Saturday, August 27, 2011

tweed yarns from scratch

I love working with these yarns but they are very time-consuming to make. The spinning is a real pleasure as the fibres are so well carded in the blending process.
To repeat a yarn I weigh out the fibre colours to a recipe which is recorded in my book with a sample of the yarn. So today I'm repeating a yarn colour.

The fibres are predyed New Zealand Romney colours from Tally ho carding, with white. The yarn has a dominant lilac shade but with smaller amounts of bright contrasts such as raspberry pink and jade.

Then I handmix the clumps of colour roughly. The carder is going to do all the work of blending, but mixing at this stage cuts down the number of passes needed.

The fibres are spread in a thin film on the tray so I can still see the metal base through them.

I use the carder at full speed but don't let clumps of fibre through as that can jam the drums and damage the pins.

First pass you can see the colours still as quite distinct areas and the batt below is still uneven in colour.

I do sometimes spin my batts at this stage and it does make a very pretty yarn with small shots of the individual colours.

So the batts are stripped down into smaller pieces and fed back into the carder for a second carding. Sometimes a third mixing and carding is required.

The finished batts with yarn spun from a previous carding session. The spun yarn always makes the colour appear darker so these batts will spin into a virtually identical yarn. Since I need about a kilo of this yarn for my weaving I have a few more batts to mix and spin.

Here's another colourway blended twice and ready to spin.


Jody said...

Lovely colours Doe.
I am still only getting a 20 gram batt on my SC despite my best efforts. The fibres I am using are pretty fine like Cria/Silk so maybe that has alot to do with it?

Doespins said...

Hi Jody,
Yep the Suri tends to sit on top the pins and floats around, same with the silk on the supercarder. It does take a bit of effort to get a bigger batt with those fibres. While you are learning to use the carder I suggest you put through some wool or wool blends. The carder really does improve with use.