Fractal spinning

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One of my lovely friends was travelling through country Australia whe she saw this braid and thought its colours were gorgeous–and then had the insight that I would know what to do with it!  I would tell you the dyer’s name or the fibre content (merino, at a guess) but it didn’t come with a label.  Around the time it arrived I read the second issue of Ply!  Magazine and the article on fractal spinning had me thinking of this braid.

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I decided to try–as I have never tried fractal spinning before. And this is the result… which might make a good hat for the friend who liked its colours so much…

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Fractal spinning

  1. Jo

    Fantastic look! I didn’t know about this method, but having “googled” it, I may have done this without knowing. Will definitely have to try it deliberately now! Great job.

  2. SubmarineBells

    For the uninitiated (i.e. me), what’s fractal spinning when it’s at home? :-7

    • It would have been sensible to say in the post really, wouldn’t it? Instead of the more common strategies in spinning a braid, like starting at one end and continuing to the end, or splitting into two lengths with a view to creating two plies that will align the colour changes when plied… In fractal spinning you first split the roving in half and then split one of those lengths in half again, and repeat as many times as you fancy. So one of my two plies is half the braid and the other one has several successively shorter repeats of the colour sequence. I hope that makes sense!

      • SubmarineBells

        Yes, that makes perfect sense! So the “fractal” part is the fibre division process, not the actual spinning itself. It certainly does seem to produce a nice result! It would be interesting to compare a swatch/small item knitted up out of a fractally-spun braid, versus an item/swatch knitted out of a similar braid prepared “conventionally”. Would it make a noticeable difference in the final product? I’d anticipate that there’d be a subtle-but-interesting difference, but it’d be nifty to actually do the comparison! I don’t tend to acquire much fibre in that dyed-braid form, but the next time I do get some, I hope I remember to try that comparison out.

      • One of the things that made me decide to try it out was that the article in Ply magazine had comparison swatches! So I reckon it’s an experiment worth trying :)

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