Some of you have asked how I’ve been creating the tweed blends I’ve been spinning for this month’s Spinner Central Spin-A-Long, so here we are. If you haven’t read Abby Franquemont’s excellent tutorial on creating a tweed blend, you’re definitely missing out.
I’ll start by saying that I’m definitely no expert on creating tweed blends (you only have to look at the pictures of my hand carders to know how new they are!)
Firstly, some ingredients for my blend:
I used some Corriedale sliver in various colours and some scraps of mulberry silk left over from one of my early dyeing experiments/disasters. Silk noil would be preferable, but I don’t have any and made do without it.
I like some lumps and bumps, so I ruined some silk and turquoise Corriedale. I loaded some blue silk onto the hand cards and turned it into a matted mess by using the cards to tease and squish the silk until it was suitably messy:
Then I did the same to some orange silk. I lightly felted some tufts of turquoise Corriedale by rubbing them between my hands until it started to stick together.
Next, I loaded some warm colours onto the cards and blended until I was happy:
Now the fun part! I started another pass and moved some of the fibre onto the other card. Then I added a thin layer of blue silk. Moved some more fibre across. Then a layer of orange silk and likewise with the semi-felted Corriedale, effectively sandwiching each “clump” ingredient between layers of blended fibre.
Then another pass or two… notice the orange and blue clumps?
Remove the rolag:
And spin! Long-draw was key to retaining the lumpy bits. Andean ply the singles and voilà!