Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mix in some brown

I spun the roving I hand-painted and here is what happened.

I like it! I have picked up various tips about color in spinning from Deb Menz's book Color in Spinning and Ply and Spin Off magazines lately. I know a lot about dyeing with acid wool dyes, but mixing color for spinning brings it to a whole different level than dyeing solid colors.

I used a strips of brown and white roving painted with the same colors in generally the same proportions to make this. When mixed, the brown helped tone down the much brighter colors on the white. I am going to use the same formulas and paint some more so I have enough yarn for a small garment.

My next plan is to track down a fiber that I can use for tapestry singles. This BFL commercially prepared top is soft and lovely, but it is too squishy for a tapestry yarn I think, even if I spun it worsted.

If you know something about spinning, what are your best suggestions for a longer staple fiber (3 inches plus?) that is less fine than BFL which I could use for tapestry singles? And do you know of a source of commercially prepared top? I love prepping the fiber from the fleece, but for large quantities of tapestry singles, I'm interested in getting to the yarn faster. I will leave the hand preparation for my knitting yarns.

Here is what that roving looked like as I was painting it. Quite a transformation, right?

16 comments:

  1. Rebecca, I have been inventorying my stash of handspun since taking your class. I found that the softer, finer wools like BFL, Polworth, Merino are just not going to work. Like you said, they are squishy. They are great for knitting. I found some old roving in a container last year. I think it is a Romney X and I am not sure what the crossbreed is. It is scratchy compared to the others I am used to. I spun up a batch dyed with sunflowers, and I think it is going to be okay. I am trying to retrain my spinning with weaving in mind instead of knitting. I am going to keep on searching. I think Shetland, Falkland, some of the Romneys are going to be the way to go. I have some Shetland that I am weaving with currently. It is working out nicely. Of course, Churro is great too. I just don't like spinning it as much as I do the others. It is so dry. I have to use lots of creams and balms on my hands.

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    1. Awesome! Thanks for those great ideas. I need to try all of these breeds.

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  2. Corrieadale, romney or border lester.

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  3. I second border Lester and Romney as well as coopworth. Beth Smith could probably give you some tips. I took a breed study class from her and she has amazing insight into fleece and what it can be used for.

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    1. Thanks Debra! I'll look at Beth's book again too. I really want to take a class from Beth.

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  4. Border Leicester, coopworth, teeswater and Romney are good coarse long staple wools that should be good for tapestry yarn. They all have a nice lustre to them and take dye well. Try RH Lindsay Co. - they have a web site.

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    1. Thanks! I'm making a list of these breeds. I haven't tried any of them yet.

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  5. Border Leicester, coopworth, teeswater and Romney are good coarse long staple wools that should be good for tapestry yarn. They all have a nice lustre to them and take dye well. Try RH Lindsay Co. - they have a web site.

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    1. I am biased as I raise Romney and Romney Wensleydale crosses. Not all are coarse and the shouldn't be "dry" at all! That is bad processing. Try to support local shepherds! Not New Zealand. I don't have any fleeces to sell Roth bow so this comment isn't as self serving as it may sound:). I just hate to see people flock to RH Lindsay when so many American shepherds are struggling. Also look for long wool leister an endangered sheep that could use a boost. Very lustrous !

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  6. I'm spinning a coopworth / rambolet right now that I think might work for tapestry. Shiney!!
    I agree about Romney and teeswater. I would add in Wensleydale. I like the Romney I get from Ace at hole in the wall ranch. You might try any small mills in your area for breed specific rovings that are local to you.
    Then of course there's silk.... Just saying.

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    1. I like the sound of that shiney mix! Sarah Swett also said I should try Wensleydale--and she knows stuff. so many options!!!

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  7. I think my preference is for Shetland and Romney. I have also gotten nice Romney fleece from Ace. If you want to purchase a fleece and have it processed, Morro Fleece Works does a fantastic job...contact Shari McKelvey.

    Think Lincoln might be a contender as well.

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    1. These are the breeds I am hearing over and over. Thanks Beth! I believe I will see how many I can experiment with.

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  8. Have you tried mixing in mohair!

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  9. I raised Romney sheep for years and the wool is really great for tapestry. I've had Lincoln sheep too and the luster can't be beat. Mohair takes dye well but tends to "escape" from the yarn giving a hairy appearance, fuzzy not smooth when woven. Check with some of the wool processors for top and roving. Zeilingers does a lot of Romney. They can tell you if what they have is a blend or pure run.

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