A Custom Spin

I have never done a custom spin before, but I could not think of anyone I would rather spin for than my friend Jennifer. I met Jennifer when she took a sweater workshop I was teaching (her sweater turned out fabulous in case you were wondering) and we discovered we had a ton in common. Nature, outdoors, amazing kids, our big loveable Labrador retrievers, the love of a family-centric life, and — of course — yarn, fiber, & knitting.

When her birthday came up earlier in this month, I decided to turn her loose in my fiber stash. She has supplied me with fresh produce and canned goods from her amazing garden throughout the summer, so it is the very least I could do for her. Newly enhanced with a shipment (or two) of Cloudlover fiber, I walked her through some basic fiber options I had as well as spinning methods I could use. She selected one of the most beautiful braids I had…

magnolia_medium2A Cloudlover 75% Organic Polwarth/ 25% Silk blend in the Magnolia colorway.

20131029-153053.jpgOne more look at it. Greens, gold, violet. Perfect. She has such great taste!

After discussing the options, we decided I would shoot for a lightweight, Navajo 3-ply. I also promised to document my spinning process for her, so she could see her yarn take shape from beginning to end. Lucky for us, I can do so here so that we can all see the evolution of this lovely braid.

For a nice blending of colors, I opted to create some fauxlags. I did this earlier this year with a similar colorway & loved the result. I really enjoy breaking up the colors and organizing them. I also love how easy the fauxlags are to spin.  In the interest of sharing every step, I took photos this morning of the creation of the fauxlags.

First, I divided the braid in half lengthwise.Next, I separated the fiber into smaller portions. The sections of color are a little larger than I originally expected so I am aiming to break the colors up into less uniform sections.

20131030-134609.jpgThe above portion is about average size.20131030-134626.jpgThen I spread out the portion so that it is light & airy & there are no clumps or dense portions. I want to fauxlags to draft easily when I spin.

20131030-134637.jpgNext I take my handy-dandy pencil and lay it across one end of the fiber…20131030-134702.jpgAnd I roll it up. The important thing here is to NOT roll it up tight — you want it pretty loose & airy or it will be hard to spin.

20131030-134715.jpgVoila! The first few fauxlags!  Time to get spinning!

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