Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fiber Play

I thought I would have some fun and document the process of turning fibers into yarn.

My friend Kim sent me an awesome care package a few weeks back, including a tube of yummy fibers entitled "Fiber Play", which I believe is from an artist who sells her wares at Urban Fauna Studio in San Francisco (the website makes me salivate...).

I showed a picture of the tube in a previous post. In fact, it reminds me of Crosspatch Creations' "Totally Tubular" kits: a coordinating set of fun fibers for you to play with!

I had some time on Friday afternoon, so I decided to get out the drumcarder and make Fiber Play!

Below, you can see that I pulled out all the fibers from the tube and laid them in separate piles. I think the lime green roving on the left is merino, as well as the seafoam green locks immediately to the right of it. The blue fiber felt like mohair locks, or maybe Cotswold?, and the green fiber on the right of the piles was...rough. I described it to Kim as if someone had dyed their hair a lot and robbed the softness out of it, but I figured it might add body to the mix, and I was determined to use all the elements in my yarn. Below the wools are three bunches of angelina fiber. I love sparkle!!

The first thing I did was get out the drumcarder, and start running fibers through it. I made "fiber sandwiches" to protect the angelina from getting caught in the licker-in carder. All I did for that was to place wool on bottom and top of a layer of angelina, then feed the sammich through my carder. I also got lazy and started feeding wool locks directly onto the big drum whenever I saw thin spots in my batt.

After each time the big drum was sufficiently full of fiber, I cleared it and made another batt. I ended up with four batts of fiber, which are shown below.

I wanted to make them more homogenous, so I ripped each batt into quarters (half lengthwise, then each half widthwise), and mixed them up into four new, evenly distributed piles. I fed those into the drumcarder, but decided to form three larger batts instead of the four I originally had.

The first batt I spoun into a thick & thin single, wrapped in thread as I went. I got the thread during my excursion to Yarnia, in Portland, back in September when Jen and I went to OFFF.

After that, I sort of liked the results, but wanted to keep playing, so I installed the Woolee Winder Daniel bought me for Valentine's Day *blush* and started learning it's intricacies. I think I shall end up buying a couple more bobbins so I can use it for plying, but one is plenty to learn on!

And, finally, here is a photo of the first skein of finished yarn, thick & thin singles wrapped with turquoise thread...

I am thinking of making a set of coordinating yarns, using this fiber but varying styles, and perhaps knitting a hat out of them. I have some beads that would look neat on this colorway, too; perhaps I will incorporate them!

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