Monday, July 28, 2014

Handspun, now with more poof!

I finished the yarn I was telling you about last time. I wish you could squish it to see how much poofier it is than the worsted-style yarn I usually make. IMG_4272It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad either. My first skein (Skein A, above) is about 250 yards and weighs 94 grams. It is a 2-ply yarn. If you look carefully, you can see that the plies aren’t always exactly the same, but the yarn is serviceable.

Here is Skein B. It’s about 195 yards and weighs 89 grams. It has an inferiority complex. I had to use some of my practice singles to finish plying my “good” singles, and it really shows here. IMG_4278 The fiber is mostly wool (90%) – the label said 10% nylon and that’s the sparkly golden bit, which I’m not sure comes through in the photos.

IMG_4268The photo above shows the skeins before washing (sorry about the indoor lighting – it was night). See how much more defined the plies are and how the yarn is less poofy overall? 

When I washed the skeins, a lot of dye came out in the water. I did a hot water soak to set the twist, followed by a cold water plunge. Then I repeated those two steps but with a glug of vinegar in each wash to help set the color. The final rinse was much more clear, but the resulting skeins felt a bit sticky. Tacky. Like, too much lanolin or something. So I did another soak, this time adding some hair conditioner. The finished skeins have no tackiness, lots of softness, and now that they are dry, they exude no whiff of coconut. Victory!


Skein A is on the left; Skein B on the right (I used one blue tie on Skein B so I’d be sure to identify them correctly). I think even the casual observer can spot the difference in consistency.

I’m ready to try more long draw spinning. I found a small, 2-ounce bag of Icelandic roving and have started spinning it. It’s quite different than working with this more generic wool, because the staple length of Icelandic sheep is so long. I’ll show you that next time!

And if anyone has suggestions about what to do with this poofy yarn, I’m all ears.


  1. Lovely color and squishiness that comes through even in photos! I'm not a spinner so I'm not sure what weight your yarn is, but I think it would look great as a Song of the Sea or Fall Line cowl, or maybe Hidden Gusset mitts.

  2. Poofy yarn -- all ears -- sounds like a hat to me!