Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Sunday, July 13, 2003  

The Tale of Two Rovings

Two products of this weekend’s dyeing experiments are these two rovings. They are composed of almost the same colors: a softened turquoise, an acid yellow/green, a slightly darker green, a rosy pink and medium pinkish orange. In the spotted roving there is also a purple. I’ve done several spinning experiments with these rovings and thought it would be fun to share them here.

The first little swatch is knit from a yarn made by stripping off a thin length of each roving, laying them side by side and drafting them together. It was difficult to spin these evenly and you can see that I didn’t. This is delightful thick ‘n thin yarn but, only, I don’t like that kind of yarn much. I don’t mind the thick parts, but I hate the thin ones. But this fiber has been handled a good bit. Even though separating thin strips fluffs it out again, little noils form, the fiber grabs, and when you are working with two rovings like this, it grabs a lot more than drafting from only one split roving. Lumps just would get caught in the twist.

But this makes the most interesting yarn to knit up. Each individual stitch offers the opportunity for 4 different colors to show up. It’s a 2-ply yarn and each of the plies will have two colors since the roving is actually two rovings. I’ve made another swatch from another double drafted yarn and it’s just as exciting and intricate looking. I really like how this yarn looks and if I can master the spinning of it, I will make many more.

This swatch is actually 3 swatches in one, knit from a 2-ply yarn made from both of the rovings, first the striped one plied with itself, then the striped and the spotted yarn plied together and then the spotted yarn plied with itself. the bottom roving, the striped plied with itself, is very autumnal with it’s oranges and greens. The turquoise seems to bet lost in the knitting.

The middle few rows are a 2 ply with both colors and it is almost, though not quite, as interesting as the double drafted swatch but much easier to make.

When I look at the rovings, the spotted one looks like something I’d use to knit for a baby. It gets a little more sophisticated when knit up - not so babyish. And the green is the color that disappears in this yarn while the turquoise seems to take center stage.

Looking at this swatch I can almost see a sweater knit with the heavier colors around the hem and gradually lightening towards the top. But what I plan to do is to knit a baby hat out of the sophisticated baby colors and just practice spinning with the striped one.

So - some interesting things you can do with colors and fibers. Or - how to fritter away a Sunday.

posted by Bess | 9:17 PM