I'm also trying to knit from stash because, really, I do not need more yarn. The problem, of course, is that one doesn't need more yarn, but the next project in the queue seems not to match any of the yarn in the stash. Why is that?
With some consideration, I did decided I could make my jacket using two handspun yarns already in my stash.
I started with one ounce of the Leicester longwool purchased from the Rivendell Farm booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool. I went through the bag and arranged all the locks with tips facing in one direction and butts in the other. I also used the opportunity to clean up the fiber, shake out any vegetable matter, pull off any stray wool, etcetera.
|Locks with dye just poured on them.|
|Locks with dye mixed from squishing.|
I rinsed the locks and allowed them to dry for a day or two. Before spinning, I used a mini-card to flick the cut ends open, so the wool was nice and poof-y and ready to grab. I had spun up a couple plies from the leftover blue base I used for Blue-tiful. I tailspun the dyed Leicester longwool locks as I created the two-ply core. It took me about 3 to 4 hours to tailspin the locks into yarn. I used the time to catch up on some of the television I recorded while I was away. I finished the yarn with two iterations of a few minutes in the steamer followed by a cold shock plunge into ice water. Then I let the yarn hang, slightly weighted, in the guest bathroom to dry.
Esther sells five yards of tailspun for about $100. Those of you who don't spin may wonder why the price. Really, $100 for a yarn that takes this much time (both dyeing and spinning), is a bargain.
Or, you can just take classes and have the joy of doing it yourself. Which is why we take classes.