Tuesday, 22 July 2014

F is for Failure

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on myself, but this next skein of handspun yarn is not at all what I was hoping for.

First off, although the bag of Wensleydale Longwool fibre said it was scoured, it was still a bit greasy with lanolin, which made it a bit slippery to spin.  Still, I persevered (I'd never spun this sheep breed before).  Each lock was between six and eight inches long, I'd estimate, so I used my flick carder to open each one up and then, one I'd got a small shoe-box full of them, I spun them.  Once I'd spun a bobbin full of the locks, I decided I'd had enough of flicking and then spinning, so wound the spun single into a ball and then plyed it using a strand from the inside of the ball with the one from the outside to make a 2-ply yarn.

Then I washed it and hung it up to dry.  Because during the washing process more of the lanolin was washed out, once it was dry, the yarn felt a bit floppy and loose and I didn't like it.  So, I wound it into another ball again and put it through my wheel again to add a bit more twist.  Then, I wound it into a skein, tied it up and then washed it again before hanging it up on the line to dry.

This time, the yarn was over-twisted, but I decided to call it a day and admit defeat.

This yarn (which is a cross between yarn and twine) definitely falls into the category of "learning curve".

I think you can see from the photo where the excessive amount of twist has made the yarn king and squiggle.

I've now bought a 100g 'bump' of ready-prepared Wensleydale, so hopefully my next effort at spinning this sheep breed will result in something a bit better as Wensleydale yarn is supposed to be soft and lustrous.


  1. I'm sorry it didn't work out. It sounds like a difficult wool to spin. I'm sure you learned a lot for next time.

  2. Hi,

    this is very random. I found your blog while looking for knit and natter groups in Colchester. The link i found was 4 years old. Do you still meet at the slug and lettuce?

    thank you


  3. Hi Ellie. The Tuesday night group now meets at the hotel off the A12/A120 interchange (the Ramada? Butterfly?). There's also a group that meets on a Monday morning, 10am - 12noon at the village hall in Great Horkesley. If you're a member of Ravelry, there's a local group - http://www.ravelry.com/groups/colchester--great-horksley-sb