Saturday, July 24, 2010

My First Bouclé


I know I said Thursday was challenge day of the Tour de Fleece 2010, but for me, it was a two day uphill climb. Actually, more like three days, because I just finished this morning!

This bird's nest, fiber doughnut is my first attempt at bouclé. This is before I soaked the yarn to set the twist. It just kind of makes for a fun photo. Right now it's hanging outside, in the sun, drying.

I have to be honest, my first bouclé is far from perfect. It lacks consistency, but I think I understand how to make it now and how I can make my next skein better.

After all my talk of figuring out things on my own, I did the opposite. I started off using mohair and then switched to Falkland top. The mohair was very fine and very much trying my patience. I went back to my comfort zone, good old sheep's wool. The idea I had in my head basically failed. I took an hour off to stew in my juices and then hopped online.

I wanted loopy yarn, so basically that's bouclé. I sort of went with Judith MacKenzie McCuin's school of thought on the process. I spun a lace weight going clockwise, then a heavier weight counterclockwise. Those two were plied together clockwise holding the lace at greater tension. This seemed to be where the learning curve kicked in. I had to get the feel for the right tension for each yarn and find a comfortable angle to hold them. It was pretty cool once I got it. I enjoyed watching my wavy yarn feed onto my spindle. What I also learned is that the next time I make a bouclé, I'll spin my lace weight at a lower twist. I felt like my twist was just a little too high on this skein.

The last step was to take my wavy two ply and ply it with a third yarn to hold the curls in place. With this ply I was back to going counterclockwise. Some people use thread. I have a big spool of silk lace in my studio, so I used that. I also like that the silk will add a little luster and will dye up nice with the rest of the fiber. Now that the hank has been washed and is hanging outside, it looks pretty fun. It's hard for me to look past the imperfections, but they make me want to try again and do it better!

So, notes to self: I need a slightly lighter twist in my thin yarn. I also want to be careful not to lose too much twist on the heavier yarn when I'm plying. I'd like to try adding a little of the push up method to exaggerate my curls.

I'll post another picture after my yarn is dry. I think I want to go ahead and dye it too. It's definitely cute enough to make into something. I hope all the others spinners out there had a good challenge day experience!

1 comment:

Sonia said...

So I just found out about Tour De Fleece and I've missed it! But your yarns look really nice! I'm trying to learn some new techniques, and like you, I have to just get my hands in there and try it until I figure it out. Boucle sounds hard difficult.

Thanks for sharing.