Thursday, October 03, 2013

Spinning A Color Sequence

With the Sewanee Fall Craft Fair coming up next weekend, I decided to finally write a formal pattern for Kerfuffle: A Simple Fingerless Mitt with a Riotous Little Ruffle. You can purchase the pattern here.

My favorite version of this pattern is one I knit from my handspun. It's classic Lynne Vogel, this one, from a technique I teach in my color classes of predrafting a color sequence to lengthen the colorband placement in the yarn. This roving is LV ltd for Three Waters Farm BFL in "Sepiatone Rosalie".

the entire 4 oz roving laid out in repeats
 This colorway is laid out in thirds, so there are three distinct repeats in it's entire length, plus a nice bit of orchid on one end. In a 4 ounce hank there is more than enough for these mitts (yardage approx 110 yds per pair) spun in a short draw worsted weight singles. It takes approx 48 yds for each mitt body and 12 for each ruffle depending on your row gauge.
two identical repeats and one orchid end
one repeat predrafted prior to spinning
I divided the roving into thirds following the repeat patterns, then chose two to spin for my mitts. I saved the piece with the orchid end for the ruffle, splitting it in half lengthwise before spinning so as to have two shorter identical bits. I predrafted each piece keeping the colors of the fibers in alignment and spun both on separate bobbins working from the same end of the color repeat, doing the same for the ruffle. This meant that the fibers were going one way for one repeat and another for the next, but with blueface leicester this really doesn't matter much. It's more critical for a finer fiber such as merino, so take that into consideration if you want to try this technique with that fiber. I finished the yarn by washing and setting the twist before I knit.

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