Hand Spinning & Natural Dyeing - Sarah Matthess

Friday, 17 April 2015

Zwartble's Cherry Cola

This post is about my latest art-yarn which I've called Cherry Cola.  It's spun from a lovely soft lambs wool Zwartble's fleece, and I couldn't resist posting one of the pictures here from Zwartble's Ireland Lovely sheep aren't they? I think they have a knowing look in their eyes.

 There was an AWFUL LOT of spinning in this yarn because it's 4 ply.  I wouldn't normally spin a 4 ply yarn, because of the time it takes, but this yarn evolved that way. 
Here's the picture of the pile of fleeces Judy Maxwell brought me a few weeks ago. She said there were 16. I haven't counted! All I know is I have Zwartble's on the sun-lounge, kitchen, lounge, study and hall way radiators, drying out. I'm still not through either, and the race is on to see who gets the rest of these fleeces, me or the crows, who have been hanging about eyeing them up from the barn roof.
So here we are, the finished article.  This is a smooth spun yarn, and a heavy aran at 6 wraps per inch.  I spun 2 spools of Zwartbles blended on the drum carder with a decent hand full of super-soft jet black suri Alpaca, a dash of red silk, a decent chunk of red-dyed merino, and another chunk of Northern Ireland Romney lambs wool dyed with madder root.  Into those 2 spools I incorporated the cherry red embroidery floss here and there for a bit of sparkle.
Next I spun 2 spools of 100% suri Alpaca. Slippery stuff, and it takes ages as it was spun very finely. To start with I thought I would just incorporate 1 strand but then decided it needed more, so I plied it, and THEN that was spun with the 2 other spools, to make a 4 ply yarn. Over all, very soft indeed, and a very dark luxurious yarn, lovely to handle.

Check it out on
I've also added to this posting, the photos below of Zwartble's fibre, which I blended with bamboo, metallic silver thread and some soft Northern Ireland grown Romney fleece dyed with acorns that I gathered at Gosford Forest Park, Co. Armagh.  These are also up for sale on Etsy, where you will find more info about them.
I spun this fibre to create a 2 ply yarn, and wove at around 10 ends per inch in plain weave.

Each bow is hand-assembled, with beads.

One of a kind!

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