Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bead it

A few months ago I dabbled briefly in knitting with seed beads.  I really liked that but I just haven't gotten back to the other projects I planned using those techniques.  Beads kept calling my name though so I decided to try something else...

Left bobbin: plied yarn; center bobbin: alpaca with beads; right bobbin: Rambouillet
Beaded yarn!
One strand of cinnamon alpaca, on which I pre-strung beads as I spun it, 50 beads or so every now and then; and one strand of the fawn Rambouillet from the fleece that won't end (actually at this point there are only a few ounces left).  Each was spun at about 13:1 with a short forward draft.  Then I plied them at a slower ratio so I'd have plenty of control, and voila!  I have 877 yards of beaded 2 ply lace weight yarn.

The beading took much less time and effort than I'd always imagined it would, so I would definitely do it again soon.  In fact I have a gorgeous white fine wool fleece and about a pound of grey Cotswold, and I may experiment with this with both of them.

2 comments: said...

You said you beded when spinning.. Did you somehow thread it ont the single, or did you have a tail that the bead was on that you spun into the single as you spun? I am so very interested in trying this, but haven't yet and would like input before I "waste" fiber!

Leesy said...

I would stop every 50 yards or so of singles spinning, put the tail of what I had spun onto a wire beading needle, and thread about 50 beads on. Then I'd go back to spinning again. I just guessed about having the right number of beads and sometimes got it wrong. When I was plying, if I ran out of beads in the section, I just broke off the singles from the plied yarn, used the needle to add more beads onto the alpaca singles, and then went back to plying.