Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week #2 - Wensleydale

I'm not a long wool person. I'm sorry, Beth, it's true (and you knew it all along anyway). Last fall, Beth was clearing out some of the stash she knew she was never going to get to and came across this. What possessed her to think of me, I'll never know. Wait, yes I do. She's trying to convert me from a merino/tencel girl to a long wool avenger. More than likely, she said to herself, "These are Carla's colors and she's going to LOVE spinning this!"

Can I just take a moment and show you this fiber close up? It's hairy, I mean, really hairy. When I pulled out a staple length, it was 4-5 inches long. I was so stunned that I did not actually measure it - my stomach was hurting a little.

What: 4.1 oz Wensleydale

Where: The Yarn Hollow or The Spinning Loft

Spun: Long draw

Yarn: 118 yards, three ply, as thin as I could make it go (which was really thin)

Color: Antique Map (#100)

Lesson: You can spin a nice yarn from a hairy, long stapled wool without drawing blood. However, I don't much like it. Oh sure, it's a serviceable yarn (look at that luster!) and the color is absolutely gorgeous, but it's not next to the skin wear.

I struggled a lot with it. It did thin down beautifully with very little effort, but the staple was so long that sometimes one end of it missed being caught. As a result there are several spots in the yarn where, when I was plying, I roughed it a bit and a slub was created. Normally, I stop and pick those bits out. With the long staple, I couldn't do that - I'll have to go back and try to smooth them or cut them out.

Verdict: I don't think I'll be spinning any more Wensleydale anytime soon.

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