Friday, October 7, 2011

Getting Creative with Laceweight Cashmere

I'm in love with cashmere.  It's so delightfully soft and warm and light, yet surprisingly strong.  And it gets softer the more it's worn, so recycled cashmere is even more delicious than new.

The catch, of course, is that most cashmere sweaters come in fine gauges, so the yarn I reclaim from them is usually lace weight.  I'm afraid I don't have the time or patience to knit or crochet with lace weight yarn!  

I know that some fiber artists ply several strands of reclaimed laceweight together to produce a thicker yarn.  It just so happens that I have a spinning wheel in my closet (my mother's).  But I don't know how to use it, and I don't really have the time to learn.

So I decided to try working with several strands held together.  I've seen some nice projects on Ravelry that were made with three, four or five strands held together, so I knew it could work.  

The project I had in mind for this yarn was the Feather and Fan Scarf by Eliza Purnell.  I started with three strands of laceweight cashmere and an H hook, but to my surprise the result was too bulky.  I think it's because this cashmere is extra fuzzy, so it behaves like a thicker yarn.  It took just two strands of laceweight to get the perfect texture.

...did I mention that I love cashmere?  I love the softness of this yarn as it glides through my fingers.  What a treat!  I'll be working with cashmere more often from now on!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Organizing Yarn

Over the last year, I've accumulated quite a large stash of recycled yarn.  Some of it is intended for my own use; the rest is gradually making its way into my Etsy supply shop.  

As my stash grew, I realized that my storage method--big plastic tubs collected from thrift stores--was not going to cut it.  I was running out of places to put the tubs!

As I looked around my crowded bedroom, I saw that the only available space was on the wall.  At first I thought of shelves, but then I had a better idea.

I bought sheets of pegboard from my local home improvement store, and nailed them to a frame of 1" by 2" boards.  Then I recruited my brother to help me hang the whole thing on the wall.  He drove long screws through the frame and into the studs in the wall, so that I can load this thing with lots of yarn without having to worry about it crashing down on anyone's head.

The yarn is hanging on 10-inch pegboard display hooks from Azar Displays.  Each hook is long enough to hold a sweater's worth of reclaimed yarn, unless it was an unusually large sweater, or unusually bulky yarn.  

I love having the yarn accessible like this.  It's easy, and fun, to select yarn for a project when it's all spread out in front of me.  It's easy for me to locate a yarn if I've sold it on Etsy and need to package it up for shipment.  And it's easy for me to enjoy looking at all the pretty colors . :)