It all started with this wonderful fibre you can see in the photo below. It’s blended Corriedale – called “Trutti Frutti.” It’s eight different colours that follow a rainbow sequence – with the exception of the yellow, which is really a “grellow” and what truly makes the difference in my final project. Just watch the way it behaves as it blends with other colours.I picked up these eight (100g each) bundles of joy at Fibres West in March 2023 from West Coast Colour and Carding. I couldn’t choose a colour, so I purchased one of each. I was so smitten with the possibilities for these colours, I picked up another set (eight @ 100g) when I returned the following day.
As a way of assessing the potential these colours and fibre offer, I spun up some two-ply mini-skeins. Placed in a rainbow sequence, and using two rolags for each mini-skein, I made sixteen different colours. Red + Red; Red + Orange; Orange + Orange; Orange + Yellow and so forth. Here it is below, all set-up to make 16 yarn samples. Here’s an up close look at the effect of the marled yarns. Marled yarns are yarns that use a different colour – when the contrast of colours is strong, they are also called barber pole yarn. I decided I liked the yarn that I was making with my spindles and my wheel, so I proceeded to make 50 gram amounts of each of the 16 colours.
There it is in progress. The mini skeins helped me keep track of my spinning progress. Which was a very good thing. This quickly turned from being spinning/plying colour management explorations, to an actual project. A friend was getting married and a photo she sent to me of her son playing with his cars, gave me the idea for the gift.
His love of rainbows and loose adherence to them in the activity, appealed to me. I wanted to explore this in weaving. I lined up a photo of the sixteen yarn samples and an idea started to form. But first, the yarn needed to be made.
While I made the yarn, sometimes on my wheel, and mostly on my support spindles, I got into a relaxed state of making the yarn. I worked to enjoy each part of the spinning process and developed a daily practice pf spinning and reflecting on life and feeling incredibly grateful to have such a task ahead of me.
Next post I’ll write up about the weaving process.
I have finally finished my Sweet Georgia Yarn Fibre Advent project. I spun the entire project on my support spindles. Fortunately I have plenty of spindles, so I don’t need to empty them to continue the project. Once all the fibre was spun, I was able to line up all the spindles organize them into a kind of gradient. The plan was to create a simple two-ply yarn.
There were a variety of fibres and colours in the advent gift packets. The colours were mostly solid, so after a few days of opening plain packets, I decided to save up a few, add some sparkle and sari silk and make some unique blends. It’s all about fun so why not?
Once done, I lined them all up, and put them two at a time into my make-shift lazy kate – plastic basket with rocks to add weight. See below. From there I wound a two-strand plying ball. When one spindle ran out, I chose the next one in line, and fused that fibre to last one, for a continuous thread. There were many different wool blends in this mix, so I had my fingers crossed that everyone would play well together once washed.
I continued winding and adding new yarns until all the spindles were empty and I was left with a 203 g plying ball. And then, to get the job done quickly, because there is a part of me that is quite impatient once I get this far into a project, I plied this baby using my Majacraft Rose wheel. I washed, admired, and wound the yarn into two cakes ready for action. And then they sat until I figured out what they could be.
My plan was to make some kind of simple shawl that would feature the hand spun yarns. The Grain Shawl by Tin Can Knits came to mind. I worked from the middle out on both balls of yarn. To add a bit of fancy, I added an eyelet couple of rows and finished off with (seemingly never ending) picot edging. (Not in the Grain pattern.) Washed, blocked and posing for photos, I think she’s going to do the trick. A nice cover for a cool summer evening, and a cozy shawl/scarf for colder winter walks.
Below are some photos of the first three days of fibre from the Sweet Georgia Advent 2022. Each packet featured fibre from different breeds, (some dyed) probably a total of 10 different breeds. In addition to different colours, the variety of breeds allowed for some learning along the way. My original plan was to open each fibre packet, choose a spindle from my fleet, and spin it up that very day.
The photo below is day 1 and the spindle I chose is a TDF (Tour De Fleece) Mirkwood that I bought from a fellow guild member and support spindle enabler. It has a ball bearing tip, a gem stone at the end of the flicking tip, gem stones all around the whorl that sparkle as it spins, and it’s heavy. And, I love it.
The spindle on the right in the photo below is day two spun up on The Spindle Shop Dyavol style spindle. After a day of spinning with the Mirkwood, I was able to feel the difference that a heavy spindle makes, particularly when the fibre is on the medium/coarse side of things. The extra weight helps to get that twist into the fibres and keeps the momentum going. The Dyavol still performed well – spinning fast and long, with a long shaft for easy cop building and temporary cop storage.
I got to day three which was white Corriedale and decided it needed to add SOMETHING to it. White Corriedale is lovely, but so very, can we say it – plain. I added some silk/camel to it and made a smooth luxurious blend with it on my blending board.
For these rolags I chose my Allen Berry Acorn and Oak spindle. This spindle is a beauty and brings me great joy when I spin with it. It too is on the heavy side, and despite the weight, it spins effortlessly and long.
And the final photo shoot of days 1 – 3. More to come.