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Monday, 5 January 2015

Tweed Experiment

Happy New Year everyone.  Hope you all enjoyed the festivities wherever you are in the world.  Wishing you health and happiness for 2015 (and I'm sure a bit of wealth wouldn't go amiss either).

For a while now I've wanted to spin a tweed yarn, but haven't really known what to use as a base.  Then I found 500g of mauve merino that I'd been saving, mainly because I didn't really like the colour.  I ordered it from World of Wool thinking it was a nice lilac colour, but when it arrived it was actually a peculiar shade of mauve/purple.  I decided to card it with white merino and use that for the base colour.

Three passes through the drum carder gave me this :-

which was a little bit closer to the shade I expected when I bought it.

I also had a large bag of World of Wool floor sweepings (Botany lap waste) of various colours and picked these out to go into half of the mauve :-

After adding these to the drum carder, the batt looked very bright and garish, but I was fairly certain it would calm down with another couple of passes.

Fourth pass :-

Fifth pass, and the colours have almost disappeared :-

Time to add more colour to the fifth pass,

Which looked like this :-

The sixth, and final pass, gave the result I was after :-

Just enough colour showing to gave the yarn flecks when it's spun.

This is hopefully going to be a cardigan when it's finished, provided I have enough yardage.  I started spinning this on my new Majacraft Aura spinning wheel which has massive bobbins.

Tonight I spun the rest of this bobbin and then took it off and weighed it.  The full bobbin weighed an amazing 480g; an empty bobbin weighs 160g; therefore there is 320g of yarn.  I haven't finished spinning this ply yet, I still have another 140g.  So, if each ply weighs 460g, that would give me 920g of plyed yarn.  More than enough for my cardigan!

140g still to be spun
I was hoping to show you some finished yarn long before this, but it's taken forever to card this lot : 21 batts x 6 passes each = a lot of work!!  The next ply will be slightly different as I used all the red, dark blue and yellow fibre on this.  These are the colours I will use in the second ply :-

At my current rate of progress, the carding should be finished in about two weeks, so don't hold your breath!


  1. Thank you. Still not sure about the colour though . . . it's now an odd pinky mauve colour!

  2. That looks' very nice i like the way the colour changed .Looking forward seeing your next colour mix.

    1. Thanks Ella. I started spinning the second bobbin last night - should be able to ply some of this today. Photos soon.

  3. that's really cool! You've inspired me to get tweedy with a fibre project soon. Thought I might chop up some bits of scrap handspun to throw into the batts to act like little tweedy flecks, too. Experimenting with colour is great fun, isn't it??

    1. Glad to be of service :-) Using scraps of handspun's actually a good idea, might try that myself next time.