My handspun tapestry yarns are all yarn 'singles'. That means one single thread rather than a plied thread. In tapestry weaving it is desirable to have a firm twist, and not too much 'spring' in the yarn. So I spin these yarns with as much twist as I can manage, and as evenly as I can, although please bear in mind that they are hand spun, and not made by a machine so there will be some gently thicker and thinner bits here and there. My listings give much more information about the types of wools used in each yarn. All yarns in this section are dyed with natural dyes, or are undyed natural wool colours.
When yarns are spun by machine, they are completely even in texture, and the dye take up is completely even because of that. But hand spun yarns will be more irregular with areas of differing twist, and fibres that are blended together that come from different parts of a fleece. Therefore the dye-take-up is slightly irregular. This produces over all a much more hand-crafted look to a finished piece.
Handmade rugs and tapestries that are crafted with hand spun yarns are now much more rare because machine produced yarn is cheaper and more readily available than hand spun. So if you are interested in producing something really original, hand spun may be a good choice.
Wenslydale and Teeswater locks are like long ringlets of glossy hair. These breeds are amazing looking large sheep and the fleeces are very heavy indeed. Getting good locks to start with can be quite an effort, but once I've found good fleeces, the process of washing, picking, mordanting, dyeing, over-dyeing, weighing, bundling and packaging is very time consuming but one of my favourite areas to work in. There's nothing quite so thrilling as seeing the locks all finished!
In an effort to support rare breeds and small flocks, I like to focus on using the wool from lesser known breeds in this section of my shop. I am adding different yarns to this section frequently as I come across good fleeces. There are a vast array of different types of sheep breeds in the UK and their fleeces all have their own special niche. Some go into making rugs, others make baby garments or next to skin clothing. There are long staple wools, lustre wools, and short crimpy wools. Fine and coarse. They all have their particular uses and none of them are to be discredited. For instance, I have spun great garden twine from Swaledale because it's long and strong, and crocheted baskets from Zwartbles because it's a crimpy wool that holds well in crochet. Norwegian and Romney make great tapestry, and Bluefaced Leicester makes great baby props as it is super soft.
All the yarns in this section of my shop are hand spun and dyed with plants or other natural dye material. There are well known basic plant dyes that are reliable for obtaining certain colours and there are lesser known plant dyes that I gather locally. I like to have a go at obtaining dyes with plants that aren't in the dye-books! So you may find some unusual things in this section of my shop. If you are interested in plant dyeing, please do check out my youtube videos.
I use a variety of different wools, so please check out the listings in my shop for more information.
I use 2 base wool tops for natural dyed fibre. Either Shetland or Organic Merino. Both of these fibres can be used in either hand spinning, felting or art weaving. Packs of fibre are 25g and come in bio degradable bags. I use as many locally gathered dyes as possible, and also other more well known dyes such as cochineal, lac, and indigo which I have to purchase.
This section of my shop evolved out of a 'find' of a box of bobbins I discovered that came from a long closed down local mill near my home where I used to live in Northern Ireland. One thing led to another. I'm always on the hunt for these treasures from the past textile industry of our country. Most of my bobbins go through a thorough clean and wax process before being put in my shop. I now sell bobbins that have originated from all over the world.
These are all vintage hand turned pegs. Many of them are over 100 years old, and I have wrapped small amounts of my handspun yarns on to them. Great gifts, stocking stuffers, or for adding a shot of texture or colour into a hand woven or knitted project. This is also a way of sampling my yarns if you are interested to see what they are like without buying a whole skein. Pegs were whittled or turned by woodsmen or gypsys and can be very old often out of oak or hickory. They were made this way up until about the 1950's.
I have wound smaller amounts of my handspun yarns on to various vintage bobbins. They make great gifts or if you just want a smaller amount to try, and have a vintage bobbin left over afterwards. Win-win.
In this section of my shop are my thickest and heaviest yarns. Spun from Lincoln Longwool and other coarser fleeces, some natural dyed with plants while others are undyed. If you want to read more about some of these listings and the process, please look at my blog entry on rug yarn. All these yarns are bulky, tough, and hard wearing. They could be used in floor rugs, wall art, cushion covers, or macrame.
Vintage reproduction photographs printed as greetings cards.
A5 size on high quality laminate card stock.
The inside of the cards are left blank for your message.
They come packaged in bio-degradable bags with matching white envelopes.