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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Shazam: Right Front

For Fiber so chunky you gotta eat it with a FORK (ahem, hay fork that is), look no further than then SHAZAM!

I finished the Right Front last night – wooo – it needs serious blocking, but Oh Baby I love that Stitch Definition. I LOVE Cabling! (New Knitters: learn How to Cable HERE). These cables just JUMP off the body of this sweater! Comin’ to Getcha!~ (In a very friendly way, but of course!)


Tweed Yarn is such a mystery to me. Magpie came in Plain or Tweeds and I’m using the Tweed offering – it is SO different. The Plain version is softer and loftier; Magpie Aran Tweed is dense, dry and less elastic.


Spinners? Please educate Us? Please?

I did some judicious Googling and came up with: NADA!

I’m intrigued – how’s it made – why do they put those little flecks in there – why is it so much DRIER than the normal wool…

10 responses to “Tuesday, October 19, 2004”

  1. Julie says:

    Good question! I’ve wondered the same thing myself, so am glad you asked it. Looking forward to the answers.

  2. Ingridh says:

    I bet the staple is much shorter in this wool so the yarn has to be denser in order to produce a yarn that won’t break easily (although all my cat has to do in plonk down on my felted tween to break it….drat him)…

    And the flecks?
    ‘Traditionally, the people would gather the colours locally – yellow gorse, orange lichen, red fushia, purple blackberries and these colours give Donegal Tweed its distinctive flecks, known all over the world.’

  3. froggy says:

    gorgeous cables. can’t wait to read the answers to your question. should be very interesting. and i see cables in my future. your pattern is very inspiring. i better head over to your tutorial some tips.

  4. June says:

    To heal yarn of dryness, give it a nice bath. Wash all of the spinning and carding oils out of the yarn with some shampoo, then give it a conditioning rinse (a generous glug of hair conditioner in the water).

    Dense and less elastic are invariably twin sisters. Think about cotton yarn – that has to be much more tightly spun than wool because it has such a short staple length. Thus, cotton yarns are not elastic and denser than equivalent grist wool yarns.

    Now, as to why Magpie plain and tweed are so different – I’m not sure, but here’s my best guess. Tweed flecks are little nubbins of wool (often 2nd cuts during the shearing process), and they have a much shorter length than regular locks. Because they are shorter, they have to be spun more tightly to lock the nubs in place. Thus tweed yarn is denser and less elastic.

    Bonne Marie, when are you going to dive into handspinning? I bet you would love it!

  5. peggy says:

    How gorgeous is that!!? I really am in awe. I gather this is your own design and to have cranked it out so quickly and so perfectly… ‘scuse the drool but I LOVE it!!

  6. desha says:

    I’ve got the cabling bug too. I am currently working on two cabled sweaters. (A girl’s gotta have variety!)

    Beautiful – and you’ve gotta love that color!

  7. corine says:

    bonne marie, your blog never disappoints. this tweed business is as fascinating as your cables. nice tutorial.

  8. Tiffany says:

    I am a spinner but I would not classify myself an expert.

    The strength definitely has to do with how the yarn is spun:

    I am guessing Magpie is spun *worsted* with a long staple wool where the wool is combed so that the fibres lie parallel which creates a stronger smoother durable yarn. And that the Tweed Magpie is spun *woolen* with many different fibre lengths that are randomly orientated; soft, lofty and warmer but not as strong.

    I noticed this as well while I was knitting up my Retroprep with Rowanspun. The yarn had no give when I was ribbing. I try and pull my purl stitches for even tension. While I was pulling the yarn strand after the purl stitch my yarn would break. Because of this I tend to favor the stronger of the two — worsted. It may say if it is woolen on the band but I can’t remember.

  9. Becky says:

    Your entries never fail to disappoint. Look at that chocolately cable goodness! (I think I’m going to go get myself a cup of hot chocolate.)

    I myself wondered why some tweed yarns are not very elastic. Some tweeds and tweed blends break easily, like Rowan’s Felted Tweed and Phildar Legende. I wonder if it has something to do with the inelasticity of it as well?

  10. Bonne Marie says:

    OOOH – I’m starting to get IT! Thanks for all your explanations – I’m going to go pull apart – unply – some of my yarn and see what they did.

    YEAH – deconstruction could be my Daylight in the Swamp…

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