Portrait of Sierra Roberts
by: Sierra Roberts

Blending For Beautiful Handspun Gradients

Gradients…

The look is in people’s hair, on our clothes, and in lots of different types of yarn. Gorgeous gradient colors can now happen on your spindle as well! With the help of an Ashford Blending Board, I was able to take three somewhat different colors and blend them into a fun single ply handspun yarn that goes from dark to light, just like the factories make! Here’s how:

 

Ashford Blending Board  Ashford Blending Board

First, I chose three different colors of Ashford NZ Wool Fiber to Spin and Felt. I split the darkest one in half – one half will be spun alone, the other half will be blended with a portion of the next shade. As you can see above, I split the middle color into thirds. The lightest color was split in half as well. Now that you have your portions, the next step is to get these colors blended!

 

Ashford NZ Wool Fiber to Spin and Felt Ashford NZ Wool Fiber to Spin and Felt
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Ashford NZ Wool Fiber to Spin and Felt » Info / buy
Ashford NZ Wool Fiber to Spin and Felt » Info / buy

I used a blending board for this, but if you’re looking for a more thorough blend of colors you might want to use some hand carders. The Schacht Wool Carders, Flat-Back, 72 PSI would be perfect for the job. You can see above that now we have Dark, Dark/Medium, Medium, Medium/Light, and Light fiber ready to be spun. Time for me to get out my Shotzee Drop Spindle - Exotic Wood!

 

Schacht Wool Carders, Flat-Back, 72 PSI  Schacht Wool Carders, Flat-Back, 72 PSI
Shotzee Drop Spindle - Exotic Wood  Shotzee Drop Spindle - Exotic Wood

Beginning with the darkest color, I then moved on to the next lighter shade – and then the next, one after the other. I learned a few things from the experiment, such as the difference between a blending board and carding to blend; also I could have used a little more of the middle color than the other two, because it gets split up more. Ultimately though, this is a fun way to play with colors and explore the possibilities of making your own handspun yarn. It also let’s you play with how different colors interact – sometimes in surprising ways!

This project was inspired by an awesome teacher named Lesley Fowler, who will be teaching at Halcyon Yarn this summer. Keep an eye out for her July classes, more details coming soon!

Whether it’s gradients, or any color blending or fiber mixing, blending boards are an indispensable tool. Try either theĀ  Ashford Blending Board or theĀ  Louet Blending board 12"x12"(30cmx30cm) 72 tpi.

 

Ashford Blending Board  Ashford Blending Board
Louet Blending board 12"x12"(30cmx30cm) 72 tpi  Louet Blending board 12"x12"(30cmx30cm) 72 tpi

 

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