Spinning Polwarth

I was watching youtube videos the other night, cruising all the spinning techniques trying to pick up some pointers to help me learn the craft. Somehow I always end up watching the videos of art batts being carded up. Of course after watching them for about an hour I got the itch to make something with my carder so out it came and I had a go with the Polwarth I’d washed.

I had been thinking of dyeing the Polwarth but after seeing some yarn creations I envisioned a skein of yarn that was fluffy white with gold, after all we are getting to wintertime and Christmas.

Fibre being fed into the drum carder, you’re supposed to be able to read the print through the fibre this way you know you’re not over-loading the drum carder with fibre and causing a jam; plus adding the fibre slowly and a bit at a time will help to keep the fibre from attaching to the licker (small drum).

Another view.

At the time I thought to myself that this would be a good opportunity to try dizzing the fibre off of the drum carder. A Diz is basically an object that has a small hole in it. When you diz fibre you’re pulling some fibre through the hole to make a long rope of roving. It’s amazing how much fibre will fit through this small hole. Anyhow I looked around and grabbed a ceramic button and proceeded to use it.


I have to admit that this isn’t as easy as it looks and I didn’t really enjoy doing it but at least I can say that I’ve dizzed fibre off of my drum carder. The second batt I left as a batt.

polwarth with gold angelina
Washed Polwarth locks drum carded with gold Angelina.

Here’s a picture of some left-over dirt after the carding was done. I guess it goes to show that you can never get all the vegetable matter out when you wash your fleece.


At first I thought the Polwarth was going to spin to a fine thickness but it was very grabby so I immediately thought of spinning up a thicker single than I’ve ever spun before. My vision was of a soft woolen-spun skein of yarn that I could use to make nice soft cushiony mittens. I was surprised at how quickly the 50 grams of fibre was spun, under a couple of hours and maybe closer to an hour. It was a pop of instant gratification especially after spinning hours and hours with the Wilton’s Purple skein of wool.

Needless to say I hadn’t gotten an equal amount of single on the two bobbins so I made a center-pull ball with my ball winder out of the leftovers on the one bobbin. I then tried to make a nice join, lol tried being the operative word here. I’m going to have to figure out a better way I guess.

Trying to join two ends of 2-ply yarn.

And here is the final yarn. It’s got a lot of bumps and underspun spots but for the most part I’m happy with it and if and when I ever learn to be more consistent I’ll be happy with this thickness of yarn. I think the thick/thin areas might be where I’m going from a woolen type of spinning back into a worsted but I assume practise will help me to improve that.

white and gold polwarth chunky
Two-ply bulky yarn, Polwarth with gold Angelina.



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