Sampling Octopi

I have seen cocoons and haloes and twisters before when roaming through art yarn techniques books, but I had never really liked them – well, had never really thought of a reason to put them into a yarn except “just cause” and that rarely does it for me.

Then I watched the Sit-n-Spin dvd I got for my birthday. Her cocoons and haloes were a bright warm orange.  The back of my brain combined this with the Fiber Friday theme “Octopi” and suddenly I had a reason to try these techniques! Everything is better if it’s representational!

From Spinning

I set up a sample, first, to see if everything would look good together (and to practice the techniques!) The goal was to have some wholly visible octopi, some swimming away from you (so only tentacles visible), and some swimming towards you (heads visible.) This would allow for varying tentacle numbers as I practiced my joins. I think it would be awesome to have a hat or cowl full of 3-D octopi.

From Spinning
From Spinning

Yes, so definitely I need more practice, but overall I am quite pleased with the idea and will continue.  To fix for next time:

  • more twist!
  • thinner orange sections of more consistent thickness for the twisters
  • more crisp and tight cocoons – I am amazed at how little fiber it takes to make a distinct bump. I never predraft anymore and here I am having to make strips of fiber that are barely visible.
  • thicker aqua single with perhaps a thinner plying thread. This is #10 crochet cotton as the #20 tatting cotton was more expensive…
From Spinning

 The singles.

The ocean base yarn is Targhee top in ‘Blue Raspberry’ from Hungry for Handspun. I had to try targhee because it was featured in a Connie Willis novel, but I love it – it’s substantial. It’s bouncy and squooshy but there’s something there, unlike say a superwash merino.  I think in the next attempt I’ll try to get the Targhee single thicker and the ply thread thinner so you can better appreciate the elasticity of the wool.

From Stash

The orange is a huge bag of Louet merino/silk in ‘Golden Hibiscus’, from my orange kick this spring. I am glad there is so much to practice with!


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