Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Yesterday my order from Custom Woolen Mills arrived. There's some wool, which I'll show another time, and also some roving for spinning. Back when I checked out the website, I was really taken with the fact that you could order roving in all of their dyed and undyed shades, including heathers. The latter are fairly complex blends of colour. See the layers of colour here?

This is "navy purple heather", and the layering creates a tremendous amount of depth in the final colour. 
It's a true roving, quite different from combed top. In the latter, the fibres are smoothly aligned, perfect for worsted spinning. If you look closely at the chunk of this roving, though, you can see the individual strands of wool are quite disorganized, more like rolags than your average commercial roving. This demands a woolen long draw approach to spinning. In this method, the twist enters the fibre AS IT IS BEING DRAFTED, rather than following the drafting. It's quick and fun to do, and I was definitely seduced by the process, unable to stop until my bobbin was more than half full. The result is a light, airy yarn. Brooklyn Tweed's "Shelter| is woolen spun. So is Jamieson and Smith's traditional jumper weight.
Here's what the roving looks like up close,

and here are my yarn samples. These have not yet been washed, but I'm more than pleased with the tweedy look and soft hand of the spun wool.

After lunch I went for my usual afternoon walk along the lake. This is not what one expects to see in February, but the lack of ice and snow are welcome after two winters enduring polar vortices.

Then this evening it was back to the Wolfe Island Gansey. Below you can see the left front border being knitted on.

The detail I can get with my new(ish) phone camera is pretty good. I love this part of the knitting, when the stitches come together from different angles.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That's all I can say about the Navy Purple Heather roving. I'm currently using one of CWM's yarns in a project but I've never tried the roving. I think that's about to change.