Friday, May 11, 2007

CREATE WITH UNSPUN ROVING ~ Handpainted Combed Top/ Wool Roving by dudleyspinner

Available on Etsy

It is easy to knit or crochet with unspun roving. The results are well worth the effort. The fabric
you will make is very soft and warm.

Take a good quality roving that hold together well, my dudleyspinner merino blends are ideal for
this. If the roving is space dyed, look it over, decide how you want the color repeats to be placed.
If you split the roving many times, the repeat will be shorter, a few times, it will be longer. This is
the same principal that applies to spinning.
If you see that you have a color repeat that is fairly consistent, or it does not matter, pull the roving
apart at the same color. DO NOT CUT IT. Making shorter sections of roving makes it easier to
work with.

What you will be doing is actually the preparation part of spinning, called drafting. The
roving will usually be compacted in the dying process. Roving comes in a large roll, so even if it is
not dyed, the pressure of being in a roll will also compact the fiber.

Look at the roving carefully, you will notice there are two sides that are almost folded to the
center. Carefully pull the roving apart, along the fold, you will be unfolding it, making it about 4
inches wide. After you have pulled apart about a foot of roving, split it in half, lengthwise. You
want a long continuous piece of roving. Roll the split portion up gently, donÂ’t twist it. Continue until
you have completed the section that you have decided you want for your repeat. If you want the
repeats to be consistent, when you get to the end of your section, turn the roving around and go
back down the roving. You are making a thick yarn! Continue to split the roving until it is about
the diameter of a pencil.Image hosted by If you have left it thicker, put your hands about twice the length of an
individual fiber, apart . ( This will vary from roving to roving). Gently, stretch the fibers , easing
them into a long yarn like piece.
If they should come apart, overlap them, fluff the fibers out and gently stretch again.

Most of the time I will split a roving into 1/2, then 1/4,thenn 1/8, then 1/6. Each time it is
split, gently roll the fiber up, do not twist. If it is important to you, always start at the same end,
keeping the repeat in order.

When you have split the roving to pencil size, the last time you have split it, go ahead and
twist the fiber . This will naturally happen if you roll it into a ball. DonÂ’t work the fiber into the
final drafting too far ahead of using in your project. Only draft out a few yards at a time, then work
up. This gives a nice rhythm to your work and it is fun to see the color progression grow. If you
like an effect, keep trying to repeat it. If you think two colors from opposite ends of the roving
would look cool together, try it. YOU are in control and can use this roving any way you want.

Knitting or crocheting with unspun roving takes a little care, try to work loosely. Once
you have an inch or two worked it gets much easier to control, just be patient. This method takes a
little practice, but the results are well worth the effort.

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At 3:09 PM, Blogger Sheepish Annie said...

You know...for all the roving I have lying around here, I've yet to knit with it in its unspun state. I'll add that to the to-do list! Great tutorial!

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, whodathunkit?


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