As of this week, the spinning portion of my fleece-to-sweater project is compete. I finished plying up the last skein (made of all the leftover bits of singles from the previous skeins) on Monday night and finished washing the last few skeins by midweek. Once everything was dry, I was able to measure the last few skeins and total up my yardage.
So here are the final stats and all the relevant info: This started as a Romney fleece purchased at Maryland Sheep and Wool last year. I handed it off to Ozark Carding Mill shortly after I bought it, where it was washed and carded into roving for me. I spun up the singles 2 ounces at a time, using a semi-worsted method, on my miniSpinner, letting each batch rest at least overnight before winding it onto my ball winder and then transferring it to a TP tube for storage. Once all the singles were spun, I mixed them up for plying for the sake of consistency and plied six full skeins, all between about 170 yards and 190 yards. Finally, I plied up all but a tiny amount of the leftover singles into the final skein. When all was said and done, I ended up with approximately 1,215 yards of three-ply heavy worsted weight yarn -- a bit less than I was hoping for, but still a respectable number, I think.
The last step in this project is to knit a sweater with this yarn. Originally, I had hoped to have enough to knit a Fireside Sweater, but I'm a good deal short on the yardage I'd need to make my size (and in the end I think it's probably going to be a better idea to use commercial yarn for that one, as a handspun version would likely end up weighing three or four pounds). My second choice was I Heart Aran, for which I am very close in yardage but think I have enough wiggle room should I get close. I am not going to make myself crazy trying to finish this in time to wear it this winter, so I'll stick to my original plan of having a finished handspun sweater done by the end of 2012.
Now that this spinning project is done, I'm back to spinning colored fiber again, which is a great change. There's still roughly a pound and a half of fleece left, though, so it'll be back on the wheel one of these days. I'm thinking that because it's roving, I can use it to practice my long draw and spin up some light, lofty yarns, perhaps to use in combination with other handspun. That, though, is a subject for another day. For now, I'm just admiring the lovely pile of cream-colored skeins sitting next to my wheel and thinking about how cozy I'll be next fall and winter in the sweater they will become.