Archive for July 24th, 2008

Last week I was lucky enough to score some of the new fibre now in stock at The Natural Dye Studio. In fact, I begged for some - I have always loved Amanda’s colours and since I’m trying to focus more on spinning and buy less yarn this year, NDS fibre seemed like Christmas in July!

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My first impression as I tipped the fibre out of the squishy post bag was that this was incredibly soft and fluffy. Incredibly. I’ve had a lot of hand-painted roving and tops through my hands and almost all of them have had some varying degree of compacting (not felting, just squishing down) from the dye process. Amanda has managed to produce something soft, buttery and as light as air.

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Given the poofiness (technical term) I was able to use a drafting technique which I love for shortish fibres, but which doesn’t work very well without a lot of fluffing up of the fibre beforehand. It’s essentially a point of twist draw combined with a short forward draft. Hard to explain without pictures, but imagine drafting forwards as for worsted, but allowing the twist far back into the fibre mass to draw out the fibres instead of pinching them with your forward hand. It’s very fast, and with a bit of practice produces a nice even single with a fair bit of air in it.

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This particular colourway (Midnight Ocean) was dyed for long colour sections so I decided to chain-ply to keep them distinct. You can see how the yarn graduates beautifully from soft green through blue to a deep indigo.

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Finished, with a bit of whacking, the yarn is deliciously soft, poofy and buttery with just the hint of a halo of fuzz. Tempted? There’s some great colours up now in the NDS shop and I’m really hoping there will be some left when I head up for the Open Day this weekend!

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