mystery yarn

My Nanna spent the last few years of her life in a retirement hostel.  Her short-term memory wasn’t so flash.  At some stage she bought some unlabelled yarn and stashed it away in a cupboard (she had been an avid knitter).  My Mum eventually came across this yarn that Nanna no longer remembered buying, and it moved from Nanna’s stash into hers, and then years later into mine.

Nanna's mystery yarn

There was 600g of what seems to be around 10 to 12 ply yarn. It looks and feels as though it has been hand-dyed, and potentially even hand-spun. I am guessing that it is wool with some alpaca, but there could be something acrylic in there too. A friend and I did a burn test:

the burn test

At first the it just blackened in the flame, but with a little determination it did burst into flame, but quickly then went out again, leaving that little shrunken ball behind. I’d love some input from anyone experienced in doing this type of thing! Anyway, I’ve almost used it all up now, crocheting a Joplin Vest. Photos of the finished vest to come later in the week – once the ends are woven in.

Nanna's mystery yarn


6 thoughts on “mystery yarn

  1. Does the ball crush or is it hard…. and did the smoke smell like anything? (Burnt paper smell means it’s cellulosic (plant-based), burnt chicken smell means acrylic…. that sort of thing…).

    Like you – I’m thinking wool-blend, but the smell and the residue are key in identifying fibres…. although, it’s been a while since I brushed up on burn-tests…. :/

  2. I’m thinking the little ball on the end means there is some type of synthetic in there that has melted with the heat. If it’s hard like Nikki said then synthetic for sure. I used to melt the ends of my macrame cords and they’d look like that.

    Try wet blocking it and see what happens.

  3. Wool when burnt smells like burnt hair and because it didn’t flare up and burn quickly it is probably wool, but certainly doesn’t look like hand spun wool.
    Synthetic when burnt melts like plastic and often drops off in blobs.

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