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31 March 2007 @ 06:56 am
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 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)
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:03 pm (UTC)
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.
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
ok, I think I got up too early.

You and me both!
That is what I get for going to bed at 10! LOL.
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
At least you get coffee :(
But beware, unless this passes (which it may) all I'm going to want to look for at NH is shiny fleece!
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC)
Well, the thing with shiny fleece is you take a handful, do what you may with it & the phase passes, and blab, it lingers in the stash for a few .. and then when the urge hits..
Okay, I know I can justify any fiber purchase at any time, but, I think the overabundance of fleece never needs to be justifyed....

& Coffee is over-rated.. (er, I'm trying to cheer you up.)
I'm doing tons more tea these days.
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC)
Nope. still want shiny fleeces. :) I have enough though. I probably shouldn't even shop at NH, I should be a good girl, visit my pals, and walk around with you gossiping all day - it better be sunny this year. I don't want to be carrying my shiny fleece back to the car in the rain :)

Thanks hon. I like tea, I just feel dull. My coat isn't shiny.
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC)
"Hello, sir, there's this fleece I've been reading about in this community I'm in...It's called "shiny fleece"...can you tell me what that is?" "O_O"
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC)
"Oh yes, that comes from the Bling Breed... Over here we have a Bling X Tinkle"
(no subject) - applefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
Hahaha early, I've not been to sleep yet! Granted, I was up at 11:48pm, but still. My sleep habits are BIZZARE.

Baa baa black sheep, have you any SHINY wool?
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC)
I remember the days when I was allowed to have odd sleep schedules.

haha - I'll be asking all the little sheepies that. I want to go to MDSW - I won't want to wait for NH.
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
heh, I dunno what I'm going to do when I actually have to go back to work...Shoot myself in the face? Naw...just find a job I can sleep through! Matress store employee! "zzzzzz HUH? Yes, this IS a good mattress!"
(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)
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
It is only a week longer to wait!
(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!
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
"Shiny Fleece Or Bust" shall read our tees!
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.
Pippipippikneesocks on March 31st, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC)
Whaaaaaaaa frolic hasn't gotten back to you yet?

But, I'm sure you are there.
boogie_babe on March 31st, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
I should try to email them.

I might end up with a shiny fleece from each show. More fleeces!

I am definitely goign to have my eyes open for coopworth and maybe some lincoln - I've only had lincoln in top form and I don't like it. I think I'd like a fleece better.

Especially since we've basically pointed out that each breed may have a shiny fleece hiding in it's flock somewhere. I have seen some almost shiny Black merino - maybe that's the bigger needle in the haystack to look for - a shiny merino
Lalalalalalalalaapplefaerie on March 31st, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC)
oooooh a shiny Merino...it must exist, somewhere! A shiny BLACK Merino would be a wonder to behold! "It's the perfect fleece! A colour you can't dye yourself effectively, shiny, and zomg microns!"
(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.
boogie_babe on April 1st, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
Anyone that finds a shiny fleece this season MUST post about it here. We all need to see/hear about it!
picklebootpickleboot on April 1st, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
I got a flava pack from stoneleafmoon, and got shiny red mohair locks. I really want a nice fleece. shiny would be a major bonus. Maybe in MD.
boogie_babe on April 1st, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
I just washed some of my mohair locks today because of this thread.
Lucky you going to MD. Color me jealous. I hope you find something fantastic there.