It’s severe storm season, and we can’t go a hot second in Iowa without talking about the weather (wait 5 minutes….it’ll change!). This inspiration picture struck me as the right balance between bold and summery, yet could be a nice fall into winter feel. I pulled out some different colors than suggested, focusing on the purple into grey and black….with a shazam of light.
The fiber is Icelandic combed top. It’s a 34-36 micron wool, lightweight and good for felting. The fibers are long, suitable for lace spinning, or make the traditional Lopi low twist thick singles yarn, held together and relaxed into the twist by some light felting in the finishing. This wool is probably be spun worsted, but it could be fun trying to add some loft to it. The colors and micron are somewhat close to last year’s Southwest Sunset on Southdown (except Southdown is much more reluctant to felt). Think carefully, but they could be interesting used together….maybe differential shrinking in a woven project?
The yarn is Safari, and I went with a double there-and-back variegated pattern. The yarn acts as a resist against itself where folded, so it really did a nice job of catching the moody and billowing thunderheads of the inspiration picture. Your skein will be unique in the way it took the colors, and how much the blues and golds show up on each segment.
I went a little overboard with my swatch, but I always enjoy showing how a small change can make a big difference in how variegated yarns behave. If you see near the bottom of this swatch, I was knitting with a pretty firm tension, probably about as tight I can comfortably knit this yarn on my machine. See how the bold is making a bold diagonal from bottom left then off to the right? For my taste, that’s maybe too bold and regimented, and the way it is spiraling will shift with the heel and such and maybe not quite come back the same (I guess I could do an afterthought heel to avoid that). I ticked my tension dial (like loosing your gauge, or switching to bigger needles….or adding a stitch or two), and the yarn settled into a more organically soft spiral stripe, and that’s what I’ll aim for if I do socks with it. I continued to tick the tension looser, and the stripes got a little fatter. That’s probably the loosest tension I would want for socks, I’m pretty happy with the middle bit. Do experiment with your gauge, I know swatching is a dirty word, but a bit of time at the outset will give you a better idea of what your yarn will do with your gauge and stitch number….and give you an opportunity to adjust before you’ve invested time in a fancy cast on and ribbing.
Just for fun, here is last year’s Southwest Sunset with Thunderbolt. I think these could be interesting to use as a project together, which is why chose the same yarn for this color. I’d love to hear your ideas!
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