The local alpaca rancher I spin for recently asked if I would design and knit her a vest out of the homespun. I agreed to this task as I was really interested in how this bulky yarn was going to knit up. Armed with her measurements and a few ideas I came home to brain storm. I originally thought I would use Anne Budd’s book as a template to expand upon, however, I found her designs to be rather uninspired. Then I went to ravelry to look at vests there. Again, not so much to use for inspiration.
The woman I am knitting for wanted a long sweater and both of us wanted me to utilize both the white and black hand spun I had created. After fiddling a bit with what to do about the color change, I finally decided to add a bit of color work that broke up the color change so it did not look like this sudden black to white division. I knit and was happy to get the project to a point where I could join the shoulder seems and baste the side seams for a fitting. This being my first custom knit project for someone other than my children, I really want things to fit well, before I finish it off.
There I am, 11 pm the night before I am taking it down for the fitting, steam blocking the vest under my can lights…. The whites don’t match!!!! When I joined a new ball, the new one is MUCH whiter. since this is a natural fiber, I kind of knew it could happen, but It is SO noticeable! Luckily, I have more of the fiber both the whiter and the more dingy. Also, lucky for me, since I am knitting at 3 st per inch, re knitting it is not as much extra work as it seems. After trying it on, the front pieces really do need an extra inch before I put on the front bands so I would be re-knitting anyway. I have heard of dye lot issues, but I never have had it happen to me and not in such a drastic way. And I am not even dealing with a dye lot. Just two different alpaca fleeces.
I will report to being pleased with the way the hand spun is knitting up. The color flubs are working well and I have realized that I have been a bit too even handed with plying in the bits of color. All of my flubs happen at intervals that are a bit to regular and so the tend to group in areas. There are enough random ones to keep things looking even, but I need to shorten the spacing.