To start a pull off a bit of the roving from the chain that I would like to use. I usually limit myself to one or two major colour shifts, or in this case, three. I pull it all off at once, divide off the ‘strong’ colour that I want to preserve (in this example, the green). This is still big and floofy, and while some people start spinning at this point, I usually do not. We’ll get back to the green later, but first let’s deal with the two other colours in this example.
I divide the roving up some more, trying to separate the yellow orange and the strong orange.
Then, once I’ve mostly divided up all the colours, I start splitting the two floofys (that is a technical term, mind) lengthwise, preserving any colour similarity they have. These thin strips are much easier to draft, since I usually try to open the fiber up some as I go.
Since the green tufts have both more orange and are shorter than I usually like to predraft, I lash them onto one of my carders. Carding is a really nifty way of blending two colours into a more homogeneous mass while still preserving the colour that isn’t as present. You can also card different colours (say a yellow and blue) to create a green, but that’s another post all together.
Once I’ve carded a bit–usually no more than two passes, I pull it off and relash. This helps break up the orange that’s still really strong even further so that it’s nicely blended. With that done, I carefully pull the bunch up, and then roll it into a rolag with the fibers loosely aligned. Drafting it out and then lightly rolling it up for storage gives me a cute little fiber fluff ball that can be spun from.
Now the real fun can begin. I almost always do the above a few times over when spinning. It forces me to take a break, which is good for my hands and body, and keeps me from prepping a bunch of fiber that will just get smooshed later on when it isn’t spun immediately. I start with what the next colour was from the roving way back when I started prepping, in this case the pale yellow-orange:
After much spinning, usually the large sections like the pale-yellow-orange entirely cover the cop before that (which is why you can see a rose pink hiding underneath it). Then I move onto the orange, followed by the green (no picture of the green going on, sorry).
Next time, I’ll have pictures of the full cop, and how I’ve decided to ply this, along with pictures of both the yarn pre-setting and after drying. Maybe I’ll even have totals for the yardage after the first batch!