Sunday, September 25, 2011

A great link - Wild Fibers

That Bradford Count - Grrr can be so confusing. Much easier to just think of the fiber size in microns - even if I can't really think of a micron!.
The Wild Fibers web site has great information about - fibers of course :

Thank you, thank you Wild Fibers for rationalising some of the many variable that can get to you when I set about planning some spinning.


Castletown G and multicolor yarn and fractal spoinning - in theory

As I went to Castletown Geoghan yesterday with Rosknit to do spinning in the Eco tent at the Green Village ( ),  I think I'll call the resulting yarn "Castletown. Anyway, the bright multicolors of the roving I dyed remind me of little flags or bunting associated with castle fetes.
I dyed 134 grams (4.8oz) of BFL roving (Wingham Wool Works : )  with KoolAid colors as folows:
The roving was soaked overnight in tepid water in the sink where the plug with its loose fit, leaked the water away slowly so the roving was just damp next morning. I divided it - unequally as it happens, 55 grams into one roasting tin and 77 grams into the other.

The top quarter or so get 2 packets of Tropical punch sprinkled, next quarter 1 1/2 packets of Orange, next quarter 2 packets of Lemonade and the last got one pack each of Lemon/Lime and Berry Blue.
I left that to soak in then pressed it with a spoon to get the dyes through to the back - but there were through anyway. I added s few drizzles of 1/4 Cider vinegar and water to leave a slight pool of water around the edges.
I placed the tins inside larger turkey roasting bags then they went into the fan over at 160 Degrees for 40 minuets. The water was clear then and I saw it boil a bit (Perhaps less heat next time?).
I let it cool in the oven, then out of the oven then took the bags off and cool to hand-hot. I poured on warm water at about the same temperature and then drained it off (still in the tins). I laid them on towels and rolled dthem up to let the liquid gently soak out of the roving.

I opened the damp roving out flat so it wouldn't dry into a semi-felt and so ti would dry more quickly, then I hung it in the hot press. Next day it was dry.

I stripped the larger part into two and spun that at 12:1 over 1/2 inch (around 24 tpi) on my Ashford Traveller , making singles of 20 wpi. BFL roving doesn't have the spring/bounce that my own sheep fleece has,  spun as locks, hand carded or combed, so I find it needs quite a lot of twist to liven it up as the fibers tend to relax to flat. Plus, it does not become too hard even when spun quite tightly.

I finished spinning the longer-color-run single single while wearing two of my knitted shawls as the wind made a B-line for us spinners inside our partial tent. I discovered that drop spindles don't perform very well in the wind (duh..) and that Reggae music suits spinning on a wheel quite well, for short worsted-style anyway.
I was not supposed to spin the second part that evening - but couldn't resist so I divided the second part in two long wise again then each of these halves into three - trying to avoid too much color pooling and to mute the loud colors. This was a sort-of fractal spinning 'though my stuff is not accurate enough to ensure any sort of dependable pattern. I am hoping for some degree of repetitions of fairly solid bits followed by marled bits.
If it were accurate, and the four colors were ABC and D, then I'd expect that each individual color of the long-color-run singles repeats ,  when plied with the short-color-run singles would have one solid color bit and three marled bits:

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000155 EndHTML:0000001736 StartFragment:0000000475 EndFragment:0000001719

Fractal spinning: second lot of fiber split in 3 or 3:1 fractal

Long color roving A B C D
Second roving split in 3 abcd, abcd, abcd abcd, abcd, abcd abcd, abcd, abcd abcd, abcd, abcd
Solid=A. Marled=m Ammm,Ammm,Ammm, mBmm,mBmm,mBmm mmCm,mmCm,mmCm mmmD,mmmD,mmmD

In my case, A=red, B=orange, C=Lemonade and D=blue-green. So in the first encounter with red on the long-color-run single, the plied short-color-run lined up with it would produce a strip with 1/4 solid red, 1/4/ red-orange, 1/4 red-yellow and 1/4 red-bluie/green.
Yeah, right! :).
Well see when the yarn is finished. I do think I'll not get too much pooling - but will get lots of marled parts.
Long-Color-Run single
Short-color-Run single

Don't treadle with a shoe that has a strap over your instep - no matter how cold it is nor how loose the strap! I did that yesterday and after my compulsion to get all the spinning done (well it was only 4.8 oz) I hobbled away from the wheel as my right ankle was bandjaked! That's an ankle with a somewhat raised instep acquired while doing ballet as a child and not usually a problem but the strap on my shoe must have been aggravating the heck out of it during treadling. While it's way better today, the finished yarn will have to wait a while to be plied:
I wondered where the "inspiration" for this color way came from then I looked out the window straight in front of me:
 Sure the yarn doesn't look quite so green in the photos (it is actually a bit more lime green in places and the blue not so obvious as those blowers, but I'd say it directed my selection all the same. Nothing to do with castles or bunting just da front garden.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Graduated blue green dyed hand spun

6.6 ounces divided into 1.1 ounce hanks and dyed progressively with blue and green food dye with a vinegar mordant.  350 - 400 yards.

Drafting Lindy's Shetland

This is just a video of drafting. It surprised me how much it looked like I was doing nearly all the work with the forward hand while in reality the back hand was doing a lot more in the way of drafting back and straightening the fibers.

First Hank. 1.7 oz, 2-ply, 226 yards 

That would make it 2,127 yrds/Lb - or Fingering weight and around 16 wpi and actually it is :).
So it's not lace weight when plied, though, of course, the singles were.
It doesn't look terribly impressive but it feels lovely and I think it's the nicest fiber I've spun so far.


Somewhere on the net, (I'll track it down eventully) is posted this useful information (well, useful if your're toying with weaving patterns and using hand spun yarn anyway):
Yrds/LB                Yarn weight         WPI
2600+                     Lace                    18+
1900-2400              Fingering            16
1200-1800              Sport                   14
900-1200                Worsted              12 
600-800                  Bulky                 10
400-500                  V. Bulky             8

I think I most often end up with 14 WPI hand spun (Sport) but it might knit better as Worsted. My own sheep's fleece tend to be bouncy and these yarns probably punch above their weight.
That would suggest I'd use the 7.5 dent heddle on my Ashford knitters loom for plain weave - and this is probably true.
Just trying to get a handle on some of the variables I'd met with over the past few years.

Aghhh - look at this dreary background now - where did my design go?


Trying to catch up after confusion...

Forgot password or user ID or something and got into a mess with logging into this google blog account so now I can't remember quite what I'd planned to put here over the tail end of this summer. So I'm going to make a set of little pages about stuff that comes to mind in no particular order.

Here's a reminder of how lovely the lillies were this year:

Nuala's Flower with Sweet Pea behind. Colors for a yarn?