My inspiration for October was this fabulously textural Globe Thistle. The results are a little more loosely ‘inspired by’ than I usually do, but I got to use some techniques I haven’t done in a while, and the results are definitely interesting.
Our Fiber is Rambouillet, also known as French Merino. If you’d like to read more about the breed, click here. This is probably my favorite of the Merino type wools, it has a nice staple length and incredible bounce. I used an impressionistic painting method of dye application on this, concentrating the dark colors more at one end and adding more light toward the other end….putting in the purple globes as in the picture.
I actually tried including two other dark colors in the first batch, and decided it was too much. However, it made a great opportunity to send coordinating braids to (most of) the double fiber folk. Here are the two together:
The yarn this month is USA grown and processed Targhee. Read more about the Targhee breed here. Targhee is my second favorite of the Merino type breeds, it also has a very lofty bounce to it, and a great staple length. Superwash treated and blended with a bit of nylon for extra strength, and this makes a great sock yarn that is also good for other cold weather items like cowls and mittens.
I won’t do speckles with powders due to the respiratory risks, so I often like to experiment with how to get similar effects. There’s a lot of blending going on, so it isn’t sharp and tiny, but more like a Monet painting. I layered on the greens, blues, gold, coral, and purple colors multiple times…..when using this technique on superwash yarn, the yarn has 4 sides to paint!!
Here’s the skein I got to keep this month (yay for cone ends!), and I spent a little time making a swatch to give you an idea of how this might knit up. My tube is 64 stitches around, and there are two different gauges. The top half is at about 8 stitches per inch, and you can see a stronger green pooling stripe. The bottom half is about 9 stitches per inch, and the striping/pooling effect is not very strong.
Each skein is going to come out a bit different because of shifting while being painted and flipped and painted and flipped, so you might like to swatch before deciding on your sock pattern, also. Any change in stitch number, gauge, and pattern will affect the patterning. I like the look of the stronger green stripe, however I like the sturdiness of the fabric in the tighter gauge, so I will experiment further with using the tighter gauge but adding two stitches and see what happens.
Are you interesting in having a surprise each month? I have several sock spots, and finally some new fiber spots open! Come check out Tiger Club….try for a month, stay as long as you like.