Spinning with a purpose

Over in Ravelry, a group of us are getting ready to do a KnitALong (KAL) with Sandi Wiseheart. End result of the KAL is a cardigan that's been designed to fit the knitter (or the knitter's intended victim) and also teach us about the designing process along the way. Sandi will be starting the KAL in August because I, hopefully along with a few others, plan to spin yarn specifically for this project.

I've started a thread on Rav for those SpinningALong (SAL) but am going to blog about it as well. That should let me ramble on a bit more and add pictures where it makes sense. Goal of this series of posts is to talk about the process of spinning for a specific project with an eye toward making a yarn that you love and that also works for it’s intended project.

I’m also working with Sandi to write up a swatch that’ll be indicative of the small amount of non-stockinette patterning that is part of her design so that you’ll be able to really get an idea of what the finished product will look like. That swatch will be posted here for all to see/use.

Full disclosure - I’m a very new spinner and I certainly don’t have all the answers! This is more of an opportunity for me to be a bit public about my thought process and hopefully give and get guidance along the way.

Jennifer and Susan will be offering dyed Blue-Faced Leicster roving in both superwash and non-superwash. Please consider purchasing through them to help support the project! Details for purchasing fiber and yarn should be available this coming Thursday, 6/24.

In an earlier post, Sandi pointed us to this Knitting Daily blog entry to help determine how much yarn will be required to knit up her cardigan. To save folks some electrons, here’s the relevant section:

Misses Sizes 32-40 Bust (for a regular, comfortable-ease pullover; add 5% for a cardigan)

* sportweight: 1400-1600 yards (1300-1500 meters)
* worsted weight: 1100-1400 yards (1000-1300 meters)

For a longer, loosely fitting, or oversized misses-sized pullover (add 5% for a cardigan)

* sportweight: 1500-1900 yards (1400-1750 meters)
* worsted weight: 1300-1500 yards (1200-1400 meters)

Since the yarn Sandi calls for is a DK/light-worsted, I’m looking at numbers between sportweight and worsted to estimate my yardage requirements. Using straight-line interpolation, I’m making this estimate:

Standard fit pullover (add 5% for cardigan): 1250 - 1500 yards (1150 - 1400 meters)
Loose-fit pullover (ad 5% for cardigan): 1450 - 1700 yards (1300 - 1575 meters)

The extra 5% nets out to less than 100 yards in all cases.

My bust size is a 34, so I start out at the low end of the yardage scale so I’ll do my estimate for a size 34 and then do some fudging from there. I’m going to shoot for 1300 yards of yarn.

Next step is to work out fiber based on that yardage requirement.

A little surveying of DK weight yarns put me in the neighborhood of 250yds per 4oz. This is a bit over-estimated and also mill-spun. Handspun is often of a lower Yards Per Pound (ypp) than millspun simply because of the way the commercial process handles fiber. Again, since I’ll be reserving for sampling and generally rounding up, I’m not going to get too hung up on this.

Ok, back to calculating.

1300 yards, divided by 250 yards = 5.2

Multiply that by 4oz = 20.8oz

16oz per pound and we get = 1.3 pounds.

Being conservative and ensuring that I have enough to sample, I should be able to get away with 1.5 pounds. But, since I’m really planing to have at it, I’m ordering 1.75 pounds. This will let me relax and make up a decent sized sample skein (maybe two) so that I can ensure I’m doing the Right Thing.

Comments/corrections/readjustments welcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, welcome back!!!