Friday, October 29, 2010

ITW - Chancellor

ITW - Chancellor
Originally uploaded by Project Pictures
For a while, I got on a real green/purple kick. Without realizing it, I bought several different colorways that it were mainly green and purple. I couldn't help it! They were all lovely.
This is Into the Whirled's 80/20 Merino/silk top dyed in the "Chancellor" colorway. I had no idea what inspired "Chancellor". (Unfortunately the first thing to pop into my head upon reading that word was "Chancellor Palpatine" from Star Wars. Yeesh. After that I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out if it had British inspiration. Two strikes. I was nearly out.)

Fortunately, Ravelry came to my rescue and as I showed pictures of my work-in-progress, a fellow Raveller piped up with her own picture.. apparently "Chancellor" is the name of a wine-making grape! And a lovely "Chancellor" this is, too. There are a lot of subtle variations in the green and the purple, as well as the points where the two mix.

I really love Merino/silk blends. The 80/20 blend is especially nice because it brings just enough silk to the mix to have a lovely luster, but still be primarily bouncy Merino. It spins easily, without much thought. It takes almost no effort to create a bouncy yarn.

ITW - Chancellor
I opted to spin most of this wool at my Saturday spinning group. I had no plan for the fiber, and spinning wool in a brainless, default manner is perfect when you're with a bunch of people and want to split your attention between working and chatting. The problem with green and purple is that if you mix them too much, you end up with a muddy mess of color. That's the trick with so many hand-dyed offerings. They look lovely and inviting in the braid, but can be tricky to spin so that you don't loose the brilliance of the dyer's eye for color. I kept thinking about this while spinning the single, trying to figure out how to split up the wool or the single to get a yarn that still reflected the qualities of the dyed braid.

ITW Chancellor - plying ball
I opted to Navajo-ply this yarn. Once the bobbin was full, I worked on creating very long crochet-like chains. Each loop in the chain was several feet long, sometimes even three yards long. I worked from my wheel, all the way across the room creating each loop, and then wound it into a ball for storage. The "Plying ball" is something that was introduced to me by Abby Franquemont (author of Respect the Spindle). When plying on a spindle, it makes for an excellent and portable method to store singles for plying. It still works wonderfully when you're sitting down to ply at a wheel, too.

ITW - Chancellor
When I'm not working at it, I tend to default to a sport-weight yarn. This came out at about 340 yards of Navajo-three-ply yarn. It gently changes from green to purple to green again at random intervals throughout its length. I think I may use it to knit some arm-warmers, or perhaps something to wrap around my neck and shoulders as the rainy season comes on.

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