A Touch of Green

When I looked back to see which edition of Three Waters Farm Top of the Month Club the fiber I’m about to share with you was, I was thinking, “I remember the green was the key. It must have been that time of year when we’re thirsting for green.” To me, in Wisconsin, that means March.

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Photo courtesy of Three Waters Farm

In North Carolina, where Mary Ann dyes this fiber though, it appears it’s February! February’s “A Touch of Green” on 100% Corriedale is the spin I’m going to share with you today. It’s long overdue as this was the first spin in our new home which we moved into in April. The singles were done shortly after the move and the plying… I’m not sure exactly when I got to them, but I do know it was before the Tour de Fleece. In any case, long overdue. Indeed.

I really wanted to try something different with this braid, so I split it up for a “gimp” yarn. Very simply put this yarn is comprised of 2-plies with one ply being half the size of the other (spinning friends, it’s on page 119 of Sarah Anderson’s The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs if you want to see the recipe I followed) . In this image the fiber for this spin is the fluff on the computer.

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As you can see, I pulled out all the bright green and a bit of the blues tagged along for one ply and the rest — the fiber in the bowl — was set aside for the other ply.

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I did a sample of this type of yarn last year in my one fiber six ways experiment and I’ve been really wanting to try it again on a larger scale. For me, I think this is a really fun technical challenge. It’s one thing to spin a 2-ply yarn that has equal plies (or thereabouts), but to try to get 2-plies that are specifically different… well, I find that it really pushes me to be more attentive and to have better control over what I’m creating. In the grand scale, these skills definitely help me to spin the yarn I want not just in this spin, but any spin so I consider it a very worthy undertaking.

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You can clearly see the bobbins are different weights for the singles here, right? Probably because this was a full 4oz braid of fiber instead of the sample I did a year ago, I wasn’t quite as exact in the size of my plies, but I didn’t do half bad either. I did use my Spinner’s Control Card throughout — a tool that I always have around when I’m trying to get a specific weight yarn. For a long time I thought spinner’s just eyeballed everything and were just kind of magicians. While many do, you certainly can help your “aim” and teach for tactile senses a lot  about spinning by using good tools.

In any case, I really do think the finished yarn is lovely.

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It’s not technically a spiral yarn, but I love the swirling look of a good gimp yarn.

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I could have given this skein a bit more twist, I think, but… well, hindsight is always 20/20. There’s always a little something I’d change and that turns into an experiment the next time I spin up a skein. That’s the nature of learning and improving, right? Building on your skills and learning as you go. One thing I wouldn’t change is how I handled the colors. I think that bright green as the lighter ply makes this yarn. It makes it unique and fun and utterly my own.

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The finished skein is roughly 160yards of DK weight yarn. I haven’t yet settled on what I’d like to do with it. According to the blurb about it in Sarah Anderson’s book, it’s supposed to be a good option for socks. I don’t know, do I dare trying to eek out some shorties with this? I’m fairly certain I don’t have enough yardage, but it might be worth a try. Or shall I go the safe route and knit up a quick hat or mitts? I’ve got a few other projects on the needles, so I will let this one ruminate. I certainly won’t mind dreaming over this “touch of green” for a while.

7 responses to “A Touch of Green

  1. I love seeing how you divided the fiber to get this amazing skein. And to hear that you used your control card throughout. Yes, it would be hard to eyeball what is double? And keep it consistent when it is not your natural go-to spin. DK socks? Those would knit up quickly! But it would be too bad to run out after you cut the yarn. I would play it safe with a hat or cowl or something. And next time, make more!

  2. I learn so much from your posts! I just bought Sarah ‘ s book and have been looking at all the Three Waters Farms fabulous fibers. Sounds like their ravelry group would be a good online place to push my skills forward. To date I have been concentrating on consistent spinning but feel it us time to expand my repertoire. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Very cool! I had not heard of the gimp technique before, but it creates a very cool effect. I did recently learn about control cards, and I definitely need one!

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