Although on the surface it may seem that my inventory is always changing, at the core there are four categories that always remain the same: fibers, handspun yarn, knitwear, and assorted finished goods. Everything that is represented here has been created by me sometime over the last 10 years. Feel free to read on and find out more about my products.
It all starts with the fiber. I love working with interesting breeds of wool, especially when they are domestically and/or locally grown. I often pick up fleeces at fiber shows, but there are farms in Ohio, New York, and Virginia from which I frequently purchase. Those fleeces turn into carded roving or dyed locks, so that stock changes regularly. My source for combed top is Ashland Bay. Having a wholesale account allows me to offer a consistent fiber, something customers can come back to again and again.
In addition to roving, top, and locks, I also create my own batts. These tend to be a mixture of whatever I have on hand, including wool, silk, alpaca, mohair. I call them “fantasy batts” since they have more visual interest than a non-blended preparation, however they are not wild and crazy. None of my fibers are treated to be “super wash”, so unless the particular breed is known to resist felting, all fibers should be usable for such an application
Since 2005 I have been creating yarn by hand, learning first with a Turkish drop spindle and then later adding a spinning wheel. My fiber of choice is wool and wool blends, however, I find the natural colors of alpaca to be quite pleasant as well. When working with batts, I may add in silk, mohair, angora, firestar, or angelina. Yarns come in single ply, 2-ply, 3-ply, and corespun, with weights ranging from DK to super bulky.
Some of my favorite breeds to spin are Bluefaced Leicester, Shetland, Corriedale, and Finn. There are also many great cross-breeds as well. One of my favorites is Corriedale/Border Leicester.
When I create a knitted or crocheted item, I always use my handspun yarn often combining natural colors with handdyed fibers. No two pieces are the same, as each patterns is generated as it is made. I take a very practical approach, so all of my items are very useable while still being one of a kind.
Since my very first craft show, I have made fingerless mitts. I can’t say exactly why that is my staple, but it is! Over the years I have also done felted bags, scarves, neckwarmers, pouches, tea cozies, and cuffs. Some of these items have been added permanently, others only appeared for one season, while a few pop in and out. Recently I added a collection of chunky hats and triangular shawls. I’ve enjoyed exploring ways to use different weights of yarn and creating larger projects. While I am a more proficient knitter, I am expanding into crochet.
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Hats and shawls
Working with fiber and yarn constantly leaves me with odd quantities and scraps. In an effort to use these little bits, I have developed various items for decorative purposes and use around the house. Scrap yarn and fiber turns into felted wool dryer balls, a great alternative to chemical-heavy dryer sheets. Tassels are a wonderful way to use up short lengths of decorative handspun yarn. When I skirt a fleece, the dirty edges become nesting mates, a wicker ball stuffed with wool that can be put outside for birds to use in their nests.
I also enjoy dyeing silk scarves. Silk, as a protein fiber, uses the same type of dye that I use on wool. The process is just different enough to be an exciting artistic experience. The scarves come in many sizes from a 21 inch square all the way to 35×84 inches.