Spinning Batts

After pulling out my haul on Sunday, I suddenly couldn’t resist the bright, cheery, fluffy, not to mention Christmas-y, corriedale batts from Grafton Fibers. I had purchased 2 red batts. The observant amongst you will have noticed that the batts are different. They had the same red base, but one had been carded with black, and the other a sunny orange. My plan was to spin each as a single and ply them together.

The question was, how to I approach this vision of loveliness? I unrolled the snail (but not the rolag), and saw that there was a color progression from one end of the rolag to the other. I wanted to preserve the color progression.

rolagstripped battI started to attenuate the rolag so I can spin off one end. But I wasn’t getting as much control over the fiber as I wished, and I was afraid that I was going to muddy the progression of colors. That I definitely didn’t want.

So, I unrolled the rolag and stripped the batt into a single long strip of roving. (See diagram at right) I carefully tore into the batt along the dotted lines to make a continuous strip.

Not only did this provide me with a long continuous strip of roving that preserved my color progression, but this also kept the fibers mostly aligned for a semi-worsted yarn. The rolag would have resulted in a pure woolen yarn.

I didn’t measure the widths of my strips, but just swagged it. If you want really even roving, you would want to pull it from a diz. For large batts like this, I usually make a really thick roving by pulling it through the hole in a CD. Again, by turning at each edge, you can get a long continuous roving.

I didn’t do that this time. I was too impatient. I wanted to spin RIGHT NOW. So, I spun both batts on my Matchless, and plied them up on Sunday night. Approximately 350 yards of beautiful red dk/worsted weight yarn. I even washed it to set the twist.

All before I went to bed on Sunday night. I paid for it on Monday morning. I was so groggy in the morning that I accidentally washed my hair with body wash instead of shampoo. Then I couldn’t understand why it was taking me so long to rinse the shampoo out. It just kept getting more and more sudsy. Threw my entire day off, I assure you.

But now, I get to figure out a scarf pattern for this lovely red yarn.