I recently finished my first real skein of handspun yarn. It has a lot of “issues,” but I like it anyway.
It’s three ounces and about 195 yards, which makes it about the same weight as Cascade 220, more or less. Astonishingly, this is exactly what I was going for.
It didn’t really “bloom” in the washing so much as “explode and then get sort of felty in a weird way.” This despite treating it fairly gently, as these things go.
I used tepid water, no harsh swishing, no sudden temperature changes, and then just hung it to dry without any weights or hitting or kicking it or whatever abuse people heap on their handspun yarn. (My understanding is that this abuse is more necessary in a wheel-spun yarn than yarn spun on a drop spindle.)
This is 100% BFL fiber which I purchased from Weaving Works in Seattle. They have an amazing selection of spinning fibers in bulk. (I’m particularly impressed by their selection of colors in the Corriedale fiber. I didn’t like the fiber itself as much as the BFL, but you could spin your own Noro-style long-color-changes yarn if you were so inclined.)
This particular fiber only cost about $2.50 an ounce, which seemed like an incredible bargain at the time. Although I later discovered that the monotony of spinning that much gray fiber can kinda wear a person down. It’s still pretty nice stuff, though.