My Boneyard

Several months ago, in mid-winter, I knit Stephen West's “Boneyard”. I had spun some wool on my drop spindle which was very softly spun. Normally, I like a yarn that is quite firm and has good definition. But I've been working lately with spinning much softer yarn with less twist. It is not easy! I wanted just enough twist to hold the fibres together, and just only. This meant that my spindle kept dropping quite often because I didn't have enough twist. And that was alright too -- I knew that I was just on this side of that crucial amount of twist, so just needed to add a bit more.

I had to make some adjustments to Stephen's design, of course. I cannot ever just leave it alone! I started according to directions, but as I knit, I wanted more curve to my scarf, and did it so. That did work quite well, but I still wanted a bit more curve to the long side arms. And I also wanted to do something with the colour. Here is the scarf as I did it.
This spring, I again spun up a couple of skeins of very softly spun yarns, and kept looking at this scarf, thinking I need to do it again, but better this time -- with more planned changes. I thought that the ridges could be more prominent, probably in another colour. I thought of black and perhaps red? That would work well together. I only had some black, so that is what I used.

This time, I started out in the first row to introduce the increases much faster, creating the curved arms. I felt it would fit better for me so that it would be wider and not as deep. This yarn was a bit thicker than the previous one I used, and perhaps the needles were as well. At any rate, the second one is larger than the first one, which is okay too. I will wear this with a coat that has a deep V-neck opening, leaving my throat open and this would fill in that spot nicely.
The depth of the centre spine is 43 cm -- I'm not sure what that is in American, but it reaches from under my chin to my belly button. That should work just perfectly!
(Boneyard June 2013)
This is a pic of it drying on my "blocking wall". I took it to the office, and pinned it to the cubicle divider which is a fabric-covered styrofoam wall into which I can stick pins. It works very well!

Looking at it now, I am visualizing another one, with perhaps just half a row of red! I dunno -- I just want to push the design a tiny bit more!

Image icon Boneyard June 2013.jpg1.19 MB
Image icon Boneyard1.jpg1.03 MB



I like both! Do you dye your own wool? I was wondering if you do what the color would be like? I have a Stephen West cowl i am hoping to work on this summer for winter. I also found a place here near by who teaches spinning. Thinking of trying this.

Tallguy's picture

I do some dyeing, but haven't really had much time lately. These were either natural, or dyed in the the roving before I got it.

When dyeing coloured wool, you will be adding to that colour. These are grey, so any resulting colours would be slightly mottled and greyed down. A very nice effect, I think. For really clear and bright colours, you need to start with white wool.

These are all spun on the spindle. I do most of my spinning on the spindle, and the wheels are very neglected, and only scowl at me. But the spindle is just easier -- for me -- to use, and handy. I really like the one I have -- just a homemade CD spindle. But I use it exclusively for spinning everything from fine to thick, and for plying.

I would suggest that you give spinning a try. Some people just get the hang of it quickly, and some never do. You won't know until you try. But I caution you: do you need another addiction?

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very nice. I like both versions very much.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

CLABBERS's picture

Nicely done! I like the shape, colors, and pattern.

43cm = 16.9"

TinkerJones's picture

These are great... and pinning them to your cubicle wall is brilliant. Especially like the light grey with the dark stripes

Nehkhasi's picture

Both Shawls are lovely!


docs1's picture

Hey Tallguy! Long time. Great work.
As to the challenge of spinning more loosely and with less twist, my recent fiber adventures have suggested to me that specific fibers work well that way...besides the classic Icelandic fleece and similar wool, I have really found even a small per cent of Suri alpaca in a blend helps to do those low twist singles.
You have probably seen the method on a wheel of faking lopi - spin a single and run backwards really fast to loosen it. It works but tends to drift apart if your spinning is not super even and consistent in twist. The real lopi I guess is traditionally low whorl lap spindle. I have not got one and now am looking at a foot (kick)spindle from heavenly handspinning as a possible answer that would make it easier to use both hands to focus on the drafting.
Love the shawls, guess I need to go back and see the original.