Crochet, knitting, astronomy & life in general.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Autumn Leaves cardigan

Carl Sagan once said, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe." I felt a little like I'd just invented the Universe with my most recently finished sweater. Two years in the making, the roving from which the yarn was made was dyed a couple of summers ago, the yarn was spun on a drop spindle over the course of those two years, and then the whole sweater was knit in less than a week.

In the beginning, there was the dying:

As I wrote in a previous blog post (unfortunately, all of the image links are broken), this roving was dyed with acid dies in the summer of 2012 during a very fun afternoon with Joanna. This is what the roving looked like after it was dry and all nicely braided up:

I spun the whole lot (I'll admit that I never weighed the whole mess, so I'm not entirely sure how much there was) on my cut acrylic drop spindle from Seven Yaks Design. I chain plied it so that it would be a 3-ply yarn with a roughly DK to light worsted weight. Of course, it was closer to fingering in some spots and aran in others, but I think the average thickness was about DK. Here's some of it on a niddy-noddy:

From how many times each skein wrapped around the niddy-noddy, I estimated that I spun approximately 588 yards of the stuff. Here it is drying after I washed all the yarn:

And finally, here's the sweater!

I loosely followed the Ruby Tuesday pattern by Ewa Durasiewicz, a round-yoke top-down design, but because I didn't get the same gauge with my handspun as called for in the pattern, I didn't do the third set of increases. Somehow, I managed to do the right calculations and end up with a sweater that fits me perfectly. The buttons don't match, but I kind of like it that way. Best part: I used up all the yarn!

As a first experience knitting with hand-spun yarn, I've gotta say, it's pretty amazing. The knitting experience felt so natural and organic, it was like nothing else. I would recommend it to anyone. I can hardly wait to finish spinning up my next batch of yarn to knit with!