Posted by: Leslie | December 11, 2009

Stripes, colour matching, and lace yarn

In my post about Pine Hill Farm, I neglected to mention that the owner, Anna-Maria, is an accomplished hand-dyer. She works mostly with a merino-tencel blend that she uses for felting scarves and other objects. Before I visited her farm in October, I saw this example of her work for sale at Ariadne:

I loved the colour combination, especially the little spots of green among the blue and the orange. I wanted to preserve the colours as much as possible in the finished yarn, something I usually do by chain-plying, but I also wanted to make a laceweight yarn. One of the drawbacks to chain-plying is the little bump you get at the start of each chained section, something that usually gets hidden in a thicker yarn but stands out quite a bit once the WPIs go up. So, I decided to split the roving lengthwise and spin it in two parts, and hope that the colours matched up. Each half of the roving I split again three times and spun them in the same succession, and the resulting yarn matched up… pretty close. In some places the colours match, but there is a little bit of barber-poling in other sections, and the colours faded immensely once they were thinned out to laceweight width. Well, good enough. You can see where the orange mixes with the blue in this picture:

With only two ounces I was limited in what I could make with the yarn. I thought perhaps I could get a shawl out of it, and worked a simple trianglular leaf lace pattern, starting from the apex and working up:

Pretty, I think, despite the uneven stripes. However, halfway through the ball it’s clear I don’t have nearly enough for a shawl, and unless I start over it will be destined to be purely decorative. As much as it hurts to rip back all that work, I’m going to start again and make a narrow rectangular stole out of it (although keep a leafy pattern).

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Responses

  1. Oh my! That is so pretty. I don’t think I would be able to bring myself to unravel it.


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