Sunday, July 28, 2013

Swatch from last batch of 10-ply

It is cabled, 5x2-ply yarn,  that runs  very close to 1,000 ypp. The swatch is still wet from washing. The base 2-ply was loom warp spun from fine wool.

The fabric slant at the top is the result of a stitch decrease and stitch increase, so the fabric is firm enough that such changes propagate. I have never had a gansey yarn produce such clear, distinct stitch patterns.  I think it is well enough balanced that the stitch rows will not spiral across the belly.

I have been thinking about  such a yarn for more than 2 years.  Everything that I know about fiber and textiles tells me that this is the warmest and most durable fabric that I have ever knit from fine wool.  The current record holder is the gansey knit from (old) LB Fisherman's wool which was tightly spun, loosely plied 5-ply.  The loosely plied structure provided great fill to make a dense fabric. This yarn will not have as much fill, and thus must be to be knit much tighter.  On the other hand, it is less splitty, and easier to knit fast and tight.

Next week I will be salmon fishing up-north, and have been told it will be very cold.  Some of my favorite ganseys are getting a bit thread bare.  Time to knit some new ones. The question is whether 10 ply is worth the extra spinning effort.  Time to do something.

This is not "art yarn".  It does not look like hand spun.  


Charles said...

That swatch is biasing badly. Note that one leg of each stitch is mush larger than the other? That's caused by an unbalanced yarn.

Aaron said...

No, I can hold a loop of the yarn and it shows very little tendency to twist back on itself.

The difference in the size of the stitch legs always happens when yarns are that tightly knit. Go back and look at my ganseys knit from Frangipani and Wingham, and you see the same effect - just a little less pronounced because the 10-ply has a tighter spin resulting in a tighter ply-twist at each level being based on a warp yarn.