2-ply Handspun Polwarth Wool

2-ply Handspun Polwarth Wool


This handspun wool yarn began its life as 4 ounces of Polwarth wool purchased at BlueDogFibers on etsy. Originally I bought the fiber for two reasons. The first is that Polwarth is, thus far, my favorite fiber to work with. I’ve heard many spinners say before that there is normally a fiber that “clicks” for you, and your hands intuitively know what to do with it. For me, that’s Polwarth wool. I was in love with the colorway, Vanda, because it reminded me of the beach on the familiar coastline of North Carolina in summertime.

I spun this yarn on slowest whorl on my Schacht Matchless. For the past couple of spinning projects, I’ve forgotten to change the whorl which resulted in some tensely twisted yarns. Carefully and deliberately, I applied the minimum amount of twist to make the yarn hold together, so that it would be pleasant to knit with in the future.

The decision I made that I wish I hadn’t was to spin for yardage and create a 2-ply yarn. The twist was low enough in the singles that it probably would have worked ok as a 3-ply, especially because of how springy Polwarth is. Rushing to finish the project is something I regret. I chalk it up to being really excited about having a finished yarn in this particular colorway, and forgetting to take the necessary steps to preserve them.

Thus I am only mildly happy with the end result. It is a bit barber-poley and tweedy for what I had in mind. I don’t hate it, but it’s not my favorite. I have learned an important lesson to think more carefully about the properties of the finished yarn before I begin a project. Tactile-wise, though, I’m pleased with the bouncy, springy quality of the yarn and predict it will feel pleasing to knit with.

2-ply Romney Handspun, Pearled Shells Colorway


A weekend spinning project of 6.5 ounces of Romney wool in the Pearled Shells colorway from FiberFancy on etsy. I spun it Scotch-tension on my Schacht Matchless. I used my second-smallest whorl (unintentionally-I lazily forgot to change it). The finished 2-ply yarn averages between 9-11 wpi.

This was originally destined for a sweater yoke combined with the Gotland I spun over the holiday break. The finished yarn bloomed a bit more than I had hoped, so it ended up with a few too many wraps per inch. It will make a nice patterned yoke someday, just not for the sweater as planned. The whole time that I was spinning this I was under the impression that it was BFL, (it has been a while since I purchased it.) I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually Romney because now I can say I have even more experience with longwool.

I’ve been fiddling around with the “Create Collage” feature of Picasa. I’ve decided I need to do more of these. I like the idea of documenting the whole process, especially for projects that start out as raw fiber and transition from yarn to finished object. This is one pound of lovely, silvery Gotland. Costume designers for the LOTR movies used Gotland for the hobbit cloaks in the film. I spun it worsted to bring out the sheen, but that was a bit of a tradeoff for softness I fear/ The finished yarn is a bit like twine. The raw fiber feels very much like human hair. The finished heavy fingering to DK weight yarn (ranges from 12-14 wpi) is destined for a raglan sweater that I accept will probably not be suitable for wearing next to the skin. I’m going to do a patterned yoke with some hand dyed BFL from Fiber Fancy. I’m in the process of spinning it up now. I guess I’ll need to do another collage of the whole shebang once it’s done. The Gotland took me a year, off and on, to finish. I hope the finished sweater won’t take nearly as long.