Spinning for a Sweater, Part 1

English Shetland Top (Spinning Fiber)
Color: Spice Jar
Source: Meat Sheep Industries

A little while ago I embarked on a major new project: spinning for a sweater (which means spinning a large amount of yarn for a sweater), designing the garment, writing the pattern, and knitting the sweater for myself to wear. I may also decide to publish the pattern. For many, spinning for a sweater is a spinner’s ultimate accomplishment. Spinning for a small project such as a hat or scarf is very doable for most spinners. Spinning for a sweater (requiring upwards of 16 or more ounces), however, requires maintaining a consistent thickness in your singles over a long period of time – days, weeks, months, or more! This is not always an easy task.

Earlier in the year I purchased 24 oz of English Shetland top (“top” is a type of fiber preparation) from Meat Sheep Industries’ Etsy shop. The colorway is called “Spice Jar”,  a simply delicious blend of coppery oranges, golds and bronze. In theory, 24 oz should be enough for a garment of some kind (based on the fact I’m 6′ 5″ tall and have a 46″ chest). Whether I end up with a vest or a sweater remains to be seen. The fiber comes cleverly packaged as if it came from an old-fashioned grocery store or meat market. Meat Sheep Industries is the creation of Joan McGuire, whose successful Cupcake Fiber Company provides spinners with exquisitely packaged fiber batts ready to be spun up into socks, shawls, and other small projects. Joan’s desire to provide spinners with large quantities of fiber, dyed in the same batch, at a reasonable price led to her opening a second Etsy shop in the spring of 2012.

Next time I’ll discuss my choice of English Shetland wool and the spinning techniques I’m using for this project. Stay tuned…


About fotoknit

Knitter, spinner, knitwear designer, photographer, blogger, former yarn shop owner.
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One Response to Spinning for a Sweater, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Making Friends with My Drop Spindle | The Stranded Knitter

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