Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fractal Spinning

I've heard of fractal spinning before, but have never tried it. The concept is quite simple. You just strip down your roving in such a way that the colours in a multicoloured roving should hardly ever line up, and you end up with mostly a barber poled type of yarn.

Here is my attempt at fractal spinning, and I'm so happy with the resulting yarn.

This started out as a hand painted merino roving from etsy seller Chimera. I've purchased fiber from this seller before, and I've always been super happy with her stuff.

I ended up with about 350 yards of 2 ply fingering weight yarn. You may also notice a mini skein on the end. For some reason, I always end up with a fair bit of more singles spun on one bobbin and this time, instead of leaving it there for all of eternity, I decided to navajo ply it just to see how it compared with the fractal spun yarn. Quite different isn't it?

So what is fractal spinning? Well, my understanding of it, is this - Its all in the fiber prep done prior to spinning. I split my length of roving into half lenghtwise. One half, I set aside. The other half, I divided again lengthwise. Each of these halves, I divided again, so of this half, I had four pieces of roving about as thick as my thumb. I then predrafted each of these pieces and spun them up onto one bobbin.

The other half, I just spit in two (not four) and predrafted that down to about the size of my thumb and spun that. So, basically, this method is designed to have the colours line up in as random as possible. I'm super happy with the resulting yarn as this is how I think handspun should look. Something that cannot be replicated by bigger yarn companies. I love me some barber pole. Now what to knit with it?

Next up....I have some lovely Tesswater fiber that is just begging to spun up into a worsted weight for a pair of mitts.

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