handspinning cashmere fiber

Custom Handspun Yarn

I’ve learned that there is a growing appreciation of all things handmade, especially those of excellent quality. My passion is discovering and playing with exotic natural luxury fibres and handspinning cashmere fiberfinding creative ways to bring out the best qualities in each fiber or the blending of fibers. All of the custom handspun yarns are spun by myself in my home studio on my Louet Spinning wheels.
Most of my work begins with an idea and just a pile of raw fiber. These fibers may be a lovely Merino Wool Fleece that I have imported from a friend with a giant “spinner friendly” sheep ranch in Australia, the Mohair shorn from a local Angora Goat, or the ultimately soft undercoat of the Cashmere goat, gathered by hand and found only in the harsh climate of Mongolia.

The Process

When using a raw fleece the fibers are gently washed and sorted. This must be done very carefully to avoid any matting, or entanglement of the fibres. Most of them will then need to be carded or combed carefully into alignment then with much patience and dexterity the fiber is hand spun into a fine and well balanced yarn that is ideal for the project I am designing.
The fiber may be dye by hand either before the carding, in the carded roving or after it has been hand spun into yarn.
I spin fine well balanced yarns most of the time. A trendy and funky or bumpy yarn will look great for a season and can be fairly easily accomplished by a beginning spinner but for an heirloom quality handknit I prefer and carefully balanced hand spun yarn with a much higher degree of integrity and just enough variety in the thickness to give the finished design that very expensive high-end Handspun look. My goal is always a yarn or finished hand knitted design that will not only last for years and even generations but always be in fashion too.

Back to Basics – Simple and Elegant

Why natural colours or hand dyed solids?

I love clean and simple lines in a design and a classic traditional look. I believe it adds an elegance that cannot be acheived otherwise.
Although I adore colour and use it often I can also see great value in using the colours of our natural fibers as they appear in nature. I find this to be expecially true with handspun yarn. If the design is right the handspun yarn will really “sing” in your project as it will be the focus itself with it’s lovely subtle variations and textures. The eye will not be distracted and confused by the multitude of colours often found in handspun yarns.
I have seen that most of the handspun yarns on the market are multi coloured yarns so I have decided to offer something different. My custom handspun yarns are special because of the exotic luxury fibers in the organic natual colours as well as some hand dyed solid coloured yarns. (the colour in the hand dyed “solids” is never as even as commercially dyed yarns)
I use my natural or hand dyed solids when I want my design or the exotic fibres to be the centre of attention. When I want to showcase the style, the line, the drape of the design as well as the lovely organic texture of the handspun yarn. If the stitch pattern or shaping of your beautiful knitting is the focus of the piece then you may not want all of the confusion of colour to interfere.

Weights & Pricing

Many of the custom handspun luxury yarns below are offered in several yarn weights. In each of these cases you will find that the physical weight of the skein will vary depending on the weight (thickness) of the yarn. A 50 yard skein of lace weight yarn will weigh less than a 50 yard skein of worsted weight. This is balanced by the fact that the lace weight yarn will go much further in your projects (a lace shawl will weigh much less than a worsted weight sweater) from the perspective of the spinner the finer yarns require more practice, dexterity, patience, expertise and time.
You can make a lovely scarf with an ounce of lace weight yarn or a shawl with about 400 yards. I have made a Yardage and WPI Chart to help you decide which weight is best for your project and how much handspun yarn you will need.

In Conclusion

There are many oportunities to buy art yarns with lots of texture and colour variations but there are few opportunities to order a custom designed yarn in your choice of exotic fiber and yarn weight and have it custom hand dyed to your specifications. These hand spun yarns are beautiful, classic style luxury yarns where the minor variations that result from hand spinning are subtle and support the inherent beauty of the fiber. My goal is a handspun yarn that will showcase and enhance the lovely fibers and organic texture of the resulting yarn and one that will make your project pop!
BTW – There are so many natural luxury fibers to spin and I love them all. If there is something you would like that you don’t see here please contact me to order. I’m always trying new yarns and fiber combinations.[space]


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