Gradient Bulky Yarn Spinning

I did a gradient bulky test as prep for the November “A Spinner’s Study” Bulky challenge. It worked out in a way I liked, so here’s my notes if you’d like to try it too.

This method involves plying from a center pull ball (because I hate yarn waste).

How to spin a gradient yarn from a center pull ball

1. Gradient dye the top. (I had 4 oz of lovely Polwarth top to play with. Will play with more of this wool.)

2. Before spinning, divide in half length wise. Spin the color progression on ½ of the wool.  Then spin the color progression backwards on the other half of the wool. For example I spun – green, blue, black (first half), then kept going on same bobbin with the other half of the wool – black, blue, green. My bobbin was VERY full, but it all fit.
3. Wind singles into center pull ball. Keep tension on your yarn at all times when winding.
4. Ply from both ends of skein. (So I pulled both green ends and plied from image above.)
Keep tension on your yarn at all times when plying – especially where you’re pulling from the ball. This helps reduce twisties and knots as you ply.
I over plied a little and it was the most amazingly balanced skein. (

4.  Final yarn prep – as you see fit. (I soaked it, thwacked skein to fluff it, laid it out to try on rack and dried with a fan.)
Here’s the final skein in various forms. I ended up with about 6-8 wpi. I want thicker yarn – so more practice for me!

Ta -da!