Spinning Tuesdays: Help Me Choose What to Spin Next

Fall has hit in full force here in Michigan, and with it that burst of crafting need that I love!

I want to do a quick to spin, quick to knit project, but I can’t quite choose what fiber. Want to help?

My project idea is a super bulky (2 or less stitches to the inch) cowl knit in a texture stitch – cables or even just moss. I also want to use some of my fabulous vintage coat buttons – huge and mismatchy.

Here are my fiber contenders:

Clockwise from left: Merino cross, Targhee, Merino

All of them will act differently. The Merino cross (I think it’s crossed with a bit of Corriedale) has bit more sturdiness than merino, as a 2-ply will still have stitch definition and will be soft.

The Targhee is spongy, has body, is less soft than 100% Merino, but still very skin-worthy, as a 2-ply will have stitch definition and will puff up like Jiffy Pop.

The Merino is Calgon-take-me-away soft, but would give flaccid texture as a two ply and may not stand up to the big buttons. To make it work I would do a 3-ply with extra ply twist.

Which should I use? Pass your judgement in the comments!

You’re going to say you want to see them all sampled down to the knitting. I see how you are.


Hat needs continue at my house. Henry (who’s 9) has weighed in.

Here’s the fiber he chose for his hat:

Imperial Stock Ranch Columbia roving

Tomato soup red Columbia roving from Imperial Stock Ranch. I’m thinking an Aran weight 2-ply. Have any of you spun this? Tips?


Have you listened to episode #35 of the SpinDoctor podcast yet? Lots of spinning chat and I review Woolgatherings fiber.


What does the fall have you spinning?

(542 Posts)

Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

23 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: Help Me Choose What to Spin Next

  1. Juliann

    I agree-Targhee! I am knitting a semi-worsted Targhee from a friend’s sheep. It is wonderful. She had it processed at a mill, and it is great to knit with. Not scratchy at all-holds it shape, and is great to knit with.

  2. Seanna Lea

    I’d pick the targhee. I don’t spin, but just reading how you’ve written about them you are edging away from the pure merino. Also with the gorgeous color of the targhee that will help drive you to finish super quick!

  3. EmEm

    I think the merino would go well with vintage buttons. Maybe you can show us the spun fibers and a few selected buttons. Can’t wait to see the Columbia Roving spun and knit. Wish I had your stash!

  4. Deborah C.

    Definitely the targhee – it will stand up to the buttons, and it will have the stitch definition you want for moss stitch. Also, since it can be a two-ply instead of a three-ply, it will take less time, since you say you want a quick-to-spin project.

  5. Carrie Armbrecht

    I agree with the targhee. This past weekend I picked up 3 different breeds that I haven’t spun before (Falkland, English Sheltland & Polwarth) while visiting the Wisconsin Sheep & Fiber Festival. I also got some corridale (nice color and price). Just like you, Now I have to figure out which one will be the lucky one.

  6. Kim

    Targhee! I just spun up four ounces and it’s wonderfully springy and soft. Merino gets a bit frustrating for me to spin sometimes.

  7. Lori

    I would go for the targhee myself. As for fall spinning, I am itching to get back to working on big soft woolen yarns. I watched “Big and Lofty Yarns” earlier this summer and spun a blue ribbon winning hank on the first try. ADD spinner that I am I also have some yak that I want to spin and am trying to teach myself to spin cotton (short fibers, way cheaper than yak) before I try it.

  8. Michelle

    For your first request, Try a sample using all three in a three ply. On the second request, I have always preferred Columbia wool soft woolen-spun as a three-ply.

  9. Cathy wright

    I really love the shades in that deep blue/purple merino, I think those colours would be a joy to spin as they tease out. I’d spin it incredibly thinly and knit it into a lacy autumn scarf and wear it with black.

  10. blogless grace

    Love the Targhee for the color but I think the lavender merino would be more fun feeling to spin.

    Good luck!

  11. The Knitting Apprentice

    Fall really hit in the thumb in the mitten! Wow – 40 degrees at night and a high near 60 degrees! It’s not Fall until October! I need a few more warm days!

Comments are closed.