The FrankenSkein

As a spinner, I’m pretty good as using every last bit of my singles yarn when I spin. If I’m spinning a 2-ply, more often than not I’ll use an Andean Plying Bracelet to use up every bit. If it’ll drastically change how the colors are handled and look I might not, but oftentimes it’s not going to make enough of a difference for me to notice or mind. If I’m doing a traditional 3-ply, I’ll often wait until the first bobbin runs out and then take whichever remaining bobbin has the most left and make a plying bracelet from that and carry on with the plying bracelet plus the ply from the other remaining bobbin. In this case (as well as a few others) though, there will generally be some leftovers at the very end.

So what to do with these leftovers?

A couple years ago, before I realized anyone else actually does this (and it turns out many people do!), I just started putting any leftover yarn that was mostly lightweight onto a bobbin. I didn’t discriminate at all so we’re talking all sorts of random colorways and fiber contents. ┬áIf I had leftover yarn, it went on the bobbin which I quickly dubbed my “FrankenBobbin.” And for about two years, this is just what I did and I didn’t think too hard about it.

I added a bit of yarn onto the FrankenBobbin just before the Tour de Fleece started this year and while there was still room for more singles, I thought it was a good time to just call it a day and see how this experiment would look. I could have chain plied it to keep the colors whole, but I figured that with such a wide range of colorways I would actually probably be better off mixing them as much as possible. With this in mind, I put the bobbin on my tensioned lazy kate and wound it into a center-pull ball. And then I proceeded to ply — 1 ply from the inside and 1 ply from the outside of the center-pull ball. Of course, I totally spaced on taking photos of the process — sorry! I was kind of excited to see how it would turn out and forgot to slow down and take photos.

I did, however, take photos of the finished yarn. Would you like to see the FrankenSkein born from my FrankenBobbin?

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Isn’t it wonderful?! I’m totally in love with it! Who would think all these misfit colors would create something so incredibly stunning?!

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Of course, it’s not a perfectly consistent yarn as it came from probably at least a dozen different spins. I’ve got one join that is… not pretty, too, but that’s easily dealt with when I actually go to use it. Any knitter who has been at it for a while knows and has dealt with a break in the yarn or a not-so-great knot or a weird spot in some commercially spun yarn. It’s no different beyond the fact that I probably could have and should have done a better job in that spot. But I digress. Because…

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It’s about 420yards of fingering weight yarn. I have no idea yet how I want to use it, but this is one of those experiments that’s turned out so well that I’m pretty happy just to bask in the beauty of it for a while.

I feel like my lovely FrankenSkein is a true testament to the fact that spinning is an incredibly amazing, wild, creative, and forgiving art. How odds and ends from a dozen or so wildly different colorways and fiber contents can produce such a pretty yarn — it’s totally beyond me. That said, you had better believe I’ll be starting another FrankenBobbin at my earliest convenience. If you often find yourself with leftovers from your spins, I recommend you do the same tout de suite!