Sunday, October 30, 2016

One Fiber, Two yarns - Spinning the Rainbow

You guys really liked my first spinning video, so I thought that I would give it another shot!

I started with the rainbow speckled roving I dyed with dry KoolAid.  I want to spin this yarn for a particular design, something I haven't really done before.  I've designed with yarn I've spun and I've spun yarn for a particular pattern, but I've never developed the yarn AND the pattern together.

I want to do a big N-ply gradient for most of the yarn... but I also want to have some shorter striped section for a separate piece of my design.  I started out dividing a bit of the fiber into three thin sections to spin.

For the stripy section, I spun the singles pretty thin.  This is going to be a single ply yarn and I like to have an S twist at the end to be consistent with the rest of the yarn.  Therefore, I spun the wheel counter clockwise for an S twist.

Of course after I started doing this I began to regret my decision and wonder if I should make this N-ply too.  Nonono, let's not change midstream...  Although it could be fun to compare Z and S n-ply out of the same fiber but I did the singles completely differently.

I had enough yardage when I finished these singles that I did end up N-plying them.  I wanted the color repeats to be even shorter so plying the yarn helped with that.

When I was filming this video, I realized (once again) how hard it is to spin and talk.  Since it is a vlog I didn't want there to be too much time where I wasn't sharing my thought process but this resulted in me making mistakes sometimes.

Bulky Rainbow Gradient

I took a break in the middle of the spinning project.  The summer was hot and dry and snuggling up with fiber wasn't that appealing.  Once the weather started to cool I picked the project back up and quickly finished the rainbow gradient bulky Z singles (spinning the wheel clockwise).

I think these bulkier singles are about as thick as the thinner, N-ply yarn.  Time to start plying!

After N-plying the thicker yarn (with difficulty as I didn't switch to my bulky yarn orifice and the yarn keep getting stuck during uptake on the wheel), I wound both yarns at the same time around my niddy noddy.  I didn't do the propper niddy noddy twist but instead made the center shaft 2 feet long so I could still have two 4 foot skeins.

I can't get over how stunning the rainbow gradient came out!  

Here is a rundown of the final yarns:
Chunky Rainbow Gradient - Z singles, S N-ply yarn. 17 wraps ~ 22 yards.  9 wraps/2" - Super bulky weight
Thinner Small repeats of color - S singles, Z N-ply yarn.  16 wraps ~22 yards.  22 wraps/2" = worsted weight.

I can't believe that the two yarns have approximately the same yardage!  There is always a +/- when I count wraps because there can be partial wraps in there, which is why I approximated both yarns to be ~22 yards.

It is easy to say that you can get many completely different yarns out of the same fiber, but it was really fun to show you how you can get drastic differences.  I can't wait to show you what I knit with these yarns.  (Stay tuned for a brand new free knitting pattern by ChemKnits!) 

I had so much content that I split this story into two videos.  In Part 1, I spin the singles and N-ply the thinner yarn with shorter color repeats.  In Part 2, I spin the chunky singles for the long rainbow gradient and N-ply this yarn.  Finally, while I was backing up some of the videos, I quickly created an "Auto Awesome" from the files to give my followers a little sneak peek.  It has been a while since I've been able to finish a new video so hopefully this will make people happy.  Enjoy!

Spinning started 6.6.2016.  Finished 9.20.2016