Thursday, 26 November 2009

Black coffee

Not the kind you drink but the kind you spin! Yes, some more spinning is going on - at last! I managed to pull myself away from the knitting to indulge in a bit of spinning. Motivation? Some spun roving as a christmas present - for a certain someone who loves colour and free hand spun yarn:-) But as they are unlikely to read my blog then it's safe to post my progress for you to see.

The roving may be familiar to some of you from a fibre purchase I made earlier this year - february to be exact! I couldn't believe that when I checked my earlier post on this but, yup, that long ago. The colour is 'Black coffee' and the fibre is by Fibreoptic - also where I got the lovely pinky/purple roving 'jelly jelly' that I spun up recently and now use for my blog banner. That skein has been gifted but I still have half of the roving left to be spun.

I learned a lot from that spinning session - like I split the roving too thin and my single was way too thin in places and not even enough thoughout. So,  more spinning practice is needed:-) This time I've not made the slivers quite so thin so I can practice whether I want to draw some fleece out as I go to get a more even yarn.

I know I should probably start with thicker yarns but I just seem to gravitate to thinner threads. Well, as long as its even, I can ply to get a heavier yarn - for now. The perfectionist in me will insist on mastering this yarn thickness issue sometime soon in the future, but for now, I'll settle for a smooth, even yarn. I've read up so much about tension, ratios and the right bobbins for my wheel that I'll be dreaming of it!! Now to the spinning where I hope some of that research has paid off!

This is the roving single using half of the fleece. I think it is a bit more even than before and seemed to spin up quicker this time but still a thin thread:-) I do like the colours and how they merge together. The light has been so poor that each photo made the yarn look a different colour palette! So I've include a couple of images to give you a better idea overall.

I've also been thinking a lot about how to use the roving - particularly how to get the best from the colours.  If I split the roving into lots of little slivers, it won't draw out much longer than the staple length so the colour sections will spin up pretty much to the length shown on the sliver. If I don't make slivers at all and spin straight from the full roving, I will be able to tease a lot of fibre from each section of colour before moving on to the next section. This will produce a completely different yarn with much longer colour gradations.

As I want to learn as well as produce lovely yarns:-), I've decided to try out both techniques. I had already slivered my first 4oz of roving (yes, I got two as it was so scrummy!) and had started spinning before this idea about colour occurred to me so I have to make a decision about how to proceed. I could start the second roving and ply the first sliver single with a full roving colourway single to get a play of short and long colourways meeting when they are plied together - nice - or I could have one skein of two short colourways together and one skein of two long colourways together to show the more obvious colour contrasts in technique.

Maybe I'll do a little more reading before making the final decision but I can't take too long as christmas won't wait for me!


  1. Hey sis,
    I think the recipient may just love this! it looks so gorgeous. Just the thing!
    By the way, just found out we are on team pink!!!! its a girl!!!! yeah!!!

  2. Yay! Team pink:-)) Now I know what colours to use I can start making you a heap of baby things! Any requests?!

  3. I think you did a LOVELY job spinning this. Mine is not coming out nearly as nice.

    Good job! (and the roving is stunning.. will have to check out Fiberoptic!

  4. This is only the second dyed roving I've tried spinning so far and I still feel there is so much I have to learn:-)I'm just going to keep practicing....

    I have to stay away from fibreoptics when I have no money to spend!! Seriously lovely colours. But I may treat myself for my birthday soon!

  5. Love the colours in you spinning. I am knitting up a hat with similar colours too.

  6. Thank you Lucette and Rachel. You may have noticed the colours are rather more subtle than usual - for me:-)But I just loved them for that subtlety and spinning with this roving has been really enjoyable, watching the colours change and merge as I go. Very addictive!


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