Roving to knit product – how differences in color blends effect end products

There has been a visual change to some of our multi color blends. For some people, this is very exciting! For others, we have received a less than enthusiastic response…

It is our goal to produce color-ways that are fresh and exciting and more important, irresistible. Our recent shipments of multi colored merino/tussah silk have arrived looking quite different from shipments in the past. But what we will show you here is that the color difference in the end knit product is much smaller than one would think from looking at the two rovings.

Below is a picture of the Concord merino/tussah blend. The previous shipment is on the left and the current shipment is on the right.


Is this the same blend?  Yes, the colors and their proportions are exactly the same. The difference is that the sample on the left has been sent through the pin drafter a few more times which results in a more homogenous color.

If the colors and proportions are the same, why does there seem to be more white in the blend on the right. The silk is more pronounced in the sample on the right because with less blending, the white silk will look more vibrant against the darker colors.

What does the yarn look like once it is spun?


From left to right are 2 spun samples of the more blended Concord and 2 spun samples of the less blended Concord.  The visual difference between the 2 blends is less than you would expect from the visual difference of the blended tops.

Samples of Diablo merino/tussah



The merino/silk color way above is Diablo with more blended on the left and less blended on the right. The cards show examples of these fibers spun fine (20 wpi) and spun a bit larger (12-16 wpi) in a 2 and 3 ply sample. The finer spun yarns on both blends are more homogenous than, the heavier spun yarns. Again, the less blended sample has more individual color changes in the yarn, but the finer the spin, the more homogenous the color.



Let’s take in one step further and knit a swatch.

There is more color movement in the less blended swatch and the colors are more defined. However, you can still see the subtle individual colors in the more blended sample. Overall the color of both samples is similar.




This photo is a little over exposed so you can see the color differences more easily.

The conclusion is that even though the fiber top itself looks very different, once it has been spun and knit the differences are less evident. If the look you want is the more blended color way all you have to do is run the less blended through a drum carder!