Ich bin ein Nachtmensch.
I am a night Owl. (One who does not speak German, I might add, but it was KnittingKittens’ German Phrase of the Day, and appropos.) As a full-time working mommy Owl, there are not enough hours in the day – particularly hours in the day where my undivided attention belongs to someone else.
Thus, knitting is pushed back on the clock. Finishing, even father back. That, and my inability to keep the guest bed clear of piles, stacks and boxes lead to many FOs waiting for attention.
And so it was until the witching hour earlier this week, when I pulled out the bottle of Eucalan to give my project in the ~ ahem ~ June Wool-along for the Knitter’s Book of Wool the attention it so richly deserved.
“Rich” fails to describe the depth of color in this naturally dyed yarn from Long Ridge Farm. Spun from 80% California Variegated Mutant (CVM) wool and 20% bombyx silk, knitting with it was a discovery process in and
of itself. It felt rather heavier than fingering weight, and it seemed to have quite a bit of lanolin in it. Close inspection revealed a somewhat heathered effect in the yarn resulting from the natural color of the CVM. I had no sense at all of the fabric it would produce. it seemed perfect for the Prairie Rose Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark.
It turned out that the actual knitting was incidental to the rest of the process in the wee hours when I gave it a bath. The water immediately turned deep oxblood. I gave it a good
soak before rinsing … and rinsing … and rinsing some more. And another bath. And rinsing … and rinsing …
The reason I could do this in warm water fearlessly is because I know the fundamental rule of wool and water: constant temperature + avoidance of agitation= NO felting. Au contraire, mon frere, look at the pictures. The yarn transformed into a true fingering weight and blocked like a dream.
Nancy at Long Ridge Farm discontinued this particular yarn owing to this very issue with dye removal. (Per my previous post, I should have washed before knitting with it.) It is rather ironic that low-impact dyeing caused so much waste of water. And as a responsible shepherdess, she is mindful of the footprint her sheep leave behind.
So I’m really glad to hear she’s developing new dyes and yarns, because the resulting powdery hand and incredible blocking made every pre-dawn dunk worth it in my book.
Here, then are the project specs:
Yarn: Long Ridge Farm Signature Yarn, 2 skeins
Needles: Addi Lace US 5
Modifications to pattern: Not a one. Are you kidding? It’s an Evelyn Clark pattern.
Pre-blocked size: 37 inch wingspan, 17 inch spine
Blocked size: 53 inch wingspan x 23 inch spine
We’ll have to see what goes in the bathtub next ~ and what comes out!