Friday, September 10, 2010

Turquoise-Periwinkle and Drum Carders

I decided to put my Strauch Petite drum carder to work and try processing some locks on it rather than combing. I also did some color blending on it. I'm not getting the effects I want for some reason with the latter, at least with this blending attempt. It's possible that's because the colors are too close for the to stand out. However, I'd also dyed up a bunch of misc. solids last summer, a lot of which were in these same colors, so even though those were combed, I decided to spin close to all I had, and Navajo ply it (also something that's fairly new to me).

Navajo plying is interesting. It's a way to keep color changes together when spinning from rainbow-dyed roving, but it took a fair learning curve. Whoever invented Navajo plying was a genius, or else she got tangled up at her wheel, and then discovered that if she spun the tangle, or part of it, her colors would stay separated and she could call it Navajo plying.

I learned the technique entirely from a youtube video. Thank God for youtube videos. I've been actually learning pretty much everything I know about spinning techniques on youtube videos. Here's the best one I found on Navajo plying, by Sarah Anderson, with good sound, good photography and clear, concise instructions.

Unfortunately, my first skein in this colorway and technique, I spun the singles so that with 3 ply (Navajo), it ended up as a heavy worsted weight. On the next little skein, I narrowed down some (23 plyed yards) and got more of a regular worsted weight, bordering in some places on finer. Then what I did today, I narrowed up even more, and although more consistent, it's looking like this little skein (56 yards) will almost be a DK weight. That's an odd breakdown, but once I figure out about how many yards a hat will take (forgot), I think that's where I'll go with it. I like both the colors (a periwinkle wannabee and a turquoise), and I'm totally open to doing a scarf or cowl in the same or pick up one or the other colors, but spin it out of the CVM/Corrie mix breed fleece I have, which is definitely next-to-skin wool.

So here's what I ended up with (2 of the skeins, today's is soaking to set the spin).

I'm sure glad I'm not yet sick of this colorway, or either part of it, because Monday, Labor Day, my spin group had their annual Dye Day, and they were trying out their brand new humungous dye pot (it does pounds, and pounds at a time, a gigantic shiny stainless stand-alone pot, 2-3 ft. deep, mounted on its own burner). What color did they put in it, for everyone to dump whatever yarn or fiber they wanted into it? Turquoise. I stuck in 5 oz. of really nice grade locks from my Romney fleeces, or maybe it's more. Still unprocessed (not sure if I'll card or comb), but it's turqoise. Or maybe closer to Aqua. But at least it'll fit in, that's for sure.

I still have quite a credit balance at a LYS, and have had this huge flirtation with a Louet Jr. (roving carder - narrow drum) so bit the bullet and ordered one. A 4" wide drum, the teeth on the Louets are longer and of all things, flexible. They intermesh also. A totally different animal than my Strauch. It'll be interesting to see how that fits into my world. I don't know yet, only that I just couldn't seem to get that particular carder out of my head. That's what trade arrangements are all about though, yes? Buying something you couldn't justify otherwise.