KnittingSarah asked the other day if I’d be willing to post where I purchase the fiber that I spin. I suspect that the list will be extensive, but I am going to pull out some of my favorites and attempt to talk a little about them.
Dyeabolical. Here’s the thing, if my color sense could be summed up by one person, it is Rachel. She shares my love for intense and rich colors, and she is able to translate that into roving and top that just thrills me! The added bonus is that she has some of the best prepared fiber I’ve ever come across. It is always an absolute dream to spin. I have been fortunate now to develop an online friendship with Rachel as well as a sometimes working relationship. I’ve tested yarn for her, done a few sample knits out of her yarn, and I can genuinely say that I’ve never seen an inferior product wander out of her shop. This is one of those really fun situations where an independent dyer is “real” enough to develop a wonderful working relationship with one of her customers. Stuff I’ve got in my stash that still needs to be spun? Well, there’s a ton quite frankly. But I did add this photo of Flower Shop Inferno recently….
Then there’s my recent obsession with corespinning and crazy art batts. I think this has a lot to do with wanting to expand what I am doing with spinning, breaking out of my box. I discovered SpinCulture on etsy, and I’ve been loving all the randomness in these huge batts! In fact, I recently started spinning one straight rather than corespinning, just to see what would happen. I’ll be showing that off later this week. The below pretty bits of business are from SpinCulture.
Loop! What can I say really? The bullseye bumps surprised me so much when I received my first one. I suppose I didn’t really understand that it was not a batt but a bump. Or rather, wool top prepared in an unusual way. There’s just so much that can be done with a bump, ply it together, chain ply it, ply it with something else completely, divide the bump in half and make a 2 ply gradient….loop bumps trigger the imagination. It doesn’t stop there though, because along with the bump, I’ve always received a sample of Loop! spontaneous spinning clouds, which have been great fun to play with. I purchased recently a cloud in the shop because I’d enjoyed spinning up my samples so much. Add to all this fantastic customer service and if you join the Rav group, Steph will make you feel like you belong and like she’s taking a personal interest in all your spinning. This is not a case where I actually do have a personal relationship with the shop owner, this is a case where I feel that I do, and I think you will feel that way too and enjoy her products very much. I may add that it used to be very difficult to get her products, but between the clubs, the spin alongs, and the scheduled shop updates, if you watch carefully you’ll find something quite pleasing to purchase.
(One cloud and 4 bumps all waiting in my stash to be spun.)
I kept hearing all this awesome talk about Inglenook Fibers. I mean, everywhere I was reading about inglenook batts and how fun they were to spin, especially on support spindles. I recently purchased my first batts and they WERE indeed a dream to spin. Might have been one of my fastest spins ever. I haven’t tried the fiber braids, but the batts are amazing and I’ll be getting more of them to play with for sure! This is one of those situations where I don’t really want to tell you about it because it might mean it is even harder to get a batt for myself.
Here’s another fun option I’ve yet to try. I very much want to, but haven’t yet. Sushi Batts. I’ve heard many good things and am eager to see what they spin up like, but haven’t gone out and purchased yet.
Another “I’ve heard a lot about these” options is Corgi Hill. I’ve got some Lush Batts in my stash but haven’t yet spun them. They are on my list to spin very soon. But a lot of the colors seen in the shop do appeal to me, worth checking out!
I haven’t spun any recently, but in the past I’ve come to love Enchanted Knoll Farm fiber. I’ve only spun their top, and have at least 3 more in my stash that go way back, I need to pull them out soon. This is another case of wonderfully prepared top with no felting whatsoever. Just dreamy to spin.
Now, if you are considering delving into the more intensive spinning activities, such as prepping your own fiber, I’d suggest the Between Ewe And Me fleece of the month club. You’ll receive washed fleece to prep as you so desire. Often all that is needed is a flick carder if you aren’t sure how you are feeling about fiber prep. While I do have hand cards and a drum carder, the majority of my fleece from this club has been flick carded and then spun from the lock. Be warned that what you get might not always be the highest quality, and it may not be perfectly clean, but that is also the nature of fleece purchasing and at least this way you get to play with something already washed for a fairly good price.
And my final nod goes to Crosby Hill Farm on etsy. They have top and yarn, but if you are looking to purchase a full fleece and try fleece prep from start to finish? Get one of these. I ended up with one of my nicest fleeces this year from this seller. I haven’t done much with it yet, but what I have done tells me that it is going to be such a joy to work with every step of the way.
Finally, it should probably be noted that I do a lot of my own prep, my own dyeing, and my own fleece washing. If for some reason you are looking for washed fleece or fleece that is in some stage of preparation that is not yet wool top or roving or batts, let me know. I have such options on hand at all times and am often willing to part with some. I don’t put stuff on etsy at this point because I just don’t have time for it. However, wrapping up some fleece and sending it off to an internet friend? I can totally do that. Feel free to ask!
Please use the comments here to add sources for fiber. There are SO MANY and I often get a little gunshy about purchasing from vendors I do not know. From personal experience I know it is easy to felt fiber in the dyeing process and it is easy to not know how something should be prepared if the vendor is not a spinner. So, point *me* in the direction of new vendors as well, I am eager to try new things!