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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Machine Knitting Handspun Yarn

Last weekend was the Sheepdog Trials event in Kingston at Grass Creek Park. It's an annual event in which I have taken part for years. I have a lovely time and my work travels back to far flung places such as the US and Australia! 
The skein I was handed.
One of my favourite parts is the Sheep to Shawl event where Handspinner/Weaver guilds race to the finish working on a woven shawl which starts with a fleece straight from the sheep. I stood watching for a while, chatting to the spinners saying that my Mum once spun be a tiny bit of yarn to work on the knitting machine and I wondered if a knitting machine would qualify for the 'shawl' part of the sheep to shawl....rules inspected - No. Anyway they would have to spin way more to compensate for the warp that it already on the handweaving looms at a Sheep to Shawl.



At the end of the day one of the spinners handed me a skein of yarn they had spun after the event especially for me to give it  a try. I brought it home and washed it in Eucalan, not a big wash so it still smelled a bit of 'sheep' but lots of 'guck' came out. Here it is hanging on my washing line.




 Here is is dried and ready to wind and knit.
Small ball.

 Here it is on the knitting machine, I had to be careful as the fluff in the yarn kept getting caught on the brushes so I had to pull it tight as the carriage came close to the work.

I used my Brother 930 with a lace pattern on Tension 5.





Here is my finished swatch using the whole skein and then steam pressing it. I may wash it again to see if I can soften it up and get the rest of the 'sheep' smell out (which I actually like!)