Jobo Designs

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6. October 2009 15:44
by Jobo

Golden Rolags

6. October 2009 15:44 by Jobo | 1 Comments

When I got home last night most of my freshly dyed wool was still damp (sigh) all but one strand of roving - YAY YELLOW - which was almost completely dry!

Here they are on Sunday... fresh from the dyepot. Rainbowliscious!

I decided that since each color is such a small sample (somewhere between 2 and 2.5 ounces) I would card them by hand.  I do have a drum carder, but I thought it must be time for some good old fashioned rolags again for a change.  I really like the feeling of carding the wool by hand, rolling up the soft fluffy pillows of wool and then spinning from that kind of preparation.  Maybe because the wool just glides along from the end of the rolag.  I love the way it feels like a continuous spiral of fibers coming out of the roll until it's gone, and then grab another one! Repeat!  (More about Rolags... from a great Handspinning Website: the Joy of Handspinning)

soft puffy Rolags... gently blended colors too!  from Lemony shades to Deep Golden Autumnal shades

When spinning from "top" all of the fibers are aligned parallel to each other... whereas in Rolags the fibers are all willy-nilly, facing every which direction.  Some of course stay in a straight line, but enough of them loop and mingle to create a totally different spinning feel.  And of course the finished yarn has different characteristics than if the fibers were standing at attention.  'Worsted' yarns have long straight fibers in them, the individual plies are sleek and smooth and strong.  'Woolen' yarns are made up of lighter fuzzier individual plies.  The random arrangement of wool fibers traps air within the ply - leaving soft and light singles, which aren't quite as strong as worsted strands, but are less dense and more lofty.  Spinning from Rolags will allow me to make a yarn better suited to my mittens - light, soft, airy, fuzzy, warm, soft, bouncy.  Worsted yarns tend to be more durable for heavily washed and worn items, but I don't think a pair of adult mittens will really get tortured that extensively (unless they find their way into a really epic Car Scraping Session or and impromptu Husband-Pelting Snowball Battle... I think I'll take my chances!)

I find it a bit hard to tell if I have enough wool to make a finished product just by looking at it in it's rough state.  To me, the measley snake of roving looked to small to do anything with.  Surprisingly, once it had been carded and fluffed up my "tiny" Yellow sample pretty much filled a large mixing bowl (The same one that held 4 ounces of prepared fiber for the Mitten linings)  I know a lot of that is air, but I guess it just goes to show that looks can be deceiving.

about 3 rolags worth of spinning...

After all the carding, I didn't really have much time to spin before bedtime (it was getting late, that's why some of the pictures look darker than usual) but I did manage to spin about 3 rolags as you see above.  Drafting was smooth and even.  Very enjoyable. 

I also was able to ply the first installment of the lining yarn (Merino Angora Blend) and achieved about a 11 - 13 WPI average, and the first bobbin yielded about 120 yards.  I have enough to make that much again already blended and ready to go. I'll post more photos of that when I get farther along.

Hopefully tonight I will have enough time to spin some more, and maybe card up another color segment if they are dry (fingers crossed)

Comments (1) -

It looks lovely, I'm enjoying watching this project unfold.

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