12 May 2013

Experiment - Navajo Ply with inclusions, Plied Twice. Plus ME trying out blogging.

It's spring, so sheep are getting sheared and people like me who love new fleece are enjoying their Laughing Place.  I've been doing a fair bit of washing lately -- which I love to do, believe me, not just because of what's waiting when it's all done, but the whole process just feels good somehow -- but it's hard to resist taking a break to play.  And why resist, after all?  The dirty fleeces still waiting aren't going anywheres.

I was in the mood for BLUES, and now that my husband found me a second slow cooker sitting out on someone's curb the day after a neighbourhood yard sale (thank you everyone for not buying it), I can dye twice as much at a time. I like slow cooker dyeing because the fleece doesn't get disturbed in the dye bath and doesn't felt.  

There they are drying:
From top left clockwise: Romney x Merino, Cormo,
Border Leicester x BFL, BFL x Romney/Cotswold

From top left clockwise: Cormo, Lincoln Longwool,
Romney x BFL, Border Leicester x BFL
 Can't resist showing off the lock loveliness -- don't you just want to do something fabulous with all this gorgeous blue?

RomneyxBFL, Cormo, Lincoln Longwool, BFLxRomney/Cotswold, BLxBFL, RomneyxMerino, RomneyxMerino

I recently watched a few YouTube ads for an Ashford Country Spinner (my dream wheel) featuring Steph Gorin from Loop doing cool things (I love it when people share their ideas and give tutorials for free -- so generous with their talent!). In this particular video, she Navajo plies corespun yarn, inserting locks and various other items, then teardrop plies the whole thing.  

Sounds fun.  Seeing as my wheel is significantly smaller than a Country Spinner (I have an Ashford Traditional with a jumbo flyer) I thought I'd try something of what she did, but smaller.  Also, no non-wool insertions; I'm going to stick with locks.

I've been getting really into combing. It's so luxurious.  I even comb first when I'm going to card batts.  I just love the wool top when you pull it off.  The locks weren't all the same length, but close enough.  I don't think things necessarily have to be perfect in this department.  They carded beautifully and soon I was spinning my corespun.

Ready on my combs

After two passes with the combs:

                                                And pulled off in top:                        

I love love love the blues, and decided for a nice pow of colour to use some green locks to ply in -- these are all BFL-cross fleeces, except the far left, which is Cotswold.  

First catch the locks into the loops of your yarn as you Navajo-ply it ...

Then ply the whole shebang - this is plied on a bright blue mill-spun wool yarn with silver and purple metallic thread autowrapped.  It hasn't been washed yet in this pic, it's straight off the wheel.

A great weekend project, I think, very enjoyable accompaniment to the murder mysteries I usually listen to whilst spinning.  I'm not quite done -- either the skein or the mystery -- and it looks like this is going to fill my spindle twice over once it's all plied together.  But I like the yarn, very chunky and textured and I love the colours and what the locks do after the second ply.  Still thinking of blues, though.  I think I'll be delving into these fleeces again for my next skein.


Here's the yarn, washed and set - as you can see in the second photo, it's super bulky (2-3 wpi) and all told about 19 yards long.

You can see it in my shop here

In my Etsy shop

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