Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We’ve got yarn

I finished up a skein of yarn last night:IMG_9137This is the grey-ish green stuff I got from Bullen’s Wullens at MDSW last month – it’s 50/25/25 merino/bamboo silk.   And it’s pretty fine, even with 3 plies.  I spun the singles on my smallest pulley (16:1) and plied on the next smallest (14:1) – I did this because I read a Spin-Off article by Judith MacKenzie that said to ply on the next largest pulley size when making worsted-style yarn (you do the opposite with woolen spun yarn).  I’m not sure I love that.  The yarn has less twist than I expected it to.  I guess I could run it through the wheel again to add more twist...IMG_9133 I got 409 yards out of this and it weighs 124 g (the label said approximate weight 112 grams, so they were generous).  Is it thin enough to be sock yarn?  Maybe.  I did a little math, and in only 100 grams of yarn (standard amount for socks) I have 330 yards.  Felici has 426 yards/100 grams.  Regia sock yarn has 460 yards/100 grams.  Koigu has 350 yards/100 grams.  So maybe I’m not quite there yet.  I don’t think I would use this fiber blend for socks, anyway. It’s destined for something around the neck. IMG_9138

I’m not sure what I think.  The way the colors look plied reminds me of that sock yarn with chitin in it (TOFUtsies), and I never liked that look very much.  But once it’s knit up, it may be fine.  It’s a moody color, that’s for sure.  I had a heck of a time photographing it.  Usually everything looks better in outdoor light.  Not this!  I couldn’t get the greens to show up.  Look, here’s the yarn against grey stone – it doesn’t really surprise me that the green gets washed out against all the grey:IMG_9128 But I thought that putting the yarn against green would bring out the green, and it doesn’t.  See?IMG_9127 It actually looks a tiny bit better – and also bluer - against this yellow table!  I know that blue and yellow make green, but why would green and yellow make blue?IMG_9129The yarn is really and truly green, which came out best in photos taken INDOORS (but with lots of indirect light):IMG_9134I’m no color expert or photography expert, so if you can explain this to me, I’m all ears.


  1. Pat Bullen, the owner of Bullens Woolens, is a member of my weaving guild. We just had a dye day at her dye studio on Sunday. You should see her collection of looms!

    I have a very limited grasp of photography knowledge but here it goes. I think the main problem with the different colors is the light.

    When I took the class with Franklin Habit last year, he said that pictures taken in sunlight can change hues because of time of day. Also, surrounding colors could change the color of the object in the picture. So an object in an orange room will have an orange tinge. In your pictures, the surrounds might be bringing out that color which we don't see but the camera does. Our eyes lie to us (fills in details, ignores some shadows, etc) but the camera can't.

    Diffused light is the most flattering (both to people and to objects). The light hits your object after going through something which makes it a softer light. Franklin said that taking pictures of shiny things like beads or silk yarn is best done with diffused light. That way you are blinded by the shiny!

    One good way to overcome the different light hues is to use the white balance setting on your camera. Most cameras have a "one push" setting where you take a picture of a white piece of paper in the light. That way you will get a truer light.

    Of course, all that being said, I really don't know what I am doing!

  2. It's all a mystery to me, too. I can't ever get the white balance on my point-n-shoot to work worth a dang. I'm amazed at how different that looks in all the various backgrounds. And it does remind me of Tofutsies. But know it's going to knit up well.

  3. All - Anne wrote a really detailed post about this white balance issue a while back - check it out on her blog: http://thebookwormsknitting.blogspot.com/2010/06/photographing-your-fiber-with-franklin.html.

    I loved that post. When it appeared, I printed it out, found my point-and-shoot camera manual, and tried to figure it out. Unfortunately, I failed. (And I know that Steven and I have the same little Canon camera, so the fact that he couldn't figure his out, either, makes me feel a little bit better!)

    I agree about the diffuse light. I usually try to take my outdoor photos early or late in the day, in a spot where direct light isn't hitting the work. That was the case with these, too... but still, such trouble. Maybe I need a new camera?!?? Or maybe green and grey is just incredibly difficult.

    I so wanted to take Franklin Habit's Photographing Your Fiber class at Sock Summit, but I couldn't get into it. I'm jealous that Anne got to take his class!

    I'll keep working on this!