This is usually what the soybean fields look like in early September. This year they turned fast, and most were harvested by the end of the month since it has been so hot and dry. Tiger Club was inspired this month by Soybeans when I found this fun Merino Soybean combed top to try. I mixed up a cheery gold, and paired it with an autumn golden orange, then developed three greens from nearly lime to a leafy green, to a deeper hunter green. For both fiber and yarn, I dappled all the colors with wet speckles of brown, the three shades of blue I used, yellow, and red.
This top is 70% Merino and 30% Soybean top, which you can see is not blended in too much, but runs in ribbons throughout. This fiber was originally developed by Henry Ford, you may have heard of Soy Silk. It was doing quite well as clothing and car upholstery, but was a victim of WWII and was replaced by cheaper Nylon. The fiber was re-developed in the early 2000’s as interest increased in moving away from petrochemicals. The fiber is derived from soy waste from making oil, milk, and tofu. Source.
Interesting fact about Soy Silk is that it dyes like a protein fiber, a fact I actually forgot until I got into dyeing it…..I was expecting it to be lighter and the soy bits to shine, but instead it took the color like a champ, and while it does have some sheen, it isn’t as much as Tencel. If you want to keep these two fibers blended more in your spinning, I suggest spinning from the fold, or keep moving across the top being careful to not spend too much time in one spot.
The sock yarn is a variation on the Merino/Tencel I usually get….this one has Nylon also. The blend is also trended more toward socks, and is much bouncier. I like this one and will likely use it again for our ‘plant fiber’ yarn in the future. The colors took great, and there’s still that bit of sheen from the tencel. While I did twist the skeins to attempt to get the speckles evenly distributed, this is a very organic yarn dyeing process, and I can’t promise your socks will match. The overall color pattern should make mini-stripes on plain stockinette socks, and you could have fun with pooling in a large project, modular patterns like entrelac, or crochet.
I have one remaining Sock spot, and a number of Fiber spots open for October, I’d love for you to join us!