In my last blog post “Spinning on the Road” I had a good deal of the February Sweet Georgia Yarns fibre club spun up, ready for plying.
Well last weekend I plied it all, gave it the boiling water treatment to finish the silk, and now have 460 yards of fingering weight yarn in three lovely skeins.
This colour way has clear contrasting colours, in the sense of light sections and dark coloured sections. I didn’t know how I wanted to spin it until I came across two azalea bushes- one pink the other purple – in Charleston, South Carolina. They were in full bloom and growing against a grey stone wall. I was smitten with the way the pinks, purples and greys all worked together. At that moment I decided that’s the look I wanted for the end project. In my mind, that called for a stripped yarn – one singles of the light and one of the deeper colours.
This isn’t an azalea – as I didn’t take a photo of those bushes – but it has a similar effect. It’s an ornamental cherry in my neighbour’s yard.
At the spinning stage. You can see the different colour ways in action here.
Here I am spinning up the last of the lighter colour way.
And here’s the lot of it, plied and skeined. See how skinny these are? Remember this photo and compare it to the finished skeins. You see, fibre gets stretched out a lot during processing, spinning and plying. This yarn needs a good long soak in hot water to help it bloom and plump out again.
And here it is in the hot water bath getting the “treatment.” What’s the “treatment” you ask?
Fill a cauldron with water. Add a bit of soap, I added shampoo, about a tablespoon. I slipped the skeins in and slowly brought it up to a boil. I lifted and moved them a bit to avoid hot spots. The second it started boiling, I lowered the heat enough to keep it on a simmer. I let it simmer for 30 minutes then took it off the heat and let it cool enough so I could handle it. Not the best photo, but it shows what’s going on.
After the hot water treatment, I rinsed it, adding a squirt of vinegar to the rinse water. Then I towel dried them and hung them to dry.
And here are the lovelies. All plumped up and ready for some project. The yarn is soft and silky. It would make a wonderful shawl. All of this spinning was done on my drop spindles.