Wovember words: Breed swatch-along – the feel of the ball of wool

Louise is here with some fabulously descriptive words from the Breed swatch-along. 

I am just loving the Breed Swatch-along and really enjoying watching how everyone taking part is exploring wool is a slightly new and different way. Of course, one of the main reasons I wanted to host the Swatch-along was to get people thinking beyond words like scratchy and rough and challenge them to chose words carefully to describe the feel of the ball of yarn and of the knitted fabric.

I have been reading the swatch-in-progress notes (SWIPs) and looking at the finished items and there is such a lot of great describing words. I wanted to share these with you and today I want to focus on the words for the feel of the ball of wool.

| What does the wool in the ball feel like?

Mazknitter’s Foula Wool: Soft, much smoother than I would have expected for a Shetland wool.

Weejo’s Grey Troender wool: rough, crisp, hairy, firm when squished, but is slightly airy. Very sheepy smell – I love it!

weejo’s Grey Troender swatch


PinkPeking’s Soay wool: light, airy, fuzzy and crisp

Needleandspindle’s Corriedale wool: The yarn feels firm and robust but bouncy.

needleandspindle’s corriedale swatch

Isla111’s Romney wool : Soft, silky, firm (firm might not be the right word), really visible twist, lustrous.

Isla111’s Romney swatch.


Montymouse’s Torddu wool : rustic and slightly coarse but on the other hand it also feels like it is going to be durable and warm.

Montymouse’s Torrdu badger face swatch


After the squishing of the yarn ball we move on to knit and feel the fabric once it has been washed, blocked and worn – we shall look at those words another day!


Click on the images for project information. All images belong to the knitters as stated.

This entry was posted by louisescollay.

7 thoughts on “Wovember words: Breed swatch-along – the feel of the ball of wool

  1. Very interesting 🙂 could you guys share links on where we can buy these different varieties of yarn? Like where do the ones used here come from? Which farm? Which shop? Where ??
    It’s nice to show us the wool, but where can we get it!! 🙂

    • Hi there if you click on the images you will be taken to the individual project pages where the knitter may have recorded where the yarn came from or was purchased. The knitters made their own wool choices. Hopefully you will find a good balance of stockist information and all of the other ways we can appreciate wool here on Wovember. We also have a small producer link menu on the right hand side of this post too.

  2. Just written up my swatch up today – will post in the morning when there’s light for photos. I’ve found the words a real a challenge. I know part of that’s because I’m picky about words, but I do wonder if people will read what I mean or interpret my meaning differently. Great selection of words in the post 🙂

  3. Well, that was a thrill for the kids and I over the breakfast table to see my Australian Wilanjie Corridale swatch amongst these lovely British breeds! The Swatch Along was so much more of a challenge than I had initially thought. It requires a descriptive vocabulary to attend to a way of perceiving knowledge (through touch) that we are not very used to articulating. I felt like a small child trying to describe emotions beyond sad, angry and happy, struggling with the right words to convey sensory knowledge. Having just read Clara Parkes post on wool words, I can see this is a skill, just like developing emotional language, that the more I attend to it, the more attuned and descriptive my observations can become. This is such an innovative Craft Along. Brava!

    • The good thing is, Susan, that the Breed Swatch-along is all about discovering the wool that is available locally in your area/region/state/country. You don’t have to knit British. Lots of people are knitting local and that is incredible! Wool explorers!

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