October Fiber Club – Unleashing YAKTOBER and Spinning a Textured Batt Tutorial
Our October Fiber Club Box was nothing short of extraordinary! We took members on a journey through the planes of India and Over the Mountains of Tibet with a special curated box that delighted all the senses! Members from all over the country flocked to Social Media to express their gleeful un-boxing!
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October Box Breakdown
This month we adventured beyond our spinning wheels to the highest region on earth! Through the planes of colorful India, past the tear-drop on the cheek of time, and over Mount Everest in Tibet, towering 29,029′ above sea level.
Our journey reveals a uniquely cultural and religious people that breathe color and life into their work. To compliment the fibers and to take you on this journey, we sent members a single serving of Tea which highlighted the flavors found in India and Tibet. Along with a stick of ‘Full Moon’ incense with notes of Juniper berries, Myrrh, Rose petals, Sandalwood, Mug-wort, Moon-flower, and Marigold. Members also received a Vinyl all weather Paradise Fibers Logo Sticker to adorn you home, accessories, or car with! Share a photo of your sheep sticker wherever you take it with #paradisefibers @paradisefibers on social media!
The traditional Sari Silk clothing of India and the Chuba Garments of Tibet are woven with intricacy in bright colors that delight the spirit! You will find that these garments are made from fibers such as Silk and even Yak! The silk featured this month are remnants left over from the Sari Silk Industry that have been carded and combed together to create a vibrant and soft roving that glistens with brilliant, saturated color! We sent three colors this month: A Golden yellow, a deep royal blue, and a rich true red. 2 oz. total. The word sari means ‘strip of cloth’ and is traced back to 2800-1800 BC where dyes such as Indigo, Lac, Red Madder, and Turmeric gave these brilliant garments life. A pulled Sari Silk Sliver in roving form can be blended with wool to add color and texture! This creates beautiful effects when used in weaving, knit, and crochet projects.
We sent two shades of Natural De-Haired Yak Down, Dark and Light Brown, 1 oz. total. Found scattered throughout the mountains of Tibet, the coat of the Yak is composed of three different types of fiber that vary greatly in appearance and characteristics. The coarse fibers, mostly used by nomads in tent making, ranging from 79-90 microns form the outer coat of long hair that characterizes the appearance of the Yak. The Mid-type fibers with a 20-50 micron range, naturally strong but not stronger than the outer layers. The down fiber, the finest with a 16 micron count, shed by the animal during later spring/early summer period. This is how the Yaks have adapted to survive extreme cold temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit at altitudes well above 3000 meters in Tibet. Yak fiber is breathable, static resistant, and outperforms sheep wool in a number of areas such as warmth, softness, breath-ability, and odor-resistance.
In continuation of our ‘No Fuss Blends’ we created a gorgeous Yak blend for October. Yaktober is designed to be able to be spun as is, paired with complimentary colors, plied with another fiber, or blended further. We chose colors that compliment the natural shades of the Yak, creating a ‘trees on fire with change’ sort of feeling. Introduce warmth into your spinning palette with this blend while sipping your tea by a roaring fire on a cool autumn evening.
Inspired by Autumn Leaves and everything Cozy and Warm. Yaktober is a luxuriously soft and warm exotic blend just in time for Fall. Consisting of: 50% De-Haired Tibetan Yak Top in natural shades of Dark and Light Brown and 50% 64ct Dyed Merino Wool Top in the colors Burgundy, Rust, and Mustard. Individually refreshing, Yaktober can be spun with other classic autumnal shades to create a striking Yarn. We challenge you to experiment with blending various fibers to create a textured yarn. Click here to read last months box breakdown where we went over several spinning and fiber prep terms.
Blending a Textured Batt
I had to try spinning our October Fiber Club offerings several different ways, you understand. Each fiber was begging to be spun alone and together! So before I begin to walk you through these processes, you should know the skein of yarn pictured above is the Yaktober Spun as is. I stripped the roving lengthwise, to make drafting easier, and spun each strip end to end. After I plied the yarn onto itself I ended up with an Aran weight yarn that was approx 4.5 oz. ( I lost some weight during plying…oops! ) Perfect for a warm and cozy hat, or Gloves, I’m thinking. Below is a visual representation of this if you wish to recreate the skein pictured.
I was compelled to put bits of sari silk in the picture to mimic falling leaves, because art. I was also compelled to grab an Ashford Wild Drum Carder, my favorite due to it’s convenient size and packer brush feature! Equipped with the tools needed I loaded the drum carder with Yaktober first, and then added in drafted bits of Sari Silk, Yak Down, and more Yaktober to sandwich it all onto the drum! Note: start small and work your way up! My results, a beautiful multi color, multi textured batt! I rolled the batt tightly to create a center pull bump and hopped onto my Louet S11 to spin. I’ll admit, textured batts are not ideal to spin if you are wanting a smooth worsted yarn. It can be done; however, mine turned out a little lumpy due to the short staple and texture of the sari silk fiber. Next time I will spin the batt long draw method to create a woolen textured yarn. Below are the steps I took to create this yarn.
This technique created a much more colorful Yaktober blend with a lot more texture. I would be curious to see this yarn woven! Some members of the club split the Yaktober blend into three equal parts and blended each roving with one color of sari silk. The results were stunning! I’ve included a picture one member, Christina @cdrs10 , posted on Instagram showing her finished plied yarn using this technique.
If you choose to not blend the fibers together there is a fascinating video I’ll link to here that will walk you through a really simply technique to spin short stapled fibers alone using a double drafting technique and a long draw. Click here to watch a video of Melissa, of Knitting The Stash Podcast, blending these fibers together on hand Cards to make Rolags.
Share the process you take with your October Fiber Club Box on social media with #paradisefibers @paradisefibers Be sure to join the discussion on Ravelry too, where members share photos and techniques! Each month we award one or several members up to 1500 paradise points to spend on our site! Find out more on our Ravelry Group, The Real Paradise Fibers.
We hope to see you Next Month, we have some very exciting boxes planned you won’t want to miss out on!