Choose Your Own Adventure: How Would You Spin This Hand-Dyed Fiber?

Every braid and bump of hand-dyed fiber offers an endless array of spinning options. When faced with an unfamiliar fiber or unusually dyed fiber, do you default to into a spinning rut or rise to the challenge and try something new? How do you showcase a special fiber’s potential?

On January 7th, many spinners celebrate Saint Distaff ’s Day or Rock Day. For the last six years, Maggie Casey’s shop, Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins in Boulder Colorado, has hosted a Rock Day Challenge for members of its monthly spin and knit night. The members select a fiber in June and have until the Rock Day annual potluck meeting to complete their projects.

Maggie wrote about the 2016 challenge for the Spin Off Summer 2017 issue. Members chose to spin superwash BFL (Bluefaced Leicester), which was custom-dyed by group member Michele Diprima, who dyes yarn and fiber under the name The Hummingbird Moon. At first glance, Michele’s vibrantly hand-dyed fiber might cause some spinners to pause, but once the fiber is drafted and twist is added, the braid is transformed. Just see for yourself!

Intrigued by the variations in the spun yarn and the participant’s finished projects, Spin Off Editor Anne Merrow asked Michele if she would be willing to custom dye a special batch of fiber just for us. She said yes! Feast your eyes on the Interweave exclusive colorway Bubbling Brew from The Hummingbird Moon.

hand-dyed fiber

What would you make with a braid of The Hummingbird Moon’s Bubbling Brew? Spin Off Assistant Editor Elizabeth Prose spun a squishy sportweight 2-ply yarn.

Michele dyes each 4-ounce braid of Bubbling Brew by hand on a base of 100% superwash Targhee wool top. She deposits the dye in small patches so that multiple colors are placed on a staple of wool, which results in a more blended look when the fiber is spun. The process makes each braid one of a kind, so the color placement and saturation will vary. Have you tried spinning Targhee? An all-American sheep breed, Targhee is bouncy, lofty, medium-to-fine wool. The 4-ounce braid of fiber is enough for a small project—perfect for socks!*

Once you start spinning Bubbling Brew, watching the colors magically transform becomes hypnotizing. Get your hands on this limited-edition colorway before it disappears!

—Elizabeth

*Interested in challenging yourself to spin and knit a pair of socks? Join Spin Off’s 1st Quarter Sock SAL/KAL, going on now through March 31, 2018, on Ravelry!

Featured Image: Christine Green and Carly Halweg-Edwards wove beautiful scarves that look totally different. Carly’s challenge yarn is the weft and Christine’s is in the warp.


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