Magical Merino

This lovely braid of Merino that I purchased from OnTheRound that I have been spinning during the Tour de Fleece has kind of been center stage lately.

And it’s no wonder. The fiber is beautiful, the seemingly infinite shades of blue are vibrant, and when the yarn was all spun up and plied, the colors blended perfectly.

When I took the skein off the niddy noddy, I knew that I had made a very special yarn. The Merino is very soft and springy, and for once I didn’t over-ply the singles. I was very please with every aspect of this yarn, especially the yardage–approximately 340 yards of sport-weight yarn. Then I took the yarn upstairs to set the twist in the bathroom sink. I filled the sink with hot water, added a few drops of Soak, and submerged the yarn and gently squeezed it until I was sure it was completely saturated with water. Then I left it to soak for 20 or 30 minutes.

When the yarn had soaked long enough, I drained the sink and squeezed the excess water out of the yarn. The second my hands touched the fiber, I knew something magical had happened. My Merino had been transformed into a plump, fluffy, stretchy yarn that was no longer sport-weight but DK weight.

I wrapped the skein in a towel to get out as much moisture as I could and hung the skein over the shower head to dry. Every time I passed the bathroom, I had to stop and fondle the yarn. As it dried, it retained it’s fluffy plumpness. Trust me, it’s a yarn you just want to cuddle with.

The finished skein in all its glory

The finished skein in all its glory

I don’t know whether or not I should be surprised that my Merino yarn pulled a “Polwarth Poof” on me. I’ve never spun pure Merino wool before, just blends, so I have no previous knowledge of how Merino behaves. I know that Polwarth fluffs and plumps up when the newly-plied yarn is put in water to set the twist–the famous (among spinners) “Polwarth Poof”–but I didn’t know that Merino behaved in the same manner.

I have yet to decided what to do with this yarn, but it really has to become a garment that is worn next to the skin, a cowl perhaps? Or maybe a shawlette? Who knows. But whatever it becomes, I know it will be soft and beautiful and very special.

Be sure to visit Tami’s FO Friday to see other fabulous finished objects.

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