Monday, March 2, 2009

Spinning before and after

Spinning the Phat Fiber samples and the little half ounce balls of fiber from Sweet Pea Fiber is like digging into a box of Valentine's chocolates. There are so many different flavors and only enough for a bite of each one. I spent the evening spinning and plying a variety of different samples and I'm having so much fun playing with color. I honestly didn't think I'd like spinning this much, but there's something about the feel of all the different fibers - wool, silk, mohair - and the interplay of colors. The batts and rovings change when they are spun, and change again when they are plied and it's always a surprise to see what happens.

(Click any photos to see them larger)

The February Phat Fiber box included a bunch of pink and brown fiber samples based on the "Romance and Chocolate" Theme.

I spun up the 0.2oz Corriedale Pencil Roving Duet in “Raspberry Truffle” from Aurora Fiber Arts. The duet is made of two complementary strands of roving that can be plied together to make a fun yarn. I spun one continuous strand from both halves of the duet.

Then I spun up a special batt that came in my order from Sweet Pea Fibers. It’s hand-dyed wool, tussah silk, sparkle and angelina.

Then I plied the two together on my wheel. The end result is 10 yards of worsted-to-bulky bright pink yarn with bursts of brown.

Silver Sun Alpacas sent a batt of alpaca, merino and mohair in a lovely blend of chocolate brown, wine red and white aptly named "Wine and Chocolate".

I spun it up on the drop spindle.

Then I spun a January box sample of white 70% mohair and 30% wool from Natchwoolie. It spun like butter into fuzzy, white singles.

Then I plied the two together on my spindle (first time) to get 16 yards of worsted-to-bulky two-ply with a nice halo.

I still had some of the Wine and Chocolate singles left, so I spun a little Mini Bon Bon in color "Cherry Chakka Latte" from Natchwoolie. It was chocolate merino lamb wool with pale pink plant-dyed mohair.

I plied it with the Wine and Chocolate on the drop spindle. It made 6 yds of worsted two-ply. The difference in appearance between this and when it was plied with the white is really interesting.

I also spun up two samples from the January box. I put together Moonlight and Laughter’s BFL in “Deep Lake” with Enchanted’s hand-dyed merino. They were in the same blue/teal color family, except Enchanted’s was lighter. I ended with a good 18 yds of worsted-to-bulky two-ply and only had 12 inches of leftover Deep Lake singles. They were a perfect match!

This is a batt from Extreme Spinning. It's 1 oz of purple and pale yellow superwash wool, layered with silver angelina. This was soft and silky and spun easily. The angelina is nearly invisible in the fiber, but the yarn glitters in the light like newly fallen snow. The colorway is "Prince Humperdink", based on the movie The Princess Bride. He's dressed in royal purple, with a yellow belly.

I spun this on my drop spindle and then wound it into a center pull ball. I plied it into a bulky two-ply from the inside and outside of the ball again on my drop spindle. It made 11 yards of very fun, soft yarn.

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