The Tenth Blendling: Paunnait

The Blendlings are a series of small skeins of handspun I am making, in order to study color, learn combination drafting, and improve my spinning by studying and adjusting my practices in small amounts. For a fuller project description, click here.

I liked the last Blendling so well that I decided to do something similar, colorwise, with #10. this time with dark green as the designated dark value, I matched it up with a contrasting bright purple, this time with cooler beige as the other “supporting” color along with the light teal.

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I decided to try the same color spread as before – put the green and light teal together, hoping difference in fibers (the light teal is much crimpier and more roving-ish than all the others) would encourage them to take turns and make the green pop, and that the purple would be calmed by being plied with the teal. More on how that turned out later.

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For the last Blendling, I’d tried spinning slightly softer singles while still plying tightly. I saw some difference, but not a ton. For this one, inspired by a class that 100-Mile Wear describes teaching, I decided to push this to an extreme. I spun the singles as fast and loose as I could while staying pretty consistent. This took a bit of practice, but soon I was doing a modified long-draw, and it went fast. See above for what a plyback looked like. Below on the bobbin, you can see those soft singles next to the crazy-overtwisted leftover singles from Blendling #7. The singles had quite a halo on them too.

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I then dumped the same amount of ply into it as I have been doing: 6 treadles to my default “length” (I thought this was 12″ but I measured later and it’s more like 10″).

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This is a drastically different yarn from what I’ve been making!

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Energized unfinished yarn and the sample book.

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The colors did not do what I expected. The purple competed with the dark green a lot more than I expected. It’d be hard to say whether the purple or green is more dominant. The effect is very natural, like purple flowers in a green wood. I’m reminded of the dwarf fireweed – paunnait – that grows on the slope in front of our house in the summer. Oh, how far away that summer seems now…

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The Nerd Numbers (Blendling #10):

ply #1: 2 light teal, 3 dark green
ply #2: 1 beige, 4 bright purple (the purples were thinner)
Spun supported semi-long draw: right hand positioned about 4″ back into the fiber supply, drawing back across my lap, as I treadled w/ left foot, body turned about 60 degrees away from the wheel. L hand supported the twist coming out of the fiber supply and pinched when necessary for control, but no smoothing.
Spinning Ratio: 6:1
6 treadles all the way across my lap! (maybe 18″)
Plied from two bobbins
Plying Ratio: 6:1
6 treadles : ~12″
S twist, Z plied

Yardage: 32 yd before finishing, 29 yd after finishing
Weight: .7 oz
Appx. Grist: 662 YPP
TPI: 4.5 before finishing, 4 after finishing (not sure what happened here)
WPI: ~10.5 before finishing, 9 after finishing
Angle of twist: 37 degrees before finishing, 43 degrees after finishing

I like this a lot! Like I said, it went fast, and was very fun to do. As I was doing it, I was thinking to myself, I could totally spin a sweater’s worth of yarn like this. I’m curious how it’d wear, though, and I’d want to make a wristlet to test it out before committing.

Check out Blendlings 6-10 together: the weight is much more consistent, but you can see the yarn go from extremely ropey on the left to extremely round and soft on the right!

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