Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spinning Before and After - "Hellebore"

I think I've really reached a turning point with my spinning. I am much more comfortable with raw fibers, locks, fiber prep and color blending after this latest project. I went into this with a clear idea of what I wanted, and I was able to spin to get that result.

I started with two colors of plant-dyed Shetland locks from Natchwoolie. I had about twice as much of the darker cranberry purple "Lambrusco" than the lighter pinkish "mauve". I recently bought a scale and I don't know how I lived without it before this. I split the two colors into two equal piles each. Each one was destined to become a skein.

Next, I started on the first skein. I split the piles again into two equal halves so I could spin a two-ply yarn. I have more purple than mauve, so I wanted to be sure I was able to blend it effectively. For the first ply, I flicked open the locks with a cat brush and left the two colors in separate piles. Flicking the locks really opened them up and made them easier to draft.

When I spun the first ply, I alternated grabbing from each pile and spun from the cloud. I ended up with a rustic, textured single with occasional slubs and thick and thin spots. I didn't want to card all of the personality out of this fiber, and I like how the singles turned out.

Then I started on the second pile of fiber. I flicked the locks open again. I added an extra step and roughly carded the two colors together by grabbing random combinations of locks and flicking them together. They all went into one big pile.

I spun this pile from the cloud, pretty much as it looked there and didn't pay attention to what was happening with the colors. The singles still varied a bit, but the changes between purple and pink were much less dramatic.

The final step was plying the two back together. I ended up with 2.5 oz, 110 yards and a bit of variation between sport and worsted weight. There are sections that are all purple or all mauve, but the rest is varying blends of the two colors. It's heathered with a bit of added excitement and I love it.

I swatched it on US5's and I love how this fabric shows the texture and variation in color. It's not stark stripes, but it's more interesting than a well-blended heather.

1 comment:

  1. This was a great post. I''m just learning to spin with a drop spindle and so far I'm a mess. Thanks to the kind spinners on Rav, I learned I can take everything off my spindle,brush it and start again ( wanted something thinner than I was getting)Your showing the pictures of each step you took and how you did it had me doing a few 'aaaahhhhhh's, and 'ah ha's . The yarn on the ?spool? (I have no idea for terms yet either :-( & that includes some abbreviations ) andyway, it looked thin and tight. Then you plied them together and suddenly they looked so soft and fluffy and just so yummy I wanted to scrunch it for hours. Your post really gave me hope & when I come up with another crappy looking mess on my spindle, I'm going to come by again just to feel better! OH, and what is carding? The diff between batts and roving & tops? I bought a book for new spinners & it's not there-they must think this is so obvious everybody knows at birth. I need a Spinning For Dummies but my DH hasn't been able to find one for me ( I'm recovering from an accident so can't get around much). Thanks again for sharing.The yarn is just beautiful & you did so much to make it even better.