May 2019 Club Reveal – Le Gouffre

Many years ago… Eric and I traveled to France on what we call our Quasi-Honeymoon. My sister was living in Paris at the time, so we went to visit her and her husband, along with exploring the various sites and taking a few days in England to visit one of my friends. Not particularly romantic when you think about the visiting aspect of it… but we did spend a wet and rainy day exploring Paris on Valentine’s day! While in France, we took a four day trip up to Brittany and visited “Le Cote de Granite Rose” which translates into “The Rose Coast”. Eric and I had both wanted to see if we could find this quaint little house that was built on the coast between two rocks. The photographers in us were frustrated with the car parked out front… but looking back on it now, makes it that much more quaint. It was this image that I chose for inspiration for May’s club colours.

The rocks in this part of France are a fascinating rose colour with a hint of grey. They really stand out against the blue of the sky and the water. This is what I tried to create in the batt. This month was a wonderfully squishy Charollais, but I’ll let Rachel fill you in on the spinning!

May has been a busy month so I decided to break down the gradient batt that Katrina prepared this month and spin the Charollais fibre end-to-end, with a little pre-drafting for smooth spinning, while working my way across the batt systematically.

I have never had the pleasure of spinning Charollais before, although I have spun many fine, springy wools like one but not quite with the Downy quality that this fibre seemed to have. Firstly, while Charollais is classified as a medium wool, at roughly 56-60 microns, I find it incredibly hard to believe that this particular fibre is that high in micron count. It is incredibly soft and sproingy, with a down-like quality not unlike our Breed & Colour Study Dorset that we are studying at the moment.

From the batt, it immediately sprung open when I untied the ribbon. The colours moved across the fibre from a lovely sea-foam green to a tawny, coral colour. I just loved spinning these colours. The colours changed often enough to make the spinning interesting from a colour perspective but I was able to settle into a lovely rhythm of just short backward draft that sometimes became a bit more like long draw. It was just a steady rhythm of spinning.

The problem came when I was ready to ply. Torn, I asked Chat on one of the recent Live Streams what they thought I should do: Chain-ply or leave as singles. Unfortunately, had I planned to leave the yarn as singles, I would have spun slightly thicker but then I thought, I bet this is going to ‘poof’ up a whole knitting weight. Sure enough: That’s exactly what it did and Chat had encouraged me to leave it as singles so I did.

Rather than leaving the yarn to soak in a warm bath of water with no further finishing, I decided to full the yarn this time round. I filled both sink basins – one with hot and the other with cold water. I added a small amount of Eucalan to the hot water and proceeded to move the skein from one sink to the other, finally leaving the skein the hot water for about 15 minutes. From there, I snapped the yarn around the radius of the skein and hung it to dry. The results do not disappoint!

I sent out the last of the club subscriptions today. I have mixed emotions about June being the last month of club for the foreseeable future, but I’m also excited with what I will have time for in it’s place. I can’t thank you all enough for your support of our wee club. It’s been so much fun. As always, please feel free to share what you’ve created on this thread here. Till next time, happy spinning! ~Katrina

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