Monday, 19 November 2012

When is a spinning fibre not a spinning fibre?

Answer when it is dyed by Colinette!

Here I am quoting directly from their web page 'Our rovings are made from 100% merino fibre at 23.5 microns and are just great for all types of felting and spinning projects. Each length is approx 140g in weight and hand dyed to our stunning range of shades. So time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in – no double sided sticky tape needed here though.'

The sticky tape bit, is supposed to be a joke, but it is no joke trying to spin with this fibre.  One thing I must say is that a takes a lot of skill to ruin fine merino - but they have managed it superbly.  I was drawn by the vibrant colours and bought 5 rovings from the Spinning Weal in Clevedon back in July.  Due the Olympics and Paralympics I did not get around to spinning one of the rovings until September - I could not believe that anyone would sell such rubbish.  To get anything that could be drafted I had to tear the fibres apart and you could hear the fibres breaking as you pulled.  Each and every bit had to be pulled apart until it was smaller than pencil roving and then it was still matted.  Thinking that it might be a one off I looked at the other rovings, they are just the same.  Then I did some research on Ravelry - where I found lots of similar reports and I give a sample here:

'the roving was extremely hard to work with, almost felted throughout. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but provided quite a challenge to work though'.

'badest roving I’ve ever spun, many many felted parts, no fun in spinning :('

'There were three felted areas in this roving, causing me to just discard it.'

'I love a lot of the Colinette yarns, so when I saw they also had roving in their webshop for a very good price, I was over the moon! So I ordered six different colours, thinking I couldn’t be dissappointed. I was wrong. I haven’t tried spinning with any of them yet, but I don’t like the look of them at all. I can’t really explain what’s wrong with it, but I don’t think they will spin up nicely, or if they do, I will have to put quite a bit more effort in it than usual. Also they smell very acidy from the dye bath, it was like opening up a bottle of vinegar when I opened the bag.'

'so much color came out when I washed this'

When I showed my 'Jewel' roving to Sarah at the Spinning Weal she said that she was 'only selling them for felting now' - but I was sold them as a spinning fibre and so were a lot of other people - there are 56 stashed on Ravelry all for spinning - a few lucky souls have done so - but these seem to have been early dye lots (mostly 2011 and early 2012) - mine are all dated June 2012 - steer clear!

I have just left a review on 'Jewel' - but I doubt that it will get approval!!!



  1. What a terrible shame. They were the market leaders back in the day, before Indie Dyers really took off. I have one or two of their first modular knitting pattern books, which came in incredibly useful for my spun stuff (same guage).
    Thanks for highlighting this though - will steer clear. Best wishes Shani

  2. Yes, it is a real shame, because people are buying the rovings because of their good name. Also it wouldn't be so bad If they hadn't ignored my compaint and tried to find out what was going wrong.....

    Modular Knitting books - didn't know they did those - thanks!


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