Delaware County is home to small flocks of Shetland, Romney, and Merino Sheep, and Alpacas. I enjoy meeting these breeders and their animals whose fleeces she uses in dyeing, spinning, and weaving. Jethro (black fleece) and Rose (white fleece) are two alpacas on the Twin Ponds Farm here in Delaware County. Their breeder supervises the washing and carding processes of these fleeces into roving, so that the spinning is a delight.
The alpaca fleeces are spun in their natural colors for weaving into lap blankets and scarves. My primary wool is Shetland, because it is an all purpose wool that spins and dyes up well, and I dye up in one or two pound amounts.
I relish the magic of dyeing with jewel tone Jacquard Acid Dyes. When I dye up large batches of 1lb rovings, I let these air dry on beach towels spread out on the back lawn: It looks like tons of jelly beans out there!
Vinegar is used as the mordant, which opens up the fibers and enables them to absorb the Jacquard Acid Dyes easily. The fibers are then simmered on the stove top in a large canning pot for about one hour. I use the locally sourced spring water on my property.
I have also experimented with dyeing with Black Eyed Susan, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Golden Rod flower heads. These usually produce a bland muted yellow.
What makes me excited though is when I over dye these muted yellows with INDIGO (Dharma Trading Company’s Indigo Kit), I get a range of Peacock Blues, Greens, and Turquoise!
To get vibrant colors from other natural botanical sources, like Black Walnut shells, onion skins, carrot tops, I would need to use harmful metallic chemicals like Iron, Copper, and Tin which are toxic for my spring-sourced drinking water.
Contact me for color availability, custom dye color orders, and spun wool or alpaca quantities of 2lb or more — Please Note: approximately 6 week delivery depending upon what is or is not in inventory .
I encourage knitters and crocheters to buy more than they might need: yardage amounts by weight will differ in my handspun yarns from commercially spun fibers AND I do not guarantee matching their purchased wools with a new dye and spun batch.
However, check out my SPECIAL DISCOUNTS on yarns you order.
Fine – approximately 160 yards; Needle Size 3,
Gauge 10 stitches x 10 rows = 2″,
Crochet Hook Size D.
Medium – approximately 150 yards; Needle Size 7,
Gauge 8 stitches x 7 rows = 2″,
Crochet Hook Size G-H.
Heavy – approximately 130 yards; Needle Size 10-11,
Gauge 6 stitches x 6 rows = 2″,
Crochet Hook Size K-L.
Bulky – approximately 100 yards; Needle Size 15-17,
Gauge 4 stitches x 4 rows = 2″,
Crochet Hook Q.