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10. June 2011 12:12
by Jobo
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Laminaria... in BFL Silk Handspun

10. June 2011 12:12 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Purple Butterfly BFL Silk BraidI've been working along on this... a few rows at a time - Using the nice shiny smooth handspun from "Purple Moth" Wings n' Things Fiber club from Allforloveofyarn (Shown at the left, to refresh your memory of the lovely purply pinkishness)

The yarn itself is coming along pretty well... though I guess you might call it "thread" over yarn really.  My first spindle full was 17g and yielded 170 yards of nice fine 2 ply.  I decided I would do a smaller amount to test first and make sure it was turning out as planned.  I hope to be able to put a bunch more on for the next couple of skeins... maybe as much as 40 - 50 g before winding off?  If the calculation holds true, I should be able to get 900 - 1000 yards from this 112 g braid - which should be lots and lots!

Normally Laminaria is knit from a regular laceweight yarn on size 3.5 - 3.75 mm needles.  Since my yarn is a bit finer, I decided I would use slightly smaller needles (my 3 mm Woody Knitters Needles to be exact)  that way the finished piece wouldn't be too airy.  I really like the way the wood needles grip the thread, and creates such a nice feel for the knitting process.  I know if I was working on steel needles I'd knit tighter, so I figure that my loose knitting on the smaller wood needles shouldn't be that bad.  Either way, I'm going to have lots and lots of yarn (the original large pattern only calls for 600 ish yards of yarn) so if the shawl isn't looking big enough when I reach the point where you normally switch to the border transition... I'll just do more repeats!  How's that for knitting on the fly?

The spinning itself is taking place on a Zebisis stone whorl spindle... I've never actually weighed it though, so I can't tell you the exact weight.  I'd say it's around 1 ounce, based on behavior and comparison to my Golding.  It took a little practice to get used to working without a notch in the whorl, but I think I've gotten the hang of it now, and the yarn is fairly consistent.  The second cop is in progress as my current travel spinning project.  I've been working on it during lunch break and when waiting.  I had better get going on it though... the first 170 yards has almost been knit up!

purple moth spindle

I've completed the first section of the pattern:  the star stitch portion.  I like the texture of this stitch, though I bet it will flatten out a lot during blocking.  I'm finding the yarn size vs needle size to be satisfactory so far.  This stitch pattern is supposed to be more dense than the lacy open part... so I guess I won't know until I get some lacy bits whether I will be completely satisfied.  I've gotten over half of the transition section done, but that's mostly just more star stitch.  Hopefully tonight I will be able to progress more into the flower lace section and see how that's going to look!

Laminaria star stitch section

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