Saturday, March 13, 2021

Mixed Braids

I was the fortunate recipient of a Christmas gift certificate to Inglenook Fibers a few months ago (thanks, Brian!). This certificate was kind of burning a hole in my pocket, but I waited patiently for a shop update which occurred in February. I scored two lovely mixed braids at that time. This first one is a mix of whiteface woodland wool, ramie, llama, and bamboo, and the colorway is "Purple Rain:"

I think the mix of cellulose (plant) and protein (animal) fibers is so interesting, and the colors are dreamy. I also got this mix of merino, camel, brown alpaca, and mulberry silk called "Emerald City:"

After spinning lots of undyed fibers for Breed School 2.0, I was eager to put some color on the wheel. I started with Purple Rain. Because the different fibers can draft quite differently, I decided to spin this in small sections from the fold. Here are some chunks torn off and ready to spin:

Watching the bobbin fill was mesmerizing. Here are the singles, all done:

I considered chain-plying this in order to make use of every inch of the singles, but in the end, decided to make a traditional 3-ply in order to better blend the colors. There were some sections that were especially light or dark, and I wanted to mix them all up. Here's the finished skein:

This is 218 yards and 10 WPI (worsted weight); it weighs 130 grams. The cellulose fibers definitely make it feel a bit heavier to me.
I had some singles left on two bobbins, so I made a tiny 2-ply skein that is just 28 yards long. I just couldn't bear to throw away what was left on those bobbins!

I will probably put the Emerald City braid away for now, as I have the next Breed School 2.0 fiber now - it is Rambouillet! I've spun this before and it's a lovely fine wool breed. 

Inglenook also sent a tiny sample of their tweed blend, which is wool with viscose tweedy bits in it. I didn't let it sit long enough to photograph it, but I think it was this blend. I spun it up and made a plying bracelet for the sample (which I did think to stop and photograph!):

It made an intriguing little skein. I thought it was quite a coincidence that I got a tweed sample, as I had just registered for a tweed class with Judith MacKenzie for (virtual) MDSW21. Watch out because I'm going to start putting tweed in everything!
That's my spinning update. You can see my ruana on the loom behind the tweed sample above... I have finished that piece and have quite an update for you. But first, I have to get photos, which is challenging as it has been quite breezy lately. Welcome, spring!

1 comment:

  1. It's fascinating to me how a braid can look like somewhat muted purples, browns, and blues, the singles stronger blue with hardly a bit of brown, and the plied skein returns to looking much like the braid. I'm looking forward to a ruana update and tweed!