It all started when my friend Linda decided to sell her loom and give up weaving. She had a little stash of weaving yarn that she doubtfully showed me. She didn't think that the flat, firm wool yarn used for weaving could be knit with. But I knew better. All you had to do was skein it (I used my swift for its opposite task), wash it, and it would fluff up into, in this case, heathery fingering weight yarn.
The tall cone of yarn at the extreme left is lace weight cotton, which I haven't yet contemplated using. But the rest is fingering weight wool (except for the grey which looks like dk or sport) imported from Scotland. This yarn reminds me strongly of Jamieson Spindrift, a commercial knitting wool meant for fair isle and stranded color work and emulating the colors of the now unavailable (except through her website) Alice Starmore yarns.
My mystery yarn is two plies, each ply a mixture of the same two colors. One color must be in larger quantity than the other, because each yarn has an overall color look: green (of a greyish variety), purple, and brown (or dark, dark red - you can't tell which, but I lean toward brown). The mix colors are green yellow, blue, and green blue respectively. Here is a close up of the yarns after washing and winding. They look lighter in the photo than they actually are.
I have 2,000 yard of each. What will I do with them? Well, I have leftovers of similar yarn from many years ago when I made faire isle sweaters. (No, I 'm not a pack rat, but I do know what to save and what to toss.) The purple (on the left) will be a good mixer with the colors I have, so I hope to plan a color work project even if it's only mittens or socks. The brown (center) will not mix as well, but I love it for a sweater on its own. The green could go either way.
In line with this acquisition, I decided to make a pair of socks from some left over Spindrift I had, partly to test this yarn for sock knitting. It did well. I'll save the details for the next post, because I discovered online a new technique for the short row heel.