One of my favorite, but not yet used yarns is Juniper Moon CSA share yarn. This yarn came from the 2010 clip.
For a knitter, buying a CSA share for yarn is an exercise in delayed gratification. Fiber CSAs can operate a little differently from each other, but here’s my understanding of the general process: You buy a share for the next “clip,” or a year’s growth of wool. Then this is what has to happen before you get your share.
Whew! It’s a long process, but completely worth the wait. In the end, I’ve got a beautiful breed-specific yarn (Cormo!) that was made from wool grown by well-cared for and loved sheep. And don’t forget a small farm and mill have been supported.
The share yarn is semi-solid, so it will really sing in a field of stockinette. The only snag is that Belville is a 2-color project. To keep this sweater all Cormo, I decide to use a
natural-colored Cormo fleece.
I like the color combination, but the colors are close in value. Compare a color photo of the yarn and some of the combed fleece to a grayscale image of the same photo.
Will these fibers look good together? Is the lack of contrast between the colors a bad idea? There’s only one way to find out. And overdyeing the fabulous natural-colored Cormo it is an option, just not a preferred option.
The goal is to create a yarn from the fleece that will work with the pattern and the share yarn. So I start by taking apart a bit of the share yarn:
It’s a 4-ply that appears to be spun worsted. Each skein weighs 100 grams, so each ply should be about 25 grams. So, I comb 100 grams worth of this exquisite Cormo and divide it up into 25 gram piles.
Using one of the plies of the share yarn as my guide I get to spinning. The fiber from this particular fleece has got a lot of spring, so I spin it in a mostly-worsted-but-semi-woolen manner. (In general, I try to spin in a way that enhances a fiber’s characteristics and this seems to be the right way to go for this Cormo.)
It’s a little heavier, but acceptable. I’m not looking to copy the yarn exactly, and the spinning is suitable to the crimp and springiness of the wool. So I continue on, spinning all the singles, then plying. What do you think?
I wasn’t looking to copy the yarn exactly, but was interested to compare the two yarns.
The share yarn is 250 yards per 100-gram skein (2.5 yards per gram). My handspun is 135 yards in the 85-gram skein. (The other 15 grams were used in the sample below.) This makes the handspun only 1.6 yards per gram. A good example of small differences (spinning singles not quite as thin as the share yarn singles and not quite spinning worsted style) having a large effect.
Now onto knitting a swatch.
I like the look, but will it work?
Colorwork stitches: 5.25 stitches per inch on US 7 needles
Stockinette stitches: 5 stitches per inch on US 7 needles
Colorwork stitches: 5.33 stitches per inch on US 8’s
Stockinette stitches: 5.5 stitches per inch on US 8’s
Playing around with needle sizes and adjusting the pattern will be necessary, but do-able.
To be continued…