by Lori Law
I received a lovely 4 oz roving from Two If By Hand, named We Took to the Woods, variegated Bluefaced Leicester.
Isn’t it lovely?
I love the contrasts between the deep blues and the golds.
One of the things I noticed about this roving was that it was dyed along the length shifting from one long band of colour to another, with the golds at one end of the length and the blues at the other. Since hand-dyed roving is typically dyed in colour stripes, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to spin a transitioning yarn, right from the roving (vs. breaking up the roving, like I did for the Spinning Leaves Shawl).
To do this, I split the roving into to fairly equal-sized lengths, down the centre from one end to the other, trying to divide it as equally as possible, but, also attempting to be open-minded and allow for some overlap of the colour transitions. If they happened, I would not be too upset. I knew the color runs were long, so a little overlapping might actually provide a nicer transition from one section to the next.
I then spun the roving from end to end, aiming for a lace-ish, light-fingering weight of yarn. I used the smallest high-speed whorl on the Schacht Ladybug using a worsted forward short draw. I wound the singles off into two balls.
The singles were plied matching the two long singles colourwise and using a whorl one size larger than my spinning whorl, to add a little drape and to prevent overtwisting of the singles.
The resulting yarn is a little bouncy due to the Bluefaced Leicester’s typically happy crimp. This will show any textured lace nicely. It also has a little drape due to the looser ply, but not so much it would spit while knitting. I finished the yarn in warm water, with a few swishes – not enought to fuzz or soften it up too much – and finally, with a few thwacks on a towel to set the twist. I wound up with 462 yards /422m, 4.3 oz / 120 g.
Technical Details: A 2-ply, worsted-spun yarn, approximately 26 wpi and 429 yards per 4 ounces (1720 ypp), a light-fingering-weight yarn.
Photos © Lori Law.