Gale Evans of Gale's Art was kind enough to do a carding party during The Whole Nine Yarns regular Monday night spin night on 8 February. This worked out well for me, as I needed to learn to use my Strauch wool hand cards for things other than experimental mohair. The fact that I didn't have a drum carder also kept me from going completely crazy. I should note that 5 of 6 spinners who did bring a drum carder had the same model of Strauch drum carder. I was able to watch these in action. When I'm ready to move up to a drum carder, I'm going here.
Gale brought older roving samples that she is retiring. There were lots and lots of colors, so it was a fun opportunity to play with blending single-color fibers to produce more luminous colors. This sort of visual blending is similar to what happens when you look at an Impressionist painting. Some woven fabrics also take advantage of the technique -- plaids are an example.
Anyway, amongst my bounty was about one ounce of wool and silk blend. As this was prepared on hand cards, I had a bunch of little poofs. I blended to produce a series from gold through yellow-green, blue-green, blue, and a little blue-violet at the end. So last night I lined up my colored poofs in order and spun them up.
This was my first time not pre-drafting. I spun straight from each little bat. Silk is a little different to spin, somewhat catchy I thought. But it adds a little sheen polish. This is a lace weight, coming in at about 25 wraps per inch or more. But I got about 200 yards. I was planning on Navaho plying, but when I steam set the yarn, I realized it didn't have any excess twist. I don't know how I did that. I mean, I've been wanting to learn to make a balanced single. So, here's a balanced single. I have no clue if I can replicate the miracle. I'm just going to be happy about it. :-)
And a last geeky note: that image at top makes a great desktop wallpaper as is or even better if you invert the colors.