Tweed Chronicles: The Hand Mix (2)

Revisiting one of my original Tweed Chronicles recipes,  posted four years ago nearly to the day, before I even thought of doing a fiber blending series and calling it Tweed Chronicles.  But this time I wanted to expand the project up to at least 300g of fiber so that I could make something from the spun yarn (oh, like a small vest).   Admittedly this time of year brings heartful memories from that time of intense creative discovery I ascended to with fiber & color on my newly made blending board. The time was just before the wildfire, so I suppose that it feels good to return and pick up where I left off , celebrating Tweed Chronicles and the coming of Autumn. I am especially keen on refining ” the hand-mix ” recipe,  a preparation of multiple  fiber & colors and textures, which uses mostly hand manipulation and minimal work on the teeth of the blending board or carders. Its actually quite satisfying to split a color into halves, then half again, and again, quite relaxing, and works so well to homogenize everything. So from the original tutorial, which has the slide show and I recommend checking out, in this post I am merely refining the method.  Here is what I did…

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First I weighed proportional amounts of the colors and main grey alpaca…

Then divided each color into six equal weighed piles, weighing 54g each.

Then I put the scale away, and the rest was by eye; dividing each color/fiber in each sixth into approximate fourths, then again, each fourth into four more piles of approximate eighths.

I took each little eighth pile and hand-mixed loosely (see original tutorial slideshow) , then gathered all the hand-mixed bundles ready for the blending board.

I guess you could say I made 6 piles into 94 little wisps of approximately the same proportions.  But I stopped there, because the fiber really benefits from being combed over the teeth of the carding, to comb through all of the fine “strips” of color, and that will homogenize the fiber even more, and I didn’t want to lose the splashy separation too much, keeping in mind spinning, plying, then knitting will all homogenize the colors more with each step.

Also the carding step is essential so that I can make rolags to spin woolen spun!

When brushed over the blending board , as many of the little prepped piles as will hold comfortably . . .

then draw off the rolags.

I think this method is great for integrating multiple fibers while still keeping separation of the fibers so that they pop out beautifully in the rolags, so artfully, and ultimately to give the real handspun look. Just look at all these tasty candy rolls . . .

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got quite a lot of spinning to do!

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