A few weeks back I got a very interesting message on Ravelry. Would I like some free wool? Who me? Could I possibly turn down such an offer? Ah, no! Not only was this wool free, it was also 100 per cent Irish sheep and spun. My favorite kind. A few days later this beauty arrived in the post!
The kind and generous person who was offering me free wool was Diarmuid, owner and proprietor of S Twist Wool, a yarn company based in in Dublin. S Twist is a brand new Irish hand spinning company where the fleece is sourced in Tipperary and spun in Ranelagh: interesting just a street away from where I used to live. Currently, S Twist yarns are only available in heavier weights,in both single and two ply chunky and in natural undyed colours. Diarmuid hopes to provide wool in lighter weights and also naturally dyed yarns in the near future. Diarmuid and S Twist are also very environmentally minded and use a natural rainwater fermenting process to clean the Tipperary wool. While Diarmuid sources, skirts, scours and cleans the fleece, he currently is outsourcing the processing and carding. On reuniting with his carded fleece, he then spins it up on an electric wheel which he has modified with a faster motor and a larger bobbin.
So, to the yarn: 100 grams or 180 metres of naturally grey undyed single ply, mixed Irish breeds and 100 percent wool. The label suggests medium weight, a heavy aran to my eyes.
The yarn is loosely spun, and because I repeatedly frogged it initially, it did become fragile. I wanted to try a cabled hat, but a hat did not want to be made. I made repeated mistakes. Firstly, I cast on too many stitches and only realized six rounds down. Started again, and managed to turn the ribbing into moss! Third times a charm, they say! Well, not this time, when failed to follow my own hat pattern. Who needs a cabled hat in summer, anyway? With the hat abandoned, it was back to the drawing board for a suitable pattern but the wool was becoming unspun with all the ripping out.
As its made from Irish wool, it is has lots of character and some may find it coarse when compared to softer yarns, but to me, it felt quite soft to knit with and not at all rough on the hands. The yarn has quite a few long loose hairs, so refrain from wearing black while knitting with it! I knitted it with a loose gauge on larger needles and blocked it aggressively after. I was afraid that it might break or snap, but it held up admirably and holds a lace pattern prettily.
What did I knit, do I hear you ask? To find out, tune in next time, same bat time, same bat channel!