Spinning Fiber into Gold

Spinning Fiber into Gold, or How I Blew the Yarn Budget

50% Qiviut/50% Silk from Windy Valley Muskox

While we were in Alaska, I was on a mission to find qiviut – the insanely soft yarn made from the inner fiber of the muskox.  Our first stop was the Large Animal Research Station at the University of Fairbanks.  Check out that link, it has some good basic information about qiviut and muskox.  All of the qivuit from the LARS is handcombed in the spring when the muskox shed the warm inner layer.  While the gift shop was closed and we weren’t able to get close to the animals, I did collect a little bit from the bushes around the research station. 

I found qiviut at a few other places, mostly tiny amounts at gift shops.  I hit the mother lode at a yarn store in Fairbanks.  They had a huge variety of colors and blends to choose from.  I dithered about it for two days, trying to justify bringing home any amount of this super fine, better than cashmere, yarn.  By this time, my husband had made a joke out of my obsession, saying that I was going to spin the fiber into gold, it was that rare and that expensive. 

Finally, I decided on a skein of a 50/50 blend in the natural grey color (1 oz of laceweight) to make into a smoke ring and 1 oz of fiber to spin later.  I’m a little hesitant that my spinning skills are up to par with this fiber, but I figure it won’t hurt to have it on hand later when I have more spinning under my belt and can do it justice.  Apparently qiviut doesn’t have much memory, so it tends to sag and droop in projects.  The best projects for qiviut seem to be things like scarves, smoke rings and shawls.  Right now I’m leaning towards an Ice Queen smoke ring, but I’m open to suggestions. 

100% Qiviut Fiber


Olympic Training

Hours of dedicated training time.  Sore muscles, anguished cries and the hope that maybe this time I can pull it off.  That’s right, I’m in training for the Olympics. 

The Knitting Olympics anyway. 

The Knitting Olympics is something that The Yarn Harlot started several years back.  It only happens (at least for Stephanie Pearl McPhee) once every 4 years during the Winter Olympics.  Last year, during the Summer Olympics, Ravelry started their own Olympics.  The idea is that you pick a project that can be completed during the 2 weeks of the Olympics.  As with any Olympic sport, your project should be something that stretches your boundaries – it should push you to the limits of your knitting endurance.  You then sign up for a team on Ravelry and announce your project.  Several teams are taking members already.  I know the Yarn Harbor in Duluth is sponsoring a team, although as far as I know they haven’t released the details. yet. 

So what’s my project?  I’m not totally sure yet.  I think it would be awesome to spin my own yarn for the project though!  Maybe out of this…

It’s beautiful roving from Cloudlover Fiber


Otherwise the green that you see above is actually green and chocolate brown striped Louet Corriedale that I Navajo Plyed. I just finished that last night and I can’t wait to see how much yardage I have.  It’s not all that even in thickness, it ranges from worsted to fingering weight.  I think I spun it over such a long period of time that my technique has changed.  I do have roving left over, but I’m not sure I can replicate what I’ve done.  Plus, I’m anxious to get on to the Cloudlover Fiber.  So, if you have any pattern ideas for something I can knit out of my crazy handspun, let me know!