I was just about to write a post about my next swatch for the swatchalong when I realized I never did remember post 2 for the Manx Loaghtan Swatch, so I'm writing that instead, and will hopefully do some more writing next week to overcome a bit of a backlog in blogging plans.
So, here is my finished Manx Loaghtan swatch!
The finished swatch was not very drapey, and was nice enough but a little rough yet, at least in the Garter stitch areas. The Stocking stitch areas feel a bit, well, nicer. Washing the swatch really improved the drape. Following the directions set out for this swatchalong, the next bit was the test-drive, where we're to pin the swatch into our clothing and assess how it wears and how it feels. I started by pinning the swatch into the waistband of my jeans and heading off to IKEA. I only noticed it immediately after pinning it in while I was busy thinking about it, then mostly forgot about it after for most of the day. I latter tried pinning it to the inside of my sleeve; it was a bit more prickly here, and I noticed it occasionally, but it was mostly fine.
Next, I washed the swatch again, let it dry again (took less than a day; one of the advantages of how dry the air starts to get this time of year). A slight halo started to make an appearance, and I'd say the fabric was now somewhat more cohesive. I wore the swatch inside my sock most of the day, where I pretty much forgot about it. I do find that it doesn’t take much for me to find a sock too itchy to wear, so the Manx Loaghtan passed that particular test with flying colours!
So, overall, the swatch seems decently hard-wearing, and had no pilling so far, had good drape, fairly stretchy, and features a warm and soft-but-woolly feel; just fine for next to skin in most cases (depending on how sensitive your skin is and where). I think this yarn would hold up quite decently for a variety of uses, though I would advocate knitting rather more tightly for something like socks or mittens. At the gauge I have knit the swatch, it could certainly be used for a light sweater, hat, or even a scarf (though I find it a touch prickly against the neck, but others might not). Certainly someone with more experience in spinning could spin this yarn for a softer feel or a less-soft-but-more-hardwearing quality, so the fiber experience would vary depending on the individual fleece, and actual yarn construction.
I'm eager to try Manx Loaghtan again someday!