Easy Peasy

When I first saw the Peasy cardigan, for the first time in my knitting/spinning life I knew *exactly* what I wanted to do.  I wanted to find a nice charcoal colored fleece, overdye it a cranberry red, and spin it into yarn for this sweater.

When I went to the Connecticut Sheep & Wool show that April, I found a perfect Romney hogget fleece in the exact color I was looking for.  Because it was a Romney, which is a longwool, it would be less inclined to pill.  As a hogget fleece, it was fine enough to spin into a DK weight yarn that would not be terribly prickly.charcoal-romney-hogget-fleece-0428131077

After many years of spinning, I find yarn that has been dyed a solid color to be very flat and boring.  When I want a solid color I like to dye fiber in multiple colors and blend them.  This gives the appearance of a solid color, but with greater depth and nuance than I could achieve by mixing the dyes first.

After sampling some of the undyed fleece to get a feel for how much I needed to dye to get the yardage I needed, this is what I started with:  overdyed-grey-romney-fleece-0513131111

When I’m going for a uniform blend like this I start by figuring out how many batts the amount of fiber I have is going to make. My drum carder won’t hold much more than an ounce at a time, so for convenience’s sake, I split this lot up into 12 batts, roughly 25g each.

I divided each individual color by 12 by weight and blended them into an initial series of batts, 2 passes each on the first round. I then divided each batt in this first round by 4 (by weight) and blended again, so I had 3 stacks of 4 ~25g batts. I divided these batts by 3 and blended, ending up with 3 stacks of 4 batts.  The final round I divided each batt in half, ending up with two stacks of 6 batts, which I then pulled into roving for spinning.overdyed-charcoal-romney-batts-0821131420

The finished yarn came out exactly as I had envisioned it.  cranberry-overdyed-romney-0824131529

The knitting took me about a week, with another week to get around to weaving in ends and blocking. The final touch on this sweater was the buttons, which I made from sterling silver.peasy-0913131616

Done!  Easy Peasy!







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