The flaw in my plan

Good morning and happy Saturday! Looks like we skipped the rest of spring and moved right into summer, at least for the next several days. Some folks might say it’s too hot too soon, but after the winter we had I’m not going to complain. At least not until July. It was about 90 degrees in our living room last night as we were watching TV, but I didn’t mind much. It’s still too early to put the AC units in the windows.
Since the rest of the house doesn’t catch all of the afternoon sun this time of year the way the living room does, it was noticeably cooler in our bedroom and in my craft room. I took advantage of this last night and spent some of last evening carding up the remainder of the batts for the gradient challenge I’m participating in. Earlier in the week I carefully weighed out amounts of each fiber and created little bundles that progressed from 100% green to 100% blue.

My plan was to then take portions of each batt and blend it with another little portion from the batt next to it to make for a smoother progression from the green to the blue. However, once all the batts were carded and laid out in their proper order, I began to see some differences in some of the batts that I couldn’t immediately explain. Here they all are starting with the 100% green on the top left, and moving through 90% green/10% blue, 80% green/20% blue, and so on to 100% blue.

My eyes see no discernible difference between the 90/10 green/blue batt and the 80/20 green/blue batt (the middle and right batts on the top row). I weighed each little bundle of fiber very carefully down to the gram, so I am sure they contain the correct percentage of each color. What I was the most confused by though, is the 70/30 blue/green batt in the middle of the second row up from the bottom. It’s clearly lighter and brighter than the batts preceding it that contain a higher percentage of green.
What went wrong? If I carefully weighed out each color and I was careful not to mix up the order of the batts as they were carded, what could be causing this? After giving it some thought, and reviewing the image above showing the bundles of fiber before carding, the answer came to me. The variations in the green roving, and probably to some extent, even the variations in the blue roving, were the cause of these differences.
Take a look at the pile of roving for the 80/20 green/blue batt in the before carding picture again. It’s third from the left in the first row. You’ll notice a bit more brightness in the green roving. Now take a look at the pile of fiber for the 70/30 blue/green. It’s third from the left in the second row. See that really bright green in there amongst the blue? It’s much brighter than the green in either of the piles of fiber that preceded it, even though they contained more green fiber.
Now I began to understand the problem. I failed to take into account the variations in color in the original rovings that I started with. In hindsight, I see now that I should have carded each of the rovings to homogenize the color prior to weighing them out for the individual batts in my gradient. All is not lost though. With a little more tweaking of each batt, further dividing and blending, and adding in either a tiny bit pulled from the 100% green or the 100% blue, I can fine tune my colors and improve them. For the 70/30 blue green batt, one option is to change its order maybe put it before the 50/50 batt. However, I might just pull that it entirely. My fear is that it ended up with so much of the bright green in it that I may not be able to change its properties enough to fit.
So, that’s it for me this morning. I’m off to work on fine tuning the batts for my gradient before it gets too hot to even want to touch wool. This afternoon is our monthly Italian Greyhound adoption clinic at Pet Supplies Plus on Western Ave. I plan to stop by with Halo for a bit. Even though she’s not an Italian Greyhound, she does love to visit with her little friends, and since she’s still a puppy, the socialization is important. Stop by and see us if you can.
Have a great weekend everyone! 

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