Back to the Back to Back!

You might remember that about a year or so ago I was pretty excited about something I’d seen on Slow TV: National Knitting Night.

Well, imagine my surprise and glee to see a little writeup of the Back to Back challenge in the newsletter of my local spinning guild!

Apparently the Back to Back Challenge has captured the imagination of another fleece-loving person in my local area!

So of course I immediately reached out over Ravelry to express my interest 🙂

And Yvonne was kind enough to send me a sample of raw local Romney to work up into a sample.

The rules: no carders or combs. No washing. No electric spinners.

The specs: 2 ply yarn, approximately sport weight.
Sample to be knit up on size 3 needles for 1×1 rib, size 6 for stockinette.

Didn’t get a picture of the fleece, because I launched right into spinning it up.

But here is my plied yarn


It’s a really different feeling, spinning in the grease. I found that I got the best results from working from the side of the locks.
The more open locks were easier to manage. the tighter ones required a bit of manual picking to permit even drafting.

and here is my knitted sample.


I got a gauge of about 5.25 stitches/inch, which is pretty darn close to the standard 5.5 generally associated with DK weight.
It’s bias-ing pretty good, and I’m sure that is because I usually add quite a bit of ply twist to my yarns, and since it hasn’t been washed, the wool hasn’t yet relaxed into it’s newly twisty shape.

Knitting in the grease is really interesting. Lots more resistance than regular knitting, due to all the lanolin and stuff.
Might be a little smoother in a slightly warmer room? Or maybe it would be messier the more melty the lanolin gets….

Anyway, I’m really hoping that we can put a local team together to give it a try. Would be a lot of fun!

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