Sunday, July 12, 2009

Grey Gotland yarn

Do I have any Viking historical reinactors in the house yet?

My most recent hand spun yarn was made from a pound of Gotland wool. I poked around, and found that the Gotland sheep were bred from the primitive Gute sheep. The Gute sheep were the descendants of the sheep that the Vikings brought with them to the Island of Gotland. How cool is that?! ( This is probably as close to an authentic period wool as I've had pass through my hands so far. It has a slight luster to it, and looks ash grey, maybe with a beige undertone depending on the light. (That isn't the full pound in the picture, of course. I snapped that shot when I was almost done spinning.)

Have you seen the "Lord of the Rings" movies? Do you remember those magical Elven cloaks that the characters hid under? Yup. Made of Gotland wool. The Gotland sheep are commonly found these days in Sweden, Norway...and New Zealand. Those cloaks were woven in an undulating twill, from sheep that were descendants of those imported from Sweden to New Zealand about 20 years ago.

Anyway, Tolkien aside,
I really spun this batch up with the Viking reinactor in mind. It is 985 yards of 14 wpi sport weight 2 ply yarn. Though it should knit or crochet or weave up beautifully, I was thinking that it would be a great beginning to a entry into an Arts and Sciences competition for sprang (, or naalbinding ( Those are two fiber arts that I haven't tried my hands at...yet. I have too much on my plate at the moment to learn them, so I'm putting this yarn up in the Etsy shop. But if it doesn't sell by the time that I have learning time, well, this will be MINE. Talk about points for starting with authentic materials! And there is more than enough here to make a decent sized project.

So many projects. So little time. But I want to do it all!!


  1. ooo, yummy yarn! The history is so interesting!

  2. I think I have as much fun chasing down information as I do making things. When I made a Mongolian style felt rug, I think I researched the history for most of a year first!

    There was an article on the Lord of the Rings cloaks in HandWoven magazine a while ago. I think I need to dig out that issue and read it again...

  3. Wow I could never take the time to spin but It looks amazing.

  4. Hi Zethan! Thanks for dropping by. Your Midnight looks like a twin of one of my cats. She came with the rather imaginative name of "Gray".

    I find spinning rather meditative. I either spin locked away in my studio, with music and incense going. Or, I spin while surrounded by people, to give my hands something to do while we gab. A good batch of that grey yarn was done while waiting my turn in a D&D game. :)

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