Moody Blues, handspun pima cotton plied with silk

Besides the hypnotically soothing relaxation I feel when spinning, I think that a great joy in handspinning your own yarn is practiced control over the creative results. There often is the serendipity, too, and this leads to even more adventures and exploration. Moody Blues, handspun dyed pima cotton roving plied with silk, has been one of those examples. Here is the completed yarn –

Moody Blues handspun cotton yarn plied with silk Do you sense the ‘slightly washed-out faded denim jeans’ look? I am so pleased with this yarn even though in buying the dyed roving, I thought it might have been a mistake!

I was really attracted to the lovely grays and blues of the dyed roving. Upon more detailed inspection, I saw that the color had not penetrated all the way into the roving. There were spots of white left were the dye had not penetrated – a sometimes tell-tale sign of a poorer quality of dyeing. However, this roving came from Chasing Rainbow Dyeworks and I’ve worked with a lot of Nancy Finn’s rovings that have all been wonderfully dyed.

So I frankly wondered if Nancy had done an experimental dyeing or had intentionally dyed for a particular effect for the spinner to render into yarn. I pointed out the blotched dyeing to Cheryl Reynolds, my friend and vendor for Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks at one of our semi-local spin-in’s, and she did not know. Despite still not being quite sure, I felt a bit of a challenge coming on in interpreting this roving into something that was denim-y but not blotchy.

I spun a relatively fine singles with the cotton roving on my Lendrum double-treadle (long draw, cotton-style of course), then plied with a commercially spun singles of very fine navy silk doup. Plying with the solid color navy broke up the lighter white places in the cotton singles to make them more subtle, while still not interfering with the pretty transitions through the grays and blues of the dyed roving.

I began with 2 ounces of roving. The resulting laceweight yarn (i.e. after plying with the silk) is 2.4 ounces and 850 yards (or about 350 yards per ounce). Plenty enough to knit up something pretty, although I have not yet decided exactly what yet. Your thoughts?

Happy spinning and knitting!

Written by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer - Visit Website

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