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Spinning Challenge 2015: February

February task in the spinning challenge was to spin self-striping or gradient yarn. Sounds easy enough? The challenge part was that you had to mix two or more colors, not spin straight from a top dyed to be striping or gradient.

I decided to go for a gradient three-ply in two colors, arranging the colors so that they flow from one to the other ply by ply. The LYS stocks John Arbon’s deliciously soft alpaca/BFL blend and I got two bumps, in natural white and natural black humbug. I divided both bumps – just by sight, didn’t weigh them – into 1/2, 1/3 and 1/6 parts, then sorted them in separate bags.

I started spinning from the white end, ending with black, then plied in the reverse order. The second and third bobbins look pretty identical because you can’t see how much white is underneath. The third bobbin was considerably lighter than the other two, so I apparently hadn’t divided the bumps evenly.

In the plied yarn, there’s considerably more solid white than solid black, and also much less two-plies-white, one-ply-black than vice versa. So not as evenly split as I’d planned.

This was my first time spinning alpaca and only the second time doing three-ply, so still firmly outside my comfort zone. Which of course was a big part why I joined the challenge. Can’t wait for what’s in store for March.

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Susanna Winter is a knitwear designer, creating timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines. She has been knitting for over 20 years, knit blogging since 2007, and designing knitting patterns professionally since 2016.

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