The Sixteenth Blendling: Sandy Water

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.

For the remaining Blendlings, I wanted larger quantities, and I wanted to push the color experimentation as far as I could. For a treat, late one quiet night before a big day, I finished Deb Menz’s color theory chapter in Color in Spinning, examined her color study exercises on pp. 48-50, and picked a few that I could do from the fiber I had left.

The first was experimenting with gradations in saturation.

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I had lots of beige left. These pictures make it look very tan, but it looks quite greyish in natural light, so I thought it would work mix it in with another color to desaturate it. I picked the teal that was closest in value to the beige.

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I then took each strip of color and broke it down into short lengths, combining them into mixes that slowly included more beige and less teal, in the following combinations:

4 teal:1 beige
3 teal:2 beige
3 teal:3 beige
2 teal:3 beige
1 teal:2 beige
1 teal:4 beige

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A clever plan, yes? It had two flaws: (1) the strips of color I was combining were not consistent in width. A proper experiment would change the mix by weight, and my scale is just not sensitive enough to even try with these small amounts. (2) I prepped late at night, shoved it kinda-carefully in a bag, then spun it at the end of that big day, when I was really tired. You guessed it: I mixed up some of the carefully ordered bundles. At least the last two; I may have mixed up others.

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I filled up the bobbin intentionally from one end to the other, so we could see the change on the bobbin. And… you can’t see much. You can see the mostly-teal on the left, but the rest just looks like mud.

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I wound the whole thing onto a center pull ball to see if the differences would show up a little more that way…

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…nnnope. Oh well! I think the beige isn’t really grey enough to carry out this experiment properly anyway.

I had planned all along for the gradation to only be visible on the bobbin, and to ply from a center-pull ball, which would totally fold the gradient in half and almost erase the effect. That’s because I want to use this color with the others I am making, and a gradient would kinda stand out. It’s a good thing this was my plan, because it would have happened anyway.

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It reminds me a lot of the water lily colorway that I made Dwarrowdelf with. It’s a nice color… we’ll call it “sandy” instead of “muddy.” And it does seem kinda desaturated, don’t you think? Though more in a brownish direction than a greyish one.

For the spinning, again it was late at night, but I did my best to emulate the style I used with #10: soft singles, lots of ply twist. It ended up a little thinner than I wanted, but not too much. I wanted something fun; as I’ve mentioned twice already, it had been a long day.

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The Nerd Numbers (Blendling #16):

1 single, short strips of beige and medium teal in the following proportions (probably):
4 teal:1 beige
3 teal:2 beige
3 teal:3 beige
2 teal:3 beige
1 teal:4 beige
1 teal:2 beige
Spun supported semi-woolen, pulling back across my lap.
Spinning Ratio: 6:1
6-7 treadles per “length” across my lap
Plied from a center pull ball
Plying Ratio: 6:1
8 treadles : ~12″ (measured)
S twist, Z plied
Yardage: 46 yd after finishing
Weight: 1 oz
Appx. Grist: 734 YPP
TPI: 4.25 before finishing, ~4.5 after finishing
WPI: ~11 before finishing, 10 after finishing
Angle of twist: 45 degrees before finishing, 35 degrees after finishing (huh?)

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