I like to start with an even, thin layer of something long. This is BFL I dyed at some point in the past.
Then I stick on little bits of other stuff.
I keep an eye and make sure that I’m putting the fiber on fairly evenly.
I add my sparkle. Many people just paint the drum carder with sparkle, but that’s how you end up with thick clumps I’m not good at spinning. I should also add that, even though I don’t normally like Merino, I LOVE it for this kind of thing because it likes to cling to everything. It’s great for making sure all your other kinds of fiber stick together.
Woo! Evenly distributed sparkles on the drum! I also like to put my sparkles in in the middle, so that there’s a layer of fiber to secure them in.
Finally, I have a full drum. I take the fiber off the drum kind of like you would for rolags, except I make one huge burrito rolag.
I don’t have pictures of this next part, but what I do is grab it in the middle and start gently tugging it. I move my way back and forth across the burrito, which is stretching and stretching out into something that looks more like traditional hand-pulled roving. This part you just have to be patient with, because there’s a lot of fiber scrunched into that burrito and you want to tug gently (so that it stays in one piece), even though parts of it are going to feel very firmly stuck.
Here’s how it looks all pulled out of its burrito shape, ready for spinning.
Here’s my single.
My center-pull ball so I can ply it on itself easily.
And here’s how it looks as the centers of my afghan blocks.
It’s really hard for me to find the words for how satisfying it is to take something from dying the fiber to carding it to spinning it to crocheting it and every step of the way you kind of know what you’re going to get and also it’s a huge surprise.
Also, I really love these very subtle color changes, where it’s not really clear where one color starts and stops and I’ve been trying to get that just in dying alone, but no, it really works best if you do it while spinning.
And I think the burrito method helps with that, because it kind of smears the colors together as you pull the burrito open.