So, I am pretty much self taught. I bought a beautiful gradient fibre pack, but am not sure what ro do with it. What do people normally do with these? Spin each color up on it's own to make a gradient set  of yarns?


Hazel Fyrebird

Really, you can do whatever you want with it, depending on what you want the final product to be. You can make variegated yarns,  several coordinated solids,  or a little bit of both.  Your imagination and skills are the only limits. 


I have to say I'm not a big fan of painted fiber braids.  I guess I'm old school enough to dye my own and then spin it to my specs, but since they're so popular our guild has had a couple sessions on them. 

First, you can spin them as is, worsted and woollen giving potentially significantly different results.  You can ply two strands together (giving an almost totally barber-pole striped yarn), ply them with another color, or chain (Navajo) ply them, which may lead to color pooling in the finished piece.

You can divide them into their component colors and create a gradient.  The gradient is easiest to keep intact without barber-poling if you create one long strand and chain ply it.

You can divide it in half lengthwise and ply the two more or less identical halves together.  This produces similar results to chain-plying the whole thing except the lengths of each color might be slightly different and you have a 2 ply rather than 3 ply yarn.

You can fractal ply.  This is not fractal in the straight mathematical sense, but derived from that idea.  It also produces a mostly barber-pole yarn, but with different color interplays than the above methods.  If you think about it, if you divide a sinle roving or top strand lengthwise into equal parts, the spun parts should be equal in length if you spin them the same.  So if you divide the initial roving into three pieces lengthwise, then divide one of those into two and the other into four and spin the two end-to-end with each other (bottom of the first half to the top of the second) and the same with the four, you should have 3 singles with the same colors and the same color order as each other, but with very different lengths of each color.  You then ply them together, or whatever. They resemble fractals because each pieced single has the same structure colorwise as the whole roving.  Not strictly fractals, for the purist, but  . . .

If you know how you're going to use the yarn before you spin it, you can use this dividing method to get the colors in the intervals you want  -- to pool or never pool, to stripe, etc.

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