Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fleece-to-Shrug: We're Ready to Spin!

If you have been following along on YouTube, you'll know that we're ready to start spinning our beautifully carded fleece into a soft, 2-ply yarn. I wanted to take some glamour shots of the batts before I started spinning them for the continuation of the video series so I can illustrate some points.

As you can see, I top loaded the batt with the lovely add-ins (silk, angelina, sari silk, and icicle nylon). If you look through the Part 5 video again, you'll see me make a fiber/add-in sandwich before I removed the batt from the carder. This technique does a few things. First, it prevents the add-ins from simply sticking to the licker. It takes a bit more practice and experience to make this doesn't happen, making this stage a little easier for beginners.

It also makes the spinning process slightly easier. By being sandwiched with fiber, the add-ins are less likely to fall off the batt. Now, there are plenty of wonderful reasons to put the bling on the very top, but if you're still a beginner, the characteristics of the fiber will help you manage the bling on the batt a little better. Last, it'll subdue the impact of the bling slightly, which will be helpful when you're knitting with the yarn (ie, you won't have areas of intense color, which might overpower the cable pattern otherwise).

Here, you can see the very thin layer of fiber over the bling. It's subtle, but you can crank the throttle more or less if you want, and the more fiber you pack on the very top of the batt, the more subdued the add-ins will look in the final yarn. If in the end you didn't add enough bling for your taste, you can always hold your add-ins together with the batt while you're spinning. I use that trick a lot, and I can even do a video about that in the future if I get enough requests. :)

So, how do your batts look? Did you blend your fiber with other tools? Share your pictures and projects with us over on the Expertly Dyed fan page! <3