I am deeply immersed in fiber and color mixing with fiber.
More like obsessed!
This study of tweed & color is finally starting to take a direction.
It all began a few months ago when I was discovering one after another of old mill videos, and longing to make tweed yarn by my own hand, and without the colossal expense of a drum carder. I talk about it back in a mid-summer post. Since I made myself a blending board, I can’t leave it alone, and so naturally I’d be inventing my own blending recipes which I am merrily posting quite feverishly lately, and I am progressing quite rapidly to understanding tweeded color in yarn.
Okay, so these plum wool sausages are the most recent experiment, a hybrid actually, wherein I am including hand-mixing and also a bit of carding, with hand carders against my blending board, just like a flat rendition of a drum carder. You don’t need to use hand carders, you can use a wire tooth pet brush too.
((Actually, a bit of a spoiler, but next blending experiment I will only card, and using only the blending board without a hand carder, and in doing so I realize that doing both the hand mix and carding in the same is overkill. ))
This big beautiful batt of once carded fiber, gets loaded back on for a second finer mix, and then the final mix gets drawn off into rolags.
And then I’ve begun to spin….
For the best homogenization of color, I feel that I need to steer away from varying fiber textures, so this is all wool & alpaca, no bamboo or silk, because I want no clumping up of fibers if possible in this finer tweed color mix, with solid colors still coming out in hints , but no color splashing.
Here is the final result of this fiber blending recipe, although the camera is not catching the spectrum of colors well, they’ve hazed into a nice grey plum pudding!
Fibers used in this micro batch are: grey baby alpaca, blue Corriedale, red Corriedale, and fuscia Merino. Here is what I am doing , as illustrated by a photo slideshow at the bottom of the post.
- Portion out the fiber you would like to mix, weighing if possible.
Divide into smaller manageable piles to mix by hand.
- One at a time, mix fibers in the smaller piles by hand, holding each end and firmly pulling fiber apart. Repeat as desired — I did this about 10 times each, but you can do more or less.
- Fill teeth of blending board with hand-mixed fiber.
- With hand carder, card wool and then pull off of carders.
- Repeat until all fiber has been carded, and lift off batt of remaining fiber on blending boad.
- Fill teeth with carded fiber, combing between applications to fill teeth as much as possible.
- Draw fiber out into rolags!
For all posts on my Fiber Blending Recipes HERE
Here’s the show!
Your final two ply with this method is coming out very beautifully. Leaving out the bamboo is a good choice. It does tend to clump and make uncontrolled slubbing weakening the final yarn. Been there done that ;P
Thanks! 🙂 xx