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Preparing for spinning season

When I was mucking about with my stash earlier in the year I showed photos of some Polwarth spinning fibre. I bought these braids with the idea to spin them all as one project. As the Canberra cold season, and hence spinning season, is well and tryly underway I thought I'd sit down and try can capture my plan.

Here's the fibre. These three braids of natural coloured Polwarth from Tarndwarncoort (Tandie), a Victorian farm that specialises in Polwarth sheep. The fibre is also prepared in Victoria, making it one of the few spinning fibres you can buy that's 100% Australian made.

Polwarths are a cousin of the Merino, but bred to cope with the cooler and wetter climate of southwest Victoria. Polwarth fleece is longer, shinier and slightly coarser than Merino. Frankly, it's better. Yes, I said it.

Polwarth is the best fleece, and I am prepared to throw hands about it. Here it is.

The rest of this fibre is also Tarndie Polwarth, but ones that have been transformed by the dyepots of Waratah Fibres.


I plan to combine the natural coloured braids and the dyed braids spin the colours in different ratios, with the aim of making a tweedy gradient.

The Queer Revelry group on Ravelry runs an amazing Tour de Fleece team every year. One of the challenges last year was a 'come together' spin, where you took two braids you wouldn't normally choose to combine and spin them into one yarn. I came up with this:

This is a 3 ply yarn where I changed what fibre I was spinning part way through the bobbin. So each bobbin starts with one kind of fibre and ends with another. I changed at what point in the bobbin I switched fibre so when I plyed all 3 bobbins toghether the colour transition in the yarn is kinda a gradient.

For this yarn:

  • Bobbin 1 was 66% dyed coloured fibre and 33% natural (brown) fibre

  • Bobbin 2 was 50% coloured fibre and 50% natural fibre, and

  • Bobbin 3 33% coloured fibre and 66% natural fibre.

So the skein of yarn starts at 100% coloured fibre and slowly transitions to 100% natural fibre. This sound very creative and complicated, but it's an idea I came up with in desperation due to my complete inability to spin a single coloured braid without getting bored.

My new spin is branching off from this idea to make a 3 skein set with the same coloured fibre but different natural colours. Because I want the 3 skeins to flow seamlessly into each other I want each skein to start and end with the coloured fibre. So each skein:

  • Ply 1 will be 33% coloured, 33% natural, 33% coloured

  • Ply 2 will be 25% coloured, 50% natural, 25% coloured

  • Ply 3 will be 16% coloured, 68% natural, 16% coloured

When laid out I'm imaging the three skeins will look something like this (except the coloured fibre will be different colours):

Well, that's the plan! Who know how it will turn out?

Tour de Fleece starts in one month!

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