I have recently ordered a set of tops of my dreams. Literally. After a period of testing wools coming from different sheep breeds (there was an idea to write a series of posts covering this.. this might be worth rethinking), now the moment came when I want more fun. I have also more trust in my own capabilities, and I feel I can surf on slightly higher waves.
Among blends I wanted to touch and turn into a yarn there was this divine blend of merino wool present here in 3 colors – white, blue and raven and .. a flax. At the end of the braid you can see how beautifuly it distinguishes itself from the smooth woolen fibres.
Truly wonderful blend. Yet what looks beautifuly as a braid, not always turns into equally wonderful yarn.. And, unfortunately, fibers mixed this way might easily end up as a yarn resembling a mixture of melted snow and mud. And here comes the basic perplexity:
How to design this yarn to keep the continuity of the beauty transfer, first from the blend onto a yarn, and later on, from a yarn onto a knitted fabric?
At the very beginning I rejected those ways of spinning that were typical for me. Pulling the fiber in a thin, single thread would keep these beautiful color transitions, but later on, in knitted or crochetted fabric, these short passages would impose on each other too closely, and I suppose that the fabric’s color structure could end up looking quasi-granite, which I would like to avoid in this case. For this reason, I also rejected the idea of plying finer threads. A sensible way out of this situation would be to go foward spinning thick singles or doubles .. .. or .. ??
A thought has crossed my mind that it is good to have concerns like that. With time, the yarns will continously become better thought out and less accidential. And besides, gaining control over every stage of the process is truly rewarding.
The result of my concerns was an idea to create a gently artistic yarn. I decided to spin my single using thin&thick method and ply it in the end with narrower white thread forming a pearl string. I dug through my resources, and after a few trying ons (milk proteins too yellow, seacell too shiny, merino unnecessarily downy..) I decided to set my thin&thick single with a pure miracle – fibre made out of ramie, an asian relative of our nettles. Adding another plant fiber did compose well with already present flax and in addition to that, I did not have to worry about the thinner thread’s strength when putting additional tension to it during plying. Ramie fiber makes one of the strongest yarns I had chance to spin!
This is how my truly winter yarn looks like in dayligh (click on a picture to enlarge):
When spinning it, I was perfectly sure I want it to look this way. The yarn is interersting from the very beginning up to last meter, and I caught myself having so much fun plying those spirals, I kept calling my Arek to come and watch as I’m doing it!
Yarn’s technical aspect is also very interesting, as here I could see the impact of finishing more clearly than with regular yarns. After giving it the final wash, the twist distributed itself along the yarn and the whole became really stable. The yarn also proved to be able to regenerate itself after rinsing. I was afraid that spots that are fluffier could easily get fuzzier or pressed too much but after it dried out it turned out to be even prettier and balanced.
I may be adoring this yarn too intensively.. yet it is exactly like I have imagined it to be, frosty to its core. I was once afraid of merino and flax blends, here however those coarser, white, sort of broken fibres you may notice protruding from the yarn, I associate with frosted stalks emerging from under the snow. I don’t know whether you like this effect, but personally, as I spinner, I adore it!
The only concern that remains now is this yarn’s future life.. Still, there is a possibility that the colours will blend more or less. What we can do is to accept this fact but receive a very interesting fabric texture instead, or choose a completely different direction and let’s say use this yarn as a decorative weft in a hand spun white scarf. Sky is the limit.
I have an impression, that this 2017 could become a year of discovering new ways of freestyle spinning. The quetion now is not ‘if..’, but when will I make another art yarn?