Yarn stuff

Well, I have lots of exciting yarny plans. It was my birthday last week and with my birthday money (I’m a very lucky wifey) I decided to spend it upon a kit from jamieson and smith called Alcott which is a pattern featured in The Knitter magazine a while ago. It is a gorgeous fair isle tank top in cream and pastels, not my usual colours but very pretty. The yarn arrived very soon after:

It reminds me of sherbet and I couldn’t wait to get started…so I did! I carefully cast on 312 (gulp) stitches and joined to work in the round. Now I have a bit of a sloppy relaxed attitude to knitting and never worry about twisting when doing this. However this time I paid close attention to ensuring there were no twists and happily carried on knitting away (you know what happens don’t you?), and finished about 7 painfully slow rounds before realising, to my horror, that was a socking great twist in it. Arrhggggg. I had to frog the whole lot (after several fantasies involving a weird kind of steek thing) and start over. Three nights later this is what I have

I think this will be a very long knit…
On fleecy news I tried a suint bath. I had not heard of this before coming across it a couple of weeks ago, don’t ask what I was looking for online that led me to this but it had something to do with my usual yarn obsession. Now, for those of you not in the know, a suint bath uses fermentation to break down the lanolin, bugs and vegetable matter in the fleece. All you have to do is soak the fleece in a huge bucket of soft water for around 7 days. Lovely Mr Knittingkitten rigged up an impressive water butt that could be easily filled and drained without too much of the water getting any where. This was important because I had read that by a week the whole lot completely honks. The fleece I decided to ‘bathe’ was one I acquired earlier this year from a farm in Dunnet and is, if I remember rightly a shetland zwartble cross.

It’s a lovely fleece and needed very little skirting. I saved some of it to wash as usual so I could compare results and the rest promptly went into soak

I almost immediately regretted it as I discovered that the more lanolin-y a fleece is the better, something to do with how this reacts with the water (think of soap) and Shetlands aren’t especially that way inclined. This was compounded after washing the small part of fleece, carding it and spinning it as it is the most beautiful wool, very soft and easy to work with. Anyway, that was a week ago so we rescued the soaking fleece this morning, it was fairly smelly and there was an unpleasant scum on top but we drained it left it to dry this afternoon

Fingers crossed, I am hoping for lovely fluffy clean fleece….

2 thoughts on “Yarn stuff

  1. Studio65

    Your progress on Alcott is stunning! Please do keep on with the updates.
    I am also quite interested to know how your Shetland fleece turned out from its suint bath. A few years ago I gave a Merino X this same treatment and was quite pleased with the results. Once dry, it was soft as could be and there was no odor from that nasty, week-long bath water. Quite miraculous, really.

    1. knittingkitten04 Post author

      Thank you for your interest 🙂 I haven’t really made my mind up about the suint bath yet. I think I didn’t choose the right fleece as it didn’t have all that much lanolin in it and I understand that that’s what helps it all along? It came out ok, definitely ok enough to card and spin now. I have another fleece, I can’t remember what kind, a white one though (that narrows it down!) with a lot of gorse in it. I may try that one to see if the VM breaks down.


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