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Best roving yarns for 2022

Discover the best roving yarns for your knitting or felting or fibre art in our pick of the 10 best wool roving yarns for 2022

wool roving yarn nutwood

Let us all go a-roving in 2022 and get our roving yarns ready with our spinning wheels to make some gorgeous knitting yarn. Because you won’t be able to knit with roving yarns without an essential piece of kit that most knitters won’t have in their stash – a spinning wheel.

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Actually, you only need a spinning wheel to make roving yarn into knitting yarn, but there are other ways to make more of roving yarn in your craft – especially if you are not afraid of stabbing with very sharp, barbed needles. Roving yarn is the most commonly used form of yarn for decorative needle felting, where the fibres are stabbed and poked with a barbed needle to compress and matt them into different soft felt shapes – find out more in our beginners guide to needle felting. Roving yarn is also used a weaving material for other fibre arts – check out our beginners guide to weaving techniques to learn more. But what is this magical material actually made of?

What is roving yarn?

Roving yarn is more than just adorably fluffy fibres. This natural fibre is commonly wool, but angora rabbit fibres and alpaca fur fibres can also be treated to make them into roving yarn. Really, roving yarn is not yarn at all, but a cleaned and combed natural animal coat that makes a fluffy, unmatted clump that is easy to pull apart, but has the potential to be quickly matted together to make felt or spun to make a tighter form for crafting. Spun with a spinning wheel, roving yarn becomes knitting yarn.

Though knitters may think of wool roving yarn as unprocessed, it is actually 2 stages further along the process line from raw fleece. The first process is to wash and clean raw fleece, removing all the bits of dirt and hay that may have gotten in with the fleece. Then come the combing, where all the fleece fibres are pulled into one direction, and often coloured too, to produce roving yarn. Roving yarn is also called tops yarn in some parts of the world, though tops yarn can also have a further stage of process where the fibres are drawn out into a thinner length ready for spinning. Check out our best felting wool for needle felting to learn more about the processes and treatments different fleeces have to make them work for needle felting.

10 of the best roving yarns to buy

1

Corriedale Cross sheep natural wool roving yarn

wool roving yarn desertbreeze

We do love to see undyed wool roving yarn, and this fleece of Corriedale sheep naturally comes in a soft creamy sand and the more unusual mocha grey pictured here, both available to purchase as roving yarn. Wool from this New Zealand breed is rarely dyed but is favoured instead for the natural colours of the fleece – from silver through to blacks, fawns and reddy-browns. For needle filters, this roving yarn makes a great core wool for quick and easy felted shapes or a strong spinning wool.

Buy this roving yarn from Amazon UK

Buy this roving yarn from Amazon USA

2

Corriedale roving wool in subtle colours

roving yarn nutwood

Keeping with fleece from the New Zealand Corriedale breed, this wool roving yarn from The Nutwood collection has been processed and coloured – all apart from the natural white shade. But the dyes used are subtle, to give a muted, natural finish that would blend in wonderfully with natural fibres and undyed yarns. This roving yarn has had the tops treatment, to pull it into a ribbon about 8cm wide, with a length of about 2m in a 50 g pack.

Buy this roving yarn from The Nutwood Collection on Etsy

3

British breeds wool roving yarn bundle #1

British breeds felting wool bundle numbr 1 - Hawthorn Handmade on Etsy

This bundle of roving yarns contains five natural shades from British breeds of sheep, including Manx Loaghtan (brown), Blue Faced Leicester (oatmeal), Blue Faced Leicester (white), Jacob (dark grey) and Swaledale (light grey). These natural shades are great for adding detail and colour – and with five different breeds in the pack, you’ll get a feeling for which you like best for bigger projects.

Buy this roving yarn from Hawthorne Handmade on Etsy

4

 Pastels wool roving yarn bundle

roving yarn pastelmix

If you want a wide rainbow of colours beyond the naturals shades, Hawthorn Handmade has a huge selection of roving yarn in their Etsy shop – we love this pastels felting wool bundle! This Merino roving wool collection comes in ten beautiful colours: candyfloss (soft pink), catkin (yellow), eggshell (pale pink), lavender (soft purple), mink (warm taupe), peach (pale orange), peppermint (pale green/blue), salmon (deep pink), seal (grey) and teal (green/blue).

Buy this roving yarn bundle from Hawthorn Handmade on Etsy

5

Rainbow merino roving yarn

roving yarn multicolour

Having said we love undyed, natural roving yarns, we are now crazy for colour! Our head has been rather turned by this brilliant rainbow merino wool roving yarn. Carefully felted with a small needle, this could give some great stripes to your needle felting creations, or be spun into a brilliant rainbow yarn for colourful blended knits with depth and different shades.

Buy the roving yarn from Cyberlocks on Amazon

6

Baby alpaca roving yarn bundle

Baby alpaca roving yarn

“Baby” alpaca actually refers to the softness grade – not necessarily the age of the animal. Carded alpaca fibre is one of the most versatile types of roving yarn – it’s naturally soft, non-itchy, silky and lightweight. So it’s a good option for needle felting as the fibres bond together well, but also has a good handle when spinning. Luxury roving yarn from the alpacas!

Buy the roving yarn assortment from UniquelyAlpacaVA on Etsy

7

Merino wool roving yarn tops, pastel selection

roving yarn merino

You get a mix of 9 different 90g bundles of carded merino roving yarn in this value pack from Pure Wool Hut. Some of the yarns have colour blends within them, which gave extra depth when you are needle felting or produce a variegated yarn when the roving wool is spun.

Buy the roving yarn bundle from Pure Wool Hut on Amazon

8

Big box of roving yarn

roving yarn ramlur

Here is a roving yarn that is good pick for the spinners among you as it is great value for money and gives you enough to produce yarn for a small knitted garment or accessory set. No odour, no knots just super-soft roving yarn in a soft red colour.

Buy the roving yarn from Amazon

9

Felter’s palette Merino wool roving yarn

Felters Palette Merino Wool Roving Kit - Divinity Fibers on Etsy

This 19-micron felting wool is super fine, so it’s silky smooth and perfect for adding small details to your needle felted projects, or for spinning into a super-soft yarn that wont itch next to your skin. The fine nature of this felting wool also makes it a good choice for other multimedia projects, such as incorporating it into embroidery pieces, or using for weaving.

Buy the roving yarn assortment from Divinity Fibres on Etsy

10

Light grey Herdwick wool roving yarn

Light grey Herdwick wool roving:tops - The Wool Emporium on Etsy

Herdwick wool is much favoured among the needle felter and spinners and The Wool Emporium over on Etsy have a lovely selection sourced from British sheep, including this beautiful light grey undid natural roving yarn.

Buy the roving yarn from The Wool Emporium on Etsy

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More like the best roving yarns

Check out our other buyers guides, like the best eyelash yarns, best vegan yarns and the best novelty yarns, too. You might also enjoy our best knitting kits roundup, and be sure to check out our free knitting patterns and free crochet patterns while you are here, too.