A few months ago I had an epiphany, an epipha-tree if you will. I noticed that once a week I was darning socks. Socks knit just a few months previously. Yes, Husband’s socks seemed to need darning sooner, but mine were not far behind. But not all socks were being darned equally. Sometimes a toe would blow out of a sock knit 6 weeks earlier, but some of my very first handknit socks were fine. The difference? Nylon. Most of my early socks were knit using Opal(75 % wool, 25% nylon). Most of my latest socks have used merino. There are more beautiful skeins of merino sockweight yarn on the market than one person could look at in a lifetime. I have been buying these beautiful skeins and knitting them. All the while marveling at their beauty and comfort. Then comes the darning.
Knowing that plain merino will make a sock that is quickly ruined, I decided I would not spin for socks out of plain wool. I have spun a lot of BFL, which I LOVE. But not for socks. Hand spun BFL is for scarves and shawls and fingerless gloves. When it comes to socks I am looking for bamboo or silk or nylon or some other fiber blended with wool that will give the finished yarn the strength to justify the time spent spinning and knitting.
But I have this new roving, in a color that would make perfect socks for Husband. Problem? Its all wool. Now, if I were a fiber processor, I could add nylon and then card it for a nice batt. I am not a processor, and a set of $350 carders is not in my future. Can I blend the fibers after the fact? My first thought was to use a bobbin of spun nylon as a ply. But I do not want the stark white of the nylon plyed with the deep color of the wool. What about during the spinning? Is it possible to hold say 20% nylon with the wool and spin them together? Making sure the nylon is nice and thin and evenly incorporated?
I would very much like your thoughts on the topic. Bonus points for actual experience. I know there are way more lurkers here than commenters to this here blog. I can tell by my daily hit counts. So I offer an enticement.
A skein of Dream In Color Smooshy, Giant Peach. Leave a comment containing fiber blending advice to this post before August 1st and I will do a random drawing.