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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Fibre Blending

Hi Everyone
 The story behind my little experimental project (I mentioned at the end of my blog yesterday) starts a few months ago. I attended a Drop Spinning workshop organised at my local Knitting Group with a few ladies from the group. After our workshop we had several samples of the spinning material leftover and one of my lovely friends gave her leftovers to me. She decided she would not use them again so, she gifted them to me. I immediately decided to spin them on my spinning wheel for her. She's a knitter so could possibly use the resulting yarn.
Eventually, I got round to blending, spinning and plying the fibres together. I was stunned at how pretty the initial blend looked. The blending resulted produced a very textured and varied Art Yarn. It all turned out rather well. Here are a few images of both the blended and spun yarn.

 
At this stage the yellow silk fibres are looking lovely, the white rolag has many more colours within the centre and is also very interesting.

Next images look at the yarn during spinning and plying :

 


I took two of each rolag and spun onto two bobbins.  The left hand bobbin on the top left image was a little 'warmer' in tone but both turned out quite balanced in colour. I then, plyed the two bobbins and got a 'heathered' yarn. The yarn was transferred to a small Niddy Noddy in preparation for washing. 
The resulting yarn is complex with lovely specks of colour. My lighting is poor so gives a varied impression of the colours but I would say the final version washed yarn (bottom left image) is quite true.
The fibres used are Silk, Wensleydale, Alpaca and North Ronaldsay. The range of fibres, as part of the initial spinning workshop, were there to illustrate variety and different staple lengths of each fibre. They were not designed to be mixed in the way I have blended them, especially in almost equal amounts. I was simply using up the fibres. As such, elements of the spin are weak, especially where the alpaca dominates along side the very fine silk fibres. However, that said, the resulting yarn is lovely and I've described it as Art Yarn. I'm sure it could be used as an Art Yarn.

The experiment was great for me and I think, my friend was pleased to receive the little gift. I too, have a similar batch of leftovers and will make another Art Yarn for myself. It's a great reminder of our workshop and therefore quite special.

Thanks for calling in today.