Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Spinning into Focus with John Arbon’s ‘Slack ma Girdle’ - Techniques 4 and 5: Dizzing Roving off a Blending Board and Spinning from the end of Undrafted top

Full disclosure - I told John Arbon Textiles about my 'Spinning into Focus' technique, and they very kindly sent me a sweater quantity of Slack Ma Girdle from their Appledore range of blended tops to demonstrate my method with.

Last month, I shared the first three fibre preparation methods in my Spinning into Focus technique. My idea is that by the end of this blog series, I will have a sweater quantity of different yarns, all spun from the same multi-coloured, commercially available blended top - Slack Ma Girdle from John Arbon Textiles.  The yarns will all have varying levels of colour blending so that I can eventually knit a garment that has the colours appearing to come into focus as they work their way down, up, or across the garment.

In the following techniques, the colours are very subtly starting to appear - 

Technique 4: Laying the fibres onto a blending board and then dizzing them off

The video version of this technique can be found here - 

This and a few of the later techniques use a blending board.  I won't be using the board to intentionally blend the colours, but simply as a way of arranging the fibres into a format that allows me to spin from a reduced number of colours.

In this first technique, I broke off 6 lengths of blended top that were about the length of my blending board.

I then opened up the top so that the colours mostly sat side-by-side, and laid it onto the board. 

(I love how, in this picture, a lot of the fibres look purple;  there are no purple-coloured fibres, just an optically blended purple created when the cyan fibres sit openly on top of the red ones, and vice versa.)

Starting at the bottom, and holding the fibres down with my hand, I carefully attached the fibres to the blending board with the brush, taking care not to disturb their alignment too much.

I repeated this three times until I had placed all 6 lengths of the blended top onto the blending board.

I then dizzed off the fibre using the smallest hole in my diz, working back and forth until I'd worked my way all the way up the blending board.

This allowed me to create my own thinned-down top with varying arrangements of colour running all the way down it.

Here are the singles for the fibre that I dizzed off the blending board...

... and the final chain plied yarn.

Spinning from the end of the top without pre-drafting

The video version of this technique can be found here - 

In this technique, I just open up the blended top to flatten it out.  This means that the colours are mostly sitting next to each other, rather than bunched together on top of each other.

I then just draft the fibres off using a short forward draw, lingering on the same spot for a few seconds before moving along to the next colour section in the blended top.

This technique reduces the number of colours that I'm spinning at a time, but I don't get very long sections of the same colour so there should still be quite a bit of colour blending when it is chain-plied.

Here are the singles before they are chain-plied.  I love how the lighter colours are starting to show through and the colours are becoming a little brighter.

The final yarn is still quite muddy from a distance, but when you take a closer look, those pops of colour are starting to emerge.

I really struggled to decide which order to place these two yarns in because they have quite different qualities.  On the one hand, the yarn that was spun from dizzed-off fibre has much longer colour sections but I can't deny that the colours in the one spun from the end of undrafted top are slightly brighter and more defined.  In the end, this was the order that I settled on as yarn 4 is definitely 'muddier' than yarn 5.

Well thank you so much for reading, and hopefully, you'll catch up with my blog when I post the next installment of Spinning into Focus with Slack Ma Girdle.  

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I'll be uploading a video version of each technique to YouTube.  If you'd like to be informed whenever I publish a new spinning video, please subscribe to my channel here.

At this point, I normally suggest similar related blog posts, however, my list of spinning-related content is becoming a little unmanageable...  If you'd like to read more blog posts about spinning and fibre preparation, please take a look at this page here where you will find links to all of my spinning and fibre articles.  

Thank you for reading, and happy spinning! 

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