Sunday, October 12, 2008

Shine

I've always been something of a plain Jane. Although I always try to be presentable, I don't actually like to draw attention to myself. And stereotypical feminine interests like clothes, makeup, jewelry, accessories, and shopping have never held much appeal for me. My no-frills sensibilities also transfer over to my yarn choices. I tend to like traditional plied yarns; no novelty yarns for me, thank you very much. (However, I do like color, so I don't think I'm a complete fuddy-duddy.)

Recently though, I spun a couple of yarns that made even me say, "Ooh, shiny!"

sq mt fr fiber
Over the past year, I've stashed a few merino/tencel blends, but until now I had been a bit hesitant to try spinning one of them. I had read a few comments about tencel being tricky to spin, so I thought it best to wait until my spinning skills were a bit more developed. Now I can't help thinking, "What was I waiting for?"

Fiber: Squoosh 50% superwash merino 50% tencel, "Fraises"
3 ply
390 yards
105 grams

sq mt fr skein
I'll admit it, I've never been a fan of pink. It's far too girly for me. But pink and brown? That's a color combination I can get behind. As for this fiber blend, I can sum up the spinning experience in one word: smooooooth. The fiber just slipped through my fingers, and there were really no neps to speak of. My only complaint is that the fiber tended to drift apart. After each spinning session, I had to wipe up wisps of tencel from the furniture and from myself. Everything the fiber touched ended up looking as though it were covered in cobwebs.

sq mt fr swirl
I consider the yarn itself to be an unqualified success, though. The tencel adds a lot of shine and drape. I know a lot of tencel blend yarns are marketed for socks, but I'm not so sure that's the best application for this fiber. Tencel really has no elasticity, so I think it's better for things like scarves and shawls. In fact, I'll probably aim for laceweight the next time I spin this blend. This skein has already gone to its new home with my friend Edith, and I can't wait to see what she makes with it.

The second fiber blend has a shine that's a bit more subtle than the tencel blend, and I think I like it all the better for it.

asu bl/gr fiber
Fiber: All Spun Up 60% merino 40% bamboo
3 ply
410 yards
107 grams

asu mb bl/gr skein macro
The white bamboo fibers in this make the yarn look almost like it has a frost on it. The effect really is lovely. And the fiber itself was dreamy to spin. I'll definitely be treating myself to more of it in the future.

asu mb bl/gr swirl macro
Compared to the sw merino/tencel blend, this yarn has quite a bit more bounce. I attribute it to the slightly higher percentage of wool and the fact that the merino is not superwash. The yarn has enough elasticity that I would consider making socks out of it. It would also make a lovely scarf, cowl, hat, or pair of mitts. Hmm...

14 Comments:

At 10/12/08, 11:46 AM, Blogger Dave said...

They're both lovely, but I love the blues, especially frosty ones ... :-)

It's good to hear that the bamboo is more versatile than the tencel.

 
At 10/12/08, 5:26 PM, Blogger Bea said...

oooo...shiny object...

Both are really pretty. Love the pink and brown.

 
At 10/13/08, 9:54 AM, Blogger Donna said...

Wow, your spinning is tremendous - I *cannot wait* for the day I can spin sock yarn (but practicing for it is fun).

 
At 10/13/08, 10:09 AM, Anonymous KellyHL said...

Beautiful! Love the pink and brown!

 
At 10/13/08, 12:25 PM, Blogger Angeluna said...

Gorgeous spinning as always. Curious as to what you will make from the blue and Edith from the pink. Your yarns are such a treasure that deciding on the perfect pattern is primo.

 
At 10/13/08, 5:06 PM, Blogger bockstark.knits said...

oh my, they are both unbelievably gorgeous!!!!

 
At 10/13/08, 10:49 PM, Blogger Lone Knitter said...

Again--such awesome and inspiring yarns. I agree with you about tencel socks: not a good thing. I do think tencel sock yarn would make for a lovely scarf, like the Chevron scarf in Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

 
At 10/14/08, 1:21 AM, OpenID guiltypleasures said...

I agree with you on the tencel that it probably isn't the best choice for sock yarn, but it's so gorgeous!

I've got some merino/bamboo in the stash now that I'm more excited about spinning.

They are both stunners! The colors are yummy.

 
At 10/15/08, 3:32 AM, Blogger LittleBerry said...

you wer ereading my thoughts... I put myself off spinning earlier this year by forcing myself to do art yarns!!!! pink with lime green is my favourite combo to 'help' pink along :o)

The spinning is beautifully and your yardage is amazing... any chance we could have a photo of one of your singles?

Both yarns are nice but have to say the pink one in this case is my favourite.....

 
At 10/15/08, 3:49 AM, Blogger Opal said...

Both are just gorgeous! I've been really wanting to try some merino/bamboo, but it's so hard to find. I'm so with you on the pink and brown. Such a winner!

 
At 10/16/08, 2:49 PM, Blogger Oiyi said...

I never liked pink either, but that skein is gorgeous.

 
At 10/24/08, 2:22 AM, Blogger Knitting Bandit said...

I was 7 posts "behind" on your blog and came back to so much prettiness. I decided it would be too repetitive to comment on every skein you've spun telling you how gorgeous it is. But really, it's all so pretty...I would happily knit with any of them. You make beautiful yarn. True yarn pRon!

 
At 10/25/08, 1:15 PM, Anonymous Sharon said...

Your spinning is gorgeous! I'm loving the 3ply's. I'm just about to start on my 2nd 3ply (only been spinning since May).

 
At 10/29/08, 10:25 PM, Blogger Sheri at The Loopy Ewe said...

Oh my word - I want to spin like you. Your handspun is absolutely amazing!!

 

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