Some time ago I discovered Polwarth tops ( at the top of the photo) were being sold by World of Wool and having been told that this fibre was very soft, probably not as 'scratchy' as other wool fibres, I decided to try some when I placed an order for some BFL.Before spinning any I hung the length of tops around my neck to see how it felt as I warmed up. GREAT! I had no reaction, no tickle even. Perhaps I have found the fibre for me to use in knitting garments for myself.Some months ago I had lost a favourite chunky, snuggly cardi and so decided to spin yarn that would knit up to replace it. The skein in the photo is only one of several I have spun in past months. It is three ply and nicely rounded with sufficient twist, hopefully, so that it will not pill in wear, something that annoyed me about the orriginal cardi. The round, wound, hand dyed yarn is a test skein for the project. I had no idea how much I would need. Last week I knitted the yarn and calculated the area of fabric it made, so from the pattern diagram of the cardi I was able to work out approximately how much yarn I need. I'm sure I will spin more than that! But would it have been a better idea to dye the tops rather than the yarn. I need too much to dye in a dye bath. Whatever could I find that was bis enough? So, maybe, dyeing the tops would be the best solution and give me a more evenly spaced colour pattern. (I don't want an even one coloured yarn.As I often dye woollen tops to sell I also decided to see how the polwarth would turn out (bottom left). I'm afraid this was not very successful. The fibre was a little felted on the outside. In the photo the depth of colour of the dyed tops and dyed yarn don't look very different...... Bottom left is some of the dyed tops drum carded. Already the colour is paler. The same pot of dye was used for the yarn and tops.This is the drafted tops, ready to spin. It is much paler still.
This is picture, though taken in too much sunlight, shows the difference, in colour depth, between the dyed yarn and the yarn spun from the tops.So, I guess I will continue spinning to dye the yarn!