New Year’s Gradient Spinalong

For the month of January 2022, I will be hosting a “gradient” themed spinalong on the Spanish Peacock Flock Facebook group.

In a gradient, the color shifts along a progression in one direction. In the case of fiber, the colors change along the length of a braid. For example, if a braid’s length were the “X-axis”, and the width was the “Y-axis”, the colors change depending on their position along the X-axis. Here are two examples, one which is a gradient (left) and one which is not a gradient (right).

Fiber dyed in a gradient vs. non-gradient color pattern
Fiber dyed in a gradient vs. non-gradient color pattern

In the example on the left (a hanui-silk blend from Allons-y), the colors change along the length of the braid from brown to a light turquoise. In the braid on the right (a merino-silk-bamboo blend from Hobbledehoy), some white remains the same the whole length of the braid (X-axis), and it many sections of the braid the color changes on the Y-axis as well. While it is very pretty and will produce a beautiful yarn, it is not a gradient, and thus not the focus of this spinalong.

Often one of the goals in spinning a gradient fiber is to preserve the color transitions in the finished yarn, and thus in the fabric made from the yarn. When plying a gradient, a chain ply is often used for this purpose, although very carefully dividing the braid into two or three very even singles could also accomplish the same goal.

Spinalong Rules

  1. No stress! Have fun. If anything about this spinalong is stressful to you – finding fiber, not enough spindles, not enough time – please enjoy watching and plan to join us for another spinalong later.
  2. Any fiber, fiber prep, or spinning tool is fine, as long as the colors in the fiber meet the definition of a gradient provided above.
  3. Gradient fiber can either be dyed that way (as in the example above on the left) or engineered from separate braids, as long as the end result produces a gradient.
  4. Photos on the Flock that include non-Spanish Peacock spinning tools are permitted for this spinalong only.
  5. Participants are encouraged to spin daily, and share photos of progress in a comment on the daily thread.
  6. Knowing ahead of time what you plan to do with the yarn is also encouraged but not required!
  7. THERE WILL BE PRIZES. No, I don’t know what they are yet! But participants will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win… something.