Friday, 9 December 2016

Fibreshed Knitalong in Melbourne

I have signed up for the Fibreshed Knitalong which requires me to use local yarn to produce a garment. Many people around the world will be knitting the same garment, the Radiata Shawl Pattern available at It has been specially selected to accommodate different yarn types.
I have decided to spin my own yarn to draw attention to the current practice of sending our local product offshore to be scoured and spun. So much of this processing was done in Australia, but it is a lost industry. I have acquired fluff from three different sources: alpaca fibre from Miner's rest, just north of Ballaarat. 

It will be plied with corriedale wool from two different sheep. I have a lovely soft grey fleece from a sheep called June who currently lives in Somerville on the Mornington Peninsula.
The other fleece also contains a lot of grey and was delivered to me in Caulfield by Steven from Bulart Alpacas. It comes from the western part of the state, near the Grampians. 

I am spinning them all in the grease so I can benefit from the lanoline when spinning the wool. The skeins will be washed before knitting. So far I have spun a bobbin of the alpaca and half a bobbin of June's lovely soft fleece. Both of these have spun easily and finely. I have had not a choice in how to spin them; they both want to be fine. This was one reason I decided to incorporate a third thread, a fairly recent decision. 
There is another reason for combine three different fibres. I have been spinning another yarn recently with three different fibres: two alpaca threads and one corriedale. This yarn is being knitted up into a jumper. I have been fascinated by the way the different colours interacted. The two alpaca threads were black and fawn while the corriedale (from a ram called Clyde) was dark brown. Despite the black and dark brown being similar, the fawn tends to dominate as I knit it. It reminds me of the random order of genetics. As I am doing this project while also exploring the family tree and tracing cousins, I am feeling resonances. I am curious to see how all my different shades of grey play out in my shawl.
The first meeting with other Fibreshed Knitters will be held next week. I am looking forward to sharing this project with others.

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