Fractal Stripes Take Shape in a Simple Scarf

A few weeks ago I decided to spin up my first at-home experiment in fractal spinning. I had just taken a class from Janel Laidman at Blacksheep Gathering and I was anxious to try it. Some part of me was convinced that if I didn’t apply the technique–and soon–I would forget how. Don’t ask me why, but I was superstitious about it.

I pulled out a braid of bright, sassy alpaca from Bohoknitterchic, dyed in a colorway called Indian Summer.  It’s a really well-chosen name: it looks just like colorful Indian corn.

Image as seen on the Bohoknitterchic page on Etsy.

I split the roving down the middle. Then I reordered the colors on both halves so that they ran in a consistent order: ABCABC (they were originally mirrored ABCBA).  I spun one half straight in big, luscious chunks of color. The other half I split up into skinny strips, then I spun them in little candy canes of color.

And then, I plied the two halves together.

Ta dah!
Ta dah!

But the fun didn’t stop there. Based on what I had learned in class, I knew that there were even more exciting things to come when the yarn was knitted up. I was expecting stripes. And stripes on stripes. Pretty, pretty stripes.

I searched on Ravelry for a simple pattern that could  showcase the stripes while using as much of my little hank as possible. I settled on the Honeycomb Mesh Scarf from Churchmouse Yarns. A free pattern.

Fractal long
Here it is stretched out long. You can see the long color repeats overlaid with the shorter color repeats.
And here it is close-up.
And here it is close-up.

The alpaca has lovely drape, don’t you think?

fractal front drape

This was an exhilarating experiment. Knitting with my own hand-spun yarn is already an enormous treat. But seeing the color stripes emerge was even more stimulating.

The fractal spinning technique was so much fun. I know I’ll be finding lots of ways to play with it in the future…which is a good thing because this little scarf is not for me. I knitted it for a bloggy friend: Anastasia Wright  of For the Knit of It.  She is one of my three Pay-It-Forward recipients. I think I missed my end-of-July deadline, but I got close.  I hope she enjoys it.


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