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!