Skein #38: Special-Effect Yarn Produced by Spinning Around a Core

25.5 m 28 g 900 m/kg
4.3 w/cm 11 w/in
Size Determination: Thick
Wool and lyocell

Merino/Lyocell top and Shetland fleece

Reason for choice of this sample:
This wool has some coarser fibers, so in a fine yarn it is hairy and holds the wrapping fiber. The handpainted top is a contrast in both color and texture and the yarn structure makes good use of a small amount of fancy fiber.

Guardians Merino/Tencel painted top (Fire) from Blue Moon Spinnery/Carolina Homespun — San Francisco, California
White Shetland fleece from somebody's backyard, via eBay

Preparation for spinning
The fleece was scoured and flicked. The colored top was drawn into short lengths.

Equipment Used
Dog brush, flyer spinning wheel, spindle wheel, large drop spindle.

Type of spinning
Short forward draft

Direction of Twist

Number of plies

Washed and dried with light tension

Suggested uses
Accent yarn for weaving or basketmaking. It is more than strong enough for warp, but requires some care and a large dent reed. The Shetland is a little prickly, so it is best for a lined garment like a jacket or vest.


Maximum 54 points

Examiner 1: 45
Examiner 2: 43

Examiner 1 notes this is "not a typical core spun by definition." Examiner 2 says it's hard to tell if it's corespun at all, plus notes inconsistent size.

I don't understand why this is not acceptable corespun yarn. I tried several different designs, based on what I found in Spinning Designer Yarns, a book that has been out a while and is entirely about making novelty yarn. The author says that spinning over a core is a great way to cover up an ugly yarn, but also shows several examples of yarns with thin wrappings. She even talks about "spot corespinning," a technique that adds fiber in selected areas. This yarn varies from completely covering the core to bare yarn, but with enough wrapping fiber that the yarn is very clearly shades of pink. The two-ply core let me add more twist in the wrapping process than with a similarly sized single. Making a cable of it fluffs it up in the thicker spots but not so loose that it pulls off. I completely don't get the inconsistent comment. Some is thicker, some is thinner, it's designed that way.

This yarn also has a little bit of paper taped to the back of the wpi card marked "30 gm." Huh? I found one on another yarn too. None of the skeins appear to have been actually untied or even the skein tags removed. I made each as close to 28.35 grams as I could manage. The skein ties, labels and whatnot add more, so I don't know what they were measuring. Is it something left over from the judging process? There was not one comment about measurements.