Rolags, Blending Boards and Textured Yarn Spinning

Rolags, Blending Boards and Textured Yarn Spinning

I made a new colorway on my blending board of my Rolag Hybrid. I am calling it Silver Gray Sparkles.

Silver Gray Sparkles is a smooth sparkling rolag batt. No locks or chunky bits….just tons of sparkle and various smooth fibers. My Rolag is a hybrid of a layered batt and rolag.

Silver Gray Sparkle Rolag

I layer my fibers on my blending board without packing them down into the blending board teeth. I use the dowels to roll up the rolag without drafting through the inner fibers. I only draft at the end of the roll to secure the rolag closed. It is best spun from the end in 2-4 inch rolled up sections pulled off the roll while still rolled up. Picture taking a BIG piece of a jelly roll cake…but still rolled up. I have found sections larger than that a bit much to handle in my hand. If temperatures or humidity is high, there is a risk of felting that is possible while holding a large rolag for a longer period of time.

On the blending board

I let the rolag sit for a while trying to decide if I wanted to spin, felt or sell them. I decided to spin these all up this week into 2 large skeins. Each skein is a 2 ply and spiral plyed. Each skein has one of the plys as this silver gray sparkle rolag hybrid. It is a blend of numerous fibers such as Merino, Black Dyed Tussah Silk, Gotland, Masham, and White Firestar.

Each of the 2 yarns is one ply of the above rolag with the other ply being different in each skein. The lighter color skein was plyed with a 2 ply fine silk thread and done as an extreme spiral yarn. The darker skein was plyed with a handspun bamboo ply. Both skeins are a textured yarn with that homespun feel.

Dark skein
Light skein

I am a bit stunned how intensely different the two skeins look and feel. The darker skein with the bamboo ply is very heavy weight wise. And with so much bamboo in it, it took forever to dry! I have been staring at them for a while now trying to decide how to use them.

I need help. What do you think?

I really think I want to weave a wider scarf on my 16 inch rigid heddle loom. But past that I am stuck.

I think if I use one skein for weft and one for warp that the difference between the skeins will be lost.

So do I warp up with :

1. A white warp and weave strips?

2. A white warp and weave 2 separate scarves?

3. A white warp and weave 2 scarves alternating both skeins and afterwards seam 2 scarves together and make a shawl?

4. A white warp and weave 2 scarves with just one skein in each. So have a light and dark scarves than seam those into a shawl??

5. A dark warp and than where the heck do I go?

6. Just keep staring at them and weave nothing?

See why I need help?? Comment below your thoughts.

Big Box of Fiber

I just unpacked 3 boxes of 138 pds of fiber. 15.5 micron merino…I about wet myself! Shetland…yum. Blended dark brown and light brown to make a medium brown merino…omg. Polwarth Silk blended top….dreamy!! Polwarth Tussah Silk yarn.. I am in love. Kid mohair boucle yarn, and Baby Woo Boo Boucle yarn….I managed to get it all back in the boxes rearranged and it fit with a bit of space. Was congratulating myself on a job well done…..until I walked in the cabin and found 3 pds of 15.5 merino, 1 pd of silk noils, 3 pds of Polwarth and 10 lbs of Polwarth silk top. duh forgot I put them there!!! No wonder the rest all fit….drat!!

I was bedazzled by the fibers that I forgot I had walked into the cabin like THREE times carrying in stuff that I have to photograph…like only 3 min before I totally forgot about them. I am not easily distracted….fiber….oohhh yarn….oowwwhhh what huh?

New Art Batts Created by Alba Ranch

I have carded up almost 60 art batts for the shop.  Sold some at the Colorado Springs Distaff Day in January and the rest have been recently added to the shop.  They are really great colors and it was hard to list them and not spin them myself.

Melisa's Carded Art Batts

To celebrate what a good girl I was in not spinning up the for sale batts, I did card up some a few nights ago just for me to spin.


Melisa's Carded Art Batts



Here are a few photos.  feel free to drool away.


Melisa's Carded Art Batts




These batts are made from Hand Painted Cheviot Roving using Greener Shades Acid Dye for color.  There is some wonderful Corriedale x CVM in a natural extreme dark brown, white fine Merino roving, stark white Milk Protein, golden Honey Tussah Silk, and two colors of Angelina.  I splashed out on all my favorite luxury fibers and can’t wait to spin these batts.  I keep seeing a wonderful 2 ply Double Knit Yarn that I might crochet into a wide and long open lace shawl, maybe make a set of arm warmers that will lace up from my wrists to my elbows and if there is still more left over maybe a scarf?  hat??  full ensemble?

Melisa's Carded Art Batts