Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Splice Method for a New Project

I have a beautiful yarn. It's half alpaca, half wool. It feels lovely. Not buttery soft, but sturdy and soft with a nice bounce to the spin.

It's also a beautiful "prune" colour with heathery flecks of every other colour. Subtle but delightful.

I used it for a cowl described here, but I still had some left over, so I thought I would make something else. It had to be small because I don't have a lot left and because I don't currently have the wherewithal to handle something big.

Oh, I should mention the one thing that's wrong with the yarn that I have left is that moths or some other bug got at it. The balls used for the cowl were ok, but this one has quite a number of breaks in it. Or sometimes it is not a complete break, but you have to treat it as one.

Like this spot:
Can you see that the middle section has only one of the three plies left? Not so good. What is good is that I recently read a post in Ravlery that described another way of splicing yarn that doesn't leave a bulky section or ends to work in later. It works best on wool or wool blends that will felt.

First I cut the yarn at the weak spot and raveled the plies back about 1.5 inches.
I raveled the top piece into its three parts and the bottom piece into two parts (one ply/two plies).

Then I cut one of the plies off the top one and cut the single ply off the bottom one:
You now have three pieces that you can braid.

Pin the top to anchor it:
and then start to braid.

I ended up doing almost two inches, but I think one inch would probably do.
Once it's braided, cut off the ends close to the top/bottom of the braided section. Then wet your fingers and rub the cut ends in--you just need to twirl the strand between your wet fingertips and the ends will felt down.

Can you see the braided section in the middle?

Here it is from a little further away:
and you can barely tell. The join is very strong and keeps the strand consistent. Even though it's actually four plies instead of three, the braid is tighter than the spin and it evens out.

The only bad part of this join? It takes quite a bit more time. I'll be saving it for when I really care!

And what am I making?
I started a pair of gloves. They fit...well, like a glove, and I just love the way they feel. (In case you're worried about the part at the wrist, I started with a provisional cast on so I will pick up those stitches later and knit the cuff down from the glove. Once again, I am worried about having enough yarn. Story of my life, but I have a plan B so I'm not concerned.)

All for now...go forth and splice!

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