How much handspun yarn do I need?
How much yarn do I need?
This is a very common question I get asked when a new customer wants to purchase my one of a kind handspun skeins of yarn. It is understandable because handspun yarn from my farm is not sold in large lots with standardized weights and guage. Rather each individual ewe from every year's fleece is processed and spun as its own set of skeins. I usually get 2-4 skeins depending on the age of the ewe per fleece.
Fleece from Sansa, one of our black ewes, from the 2020 shearing or "clip"
One of a Kind
The skeins are one of a kind because they are created from an individual ewe's fleece from a given year. I don't combine fleeces to spin up generic lots of yarn for my handspun skeins. Rather I will select a fleece from my stash, wash, flick card, spin, ply, wash again, wind and mark each sheep's wool from that year's fleece. I also do not combine different fleeces from the same ewe that were collected over the years. This is because every year the fleece can be slightly different due to environmental conditions and age of the ewe. I like every fleece to be treated individually to get the full enjoyment from that particular ewe. I provide the micron data, age, year the fleece was collected and a photo of the ewe on my labels.
Handspun yarn from Sansa with label indicating weight, length, fleece year and age of ewe, as well as AFD information and price.
I knit items and weigh them
In an effort to help with that question, I have knit up a few basic items and taken their weights in order to provide a rough guideline for how much yarn a particular item uses. I always provide the exact weight of my handspun skeins of yarn on the label and the listing, so you can compare the weight on the skein with the weights of the handknit items I've created to get a feel for how much yarn you need.
Once you receive your yarn you should always create a swatch and block it to ensure you get the desired outcome. Although I always provide the exact length and weight of each individual handspun skein on the label, I don't spin with a particular weight in mind - rather I use the same technique through out the skein and the wool has a tendency to gravitate to a consistent weight. This is another advantage by the way of breeding for sheep with consistent fleeces from front to back.
To follow are knit items I have listed in my shop with their weights so you can compare with skeins in the shop that may have caught your interest. Many of them are just simple patterns I either made up or were taken from vintage pattern books from my mom. I hope this helps you to select a yarn that will allow you to create a beautiful heirloom that you will treasure for a very long time!
This simple brimless barn hat uses 6" needles and weighs 1.3 oz.
Mittens for an adult, also 6" needles, they weigh 2.6 oz
Adult hat with a brim, 6" needles, 2.1 oz