Monday, August 08, 2011

Excuse me, are those real?

In a day and age when you can pretty much buy anything if you have enough money, technology has become extremely adept at synthesizing things that look very much like the real thing.

Merino Optim
When I first got a kilo of merino top from a friend of a friend in Australia, she specifically noted that I should check out more information on the Optimum Merino.  I went to the web site to read up on it, but didn't see much information, so I just figured "Optimum" was just the grade of wool, and given how silky and luster-y this fiber was, I figured it was very high quality.

Then friend Ted (knitterguy Ted), who makes it his business to know a lot about spinning and fiber, told me I should read up more on "Optim" merino.

What I then found out, was that there is a process that makes this merino top so silky and light.

They actually take an already very fine fiber (and I mean fine gauge fiber - about 19 microns) and stretch it even finer (to about 16 microns) to give it the softness and luster of silk (or better).  The gauge of the individual fiber actual makes it comparable to cashmere.

I'm very excited now to see how my plied Optimum Merino will turn out.

Current Knitting/Spinning
I focused more on spinning this weekend than knitting, although I did a bit of both.

The merino top is spinning up pretty finely, so it takes a bit of time to get the singles spun up.


This is probably about 5 ounces of fiber spun up, with about 12 more ounces to go.  I'm glad to say, I'm enjoying every moment I get to work with this fiber.

I also did a bit of work on the Heirloom lace baby blanket, using Ted's hand-spindled yarn.

I don't have a photo, but I have finished three sides of the edging so far, and just minimally started the fourth (and last edge).

I'm looking forward to getting to the center (and final) section.

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