Monday, July 6, 2009

Color Me Happy... Or At Least Blue!

You know, it's not often that I truly let myself ramble on this thing. I guess part of that is because you don't need to know *everything*, and the other part is that most of ya'll come here for the yarn, fiber, jokes, and or the general insanity.

Today, you are in for a real treat. Oh yes.

Sunday afternoon I decided to try my hand at corespun yarn. I had this really neat batt from Butterfly Girl Designs, and I just knew it was going to be wonderful. It was going to be easy. It was going to be fast. I was going to love it. Instead, I was close to tears. I think I had the wrong type of fiber for my experience level, and I really couldn't wrap my head around how to get a balanced yarn. It made me pretty angry. I'm an intelligent young woman, capable of many wonderful things, and I can't make art yarn??? WTF? FuF!!1!1!

Then it occurs to me. There's a lot going on in life right now. Between Cabana Boy not being in town, Mini-Me is getting ready to go through a tough spot, and work being generally psychotic, my mom coming to visit, I have enough crap to try and figure out and deal with! I certainly didn't need to be trying to figure out a new trick.

So I took a break and took a shower. Hell, it was 4 pm, I was due.
While I was in the shower, I decided that I would play with plying. Got out of the shower, spun up about 10 yards of the batt, and plied with some crochet thread. Almost what I wanted, but not quite. I ran some errands, picked up some silver sewing thread and went home. Test spun some more and fell in love.

The last couple of yarns I have spun have been very focused - I knew what I wanted them to be, and therefore it was my job to whip them into shape. While I love what I have created, the focus it took to spin these yarns really made it a drag by the last bobbin. I was desperate for something quick and fun.


Approx 100+ yards, plied with simple silver thread. Fiber from Butterfly Girl Designs

Let me just tell you about spinning this batt. It's forgiving. It does it's own thing, and I was happy to let it do it. The bamboo is so soft, the merino was light and fluffy, and the sparklies made my heart sing. There was no thought required. I didn't have to worry about color sequence, I didn't have to care about how much conditioning I did before hand, or if it was too thick or too thin, I just ripped off a strip and let the fiber do what it wanted to do.

It is important to note here that I specifically did two things. First, I put less twist in the yarn than I normally would. I wanted the thread to hold the single together.. to almost carry it a long. In my test spins, I noticed that the areas with less twist gave me the exact look I wanted. Second, I found that you need to make sure you put a lot of tension on your thread. That's what's going to give it the illusion that the fiber undulates from above the thread to below the thread. I took a picture of how I was holding the thread so that you could see:

In a nut shell, I would let out some of the thread, hold it taught, then slide my right hand down the length of the thread. When I felt like I had gone far enough, I would pinch off the twist with my right hand, let some more thread out, and bring the yarn down the thread again. Using my right index finger as a sort of a guide, I let the yarn work itself around the thread.

If you've done coils before, it's almost the same thing, only you are not pushing the yarn up the thread to create your coil. Although, if you are feeling froggy, you most certainly could. It was really interesting to see what I could create, just by switching the tension on the yarn, or the angle at which I would let it twist onto the thread.

This was FUN. I would highly recommend messing around with this technique. I'm sure there's a name for it somewhere, but I'm currently too blissed out by the whole experience to care.

And that's the goal right?

Happiness via fiber.


Unknown said...

I love it! That is beautiful yarn and I am so glad that you included a shot of how you were holding the fiber and thread. I am going to have to try this now! Thank you!

Cookie said...


And I'm so glad you were able to make it work for you.

Now I really want a wheel to play with. /sigh


Knitcase said...

Its sooo pretty!

Hattie said...

Oh it's gorgeous!!!

Opal said...

i love it! i'm so proud of you!

where's the nekkid spinner picture? :D

Zonda said...

Ooh...lovely!! Glad you perservered! Nekkid spinning ;)