As if this whole project wasn’t enough of a hare-brained scheme, I’ve had an idea that will make one of the next yarns a bloody ridiculous task.

Bouclé. Real, true, push bouclé, not faux-clé like you get when you thread-ply something (I’m going to thread-ply the next yarn, but that’s another story, for another post).

One of the yarns I’ve been really keen to do for ages now has been one based on the eighth colour of the rainbow in the Discworld, the colour of magic – octarine. The whole mythos surrounding the magical element in the books really appeals to the occult scientist in me, because there’s something approaching intellectual rigour in Sir Terry’s treatment of it, and the idea that magic has a colour, a colour that is beyond the reach of the normal human eye, really got my mind and imagination working.

Shortly after I started this project, I snagged a set of batts from Corgi Hill Farm, the colour of which seemed to totally encompass my mind’s-eye image of octarine.

CorgiHillFarm "Aurora" batts

AnnaMarie’s batts are stunning – smooth, generous and intricately layered, and her colour sense is impeccable. But I wanted my vision of octarine, of magical energy, to have a bit more texture than the ultra-smooth CHF batts allow. I wanted bubbles, I wanted haziness, I wanted complicated.

So…bouclé? What makes a good bouclé coil ply? A strong, inflexible, shiny fibre like mohair or Wensleydale does it really well, and it really has to be in top form rather than a carded prep (at least for a less experienced spinner like me). But I’m allergic to mohair, and I didn’t want to go with Wensleydale this time, as I work with it so much and I’m a little over it. Lately I’ve been trolling the usual suspects for a suitable substitute – I wanted a longwool in a multihued mix of purples, blues and aquas, with a touch of pink … and wouldn’t it be just ideal if I could have some sparklies in there too?? But nothing was just the right thing.

So, to cut this TL;DR* post shorter, I have decided to make my own combed top. I have combs. I have Teeswater locks, and I’ve already dyed them myself with food colouring (what an experience! Talk about magic!).

14-inch locks! Shiny and gorgeous!

Dyed with food colouring - can't believe I got *exactly* the colours I was going for!

I have ordered sparklies (at a prohibitive shipping cost, from a clearly misinformed seller).

I thought to reveal this grand scheme only when my attempt at making top had succeeded, but that’s not what this project is about. I want to share the journey with you all. So I’ll get on making it when I get the sparklies in the mail, but I wanted to bare my soul on this count. Wish me luck!

*Too long; didn’t read