I don't know if I mentioned it before, but back at the beginning of the year I joined the Grafton Fibers ColorWays club. Every month, you get a big, fluffy batt of corriedale, died in wonderful colours and blended in interesting ways. I opened the first package and was totally petrified. The one time I'd used a batt before, I just grabbed handfuls of fiber and spun them together. Although you could use that technique with these, you'd lose the wonderful colour progressions. Yup, each batt so far has been carded so that the colours gradually shift from one end to the other. January went from red to turquoise and back to red, and February from red through yellow to blue, March from ultraviolet through blue and brown, and April from gold through green to burgundy. They have been gorgeous. Rather than end up the year with a stack of 12 nice neat boxes,, I decided it was time to just dive in.
I started with February. I must confess that none of these pictures accurately reflects the true colours. The original batt was sort of like this, but the red is way off, and it doesn't show much of the green:
I tore the batt into four sections length-wise, then pulled each section out width-wise into a tube (rolag?) and then dizzed them into a long strip (roving?).
To keep the colours true while spinning, I had two choices, either Navajo ply or singles. I did two chains of N-ply and got bored, so singles it was. :-)
One end of the yarn is red, some with a bit of brown. The yellow is gradually introduced, with some green, and it shades through blue with some black to clear blue.
Spinning a single is a bit scary, because normally the plies in a multi-ply yarn give it strength. In a single, you need enough twist to hold it together but not so much that it gets all kinky. I used a fairly heavy spindle -- my Bossie maxi --so I could try to keep my yarn thick. It took some planning to keep the colour progression so I had the right ends to join together as I built the total length. I finished it by alternating hot and cold washes, with a bit of agitation, to slightly felt it and give it some strength.
This picture shows the blue and green, but the red is off.
I'm thinking it wants to be a scarf, probably like the Noro striped one that's very popular, but I haven't quite decided if I want to match it with some plain black or maybe wait to see if another batt later in the year will coordinate with it. I think I'll just pet it for a while. :-)
I finally finished a pair of socks.
I posted about these before and how much I was NOT enjoying them. The yarn is Regia Kaffe Fassett, and when I bought it, I thought I was getting the striped variety. Turns out I must have been distracted by some other nearby pretty and reached into the wrong bin and got -- whatever that is. I was determined to finish them, though, because I was in one of those "Next time you go yarn shopping, remember to check the bin!" self-improvement masochistic modes. A good way to just get through something that isn't appealing? Rent a couple of DVDs and just sit and knit and don't look at them. I have Battlestar Galactica Season to thank for getting these done. I hadn't seen any Battlestar before, and it looks to be a good series. I still kind of hate the socks, though.
With those two projects done, it was time to start another. It's been very busy at work, and stressful, and I've been generally grumpy and tired. But every time I pick this up, I can't help but smile a bit. If the red and purple sparkles don't do it, the spindle itself certainly does.
It's batts from Enchanted Knoll Farm, Red Silk Kimono colourway, being spun on my Tilt-a-Whorl drain strainer spindle. Big fun, and I have absolutely no idea what I will do with the finished yarn, and I don't really care. :-)