Coopworth – Nightshade

After I spun the Merino, I picked up another colorway from Spunky Eclectic — this time a sliver of Coopworth in the colorway Nightshade.   While the fiber itself was perhaps a bit coarse and scratchy, I love the colorway and am sad she isn’t still producing it.

Coopworth - Nightshade RovingSpinning Merino and Coopworth 011

For this I went back to my default spinning — short-forward draw/inch-worm style, a relatively fine 2-ply.     Since there wasn’t a discernible pattern to the colors (it looked kettle-dyed rather than space-dyed), instead of splitting the entire roving lengthwise, I opted to fold it in half, and literally split across the middle of the length.   My hope was that I would get reasonably close to the same lengths on the two bobbins (though that didn’t occur) but I wasn’t trying for a consistent color.  I packed both bobbins pretty full.

Coopworth - Nightshade Bobbin 1 Coopworth - Nightshade 005

Since I was spinning finer, and often in short bursts, it was about 10-12 days from start to finish.  I overfilled the first plied bobbin, continuing to ply until it refused to wind-on.  The remainder was plied normally until one of the bobbins was finished, and than I opted to chain-single ply the last of it.   I find plying from a center pull ball to be difficult with fine singles, as it likes to collapse and tangle.  Unfortunately, my skill with chain-singles isn’t that much better, plus it frankly is not as strong a yarn due to being a ‘fake 3ply’.  Still, it has the advantage of preserving the colors in the singles, so I enjoy doing it with the leftovers — I figure they can be used for an edging on whatever I end up making, as the resulting yarn is obviously related, yet not really the same color look as the 2ply

Coopworth - Nightshade 012

The 2-ply is in the top in the above picture, and the left-hand picture below.   I’m especially happy with the main skein — it softened up considerably in the wash, and it looks really good.   The quasi-3ply isn’t especially even in my opinion, but I do like the appearance and am basically satisfied with it.

Coopworth - Nightshade 011Coopworth - Nightshade 010

I enjoyed spinning this — even it did have more matted places than I’ve ever encountered in one of Amy’s fibers before.  It also bled like crazy — I always had bluish/purple fingers while spinning and plying, and a good bit of blue dye went down the sink (I tried adding vinegar to the wash water, but I doubt it helped).  I am assuming that both were a side effect of the much-darker than usual colorway.  Regardless, I would definitely spin this again!

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