Jobo Designs

Letting the crafty creative juices flow. Knitting, spinning, crafting, dyeing, rabbits, sheep and more!

27. April 2010 07:46
by Jobo
4 Comments

Carding Your Own Long Color Gradients

27. April 2010 07:46 by Jobo | 4 Comments

I wanted a yarn with a long... looooooonnnnng color gradient....

After being inspired by a shawl made by another spinner... ColorlessBlue... in particular her "Simi" which can be seen on her blog (click here) I thought I would set out to learn to make such yarn.  Hers in particular faded gloriously from light pink through to Black, and was spun from a braid of hand dyed fiber.

I had about 4 ounces of Polwarth Roving, handpainted in shades of Dark Navy (almost black) and screaming lime green leftover from another spinning adventure (Caterpillar 3-ply... more here)

rovingpolwarth 

rovingtorninchunks

 

After some reading... I set out to try and tear this pile of poofy goodness into 6 inch chunks and try to separate them out by color.  I wanted to put all the darkest bits at one end of the table and then gradually cross over to the lightest greens.  Some of the chunks were clearly destined for one pile or the other, but the pieces where there was a little of each color were a little harder to predict.  I decided to just set those aside and see what they looked like once carded.

 

semi worsted blending

 

Then I set out to card the chunks.  I wanted to make a laceweight yarn, hopefully a single, so I wanted my fiber arrangement to be at best "worsted" and the very least "semi-worsted."  I took each chunk and gently blended it with my Ashford hand cards (basically by using them more like a hackle for blending, than for carding this already sublime top)  and I removed the wool from the cards by rolling it from one side to the other (rather than from top to bottom) so that I ended up with a handful of fiber with all of the little wooly strands running in one direction.  Each handful doesn't seem to take very long to card, but there were close to a hundred of them...

 

gradientcarded2

gradient carded You might notice... a lot of the black and dark bits are missing... I got a little overzealous and starting spinning before taking too many photos.  I would estimate that maybe 1/3 of the wool was "dark" and the remaining 2/3 was various shades of green, mostly lighter greens. The transition from Black to Green gave lots of Forest Green shades, a bunch of greenish blues, and even some gray shades.  I carded and carded, and then I attenuated the little tufts of wool into nests for easy spinning.  I spent the better part of 2 hours just carding and attenuating.  This fiber is really nice to work with though... so I didn't mind much!  I really like the feeling of carding my own fiber, manipulating it, holding it in my hands.  And I really like spinning from hand carded fiber, so the process is totally worth it.

 

spungradient

I set right out to work... and finished one bobbin of singles!  This one started with Grey and Black, and the part you see here is where the Black fades to medium/seafoam green.  The next section to spin goes from that green on the left side through to an almost highlighter/neon greenish yellow.  Currently, I have skeined the singles, and am ready to soak them and whack them tonight.  They are thin, but hopefully will hold together alright once they've been shocked (hot and then cold water) and felted a little (whacked on the banister while wet)

I am really excited to see what this will look like knit up.  I am thinking of doing a triangle shaped lace shawl, perhaps something like Aeolian, especially since I have some shiny Hematite Black beads that would look fab with the black section.

8. March 2010 11:15
by Jobo
6 Comments

Yarn Candy Monday: Caterpillars...

8. March 2010 11:15 by Jobo | 6 Comments

ok...  The title seems random...  But the color of this yarn reminds me of Caterpillars!  Greens, Greys, Black, and a hint of Rust here and there.  When we were little we used to see lots of fuzzy little many-legged creatures in the back yard while playing outside :)

Caterpillar2

This is only the first little skein in what will be a 4 skein series...  at approximately 160 yards of fingering weight, navajo 3-ply.  I am tempted to jump in and start knitting this guy up, but alas, I should probably keep on spinning before I do too much more scheming. 

The fiber here is some Hand Dyed Polwarth, in 4 ounce bags, from London-Wul over in Moncton.  I have 2 bags... so 8 ounces total.

I was drawn to the colors immediately but when I dug into the bag,  I found that there isn't really any kind of shade distribution in the roving.  Really, it's just random splashes of color - which I don't mind - but there are long sections that are only lime green, and others that are only black and really dark colors.  It would have been nice to have a more predictable variance maybe.  There were also a few felted bits from the dyeing process.  Overall I am pleased with the fiber, and the finished yarn is delectable... but I think I will ask to open up the bag and examine the roving next time I buy this product, just to get an idea of the dyeing pattern before I take it home.

Caterpillar

I'll post some more pics when the rest of the pile has been converted from Fluff to yarn :)

1. March 2010 12:18
by Jobo
1 Comments

Yarn Candy Monday: Pleasant Polwarth

1. March 2010 12:18 by Jobo | 1 Comments

blue threeply From this:

- London-Wul Polwarth Top

- Blues and Greys

- 4 oz

to this:

- super soft, bouncy

- 3-ply fingering weight yarn

- approximately 380 yards

I very much enjoyed spinning up this fiber... even though there were a few felted bits in places.  I chose to tear this fiber up into pieces since the colors were not distributed in any even pattern.  I used my handy-dandy postal scale to weigh the torn up chunks and try and make 3 singles of similar length.  In the end I decided to make 2 plies completely baby blue, and the third ply out of the darker shades of blue and grey.  I tried to randomly disperse the colors in the darker 3rd ply.  In the end, my weighing technique was pretty close.  There was a little bit more of the dark single than the others, which I navajo 3-plied just to use it up (around 15 yards)  You can see it in the centre of the skein, about 4 strands of yarn that appear to be all one color.

This skein is destined to become a pair of squishy wonderful socks for ME!  I am thinking maybe something with cables in it?  since the yarn is very basic in color...

Happy Yarn Monday!

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