Offered for your consideration: a "beautiful oops".
I had this idea to make watermelon rolags. The theory was that I'd be able to spin a self-striping yarn in a colorway that would look watermelonish. It's definitely "ish". I may or may not tinker with it later; I'm kinda grumpy with it right now, so I put it in a time out. I figured I could blog about it here and share what I felt was right/wrong, and maybe someone out there could build on this and take it somewhere 20% cooler.
Here's what I did. I dyed up a bunch of watermelony greens and reds.
There's a crazy blend of wools in both colors, including Polwarth, Merino (64s and Superfine), Romney, Shetland, Wensleydale, Leicester, BFL, Jacob... Not pictured: the silk noil I dyed black (holy WOW does true black take a lot of dye!). I also blended some undyed Merino/silk, Targhee and Shetland rovings (which looked like undyed roving, so no pic).
I know myself well enough to know that I WAY overestimate how much fiber I'll use for any given project, so I divided this lot in 2 before I even started.
Believe me, there was PLENTY! I wanted a ratio of about 1/3 green and white, and the other 2/3 red. I carded up the green first, being careful to make very thin layers so it would be well-blended and not too streaky freaky.
And then I did the same with the red in two batches (with a little help, of course).
And the white, which isn't pictured. Oops. Anyway, here's the prepped fiber, ready to roll:
Next, I prepared my blending board. I had this idea in my head of matching rolags with equalish color blocks. Since I wanted a good size yarn, and had prepped a substantial amount of fiber, I knew I'd be rolling several boards worth of rolags. My eyeballing skills are pretty decent, but my "accept your imperfections" skills? Not so much. So I tried to preserve my sanity by marking the board where I thought I wanted the color changes to be.
I used waxed dental floss so the fiber wouldn't stick, and masking tape for easy removal. I think I'll pick up some green dental floss next time so I can more easily see the lines.
I put a thin layer of "melon" down before I added the silk noil "seeds". I figured this would help the noil stay in place when I rolled the rolags (and it did).
Once the noil "seeds" were placed, I filled in the rest of the melon. I filled a bit too much, so I decided to just roll the whole thing off as a mini-batt instead of fighting with it.
Kiddo is not a fan of clothing beyond undies, even in the dead of winter. Adds to the summery vibe, I guess.
The next few boards were more of the same, only less packed on. Here's what I came up with in the end:
Not bad, and they spun up beautifully, but... not exactly what I had in mind, either. The ratio of green to white to red is wrong. The noil doesn't look seedy enough on the rolags, but I can't figure out what else would work (and it looks great when it's spun). Oh well! Process is important, too- not just product. I will keep telling myself that until I internalize it. ;-)
If nothing else, I learned. I learned more than I'd expected, actually. In addition to getting some longdraw spinning practice in, I gave that mini batt what for and threw it in the tub for a crash course in wet felting. Silk doesn't wet felt, and neither does firestar, and it was not at all properly prepped for the task, but it made a fun, funky watermelon mat for the kiddos and redeemed what I consider an oops of a project.
Pics of spun yarn and felted mat to follow when they're dry. Overall, not a bad day. :-)