Saturday, April 1, 2017


I was digging around in my studio closet the other day, and I found a couple bumps of fiber I had totally forgotten about (the ability to add fiber stash to Ravelry is quite recent, and I did not retroactively catalog that stash). IMG_2790

Isn’t it pretty? This is a 60/40 blend of merino and bamboo, prepared as top (that means combed not carded). That also means slippery and fast. I know I received this as a gift when I was a new spinner, and I probably put it away thinking I wasn’t “good enough” yet. That may actually have been true, as these slippery fibers can be tricky to handle. But I was up for the challenge when I rediscovered it!IMG_2795

I split the top into three sections by weight, then started spinning worsted-style with a short forward draw. I vaguely remember stripping the first third so that the color changes would happen a little more quickly. (Stripping means to separate the fiber in half vertically.)

Then I went a conference and forgot everything about this project. When I came home a mere 4 days later, I just picked up those other two nests of top and started spinning. There was no stripping or any attempt to control the color. Merrily I spun away.

When I started to ply, I saw that the first section was all green – green was coming off all three bobbins. And it kept coming that way for a long time. So I cut one singles and rewound it onto a storage bobbin. I thought if I reversed that single, I would get more color variation. Guess what – green was at the other end, too! I decided to just go with it and plied from there.

When I wound this yarn onto the skein winder, it seemed like there were very long sections that were all green or all blue, and only occasionally did the colors mix. It will be hard to know for sure until this skein is knit. It looks mighty pretty in a pile like this:IMG_2845

I got 334 yards of 3-ply yarn, and the skein weighs 108 grams. It is very soft, slinky, and drapey, suitable for next-to-neck wear.IMG_2865

This experience sent me back to a book I received for Christmas, Yarnitecture: A Knitter's Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want by Jillian Moreno. There is an excellent section on color. Now I want my next project to  be from a hand-dyed fiber so I can try some of the techniques she talks about. What to see what’s next? It’s the other bump I found with this one in the closet!  This is Targhee top. Targhee is a finewool, similar in many ways to merino. Stay tuned. (Yes, Judy, I know these are your colors!!)IMG_2869

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