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Battle of the Bobbins!! Silja Devine vs. Spin Artiste, The Matchie Matchie Match

by The SpinArtiste on April 10, 2015

Oh, my gosh!  It has been awhile, hasn’t it?  Silja and I actually exchanged these packages way back last summer.  Silja got her package done right away while mine sat looking at me…I’ve talked about my process a lot of times, but I have to say it again, sometimes I just have to let things simmer and I did…for at least six months…BUT!  Finally, a plan was hatched and a week ago or so, my design was completed.  What was very interesting about this particular Battle of the Bobbins (BOB) was that our packages had a bit of overlap in the colorways — this is a first in BOB history!  So, I dub this the “Matchie Matchie Match”.  I’m going to give the post over to Silja now…


A while ago I signed up for a spinning battle with Arlene aka “Spin Artiste”. She does a thing called “Battle of the Bobbins” on the Spin Artiste blog where she and another person sends a surprise package containing a challenge…. and then you spin a yarn from the contents of the package. No other rules than that you have to use what the package includes, and you can add whatever you want to it.

THIS is what I got… now how in the world can you spin two placemats???

BOB - SD -1 -  Package from me

I decided to cut the edges of the mats and separate the layers.

BOB - SD -2 -  Placements being worked on

I cut circles and ovals out of the green plastic backing

BOB - SD - 3 - More placemat work

And the fabric was cut into squares before I actually knew just what I was going to do… I decided to let this be whatever it wanted to be along the way. The only thing I was thinking was that the theme of the package was flowers (at least that was what I was thinking of since the colors of the fibers were represented in the table mats).

BOB - SD - 4 - Placemat work done

For my own addition I added come corriedale and merino.

BOB - SD - 5 - Fiber added

and carded them together with almost all the other fibers, giving them two passes through the drum carder,

BOB - SD - 6 - Carding

BOB - SD - 7 - Carded batt

Then I folded the plastic circles twice and I sewed them into that shape with a sturdy green yarn. Then I strung them all onto a strand of that same yarn. The fabric was folded and sewed. The puff yarn was cut into pieces, and so was the ribbons. All of them tied and strung onto a strand of that same green yarn.

BOB - SD - 8 - Add ins 1

BOB - SD - 9 - Add ins 2

Both strands, and a third plain one was held together with a bulky unspecified yarn I had and used as a core for the fibers that I carded. The single with the green plastic was _hell_ to run through the Aura! When I went to ply the three singles they were just to bulky for the orifices of the Aura and I had to twist them by hand with the help of my feet

BOB - SD - 10 - spinning


BOB - SD  - 11 - spinning 2

BOB - SD - 12 - Spinning 3

BOB - SD - 13 - final yarn

I am pretty happy with the way this worked out, and I do love challenges like this one. ANYTHING can be spun, you just have to figure out how you can spin them!

BOB - SD - 14 - Final 2

BOB - SD - 15 - Final 3


As I mentioned at the beginning, I really let this one simmer — even longer than usual.  There were a lot of things taking up residence in the creative part of my part that I needed to work through and it did feel good to finally have the band width to enjoy designing this yarn.  This is what Silja sent:

BOB - SD - Silja's package to meAs you can see, there were a variety of fibers, some dyed top, some cotton punis, some neon green novelty yarn, some sparkly stuff, some pink and black plastic flowers and a magenta colored feather boa.  So, first I separated out what I was going to card:

BOB - SD - Fiber pile

I decided to include some pieces of the novelty yarn and, card, I did.  One pass through the Louie C.

BOB - SD - Batt

Next, it was time to spin.  But, I could not decide whether I wanted to corespin or make some coils…so, I did both.

The corespun ply:

BOB - SD - Corespun single

The coiled ply:

BOB - SD - Coiled single

Now, about those other items…I don’t like big things hanging off of my yarns.  I needed these add ins to be in smaller pieces.  I did not want them to dominate.  But, how was I going to get them in to the yarn?  As I was thinking about this, I noticed that Silja sent everything in a clear plastic bag and I got out the scissors…

BOB - SD - Plastic Ply

Ok, so I had a plastic ply.  I decided to cut the add ins into small pieces, poke holes in the plastic and suspend the add ins in the plastic — this was not a fun process, but for you, dear readers, I will do it!

BOB - SD - Plastic Ply completed

Now, it was time to ply the corespun single, the coiled yarn and the plastic ply with add ins together to finish up:

BOB - SD - Final yarn in skein

BOB - SD - Final yarn in cakeTa Da!!!

Phew!!! I’m pretty happy with this one.  I really had no idea how it was going to be when I started, but in the end, I like it very much.  It was very satisfying when it all came together.  Now, I can take a breather before I tackle Suzy Brown’s package o’ weird that is waiting for me….


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