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Blending a gradient on the drum carder by Christine Heward

After watching a video from Jacy at PLY Magazine on drumcarding scraps to make a gradient batt, I just had to try it myself. Although I did not use scraps, I used four different solid colours to blend. They were blue (base colour), black, yellow and white. This involved, obviously, highly mathematical and scientific calculations – disguised as weird scribbles.

There were five groups to begin with, ranging from dark to light. The first had only blue and black, the second, third and fourth had varying amounts of blue, black, yellow and white, and the last had blue, yellow and white. Each was carded separately for the first stage.

Then the five batts were carded together, one on top of the other, going from dark to light.

This big batt was divided in two and teased out sideways. Then back through the carder again in its sideways orientation, one on top of the other, making very sure to get the colours the right way.

The batt was dizzed off the drumcarder and, very pleasingly, it came off with no breaks in it. (Yes, my diz is a button.)

Spun from the roving

My original intention was to ply it with the base blue, but when I tried it, the mixture did not look good at all. So, some was unplied! After many tangles, the rest of the plied-with-blue was trashed.

When N-plied (chain plied) the gradient colours were easy to see.

Experiment results:

Slow but enjoyable process with lots of carding. The huge change in colour from the base blue which resulted from including the black and white was a surprise. The resulting gentle, earthy coloured blend is a success. I will certainly use this process again.

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