Monday, April 8, 2013

Breaking Delphinium Blue

Ever since I read that Wilton's Delphinium Blue Food Coloring is composed of both Red and Blue food coloring I wanted to try breaking it.  I used some unknown wool that was part of my generous gift.  I space dyed the roving and it resulted in some stunning color separation from teal to a magenta.  (See the below video.)

The finished unspun wool:


I spent a lot of time thinking about how to spin this up.  I could have randomly chosen sections and then gotten random stripes, or I could make a gradient.  In the end, I separated the most purple parts from the blue parts. I thought it would be fun to spin this one as bit of a gradient.  There will still be a lot of variation within the blue section, this is super fun and pretty!

I think that I still have an issue with over spinning.  I'm not sure how to go about this or how to make a softer yarn.  I would like to make this a 3ply yarn again, but we will see how long it takes me to spin it.  It isn't as thin as the previous 3-ply that I created, so it may not have any where near as much yardage.  But I am still excited about the prospect of a multi-ply gradient. 

There was some debris in the fiber, and also some really short pieces of wool.  I am not understanding why good picking is important!   This doesn't spin as easily as some of the other fiber I've spun, but the experience is REALLY good because I'm learning about what I want for when I prepare fiber.

After the first bobbin was basically full, I decided to switch to a second bobbin.  I know I will need to eventually, and I want to make some 3 ply yarn with the gradient intact.  (I was afraid that there would be only blue - med mixed and I wanted no knots with all three colors.  This makes it more like a single yarn rather than two different of different colors.)  

I n-plyed the yarn, and you could see the deeper purple sections as I went towards the center of the second spindle.

The yarn is a little rough.  I really need to stick with the slowest whorl and try to add less twist to the yarn.  I need to treadle slower and to draft faster.  This is something that I will work on more in the future.

There are two skeins that are technically very different, but are part of a matched set.  I haven't yet decided what I would make with this, but maybe some kind of bottom up shawlette starting with the purple.  

In the end I had 100 wraps of the more multicolored yarn, or 133 yards.  There are 117 yards (88 wraps) of the more solid blue skein.  

Finished January 2013.