In the last post, I talked about spinning hand-dyed braids in fractals, using a short section of roving I dyed in (basically) three colors. The resulting knitted swatches demonstrated the tweedy color-shifting variations, and we looked at trying to predict how the yarns would turn out before starting to spin.
Be aware that spinning fractals is somewhat predictable only for roving that is dyed in repeating solid sections. Randomly-dyed or spot-dyed braids also produce beautiful yarns when split and spun in fractals, but the colors are definitely random.
Here, we’ll see another set of swatches spun from short sections of roving dyed in four colors, and consider whether it may be worthwhile to spend the time planning the spin or just go for it and enjoy the ride!
I don’t have a photo of the unspun fiber, so you’ll have to make do with a representation (which I created using a spreadsheet and filling cells with similar colors):
As with the previous test, I used two similarly-dyed sections about 18″ long, split each in half lengthwise and set aside one half. Splitting the other half in thirds gave me narrow strips with the same color sequence. Here’s how I spun the first one, in standard fractal format:
You can see that each segment should have an area of pure color. This assumption leaves out the variables of handspinning, including the fact that the lengthwise divisions were just ‘eyeballed’, and will not be equal, even if the spinning was absolutely consistent! Swatch number one:
See? There are NO same-color segments here, although there will be longer stretches of the same two colors at each of the main color changes (peach & blue then blue & peach, blue & lavender then lavender & blue, etc.). Swatch number two:
This pair didn’t match up with the predictions quite as well as the last trial, which is a great illustration of the variability inherent in the process!
The fractal spin came out pretty close to my prediction, but apparently the single, thicker section of the flipped fractal was a bit less than half… this shifted the blues so there’s a wide blue section, and then I was short on fiber. During plying, I got to the end of the pink on one ply before even getting to the last peach section on the other ply. Still, I like both swatches, and would be hard pressed to choose a favorite.
After this, I am leaning toward just having fun and not over-planning the spin! What do YOU think?