Balanced. low twist singles are something that I have believed for a while to be a thing of magic and completely unattainable by mere mortals. I’ve tried and failed on several occasions to spin them and always end up with either, too much twist and a curly mess that ends up being wound up and plied to balance it out. Or, end up with not enough twist and the singles fall apart every 10 inches or so.
Yesterday I tried again and only the first few yards on the bobbin were of the drifty apart kind. I washed and finished the yarn last night and hung it up to dry.
This terrible photo was taken in the bathroom which has no natural light but it’s the only place in the apartment with a wall mounted hook on which I can show you the yarn in all it’s balanced beauty.
The yarn is a combination of 2 indie dyed tops that because of their composition were a bit felted and hard to draft especially when you have been spoilt by hand blended combed tops. As they were of similar colours I blended them together.
Again, apologies for the poorly lit, iPhone photo but it’s the only one I have of the tops to show off the colour graduation.
It’s a Merino/silk/camel/angora blend and it looks like this now it’s done.
Needless to say I am very happy with it. I have no knitting plans for it as yet though.
Before I do though, people who know me should be prepared as neither of them are duck egg blue, or even blue green. Yikes!
The first was originally meant to be 3 separate colours striped. I had it in my mind that I needed a yellow, grey and cream shawl or cowl or something and I had 3 Shetland tops in exactly those colours.
I started to spin the yellow and to me it just looked flat. So I got my hackles out and blended the 3 Shetland tops together to make something more pleasing to my eye. The finished yarn is about a 10-12ply.
The next yarn was a custom blend top from World of Wool. A gorgeous burnished orange BFL. Both BFL and Shetland have to be my two absolute favourite fibres to spin though they are quite different in character. But I could no more chose between them than chose between chocolate or salted caramels.
I don’t know what either of these yarns will become as yet but I think I need to spin a dark grey yarn to stripe with the orange.
Do you remember Alfresco? Well, I’ve just finished spinning up 100g of it and though I say so myself, it is totally yummy.
I spun it on my Hansen and then Navajo plied it to get 115 yards. According to my WPI gauge it’s somewhere between an aran weight and bulky yarn. There are subtle changes in tone throughout that my photography skills haven’t done justice to at all. It’s also very squooshy which you can’t tell either.
At the moment I am really loving blocks of coloured yarn knitted with blocks of natural sheepy yarn and that’s what I have in mind for this yarn. But as you all know I’m as fickle as the wind so that could all change. I haven’t got a pattern in mind as yet.
I love blending wool on my hackles but it does come with a downside.
That’s all the waste from just the Alfresco!
So now I have 3 bags full of blending waste.
I was wondering if there was anyone out there who could make use of nearly 1.8 kgs of fluff for free. Obviously postage would have to be paid for by the recipient. As I do blend with felt resistant wools such as Southdown and Dorset Horn not all of it is felt able .
Well, Summer is nearly upon us here in the Southern Hemisphere and though I’m not a huge fan of the hot weather (British understatement) I do enjoy an alfresco lunch with friends, preferably under the dappled shade of a tree or two. I love warmer days when you can throw open the windows and patio door to let some fresh air in. Gotta love fly screens though 😉
Anyway to the point!
I created a delicious double blended colour way for my Etsy store that makes me think of alfresco lunches with friends. It’s called, Alfresco! Ha, fancy that!
Alfresco on the hackles 2nd blending.
A dreamy cloud…
I spun up a sample because I needed to see it in the yarn so to speak. Obviously I’ve kept some back for myself. I’m not totally selfless! I see it as a shawl but then all I want to knit at the moment is shawls.
Oh, it’s a blend of BFL, English 56’s, Merino and a bit of Bamboo. There are only 2 x 130g boxes for sale for now so better be quick!
I thought I’d take a little time to explain the terminology because these two terms are frequently confused.
Simply put, top is combed fibre that is either commercially combed or hand combed so that all of the fibres are aligned and the shorter fibres are removed. Top can then be spun using short draw which maintains the parallel fibre alignment to create a worsted spun yarn.
Roving is carded fibre which can contain both short and long fibres. The fibres are not aligned parallel to each other. Roving can then be used to create a woollen spun yarn when spun with a woollen spinning technique.
My preference tends to be a worsted yarn because it has more strength and drape than the woollen yarns but it is a personal preference.
The benefit I find, to hand combed top is that the top is less compacted which makes drafting easier and prevents your hands from hurting after a long period of spinning. I add this because myself and several spinners I know have said how their hands get sore sometimes when spinning with a compacted or felted top. Hand combed top also produces a much less dense, more airy and elastic yarn.
I always try to follow advice given to me by wise, knowledgeable people and a comment by Jules on my last post about making more for myself really hit the mark. So much so, that I immediately set to work.
I took a custom blend I’d had made by World of Wool which was a bit insipid as I hadn’t put enough colour in it and I added three more shades of dyed merino to it. Then I put it through the hackles twice to make delicious clouds of duck egg fluff.
The last colour way of the day is Duck Egg Omlette. People who know me will be surprised that I’m even considering parting with this because it’s my absolute favourite colour but hey, I know the secret recipe 😉
It gets a lot of pics because it’s so flipping pretty!
1 part Merino
1 part BFL
1/2 white Shetland
1/2 grey Shetland
a pinch of Mohair
I have 170g available for $47.60 plus postage. As always it comes packaged in a box to prevent the squishing and ruffling of these hand blended fibres. Postage is by Australia post and will be calculated once I know where to send the pretty fluff.
More colour ways are on their way so visit me again soon.
Mmmmm, I love caramel and one of my favourite desserts is creme caramel though to be totally fair I love everything toffeeish and caramelly.
So, I’ve blended up some delicious caramel coloured Fluff on my hackles in celebration of all that is lovely and caramelly.
It’s fat free with no artificial sugars and light as a feather made from deliciously soft Merino weighing 110g and I’m selling it for $30 plus postage. It’s packaged in a box to prevent the squishing and tangling of the fibres that I’ve hand blended.
I’ve had a busy weekend with the hackles making lots of pretty clouds of wool.
It’s not a particularly great photograph but I just wanted to show what it is about blending on the hackles that makes me giddy with excitement. If you couldn’t guess its the play with colour, there are 3 shades of blue and 2 shades of purple in this blend. I like to blend like this because I’m trying to create yarn that isn’t flat in colour or tone, that has depth and interest. For me it’s a more natural and aesthetically pleasing.
This colour way is called blueberry because well, erm… it’s kinda like blueberries.
3 parts Corriedale
2 parts Merino
a pinch of bamboo
a pinch of silk
It’s 368g but I could split it in half or thirds. $28 per 100g because it’s hand blended it is very light and airy so it drafts beautifully. In order to preserve it’s light fluffiness I package it in boxes.