I've already made a swatch with my handspun Corriedale, but I also had some millspun yarn from the very same farm. As you can see, the two yarns are quite different - the one on the left in the photographs is my handspun, and it is fuzzier and full of air. On the left is the millspun - more dense but smoother. Below are my notes on the millspun yarn and the swatch I made from it.
Wool Category: Medium-fine
Source: Notlwonk Springs
Form: 3-ply yarn
Preparation: Worsted spun, 3-ply
Weight: Fingering/Sport weight
Color: Light oatmeal
Initial thoughts on use: Socks, weaving. This yarn isn’t very stretchy, and it is very strong, so it would make great warp yarn. I would also love to have a knit sweater out of this yarn. It’s the perfect weight for a lightweight cardigan.
Swatch details: 32 stitches, worked in stockinette stitch with a garter stitch border. Worked on size 4US/3.5 mm needles.
Notes on Knitting: Enjoyable to knit. I made a pair of socks with these at a tighter gauge (size 1 needles), which was a bit on the tight side, though it resulted in a pair of socks that will wear very well. Working at a looser gauge was definitely welcome.
Notes on washing, blocking, and wearing: Washed by soaking in cool water with Eucalan, then rinsed. Blocked by squeezing out water gently, laid flat on towel to dry. Once dry, rubbed swatch vigorously against itself 50 times - very little evidence of pilling or wear.
Dimensions of washed, blocked swatch: 5.5 inches wide by 5.5 inches high. These were also the dimensions unwashed and unblocked, though washing did help smooth everything out.
Notes on feel of washed, blocked, worn swatch: Fabric is very soft to the touch and has very little "prickle" when held next to the neck. It is very lightweight and has a slight drape to it.
Notes on perceived longevity of this wool: This wool seems like it will hold up very well to moderate to heavy wear.
Thoughts on use and applications: I already love the socks I made from this yarn – they are wonderfully warm but not too thick to wear with some of my shoes, which is a problem I sometimes have. I’d love to have a cardigan out of this yarn – something simple, soft, and warm.
Overall impression: Though this yarn is made from the same wool as my handspun Corriedale, it could not be more different. It has much better stitch definition, a bit more drape, and is less springy than my handspun. Both are wonderful yarns that I enjoy but have very different applications. It was so interesting to do this swatch to compare just how different the result can be when wool is prepared in different ways!
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