I spun and knitted samples of Merino/Tencel, Silk, Merino and BFL from CJ Koho Designs all in the same colorway: Henry.
I wanted to know how the difference in the texture of a fiber or fiber blend plied with a different fiber or fiber blend changes the look of the knitting – marling with texture.
I took these:
I was most interested about how the Merino-Tencel and Silk would look with the Merino and BFL, because while the Merino-Tencel and Silk are shiny and Merino and BFL are matte, they are all shiny or matte in different ways. So I plied Merino-Tencel and Silk singles with BFL and Merino singles.
Merino is lofty and so matte it looks velvety. BFL has a visual density because of the bit of of luster and less loft than Merino because of staple length.
Even though the Tencel is mixed with Merino it gives a bigger pop of shine, Tencel reflects the light more and the contrast with the matte of the Merino makes it look shinier. The silk greys out the the colorway and even though I spun it worsted it absorbs the light, especially when plied on itself.
First up Merino-Tencel and Silk plied with BFL
In these two combos I can really see that BFL has luster, the Tencel and the Silk don’t seem as shiny as they do with the Merino. The swatches are both physically and visually denser, but I like the subtlety of the not so shiny shine. I’m wondering about a sock yarn with the BFL and Silk. I think I’d add some nylon to the BFL first.
Merino-Tencel and Silk plied with Merino
I have to confess that I’ve done a bit with combining Merino-Tencel and Merino before and I love it with a deep passion – the loft, the shine, the super squeezey sponge-y love. I want to spin and knit a sweater out of this combination.Â The Silk combo is not too shabby, the Silk shine really pops against the Merino.
And because I know you want to see it – Merino-Tencel and Silk plied together:
This one surprised me the most. I love how both the Tencel and Silk shine but differently. I thought the Silk would get lost, but it holds it own against the Tencel. I want experiment more with this combination, it would make spectacular sexy lace.
Tour De Fleece Update:
It is with a big sigh that I must report to you that I completely sucked atÂ the Tour this year. 1 bobbin, that’s all I spun. I was hoping for a pound at least. Life and deadlines just got in the way. Next year the yellow jersey will be mine!
So how did you do on the Tour? What is my experiment with texture inspiring you to do?
Jillian is the author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts.
She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing.
Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com