If I had asked David of Southern Cross Fibre to dye a batch of spinning fiber just for me, based on my favorite colors, he couldn't have done any better than the fiber that became the yarn I finished plying earlier today. It had beautiful shades of my two favorite colors, blue and green, along with some deep blue-purple. It is exactly what I would have picked if I had my choice. It's one of many reasons why I have so enjoyed being in David's club -- he always seems to know which colorway you would like best.
To back up a bit, the fiber I spun for this yarn was Charollais, which was new to me. It felt rough and a bit harsh when I first pulled it out of the bag, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I truly enjoyed spinning it. It had a spongy texture to it and drafted easily, and I actually experimented with a bit of a woolen draft while spinning the singles. There's really no luster to the yarn, but the fiber really took the dye beautifully. I spun a three-ply fingering, splitting the original length of top into thirds widthwise and then dividing each section into fourth lengthwise. My goal was to distribute the colors as much as possible throughout the skein so that I wouldn't wind up with tiny bits of the bright green amid large areas of dark blue and blue-purple. I was surprised while plying, however at how often it seemed like two of the plies were the same color, and the effect was rather like a subtle gradient on the bobbin.
I finished plying late enough in the afternoon that I won't have a finished shot until tomorrow at the earliest (the skein is still drying from its bath), but here is a beauty shot on my niddy noddy:
I did my usual tight ply on this yarn, but I may have gone a little overboard, because even after washing and snapping to distribute the twist, the skein is still twisting up on itself and the yarn is corkscrewing a bit. Here's a (poorly lit) shot of it drying in the shower just a little bit ago:
I'll see how it looks in the morning and may ball it up and run it quickly back through the wheel to remove some excess twist, but then again extra twist never hurt anyone when knitting socks. I guess I'll have to see how much the skein shrank and get an estimate of my yardage first; my initial guess is somewhere in the 320 yard range, which isn't a whole lot for my big feet.
In the meantime, I got a very preliminary start on my next spin, some SCF Corriedale in the colorway Space. I'm spinning sock yarn again, so there will be plenty of time to see it in the coming weeks!