Ben and I decided that we’d make Christmas presents this year. With everyone coming to our house this Christmas (Mom, all 4 of my brothers, and my eldest brother’s wife), it’s kind of a daunting task. What I decided on was hats and mittens for everyone, from a FiberTrends pattern, out of handspun wool and wool/silk.
I bought a 2 lb 9 oz wool batt from Val and Kris at Table Rock Llamas, and 10 silk caps, and started separating the batt into layers. I decided, in my insanity, that I would dye the wool and silk at different stages for one or two of the hats, to make them different. I’ve got 6 “colorways” dyed right now, 6 wool batts and 6 silk caps sitting on the railing, waiting to be spun.
Since I was going to dye the other 4 silk caps after they were spun (2 after spinning, 2 after knitting), I decided to spin them early. A tip for anyone spinning silk caps on the wheel: Pre-draft all of the layers of your silk cap before your first treadle. They spin up really quick (because you can’t really draft them anymore, and you’re just getting the spin into the really long pre-drafted fibers). I worked on 2 caps, and got a small bobbin-full. I plied that with THREE bobbins of the wool batt to get ~190 yd of wool/silk ply. And I had a large piece of the batt left over (from which I got another ~75 yd of 2-ply).
I’m hoping there will be enough wool/silk for the brim (folded up or rolled up) and wool 2-ply for the rest of the hat. And enough colored wool left over for the mitten cuffs (I still have 4 “layers” of the batt that I can dye in complementary colors, or in grey or black if I sho choose) I think I’ll start with the blue-green batt tonight and spin until I’m done with that, then spin its corresponding silk cap maybe tomorrow night and ply.