Yarn

Exploring Romney Fibre

Lately every time I admire the texture of a knitted item it seems to be either linen stitch or herringbone. There’s something about them that is almost non-knitted, as though they are some other kind of fancy magical craft like weaving or suchlike. I thought I had better give one of them a go.

I used a fairly simple tutorial which you can find here. Linen stitch is almost as basic as you can get but the dense fabric it creates is very pleasing. Perfect, thought I, for a bag. And lo, I happen to have some yarn that almost immediately made me want to make a bag with it.

Yarn 005

This yarn was a birthday gift from Tamara, my girlfriend’s sister. It’s Romney and it’s hand-dyed/spun. It’s as close as I could get to the real colour which is a rich and slightly tonal grass-green. Very classy. I love the dramatic plying.

Of course since I’ve never heard of a Romney sheep I had to go look one up.

800px-Romneyram1
Credit: Wikipedia

Just look how happy this dude is. I would be too if I had legs as woolly as that (I’ve shaved mine recently). I have to admit that this guy looks like the little puffy clouds with legs we all drew as kids when asked to draw sheep – at least in the UK, even though I grew up on an island with much more unusual looking breeds.

The Romney yarn is scratchy so it’s not suitable for right next to the skin unless you’re into that sort of thing, and I’m told some people are. It talks all sorts I suppose. It’s super squishy though and I do like a good crunch to my yarn so I’m happy with it.

The main downside is that this was not well-cleaned before spinning. Half the goddamn field is in this yarn. I’ve picked out as much as I can but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it would be a lot less scratchy if it hadn’t been plied with a haystack. I know it comes from an independent dyer/spinner but I’ve used plenty of indie yarns and never found it to be this much of a problem before.

After casting on a random bag (no pattern) to see what happens, I’d say I quite enjoy knitting with this yarn. It’s not well-made. It’s uneven to the point of being bizarre and there’s too much straw in it but I like a good scratchy wool because I’m a weirdo.

I’m changing my posting schedule slightly – Monday/Wednesday/Saturday. Stay tuned for Saturday’s images of how this yarn looks knitted up.

Have you worked with Romney before? Am I alone in my love for scratchy natural fibres?

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10 thoughts on “Exploring Romney Fibre

  1. I laughed out loud at yoru description of the amount of hay bits in the yarn. I sometimes have that problem when I buy locally produced yarn around here – in fact I just finished a hat that I was picking bits out of the whole time I knit it. Not my favorite thing to do, but I do like to support local producers, so now and then it is OK. I love the feel of the lanolin in that kind of wool – its a trade off. Can’t wait to see how it works with linen stitch, I wouldn’t; have thought of it with that kind of wool, but now am intrigued.

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    1. I don’t mind it as much as I say. I haven’t been able to get all of it out since I keep finding more in the bag I’ve knit with it, but oh well! It adds to the grass-like texture of the linen stitch in that colour. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely colour! Your yarn sounds great for items that won’t be next to skin. Have you ever knitted with Noro yarn? It has bits of tree in it as well as being thick (unspun?) and thin (to breaking point) AND has knots that are joins that are not colour-connected! And yes, this sheep does look like those we drew as kids 🙂

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    1. Yeah, this yarn won’t be next to the skin. It would be awful. I love knitting with it though. I have knit with Noro but only once and I didn’t make it all the way through the skein (lost interest in the project). Maybe I should try it again since apparently I enjoy a haystack in my yarn!

      Liked by 1 person

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