Spinning with Rolags

Up until now I have exclusively spun combed top. Commercially prepped Top is easy to find, both dyed and undyed, and it’s easy to spin. And the method of spinning worsted (this has nothing to do with the diameter of the yarn, but rather with how you draft the fibers) gives the spinner a lot of control over how the yarn spins up. I love spinning Top, but I am a curious cat, and I wanted to try spinning woolen, and that meant getting some rolags and some batts and learning a different drafting method.

I bought 4 oz of these glorious rolags from Wildthyme Art on Etsy.

wool rolags
Image courtesy of Wildthyme Art

You can see how each end is a deep black that fades through grey to a stark white in the middle. The rolags have sparkly bits and some fun colourful additions throughout. I love the stark contrast of the black, white, but buying sparkles was a bit of a stretch for me.

The first rolag was so hard to spin. Not by any fault of the rolag, but because I was learning to use the short forward draw instead of my normal short backward draw. By the time I got to the second rolag, though, things were going well. I took this spin with me to a St. Distaff’s day celebration at my LYS, and spun almost half of my fiber in one day! Clearly, woolen spinning is speedy!

As I finished spinning my singles I thought long and hard about how I wanted to ply this yarn. I decided on a 2-ply, but I didn’t want stark black and white stripes in whatever I would make out of this yarn. After much thought, I decided to ply a marled yarn, where the black and white were plied together. I pulled the first few yards off the ball and held them in my left hand in a butterfly, then once I got into the grey section, I began plying the yarn on itself.

butterfly

When the short end that I had held in a butterfly was plied, I added the other end of my ball to continue plying the singles on itself.

I finished plying, looked at my yarn, and thought, “You know, I would like this yarn a whole lot better if it had a lot more twist in the ply. So I ran it through my wheel again to add more twist. I am SO HAPPY I did this! I love how my yarn turned out!

handspun yarn

This is definitely a thick and thin yarn, ranging from light fingering to heavy worsted. I would label it as a sport or DK weight. I ended up with 312 yds.

So now I get to decide what do do with it. Weaving? Knitting? I think it could make the most wonderful handbag!

handspun yarn

What do you think? What would you use this yarn for?

P.S. The coupon code for my newest pattern is still running. Get the Ribless Hat on  Ravelry for 18% off until January 18 with the code HOORAY18