Sunday, February 3, 2008

Attack of the fleece of the meatsheep

Sounds like an exercise in German class, doesn't it? ("Angriff des Vlieses der Fleischschafe, the recently discovered opera by Wagner" or something, think I stayed up too late mourning the Pats loosing).

But here it is. A friend of my mom's, a painter, is very interested in dying fleece and spinning. The color sense is excellent (not that you can tell from my photos) but the yarn is, well, kind of like beautifully colored rope. Anyway, he's made up enough yarn for 10 sweaters and is now trying to find 10 people to knit them. All the color ways are different and I believe they are all based on places outdoors in NH/NE.

First off, the sheep are Suffolk (I think) so the fleece is hard, but it also appears to have been plied in the same direction it was spun, which makes it very hard. Here is a picture of a couple of the colors knit up on 9's. I knit very loosely, but with this stuff, I can't do pinky tension because the stuff is so kinky it locks itself to the finger every third stitch.

So, I think the trick here is to find a way to use all the colors but in big blocks. Stranding is out, as is any fine technique that would require lots of ends to be woven in. I'm thinking about adapting something from Fassett's earlier stuff - but it will have to be simple. The gauge is 20 sts./9 inches - that's 2.22 sts. to the inch, which means the whole front or back will only be about 51 sts. wide and the top of the sleeves will be about 44 sts. wide.
Maybe next time I can convince him to dye some Knitpicks Bare

No comments:

Post a Comment