Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Polwarth Poof

Remember how I was anticipating that my rainbow skein of Polwarth was going to poof up in the wash? It did indeed, though I didn't really expect how much it would poof.

To measure how much yardage I have, I first count the number of wraps around my 2 yd. niddy noddy and make a note of it. For this particular skein, I got exactly 300 wraps. I always assume there's going to be a bit less than twice the number of wraps, because I do wrap under a bit of tension, but I frequently find that my yarns shrink up even more once they're washed, as the moisture allows the memory and the spring to come back into the fibers. This is even more pronounced with fine wools like merino, Targhee, and Polwarth, and usually with those wools the skein not only shrinks up in length, but the yarn itself plumps up considerably. The rainbow yarn was light fingering fresh off the wheel, but after a wash, it plumped up to sport verging on DK in some areas.

To measure my final yardage, I measured the length of the open skein, multiplied that number by two (for the full length around the skein), and multiplied that number by the number of wraps around the niddy noddy. Finally, I divided that big number by 36 to get the total number of yards. If I'd calculated my yardage simply by multiplying the number of wraps on my niddy noddy by two, I'd have gotten 600 yards. However, taking into account the poof and the resulting shrinkage, I ended up with approximately 433 yards -- that's a pretty significant difference.

My one little complaint about this yarn is that the red bled a bit into some of the other colors when I washed it, which you can see if you look closely in this picture:

I'm hoping the bleeding won't bee too apparent when this yarn is actually knit up (into what, I just don't know yet, though I'm thinking some kind of big, poofy cowl). I joked on Ravelry that I'm tempted to just wear this bright skein around my neck and call it a day.

I so enjoyed the boost I got from these bright colors that I picked another colorful bundle of fiber (part of my last order from Crown Mountain Farms) for my next spin. I'm spinning a three-ply fingering weight, my default yarn, on my Lendrum, and I'm nearly halfway done with the singles. This is the second bobbin.

The color repeats on the fiber are very short, as you can see, and there are quite a lot of colors, so it'll be really interesting to see how this yarn looks when plied. I really can't wait to see if I end up with the same variation in color or if it all mixes so much that the colors cancel each other out and I end up with a neutral, so I anticipate a fair amount of spinning this week.


  1. beautiful! i love the polwarth poof. i found targhee to be even bouncier (it's harder to find shops that carry it though)

  2. Whoa! (And that's all I've got!)