Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Best Laid Plans

So, I'm still catching up posting about some of the summer's spinning experiments. This one shows that even the best laid plans don't always go as expected.

I started out wanting to practice some of the novelty plys I learned in Patsy Z's class at the Folk School last April. To get myself completely out of my comfort zone, I ordered some Mardi Gras BFL roving from Lisa. I chose it in part because it wasn't my normal color and also since the colors crossed the colorwheel, thought I would end up with some interesting results.
I should add that the color in these pics is not very true--it is not as bright as it appears.
Anyway, I started out with a small sample that included all the colors in the roving. I spun sample skeins to give myself an idea of how it might best be utilized. They're pictured at from left to right--Navajo plied, Thick and thin, cabled, carded neutral bloucle, softly spun singles, normal 2 ply.

I chose the Navajo ply, thick and thin, and cabled and spun 1 oz skeins of each. Because my thick and thin singles wasn't very regular and I didn't think the thick areas would meet up when plyed, I carded a strip of the roving so that it would form a neutral color and spun a thin singles thread from it. Then, I used that thread to ply with the thick and thin singles to form a spiral yarn. There are still issues with this yarn so more practicing is definitely needed. The thin areas seem to have too much twist but I'm not sure if it was because of the spinning or the plying. Patsy gave me some good tips for analyzing it in an e-mail--I just haven't gotten around to doing it, yet.

The cabled yarn was the one that really surprised me. I spun my two singles and when plying them together, noticed that the colors were matching up perfectly. I could have left it there and had a skein similar to the Navajo plyed one, however, I wondered what would happen if I re-plyed it and for the most part, it happened again. The photo shows my sample cabled yarn on the right--with all the colors mixed up together. The strands on the left show the solid areas of the cabled yarn and the other areas which now look more like a 2 ply candy stripe yarn. I'm guessing it has something to do with how it was dyed? I didn't do anything special to try to keep the colors separate, but learned that a sample skein isn't always a predictor of the finished skein.

Anyway, the ultimate test of these yarns will be in the knitting of them. I intend to knit a hat and have just put off doing it because I have close to another oz left to spin and haven't decided how it should be spun--a softly spun single to preserve the color sequence? another carded neutral to make a coordinating solid spun up as a single or maybe a boucle? Stay tuned for the results of this hat challenge.


At 7:35 AM, Blogger CarolineF said...

You are so dedicated. I have never felt like taking the time to try yarns that I wouldn't really want to knit, just to master the technique. Of course, I might want to knit some of them if I actually had them, but...

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Kerry said...

What a student you are! I just want to know how to do it without putting in the effort. You are a master!

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Melanie said...

I'm staying tuned for the next chapter. I love seeing the results of your explorations.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Vicki, it's been so inspiring to read through your comments on novelty yarns. I need to spin some for one of my classes so I feel like I have a good guide and exploring companion with you.


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