Summer seems to last so long until all of a sudden the cold sneaks in and the last of the summer flowers close and are gone. This Cosmos flower was one of the last and it survived well into May, despite the chickens raiding the foliage, before it finally succumbed to the first frost of the season.
So as we say goodbye to the warmth of the weather, I thought it prudent to use this bright coloured wonder as inspiration for creating a lovely gradient on the Ashford Blending Board and transfer that warmth into something to wearable.
A Blending Board stores flat, is very portable, can sit on your lap or on a table, is quicker than hand carders and can make both rolags and fibre batts. The Ashford Blending Board comes with a pair of dowels, an adjustable stand too which can be rotated to sit neatly between your legs on your lap giving you extra stability and the ability to sit through hubby’s boring selection of TV viewing! Haha!
To create a gradient we will work from left to right on the board starting with the darkest pink hue through to light pink and then golden yellow before ending in bright yellow.
Starting with Raspberry #047 and at the top left of the board, drag your sliver down the board leaving a thin layer and repeat to lightly cover about a 4 inch strip of the board.
Take your Magenta #023 and slightly overlapping the previous strip create another thin layer also about 4inches wide.
Do the same with the Pansy #046, then Cupcake #033, Cheesecake #003 and finally Yellow #027. Then use the blending board to brush in a downward motion on the board.
After this first layer you should see you colour gradient already blending beautifully. Continue laying down you fibres in order with slight overlaps for about 3 to 4 layers brushing in between each layer.
You will be ready to remove your Batt once the fibre has reached to tip of the tines (metal spikes) after brushing. Take one of your dowels and at the bottom of your board place it under the fibre ends that are overhanging.
Take the second dowel and place it directly over the top of the other dowel sandwiching the fibre ends between.
Hold the dowels together tightly with a hand each and and roll up the board slowly. Use the Blending brush handle first up the board to coax any fibre out of the board that is not rolling out with your dowels.
Your batt will now be rolled around your dowels. Slide one dowel out at a time and then you can unroll your batt to see how it turned out. You can of course leave it as one big rolag by not rolling it open. Your batt will be approximately 30g and Rolag 10g.
If you prefer to make more a puni-style rolags, stop adding fibre after the first layer and roll off using the dowels as tight as you can. Remove the dowels one at a time and don’t unroll. With this corriedale it is light and lofty with beautiful crimp and not as tight as some rolags you see that have smoother fibres such as silk added.
Repeat the whole process until you have used up all of your fibre or have enough for the project you have in mind. when spinning you can start from the same end each time such as Raspberry which would make a uniform repeating gradient or you could spin Raspberry to Raspberry, Yellow to Yellow and create a yarn with longer sections of those two dominant colours and a neat shorter blend of the other colours in between.
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and colour inspiration. We’d love to hear from you if you have questions or tutorial suggestions or come join us on Facebook to be part of the discussion.
Did you try this tutorial? Post your project to Instagram or Facebook with with the hashtag #auntjennytextiles . We would love to see your work.
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Ashford's most popular wheel - the Kiwi - has evolved!
The new Kiwi 3 has folding treadles, timber veneered MDF wheel, three speed whorl and a wooden threading hook! With all the great features of the Kiwi 2, the enhanced Kiwi 3 will be even more in demand from new and experienced spinners everywhere.