Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'll be a rover

(song lyrics count too)

The last few P.O. trips have resulted in Fiber Heaven! Despite my vow to use up some stash before buying new fibers, I have 2 new sets of hand-dyed rovings that I love love love.

The first order came from Yummy Yarn's Etsy shop. She's based in BC, Canada, and hand-dyes amazingly beautiful rovings from a variety of fibers, and gives them great names. I bought 4oz each of: Pretty How Town (greens and purple, Blue Faced Leicester), So Far Away (browns/greens/blues, BFL), and Patootie (pink and green, Corriedale). The colors on all 3 braids are wonderful, and the fibers are soft and gorgeous. I've never spun BFL (though I did spin a BFL cross earlier this year), but it is widely touted as the perfect sock wool. Yummy Yarn's etsy shop is here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5106294 A couple of the rovings I bought are still available, as well as tons of other gorgeous colorways.

And then there's Twisted Fiber Art. I hesitate to mention Twisted because this indie dyer produces such intensely gorgeous self-patterning yarns and rovings that they sell out instantly and getting your hands on any of her stuff is tricky. She occasionally announces availability of a few of her fantastic colorways (every single one of them blows me out of the water), and they sell-out often before I get a chance to order.
Meg at Twisted designs her colorways (so beautiful- have I mentioned that?), and then makes them available in several different yarn weights and blends (Merino with assorted things: silk, bamboo, tencel, as well as superwash), and also several different fiber blends for spinners. The Cloudy roving has bamboo fibers blended with Merino- the bamboo doesn't take dye the same, so the yarn will be lightly heathered. The Festive roving is Merino and Silk, which will have a heavenly sheen when spun up.
I did finally snag a 4 oz braid of Tulip Festive roving (merino and silk) that is rose, pink and peach, and Ravelry Cloudy (merino and bamboo) that is pink, green, and black. Meg dyes her rovings so that they will spin up self-patterning like her dyed yarns. My shipment came with a little sample of Xavier roving (dyed specifically in short repeats so the sample will knit up self-patterning too) Lively (superwash merino). I've spun a lot of merino, but this stuff nearly spun itself. I split the length many times, and spun them in order, very fine, and then Navajo 3-plied them. The yarn came out at .2 ozs, and 26 yds. I cheated on the book work and knitted up a mini mitten and a mini sock with the yarn, using 25 sts (for each) on size 1 needles. You can see that the yarn came out beautifully striping (and if you check the site for the Xavier yarn, you'll note that my handspun stripes pretty well match her dyed yarn stripes). Though in general I dislike 3plying yarn (you have to spin 1/3 more just to get the same length as 2 ply), Navajo (or chain) plying is the best way of preserving the color progression and separation, and I think that's what I'll do with both Tulip and Ravelry.

I also have 3 skeins of sock yarn coming from Twisted, and I lust after very many more of her colorways (especially Netherfield). You can go look, and buy, if you luck out and find it available, but please remember that I want some too.
p.s. I'll finish spinning the Cormo before I start any of the new rovings. I promise.


Kate/Massachusetts said...

Thanks for the eye candy and roving sites! Have you seen this one http://www.mainewoodsyarn.com/

She does gorgeous color, too! I love the pumpkin patch!

Kathleen Taylor said...

Oh my, I may be in trouble, Kate.

I really like the Birch Trees, and Sunflower- but all of the rovings are gorgeous. Thanks for the link!