A Tale of Two BFL Yarns

For those who don’t know, BFL stands for Bluefaced Leicester, a breed of sheep that looks like this:

Image from the Bluefaced Leicester Union of North America website

Their fleece is known to be especially shiny and lustrous with nice drape, staple length, and strength. Personally, BFL was the first wool that I knit with that wasn’t Merino or a commercial blend of breeds. It was exciting for me to realize how different yarn could be when made up of wool from different breeds.

two BFL yarns

The yarn on top is QED from The (now defunct) Sanguine Gryphon in the colorway Death in Absentia, and the yarn on bottom is BFL Aran from Fleece Artist in the colorway Salt Spray. I decided to use them together in a Here and There hat thinking, how different could they be? They’re both BFL!

Here and There

I was amazed to find that they really feel quite different when working with them. The QED (dark blue) feels much denser, spun as a 5-ply with 1.5 yards per gram in the skein, it is very drapey and has almost a rope-like feel. The Fleece Artist BFL (light blue) seems much lighter and loftier, spun as a 3-ply with 1.6 yards per gram in the skein, it feels much softer in the hand. They are of similar thickness and apparently have similar densities, but they feel markedly different. I almost considered ripping back and having the softer BFL Aran as the main color of the hat instead of the less soft QED.

No, fool!

But Calypso convinced me that was my idea folly and that I should just keep knitting because really, it’s mid-February and hat-wearing time will be drawing to a close soon enough so I should quit waffling and just finish the darn thing already. I just hope I don’t rue my decision with an itchy forehead at some undisclosed time in the future.

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