Sunday, March 15, 2009

March Spindler's Challenge - Burgundy Rose

March Spindler's Challenge - Romance
March's challenge for the Spindlers' group on Ravelry had a theme of "Romance". Once again I found myself drawn to roses for the theme. Whether or not women actually love to get roses and flowers as a gift, the perception is that they are romantic. It doesn't hurt that in my Big Bag of Random Bits of Roving, I had the perfect colors again.
Burgundy Rose
A search on Flickr yielded a picture that nailed exactly what I wanted for colors, and a little careful prodding wrapped my roving into a flower all its own.

I spent a lot of time debating how to spin this roving. I have been wanting color-repeats to match up. The very best way to do that is to chain ply (also known as Navajo plying). Some debate that this method is not as strong as a "true" three-ply yarn. Either way, I don't really enjoy chain plying. But it does mean you can keep your colors all together, rather than having them "barber-pole" and blend. I chain-plied a small amount of the roving and realized in addition to all this, the color repeats come out much shorter when chain-plying as well, since you condense the yarn by two-thirds. In the end, I opted for three-ply yarn to see how well I could keep each color section together that way. My logic was that if I really wanted the colors to stay together without blending at all, I ought to be dying the finished product and not the roving. Handspun yarn ought to blend. Or at least, that's how I feel about it right now!

I split the roving into thirds, and then each third in half again for spinning. This let me get a full two repeats of the colors in each third.

Burgundy Rose
Originally uploaded by Project Pictures
When I wound the three plies together, I only had one that came out enough longer that I had to break out about five yards to bring the colors back into alignment again.

My yarn is 100 yards of fingering weight with three plies. My singles are not so heavy on twist as some earlier efforts, and I purposefully over-plied by just a little bit. This is supposed to make the yarn slightly more springy. It certainly is very squishy and soft! The colors even stayed together pretty well.

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