First, the finished Harmony in Red skein:
69 yards, 2 oz Targhee. I had a difficult choice to make when after splitting the roving in half, one finished single came out to be 68 yards and one came out 95. I considered joining them and plying from both ends of the ball, or adding some of the second skein to the first, but in the end decided to leave them alone and ply them as is. The skein is still longer than my other fun ones, and the two skeins are uneven in kind of a nice way, where the first is more thick-thin and the second came out much more evenly thin. I'm very happy with the finished result - I got the deep red I was after, and the light blue comes out, in tiny bits, making for a nice change and a nice contrast to the deep red.
The Targhee is also more squooshy and soft than the Corriedale I've been using, but was harder to spin. I think my predrafting was to blame, since I have a new skein started that's going along much much better. Here is the painting and inspired roving:
Van Gogh, Irises. White, light gray blue, and dull green-blue. I'm psyched.
At the MOMA yesterday, overwhelmed by all the colors, I remembered reading something about finding inspiration for a fair isle design in a favorite painting. I figure, the same thing can be done with dyeing roving, right? I collected some JPGs online last night of some paintings with beautiful color palettes, and today I dyed up my first choice:
Harmony in Red, by Matisse. I isolated the colors I wanted to use on my template:
and mixed up some colors. The dark red turned out a little more brown than I wanted, and I don't think the blue will show up nearly as much as I wanted it to, but it's a start. I'm really excited about the deep red/light blue combination. I even think I did a good job of matching that almost-orangey yellow, which isn't easy, since lemonade kool-aid is decidedly not bright, and any red I have is very overpowering. I dyed 2 oz of my latest roving purchase, Targhee. What could that be?? It probably won't be so soft, but neither is the corriedale I've been using, and that's totally fine by me. I am just a beginner after all!
So I spun up all of the Manhattan roving and wasn't so impressed. The colors are really washed out - I could definitely do better. The hank was still so pretty though, and so so soft. I wanted to actually try plying it. There were only about 54 yards of yarn, and ending up with 27 yards if I spun it to itself seemed depressing, so I put two white hanks I made a while ago together to make one hank that could be plied with the Manhattan one. White was too boring, so I dyed it Ice Blue, and plied my little heart out.
Yay! My first finished hank that doesn't suck. The plying isn't great, but I think the spindle is partially to blame. When I made that 54 yard hank initially, it was the most I'd ever made at once on my little crappy sprindle. Plying was kind of a nightmare - there was twice as much yarn, plus I'm just not that good at plying in the first place. It was miserable by the time I was halfway through...I'm definitely going to need a better spindle, both for plying and for making longer skeins.
Still, I'm thrilled with this finished hank. 56 yards (I don't know how that happened - maybe because the Manhattan yarn was a bit overspun and maybe curled up on itself in places?), bulky and super soft. It makes a good necklace. I don't know what I'll do with it (besides showing it off to everyone I know) - can I make a hat with that little yardage, if the yarn is so bulky? I doubt it. Oh well!