by Anne Podlesak
When I first contacted Krista of Pigeonroof Studios about doing a collaborative Spinalong/Knitalong with a custom colorway for Ennea readers, I was thrilled when she said yes. We talked about various different fiber bases and both agreed that her soft and bouncy merino roving would be perfect for a shawl yarn. After we decided on that, I let her work her magic with the dyeing, and she came up with the “Violet Cachet” colorway, a gorgeous blend of soft blue-purples, lilacs and violets.
Krista sent me a 4-ounce braid to work with. Her fibers are always very easy to work with, and this one was no exception. I did want to break up the colorway a bit, since I knew I wanted to spin a 2-ply yarn to maximize my yardage. I broke the braid into 4 equal pieces lengthwise, and then I split each of those 4 pieces lengthwise into 8 skinny strips (which I find also helps my drafting control with bouncy fibers like merino). I gently coiled each of those pieces into small bird’s nests to keep them organized and clean while I was spinning the fiber.
I spun the singles using a supported backward draft technique, allowing the singles to retain a lot of air and not overtwisting them. I spun all 4 ounces onto one of my larger Ashford bobbins, and then wound the singles off using a ballwinder to be able to utilize every last yard of spun yarn.
I plied from the interior and exterior of the center-pull ball I had created, adding a little bit extra twist in the plying to create a light, but structurally sound yarn. The final skein was 545 yards from 4 ounces of fiber (or 2130 ypp), a light fingering-weight yarn, which wound off at 22 wpi.
To finish the yarn, I wound it onto my skein winder, added 3 sets of choke ties, and then let it soak in a cool bath with SOAK wool-wash. I spun it to remove excess water in the washing machine, and let it air dry.
Technical Details: A 2-ply, semiwoolen yarn, 22 wpi and 545 yards per 4 ounces (2130 ypp), a light fingering weight yarn.
Photos © Anne Podlesak.