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31 March 2007 @ 06:56 am
Solution?  
So a friend has comissioned a scarf knit from my handspun from me, based on some yarn I've already spun but she so can't have because it's MINE! (I must say, my friend has fabulous tastes! This is my most favouritest skein evarrrrrrrrrrrrr.My mother said it looked like a Rumplestiltskin yarn, i.e. I spun straw into gold :D I have to agree. My mother rules.)

This is the yarn I already spun, which I'll be taking elements from:




This yarn is spun from Cotswold locks, which A) is reallllly heavy and B) isn't the softest of wools. Also the prep time and the VM was a pain, but not horrific.

She lovees the colours as well as the depth and richness of the colours, and she loves the shine. I know that the sheen of Cotswold really adds to the richness of the colours in this yarn.

She's also wanting for me to add in more "art yarn" elements, Angelina and sequins, to be exact. Both of which i'm totally down with, while still plying with the three metalic threads I did in the skein featured. I think that they'll add even more glitz and fun to an already gorgeous colourway.

My question is this:

What fiber, or fiber blend, would be a fair substitute for Cotswold locks?



My requirements are thus:

*Must have a sheen to it to maintain the extra depth added from the sheen. This just wouldn't look as great in, say, a Polypay (LOATHE Polypay.) or Targhee or Merino. It'd still be pretty, but nowhere near what I want for this.
*Must be nice for wearing around your face/on your neck, so it can't be a coarse fiber.
*Must not shed
*Must be dyeable with acid dyes (I use Sabraset, lurve the Sabraset!)
*Must be spinnable in worsted weight. I know all fibers *can* be, but some are better suited/more practical for it. I think anything thinner than worsted is going to look mighty funny with even a single-wide segment of strip sequins.
*Must not be anywhere near as heavy as Costwold is. I am assuming that a lower micron count means more air pockets=loftier yarn=less weight.

*Should be able to take a bit of a beating, this girl's one of my best friends and she can get a bit rough at times, but this is not an absolute requirement. She'd treat this scarf like gold, given she knows the work that's going to go into it, but I am also expecting her to wear this every day until it falls apart. She's a scarf kind of girl, and she lives out near Ithaca, NY, where it's cold like 9 months of the year. I used to live there myself, so I know much of the Ithacan winters. My hair and skin dances for joy to not be in that dry an area any longer!

I'm not really keen on the idea of mohair, I don't tend to really like mohair, I've never bought any which were a fine enough fiber for me to enjoy spinning, as it blooms out, looks all wiry-hairy, and is scratchy as all get out, and sheds while I knit it. Granted, a few mohair purchases really turned me off to the fiber as a whole, so it's possible that it's a great solution to this and I've just ben really unfortunate in my mohair shopping experiences, and there is mohair out there which is soft to the touch, and isn't a shed-a-palooza all over my lap, couch, and cat as I'm knintting it. I tend to touch my eyes a lot (I know, horrific habit!) and so when I've knit handspun mohair before, it tends to get in my eyes, and I spend a half hour rubbing them before I finally go to the mirror and fish out the mohair. Ugh. And, I've sucked mohair fibers down my throat in the middle of winter when it's all dry and static and the fibers shed and inevitably I laugh heartily three seconds later (I am always laughing) and down the hatch they go. Bleh. So...mohair I think is a no. For my own sanity.

I have been looking at silk, however I have no experience spinning it, and am not sure it can be spun at worsted weight in a practical manner. And how is it for adding strips of sequins into? I know that silk is, well, silky, and I don't want the sequin strip thread ends I pull to spin into the core of the yarn to end up pulling out in plying or during wear too quickly. All sequins can work their way out over time, I'd just rather not have it be immediately :D

In silks: I see that Tussah is very shiny, which is fufilling probably the most important requirement outside of Must Not Shed, but Bombyx doesn't seem to have a sheen to it. Is it just photos I'm looking at which aren't showing it accurately?


If I go with a silk blend, what ratio of silk to, say, Merino, should I be looking at to maintain the sheen that silk has? I don't want the yarn to have a dull finish by having too low a ratio. The 20/80 seems to not be shiny much at all, tencel merino seems to be shinier, but it's also stripey when dyed, the two fibers don't take up dye equally, or it's a trick of the light or something. I don't like that, I need for the DOS to all be deep for this.



Any suggestions and advice are welcome!

Oh, I do not have a pair of combs or a great drum carder at this time (mine is a very warped, home made by someone probably 50 years ago POS with a ridiculously low TPI or whatever that term is for how many teeth the cloth has. They're probably a quarter inch apart from eachother. It's alright for when I'm desperate, but I'd rather not be blending this all myself. This fall I'll be in a financial position to purchase a carder and combs, but right now I'm very much hand-to-mouth.

Oh, and she's paying for the mats, as well as my time, so I'm not the one footing the bill. This is a good thing, as she's prepared to pay for the most beautiful scarf on earth (I know, so humble!)


Thanks in advance!
 
 
 
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 11:18 am (UTC)
First - that yarn is gorgeous!

Second - until the last 2 paragraphs I was thinking the solution of all solutions would be a good blend.

How are you getting the angelina in there? Usually I blend mine but I know some people just spin it in.

Mohair is a nice choice but it is also heavy. Some people find it scratchy and others don't. Sometimes that is personal preference and sometimes that is a fleece problem.

Coopworth has a nice shine and would be a good base wool (find a fine fleece, some are scratchy, some are not) And then I'd add in some silk and some mohair for more shine and softness. Or give the coopworth a go all by itself. I've found if you get a good fleece, it's light and airy and not scratchy at all. I love the shine with it and Coopworth takes dye very well.

Silk IMO doesn't do well as a thick worsted single, it won't be sturdy. If you blended it with something that's a different story. Or make a 2-3 ply silk yarn that came out to a worsted weight, then plied it with all your goodness. The shiniest silk IMO is cultivated followed by tussah.

I think if you were blending silk, tencel, or nylon even, you would need a higher concentration than is found commercially in order to get that shine. Speaking of Nylon. Viscose is really shiny and takes dye well - I've never spun it thick though so I can't vouch for how that would work. But Nylon is durable.

IMO - I'd go search for a really nice Coopworth fleece. I'm sure someone else will have other ideas too. We all have our favored fibers.
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 11:34 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I had originally intended to sell it, but when I skeined it off, my little heart melted and I can't bear to part with it! It's one of the things I sit on a shelf where I can see it, and I fondle it once in a while. Ah that reminds me, it's actually Cotswold/Lincoln cross, I think. Cotswold crossed with something...I'd forgotten

I usually spin Angelina along side as opposed to blending it in. I find that I prefer the big bursts of ubersparkle to a bit here or there, but I also have such a crap carder that it's difficult for me to get a really nice blend with Angelina in it that isn't big ol' globs anyway :D

Mohair definitely seems to be a fiber where you love it or you hate it. I didn't mind it until I started knitting it, and the shedding happened, and i said "Oh hellll no", and then I wore it and ate it by laughing and that's a scarf I no longer wear in deep winter...

And I've never spun Coopworth, I'll have to check that out!

I think that a 3-ply silk may be a fair solution, with each ply being spun with Angelina alongside, then when plying three together work the sequins in. Hmmm, this could be a serious plying project, but the results could be definitely worth it! I figured that a silk single might start to lose structural integrity at larger gauges, glad to see I was correct in the assumption!

And also glad to hear that my guess that a low concentration of silk to merino wasn't going to be quite glossy enough for my liking! It's definitely the sheen I'm after, and most wools just don't have it, and if they do they're coarser than I'd like for a scarf for a friend. I personally can hack a coarser wool scarf than most, but where it's a comission, and for a friend four hours away who can't come fondle, I'd hate to get this all made up only for her to say "um...so...it's...kinda itchy >:("

I'll look around and see if I can track down some Coopworth to sample and blend up ghetto-style, I've got some Mohair and Tussah on-hand, and also spin up the rest of the Tussah I don't blend to see how that works on a three ply scale.

Thanks for the advice! ♥
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 11:48 am (UTC)
Have you tried Lincoln Longwool?
I'm not sure if it will have the sheen you are after, but it is sofer than Cotswold.
Also, I once got some suri alpaca locks that kind of were sheeney... (HELLA SOFT!)

boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC)
It makes me wonder what they feed those alpacas that have the sheeny coats. I've seen some like that too but most of what I find is very dull. Weird.
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC)
Yea, I've come across really dull too.
I think what happens is somehow dyed dirty? I'm not sure.
Suri is odd. That dull that happens with it is really unique.
Lalalalalalalala: Alpacaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 12:50 pm (UTC)
Heeee, shiny vitamins!
Or, they just have them watch "Firefly" episodes, with the proliferation of "Shiny?" "Shiny!" on the show ;)

And now I have visions of an alpaca at a chalkboard writing:
"I will grow my coat all shiny.
I will grow my coat all shiny.
I will grow my coat all shiny.
I will grow my coat all shiny."

Hahaha alpaca=win
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 12:54 pm (UTC)
bwaahaaahaa
There is an alpaca farm near here. Do you think they'd have a problem if I went over and chanted this to their little alpaca herd?
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:00 pm (UTC)
Or just send them sneakrit love shiny notes
"Dear Mr. Alpaca
Your fleece, it is lovely, but you know what would make me swoony?
SHINY alpaca locks.
Can you do this for me, sir? I will send my chocolate beer waiters over to your place to bring you...whatever it is that alpaca dig in a serious way. He's mute, so he won't even baa at you like you're a sheep. You can't really blame the non-fiberers of the world for that, can you?
Love,
Your SHINY FLEECY PLEASEY friend"
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC)
Can alpaca's read?
Maybe I should send them a little tape recording?
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
Not yet I have not...I always think I have and then remember "Oh riiiight, that's JACOB wool". I don't know why I get those two confused, there aren't even the same number of letters in the names, which is how I often remember names (I'm a weird one...if I'm trying to remember someone's name, I'll almost always say "five letters, begins with a J...not Jason, not James...JACOB". Number of letters first /shakes head)
I'll check that one out, too!

and I also have some alpaca from back in the day before I stopped buying from a supplier who has unfortunate political views, which is glossy as all getout AND it feels like you're touching nothing at all, because it's so darn soft! It's this beautiful rose colour, too, and I've been saving it for a special something for myself, I think to be plied with little tiny bits of marcasite Angelina. It's sooooo pretty and very coloured b/w photograph looking in shade!

Mmmm, alpacaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa /drools
It's like...the merengue pie of the fiber world. So light, so frothy, so decadent!
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC)
The Suri that I got was actually in lock form. Very curly, but had a wicked short staple lenght. I've never seen anything quite like it again.
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 12:56 pm (UTC)
All this talk has really got me wanting to scour the festivals for fleeces. I have shiny in my mind. All I want to do is find shiny fleeces. NHSW here I come!
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC)
SHINY WOOL FEST TOUR 2007!
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:03 pm (UTC)
teehee
We'll have to make banners or T-SHIRTS!
We'll wear little backbarn passes and stuff

ok, I think I got up too early.
(no subject) - pippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - annaberry on March 31st, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC)
I'm there!
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC)
I know!!!
I'm jonseing a few fleeces!

I'm gonna 86 my plans for MD$W, save the 250 in airfare and go sheep wild at NHSW.
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
yeah, sounds like a good deal.
MDSW next year.
I couldn't do MDSW anyway since I have a booth at MASW 2 weeks after NH and 2 weeks after that - hopefully I'll be at the frolic (who still hasn't gotten back to me) *bites nails.
(no subject) - pippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on April 1st, 2007 01:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
picklebootpickleboot on March 31st, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
sorry, but i have to say nonononononononononono to that. i would miss you!

can i get in on this too? shiny fleeces souind de-vine.
(no subject) - boogie_babe on April 1st, 2007 01:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pickleboot on April 1st, 2007 01:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on April 1st, 2007 01:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC)
I think the stuff I've got lurking is about an inch and a half, two on the longer.

I wonder if it's, like...baby suri fleece? Like the first shorn?
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
That just reminded me that I have a first shearing of a shetland that was really shiny. mmm and almost burgundy too.
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
HollyEQQhollyeqq on April 1st, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
I just got some Suri that is soft, shiny and light and frothy!! I love it.
I am so a SURI kind of girl! It is the merengue pie of the fiber world for sure.
And mine didn't grow it neon green but it dyed up like a champ! :)
Hope you find what you are looking for....
Sandy has two pounds of the Suri that I got last time left which is quite lovely:
http://www.homesteadwoolandgiftfarm.com/shop_gallery/pid_148.htm
Happy spinning!
BTW - ya'll are a riot!
Holly
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on April 1st, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
OH SWEET THANKS FOR THE LINK
I'm geeking out now! Alpaca! She's going to die and go to heaven with the soft! And Alpaca's WARM, which is good for her being out in cold Ithaca NY! PERFECT solution!!!
jen_in_mexicojen_in_mexico on March 31st, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
I vote for wensleydale...a soft longwool with beautiful sheen (and my favorite wool to spin unblended!!) Holler if you want a pic of the off-white wensleydale that I spun up a while back!

jen_in_mexicojen_in_mexico on March 31st, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I forgot to say it...THAT. COLORWAY. IS. GORGEOUS. *yarngasm*
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on April 1st, 2007 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Suri Alpaca's looking like the winner here, but I'm totally seeking out Wensleydale as well! SHINYWOOL!