Tweed Chronicles: Odds & Ends Blends

I have been in a binge of preparing fiber,  attempting to clear out and make yarn from all the little bits of  fiber odds and ends I have in my closet. With this batch I am refining my “one + one” blending method, where I blend a batt on my blending board, then blended that batt to another batt, and so on (original one + one tutorial)   Also, using hand mix method (original Handmix tutorial) to divide up the batts with new fiber helped me get everything fairly equally portioned, and I just kept adding while the batts were building and then the final brush strokes of accent.  Here’s how it all stacked up and blended together, pretty much exactly . . .

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Techy Stuff for Odds & Ends #2, entirely on blending board.

  1. Beginning with 21g of a BFL hand-dyed braid, I mixed together on the blending board, and the blue, yellow, green, orange, red all turned into a mix of dull dark brown = batt #1 — see color saturated neutral tutorial here.
  2. To the batt#1 color mix I blended with about 30g of some (what I think was) Rambouillet white wool that was in the mystery bag of fiber = 1+1 batt #2 = 51g.
  3. To batt #2 I blended with 97g white alpaca = [1 + 1] + 1 batt #3 = 148g.
  4. To batt #3 I blended with 80g part braid of blue-faced-Leicester/Shetland/Manx blend which was tan and white wools = [[1 + 1] + 1] + 1 batt #4 = 228g — shown in the big fluffy beige batt below. 
  5.  I brushed on to blending board 72g part braid of Malabrigo Nube (Merino) in colorway “Solis” (blues & greens) for a batt to mix in. 
  6. To batt #4 I mixed in the teal batt = [[[1 + 1] + 1] + 1] + 1 batt # 5 = 300g. 
  7. Last brush streaks of ‘turquois veins’ = topaz bamboo. 
  8. Pulled off rolags!

Notes:

  • Making batts of all the fibers first, which is kind of like combing them and making them easier to blend on the blending board with the next fiber, sequencing the process with another fiber, then another, instead of all fibers at once. This homogenizes the first fibers more and more throughout.
  • After batt #3 I decided to not blend in the 30g of white Cheviot or extra (much coarser) 72f BFL blue-green hand-dyed braid, and left it at the 300+ grams batt #5.  Batt #5 got two blendings on my blending board, in attempt to finer homogenize the colors, but it became and overwhelming project at 300g total, and I still had the last brushings of color to do, before drawing off rolags. I am considering getting a wool picker for future big projects! 
  • Final blend I added about 10g of bamboo in color “topaz” for the gold streaking affect, thinking I might end up with a look of veined turquoise. However, I can never tell until the final handspun is finished and plied before I can be certain.  

Watch this space for the spin-up of these lovely rolags. 

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Oh yeah…

the Odds & Ends #1 batch that is all spun up and I almost forgot about!

I actually did forget to post this, from weeks ago the finishing of the project, and it was the first of my Odds & Ends series of stash-busting projects. It is Early Morning Blend from inauguration day. has finally been spun & plied.   This also is the first on-purpose bulky weight yarn I have made that I can remember, in all the years that I’ve been spinning; that is, not accidental or “it is what it wants to be” kind of handspun. I have pretty much a default thickness of yarn I spin now, so, needing some bulky weight yarn to knit up a little something, it occurred to me to ply 3 together of the singles bobbins that were storing in my wool closet. I absolutely am raving about on-purpose 3-ply, as it makes a very balanced round yarn. Which incidentally, is ideal for textured knitting. Hmm, maybe next I shall cast on for the smallest size of my latest Fisher Vest, hoping I don’t run out of yarn!

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