Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dimension Yarn - A Photo Tutorial

In my last post, I showed you the finished product from my first skein of the new type of art yarn I just came up with, which I'm naming Dimensional Yarn. The thing that makes this yarn unique is that it goes from thin at one end to super bulky at the other end, which makes it possible to make something that's warm where it needs to be warm and lacy where it can be lacy. There's more about this in my last post here: http://purplelambfiberarts.blogspot.com/2016/03/and-now-for-something-completely.html

I thought I'd walk you through how to make the yarn, so below you can find a photo tutorial on that.

First, here's one more photo of the poncho with my daughter modeling it:

It's not that this is a complicated yarn to make. It just requires a bit of planning. Here's how I did it:

I started by making batts from mostly merino with some bamboo and mulberry silk as well as a bit of firestar. In the photo below, I'm removing the batt from the drum carder.

I made two batts totaling 4 ounces together. I divided the first batt into 5 sections and the second batt into just 2 sections. The idea was to have approximately the same length of each weight of yarn. I planned to use the first batt for the finer weights of yarn and the second batt for the bulky and super bulky parts of the skein. Here are some of the sections.

Here I was just starting to spin the finest weight of yarn, which was a sport weight at 16 wraps per inch:
And here I am near the end of the first section:

As I got near the end of each section, I gradually increased the weight of yarn to the join of the next section.

Though I had intended to wait on the bulky yarn until I got to the second batt, in the end, I had increased the diameter a little more quickly than I planned, so sections 4 and 5 were in the bulky range at 8 and 7 wraps per inch respectively.

That meant that by the time I got to the second batt, I would be spinning super bulky yarn. The 6th section was 5-6 wraps per inch, and the final section was really super bulky at 4-5 wraps per inch. Each of those was a whole ounce.

And here is the yarn spread out on my skein winder:

If you're wondering what the funky-looking stuff at the bottom is, it's my teenage son's creation. He took my skein winder and added a Mindstorm robot too it so it spins on its own. Pretty cool, huh?

Later this week, you can expect to find some new Dimensional Yarn in my Etsy shop here:

and on my website here:

Thanks for looking. Happy fiber artistry!

And now for something completely different...Dimensional Yarn

Over the course of the last few weeks, I came up with what I think is a completely new type of art yarn. I am calling it dimensional yarn. There's thick yarn and thin yarn and thick-and-thin yarn but this is more like thin-to-thick yarn. The idea was to make yarn that went from very fine all the way up to bulky or super bulky all in one skein. This particular skein went from sport weight to super bulky. It was a total of 126 yards long and 3.9 ounces.

I tried it, and I liked it. Then I knit it up into a poncho for my daughter, and I loved it!

Here's a photo of the poncho I made for my daughter:

The thing I love is that it goes from tight stitches at the top (the super bulky part) all the way to open and lacy at the bottom. Here's a closeup:

As you can see, there's definitely some thick and thin going on inside each thickness of yarn, especially at the bulky end.

I think the possibilities for this new kind of art yarn are nearly endless, but I mostly envision using it for knitting things like this poncho that I knit in the round or for triangle shawls--items that have a top and a bottom to show off the different sizes of yarn.

I used 24-inch size-19 circular needles to knit this, but next time I might even go up to size 25 or beyond. FYI, I used a free pattern from Nine Rubies for this project. Here's a link to her pattern:


If you wanted something that showed off the variation in yarn but wanted to keep the same stitch tightness, you could also change needle sizes as you went.

In my next post, I'll be making a tutorial showing how you can make this yarn yourself if you like. If you'd prefer to purchase it, I expect to be making several skeins for my shop in the next few weeks, starting with some from these lovely spring rainbow batts that I plan to start spinning today.

P.S. If you decide to make some of your own, I would just ask that you mention Purple Lamb as the original creator of this type of yarn.
Happy fiber artistry!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rainbow of Colors

I couldn't wait to share the beautiful rainbow of colors that is my first order from Ashland Bay. I was delighted to see that all their wool is sourced from the UK, including the organic polwarth that came from the Falkland Islands.

I got right to work on my new Purple Iris batts here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/270737183/. They look like this:
 ...and were inspired by this: