I have some ideas about how much fiber to buy to spin for different projects and really early this morning I wrote a little about it on Facebook in response to a comment on a post on Franklin Habit’s page. Then I went back to sleep for a little while. I had written in my comment that it was a blog post and when I woke up I decided today was as good a day as any.
So, here is my answer almost every time someone asks how much fiber they need for a project. Keep in mind that these are generalizations and your mileage may vary depending on if you spin a dense or light yarn. But it’s always nice to have a starting point. And these amounts are for knitting. Crochet might need a titch more and weaving is often a bit lighter than knitting.
4 ounces for socks, a hat, mittens
6-8 ounces for a scarf and sometimes a vest
12 – 16 ounces for a regular hip length stockinette sweater
24 ounces to 2 pounds for a cabled sweater
When in doubt, well even when not in doubt, always buy an extra couple of ounces for sampling. You want enough extra fiber to be able to spin some yarn to get the thickness right and then enough of that yarn to make a finished fabric swatch. Don’t be scared to make samples. And always keep notes with your samples so that you can recreate that yarn.
The above sweater is Tappan Zee by Amy King. The top lace part of the sweater was spun from Merino batts blended by Abby Franquemont and the bottom part and sleeves were spun from Corriedale top dyed by Amy King. The entire sweater weighs about 12 ounces.
This sweater is Hiro designed by Julia Farwell Clay. The sweater is spun from Columbia wool roving from Imperial Stock Ranch. I’m having a hard time finding someone who currently sells it. Anyway, the sweater weighs just under a pound.
I wrote a whole book about sampling. Did you know that? It’s called The Spinner’s Book of Fleece. You can get a signed copy from me or get one from your favorite book store. It’s useful even if you never ever want to spin from raw fleece in your whole life. It’s true.