March 28, 2005
How to prepare coned yarn
The last time I knit with coned yarn, it made my hands black and felt rough and twiney. That was fun and all, but a different fate lies in store for this batch of Harrisville Highland tweed:
Three cones of 450 yards each, for a total of 1350 yards of worsted-weight wool, easily enough for a sweater. The color is called "Raisin", and is a very warm cinnamon shade with flecks of turquoise and black. I bought them on ebay for about $25.
First, I stopped at my neighborhood yarn store and requested a "niddy-noddy". Is this not the silliest name of something? I am not sure I can go on calling it that. From here on out, let's call it the yarn-winder-thing.
The yarn-winder-thing is surprisingly easy to use. I referenced this internet tutorial, but didn't need more than a photo to figure it out. It took about 20 minutes per cone.
I tied the yarn in four places and slid it off the yarn-winder-thing. Coned yarn has some kind of oil on it that needs to be washed off to get it into optimal knitting condition. Its compressed and stringy.
From here, I washed the loose hanks of yarn. I filled the sink with warmish water and woolite and washed them in much the same way as a finished sweater. They each soaked for about a half hour or so, then were rinsed thoroughly. While rinsing, its important not to let the running water contact the yarn, because the agitation could felt it. After rinsing, I hung the three yarn hanks up in the shower to dry. It took awhile for them to dry completely, probably about 2 days. I could see an improvement even while they soaked, the yarn was visibly much fluffier. And when dry, it looked like normal wool.
The finished product:
The only downside is that they now take up a lot more room to store! Its a warm, autumnal color, so I'll probably wait until late summer until I make something from this yarn. Right now I am thinking about this sweater from Rowan Vintage Style.