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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Technique: Turning A Batt Into Roving & Spinning It All Up

In last week's installment, I showed step-by-step how I space dyed a batt of alpaca/silk in LSU colors for a client of mine, ending with the batt in the steam pot.

Here is the finished batt enjoying some Texas sun.
The colors are truly stunning - no color manipulation in the photography here!
Sunning BattFinished Batt 

Splitting the Batt

Once the batt was completely dry I split it down the middle, just shy of the other end. Then in the opposite direction, split each half in half again - making one long, continuous length.

Hand Cream Required

And then I remembered how much silk likes to stick to dry hands. . . . .

Hand cream is required!

Next I made a diz with a plastic milk cap by poking a small hole through it.  The fiber is then drawn through the diz to create a smooth, even roving - which makes spinning much easier.
The DizPulling Roving   Threaded Diz

Big Ball 'O RovingAfter pulling all the fiber through my diz, I had a huge pile of roving that I wound into a large ball to keep the color sequence intact & the fiber tidy

Pencil Roving

In the end, I still had to pull the roving a bit thinner to get the smooth, light yarn I needed

Some friends suggested I make a how-to video for drop spindling.  However, the Queen of Spindling, Abby Franquemont, has already done so.  You can't improve on perfection.  If you'd like, go here to see Ms. Franquemont teach an introductory lesson.

Trio of Finished Fiber

You can see why this particular fiber is one of my very favorite to dye, spin and knit!

Drying Yarn

I finished the last of the spinning & gave it a long soak in hot water & wool wash, followed by a good "whacking".  Now I'm just waiting on the finished yarn to dry!

I hope to post knitting progress pics on Thursday!

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