How do you preserve the brightness of colors in pencil roving?

I got some superwash merino pencil roving, "Hang on Sloopy", bright-bright orange and white, at Madrona Fiber Arts' Market this weekend. I noticed the dye on mine doesn't strike all the way through the roving, and the white/orange edges tend to "bleed" together in the drafting. But the orange is so intense, it's hanging in there on the singles.

Does your dye sections go right the way through the roving, or is there white in the core of the pencil roving? That would tend to mute the color somewhat. Given that it's pencil roving, if you can split it even once, that should help preserve some of the brightness.

I don't know how Teyani at Crown Mountain Farms dyes her roving, the one dyer I've seen at work was a lady here that was dyeing used immersion dyeing and so there was some variation from the inside of a ball to the outside. She was quite good, though, so the colors near the center often were as intense as the colors on the outside.

One "trick" I've seen successfully done is to spin the pencil roving close to as thick as you want the final yarn and to ply it with a black thread. The black tends to intensify the colors without adding much thickness to the yarn, and the thread plying stabilizes the yarn. You can use the same trick with white thread to pastel-out the colors a little bit.

(posted by me on livejournal/spinningfiber this day)

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