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 fiber weight versus yardage
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1257 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2014 :  4:35:49 PM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm so peeved.

I had this beautiful merino/bamboo in the perfect amount for a particular project. I weighed it, I thought about it, I did math. I even spun to pretty much the correct grist, and when I was done I had half—HALF!—the amount of yardage I needed for the project.

I chalked it up to crazy, and tried again, spinning for Jane's pattern Thirty-Eight. I checked what her yardage was in the yarn called for in the pattern, checked how much it weighed per gram, and I had enough fiber for all of it. When I was done spinning? HALF the yardage!

The only thing I can think of is that in both cases I spun worsted, and the result was denser than the used in the patterns. But by half? Really? Is this common spinning knowledge that I'm learning the hard way?

I did knit up Jane's Thirty-Eight with what I had. It's more of a Twenty-One, with an abbreviated stitch count. Beautiful, warm, and cushy, but I wanted a real Thirty-Eight, so I may rip it out, use the yarn for something else, and try again.

Anybody else have this problem, or have any light to shed?

Humph.



Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover

Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1804 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2014 :  4:57:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had the same thing happen with a pair of fingerless gloves I knitted for my DH. I thought I had bought enough fiber, but i was woefully short on yarn when it came time to knit the fingers. I decided that thinness of yarn is not enough. Because the yarn is plied and the plies twist around each other, the single plies both naturally become shorter in length. Give a soak to set the twist, and the yarn fluffs up, shrinking its length further.

Does this make sense?

I did finish the gloves, by the way. When I didn't have enough yarn from South Dakota fiber, where my DH is from, I finished them up with yarn I spun when I lived in New Jersey many years ago. But next time, I will purchase more fiber then I think I need.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Shelia
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USA
2366 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2014 :  08:55:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jane will come and comment, I'm sure, but I'll just start off with a couple of comments. Bamboo is a heavy fiber, and when combined with merino in combed top and spun worsted it usually makes a pretty dense yarn. Thirty-Eight uses a woolen spun bulky weight yarn, and this would be hard to duplicate with your blend and worsted spinning.

I would usually use a carded roving if I'm going for a bulky weight yarn, because even though I'm not such a dense worsted spinner, I worry about how stable the fabric will be once knitted if it's a bulky worsted-spun bulky. A smooth, dense bulky will tend to stretch with gravity more than a woolen bulky, and that's not usually desireable.

Worsted spinning can be less dense it you use a bit less twist and more take-up than you would think to use at first, maybe spinning from the fold as well. Try moving down a whorl/pulley and cranking up the tension a bit. Or save the merino/bamboo for laceweight and try spinning for the Thirty-Eight with a carded prep,

Shelia
www.breezyridgestudio.com
ravelry name - sheliaknits
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robinstephanie
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USA
1257 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2014 :  07:50:09 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, Ceil--Yes, what you're describing does make sense. Shelia's comment explains some more. Still, that difference was shocking. Glad you were able to finish your mitts.

Shelia--thanks so much for weighing in. The bamboo/merino was actually for the second project. Sorry I wasn't clear about that. The fiber I used for Thirty-Eight is 50% Alpaca, 20% Merino, 15% silk, and 15% cashmere, prepped in a loose roving. I suppose the alpaca and the silk would add to its density. And now that you mention it, yeah, it IS really heavy and gravity will have it's say, eventually. Drat. I'll keep that in mind should I reknit it.

That being said, I didn't realize Thirty-Eight used woolen-spun, or I would have mimicked that, I think. Double drat.

Thanks for this really great information: bulky weight yarn=carded prep, woolen spun. I'll give that a try. I'll make sure I have backup fiber too, until I get a better sense of how much fiber=how much yarn.



Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4390 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2014 :  09:17:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
True, Robinsteph, Thirty-eight was designed for Lot 1 of the Great White Bale -- a lofty yarn if ever there was one! I bet you can figure out how to adjust the pattern for your yarn, though. It can be sized up or down by 4's, and it has 38 rows because that's what I ended up with when I'd used one skein!

Jane

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My Website: Not Plain Jane
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1257 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2014 :  07:32:56 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, Jane! I did knit the Thirty-Eight with my puny yardage. It's just too small! I want the big, fat, cushy Thirty-Eight. To be fair, I do have a small, short, cushy "Thirty-Eight" (I'm calling it my "Twenty-One" in bitter humor.)

I have some pretty beautiful dark chocolate Cormo hogget that just finished drying. Perhaps I'll try again with that, and get myself some long draw action. OK that made me drool. I think that's the new plan.

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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