About 15 years ago, I amassed quite a stash of Brown Sheep’s “Prairie Silk” – a gorgeous, single-ply yarn (50g=88y) that’s a blend of wool (72%), mohair (18%) and silk (10%). Over the years, I knit up various projects from the wool. I am now down to my last batch – a scant 1,500 grams remaining.
I overdyed this batch of Prairie Silk many years ago, after having knit up several swatches and not finding anything I liked out of its original color. I then put it back into my chest of yarn stash and forgot about it … until a few days ago, rummaging through the chest looking for yarn for Thor’s birthday sweater.
I pulled out needles and quickly started a gauge swatch. My swatch – using a garter rib stitch – was large with three different gauge sections (delineated by a row of purl). I knit one section on US8, the next on US7 and the last on US6.
The lanolin in the wool hardened over the years. This affects the gauge as it doesn’t allow the wool to loft or the mohair to halo. (You can see the hardness in the swatch to the left.)
Out came a mixing bowl, which I filled with lukewarm water and a dash of liquid dish soap (I was out of Eucalan) and let the swatch soak for a bit. After rinsing and wrapping in a towel, I let the swatch dry flat in the shade outside.
Thor’s birthday is coming up soon, so I have to get working on the cardigan!