Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spinning "On the rocks"

Into the Whirled's September 2014 fiber is English Shetland titled "On the Rocks."  The colorway is pretty, but there is a similar batch where there isn't such a mustard yellow that I am more excited about.

I have some gradient dyed wool/silk blend that I would like to spin as a N-plyed gradient eventually.   I figured that this yarn could be a good practice for gradient spinning, especially since I'd have to break up the colors more to start with since it isn't dyed as one long gradient.

Before separating the fibers I decided to give this some thought.  I want to go Yellow - Green - Blue but I'm not sure if I will separate out the greens and blues more (i.e. Yellow - pale green - dark green - dark blue - light blue)  I don't want to cut any of the fibers and some of the mottling in the fiber itself should be fun.  Wahoo for trying something new with my wheel!  (And for spinning a third month's worth in January, before the January 2015 fiber even arrived.)

I divided the fiber into six different piles.  Mostly yellow, transitional yellow, pale green, dark green/blue, mostly dark blue and blue.  I like that each pile isn't a true color, there are transitions that will happen within each pile.  Awesome!

I want to spin this thin with a reasonable amount of twist to N-ply it.  I therefore sent my wheel to the fastest whorl (8:1) and got spinning, starting with the yellows.

The pieces of fiber are short, I'm going to have to attach new fiber almost constantly.  wish me luck

As I was spinning, I tried to leave part of the previous color uncovered so you could see the growth of the gradient.

The first three color sections are working fantastically!  The color combinations are looking almost heathered, an effect that I love.

For the first time on one of my Into the Whirled fibers I'm seeing some dye leaking.  The dark blue/black is rubbing off of my fingers a bit.  Hopefully too much won't leak out when I set the twist!  Thankfully it washed off of my hands with one simple handwashing (soap and water.)

It has been a while since I N-plyed something, but it is going really smoothly.  I don't think I have too much twist in it at all.  English Shetland practically has been spinning itself!

I didn't check the WPI of my singles, but then again I had a TON of variability in them.

I had a few breaks in the beginning of the plying, but in general it plyed fast.  The yarn is dense, but still very soft and squishy.  I guess I've improved my overspinningness?  The singles are thicker than I wanted but I am going with it. Maybe I'll use one of the other new samples to practice spinning thinner.

64 wraps = 256 ft = ~85 yards
7 wpi heavy worsted

Look at my first ever gradient spun yarn!  I'm still not a fan of the mustard yellow, but I am a fan of of a long gradient.  I wish that there were some more transitional space between each of the colors, looking at some of the pictures of the fiber it looks like 4 distinct colors rather than an ombré.  

This yarn will make a really fun hat, maybe with some simple, thick cables on it.  What would you knit out of this asymmetric yarn?  

Spinning started 1/27/2015
plying completed 1/27/2015