Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Polwarth - Experimenting With Blends

By Leigh

After I finished my Polwarth preparation experiments, I decided to try blending some with alpaca. Since woolcombing made the nicest preparation, I also decided to use that for my blending experiments as well. I did it the same way I blended colors on the woolcombs. (Photos and explanation of that, here.)

To save a little time, I didn't diz the blended fibers into top, rather I drafted straight off the woolcomb...

Spinning off the combI couldn't have done that with full size combs, but it works well with my minis. Here are the results:

Polwarth & Alpaca 1 blendThe alpaca is on the right, the Polwarth is in the middle. The alpaca, though brown, has a reddish cast. This blend had the nicest hand and was soft and silky to spin. Very lovely.

Polwarth & Alpaca 2 blendAgain, alpaca is on the right. A darker brown than the first one, but shorter than the Polwarth. Even so, the blend drafted fairly evenly off the comb. I like the color of the yarn, but it isn't as soft.

Polwarth & Alpaca 3 blendI blended some with cinnamon colored alpaca out of curiosity. The yarn has more interesting color depth, though that's hard to see in the above image. However, since I have more of the dark brown alpaca, I think I'd prefer to save this color for a project all on its own.

I reckon the next step is to decide what size yarn I need and how much of it. I still leaning toward weaving with it; either an afghan or perhaps fabric for a winter coat. If I do that then I'll have to decide on a pattern so I can calculate for yardage. Obviously I still have a lot of decisions to make!

Posted 29 April 2008 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com

Related posts -
Adventures in Woolcombing
Color Blending on Woolcombs
Next Spinning Project - Polwarth
Polwarth - Experimenting With Preparations


Kathy said...

How inspiring, Leigh! (But then you always are!) I had an alpaca breeder stop over to buy some alfalfa pellets from me for her pregnant alpacas...she may have some alpaca to share and thought it would be lovely with the shetland. That Polwarth looks interesting too.
So many wools...so little time!

Sharon said...

I think that's why I'm only interested in weaving with handspun. There are no many choices and ways to plan, and you know you'll want something to go with the brown that's a similar type of fiber - not Shetland. I figure it takes me a good part of a year to spin and weave a project but how many finished items can I really use anyway.

I had never thought about just pulling the fiber from the mini combs and have struggled with the diz - you need another hand. I'm already plotting what I can experiment on. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

I am kind of surprised that the difference in length between the two fibers didn't make an impact on your yarns, since I was told that the purpose of combing is to separate the long fibers from the short. Is that because you didn't use a diz?

I must say, my favor is the blend with the cinnamon alpaca. Lovely.

Leigh said...

I was concerned about the same thing, but I thought I'd give it a shot just to see. The combs mostly removed the neps and short bits from the Polwarth. The alpaca didn't have these, so it pulled through the combs easily. I think it would have pulled through a diz the same way as drafting. I did have a little Polwarth at the very end, but not enough to write it off completely!


I love the colors, I'd never seen anyone do from comb to spin, very interesting, I'd love to see you weave fabric for a coat, because then you would need to sew it.

bspinner said...

You sure do have a lot of decisions to make. Hum, a nice warm coat to wear or a nice cozy afghan to snuggle up in. Can't lose either way.

Wool Enough said...

That cinnamon alpaca is gorgeous. As nice as it looks blended with the Polworth, I bet it looks even better all on its own.

Anonymous said...

Leigh you have been doing some wonderful things love the colors on the polwarth.