Boucle: Make it Easy!
This time I thought I would share some spin stuff with you, something you could make on any of our range of wheels, but especially if you like spinning finer yarns, this will even work as a heavy lace and will fit perfectly with the Lace Kit on any of the Majacraft wheels (and whats not to love about baby bobbins! soooo cute).
This yarn ‘recipe’ is an alternative way of creating a boucle yarn, taking advantage of the different properties of different fibre types and breeds. This yarn is a simple two ply, in which one single is spun from an easily feltable (shrinkable) yarn and the other from a nice curly less shrinkable type. I would recommend trying this with (for example) a single of Merino, and a single of Mohair, or you could do Polwarth with Wensleydale, or Corriedale with Gotland (or any mix and match of these types of fibres). The key is to make on of your singles the kind of fibre that will naturally want to curl into loops, and the other that naturally wants to shrink onto itself when washed and agitated.
This how the finished yarn looks: (click the image to see closer)
and close up you can see the cute little loops that are formed
The making of this yarn is surprisingly simple. There are two main keys to success, the first is your fiber choice, the second is your plying angle.
As you spin your singles, spin your shrink fibre as usual and to any thickness you like, but spin your curl fibre with some extra twist, and keep that one fine. In the example I spun both singles to a similar thickness. I started with undyed fleece too and dyed it when completed as part of the fulling process.
When you come to plying, the important part is to make sure you ply unevenly! Keep your shrinkable fleece with more tension on it and straight towards you, and spiral the curl fibre around it.
Your plyed yarn should look like a badly plyed two ply when you’re done, but don’t worry, there is another step!
Next comes the part that creates the magic! You are going to treat this yarn roughly. Wind it into a skein, then drop it into hot water (or like I did into a dye pot!). Let it relax, start enjoying itself, stretch out… then take that yarn and dunk it straight into cold water! Swirl it around, beat it a bit, then repeat! Keep repeating the hot to cold and agitation until you see that shrink fibre doing its shrinking, which in turn pulls in the curl fibre and forces it to curl. The more you spiraled the ply the more curls you will get.
You will know when your yarn is complete when it is looking nice and loopy!
This yarn will look like a boucle style, it will add a lovely and gently looped texture to any project without being as big or add the bulk of a more standard three ply boucle. You might want to experiment with making more or less of an angle in your plying , or adding more twist to your curl yarn, or altering the thickness of the two plys, you will get a slightly different result in each variation.
I spun this yarn on my Majacraft Little Gem with the standard flyer and bobbins. I love the versatility of this little wheel, and it will soon be travelling with me around the South Island of New Zealand on a teaching tour. She packs up into her bag and off we go! And yet despite being the Majacraft ‘travel’ wheel this is also my go to wheel for all my finer spinning (My Aura provides everything else so well!) and she is so stable and smooth and she now has the Lace Kit set up for fine spinning, which is my ‘relax and spin’ options of choice!
I will keep you posted of our travels over the next month or so! In the meantime I hope you enjoy your two ply boucle!