I’ve never really got my head around spinning for something. I get distracted by pretty fibre that only comes in 100g and you can only make so many shawls really. Well one would probably be good but the patterns all look a bit scary like you need to concentrate and stuff. Plus, and this is the killer, I don’t actually wear shawls. So what to do?
Well this clearly an issue I’ve contemplated previously as I delved into my ever expanding fibre stash and came out some time later with 1oz of qiviut. Yes, that’s right, a whole 28g but the American kind. I know why it’s such a small amount. Qiviut is the down of the muskox (I don’t really know what that is, I imagine one of those huge brown things you see in herds rambling across vast plains on the telly) and is one of the most luxurious (read expensive) fibres in the world and it’s reputedly eight times warmer than cashmere.
So you can only buy it in small amounts or risk bankruptcy. But what to do with it? Thankfully, there are few patterns knocking about for teeny weeny amounts of qiviut given that no one can ever afford that much of it. But I’m getting ahead of myself because there’s no way I would have been organised enough to find a pattern first then spin according to what was needed. Of course not!
After a little research and a couple of failed spinning attempts later, I picked it up after spinning some cotton. Now qiviut, like cotton, has a very short staple, hence why I’d found it a little, ahem, challenging. But not nearly as
pull your hair out and scream before throwing your wheel though the nearest window difficult challenging as cotton. So after spinning cotton it felt like a breeze (are you following me so far? This is becoming slightly, shall we say, involved).
I spun it long draw with lots of twist in the singles then plyed them as normal and carefully measured how much there was.
I found a pattern via Ravelry (thank the Lord for their clever searchy thing with yardage and stuff) from Caryll Designs for a cute scarf in a fairly easy feather and fan type pattern called ‘Wavy Feathers Scarf’.
And here it is, I’m not 100% sure I spun the qiviut properly as it’s not as soft as I expects. It’s starting to bloom a little; like angora, it fluffs up once knitted and worn so I’m hoping it will soften up too. You’re supposed to spin it with a lot of twist but that does make for a harder yarn so we’ll see.