Friends, yesterday was glorious. The Fiasco was out all day and I spent nearly the entire time relaxing on my own here:
|My happy place. Picture me there instead of Calypso.|
Glorious. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Fiasco and I love being social and having busy weekends, but I don’t think I’ve had a day to myself since we moved almost two months ago! I needed a day to just zone out, to ignore the chores and the bills and the phone and the computer and even the obligatory knitting. I need to get down with my introverted self and just make something for no reason whatsoever. And it was awesome. I baked some cookies, caught up on about half a dozen episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, and I spun my little fingers off.
First, I broke this blue-purple-green gradient braid into three sections and carded and spun each section into singles. I wanted to experiment with chained yarns, which take two plied yarns and then ply them back onto each other. So I turned the blue into a 2-ply yarn and then plied it with some 2-ply white wool I had spun from the fiber that had come with my wheel.
|First chained yarn.|
It made a very thick, very springy yarn that I swatched a bit:
|Eek! My eyes!|
Plying such high-contrast colors together makes a marled yarn that can be a bit difficult on the eyes in certain stitches. For instance, the bottom of that swatch is garter stitch and it pains me, I hate it. The stockinette is a little bit better and the ribbing (I think) looks best of all. I decided not to ply the rest of the braid with white and just wing it. So I spun the purple and green as singles:
|So pretty, so quick…|
Then I went crazy with the plying. I plied some of the purple with some of the remaining white. I plied the rest of the purple with some of the green. I plied some of the green back on itself and had some of the original blue 2-ply left over.
|So many bobbins!|
To make a chained yarn you need to make sure your 2-ply yarns have lots and lots of extra twist, so I ran them through the wheel again (you can see how the blue bobbin has a tighter twist than the rest, it had been through twice already) and joined the purple-green and all green yarns into one continuous strand and the purple-white and all blue yarns into another. FINALLY, I plied the two strands of 2-ply yarns together in the opposite direction. So the singles were spun clockwise, the 2-ply yarns were spun counter-clockwise, and the final chained yarn was plied clockwise.
Isn’t it cool looking? All that plying made for some really interesting color combinations in the final yarn. I especially like the sections that are purple-green-white! Now instead of being overpowering the white is a neat accent. I ended up with about 99 grams/ 116 yards of bulky yarn (7ish wraps per inch) that I think is going to make a fantastic winter hat to coordinate with the new purple coat I received for Christmas. Yay for handspun! Yay for wheels! Yay for alone time on the weekend! 🙂
Have you tried making or knitting with chained yarns before?