In October I joined a swap - it was colour themed and one of the items to be included was something hand made. I had a forward partner who loves pink and is a keen knitter so I decided that the hand made item would be a specially designed hand dyed and hand spun yarn - well what else from someone who's number one favourite craft is spinning?
I had originally thought that I'd dye some alpaca that I had, but I couldn't find the right dye for it - in fact I'm quite certain that fate intervened and made the decision for me - whilst rummaging for the pink acid dye I found a 100g bag of glossy tencel fibre - obviously I kept looking for the pink acid dye - and found a cone of sparkly pink lurex - so I kept looking - still no acid dyes - aha some soft, fluffy angora - but still no pink acid dye - then.... I had it pink dye - not acid but direct dye suitable for cellulose fibres - at this point cogs turned, pennies dropped and I realised I had all the ingredients for something unique, pink, shiny, sparkly and ever so girly!
So off I pottered and dyed the tencel pink.
Then I carded it with a smidge of the white angora bunny fluff into masses of light as air rolags. This took a couple of weeks, but the rolags were a delight in themselves - everyone who saw them cooed and ahhed!
The next phase was to spin - I spun long draw style and tried to keep it reasonably fine.
Then on to the plying - at this stage I added the lurex thread.
Finally it was all spun - I wanted to wash it and measure it, so I put it into skeins with my swift - (it was almost 100m worth). Then I washed it and left it to dry.
At last it was ready to be wound into balls - at the end it weighed 140g (if I remember rightly) with the addition of the angora and the lurex.
This is the first time I've ever 'designed' a yarn with a specific aim in mind (to please a knitter who loves pink and sparkly things) - in the past I've just spun - often without a great deal of thought - so I've learned something i.e. if I can do it for someone else and take that much care over it, then I could quite feasibly do it for myself too.
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