’ll be doing some sampling of the BFL in a week or so and then I’ll have a better idea.

7 Comments so far

  1. Dave Daniels on July 31st, 2007

    That looks really nice to me. And it’s a great shade of red. It’s interesting that it’s still releasing color, though.

  2. Andrea on July 31st, 2007

    Testing… if this comes through, I’m not having problems commenting. If it doesn’t, I’ll shoot you an e-mail. ;)

  3. Michelle on July 31st, 2007

    Your yarn is lovely, I really like the color.

  4. Shannon on July 31st, 2007

    I think I’ve missed a memo. Why is there a quarter in the yarn? For scaling? But what if your money is suffering inflation and the quarter is all swollen?

  5. Liz on July 31st, 2007

    Looks good! How exciting, to knit a sweater with your own handspun. I bet I would be *extra* smug if such a feat were within my grasp.

  6. kelp! on July 31st, 2007

    I love the red! It turned out perfectly, ever-so-slightly semisolid. I can’t wait to see how your handspun sweater progresses!

  7. Julie on August 5th, 2007

    Lovely, lovely stuff Jess!!