Like many spinners I fall in love over and over again with painted rovings. I generally don't have a specific project in mind when I purchase these braids, but the colors draw me in. A while back someone asked me about spinning for Fair Isle, so I thought I'd use this braid that I purchased at Madrona to illustrate a process that would guarantee a pleasing result.
Woolgatherings braid, 4 oz 85% Blue Faced Leicester, 15% Tussah Silk (Stock #BFLMT01191403)
I also used some natural white Corriedale (too fine) and Shetland (perfect) as well as dark brown Finn.
I broke the braid into color segments. There is always some natural blurring between the colors, so I knew that the colors would relate to each other when spun.
Fair Isle design is all about value: value contrast and value movement. I first carded batts of each pure color. Then I divided the batts and added natural white or natural black to them to lighten or darken the colors (there was lots of turquoise, so I was able to make several successively lighter and darker batts). I used my Pat Green Drum Carder, and ran each combination through twice--I wanted the heathery look.
I also made a batt of natural dark brown with little spots of the colors to make a tweed.
Then I spun up the little batts and ended up with this set of miniskeins:
I love those natural sequences! Now, I'll be the first to admit that my spinning isn't the most even, but I still expect that this collection will make a great project--I don't know what, yet. There's more than enough for a hat, or perhaps a cowl.