by Lori Law
When I was thinking about designing the Firewing Pullover, I decided I wanted to do a ‘blazing’ sort of yoke that would show off hand-dyed hand-spun BFL, from rovings by FatCatKnits.
I chose the colourway ‘Country Roads’ from Ginny’s Mixed Blessings club from 2011 for the strong contrasts in colours and tones, from blues to greens to browns to golds. There were two braids, one called Shady and one called Sunny. I wanted the colours in the finished yarns to be mostly pure tones but some transitions with mixings of colours from one to the next would be fine.
At first, I thought I might wind up having to separate out colours from the different sections of the rovings and group them, like Sarah did for her gradient yarn. But after having a close look at the rovings I realized they were dyed in sections which were prevalent along the length. My initial plan was to try to split them down the centre lengthwise to create a 2ply yarn which would [mostly] spin up into two nearly identical singles and ply them together. But after I opened the rovings to their full length and folded them in half, I realized they had actually been folded during the dyeing process so each of the two halves of each roving were nearly identical.
So, rather than splitting them lengthwise, I chose to split each roving in half at the centre point cross-wise and spin the singles from end to end.
I attenuated the rovings a little before spinning, but otherwise, spun them straight from the ends. The BFL was, as usual, a joy to spin, and spun up smoothly without much fuss. I plied from two ends of a centre-pull ball.
In, then end, it all came out fine. The ‘Shady’ yarn wound up having more ‘pure’ colour sections than the ‘Sunny’ yarn. They are both vivid yarns and have enough contrast against each other to work as I had hoped.
NOTE – For more intense colour without so much transitional mixing, spin the yarn as singles instead of plying.
Yarn Specs :
2-ply, worsted weight, @160 yds per 75g (for each yarn), 968 ypp. Singles spun semi-worsted (backwards draw).
Photos © Lori Law.