Jillian’s Spinning: Spinning Variegated Top in a Progression

I’m on a deadline and playing with fiber is one of my favorite ways to procrastinate. Come look at what I played with this weekend.

I love variegated top and I love playing with the colors in variegated top. This weekend I took a variegated top from Abstract Fiber (50% Merino/ 50% Silk) and made it into a progressive colorway. Instead of the color pattern being ABCABCABC I took it apart and make it AAACCCBBB. Sometimes I do this as a gradient (dark to light) sometimes I just do it in an order I like.

I took this lovely stuff with a repeating color pattern.

Abstract Fiber Vineyard colorway
Abstract Fiber Vineyard colorway

Split it in two and divided one half by color.

Divided fiber, yes, those are scissors.
Divided fiber, yes, those are scissors.

Yes, I did cut the top with scissors. I can get cleaner breaks between colors and it goes faster with scissors. The spinning police did not come and take my wheels.

I arranged the colors in the order I wanted them that day.

KB progression cut fibers lined up
Color train

Sometimes if there is a color I don’t like I just take it out. I do that all of the time with Noro yarns, there is a turquoise in Noro that I just don’t like (shhhh). That grass green kind of bugs me in this colorway, I didn’t take it out completely, but I took out half.

Then I spun. I spun low twist singles and felted them. I practiced spinning from the fold with fibers of very different staple lengths with the cut up colors. The intact half I just spun sliding longdraw.

Here’s what I got:

Regular and color progression yarn.
Regular (top left and right yarn cake) and color progression (bottom left and left yarn cake) yarn.

I like them both and I really like them together. My brain is cranking on an idea that will show both to their advantage in knitting, Hmmmmm.


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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

8 thoughts on “Jillian’s Spinning: Spinning Variegated Top in a Progression

  1. Heather

    YIKES! SCISSORS! I’ve often thought about it, but was always afraid to try cutting the fiber. I think for my next progression, I will use scissors! *gulp*

    1. Jillian

      This fiber I spun from the fold so there was no drafting weirdness. When I’ve done it before and spun from the end, I make sure to shake the fiber before spinning. That dislodges stray bits and fluffs the ends for better joins.

  2. Karrie

    I’ve been thinking about doing something similar,and I have a project in mind. Great to see this done. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Mary Lou

    Hah! I thought I was alone in my removal of certain colors in Noro. I made some mittens out of colors removed while making a Kuryeon sweater years ago. They spit spliced beautifully, then I donated them to a mitten tree.

  4. Cal (SkyNorth on Ravelry)

    I know what you mean about Noro! With me, it’s the nasty beigey-yellow that appears in almost every skein, seemingly.
    I loved reading this blog post, inspiring, but I wouldn’t use scissors on my fibre because surely at the cut ends you get some very short fibres due to the staple being cut? I prefer to just draft the colours I want out from the braid, though it does take time and patience!

  5. Cal (SkyNorth on Ravelry)

    Mmm…forgot to add, I’ve never felted my singles before but will definitely experiment. Does it make for a stronger yarn?

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