Friday, February 12, 2010

Fresh start

I love the beginning of the new year. It's when I get a fresh start and get to re-think and re-organize and plot new things. I pick out what I need to work on to improve my business and my personal life. It's also right before spring and shearing season! I'm currently trying to decide what to focus on with my fleece-buying from local farms. I got some lovely samples of this years fleeces from one of my favorite farms:

My only problem right now is narrowing down my choices, because I want it all! I'll be talking more about the local farms I get my wool from later this spring, after I start making my fleece-buying trips.

I'm planning out lots of new yarns for upcoming shows & my etsy shop, mostly spring-inspired. Here is one of my favorites, Cherry Blossom:

I've had the idea for this yarn in my head for over a year now, and I'm really excited that it turned out so well. It's spun from a blend of natural chocolate brown merino wool locks from local sheep that are kept as pets, plus a bit of local natural brown rambouillet/border leicester locks, local natural charcoal kid mohair locks, local natural pale caramel kid mohair locks, and a bit of natural off-white loose hemp fiber. The cherry blossoms are hand-felted from merino x wool, recycled tussah silk, and hemp gauze, then hand dyed and embroidered by me. I have a lot of this gorgeous chocolate merino, so I'm spinning up quite a few of these skeins.

While my thoughts are turning to spring, its really very wintry here. We were hit with 30 inches and then another 10-20 within a few days, and everyone has been trapped inside on and off all week.

(Picture taken by L) That's okay, I don't mind being stuck inside - I know once spring actually gets here, I'll have a harder time focusing on getting work done, so right now I'm trying to be productive. By the time spring finally rolls around, I plan on having a nice little stockpile of yarn!


Anonymous said...


You make fantastic yarns!
I have a question - when you dye with natural dyes do you always "predye" with aluminium or copper then? Or are there ways to dye natural without this?

Thanks and good luck!

folktale fibers said...

Thanks! I mordant/pre-dye with either alum (the kind that is sold in grocery stores, not the kind sold specifically for natural dyeing - there are several different kinds of aluminum. The grocery store version is used to make pickles and is less concentrated, but still works well enough for me) or plant-based mordants. Anything with a lot of tannin, like oak galls or pomegranate peels, works to help fix colors, but they also are dyes so will affect the color of the fiber.

I highly recommend the book Wild Color by Jenny Dean for tons of information about mordants and natural dyeing! It's out of print and super expensive to buy used, but most libraries have a copy. She even has a recipe for making your own iron mordant from water, vinegar, and rusty nails.