I’ve had fun this month, keeping up with Bill King and his latest project. It started off when he sent me the photo, on Page 54, of hanks of yarn drying in the sun. I loved it and asked him to tell me more. It seems he was given a raw fleece and decided to have a go at spinning some yarn. Having not used his spinning wheel for a long time he admits he was a bit rusty. However, the hypnotic pleasure of drawing out the carded fleece soon took over. He admits the yarn was rather uneven, but there was huge satisfaction in watching the hanks of yarn pile up. He plied two ends of his spun yarn together and was fully intending to hand knit it, but set off in a different direction before he found a pair of needles.
A trip to his freezer revealed some damsons and black currants that needed using. Then, inspired (of course!) by Alison’s article last month, he was side-tracked into a colour change. Having dyed the hanks with the fruit, such was his excitement to see it knitted, he abandoned thoughts of rather slow hand knitting in favour of his chunky machine.
It’s a matter of opinion, but I agree with Bill that machine knitting can be compatible with hand-spun yarn. However, feeding the yarn manually rather than threading it through the tension mast helps to take away some of the mechanised neatness of machine knitting. The uneven nature of the dye, with some hanks taking more colour than others, changed the colour of Bill’s original raw fleece to a lovely Ombré dusky purplish grey. Turn to Page 11 and you’ll see him wearing his new sweater. I asked him (nicely!) to tell me what he’d done and he’s sent me the basics. I’ve turned it into a pattern, hoping it may inspire some of you to try something a bit different and it’s coming in our October issue.
This month Bill turns his hand to some amazing stitch transfer patterns with his much-loved 7-prong tool and Alison has been knitting a wall of colour. Barbara’s stunning jacket and skirt is an all-time classic and next month they’ll be joined by Susan Guagliumi. She’s sent us two gorgeous sweaters – one is a boxy tweed sweater and the other is a top with a twist. The fronts are knitted extra-long, then grafted together at the back neck. The extra length is given a quick twist before it’s slipped over the head, to create a draped, scarf-like front. You’ll love both designs and we’re so fortunate to have la crème de la crème in the magazine. Until next time, knit happy!
NEXT ISSUE October 2023
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