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Blue Lake Knitting – Spinning + Dyeing My Polwarth Yarn = Ultimate Fiber Fun

No big intro, no excuses, no what ifs, I’ll get right to the point.

I got a pound of Polwarth roving for Christmas, but what with already scheduled things, baby knitting, etc.  I hadn’t even touched it until this week.

Tuesday, I spun up the first single in about 2 hours, and fell in love with this wonderful fiber.  Polwarth sheep is a breed that was begun by “breeding Merino rams to Merino/Lincoln ewes, until the cross bred true to itself.”

The resulting fiber is in my opinion just as soft as merino (21-26 microns), but with a slightly longer staple length (3-7 inches), and spins up like a dream.  Polwarth also has a nice crimp.  I also noted that once the fiber got wet, that it puffed up, one of my favorite things for a yarn to do.  This adds to the soft, cushy feel that I like. 

As soon as I showed a pic to a friend, she asked “What color is it going to be?”… Of course, I had not thought that far ahead, so asked for her opinion… Salmon.  I’ve used Salmon in combination with other colors, but never by itself.  So here is what I did today

2.2 oz. of already spun Polwarth

Soaked yarn (loosely tied) for 60+ minutes in hot water + a dab of detergent + a dab of vinegar – meant to soak for 30 minutes, but life got in my way… LOL

Heat 3 qts water and a glug of vinegar on stove to 180º+, but not boiling.

Heat Crock Pot with a little water on High setting


Dye powder – ¼ teaspoon added before adding hot water.

Stir pot well with wooden craft stick. 

Lay skein of yarn into dye pot, and poke into water using craft stick.   

Check pot after 30 minutes…. Water nearly clear.  Turned off dye pot, and will wait until it cools to work with the yarn.

After one hour, water has cooled enough to put my hands into the water.  I squeeze out the excess water, and rinse in hot tap water.  Another squeeze, then wash in Kookaburra Wool wash. No bleeding in my rinse water.

I rolled my skein in big heavy bath towel for about 30 minutes, and hung it outside to dry.

My final result is this lovely skein of Salmon kettle dyed Polwarth.

124 yards, 2.2 ounces of Sport Weight, WPI = 14.

Now all I have to do is to spin the other 14 ounces.  Tee hee.

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Comment by KnitterGirl39 on March 29, 2012 at 7:15pm

Love this color and the yarn looks sooo squishy soft!

Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on March 29, 2012 at 5:50pm

Oh, Nutty, I actually picked up a little piece of Targhee I got last month, and am trying my hand at lace... there isn't enough of this yarn to really do anything big with, but it seems to be working.  It's hard not to grab up the Polwarth and start over.

Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on March 29, 2012 at 5:38pm

Oops, I forgot the gratuitous baby pic of Will... he was 3 weeks old in this pic and had already gained 2 lbs.


And here is Sam enjoying a St. Patrick's Day Cupcake. 

Comment by Nutty4Knitting on March 29, 2012 at 5:32pm

Yum!  It's lovely, Susan! 

I'm starting the timer........for tracking the other 14oz! LOL

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