Sunday, December 05, 2010

The End of Waldo

Back at Spa last winter, I bought a Spunky Eclectic project bag of 8 oz 60/40 Merino/Bamboo in the colorway Diesel and 8 oz in the Steel Driving Man. Since I was concerned the pound wouldn’t be enough to make a sweater, I decided to blend it with a pound of Nick’s Meadow Merino roving I had sitting around the house. The other benefit of blending it with the merino roving was that it would cut the sheen of the bamboo (that stuff is shiny like cheap, worn polyester).

First, I tried spinning it in sections: 1 part Diesel, then 1 part natural merino, lastly 1 part Steel. I Navajo-plied the single and got this:

At first I thought it was too “Where’s Waldo?” But then I decided it was what the grizzly bears spat out when they were done with Waldo. Some poor hiker stumbled across this little square of fabric, and their heart sank for children everywhere.

After suggesting that I blend the rovings together, Carole and Sharon offered to lend me their drum carder.

Yay! I’d never used one before so there was a bit of a learning curve, but after one pound I had the hang of it. (I know that sounds like a joke, but I maintain that my later batts are substantially more interesting and better striated than my early batts.)

I pulled the three rovings into equal length sections and bunched them in threes, one of each.

Each bunch of three became one blended batt.

A test run poorly spun and double-plied confirmed my suspicions: a nice, gently-striated steel blue-grey.

Where’s Waldo? He’s dead in the woods, kids. Moral: don’t mess with grizzly bears. Or drum carders.

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