Blending Large Quantities

yellow battLet’s say you want to knit up a nice big sweater for your favorite grandson and you want it to be the color of his eyes.  This means blending different colors of fibers to create that perfect color.  However,  one batt of three ounces of fiber isn’t going to be enough for a sweater.  You need many batts and you need them to all be the same color.  What to do?  You can just guess as to how much of each color to blend.  Or you can create an equation for your blend.

Creating your equation is going to require some trial and error to come up with your perfect color.  Use small amounts of the different colors and blend them on your carder using the sandwich method:

  1. Weigh the amount of each color of fiber before you begin.
  2. Feed a layer of one color into your machine.
  3. Feed a second color layer. Add a little at a time until you get the color you want.  Don’t forget to weigh the fiber you are adding each time.
  4. Pull this batt off your machine and feed it through one more time.

When you are happy with your results, add up and record the weights of the different fibers.  Let’s say you used a total of ½ ounce of blue and ¼ ounce of green.  This is a simple 2:1 ratio or 66% blue and 33% green.  Now you simply weigh out this ratio of fiber for each additional pass through the carding machine.

If you want more than two colors, you just adjust the ratio.  For example if you are using four colors, your ratio might be 40% blue, 20% light green, 20% dark green, 20% medium green.  Keep in mind that you don’t want to mix too many colors together or you will wind up with mud, just like mixing paints.

Time to knit that sweater!


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