Status report

OK, it's January 6th - where do things stand on the January projects?

Item the largest: Falkland spinning. Given the magnitude of this undertaking and the time frame, I've chosen to do a bit of sampling to make sure I get in the same ballpark as the orginal yarn. The sweater was knit in nine natural colors of Shetland 2000, a fingering weight Shetland wool yarn. 190 yds/50 grams, which works out to 1727 ypp. The gauge for the sweater is 32 stitches/32 rows per 4 inches (something has to be wrong with that row gauge, but whatever) on US 4/3.5 mm needles. It has taken me quite a while to figure out how you get 8 sts/inch with fingering weight on US 4 needles, and I've actually given up and moved on.

Sample #1: spun long draw, from top split into four chunks lengthwise, 15:1, plied at same ratio, finished with a soak in Soak and warm water. I knit a swatch with the suggested needle sizes (US 3/3.0 mm and US 4/3.5 mm) and then threw in US 2/2.75 as well. The swatch was then soaked in the same manner as the yarn, and I measured the gauge after it was dry.

River Run sampling

Results: 17.5 yds/0.2 oz (7g) = 1326 ypp. Too heavy, although handspun tends to be denser then millspun, so maybe ok. Gauge with US 2/3/4 respectively: 7 sts/10 rows, 6.5 sts/9 rows and 6 sts/9 rows per inch. Hmmm...

Sample #2: spun from the fold, 15:1, short forward draw, drafting against twist. I didn't feel like I was getting very consistent singles with my long draw, so I tried something a bit different. Finsihed yarn as for #1. Swatched with US 1/2.25 mm and US 2/2.75 mm.

River Run sampling #2

Results: 14.2 yds/0.176 oz (5 g), 1291 ypp - not surprisingly, the more worsted style of drafting gave me a denser yarn. Gauges: 7.5 sts/12 rows and 7.5 sts/11 rows respectively, but the swatch is a bit bulletproof. Which led to

Sample #3: spun from the fold on my highest ratio (17:1), but plied at 12:1. Drafting was more of a short forward draw, but I still tried to draft against twist. The singles were definitely finer - closer to 55-60 wpi then the 40 wpi I got with #2. Swatched with US 1 and 2 again.

River Run sampling #3

Results: Wiktory! (I think) 12.75 yds/0.14 oz (4g), 1475 ypp. Gauges: just over 8 sts/6 rows and just under 8 sts/10 rows per inch. The swatch is still fairly soft and bares no resemblance to Kevlar. Or elica82's socks.

One thing I have learned is that this Falkland reacts like a puffball mushroom when it hits water - poooooof! I suspect that my gauge will loosen up a bit with the colorwork, so now I need to come to terms that I may be knitting an entire men's sweater on 2.75 mm needles. Thankfully, the chest size has gone down quite a bit from my first estimate, so I'm not worried about running out of fiber. My problem is going to be running out of time!

Ok, on to other projects:

Smaug socks - 5 repeats and a heel flap done as of 5 January 2011 (Tomorrow Never Dies gave me a good opportunity to get ahead).

Smaug in progress

And the IM Aran front: five repeats of the main cable done as of last night.

Ironman Aran in progress

So tonight - throw the kids in bed by 7:30, knit 12 rows of cabled goodness and then spin, spin, spin.

Note: everyone reading who has not posted a comment on my list for 2011 better go do so: otherwise JoAnna will be getting a large package of wooly goodies all by her lonesome! I'm looking at all y'all down there in Houston (or in Switaly as the case may be), you and you in Chicago and you who are related to me (Mom!). It's really easy - just click on the comment button and tell me your goals for 2011, knitting or otherwise.