It's been a pretty quiet week here at The Yarn Barn as Robbie and Carrie are enjoying a much needed week away to celebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary (yay! congratulations!)
Emma and I have been holding down the mill, processing some rug yarn and felt sheets, and taking advantage of the unusually quiet mill to do some yarn experimenting.
Over the past few weeks, you've seen our experiments with dyeing and new fiber blends like angora and merino, but something we haven't dabbled with too much is texture.
If you're a hand spinner, you know that its almost inevitable that you're yarn is going to have some texture to it, and you learn to manipulate the roving to achieve a desired texture or color-way.
However, in mill spinning, the machines are in control and these machines are programmed to create consistent even strands at all times, so it takes a little extra effort and experimentation to get well-made textured yarns.
So this week Emma and I have been playing around with techniques that can give our yarn a more organic, hand-spun feel and so far we've come up with two blends that we both love!
The first yarn, dreamt up and executed by Emma, is a thick & thin yarn with a blend of merino and angora that has some serious squishiness!
In hand spinning, thick & thin yarn seems to happen naturally. On an industrial spinning machine, its hard to create one strand with thick and thin parts, so you have to spin separate thick and thin strands and ply them together to create the bubbly texture. We tried this technique and out came a perfectly uneven yarn that could make an adorably fun little hat or cowl!
,The next experiment was something we've both been wanting to try for a while: Single strand yarn.
Single strand yarn is yarn that consists of only one strand of spun fiber. Most yarns are plyed, meaning several strands of fiber are twisted together to add durability and keep them from unraveling. However, it is possible to create a yarn with one strand, as long as you set it correctly.
The draw of using this type of yarn ( at least for me) is that it adds a certain simpleness and rawness to the fabric you create, that you just can't achieve with a plyed yarn.
The nature of single strand yarn can be very finicky and we weren't sure it would work for us, so we just ran a very small batch to try it out. We started with merino and tussah silk, which we dyed in the raw, dried and then processed and spun. At first the yarn coming off the spinner was extremely twisted, but after being washed and dried, it straightened out very well!
Here's some pictures I snapped during the process :)
I actually love this yarn so much! It's everything I look for in a yarn: unique, soft, versatile, and very strong for not having been plyed.
Emma and I had a lot of fun experimenting in the mill and we encourage everyone to try their hand at using new yarns. Whether you be a hand spinner who is looking for new spinning techniques, or a fiber artist looking for fun yarns, try something new and get creative. It's really cool to see where fiber can take you!
Anyway, thanks for reading and enjoy your week! Stay tuned next week for more from us here at The Yarn Barn!
P.S. Be sure to wish Robbie and Carrie a Happy Anniversary when you see them next :)
Good Morning from the Yarn Barn!
It was a beautiful misty morning here in Somerville, OH. I snapped this photo on my way to work today and was amazed at how much it looked like an 18th century American landscape oil painting. Seriously, check this out!
Anyway, we are finally back in action after the Wool Gathering!
This weekend was a blast!
With it being our first year participating in the festival, we were a little unsure of how the weekend would go. Fortunately, everything went very smoothly. In fact we had such a good time, we already have our booth reserved for next year!
For those who don't know, the Young's Dairy Wool Gathering is two day festival hosted every September to celebrate all things fiber arts. The festival has been running for 22 years and is one of the largest fiber festivals in the area, hosting more than a hundred vendors among its three giant tents.
The Wool Gathering is an amazing opportunity for fiber enthusiasts from all around the nation to gather and share their passion and creativity. It's a great activity for children to learn about fiber and farming, and a perfect fall weekend getaway. Not to mention, the festival is hosted on a Dairy farm that produces the most delicious ice cream and artisan cheeses ever, so basically you leave the festival satisfied with arms full of fiber and stomachs full of butter pecan ice cream :)
Carrie, Emma, and I ran the booth on Saturday and Robbie joined us Sunday to help pack everything up. Speaking of Robbie, there never seems to be any pictures of him, but he is doing great and working as hard as ever in the mill. I'm going to have to snap a photo of him soon...
Anyway, Overall, the festival was very organized. We had electricity, tables, and chairs provided for us, and everything went very smoothly and according to plan.
As a vendor, it was encouraging to see so many friendly, creative shoppers visit our booth and check out our yarn. The best part about selling yarn is having a customer tell you that your yarn is perfect for the project they've been wanting to make. If you've bought yarn from us, or just want to show us what you're working on, please post a picture to our Facebook or Instagram, we LOVE to see what everyone is working on!
Speaking of projects, here's a quick snapshot of a hat I recently started working on with our Cherry Cordial Worsted Merino yarn. This yarn is hearty, warm, and knits up so quick. I love it!
Thank you so much for catching up with us. I know these posts have been pretty short recently, but we have lots going on here at the Yarn Barn. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or leave us a post on our Facebook page, we'd love to hear from you :)
As always ~keep crafting~ and we'll be back next week with more Yarn Barn news!
Hi All! Because we are so busy packing up for the Wool Gathering this weekend, I'm going to keep it short and sweet and give you a little sneak peak of some of the new yarns we will be featuring at the fiber festival.
Fall Fades: Alpaca, Merino, Tencel blend yarn in three ombre shades, Cranberry Crush, Passion, and Blue Raspberry. I'm loving these shades and dying to see what they would look like knitted up!
Lime Margarita: A soft merino Thick & Thin yarn with gray and lime green. Very durable, warm , and machine washable.
Halloween Edition: Alpaca, Merino, and Tencel Blend yarns in Spooky Hollow and Dark Night. Perfect for a chilly October evening project.
Wonderland: One of our favorite yarns makes a fresh new appearance with stripes of pink purple, and blue. There's a limited amount of this so check it out before it's too late!
Superwash Merino: Six soft shades of 2-ply Worsted Superwash Merino.