The warm breezes of spring have arrived. My crocus have come and gone, and the daffodils are thinking about it. Soon the bright hyacinths will be out, too. I love the wide array of colors they have, and my goal was to capture a few in this month’s yarn and fiber.
Romney was a great choice for this group of colors, as a medium wool it takes color more deeply, and dyes nicely evenly, giving a good intensity to these spring hues. My suggestion is to spin this in a worsted-ish method, with a little bit lower twist that you would use for a finer wool. This will keep the number of pokey ends in line with the yarn and to a minimum if you are planning to make a garment/accessory from this. Of course, this would also be a great fiber to weave with, in which case….still worsted, but plenty of twist. You can also plan to line your item, depending on how sensitive the recipient is. Or go for a different kind of project….how about a table runner or hot pad?
Titanium Tiger Twist is the sock yarn for this month. I love the textured look of 2 ply yarns, and how well they hold the holes in lace projects. Titanium also contains enough nylon to hold up to being socks. I dyed this yarn in a there and back (and there and back again) pattern, with the aim to getting the colors to stack up and make mini-stripes. It was quite the operation as I made myself a template to handpaint the skeins.
Here’s how my skein measures up. While I tried to paint them as similar as possible, the colors wick as they are applied, which makes each skein unique. When I was planning this colorway, I spent some time with the Planned Pooling generator (here is is with these colors in place.) Here was my original estimate on how it would turn out:
While I knew the round was a little too long for the colors to overlap very much, I knew I could get the illusion of stripes by grouping the lighter and darker colors together.
Entering the actual stitch numbers from my swatch, the Planned Pooling generator gave me this:
Maybe I didn’t count quite correctly (half stitches, etc), but it’s close. Here’s my swatch, I started with 72 stitches at the bottom, and reduced to 68 at the top, then played with the tension a bit, which didn’t seem to make much difference in the pooling. I’m pretty pleased with the 68 at a little less tension (higher gauge) for my foot and knitting machine, so I’ll be using that for my sock (unless I decide to weave with it instead). (I ended up with about 8.5 stitches per inch.)
So, play with the number of stitches and gauge, and if you want to further break it up, there are some wonderful patterns that use slip or tuck stitches. If you want to puddle the colors, patterns with short row sections, or alternate strip construction are handy, you can find some of these on Knitty. Crochet of course puddles up colors nicely, and you can try planned pooling on a larger project (my scarf is here), or you could use the yarn as warp for a faux ikat project to keep the colors together (which is an option I am considering).
I have a few fiber spots open for April available here. We’d love to have you!!