Friday, April 01, 2011

Just 20g

A story of 20g of fibre and the dream of making it into something useful.

First, I’ll declare my interest. My Heart Exposed (link to the folksy store, Helen’s blog) are having a contest to celebrate being one year old. Happy first birthday MHE!

Well, I’m a little later than that to the party. I only recently got my spinning wheel, so I hadn’t really looked into fibre much.
The week before the wheel, I ordered a sample pack from Fibreholics to have a look at what some local (UK based) indie dyers were doing with fibre. One of the samples was a 20g braid of MHE Corriedale fibre. Now, I’d been battling with some factory produced Corriedale at this point, and though it washed up into a nice yarn it wasn’t that nice to work with. So, I confess I was a little wary of the MHE Corriedale. I expected it to be like the Corriedale I had so far used.

How wrong I was!

Helen uses rainwater in her dying process, and only 100% natural dyes. Despite this, she gets amazing colours, such as the beautiful lavender and gold in this braid. (These photos are a little darker than in reality, the yarn (later in the post) is a much truer colour!)

My creation
An array of different colours that all work so well together!

The fibre was lovely and fluffy, clearly treated with care during the dying process, and much less harsh on my hands than the commercially dyed top I had been using. 20g was enough to produce a lovely 36 yards of 3ply yarn, at around Sock weight (15wpi) (I Navajo plied to maintain the colour repeats, I didn't want to blend the lovely lavender and the gold into one muddy colour!)

My creation
I did consider putting it in a box frame on the wall!

Then came the challenge – what could I knit that would effectively show of these lovely colours, the striping and yet would only need 36 yards of yarn?
A few simple ideas spring to mind – crocheted flowers, a small toy, coasters and cup-clutches. All small and some useful, but not really what I was looking for.

MHE Balled
Wound into a ball and ready to go!
Once I had measured the wpi I knew all the details I needed to search on Ravelry for an appropriate item to knit. There were lots of ideas, but the Flourish Bookmark from Ninaclock designs stood out as a great idea! It specifies slightly more yarn than I have, but I can make a smaller tassel. I love to read, I'm always in need of a bookmark! I use whatever I can lay my hands on, so a lovely little knitted reminder of this lovely yarn seems like a great idea (and might be the way some of the other samples go too!)

I can't say in words what these lovely photos show for the bookmark... so here it is.

My creation
Self Striping Bookmark

Pattern: Flourish by Ninaclock designs
Yarn: Handspun MHE Corriedale
Needles: 3.25mm
Modifications: Only did 3 repeats because of using the lager needles
Verdict: The pattern is great,the fibre is great, and the yarn is nice - I'm so pleased with it!


My Heart Exposed Yarns said...

OMG! I couldnt have imagined this, your bookmark is just exquisite! so so so pretty and I adore the way you've spun the yarn so that it stripes the way it does with all the colours fading into each other at each change. I love this, have got to try and make one for myself now, you have completely inspired me. Thank you so very much for such a brilliantly put together blog post, am entering you with three more entries into the competition :)

Steve said...

And the book looks like "I shall wear Midnight" ? :)

Tsuki said...

I adore it too! I had about 23g of yarn to start with, and used about 13g on the bookmark. I'm thinking of using the rest to make another bookmark or similar.
And it's already getting good use in my latest book purchase: the intentional spinner!

Tsuki said...

@Steve - yes, it is! How could you tell from that one page? haha.
It's not mine, sadly, which is why it was to hand; I'm returning it to its owner!