Dec.2011 Club Spinning – Foehn Cowl & Mitts : spin the yarn

by Lori Law

The project base for this club is a set of matching gloves and a cowl, knit in a stranded fair isle pattern making them both squishy and extra-warm to block those winter winds.

Both fibres were spun to create a semi-worsted sport-weight yarn.


This 100% Wool blended top is made up of a 66% blend of four different Merino colours, with additions of 17% oatmeal Bluefaced Leicester and 17% black Shetland.  It’s designed to create a heathered yarn, with an oil-on-water effect once spun.

SPINNING: Fold the roving in half lengthwise and use the fold line to split it into two equal lengths across the width.  Spin each using a semi-worsted technique (backwards draw), from end to end (do not split into thinner lengths).  If desired, it could be attenuated slightly before spinning for pre-drafting.  It was spun Z-twist (clockwise) using a medium-fast whorl (10.5:1) into two singles for plying.

If desired the roving could also be spun into one long single  and plied from a centre-pull ball.

PLYING:  Ply the two singles in S direction (counter-clockwise) using a slightly smaller whorl size or slightly tighter twist than used for spinning – the sample yarn was plied using a 12.5:1 whorl.

FINISHING:  The yarn was finished in a warm-hot bath employing a light felting method (swish the wet yarn back and forth in the hot water about 10 times).  It was left to rest for a short while in the warm water (about 10 mins) and then rinsed in a cool bath.  It was then thumped against a hard surface a few times to set the twist and hung unweighted to dry.

Use the same method as for the blended top to spin.

Technical Details

•Spun semi-worsted, sport-weight, 2ply, spinning (Z) ratio – 10.5:1; plying (S-twist) ratio – 12.5:1;  about 1300 ypp, 135-150 yards per 50g, 16 wpi.

Here’s how it looks knitted up:

Photos © Lori Law.


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