I haven't had a spinning update in awhile because there really isn't anything new to report. I'm still working on my Pol-paca blend for weaving. Last update on that here. I have about five or six more skeins, but basically it's just more of the same.
Cyndy made a comment on that last spinning post however, that got me to thinking. She said,
I am making my own head spin wondering how you tabulate how many yards of yarn to spin for the number of yards in the fabric...In turn, I'm going to tell you a story, and then show you how I measure and calculate handspun for projects. I will do that over a couple of posts, so let's just say that this one is the introduction.
I had an experience when I first started spinning that has left me a tad paranoid ever since. I created my first 2-ply handspun (pictured on left) from two pounds of Brown Sheep mill end roving (aka "beast" roving.) My yarn was quite bulky and I was very pleased with it. Being the project person that I am, I decided I wanted to make a sweater with it. I chose the "Stone Circles" pattern from Sylvia Cosh's Crochet Sweater Book, and spent many happy hours working on it.
Imagine my dismay when I ran out of yarn before I finished the sweater. But, being a rather determined sort, I recalculated and tried some modifications. No luck. Next I tried a different pattern. Same results so I tried again.
Now, my husband will be the first one to tell you that if anyone can fit ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound bag, I can. Even so, I could not make that yarn stretch enough to get a sweater out of it.
In the end, I chose a crochet vest pattern; one I found on a Lion Brand skein wrapper from a project long before I learned to spin. I added a reverse stitch crochet for the edging, and omitted the pockets. I've been happy with that vest ever since, and don't regret that it didn't become a sweater. I love to wear it over a denim jacket when the weather turns extra chilly.
All's well that ends well, but I learned something valuable from that experience: that I need to calculate project needs before I ever get started. I admit that I'm still always a little nervous about this. With careful measuring and calculating, I usually end up with yarn leftover.
So how much pol-paca yarn will I need to weave a coat? I'll start figuring that out next time.
Posted 13 April 2009 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
Calculating Handspun For Weaving