FF: Thistle Redux

The spinning has not been happening so much. When last it made a serious appearance in these pages, I had started spinning Adrian's June offering (nothing like attending to these things in a timely fashion, yes?) after a long time away from the wheel.

Thistle in progress

My plan was to spin up the entire 4 oz as one single and then chain ply it to keep long stretches of color. This fiber was just wonderful to spin - soft, easy to draft, flowed through my fingers so smoothly that before I knew it I had a full bobbin.


Once again, I was pleasantly surprised at the difference between the fiber as dyed top and the fiber as singles. I wasn't convinced by the colors as roving, but the combination as a single was just gorgeous.

About the time I filled this bobbin there was a thread on the Spin Tech group at Ravelry about chain plying. One general consensus was that de-energized singles were easier to chain ply then active singles. So I decided to let the bobbin sit for a few days so that the plying would be easier.

Ahem. A few days stretched into a week. And then another week. And finally Ironman went off to South America for a few days for work, and I was free to stay up too late watching the Jon Stewart show and Project Runway reruns and ply to my heart's content. Which I did. The first 2/3s of the bobbin were plied in one go that took about 4 hours*. This was my first "real" attempt to chain ply, and I used the plying head for my Lendrum and went very, very, very slowly. It took a little doing, but I eventually got comfortable with the motions. And the finished yarn is absolutely gorgeous!

Picture 522

This shot is truest to the colors on my monitor

I finished it by submerging in very hot water, agitating a bit as the water cooled. Then a dunk in cool water, a squeeze to get the extra water out, and hung to dry.

Picture 524

Fiber: 18 micron merino from Hello Yarn Fiber Club in Thistle colorway, June 2007

Spun at 10:1 on ST Lendrum folding, chain plied at 5:1.

Specs: 204 yds, 10-12 wpi, soft and cushy!


I've decided that I'm a big fan of the three ply yarn. It's just so round and bouncy. I can see why you'd want to do a two ply for lace projects, but for anything else, I think I'm going to go for the three ply.

I couldn't stand not knitting with this stuff, so after some searching on Ravelry for an appropriate project, I'm going for a mini-Clapotis scarf. I'd like to pretend that it will be a Christmas present, but who am I kidding?

Thistle Clapotis
Thistle Clapotis

After one bus ride home (~1 hr) and a couple of hours in front of the TV last night, I'm well into the straight sections and flying along. Watching the colors come together is so entrancing that I even knit a few rows this morning as I waited to head out to meet my neighbor for a run. Usually I'm not much for scarves (neverending...), but this one looks to be a winner.

* Ow my aching right knee!