Fortunately Felted Handspun


...or how I thought I ruined my handspun yarn but loved it instead. Whew. 

The story starts during Tour de Fleece when I bought some blue pencil roving. I started spinning it once my Tour de Fleece skein was finished and the roving promptly turned my hands and spindle blue. First single finished and after giving the spindle a good bath, I put the whole project on hold to find a way to keep dye off the spindle. So, it sat for a few weeks. Wrapping the spindle in paper didn’t help and it went on the shelf again. When my wheel arrived, I dealt with the blue just so I could get finish the second single and quickly ply on the wheel. The bobbins didn’t turn blue, thankfully, but my hands certainly did.  

I’ve done a little research on this fiber and brand through Ravelry and being excessively bleeding dye doesn’t really come up. The one mention of bleeding dye was for red dye, a color notorious for bleeding, and only from a small portion of a 1 pound bump. I must have just gotten a bad batch.


Now all the yarn needed was several good baths to set the twist and get rid of all that extra dye. It took five dunks. During the first bath the water turned so dark that I couldn’t see the bottom of the sink  through 4” of water. The skeins were still dripping blue when I hung them up to dry. They probably could have used another soak or two but I’d been a bit over zealous squishing out the dye. My yarn was starting to felt. I did my best to ignore the giant, clumpy messes and hoped I hadn’t ruined them.


Dry, not only was the yarn salvageable but I like it much better after it’s impromptu felting. Just wish it hadn’t taken me an hour or so to pull it all apart and re-skein everything. The good news is that I didn’t have to cut a single strand.


 Post felting, the yarn is entirely different wooly beast. The color went from a bright gym-short to a subdued sky. Still soft, the yarn is denser but not stiff so it turned out to be a good thing I under-plied. Didn’t lose much yardage either, only about 18.5 yards, which means I still have 277 yards to play with. 


The Specs:

277 yards (225 + 52)

Worsted to Heavy Worsted

9-10 Wraps per Inch

4 oz of Wool

Dyed by Pagewood Farms

Straight off the spindle and the wheel this was an okay yarn. It would have gone into the stash and, eventually, I would have knit it or gifted it away. After a bath and mild felting, I want to knit it up right now into something cozy. Maybe a cowl or a scarf but, in the meantime, the skein makes a nice neck warmer all by itself.