Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Designer Yarns or How to cover your mistakes

For some time now I've wanted to try designer yarns.  And I've been lucky that Spin-Off magazine has run some "How to . . . "s for designer yarns.  That and the book "Spinning designer yarns".  A few years back I found a really nice color fiber named "Copper King", or "Copper Mine" (don't have it handy at the moment) and wanted to spin it up with beads (gold glass beads would look really cool).  So I spun up 1 4oz bag and then set it aside for a while (OK - I got married, then we bougtht the house, and other things happened).  Well, after 3 years, I've finally got everything together and started spinning up the 2nd 4oz bag, using the beads as a diz (of sorts), then plyed the 2 strands together.

Things I've learn with this skien:
1.  I spin thinner than the bead oriface.  I don't really need to add the beads on as I'm spinning.  I could get away with loading the beads on as I'm plying.

2.  It didn't matter where I "placed" the beads.  I rearranged them as I plied.  Mainly because as I released the tension and loaded the yarn onto the bobbin, the beads would get caught on the hooks and pile up, so I had to move them around later.

3.  Leave a few yards of unadorned yarn and the beginning and the end of the skiens.  That way, if the yarn is used in knitting or crohet, there is an amount of yarn to get the project going.

I'm going to finish the project and try it again with larger beads /stone chips and maybe with a little more contrast in the colors.  You can barely see the gold beads in my skien.

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