Breed & Color Study: Radnor Sampling

I hope you like these colors, guys! Because you’re going to see them a few times in the weeks that follow.

This is the Wool n’ Spinning Breed and Color Study fiber, dyed and carded by Katrina at CraftyJaks. This is kind of a big deal, because (a) she did both a carded and a combed prep at the same time, and (b) this is going to be her last time doing the breed and color study. Sniff! She took pre-orders back in January, and my fiber arrived at the end of March.

Sometimes I just spin something up without thinking too hard about it. It’s about keeping busy, or playing, or getting something done. But the BCS tends to be more intense. It’s been a long time since I’ve done one. The fiber itself is a bit glorious, something fresh and new. And Katrina’s packaging is always so pretty!

The fiber is Radnor wool. This cute website has some info about the breed. I believe it falls in the “down-like” category, not being one of the specific down wools, but having similar characteristics. I happened to have some southdown to hand when this arrived, and it does feel similar. It has that crunchy, dry-ish feeling.

The way the Radnor took dye was really interesting. You can see most clearly on the darker portions of the braids above that it retains a sort of white haze. I wonder why that happens?

Now, the colors. The point of this study was to look at analogous colourways. As you can see in the braids above, each colorway falls squarely within 1/4 of the color wheel. On the braids, you can see the flow of color between darks and lights, but as I spun the batts, it was easier to pick out which individual colors went into each.

The “sparks” colorway has a very light salmon (a warm red), light salmon, medium salmon, a cooler pink, and a nice dark scarlet. The blue colorway below has a dark blue, a dark teal (warm blue), a medium teal, a sky blue, and a very light blue. Overall, “sparks” has the impression of orange-red, and the other of blue-green, so they are complements to each other.

Both have an emphasis on value difference over hue difference; putting both in black and white (below) shows that the blue colorway (left) has a wider variation in value.

I love what Katrina did with the batts. Rather than dye up more braids and card them, which would have been a lot more work, she dyed fiber in each of the colors that went onto the braids, and carded them up in a mixty-fashion. I adore the carding job. The distinct streaks of color are there; it’s not totally blended. But all of the colors go all the way through. Sometimes you get an interesting-looking batt, but all the interesting fibers are on the surface, and it’s mostly plain inside. As I spin these batts, I get an equal spread of all the colors. It’s so well-blended, but not homogenous or heathered. It’s so fun to spin!

I took a little strip off the end of each and spun little samples. Just the same singles I’ve been spinning for socks, at 30:1 (or so, I was having a lot of drive band slippage issues for a while there.)

I chain-plied the blue singles, and bracelet-plied the red singles. I had heard this fiber poofed a lot, so I didn’t try to ply too tightly. I had been thinking to do some 3-plies and 2-plies.

As you can see below, they didn’t poof that much. The red still has quite a gentle twist angle and is practically a lace. So I’m not planning to do a 2-ply for using as socks, especially not from a woolen-prep. The blue 3-ply looks very nice, but still needs more twist for socks I think.

No surprise, I’ve started spinning already. It’s actually taken me a while to write this post, so my first two skeins are soaking as I type. Any guesses what yarn I made?

4 thoughts on “Breed & Color Study: Radnor Sampling

  1. Really love the colors and what you have done with them. It looks like a toothy yarn. Is it? I too am wondering about the white fibers that did not seem to take the dye. Could some be kemp?


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