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Undyed spinning

October 30, 2008 @ 11:01 am
posted by kris
Filed under: spinning

So I’ve been faced with a spinning dilemma. I want to make a handspun sweater for my boys (I would make one for husband but thought that I wouldn’t have the patience), and the only fibers that attract me for a sweater amount would be undyed roving – like some of those grey, brown or black shetlands or undyed merino. I really think for sweaters, plain is better, especially for cable details and what not.

But then I think about spinning a POUND of plain roving. Ugh. Sounds like torture, especially when you can buy the same wool in commercially spun hanks for just a little bit more. Is it worth it? I know I would be much more prouder of a handspun sweater, but it will only be worn a little while (6 months, if I’m lucky) and to put all that work into it…for just a little bit of wear!

So then I’m back to making an adult sweater – but by god, *2* pounds is even worse!!! At least it would be worn forever (I would make sure of *that*).

What do you think? Have any of you spun up a sweater’s amount?

Comments (17)


Comment by Micki

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 11:55 am

I haven’t spun a sweater’s worth. However, if I were going to do it, I would probably choose a non-white natural colored wool. There’s some gray BFL in my stash that I’ve always thought would make a lovely sweater, and the wool itself has some natural color variation. Another option is to use some multicolor but blended roving for a tweedy effect. Or dye some white wool in a semi-solid color before spinning.

Comment by Susanne

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 12:00 pm

I’m in the process of spinning a pound of yarn, and I hope to make it into a sweater for myself. I’m trying to spin it in fingering or DK weight so that the pound will be enough.

True to my love of color though I’m using brightly colored roving in orange, purple and pink. I’ll probably look like a parrot when wearing it …

But I have been thinking of making a sweater out of naturally brown fiber in the future.

Comment by schrodinger

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

It would take true dedication, but how cool would that be? I think you’re going to have to ‘treat’ yourself to other colours in-between 1/4 lbs, I also think that the adult sweater is the only way to go, you need something that will last more than 6 months.

Comment by Orghlaith

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

Have you read the Yarn Harlot’s account of spinning to make her husband a Gansey? She has been spinning the fiber for years. Good luck with whichever method you choose.

Comment by Loribird

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

I finished a pound of sport-weight for a sweater (for me!) a couple months ago, though it was a multi-colored top. Now I’m working on spinning up yarn from a fleece I bought – it’s all one color, and though it *is* a bit less interesting, I’m alternating bobbins of “plain” brown with bobbins of hand-dyed rovings. So far it’s working….

Comment by Shannon

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

I have not spun that much yet of a single yarn – but I still vote for the adult sized sweater. I think in the longrun you’d be happier with being able to use it longer. You could do a mostly brown or neutral color sweater and add color to the yoke.
Check out some of the handspun sweaters that Hello Yarn has finished on her ravelry listing. Her Bohus or Cobblestone sweaters are nice examples.

Comment by Shells

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

Why yes, yes I did! I made a handspun lite lopi sweater. It did help to need to spin color for the colorwork at the collar, but still, 1.5 pounds coopworth roving is rather overwhelming. I did it in batches. I’d spin a bobbin full, knit it in, spin the next bobbin full, knit it in, and so on. I also eagerly worked on other spinning while I was at it, so I wouldn’t make myself crazy. It is, by far, my favorite sweater ever and I take an amazing amount of pride in it. I highly recommend it!

Comment by sandy

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 4:09 pm

I’m not up for it right now but if I ever did I think I would buy a fleece at the Estes Wool Market and get it processed. Some of the colors are amazing. I almost bought a rust colored one this summer. It was so soft and the color was to die for! Go for it! You can make it for yourself and who cares how long it takes?

Comment by Teyani

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 6:16 pm

Yeah – I’ve spun a bunch of pounds of fiber.. it doesn’t take as long as you think.
I doubt that I would handspin for kids sweaters unless I was intending to make a family heirloom. Kids just grow so fast, it wouldn’t fit them for very long.

Comment by Danielle

Made on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

I’d spin for a sweater for you. You can do other side projects in between if you get bored. Kids will outgrow, spill, tear, etc., so the amount of wearing per hour spinning is a lot less than for one for you. Plus, if you make one for you, you will get more bragging rights over time :)

Comment by Sarah

Made on Friday, October 31st, 2008 @ 12:05 am

If I were to do it, I’d have to alternate the plain stuff with some pretty colorful stuff. But I don’t think I’d have the patience — it takes me weeks to spin up just 4 oz.!

Comment by Opal

Made on Friday, October 31st, 2008 @ 1:08 am

I would do what Lori’s doing and alternate between one bobbin of natural and one bobbin of multi-colored. Good luck with your venture if you choose to do it!

Comment by Monika

Made on Saturday, November 1st, 2008 @ 10:57 pm

I’ve spun a pound of the same fiber four times now, sometimes it was even more. It can drive you crazy, or you like the natural fiber so much, with its natural variegations, that you don’t mind. If pressed I would rather spin for an adult sweater, which would be worn for a long time, or forever. :o)

Comment by Jennie

Made on Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 @ 4:30 am

wow, that’s a-lott-a spinning, especially just plain too. hmmm.. But you can always brag that you did it all since your boys are sooo worth it. :)

Comment by kelp!

Made on Monday, November 3rd, 2008 @ 3:57 am

Spinning 8oz of one colorway makes my eyes cross and gives me fits of boredom. So you go with your two pounds of natural fiber! I’m sure the end result will be worth it!

Comment by Lisa

Made on Monday, November 3rd, 2008 @ 8:33 pm

I knit a pullover for myself out of a CorriedalexRomney fleece in a lovely grey color. Definitely satisfying to take it from fleece to finished object. What about getting a white fleece and kettle-dying it to get a solid color but with some variation in dye uptake to keep it interesting?

Comment by Goldfishgirl

Made on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

Last year I finished spinning and knitting a sweater’s worth of a wool/angora/silk blend for a ‘Wicked’ sweater for myself. It was gorgeous fibre, but it took me months to spin it all, almost put me off spinning for good ;) That said, the yarn was a delight to knit with and I love the finished sweater, so it was totally worth it!

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