In the Fiber Room

“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands”
~ Proverbs 31:13
While the weather outside has been pretty frightful, all the activity in the fiber room has been pretty delightful.  There’s always something going on.  Here’s a glimpse of some of the things we’ve been up to.



natural dyeing (l to r) cosmos, rhubarb, cosmos + cochineal, black-eyed susan

carding naturally-dyed cochineal lambs wool

naturally-dyed millspun yarn – black-eyed susan and hibiscus


We had some wonderful helpers in the fiber room on Saturday.  While Lena organized and filed paperwork, Harley helped at the skirting table. A few more lambs’ fleeces skirted, while the two of them practiced cursive and helped with wool records.  Harley decided that she was in charge of ‘fluffing’. 
All that wonderful help and entertainment, sure made the time fly 🙂

Fiber Artist Spotlight – Knox Farm Fiber

No don’t get excited… no lambs until April here on the farm.  We thought we would start a series of posts sharing some of the wonderful fiber art that our customers produce from our fleeces.

And of course, it all starts with the sheep; in this case, with little Miss 1133 (above right); out of Athena and Poseidon.  Following a summer of loving care and a whole lot of growing, she was sheared in the fall.  The locks of her fleece were 5 inches long and it weighed a whopping 3 lbs 5 ozs after skirting.  A very nice size for a lambs’ fleece.  We sold it on Etsy to Knox Farm Fiber.  (This is the second fleece purchased from us.  We love our repeat customers!)

And here is the lovely yarn that Judith produced from little Miss 1133’s fleece – washing, dyeing, picking, carding and spinning.  Judith describes herself as a yarn-maker, and indeed she makes beautiful yarn.  You can read more about Knox Farm Fiber here.   And more about her handspun bulky yarn here.


It is such a joy to see the beautiful things that our wonderful fiber artist customers craft from our wool!  We thought you might enjoy it too.

Not Yellow

Naturally dyeing fiber is always interesting and often unpredictable. When anyone asks us what color we get from a certain plant the usual response is ‘yellow’ … or ‘probably yellow’ if it is a plant we have never tried. This can be manipulated somewhat by the use of different mordants or afterdips, but still usually yellow or tan color based hues are the results achieved from local plants.

So it is always a great surprise when we make a dyebath from…..for instance…. blossums like these:

and these:

(14 oz. total fresh blossoms)

And add 2oz of alum and cream of tartar mordanted wool, and a tablespoon of baking soda in the last 15 min or so to change the pH….

And get a lovely bright shade of …not yellow… but….green…:

So of course we have to add another 2oz of wool to the dyebath and get a still beautiful but pale yellow:
They do look very pretty together:

Now to see if the green can be duplicated with another dyebath.  May be  most likely be yet another surprise.

This Week in the Fiber Room

Dyeing Prudence’s locks

Washing fleeces – this one is Blackberry’s ram lamb

Carding and pulling Blackberry’s lovely wool

Carding… sampling… note taking

More sampling… more note taking

Spinning some of Boy George’s Heather Lavender batts

For those of you commenting on all the bright colors in one of the previous ‘In the Fiber Room’ posts, we thought you might be interested in this series by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed fame.  He is giving us a peek behind the scenes in the creation of his fabulous new yarn Shelter.  He begins with some wonderful pictures and explanations of color blending at a mill scale.  It is a great story, and we love, love, love what he is doing for the wool industry.

The Fiber Room in Winter

skirting fleeces

soaking… washing

fleeces drying

dyeing lamb’s locks

carding… spinning

knitting… knitting…  and well, more knitting

The fiber room is a busy place as the winter weather drives us inside.  There are always plenty of projects in varying states of completion.  Much as each sheep has its own personality, each fleece is just a little bit different.  The lock structure, crimp and curl, the color and luster all differ from fleece to fleece.  It is a wonderful time of year as we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor and also share some of our beautiful fleeces with our great customers.