Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: August 2010 Page 1 of 2

More Polwarth

Polwarth Lace, after wet finishing

I lost about 60 yards in the finishing process, or about 0.2%. Completely reasonable. And the yarn has poofed up immensely.

In cake form, you can see the gradation better. It’s definitely not in the even steps as I had hoped, but this was what was available from Rovings. Ideally, I would like more contrast between the 2 medium tones and another step between the 2 medium tones and the darkest.

No matter. I’m still in love with this yarn. It will be fun to design something for this yarn!

Lace Weight Polwarth!

Whew! I finally finished plying the 2 bobbins of Polwarth singles. It took 3 days of sporadic plying.

That’s 9.5 oz of Polwarth on the bobbin. As you can see, that darned bobbin is still not full! I can probably pack yet another couple of ounce or so on this bobbin. Someone posted on Ravelry that they were able to pack 15 oz of fiber on there, but wow! I don’t know if I can top that.

Wait! This is white! The last time you saw the Polwarth singles, they were dark brown. This is the “other” end of the yarn. As I said, I was aiming for a gradated yarn from the lightest to the darkest, with some marling in between each color changes to soften the transition. I succeeded, but a mistake I made early on helped the matter a bit.

What was the mistake? I had originally planned to spin & ply each color separately. After I started spinning a bit (just a few minutes, really), I thought about spinning it all as a long single, one color after another, and let the color changes happen in the plying. So, I set about to split the colors evenly in half. But I was way off on the white, because some of it was already on the bobbin. I thought I accommodated for what was already on the bobbin. Perhaps I over estimated, or under. I don’t know which, but one bobbin definitely had more white than the other. It was evident while I was plying. One bobbin changed colors in a fairly consistent length earlier than the other.


  • Fiber: 80/20 Polwarth/Silk from Rovings, purchased at SOAR 2008, in 4 natural colors from white to dark brown
  • Weight: 9.5 oz
  • Yardage: 3,070
  • Plies: 2
  • WPI: 42
  • YPP: 10,341

As you can see, I was a bit off in my earlier estimate of 1,500 yards of singles on the first bobbin!

I had intended this to be my submission to Team Footloose‘s longest single from 1 oz of fiber, but I didn’t finish in time. But how did I do? 6,140 yards of singles in 9.5 oz means 646 yds/oz. This wouldn’t have won the category since the longest single from 1 oz went to a wetspun tow linen, 692 yds for 7/8 oz. (That’s 790 yds/oz.)

Now, I sit down with my lace references and design a shawl!

Happy 100th Birthday, Elizabeth!

Today is Elizabeth Zimmerman‘s 100th birthday. We have much to thank her for…Schoolhouse Press, Woolgatherings, Elizabeth’s Percentage System, Pi Shawl, Baby Surprise Jacket and and many more pattern recipes for thinking knitters, all in her classic narrative style.

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