26 of 51 Yarns: Self Striping Arctic Berries

This post is part of a spin-along through 51 Yarns by Jacey Boggs Faulkner, in the Wool n’ Spinning community. For other posts in this series, check here. I discussed these particular yarns on the Wool n’ Spinning podcast when I was a guest on episode 142. Fast forward to 40:33 to see this segment.

Catch up time again! There are eight days left in the month and I have six yarns to share.

The chain-plied yarn I made last month was also self-striping, so I wanted to try a different method of self-striping. The chain-plied yarn was made from top stripped down 16 times; folded on itself in chain plying made for very short colour repeats. For this yarn I stripped the yarn 12 times, and spun for a traditional three ply with the colours lined up in plying. This should make for wider stripes: four times wider, to be precise.

As you can see, I got about one full repeat on my swatch. My chain-plied swatch, below, has six repeats; probably because I happened to knit the swatch from the yarn spun from the narrowest strips.

Another difference is the cleanness of the colours. Even when the brightest colours line up in the traditional 3-ply, there’s a bit of heathering, because the tones are constantly varying even in the solid portions. By contrast, in the chain-plied yarn, it’s different. It’s true that there’s a good bit of heathering, because the colours overlap in the chain-ply where the colour changes, which is frequently. But there are areas in the chain ply where the exact same tone of the brightest colours are in all three plies for a short space, and that makes them really pop. Both are self-striping, and both are pleasing! The variety possible within even one topic is truly unlimited.

You see that the fabric biases slightly to the left. This is actually a good thing, since these yarns are a practice run for sock yarn, and being a bit overplied helps with sturdiness. This was the most overplied sample, with a finished twist angle around 50 degrees. The sample knit up to a firm but not unpleasant fabric on 2.5 mm needles, which are my usual sock needles.

The future holds many unknowns, but I can say with some confidence that my future includes some handspun socks.

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