I've been sampling for the gansey. This Coopworth was beautifully prepped, and it spins like a dream. It's definitely a coarser fiber (I'm not sure of the micron count, but I wouldn't wear this next to my skin), but it will make a great woolly sweater, I think. (The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook says that the typical micron count for Coopworth is in the 30-39 micron count range - that seems about right.)
In spite of the fact that ganseys were traditionally knitted in a tightly-spun 5-ply (at something like 7 stitches to the inch, if I remember correctly), I decided that a three-ply was more realistic. I also rather thought I'd lean towards a less-tightly-spun yarn, given that my very warm husband would like to be able to wear it once in a while, and a coat of woolen armor doesn't work so well down here in SoCal. That said, I also wanted to be sure that my assumptions were correct, so I decided to start with two samples: a woollen-spun three-ply, and a worsted-spun three ply.
Here's the woollen-spun one.
Here's the worsted-spun yarn.
Here's my sample card (sorry for the PhotoBooth photo - it was this or nothing). For each sample, the right-most one is the singles, middle is two-ply, left-most is three-ply; the worsted-spun is on the left, the woollen-spun on the right.
The numbers are rather interesting, too. Both of these yarns came out at 13 wpi (wraps per inch), so between a sport-weight and worsted-weight yarn - exactly what I wanted for this sweater. The stats on the woollen spun yarn (if I did my math right, and if my niddy-noddy really does give me one-yard loops) are as follows. I spun 56 yards, which weigh 19g or 5/8oz. That works out to 1424 yards/lb for the grist of this yarn. The worsted spun yarn came out at 32 yards and 12g or 3/8oz, which works out to 1344 yds/lb.
I'm planning to knit these each into a little sample before making the final call on spinning type, but at the moment I'm leaning towards the woollen-spun yarn for a couple of reasons. First, it's lighter (as I mentioned above), so with luck it'll make a more wearable sweater. Second, it's softer (so again, more wearable). Third, I spin woollen faster than I spin worsted (which means that I might have a chance at finishing this sweater in this lifetime). And finally, looking at that yardage/pound calculation, the woollen spun yarn maximizes what I've got. (It actually just occurred to me this very minute that this gives me a rough estimate of how many yards I should end up with, if I know how much fiber I have by weight! - Yes, I'm slow, hush. - I need to weigh to be sure, but I think I have a titch under two pounds, which puts me at somewhere around, to lowball it, 2500 yards, which should be enough, right?)(Right?)
OK, I couldn't stand it and went to weight it all (I'm home working today with an erstwhile-sick kid), and the verdict is: 39 oz. That's about 3400 yards, right? If so, I'm in like Flynn. (On the other hand, if my math skillz aren't as good as I think they are, it could all be bad. If one of you sees that I'm math challenged, could you let me down gently?)