Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A shawl fit for a queen begins with a single combed wool nest

I've long been in love with the Queen Susan Shawl pattern, available free on Ravelry and developed by knitters from Rav's Heirloom Knitting Forum as the quintessence of fine Shetland shawl design and execution.  It's a very large, traditional shawl and I've looked at it and similar patterns and intended at some point to knit one.

Naturally being me, I decided I should use hand spun wool, not commercial yarn. I use hand spun a lot, right, what's the difficulty? The difficulty is that this will require spinning about 7500 yards of finished yarn. Yes. That's a lot. A big sweater to fit my oversized body in very fine yarn might require 2000 yards.

I have at least 5 whole fleeces in the house in various stages of washing and combing. None was perfect. The wools I have that would be perfect I only have in little amounts, enough to make 500-1000 yards or there a-bouts.  But I've settled on a Rambouillet-Targhee-Polypay X I bought last year as the most suitable of what I have, and started combing. At least each little combed nest gives me several minutes of spinning, since I'm spinning it fairly fine. I'm not spinning it as super-cobweb fine, because I'm not going to ply it but use it as simple singles; there's just no way I'm spinning 15,000 yards and plying that.  I'm shooting for as even as possible, as it's silly to plan on such an involved knit with a slubby second rate yarn.

So here I go.
The first few dozen yards on the first bobbin.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

Holy moly! Well, the good news is you could do fewer repeats and still reach the same size if your yarn isn't as thin as the pattern's!