I think I was avoiding my oldest work in progress (the daisy square afghan), by way of, starting another project from deep stash.
My husband gifted me a drum carder and raw merino fleece the first Xmas after I started spinning. I was only spinning a couple months by this time and had no experience with raw fleece. I was so lucky that I didn’t felt/over scour/ruin the fleece during the washing process. After washing, I tried spinning and koolaid dyeing a few skeins but several pounds went into stash. And there it waited.
In my avoidance of the WIPs I already have going (daisy afghan, viajante, socks etc) and should be doing I went to my stash.. just window shopping, really. I came across one of several bags of this merino fleece.
This fleece is just gorgeous. Incredibly soft, from a coated sheep, crimp to sing about, and bright white. (Many of the pictures have a yellow cast from the lightbulb, but it’s a true white)
I’ve had this fleece for years. I really wanted to try spinning a textured single that would show off that crimp. It’s such a good thing I had stashed this fleece long enough to learn Laura Spinner’s magic thumb technique.Magic thumb video
That technique is so cool for long locks but it also works for fine wool.
Specifically, magic thumb is able to save lock structure and crimp like no other. It made this airy woolen coreless corespun. Keeping the crimp throughout the yarn was important to me.
It’s those curls I wanted to save in spinning the yarn and hopefully try to keep in a finished project.
I would grab a handful of the clean locks, and lightly hand pick and spin magic thumb. I had spun 3 skeins when I thought how awesome a blanket would be. That was the plan when I warped the loom.
Hahahaha. That’s too funny! I settled for a shawl since a blanket might take another 20years. But initially, the grand idea was making several strips that would be whip stitched together for a blanket. I started spinning the yarn on May 22,2016 and pulled the finished piece from the loom on June 4, 2016.
The loom was warped with 2 skeins of a white commercial yarn, made of, 50% alpaca, 25% merino, 25% silk. Since the weft was bulky, I warped every other slot. This being only the second attempt weaving, I wasn’t sure how this would work out, but gauge works the same in weaving, as it does with knitting and crochet. I wanted a fabric that was soft and drapey vs something stiff and able to stand upright by itself.
I wouldn’t have had enough yarn to warp had I gone every slot, so every other slot worked perfectly.
Pulling little puffs of the weft through the warp threads that had my favorite crimpy bits I wanted to show, as I went. Trying to keep things loose, airy, drapey, by not beating too aggressively.
The crimp I love was being maintained. The edges stayed relatively even. Puffs happened on both sides (front and back) equally.
With all the white, the curls and crimpy texture was the fun part of this yarn. I’m surprised I was able to power through and not get bored with all the white. When I look at all the progress photos they all look the same. I can struggle to get through a project that is all the same blah color.
I went through the handspun pretty quickly, and would stop weaving to spin a couple more skeins.
It is unreal to me how much yarn weaving takes up so quickly. I warped the loom on May 29. This shawl is 2feet by 6ft and used over 10skeins of yarn.
This has me thinking about future projects and really needing to be sure that I have enough to get through a project.
By the end I had started weaving much tighter in comparison to the looseness in the beginning. This is ok by me, as it is able to slide around to even out. But I can’t really tell. My husband pointed it out to me.
I tried a “new to me” way to end this project. Instead of a Damascus edge, I used hemstitching.
I much prefer hemstitching. This method is much easier for me. It’s easier because it’s still held tightly in place on the loom. Whereas, the other method I tried, it had to be cut first and then tied. As soon as it’s cut its floppy and moving around. I am really interested in all the different ways the ends can be done.
I also prefer the way this looks compared to the Damascus edge or the grouped tie off. This gives that little design element for a cute edge.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It would be pretty cool to have a blanket like this. I just don’t think it would get finished.
For my first sheep to shawl I think it turned out really nice.
It does feel like an accomplishment to take raw wool and process it, spin it, then weave it. Weaving is so easy and so fast compared to my knitting/crochet it almost feels like I’m cheating.
My husband said he really likes the way the loom looks when it’s all warped up with a project on it. I have to agree it looks almost like a musical instrument.
I posted awhile ago about my experience having tried the new Namaste Farms Dirty Bastard wool shampoo line and all I did was type about the results, let me give you the picture, since a picture speaks a thousand words.
My very very first try turned out like this…
You can see how little product was used, how little water during actual shampoo washing, and I rinsed with luke warm water.
My process was exactly this-
-Rinsed locks in Luke warm water to wet them down,
-added to a bag with a quarter teaspoon of product,
-massaged product in, let sit for 10 minutes, you see what’s left in the bag…
-Then in a colander I rinsed. Again, using luke warm water, rinse, gentle squeeze, turn over, rinse, squeeze, turn repeat until product is out and I had perfect locks after.
Having processed fleece before, this was shocking results and again went against everything I worried about before.
This is a total change from the old way and a welcome one.
With this product, I never used soaks in gallons of water, I didn’t use high scalding water temps. It wasn’t several moves from one bucket to the next. It’s a totally different method then we are used to. Change is so welcome in this instance I was instantly in love and begging for more…
After a long wait, there is finally some up for preorder!!
The wash and dye which was what I used in this. The locks pictured above were from a low lanolin teeswater.
They were gorgeous. The outcome truly took 15 minutes and was easy and the results were shocking.
The second item up for preorder is/will be a clarifying shampoo, for dirtier, high lanolin fleeces.
This has been a long time coming and the fiber world is in for an absolute treat. And the first, public round, preorder is up.
Read the science behind it and more. Currently, Namaste Farms only offers the unscented at this time, due to so many people, having smell sensitivity issues. Although on her BlogTalk, has mentioned having essential oils that can be added to the product. I just love this idea, and hope it becomes available soon. To have the option to keep it unscented, or have the option to choose a fragrance you love and to add as little, or as much fragrance to the batch as you are comfortable with. This is another idea NamasteFarms has dawned and I absolutely love.
Her fiber always smells so good lol I hope she offers an essential oil called “Nats house”. Seriously, another amazing reason to get her wool shampoo line. Even though, this item (essential oil fragrance) is not yet available on her website, it’s something that we can look forward to .
Get your pre order, it’s going quick the product is limited so get it while you can.
You can sign up for email alerts about news of new products and not miss out.
Get some before she runs out.
Available in 16oz and 1 gallon bottles.
$16 for a 16oz bottle preorder to try it out, is cheap look how little I needed for my locks, the first try.
See what I mean, for yourself. There really isn’t another item to compare it to. It is a wool washing advancement, unlike anything out there, hence the name wool shampoo. With Dirty Bastard, You wash the wool the same way they wash your hair at a salon. It’s fast, easy, and saves water, and is undeniably rewarding you with gorgeous fiber.
More to come when I get my bottle I’ve been holding off washing waiting on this.
I hope people will share their experience. Lol it’s excited cuz processing a fleece is not exactly an easy task til now… Hopefully this will make people less scared to wash/process a fleece the first time.
Yet Another, scrapbox from Namaste Farms, so what keeps bringing me back to spinning the same thing over and over again? That’s just it, it’s never the same! Each scrapbox brings me something new to taste test, whether it’s a new fiber, add in, or technique (taught via livestream tutorial that is sometimes offered with the scrapbox purchase)…I am addicted. Too much of a good thing doesn’t exist where fiber is concerned, and these Scrapboxes, are a healthy dose of just that!!!
Prior to lock spinning and NF scrapboxes, my all time favorite was polworth commercial top. (I still love polworth)
That was out of merino, BFL, and polworth that I had tried, to that point. There’s just so much more to experience in spinning!!
Over the years, opening my palette, I’m finding I love other wool preps and fiber blends so much more! Years of spinning and I’m still only scratching the surface. A scrapbox keeps it fresh, inspiring, and fascinating because I experience another first, everytime.
My blog is transparent, I’m a scrapbox fiend, that’s pretty clear. But I learn more of what I like to spin everytime I treadle one of these onto my bobbin. (I want to spin a little bit of everything, I want to try it all) Each fiber has a quality that makes it beautiful and these scrapboxes let me experience more fibers, treats, techniques etc, all at once. So yes, I’m on a scrapbox kick because I get a lesson and experience in each one, not to mention… The way it’s dyed, the colors!!
*swoooooon* there is nothing like beautiful color on fiber.
The color is what sucks me in, and then every discovery after, is bonus. I love when there is more then one color in the lock staple. I love when the tip is darker, or lighter or a completely different color then the rest of the lock.
Ive moved twice in the last 3 months, I might add, these are great during a move. When you need to spin, but your stash is packed. Order up one of these puppies and you are ready to go. Everything included for a fun and fulfilling spin.
I ordered some extra Angelina, in different colors, during a purchase from namaste farms. That is the only extra, I added to this kit. I didn’t need it, as this box came with a bunch of novelty add ins, but why not? I love sparkle.
The Mink box, is dyed in neutral or natural colors. The taupe is worthy of special mention, it’s amazing. At first glance, you think it looks gray, until you have it next to gray, and then you see it’s not gray at all, but truly taupe. It’s gorgeous.
The taupe locks are dyed on an exmoor/merino cross bred fleece, so they have a soft sproingy crimp, with a curly tip. A new breed and fleece type for me. Really really cool wool!! A must try!
In addition to the color taupe, this box came with, fibers in all natural shades from light to dark. The taupe, actually, was originally a white fleece. It’s amazing for how natural all these colors look, they were dyed to be this way. This box came with colors from light gray, deep steel gray, cream, tan, beige, lighter medium browns to rich dark chocolate browns, some that seem to look black but in the sun, will show more depth and reveal other colors like deep mahogany. The tints of color, all mesh and put together make a gorgeous yarn. They look so natural to have been dyed. I think the steel gray mohair, was the original fleece color, but again, having been dyed so expertly, it’s hard to decipher in this scrapbox what is dyed vs originally grown that way on the animal.
The add ins were several different novelty yarns and threads.
Three different colors of especially soft eyelash yarn, the good stuff, high end. Another was a golden train track or ladder novelty yarn. Now I say yarn, but it’s not what one would think of as a traditional yarn, more like novelty ribbon. It’s special, whatever it is. Several different threads in all neutral colors, matching the dyed fibers found in the scrapbox. All different (neutral/natural) tones and textures. A gray fuzzy halo thread, and a smooth brown with a little golden metallic sparkle.
One of my favorites, was the Habu textile thread in chocolate brown that appeared to have what looks like fat, soft furry caterpillars crawling across every few inches.
There were, well over, ten different add in threads, that came with the fiber. Each thread came in one long length, but I chose to cut them in shorter lengths for my purpose of use. Adding a touch here and there
Spinning goodies ranged from mohair, to long wools, to medium and fine wools. All variety of different fibers that inspire, with the many different staple lengths and textures. From crimpy, soft, fluffy and sproingy to light reflecting luster with ringlet curls, silky smooth to the touch, all in beautiful neutral shades.
As mentioned earlier, some of namaste farms scrapbox purchases come with a livestream tutorial. Prior to spinning Mink, I had the chance to watch one of these Livestream tutorials, held by Natalie Redding.(a lucky replacement for a namaste farms blogtalk one evening)
In this livestream episode, she shows several different techniques, while spinning the kits contents. Since she does this live, viewers can ask any questions, or request to “please show that again”, or “what ifs”, or “how would I”?
Anything really. These live tutorial spinning sessions are invaluable.
To quote Natalie, she knows how to spin “a balanced, light, lofty single.” And let me tell you, she does it well. Many many hours, many many skeins of practice makes perfect.
She referred to herself as a “one trick pony” spinner, as this, light lofty single, is the yarn she spins. With respect, I fervently disagree with this sentiment. With regards to Natalie’s spinning, this couldn’t be further from the truth, she is no “one trick pony”!!!
You won’t see MORE ways to spin a single ANYWHERE ELSE…
She shows more ways to
-spin a single,
-style a single,
-add something to a single
-all the while, keeping it stable, balanced, and freaking awesome.
Natalie demonstrates techniques that are unique and priceless. Sharing her proprietary knowledge, thereby, adding inspiration and tools to my own spinning repertoire. She is an intuitive spinner and is able to translate how she gets from point A, to point B, clearly. She is an excellent teacher. It is very difficult to spin a thick yarn, that’s light and airy. Even more difficult, is to keep it a low twist single, without it falling apart. If you have the chance to see and touch her yarn in person, it’s incredible. I got this chance in her booth at Lambtown 2014 held in Dixon, Ca. Photos of her yarn are incredible, but in person, you can feel the stability and just how weightless it is, it just boggles the mind. Seeing a bunch of her handspun skeins together, I realize how many options there are to spin a single. She is constantly formulating something new and different, forever changing and adding options available to a spinner. It never gets old.
I’m enthralled by the skills and amount of new content I learn. The above link is one of many recorded past spinning sessions. She always has new techniques and a new style yarn. Recent spin sessions, show several different techniques while spinning a single. On her livestream channel, one can find older posts where she has plied skein sessions, and even sheep to finished project. She shares many proprietary techniques exclusive to her. I feel very very lucky to have her share so openly, to help other spinners like myself.
A few examples of tips and tricks, would be, how to add a small puff of very short stapled fiber, and secure it to the single, by taking just a few long stapled fibers of longwool and essentially plying over those short bits locking everything in place. Brilliant!
Adding plied strength to a single where it otherwise may have been weakened! That was huuuuge for me. Major a-ha moment!
She’s shown several things to do with add in threads, like tucking one side in making it in invisible and allowing the other half to fly freely, much like a long lock. Or another technique, allowing the addin to auto wrap and hide both sides of the string within the fiber.
Another technique that blew my mind was how to lock “something” in (a curl, a long lock, or how to spin a lock of fiber, the cut end in the single without a trace but leave out the perfect curled tip she wants to show) with a tug of fiber up toward the “something”she wanted secure, sometimes wrapping the tugged bit with fiber, sometimes leaving it as is, depending on the outcome she was aiming for. These techniques were just a few she shared and I have never seen them before anywhere. Because Natalie is an intuitive spinner, she spins fast, but when teaching, is able to slow it down significantly while giving a detailed, step by step, explanation of exactly what she is doing.
After watching this I was excited. I got to spinning straight away. This yarn is the coolest Ive made.
It’s natural colors are subtle, but all the add ins, autowraps, different fibers, textures, techniques, sparkles, etc etc etc I mean,
This handspun has so many elements of interest… It’s a special skein and one that I am really proud of. With so many things going on in this yarn, the natural colors of the dyed fiber tone it down, and it works. It’s wildly complex but sophisticated. I’m still learning color, I love me some bright rainbows, neon aqua and hot peach, but my wardrobe shows I’m a fan of plain black and white,of blue jeans. So to make a neutral yarn with this much fun going on, it kinda blew my mind. This is the styling of a yarn, I’m talking about, that I didn’t know played a part.
I can’t recommend enough, to watch, Namaste Farms tutorials.
Coming up, she is also doing spin in labs/ classes with http://www.fiberygoodness.com hosted by Spin Artiste creator – Arlene Thayer and Woolwench – Suzy Brown.
Check the fiberygoodness website for further information on all the spinning inspiration and classes they offer. The gallery of handspun made by students is motivational eye candy.
I’ve signed up for one of the fibery goodness labs by on November 19 with Namaste Farms. I barely got in, as these classes sold out In minutes for months in advance. Keep an eye out for more!
Awww I love spinning… I imagine how impressed our ancestors over thousands of years would be, to see what we are making today… Spinning is such an intricate art, as is the wool that is grown today. Animal husbandry is an artform. The constant quest for perfection over centuries, to bring the best fiber, to hand spinners and the textile industry. Especially, with the latest in AI science, and the ability to bring the best genetics from across the globe. We are so fortunate to be spinners today. The progress is monumental and something to be revered. The hard work of our shepherds and shepherdess’s to bring about such a superior product is truly an art in itself. This isn’t nearly as recognized as it should be. This is where spinning begins, and our handspun art as spinners, is made possible. I appreciate them and all their efforts to bring nothing but the best fiber. I love to grab a handful of dyed locks and just play. I could do this for hours… And I do,
as often as I can.
Everytime I spin something new, I will make a handspun adventure post. Some posts will be “an edition” as they are part of a certain collection, or from the same vendor, or same prep, or maybe a club. When I find something I adore, I’ve ended up collecting quite a few. To give examples of said collections, there will be Namaste Farms Scrapbox Editions, Loop! bullseye bump editions, Corgihill Farms editions, Beesybee’s Bfl/seacell edition (I have a thing for the seacell and properties of fiber made of seaweed-which of course I will expand on in that post) etc etc.
Handspun adventures are just that, my experience, the fibers used (if I know, sometimes, it’s a complete mystery), the fibers prep. The method it was spun, to achieve desired effect.
If it’s a longterm project, such as spinning a fleece for a sweater, these will all fall under handspun adventures, but to help clear things up, I will add “the edition”, as well as, the date.
My newest “handspun adventure” was, I recently moved, and my nicely put away stash, was revealed to me. I’ve amassed quite the amount. I insisted it be the last thing to be packed and leave, and the first thing to be unpacked at the new destination. I drove my spinning wheels one at a time, they always called “shotgun” and were given special treatment, as any life-force needing protection would in my car.
Lol. Remember, these wheels get named. I love my stash dearly, so naturally, I would not let anyone else “haul” it to the new location, except myself.
I was heckled a little bit. I was asked, “was I afraid they’d break my wool?”
What can I say, the stash told me it wanted to ride with me. Don’t take it personal. So, that is exactly what happened, I packed, hauled and unloaded my stash and fiber tools with the utmost care, and made damn sure, none of my wool “was broken” in the move. It did however, make me acutely aware of how much stash I have. And umm, it’s definitely not all up in ravelry. It’s more than I expected, I will say this though…. The hidden stash, or rather, the stash that wasn’t where the normal stash was…. Well, It fit in, where the rest of the stash was, no need for hidden stash locations and guess what.. There is still more room… Hee hee, that’s right, so I can tell you, I know I will get more, there is no denying it. Being I have space yet to be filled. Awesome, awesome news, for any fiberholic.
I would love to thank Judith Mackenzie McCuin for her tip on storing fleece in 5gallon buckets. Such an awesome tip!
Most of all, I’d love to thank my husband. He has a hobby as well… Music. Which he has quite the stash of his own, several guitars (a hundred million guitar picks), a few bass guitars, drums, electric keyboard, pedals, beat machine, recording unit thing. Whatever… I totally get it!! The understanding why he needs 4 plus guitars, even though he can only play one at a time.? I soooo get it. They each have a different purpose, so he doesn’t question why I need several different wheels and spindles, fiber tools, fibers, they do different things. I’m fortunate he has a passion, much like myself. He built me handspun and bobbin wall display/holders. That happened to clear up a lot of fiber stash storage. Allowing me to store resting/waiting bobbins, and to display finished handspun, probably clearing up the most space in my stash storage.
Its a a perfect match. Him and I and our passion for our hobbies. Music and fiber are a match made in heaven. Everything was moved safely, and we are making the most of our new home and the space we have. Although, this handspun adventure was of a different kind, it was an experience that needed to be documented.
Very soon I will be posting another handspun adventure… Of the edition kind. My first Scrapbox.
Wool nepps a tutorial, well, a curly wool nepp. It’s a start, and just my style, easy and cute
I have searched the web far and wide about how to make wool nepps on my own. I’ve seen, where to but them how to use them, but…
I can’t seem to find a tutorial, on how to make my own wool nepps. So after my hydrogen peroxide trial went so well, it gave me an idea for another experiment.
Wool nepps are considered a by product, waste, second cuts. Naturally, the fiber folks are smart people and took those little bits of waste and made them a fun add in. I think where fiber is concerned, we find ways to ascertain nothing is wasted. Again, everything has it’s place, and these nepps become these cute, tiny wool sprinkles, by dying them bright colors, and adding to artisan batts or yarns. Maybe needle felt eyes on a toy, etc,… No waste!!
I had washed a fleece, it was clean but a few locks had the tips stuck together by dirt. This time, I was undeniably, too lazy to wait for locks to take a swim in the hydrogen peroxide, and then dry. Instead, I decided to clip the dirty tip off as I spun, instantly opening up the lock for spinning. Fibers are all aligned in these locks, since they are grown side by side. That dirty tip being clipped off and gone, the lock opens up instantly, without any flicking, and ready for instant, top-like spinning.
I started saving my clipped tip pieces in a tub and once I had a good amount, I thought these, yes, these could be nepps.
The picture shows my little clipped lock tips next to the bright white lock it was clipped from, for reference. They were dirty, and unwelcome in my white yarn. We know how to clean these clippings effortlessly, no problem, with that hydrogen peroxide soak.
First things first, I plopped them into my hydrogen peroxide to melt off the dirt as I learned(see earlier blog here)
and let the magic happen, after the 24 hours were up…
I emptied the container and rinsed my little pieces of wool, in some room temp/cool water, and set them on the rack to dry.
They turned out to be mini curls, little white tips and I must say, I think they are cute as ever, not the nepp ball I’m used to seeing but an awesome add in, so next up, a quick dye job, when dying other fleece . No extra steps to dye when I’m already doing a batch of dying something and BAM!
I have a new add in that otherwise would have been waste, it doesn’t look exactly like a nepp ball, but I must say, just as cute, if not cuter, then the usual round balls on the market.
I adore the little curl.
Next time you are spinning by the lock, if you don’t want to wait for the hydrogen peroxide method, maybe try clipping that tip off, and saving them until you have a good amount, do the easy soak, rinse, dry, and dye (unless white is good for the project, leave as is)
This is as close to a nepp as I got with minimal, very minimal work. It actually, saved time snipping the lock tip as I spun and saving up my dirty tips for future nepps, I gotta say I’m pretty pleased with myself. The hydrogen peroxide bath really isn’t work. Not quite the nepp balls that can be bought, but tiny sprinkled curls, still cute.
I bet I could run them through the dryer wet and have balls, but that’s more work then I want to put into my nepps, however, I have to say I really do like the curls I got. Although, I suspect, results will vary depending on fleece type, and how fine/coarse curly/crimpy the fiber is you try this with. All in all, should I end up with dirty tips from any fleece, they will now be trimmed for future nepp styles, colors, really the possibilities are endless…
I suppose I will have to show them in an art batt or maybe even some finished handspun! 🙂
what do you think? Will you ever give this a try? Make your own wool nepps and save a little wool, that’d otherwise be trashed.
Natalie Redding of Namaste Farms, sent me samples of her new products along with some ruined wool/mohair samples to try it on the worst of the worst. It fixed everything, and made it even better. This stuff is so amazing, be excited people, be very excited.
My blurb on her Facebook page was this:
“Seriously, Natalie has the most brilliant game changer for fleece and fiber, there is no competitor for this product, Dirty Bastard and wool shampoo is so out of their competitors league, it’s not even the same game. It really isn’t like anything else on the market it works that awesome.”
This fleece shit is so bizarre and unreal in an amazing exciting way it’s hard to not sound fan girl about it. And I am so humbled and honored, I can’t even express. It’s only the first test run, so there are some fixes to make, with notes already back to the Research and Development team, but considering where it’s at already, I am more than stoked!
This stuff is no joke. We are so lucky to have Natalie, she has experimented and shown us different techniques exclusive to her. And now this…
Whenever it is possible, you will want to buy it, get your pre order, however it comes, let me tell you, it will sell out as fast as her fiber does!
You won’t believe it, I’ve seen it do it’s magic and I’m still completely baffled. I am excited beyond words the old way of washing fleece is finely going to change in a big way. This can’t come soon enough!!!
Last night on Namaste Farms Blog Talk Radio show, Natalie and Kimberly, the shows hilarious duo, discuss Namaste Farms latest products, one of them, aptly named, DIRTY BASTARD. True to form and comedic style..
Natalie talks about her new product, Dirty Bastard! (A pretreatment to an also new wool shampoo)
I think it’s pretty clear we are all excited about the results she is getting on her dirtiest, greasiest, felted, stinky, think of the worst (yes, she even mentions male cat urine that had sprayed and ruined her fleece, was saved from the trash) sheep ram eau du toilette, more, more, etc etc fleeces all brilliantly washed squeaky clean without losing the handle, that so often, over scouring can become problematic, in these cases. Now, looks like we have a solution. We have needed an amazing wool wash, and I think we can all agree, this product can’t come out soon enough. Here is the difference, the wash is a shampoo.
Let me tell you, from the description, the wool shampoo, is amazing. It doesn’t require the large amounts of water we are all so used to. What’s crazy is, we heard mostly about Dirty Bastard, which is a rescue, if the wool shampoo is just as awesome, we are going to have even more beautiful fleeces, and less mistakes being made. Making your raw, dirty wool – even more clean and gorgeous, without losing that handle.
Even if you have a real mess of a fleece on your hands, even if you have felted your wool in previous washings, from other soap options we have had, being a little over zealous, trying to get your fleeces clean, Dirty Bastard is a rescue, and can save us the frustration and our fleece, in a single use.
A pre treatment, that actually can and will, unfelt ones accident, and get those locks back into your control. I can’t wait to get my hands on some of this.
After you listen to the show, you will too. Strange as it sounds, if you deal with fleece, locks, dyeing, fiber period, you will be saying,
“Omg I want Dirty Bastard”.
This is game changing, my fiber, fleece and lock loving, friends. It’s a water saving, make your magnificent fleece glow clean bright and fresh, game changer.
Keep your eyes and ears open for more info, and of course, its release.
These products can’t come soon enough. Listen to the show for more info, I won’t say it all here, go listen to the link above.
Namaste Farms, my mind is blown. I can’t wait.
I was window shopping etsy, as I sometimes do…
The new thing had been rolags and punis on the podcasts I’d been listening to as of late. I was scrolling along and literally was stopped dead in my tracks, by these colors.
Gorgeous, amazing, happy, bright, colors. Several colors that each blended perfectly to the next all rolled up in a nice neat rolag form.
The colorway was called, Neon Sunset. I had the choice two different silk blended wool fibers. I chose the polworth, as it’s my favorite. I had also bfl/silk to choose had I wanted, they were both awesome, but again, polworth has a puff factor I love. So I had to have the polworth/silk rolags. Immediately, if not sooner. Naturally, I ordered.
The box came neatly wrapped in tissue paper, as initially I had plans, to split half and half. Holly, one of the two the proprietors of Blue Barn Fiber (the other being her husband, Dan), had separated them for me and wrapped each ounce already separated, as I initially planned to share half, lol. However, once in my possession, I couldn’t let it go. That’s right, I kept it all totally selfishly for myself. And guess what… I’m not sorry, lol.
Shortly after that purchase, she decided to offer the same colorway, in choices of, mohair or teeswater locks. Once again, immediately, I ordered the teeswater locks.
Let me tell you, I have a stash. A large stash. This went on the wheel next. Look at these colors, I had no other choice. I had 6 rolags total, so I spun 3 colors going end to end very thin, with the plan to spin the other half the same thinness with the teeswater locks, in the matching color or as close to it locked in the twist.
Basically, as I spin, I split the single in two and put the lock inside at the middle of the lock, and continue spinning. It’s in there pretty good, but my hopes are the plying will lock it in that much better. I’m also spinning the other rolags end to end same as the first single, ideally, the colors will meet up and if I have some barber poling happen, that’s okay as it’ll lead into the next color. This is a double first for me as, I’ve never spun rolags before this. Rolags, at least, blue barn fibers rolags are smooth sailing, just dreamy to draft thick or thin spinning can be done easily, but I love yardage. So, thin it is. Second, I’ve never spun handspun like this, one normal ply, and the other ply with teeswater locks. Both very thin singles. I’m interested to see how this turns out.
We will both be surprised. I’ve taken lots of photos along the way. This teeswater lock adding is very very time consuming. But I’m enjoying every second of it. I’m thrilled to see it turn out. I’m writing this as I spin, so the actual outcome is a total mystery to me at this point.
On another note, while making my second order with Blue Barn Fiber, ordering the teeswater, I decided it was high time I see what sari silk is all about. Playing with it in batts, corespinning, you know, just really getting a feel for it. So I ordered that at this time, as well. I had written her some notes through etsy asking questions. Holly was so patient, thorough, and sweet. Excellent customer service. I mentioned how rolags were new to me, also the sari silk, stainless steel, qiviut, rose pearl fiber… You can imagine my Squeeee when I opened my box of teeswater locks in neon sunset and sari silk, to also find samples of the stainless steel, her BUTTERSILK™, camel down, and you won’t believe this, but, qiviut!!!!
Yes, Holly, sent me qiviut. The most coveted, and one of the most expensive fibers around.
I still can’t believe it. But before I go further on the qiviut, because qiviut has a reputation all it’s own. Let me tell you, the Buttersilk™ is freaking amazing. Honestly, I doubt I will ever buy sari silk again, because the Buttersilk™ just melts in your hands.
It’s hand pulled sari silk, mixed with mulberry silk, and more, more, more. It sparkles and it’s soft literally like butter in your hands. Like, chocolate that has sat in a hot car melts in your hands. Soooooo silky soft with the sari silk factor. It’s amazing.
A little goes a long way, it comes in multiple colors and the price can’t be beaten. It had been on sale, so I bought a few more colors, and as if that wasn’t enough, if you had a special color in mind I have no doubt, she would make it just for you, each customer is special. Her etsy shop is chock full of a fiber artists dream.
She sells in bulk too for cheaper pricing, for those wanting to make larger projects or I imagine for other fiber artists to use and sell in smaller quantities to make money…. This shop is for everyone. It’s obviously a favorite of mine, and others as well , as she sells out of items at times. No worries on that either, she restocks quickly, and a quick message to her about what your needs are and she makes it happen.
The customer service, is perfect, I feel like a special VIP customer every single time I shop, from the first time, to several purchases later.
Blue Barn Fiber products, always impeccable. Nothing but the best quality fibers. Example, the dyed teeswater I bought was sourced from Namaste Farms. Namaste Farms has the best teeswater out there and let me tell you as her customer also, good fiber is not cheap. That is my point. She sources the best quality fibers available.
The stainless steel, I can’t wait to make a little yarn skein for glove fingertips to be able to enjoy touch screens without the need to remove a glove. I understand a little of this fiber goes a loooong way.
It’s definately a fiber that needs to be blended with something else. Another blog post when I use this fiber for sure!!! Touchscreen gloves for gifts are going to be total winners! I have an awesome idea for this, I will share before the holidays.
The qiviut will also get it’s own blog post when I experience that, however, I’ve never heard of bad qiviut, and this sample she surprised me with matches all the great things I’ve heard about this fiber. It’s so soft I almost can’t feel it. Although I saved this for last to touch it’s insane. This is one of those precious fibers people tend to wait on using… Are you one of those?
Clearly, I need more. See, that’s my thing, I can’t use what I have until I have more. Soooo, a qiviut purchase from Blue Barn Fiber might need to happen prior to testing this. I can’t be left with none after using up the sample, sheesh. Just enough to spin a very fine 2 ply that I can make a cowl or I believe it’s called a smoke ring? You know, the cowl, that can go over the head?
Also, do I blend? Or do I go full on quiviut? I’m thinkin full on quiviut… We only live once and it’s an heirloom piece. Right?! Mmmmmm qiviut. I feel like Homer Simpson talking about donuts or beer.
Now, they have glow in the dark fiber, it’s a nylon type fiber so while I haven’t tried it yet, that is just awesome!!
Add it on the trim of a child’s hat and charge it up under some light before a walk at night, and safety increases. This fiber in a project, glowing away is going to be a conversation piece in any dark room. Anyone, who doesn’t think a handmade glow in the dark accessory isn’t awesome, really isn’t worth your time. Lol this is better bait than that schmatzch.com dating site, or whatever it’s called anyday. Also imagine for a baby blanket, little stitches, here and there, like stars, when the lights go out for bed. It glows in the dark of course it’s magic, everyone knows that. Especially kids, and grown ups, like myself.
Last, but, certainly not least, a little more about the brains behind such a cool website/store, … Holly got her degree in Environmental Science and is very sensitive to keeping the earth healthy and green. Additionally, she works as a graphic designer but has the etsy shop with her husband ultimately planning to farm and fiber full time. We need our farmers, we’ve lost too many already. Blue Barn Fiber’s love of the earth, renewable resources, fiber, and animals is shown again and again.
In saying that, they only purchase cruelty free fiber.
Dan and Holly are awesome. Their website can lead you to everything and has pictures and links needed. You have to check out there website! They literally sell a zillion different items, lots of fiber in all kinds of breeds and animal plant and recyclable materials, tools, etc etc, if you are looking for something particular you don’t see, just message, and they will do whatever they can to obtain your wish…. Just like a fiber fairy who lives in a blue barn.
GO NOW, you won’t be sorry and try the Buttersilk™ It’s love and heaven in fiber form.
They are the epitome of everything fiber arts, you want to try. I love this shop period, love!!!! LOVE!!!
I’m currently plying my neon sunset and hope to have it pictured before the day is over. Go check that shop out, any questions, seriously amazing amazing place to find the newest fiber on the market, including inventing her own fiber blends that’s are to die for…. Literally, clouds of heaven are being sold in her shop.
I have heard of how in the past, there was not much of a selection…
Well fiber friends, that has changed by leaps and bounds. We have fibers to spin, made from everything from stainless steel, to glow in the dark fiber, to rose fiber (yes, fiber made of crushed rose stems, that has a pearl sheen, and a faint rose scent) oh, did I mention pearl? Because, yes, they also have fiber with ground pearl dust that is infused into the fiber. Are you kidding me?!
Glow in the dark
Stainless steel fiber to make your yarns work with touch screen!
We have beautiful natural colors growing on animals that are new, and colors that are neon bright, due to brilliant hand dyed fiber artists who have amazing color sense.
Now, fiber is grown by farmers with spinners in mind, no longer just a by product, as with several breeds, in the past.
Sheep are coated to keep their fleece free of vegetable matter and sun damage. A very labor intensive process of changing the coat as the sheep and fleece grow. Shown in this photo is a coated Namaste Farms teeswater.
Although we still have many fiber growing animals where the fleece is a by product, the word is spreading. As spinners, we know all fiber has it’s place, it can all be used for something, somewhere. I am just in love with the new products that are coming out as time passes. We are so lucky, to be fiber lovers at this moment, and it’s only going to get better for our future people inclined to be of the fiber addicted persuasion. WE ARE SO LUCKY!! And I plan to show such fiber in future posts! Websites, blogs, shops, Independent dyers, fiber artists, fiber products, both new and old. (I say old as, it could have been around for several years, but if I’m just discovering it, then just maybe, an oldie but goodie, will be new for you as well) This is an amazing time for us… We are gaining power in numbers, and how can new people coming across soft fluff, not want more.
Knitting, crocheting, fiber arts etc is already shown to be healthy for people. Clinical studies being done show this. I saw this video and had to share.
The following is an experiment I wanted to test out if it worked.
But I want to strongly advise if anyone tries this for them self, to test a lock or two and see if you are happy with the results on a test lock before doing an entire fleece.
I used Corriedale in my experiment with regular drug store hydrogen peroxide I checked at 10min and 24 hours. I didn’t experience any deterioration in the lock, but the science shows it can break down fibers. I don’t know how it would effect fine wool so make sure
Before trying this to test a lock first. Even 10min produced results so 24 hours may not be necessary. I didn’t dilute the hydrogen peroxide for my test, however it was a very low percentage. For instance, it wasn’t using a high peroxide strength that is used to professionally bleach your hair, we all know that damages no two ways about it.
My experiments on a medium wool came out with results I was very happy with. I wouldn’t do this on an entire fleece as personally I would rather dye it.
Where I would use this technique?
if in a finished yarn I had noticeable yellowing in a small portion and it was very apparent in contrast to the white I might try this to fix that.
If I had long locks that were very white and I had some stubborn dirt.
I would always test a lock first and use the minimum amount needed to get the job done.
Low concentration of hydrogen peroxide, maybe dilute with water if that was a concern and to check often if ten minutes is all it needs. I did take photos at 10 min and 24 hours to share my experience.
Again this was an experiment but only using one type of fleece that was a medium wool and I didn’t have any notable breakdown in strength when compared to my control lock.
I could have very different results with different fleece so if anyone decides to try this, I would say to make sure to test a lock and use the least amount of product and time required to achieve results.
Everyone knows the less we put our fiber through the better.
This experiment did work for me with no problems, but I would always test again were I to have stains I want to remove from fleece.
Remember this was an experiment that I tried and wanted to share my results.
It’s not necessary to do. I can always overdye stains. But it’s nice to know I have another option to try if I want to whiten fleece
Majority of my knowledge comes from the internet. That said, there is one person in particular I have learned a lot from . There are many fiber artists that teach and are wonderful. They show tried and true techniques and are famous for being leaders in our world of fiber arts. I have books from several of these people. This experiment I am trying I learned from Natalie Redding, of Namaste Farms.
She can be found at http://www.namastefarms.com, where it will lead you to a myriad of information. In addition to her own professional website, she has a YouTube channel, livestream account, a blog talk radio show that airs every Thursday night at 6pm PST, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, google plus, oh and a season of her own reality show on Nat Geo Wild called Shear Madness, with Springcast shows that followed each Shear Madness episode. I’m sure I’m forgetting more somewhere. She is truly inspiring when it comes to fiber arts.
It was, Namaste Farms YouTube videos, that inspired me to start spinning. She made high end handspun yarn, for http://www.yarnmarket.com, using rare breed wool and long locks from her prize winning flock of sheep and goats. Her yarn is gorgeous and fun, and she shared special techniques, like ways to make locks longer without having, the hard to find, expensive to purchase, extreme long locks that grow on the sheep only once in the their lifetime.
She shared lessons she learned, from the hard knocks only experience and mistakes can bring. Proprietary information, that made her gorgeous yarn, she willingly shares with the public. I soaked it all up, I watched over and over. She made everything look so easy, and for Natalie, after producing these yarns 100’s of times, I’m sure it was easy, but when I would try, I didn’t catch on to everything the first try.
She has a special touch. You should see her beat the side of her house with a skein of yarn, it’s insane looking, but the results are magical. That technique I got down pat, my husband usually tells me to “keep it down, what will the neighbors think”… And I respond, “they think you are my submissive and getting what you asked for, now kiss my feet, lol” he covers his face, shaking his head, saying “what am I going to do with this woman” anyways, on to stain removal.
She put out a little piece of info that I had to try. Hydrogen peroxide removes stains from your precious wool locks.
Ever have a fleece that is so gorgeous, so amazing, that you wash it lock by lock? I got some of that. A pound here, a pound there, different breeds of gorgeous raw locks, that I want kept in lock formation. After washing the locks, carefully, clean as usual, I was left with a very few that had these stubborn stains.
I decided to give this, hydrogen peroxide soak, a try with a few locks to see if it worked, and here are my results…
ok, as you see in the picture I have brown stained dirty tips, with my control sample, showing, what the aim is. I filled a small tub with hydrogen peroxide, and gently laid my precious, brown tip stained lock. Now to wait. I’d give it over night, but I couldn’t help but peaking in.
Something was already happening in the first few seconds.. I had a good feeling about this. But, my curiosity, had me look…. Again.
ok so this photo above, is only 10 minutes later and it’s all in. Now, I had to put it away, and wait. I put a lid on it, to prevent, rather, try to deter myself from being ridiculous about checking. The next day came, finally, and it was time to check my dirty tipped lock, and here is what it looked like.
Next, time to wash and dry, hydrogen peroxide treated lock. Again reminding readers, patience, is not my best quality, but good things come to those who wait. Hmm, maybe , I should work on that crochet blanket that got me into this yarn enslavement, and finish it. But if I keep it in UFO status (unfinished object)forever, it will still always be new, I love that blanket, look what it started. If I finished it, it might get used and ratty, or dirty…. Although, this is workin prettttty dang good, lol, so far.
This tested lock(the lock right next to the tub), after rinse and dry, is completely 100% white. And you can see the muck it took off in the bowl.
after a good rinse, and dry, the results are even more dramatic.
see picture below of results of that show completely dry, picture describes which lock is which. I’m not only pleased, I’m actually surprised.
i didn’t expect this much of a before and after
Seriously, these results speak volumes. I mean woah! I’m in awe here.
So I decide… Let’s see if it will clean that other lock, in the already used dirty tub.
Yep, I put that in too. Didn’t change the dirty liquid inside the tub, just left it in there, I’m testing this, how far can I go? Notice I’m using small samples. For those curious, Im reusing tubs that food come in. The experiment tub used to hold Trader Joes, fresh bruschetta sauce. It holds (14.5 oz or 411 grams of product). As you can see the tub is filled less than half way with hydrogen peroxide. I only wanted enough to cover a lock.
That liquid was already filled with nasty brown… Who knows, dirt, maybe poopy dirt, dirt mixes in the poo it’s possible. Our best soil is manure based. It was gross, but let’s fast forward 24 hours, and see how that lock ends up. Time to give it a good rinse, let it dry and see what results I have.
Here they are. All three locks, clean as a whistle, two started out with stains. Clearly, the hydrogen peroxide works on dirty brown stained tips. You can even see there is some yellowing that is gone from the initial picture.
Lets see though how it does with urine stains, or yellowing that’s notorious, for being difficult to come out in a regular wash or scouring. If it doesn’t work, no problem, wool can be dyed. Really, there aren’t too many problems that can not be solved, if one puts there mind to it. However I really adore this fleece and most of it is stark white, there are very very few areas with urine stains, or dirty tips, it’s just beautiful. Unbelievable this came from an animal the amount of how really clean it was. However, if possible, I’d love to make the yellow disappear. Lol, can you imagine leaving it in, and someone asks, “oh this is beautiful, what’s that yellowish right there, in that part of the hat? Does it have some significance?”
oh, that? No, That’s just a sheep urine stain… Here is your hat. Look it’s clean, urine stains are just hard to remove. Just put it on, I want to see if it fits. Stop being so weird about it, it’s clean, just put it on your head, I worked really hard on this. Whatever, ya ingrate, Your welcome!
Ok that conversation, would not happen, more than likely. But it could, no? More than likely, we dye the yellowing, and don’t add it to the stark white project, but should it get missed, guess what, if this technique works, and you see yellow blaring in your all white project, you could still give it some time in the hydrogen peroxide. Below, we have a few yellow stained samples next to the white, for contrast.
I’m emptying my test tub, cleaning it, and starting with a fresh batch of my special potion, and again I’m adding my yellow stained locks, holding back one for comparisons sake.
Ok, did I mention I am not a fan of the waiting? Yea, so here is 10 minutes later. It’s still yellow, big surprise there. Mind you, during these tests, I just put the lock in, no moving around, no scrubbing, or rubbing between my fingers… Just get the lock in, submerged, and wait.
I put the lid back on and waited. I must say, now this was turning into a days long event, why I didn’t do several tubs at once is beyond me. Except to say maybe, I’m frugal, and I didn’t want to use a lot of hydrogen peroxide? Nope, not really, just didn’t think to do it.
Ok so 24 hours later, I open my tubs lid to unveil the yellow stains Houdini disappearance….. This is what I saw
Let’s get the locks out of the tub, give them a good rinse, let them dry, and see what we really have here.
The above picture shows you my results of this experiment. Again, this couldn’t have been more easy. No scrubbing, no heating to such and such temperature, careful not to let this or that happen…. Nothing hard at all.
I literally dropped my stained locks, into a tub of hydrogen peroxide, and the next day, took them out, rinsed them with cool water from the tap, pat dried them in a towel to help remove excess water (so they would dry faster, you could probably even skip that step if you wanted, but then again, if they take too long to dry, mold can be a factor, and then you have another issue on your locks, so actually, don’t skip that step and just pat dry locks in a towel… Lol how’s that for a run on sentence, sorry about that, I was thinking out loud) so yes, pat dry rinsed locks in a towel and let them dry completely, either in the sun or on a sweater dryer rack (wherever you dry your locks/fleece)
I actually made my own dryer rack, out of PVC pipe, screen material, and zip ties. Before I made the PVC version, I’d just remove a screen off my window, hose it down, give it a quick towel off to dry and BAM! An aerated screen propped up on whatever is handy, and you have a place to dry locks of wool. Not to mention, it has a place to be put away, right where it belongs, back on the window.
A lot of my fiber tools are homemade ourself. By being able to save money on these fiber tools, leaves extra money for the wool we use on them. I promise, another blog on those tools later.
In the meantime, back to my hydrogen peroxide experiment. It works. I am now wondering, how big bottles of this stain removing gem, come in. I will have to do some research on that. The bottle I used, was 16fl oz, or 1pint, and was 3% hydrogen peroxide and purified water. It cost around $1 a maybe $1.99. Next, I will look to see if it comes in higher percentages and bigger bottles, and where I can find it. Surely, it must. With these results, even what I thought looked already white, in my control sample, the stained samples, came out even more white. It’s tempting to use hydrogen peroxide as one of the last rinse waters in my regular routine fleece washing of white fleeces.
i had excellent results on the samples I tried. There may come along a stain one of these days that will not disappear 100%, in that case, you can dye it, or maybe blend it with other fibers to disguise its whereabouts. This is why I love fiber arts. Bad wool for a perfect spin? Felt it. Stubborn stains, over dye or blend. No one will ever be the wiser they have sheep piss stains in the gift, I have lovingly, blood sweat and stitched for them, lol, speaking of, I wonder if hydrogen peroxide removes blood stains? Well, next time I bleed on a white lock, no doubt using those prime evil wolverine combs….new testing will commence, until then… Hydrogen peroxide is a winner. It really works. The results above are miraculous considering how easy it is. My gorgeous white locks, buuuuuuuh, I’m seriously, in love.
This experiment gave me another idea to try. I’m cutting very small, dirty tips from clean fleece, with the plan to soak in hydrogen peroxide, and make my own wool nepps. I’ve never seen a tutorial on making wool nepps…