Saturday, July 12, 2014

Double Mini Review!: Little Monkey SNS and Falkland

Falkland is one of those wools that many beginners try out at first, then move on to softer fibers. Falkland is a great utility wool, and can make excellent luxury socks. If you haven't tried it yet, it's a very inexpensive, very common wool, so buy a pound and spin it up! :)

Originally posted on June 25, 2012:

Quick review today. First, I’m going to talk about a fiber artist, then I’ll finish up with a concise chat about Falkland. I bought these super cute mini batts from LittleMonkeySNS:

She makes such inspiring batts, and gave me the inspiration for making authentic gradient batts. Because I didn’t have much per batt (each were about 1/2 ounces), and the colors had the potential to turn to mud, I decided to spin a bulky, soft-spun single. I laid one batt on top of the other, ripped off parallel strips, and drafted both batts together.

The yarn turned out beautifully, and since it’s spun with only just enough spin to keep it together, I managed to get 44 yards of a bulky weight single out of 1 ounce of wool. Not bad, eh? :) I’m thinking that I might just make a swatch of this yarn to see if it gets too muddy. The pink-coral color worries me, since there is a lot of green. I’m feeling more comfortable putting these color opposites into batts and spinning them, but I’m still a little hesitant when it comes to knitting with them.

Now, the Falkland. I really like this wool. It’s soft enough for next-to-skin items, and averages a micron count range of 22-26. Merino can be as fine as 13/15 microns, and as “coarse” as 23 microns, but all of which are appropriate for intimate items (like scarves and cowls, not those other kinds of “intimates” per se!). Falkland follows in as a close second for soft items, and has features that appeal to those who don’t like the bounce and poof of merino (or cormo). Falkland is very lustrous and strong, and though it may not have a fine crimp, it still has an adequate amount of bounce. Here are the samples I made:

Falkland wool can be used as a multi-purpose soft wool, though it won’t have as much durability as medium and coarse wools like romney. Shawls, cowls, scarves, mittens, socks, cuffs, etc. make excellent projects to show off the falkland properties. In terms of sheen, Falkland falls between merino and romney, though closer to the merino side of sheen rather than the romney side. The next wool I want to talk about will be blue-faced leicester, or BFL. It has many qualities similar to Falkland, though it has its own place in the continuum of wools.

Disclaimer: I wanted to point out, again, that these posts aren’t meant to educate people about the history of the wool and sheep or the ultra specific details of how to use it. I just want to show people what I do when I experiment and compare, and provide a list of things that came to my attention. I’m learning more each day I test and experiment, and only through empirical data can I finally come to cogent and well researched opinions about the type of wool to be used for specific projects. Until that day, bear with me as we adventure along in the world of wool.

I’ve got a back log of stuff I wanted to get through this last week and a half, so more posts will be coming later this week. I have more stuff to add to the Etsy shop, so be sure to stop in and give me some love!