To start, both yarns are spun very differently - Preseli is a worsted yarn, and Number 2 is woollen. This means that Preseli goes through an entirely different spinning process to Number 2 to create a combed top (this is a collection of long fibres, arranged parallel to each other). This happens by a long process of carding, gilling, combing, and then gilling the fibres again, whereas Number 2 is simply scoured and carded to produce a carded fleece. Both are then spun, skeined, and noddled into the skeins which we send home to you. These different styles of spinning are dictated by the length of the fibres from the sheep’s fleece, and they affect stitch definition and drape.
Next, as a result of the variations in density, the metres per skein are inherently different. Preseli comes as 200 metres per 50g skein, whereas Number 2 is 170 metres for the same weight of yarn. This means that a skein of Preseli will go further than Number 2 but will produce more drapey garments.
As 4ply yarns, both Preseli and Number 2 are the same approximate weight, despite being produced by varying numbers of ends being spun together - Number 2 is 2 ends, and Preseli is 4 ends. for Number 2 this is created by twisting 2 ends of our Number 1 yarn together. For Preseli, we twist together 4 ends of our exclusive Preseli single ply together to achieve the desired weight. As Number 2 is a cross between 4ply and sport weight, it is a little heavier than Preseli but is very similar in weight nonetheless.
In regard to colours, Number 2 is a single breed, undyed yarn, meaning that each skein is made up of the wool of only one breed of sheep. For example, the colour Chalk is made up of 100% Shetland wool, whilst Fossil is 100% Jacob wool. We offer 20 exclusive, breed-specific shades to choose from. On the other end of the spectrum, Preseli is core dyed and comes in 36 beautiful colourways - a dream for colourwork. We’ve developed Preseli using a blend of Polwarth, Romney, and Hebridean wool which are spun and then dyed using a method known as Package Dyeing. This happens by pumping dye liquor (a mixture of hot water and pigment) through the centre of the package of yarn until all of the fibres are dyed and the water runs clear.
When stitched up, Preseli produces the most beautiful drapey garments with stitch definition to dye for (see what we did there…?), whereas Number 2 creates a much more woolly, rustic garment with much softer stitch definition. So whether you’re looking to make the drapiest shawl or a woolly jumper, we’ve got you covered.