Saturday, February 16, 2008

Exploring the Down Wools: Hampshire

I had my dye day yesterday, and so was able to get acquainted with the Hampshire that is the next down wool to explore. This is really nice stuff. Going for a cushy two-ply this time, the Hampshire responded to my sampling with lofty softness. In fact, though it is no merino, I would say that this passes my "lip test" for comfort.

The source for the Hampshire is Kathy of Wool World. She has over a hundred different kinds of fibers and fleeces available on her site, and sells in quantities as small as an ounce....perfect for sampling! It is a wooly smorgasbord.

I wanted to paint this roving, but I gave up on it, because presoaking was ineffective. Next time I'll use a wetting agent if I plan on a cold pour method. It seems that these wools practically shed water, which can be a good quality in certain instances.

Once they took a nice hot water bath with the dye, both the Hampshire and the British Suffolk took dye like a dream. And I love the watercolor mix that comes with the hot pour method!

Below is the finished 3-ply British Suffolk. I ended up with a little over 200 yards... enough for a child's pair, or anklets for me? The hand grew even more pleasant in its steaming hot bath, and I would say that though it is not as soft as the Hampshire, it is on a par with sock yarns like Aracunia. The color is much brighter than shows here. So pretty!


Carissa said...

Congrats on the new loom! I've never tried Hampshire, but it sounds nice! Where did you get yours?

Theresa said...

I am enjoying reading about all your experiments. I have not tried these kinds of wool before and only wish I was there to have fun with you! :o)

cyndy said...


Like a bright blue sky!

~~ said...

wow, you dye your own wool?! I am so impressed... and envious. And the loom sounds delightful, can't wait to see some of your projects!