Friday, October 28, 2016

Another rabbit hole... the Gradient

Have been quite  obsessed  productive since I got my new and quite amazing wheel. 
It's all Carols fault... I caught a glimpse of her new book, Knitting with Rainbows, and fell in love with the pattern on the cover, Shanakiel.
Carol has been very good to me over the years, has designed quite a few patterns in my yarn, and I was blown away with the arrival of the book in my Ravelry library, as if by *magic* after I enquired about the shawl...
So I decided it would be a great way to test myself, and my new wheel, by spinning a hand-dyed Shetland gradient from my lovely friend, the very talented Green witch, Freyalyn so I can make it :)

I very carefully split the strip of combed top down the middle, I had to give it a good shake, and open the top up to find 'the middle' ... and inched my way down it slowly, making sure I kept it as even as I could. It's crucial that you take your time with this initial piece of prep, if you want your two pieces to weigh the same after splitting. I then split both pieces into manageable sections, and predrafted them out. 
Shetland is a joy to spin, the colours are just *a m a z i n g* & it really took no time at all to spin the singles. The colours blend together wonderfully, and the transitional colour mixes just sing :)

I didn't need to take much out of either single to get them to line up nicely either, mainly because my spinning is fairly consistent (control freak), and I took my time with the initial splitting of the tops.
Now, you guys know me, I am a big believer in paying it forward, so after I spun the yarn to make myself a Shanakiel, I decided to spin one for Carol too, to repay her kindness :)
I decided on a blended gradient pack from Katie at Hilltopcloud called 'French Bark'

Again, I was very careful to split each piece of top into equal halves, and it was so much different to spinning with a hand-dyed top. Because of the fibre mix (merino, shetland and silk) and the obvious proportions of these in each coloured strip, the final yarn has such a beautiful tweedy composition, which adds a lot of colour depth and the silk adds a subtle shine when you look at it closely.

Again, I didn't really have much alignment maintenance to do until I'd plied about 75% of it, and I ended up with 134g, 18WPI & 467 yds before it's bath...
Two very different spinning experiences, both enjoyable for different reasons, to get the same type of yarn!

'French Bark' ... or 'Le Woof' as I am calling it, is going to be one of the prizes for Carol to give away in her Wrap Up Winter KAL on Ravelry. 
The way it works is to knit a pattern from a particular bundle to join the KAL (one of the patterns My Little Precious is made with semi-Precious btw) and if you don't have any of the patterns featured, there's a very generous discount code on them all. 
If any of you have patterns in the bundle, or 'Knitting with Rainbows' and fancy joining the KAL, it will run from Nov 1st to Dec 31st with a nice yarny surprise at the end! 

What is not to love about that!!


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