Spinning for a Project: My First Samples

I finally had some time to sit down and spin first samples for my Beekeeper's Smock. The Cormo/Romney fiber is delicious to spin!

As a reminder yarn I'm trying to match is:

  • WPI: 8-10, Aran weight
  • Yards Per Pound: 600
  • Ply: 2-ply
  • Ply angle finished; 22 degrees
  • Ply bumps per inch: 5
  • Ply direction: S

I'm trying to spin a yarn that is close in WPI and knitted gauge. The other specs don't matter as much to me. I do want a durable yarn with good stitch definition. A bonus would be if the yarn was lighter (a higher YPP number) than the yarn called for.

I spun two yarns using the same singles, the only difference between the two is ply twist. Why? My ply back sample looked close to the size of the yarn I’m trying to match. I thought I might have it on the first go! I plied one yarn to balance and one with a little overtwist to get better durability and better stitch definition.


bk looser collage.jpg

The looser plied yarn has these specs:

·       WPI: 7

·       YPP: 700

·       Bumps Per Inch: 4.25-5

·       Gauge: US 6/4mm, 2.25-2.75 stiches per inch

The yarn is too big and at the same time looks too loose in the knitted swatch. The swatch doesn't feel floppy, but it doesn't feel like it would hold up to wear and tear.

The tighter plied yarn has these specs:

·       WPI: 8

·       YPP: 725

·       Bumps Per Inch: 6-7

·       Gauge: US 6/4mm, 3 stitches per inch

I like this yarn and swatch much better. It feels durable enough to be an everyday sweater and I like how the stitches look.

What does it all mean? I’m really close, but I need more samples. I don’t mind making a lot of samples, especially if I’m going to make a sweater. I want the yarn sample to be close enough to my dream specs that I would feel confident spinning a lot of yarn to match it. I may knit a second swatch using the tighter plied yarn and knit it at a tighter gauge, but I have a nagging feeling that just knitting tighter won’t work.  I’m going to spin a tiny bit thicker in my single and see if I can’t up my WPI a little. I still want a tighter ply for stitch definition without making the yarn too heavy. I like the grist of these yarns, a bit lighter than the commercial yarn.


I’m looking forward to some TV binging, spinning and knitting time over Christmas. I hope you have a happy and peaceful day or two in your pjs!