Sunday, 7 September 2008

Fractal spinning

Yesterday was the meeting of the Experimental Spinners group at the HWSG. This meeting coincided with the Weaving Certificate class so we were surrounded by lots of colour and texture as they were working on their cram-weave scarves.

We were working on Fractal spinning, which was inspired by a skein called 'George' and two articles in the Summer 2007 issue of Spin-off.
Definition: A fractal is generally "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole, “a property called self-similarity. The term was coined by Benoît Mandelbrot in 1975 and was derived from the Latin fractus meaning "broken" or "fractured."
( – search for ‘fractal’)

For the purposes of spinning, it is applied to multi-coloured tops where we split the top into ever smaller lengths. There are, of course, variations on the main idea, and these can also be applied to any series whether, tops, fleece or textures.

I chose these beautiful silk tops, of which I only had 10grams. Enough to finish in a short time. I split them down the middle and spun the first half as it came from the top. I did a little pulling apart to try and maintain some blocks of colour, but I wasn't very precise or finicky. This was my first bobbin.

The second bobbin, I split the remainder of the top and spun half, and, continued splitting in this way until I wasn't drafting when I was spinning. I managed to split it four times (five lengths). I wasn't sure of the result, as at times, the second bobbin seemed quite different, but then at the end I couldn't really tell them apart!
I then plied these two together to get a beautiful yarn, which is quite reflective of the original tops, but far more subtle. Unfortunately, my halves weren't exact and I had a little left over, so I Andean plied that off. Having scales on hand would have been good!
I now have a small 10gm skein of silk...but what to do with it?


Moorecat said...

Much more Georgiana than George, very sophisticated-looking yarn.

How about a beaded crochet necklace? Red, burgundy, , bronze, olive beads would look fabulous.

Or crocheted jewellery?

Have fun contemplating...

Knitspingirl said...

George is very impressed by his new cousin Georgiana.

As for how to use it up, have you seen the article in Yarn magazine about knitted amulet bags? I've seen this done with clear beads which allows the colours of the yarn to shine through - very pretty.