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FFW:Feeble attempts

March 28, 2014

Earlier this week I dug in the fiber stash hoping for something a little different from my typical options. For the most part my fiber stash sticks to the cooler side of the color spectrum, I personally prefer these colors in other avenues and as such it translates to my fiber choices.

The desire to take a step outside the my color comfort zone can be attributed to some of the lovely ladies I get to hang out with. One spinner in particular always ends up picking gorgeous colors and combos that I wouldn’t be bold enough to try. After staring at hers longingly (again) earlier in the week I decided to be brave and take on the “most outrageous color combos” I had. So after a bit of stash diving I produced one of three batts I had snagged during the KP Cyber Monday sale.

A Hanks in the Hood batt, consisting of 100% colonial wool (approx 4 ounces) in colors ranging from deep burgundy through bright orange, up to a spring green and a deep dark blue before returning once again to the burgundy. Thanks to my phone’s SD card becoming possessed I do not have a photo of the lovely before hand, suffice it to say it was a pretty (wild) center pull batt.

I set to work the other day and spun until I thought my fingers might fall off. Side note, this was some pretty uncomfortable fiber, in that there were lots of nepps and some felting that occurred prior to my attempts at it. Although disappointed with the way it was turning out, I made the conscious choice to try to spin this with some loft, because I have noticed my previous attempts tend to be a bit….let’s say rope-like. This worked great until I started to zone out and defaulted to a thinner spin. Oops.

Plying came next and my feeble first attempt was a chain ply. Well I am barely passable on that with my first wheel (single treadle and all that) and I had yet to try it on the newest wheel. I made it through about five chain loops before I realized that between the newer wheel and the pain in my side (damn you post shingles pain!) it wasn’t going to work no matter how hard I tried. The cats were a bit amused at my mishap with the color scheme, so I suppose there is something to that.After I gave up, I opted instead for a good ole’ two ply. To achieve said two ply I had to wind it off into a ball first (center and outside ply ball, another handy trick I learned from the ladies.) The winding took forever (not really but enough that both cats grew disinterested and walked off around which time I was feeling a bit fatigued) I managed to get almost all of it off, but some how a big kink developed and because I was contemplating my role as Sisyphus with this fiber I didn’t notice it until it had snapped off.  I attempted a few different things to get it to rejoin with the rest, but as my annoyance grew I decided it was better to just say screw it and worry about it later. I had managed to make a mega ball with the majority of the fiber and so I set to work.

The rest went fine with little in terms of complaints, although the thick and thinness of the whole thing makes me remember my earlier days as a wee spinner. After it was all said in done I ended up producing this interesting little gem.


The colors worked out in such away that I have an almost gradient rainbow effect, which is actually pretty cool considering all the mishaps. It’s pretty soft even prior to a quick bath (the world here is a bit gray making photos tricky to get outside of a specific time frame) but I am waiting for a final count on yardage. Like always I have no specific plan for this hand spun but it might get to live on my desk for a little while for pets, it depends on how it acts after the bath. I am still a little bitter considering all the issues, but it is growing on me.

Do you ever break out of your color comfort zone? Ever have a mishap or two and still been pleased with the changed results?


From → Spinning

  1. Marja permalink

    I love it! It turned out so lovely and beautiful. I really love color…any COLOR as long as its vibrant and blinding. I do tend to favor greens and blues the most.

  2. shellssells permalink

    I am liking it a lot! The thing about handspun is that it almost always tones down. Unless ALL the colors are super saturated and bright, the resulting yarns generally take on a duller hue. Which is what makes the process of spinning dyed fiber so interesting to me.

    My entire knitting career has been color themed. I started with red/burgundy. Years of predominately red/burgundy yarn purchases, as well as finished objects. I then realized suddenly could NOT take it anymore, and I moved toward turquoise. Same issue, my stash became saturated with it, when I dyed yarn, I dyed turquoise, and eventually grew sick of that too. I then moved into various greens, with generally brown tones playing along with them.

    I’ve just realized, I choose color the way I eat. Binge on a few particular favorites until I can’t stand the sight of them anymore.

    A great way to force yourself out of a color zone is fiber clubs. If you can let go of the idea of picking your color, and not react poorly to the fiber if you don’t think you like it, once you spin, you often get a yarn that thrills you simply because it’s so different for you. I am trying a 3 month fiber club offering from Spun Right Round at the moment. And it’s not too pricy.

  3. I always tend to lean on the purples, mauves and pinks. I also love Autumn colours. I do like your skein today, very much. Be sure and tell us what you intend to do with it?

  4. I tend do default to certain color families too. Love the red in your new skein!

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