Spinning for a Project - Wolkig Cowl

Wolkig Cowl photos by Martina Behm

Wolkig Cowl photos by Martina Behm

The Wolkig Cowl by Martina Behm has been in the back of my mind as a project I want to spin yarn for since it came out in Knitty's First Fall 2017 issue.

When I came home with some Hipstrings merino/silk fiber that my daughter oohed and ahhhed over, I knew I had a fiber match.

To help me get it done I'm going to track my process here. Let me know what tips and tricks you have for spinning for a project.

The first thing I do when I spin for a project that calls for a commercial yarn is to dissect the yarn the pattern was designed with.

Wolkig was knit from Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend Fino, a fingering weight yarn. Here is the yarn info I can find.

  • 70% merino/30% silk
  • singles
  • 6-7 stitches to the inch knit in stockinette
  • 1550 YPP
  • 16-18 WPI - this is a guess, since I don't have the yarn in hand. I based it on a combination of YPP and knit stitches to the inch. That makes it in the range of Sock/Fingering/Sport


Hipstrings Lapis Lazuli 

Hipstrings Lapis Lazuli 

Having those yarn facts, lets me know that I can spin a yarn to match the Fino. But my next question is, do I want to? What changes would I want to make to the yarn? 

The fiber I have is a blend of Merino/bamboo/ silk/sparkle. It's going to be gorgeous, but not very durable, pilling-wise. The streaky-ness of the fiber is something to consider for yarn making too. I like not fully blended fiber blends, but I also like yarns that aren't altogether consistent.

When I spin a lightly blended fiber mix with a worsted draft, the occasional bumps caused by the fiber being not wholly blended makes me a little nuts. If I am drafting woolen it doesn't bother me.

I'd like a little more durability in my yarn for this cowl and fiber, does that mean a worsted draft or adding plies?

There is also color to consider. Not fully blending the fibers causes striping, lengthwise. If I spin it from the end it will marl. If I spin it from the fold, it will speckle more than stripe (marls look like stripes to me), and it will be woolier, adding to the durability question.

What's a spinner to do? Sample until the cows come home, or at least 3 or 4 yarns. 

You know what I'll be doing this weekend!