Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spinning Polwarth (sheep's wool)

The more I spin, the more I find myself loving sheep's wool above all else. Yes, yak down, camel, and silk are all luscious fibers but the broad range of breeds makes sheep the most appealing fiber animal to me-- their fiber can be durable, cozy, soft, coarse, strong, fine, springy, etc. According to the The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebooka newly published compendium detailing the characteristics of over 200 animal fibers and the yarns they produce, Polwarth are considered a conservation breed, developed by crossing Merino & Lincoln, with staple length (the locks of their hair) of 3-7 inches and well-defined crimp.

This wool was given to me as an assignment for a spinning class, roughly four ounces of combed top for spinning into yarn. I spun the singles and 2-plied on my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel on the largest whorl (ratio 6.5:1). This was such a delight to spin that it slipped quickly through my hands and in a matter of a couple days it was complete. The resulting yarn is soft, bouncy, and hangs/drapes well. I love the sheen.

Total = 331 yards, 4.25 oz. 2 ply. Handspun Polwarth on Ravelry.

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