I could not have picked two more dissimilar wools to spin one right after the other.  Where the Southdown was a light, lofty yarn,  Gotland is much more dense and heavy.   Although each came as a two-ounce braid, I only got 55 yards out of the Gotland where I got about 133 yards from the Southdown.  The Gotland yarn has a much smoother hand to it, though, and has quite a bit of luster to it.

Seller’s notes: A longwool, similar in many respects to Wensleydale.  Slightly shorter stapled, with a good luster, good wear, and gorgeous dark heathering.  Good for laceweight.  A little bit coarser than the others.  This is a combed top.

I have Wensleydale in my stash, but I haven’t spun any yet, so I have no basis for comparison there.  I don’t know if I should have shot for some laceweight or not, but that’s not what I wanted from this wool, so I spun it for worsted weight.  Isn’t that the joy of spinning, that you can make the yarn you want?

A word on the “coarseness”.  Perhaps this is what I mean when I say dense, but I didn’t find it particularly coarse.  As top, it felt much more like hair than any of the other wools have—in fact, when it was still a braid, it kind of looked (and felt) as though some greying woman had cut off a braid from her hair and sent it in the mail.  That is, the fibers themselves feel quite smooth with little crimp.

The lack of crimp and the smoothness meant that I had to put a lot more twist into the yarn than I was used to.  I typically skate right on the edge of too little twist, and I had a couple of episodes where the single fell apart and wound into my bobbin.  It was a little tricky pulling it through the orifice to restart the spinning, since the lack of twist climbed onto the bobbin.

I’m interested in the contrast between the two yarns, and I’m thinking I may end up using them together in a garment just because I do enjoy the variation between them so much.  Here they are next to each other for comparision.  Oh, and the obligatory money shot.

I also finished plying up the Harvest roving.  I was aiming for a fingering-weight yarn, but I’m not quite where I wanted to be.  This is 4 ounces of BFL, which came out at about 480 yards of 2-ply yarn.  That’s a little lighter than I was shooting for, but if I’d done three plies, I would have only gotten about 320 yards and would have been more of a sport weight.  I’ll figure this out yet!

Also, I spun about half of it and then let it sit for a few months before I spun the rest.  There’s only a slight difference in the diameters of the singles, but it’s enough that there’s a bit of a bouclé effect to it that I wish wasn’t there.  That should mostly vanish when knit, but I’ll just have to be a bit more careful.  I know that there can be this kind of variation in the singles even when they’re spun closer together, too.

The colors are nice, though, almost exactly what I envisioned.

Comments (2)

DaveSeptember 22nd, 2009 at 7:03 pm

The difference between the two wools is amazing, and I think they would look incredible knit into the same project — love that idea!

I’m still finding my way on the different weights as well — just a slight difference can make a huge difference LOL! – but if it’s any use, for a 3-ply fingering, I aim for about a 42 wpi single, and at least that one seems to be coming out fairly consistent for me.

HeatherOutsideBOSOctober 7th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Mmm. Love those spicy colors. :-)

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