Mr Weaving Heart isn’t that keen on hand knits for him (have sympathy, he grew up in the age of the kind of jumper made famous by Giles Brandrith, scarred for life) apart from the odd hat or pair of socks, so when he finally agreed to a sweater I grabbed the opportunity firmly with both hands.
We decided upon a simple raglan jumper, Bradbury by Julie Hoover. Around the same time a merino x Gotland/Shetland fleece from Fernhill Farm had arrived here so it made perfect sense to spin this into jumper yarn.
It’s a lovely fleece, long staple in beautiful crimpy locks that had already had the skirting done – so nice.
I washed it in my usual manner – in the bath with very hot water (topped up with the kettle if needed, it needs to be too hot for your hands) with a squirt of washing up liquid, then soaked for 15 minutes (don’t let the water cool too much, you don’t want the lanolin to resolidify back onto the wool) and rinsed once, with some vinegar if I happen to have some sloshing around.
I’ve used the spin function on my washing machine before, but this was a rather fine fleece so I didn’t dare, instead it was wrapped in towels, trodden on, then laid out by a radiator. The cat particularly enjoys this part and usually ‘helps’ by sleeping on said fleece.
I’ve developed a routine of carding a little each evening, then spinning. I plan to spin the entire lot, then it will be dyed navy with a small amount kept undyed for the contrast stripes and shoulders in the pattern.
I’ve finished about half so far, this is the yarn unwashed. As it’s all mainly for dyeing, there’s little point setting the twist at this point, so this is still quite lanoliny (I think I’ve just invented a word).
I’m aiming for a 4ply weight and, makes sure you’re sitting down at this point, I did sample a little first by knitting up a gauge square. I know, unheard of here but after my recent yarn disasters and the amount of work that is going into this I figured it would pay off. As it was, I got gauge straight away – reaffirming the reason why I don’t usually bother!