what’s new?

So… what’s been happening lately? I had to go through my inventory. After Woolfest, I knew that I’d have a lot of purchasing to do before the fall festival season started. The most important item I needed to restock was my fiber. I’ve only got a few bags of dyed locks left and not many batts. But the starting place for that is the raw fiber itself. I put in an order with Ashland Bay and ended up with three 22 pound bumps. One is Falkland, one is Blue-faced Leicester, and the other is their “Colonial” which is a Corriedale-type wool. The last I planned on using primarily for batt base wool. I started dyeing some of it this week.

dyed fiber

Oddly enough, just after I received the combed top from Ashland Bay, I also got word from the two processing mills where I had fleeces. First Ohio Valley Natural Fibers sent me an invoice. Two days later I got a call from Zeilinger’s that I had two fleeces ready for shipment from them. OVNF sent theirs Priority, so it showed up yesterday.

fresh roving

I’ve also got a new event on the schedule for next month. After being invited for several years and never having that weekend available, I am finally participating in the Grey to Green Festival at Wick Park in Youngstown, Ohio. If you are in the area on September 21, come by for a visit.

new yarn line named!

Since I am now a “yarnie” on Ravelry, I was over there the other day fiddling around with the listings, updating photos and descriptions. My inventory is always changing, so I wanted the photos to be of more current work. That is when I realized I had something new to add: my line of undyed yarn! Right now I have the yarn categorized by ply (singles, 2-ply, 3-ply), but I thought that since the undyed yarn was unique, I’d put it all together under one name. So what name would that be? To get started I called it “naturals handspun”, but of course that looks silly in the Ravelry database. Gwen Erin Natural Fibers naturals handspun. blech. With nothing left in my brain, I turned to my Facebook fans to help me out. And, wow! They gave me fantastic suggestions and a lot of laughs. Pop over to the page and scroll down to Monday to read them.

The fans’ names gave me much to think about. I talked it over quite a bit with Rich too since he is the brain trust of the business. I liked “naked”, but he would scrunch up his face every time I said it.
“So, you don’t like the current options, but you have nothing to offer?” I asked. But of course that wasn’t true.
A few minutes later he suggested, “Sheep Tones. Like earth tones, but the color of sheep.”
“Well, what would you call my handdyed yarn then?”
“Gwen Tones.”
Even though it made me smile, I’m not sure I’ll go that far, but I do like Sheep Tones. It’s descriptive and quirky and only two syllables. But then I started thinking about alpaca. Well, if I end up selling 100% alpaca yarn, then we’ll just call it Alpaca Tones. Blammo.

sheep tones 2