Sunday, June 7, 2009


This month's theme for the Spindler's Challenge is "Bollywood". The spindler's challenge each month has simple criteria. Spin a skein, any size, within the current month and have it somehow relate to the theme. The prize is equally simple: your yarn pictured on the group's front page for the next month, and the pick of a following theme. The only restriction is "no seasonal themes" (I think they got burned out on that last year).

bollywood June Spindler's Challenge - Bollywood
Bollywood is a pretty fun theme. I was introduced to Bollywood by my friend Arjumand. She's a wonderful person and her enjoyment of these movies is undisguised. The singing is a little over the top for me, but the imagery and energy are unmistakable and enticing. In short, these movies are bunches of fun. It is also very easy to turn up hundreds of great pictures for inspiration. Above are my choices of an album cover that exactly represents the colors I think of when Bollywood is mentioned, and what I was able to dig out of my stash to match it. The largest piece of roving is 20g and is fiery reds and oranges. The smaller piece is dusky red, gold and purple. And the white is a merino/silk blend I picked up from Dyelots here in town. My intention was to make a cabled yarn so that the merino would pop out like pearls all down its length.

First cop - 10g "fiery" roving 2nd cop - 12 g merino/silk "pearl" 3rd cop - 10 g "dusky" roving
Here are my various cops spun for this purpose. I split the bright red roving in half down the middle to start. I then took the first half and split that into finger-wide segments and spun it onto the first cop. The second was my merino/silk blend. The third was the dusky roving and my fourth (not pictured here) was the orange/red again, but this time spun without being split. This gave me one strand with fast repeats of red/orange, one white, and two that had longer repeats of color but didn't match each other.

Plying balls 2-ply strands for cabling
I plied the short-repeat red with the white single, and the two longer repeats together, turning them so that hopefully the similar colors wouldn't line up (this wasn't entirely successful, but close enough). I knew I would be plying these strands together again, so I put a lot of extra twist in them and then wound everything together into another plying ball. Unfortunately, it still wasn't enough twist to make a nice cabled yarn. So I had to un-ply what I'd done, and then unwind the two parts onto separate balls so I could add even more twist. Unfortunately this turned what had seemed like fairly lofty 2-ply yarns into super-dense, over-twisted strands with little springiness left in them.

4-ply cabled yarn
Plied back together we get my cabled yarn. This time they twisted around each other nicely, but still remained pretty dense. I was going for something a little bit more squishy and luscious. What I got was a very compact yarn. It still looks like it was strung with seed-pearls, which was my original intention. But it doesn't have the hand that I want, so I suppose I'll just have to spin a cabled yarn next month, too!

Leftover 2-ply
It did leave me with just the smallest bit of leftover 2-ply of the merino/silk and red yarn. There are only five grams of yarn here, but they're still really pretty. I let the extra twist back out, so the plies fluffed up nicely. I like this yarn, but would love it as a 3-ply.

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