I spun six yarns for the Wolkig cowl and this past week I knitted them in to little swatches. Yes, even the singles I didn't like, and guess what, I still don't like them. The swatch pair on the left were drafted woolen, the swatches on the right were drafted worsted. In each set of swatches the swatch on the left was drafted from the fold and the one on the right was drafted from the end. The woolen drafted yarns are pretty fragile seeming to me, they will fuzz and pill pretty instantly. The worsted yarns were firmer than I liked and they swallowed the sparkle. I do need to practice a low-twist worsted single, I usually have more twist than I think is ideal in my worsted drafted singles.
I had more fun with my 2-ply yarns. Do you want to guess which is which? Both are drafted woolen. One is drafted from the end and one is drafted from the fold.
Without touching them, the giveaway is the playout of the colors. Remember the fiber is striped in blues and whites (and sparkle!) in the direction of the top.
Spinning from the end blends the colors together and spinning them from the fold stripes them when knit. So the swatch spun form the fold is the swatch on the left. See the subtle striping of the white silk? That tells me it was spun from the side of the fiber. Geeky, I know, but I love it!
Facts and figures-wise they were close. Spun from the fold 2-ply, knit to 5.25 stitches to the inch on a US 2 (I'm a loose knitter), the top part of the left swatch, with a WPI of 14-16 and 1750 YPP. Our next contestant knit to 5.5 stitches to the inch (the bottom part of the right swatch) on a US 2, with a WPI of 16-18 and 1675 YPP.
Both would work. The YPP gets me more than 600 yards with the 6 ounces of fiber I have, the pattern calls for 490. If I only had a single 4 ounce braid, I would have sampled again for a finer yarn, my yardage at this YPP would have been a little more than 400 yards. The pattern calls for a gauge of 5.5 stitches to the inch, I've got that covered.
The swatch on the right is my winner. Woolen spun form the end. I like the depth of color and I like the feel. With all of this sampling done I can spin for this project knowing that my yarn will work with my chosen pattern and that I'm making a yarn I like.