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Saturday, 19 July 2014

TdF Week 2

For our second week challenge I decided to stay with alpaca.  On the left is some baby alpaca I dyed with woad a while ago, and on the right some of Hope's (my neighbours' alpaca) fibre dyed with fermented Xanthoria Parientina.  In the centre, I added some leftover merino from last year's TdF dyed with madder (top) and Brazilwood (bottom).

This week's challenge was to Navajo ply some yarn, or, if you are already able to do that, add some beads as you ply.  As n-plying is one of my usual methods, I went with the beads.

This is a selection of beads I thought might look good with the fibre, but I finally discarded the seed pearls because the holes were too small to thread onto the spun yarn.

I whizzed the fibre through the drum carder to make the batts

and started spinning.  The fibres were not processed beforehand apart from mixing on the carder.  I simply teased them apart a bit first.  The result was that they were full of nepps (little balls of rolled up fibre) which I usually remove, but this time I wanted to leave them in to create a more textured yarn.

Once the spinning was done, I got down to some serious plying.  To begin with, I'd threaded the beads onto dental Superfloss, then, when plying, I slid a bead onto the loops occasionally, then carried on plying.  Now, how do I describe this?  Basically, I threaded the end of the floss through the loop formed by chain plying, folded it over onto itself, slid a bead over both strands of floss and then up onto the yarn.  Worked perfectly, but boy did it take some time!

The finished yarn, washed and made into a yarn cake.

I think I need more practice with this method (and I will be doing more) as I managed to over-ply this a bit whilst fussing with the beads.  Need to be more laid-back next time! Maybe some soothing music would help - not that we get much any of that in our house!!

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