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A new selection of soft spinning fibers have arrived!

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BROWN JACOB WOOL TOP

jacob

Jacob Sheep have graced the large estates and country homes of England for many centuries.  Their impressive horns, black and white faces and spotted bodies have no doubt contributed to their popularity and survival.

The Brown Select Jacob Wool has been hand picked from the fleece and processed to keep the rich brown color.  The micron count ranges between 25-35. Jacob is easy to spin and produces a springy yarn.

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Jacob

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MASHAM WOOL TOP
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 masham

Masham sheep have been bred for over a century on the hill farms in the Northern Counties of England.  The Masham sheep is produced by  crossing  a Teeswater or Wensleydale and Swaledale or Dalesbred. 

This wool overdyes beautifully and is a great choice for rugs or projects that need a more robust wool.  Masham wool is a beautiful silver grey color with a good degree of lustre.  It is classified as a longwool.  Micron count is between 31-36 microns.
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Masham

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CHEVIOT WOOL TOP

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cheviot

Cheviot is a main British wool breed.  The modern Cheviot breed has been produced by selection rather than by crossing.  It is a pure breed, one of a very few in this country.  Cheviots produce generous fleeces of white wool which is preferred by mills because its fineness, crimp, and length of staple give it superior spinning and combing qualities, and its low grease content

Cheviot Wool Top is a beautiful natural white color. The micron count is between 27-33.  The wool top is open without being slippery making it an excellent wool for beginner spinners.  The wool practically spins itself.  The yarn produced from Cheviot wool is a pleasure to knit, crochet or weave.

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Cheviot

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Are you allergic to animal fibers? 

Fear no more, this batt contains none of that!  

VEGAN BATT Collage

Hand dyed nylon fibers with a hint of firestar for sparkle and shine. 

You can spin this by itself to make a vegan yarn, or combine it with your animal fiber batts to add more memory to your yarn. 

Here’s a few suggestions for spinning the vegan batt:

Spin it as a single and then ply it with another animal fiber based yarn,

or blend with an animal fiber batt as you spin. 

Any way you choose to use this fiber, it’s all good!

See all of the colorways at sevenyaks.etsy.com

Experience the delight of spinning alpaca!  Luxuriously soft, long, and available in a range of beautiful natural colors, discover why spinners love this fiber.  Alpaca is a long fiber with no crimp, so it doesn’t stretch and bounce the way wool does.  Sheep’s wool contains a lot of lanolin (grease) and most spinners like to scour the wool to remove excess lanolin before they spin it.  Alpaca doesn’t have the same grease content, and it is also hypo-allergenic.

Alpaca is…

Lightweight
Soft Luxurious
Very durable
Hand-washable or dry-cleaned
Little static
No pilling
Dyes well
Blends extremely well with other fibers

Suri Alpaca locks can be long and curly or straight fibers that are silky, very fine and very soft.  There is a wide variety in the color of the fiber such as, white, fawn, reddish brown, gray, dark brown, and black.  Suri Alpaca fiber is ideal for making soft loftier yarns for knitting.  It can also be used for felting.

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Huacaya Alpaca (pronounced wuh-kai-ya) wool is denser than the Suri Alpaca.  It is soft and very easy to spin and felt.
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– ALPACA FOR HANDSPINNING –
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Hardcarders:
Alpaca can be handcarded, using handcarders with fine teeth to create rolags.  Handcarded alpaca will spin into a soft lofty woollen yarn for knitting.


Drumcarders:

A drumcarder with fine teeth will create large batts for spinning.


Blending With Other Fibers:

Adding 20%-50% wool to alpaca gives the yarn more elasticity.  You can either spin a single of alpaca and one of wool then ply the two together to make a nice woollen yarn, or wool can be added to alpaca before spinning using handcarders or a drumcarder.

Blending 10%-30% mohair will make a fluffy yarn and give it a fuzzy look.  Silk lightly carded into the alpaca will add sparkle to your yarn.  Angora rabbit wool with alpaca makes a luxury yarn.  This yarn will be extremely soft and very warm.

You can use a drumcarder or handcarders to create various shades of alpaca, such as blending black alpaca with white alpaca will produce gray, or any number of colorful blends with dyed alpaca.

Elasticity can also be added to alpaca with nylon fibers such as Snow Mountain or StarbrightFirestar will creates a shimmer in your yarn, similar to the addition of silk.  Since alpaca fiber does not have much elasticity on its own, you will find adding wool or nylon – or some of both, will create a yarn with memory which is especially important when knitting socks!

Uses For Alpaca Yarn:

Alpaca yarn can be used for knitting, weaving, and felting projects – including wet felting and needle felting.

All 7 Yaks Design fibers are hand dyed with professional dyes that are both lightfast and washfast for long lasting, fade resistant color.

The luxurious fleece and pelt of the Gotland sheep are what sets them apart from other breeds.  Gotland pelts are world-renowned for their superior quality.  The pelts sell for a premium, due to their smooth silky locks and soft handle.

The Gotland’s fleece is considered to be among the best in the world for spinning and weaving.  It is the very high luster and well-defined crimp, along with the array of silver and gray shades that make the fleeces highly desirable to hand spinners, knitters and weavers.

Gotland Collage

Traditionally a dual purpose sheep, this fiber was established by the Vikings by crossing Karkul, Ramnov and native Swedish sheep.  These three blends created the Gotland sheep with a surprisingly long staple length of 6.5 inches.  The fiber has a clearly defined even curl and staple that is soft to the touch.  The fleece is typically 29 to 35 microns in diameter.  Lambs wool can be in the low to mid 20’s micron range.

Gotland fleeces are similar to Wensleydale in luster but are not quite as soft.  It is generally used as an outer wear fiber.  Gotland wool is strong, lustrous and smooth when spun worsted and is light and soft when spun into a lofty woolen yarn.  The wool felts easily with a smooth surface and strong hold, even when lightly felted.  This is what makes Gotland wool the “felter’s favorite”.

Gotland wool is fine, long, lustrous and dense and can be all shades of grey from silver to charcoal and dark enough to be almost black.  Traditional Gotland Gray is a rich blue-grey color that does not discolor in sun exposure.  This is a great wool to add to your alpaca to give your yarn more memory!  7 Yaks Design has natural gray roving and several hand dyed colors including wedgewood, blackberry, teal, indigo, midnight and crushed grape.

All 7 Yaks Design fibers are hand dyed with professional dyes that are both lightfast and washfast for long lasting, fade resistant color.

7 Yaks Design is having a 25% OFF stock up sale until July 15th with coupon code TDF2014!

The spinning world is brimming with conversations about Tour de Fleece again this year!  TDF, as the event is often referred to in virtual spinning communities, was first organized in 2006 by Star Athena, a spinner, knitter, and designer based in Portland, Oregon.

The idea is to set a spinning-related challenge for yourself and work toward your goal each day that the Tour de France cyclists ride.  The event has grown each year with over ten thousand spinners taking part.  The Ravelry Tour de Fleece group alone has thousands of members, and hundreds of spinning teams have formed.

TDF 2014

This year, competition begins on Saturday July 5th and will end on Sunday July 27th.  It has been great hearing all the different ways in which spinners are using the event to work on techniques or tackle long-coveted projects.  The official concept is “Challenge Yourself. Spin. Have Fun.”

I hear many spinners say that rather than work on a specific project, they simply challenge themselves to find time each day to sit at their wheels. TDF allows spinners, en masse and in high spirit, to identify what parts of their spinning life they want to improve.  And for some of us, that simply means making time for something that has been lurking on the horizon, just out of reach.

What’s a girl to do when it’s cold outside and with all of that snow? 

I shall color my own world, duh!

snow dye

Snow Dyeing

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In preparation for the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, Ohio over Memorial Day Weekend, I am dyeing a huge amount of fibers!

crazy.

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If you can’t make it to Wooster in May this year, the fibers are available in my Etsy shop now!

Snow Pile aka Dye Pot!

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StarBright is a wonderfully soft blending nylon.  This high luster tri-lobal nylon doesn’t have the luster level of Firestar, but it does have far more luster than Snow Mountain.  StarBright’s softness is equal to a 19 micron wool which puts it in the superfine realm.

Starbright can be carded to blend with your favorite fibers, or spun and plied with another strand of wool, etc.  It also adds memory to your yarn which makes it ideal for knitting socks and other garments where memory is important.

All 7 Yaks Design fibers are hand dyed with professional dyes that are both lightfast and washfast for long lasting, fade resistant color.

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Snow Mountain nylon is a great, inexpensive blending fiber with softness and draftability.  It’s perfect to add to your batts to strengthen your favorite spinning fibers.  Snow Mountain also adds memory to your yarn which makes it ideal for knitting socks and other garments where memory is important.

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Firestar is ideal for blending with your other fibers to add a little shimmer and strengthen your spinning projects.  A little bit of lustrous Firestar nylon can add strength to a sock yarn, sparkle to a weaving project, or shine to a shawl, scarf or sweater.  Firestar can also be added to your needle felting projects for a smidge of pizzaz.

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Colonial Wool Top is produced with South American Corriedale Wool. Easy to spin with a long staple fiber, an approximate 27.5 micron length and has an average staple of 90mm (approx. 3.5 inches). This strong, durable wool has next to skin comfort while being versatile enough for any outer garment.

Colonial Wool Top has rich, vibrant hand dyed colors. Absolutely wonderful to use as is, or for blending your own one of kind shade of batt and yarn. A favorite for needle felting and wet felting too!

 

 

My friend Linda came over on Sunday and helped me get acquainted with my new spinning wheel.  With her much needed assistance I managed to make my first skein of yarn!  It’s a nice blend of merino batts and roving from my fellow Phat Fiber artists along with some fabulous wool locks that Linda dyed and shared with me.

Artyarn

Artyarn

Think I might try the wham bam cowl for this.

Artyarn

Thanks to the following fiber artists who were included in my skein of yarn with the generous donation of their samples to the

Phat Fiber Sample Box:

Altered Visions

Infinity Yarn and Fiber

Maude & Me

Moonwood Farm

Serendipity Fiber Arts

Sweet Pea Fibers

Wooly Hands

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I ventured out to Woolfest at Lake Metroparks’ Farmpark last weekend with my friend Linda.  I have been completely bitten by the spinning bug after looking at oodles of gorgeous fibers.  I tried a drop spindle a few years back and frustrated myself right out of that.  I should have known better!  I am just not coordinated enough to do several things at once.

I tried this already with glass blowing.  I really wanted to be a glass major at school.  In fact, I made my decision to attend the Cleveland Institute of Art based on that desire because of their reputation and that of the glass department.  Two weeks into the course I realized it requires 3 activities performed all at once.   Keep it moving, work fast enough to keep it hot and turn it into something all at the same time.  YEAH, Riigghht!  So I switched to enameling, which is applying ground glass to metal, and firing it in a kiln.  It’s a beautiful blend of glass that waits for me, and the focus that became my major, metals and jewelry design.

But now I want to try spinning again and with the help of Linda and our local spinners guild I am going to suck it up and try really hard!  I just love art yarns and tweeds and I have lots of fibers, including cashmere noils, that will make spectacular yarn.  Abby Franquemont has inspired me as well with her blog Making a Tweed Blend.  She gives wonderful directions with lots of photos for making batts and spinning tweed yarns.   

 

Handspun Tweed

Handspun Tweed

 

 

In case you needed some inspiration of your own, check out the batts and awesome yarns that Linda has spun – FABULOUS!  Be sure to look her up on Etsy too for more eye candy.

 

Sunny Day

Sunny Day

Batt with Cashmere Noils

Batt with Cashmere Noils

 

Wild Skies

Wild Skies

From Andy Paiko on YouTube. A lady spinning fiber on a fully functional glass spinning wheel.

The wheel is a kinetic sculpture made from hand-blown and hot-sculpted soft glass.

Just fun to watch.

For roving and knitting supplies, visit http://www.sevenyaks.etsy.com

Sue Macniven shows a saxony wheel, its various parts and how to adjust a scotch tension.

This one also looks at how to work out the ratios.

Knitting needles, knitting needle gauges, knitting accessories, sock blockers and more at http://www.sevenyaks.etsy.com

7 Yaks Design on Etsy

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